#eodishaorg src @clicksandposes
When Shiva came to marry Parvati with his entourage he was nothing close to being a conventional groom. Unlike normal grooms who come on a mare, Shiva was on a bull. Instead of being draped in fine cloth and sandal paste, he came in animal hide with ash smeared all over his body. Instead of garlands round his neck, he had serpents. Instead of bearing a sword, he held a trident. Music was created not by flutes but by rattle-drums. His attendants were demons and ghosts and goblins and witches. This was a terrifying sight for Parvati's family. Everyone were shocked by Parvati's choice and soon everything turned somber. Feeling the tension between her family and Shiva, she goes to Shiva and falls at his feet and prays to him, "They are not enlightened enough to understand who you are. But you are enlightened enough to understand where they come from. So only you can salvage this situation. Behave as they wish you to. Indulge them so that they acknowledge and accommodate you. Only when you engage with them will they eventually realize you." And so, Shiva, touched by Parvati’s sensitivity decides to indulge in nuances of the world. He transforms into Somasundara, the one who is as beautiful as the moon. Stripped of the ash and the snakes and the animal hide, smeared with perfumes and covered with silks, he is the most handsome man anyone has ever seen, graceful and lithe, regal in bearing. In this form, he asks the king of the mountains, Himavat for Parvati’s hand in marriage.