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Vishnu-Parvathi controversy

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Wed Nov 04 1998 - 09:18:34 PST

>From Sri A. Bharat, resident of Bangalore, and frequent
attender of acharyas' discourses..

> Ram Gopalaswamy (gopalram@erols.com) wrote:
> Tue, 6 Oct 1998 12:42:42 -0400 (EDT) 
>
> Dear vaishNava-s,
>
> I keep hearing this fantastical story that Lord vishNu married away 
> His sister, pArvatI to lord Siva.
>
> It seems to me like a story spun by mAyAvAdi-s.
>
> I wonder what vaidika-vaishNava's have to say about the story.
>
> -Ram

Dear Mani

With ref to the point raised (extract below) whether
Vishnu and Parvathi are related,our Gurus say as
follows:

This is the result of a later merging of two distinct
persons.As is known Krishna ordered Yogamaya to wrest
Balarama's garbha from Devaki and place it in Rohini's
womb;and also  herself to be born of Yashoda in time
for exchange with Krishna.Later when Kamsa tried to 
dash her against a stone she rose up into the sky
and mocked and warned him.This Yogamaya who was given
the boon of being worhshipped thenceforth, was Durga.
Since she was born of Yashoda and was also associated
with Devaki she is considered Krishna's sister.
 
Siva's wife as known traditionally and also through
recognized writers like Kalidasa was called Parvati.
She was Daksha's daughter Dakshayini in her previous
birth.She also became known as Uma and Aparna in
the second birth.

These two distinct persons were merged into one in
later Saiva literature.

Textual support for this is adequate.

(1) In SriVishnu Puranam at that point the following
names are given re Yogamaya:Arya,Durga,Vedagarbha,
Ambika,Bhadra,Bhadrakali Kshemada,Bhagyada.

(2) In Srimad Bhagavatam the following names are
given:Durga,Bhadrakali,Vijaya,Vaishnavi,Kumuda,Chandika,
Krshnaa,Madhavi,Kanyaka,Maaya,Narayani,Iisaani,Sarada,
Ambika.

It can be seen that the characteristic names of Siva's
wife are totally absent.

(3)Sri Andal in Nach.Tiru. calls Krishna's sister "Antari"
again referring to Yogamaya or Durga because she stood
in the sky(antaram) while she did her bidding.
(4)Periyazhvar calls her "Veyya Kalai-ppaagi" again
referring to Durga.
Thus there seems to be no reason to doubt that making
Parvati Vishnu's sister was a later concoction-
intentional or otherwise.

Incidentally there is another theory that Vishnu HIMSELF
is Parvati.I recently found that it owes its origin not
to a religious text but to a fairy tale.In fact the line
quoted by the Kanchi"Periyavar" in one of his lectures
occurs in KATHA SARIT SAGARA- Siva tells Parvati,"Yo hi
Narayanah sa tvam"!.
With best wishes
BHARAT