How Parvati became Gauri (Killing of Shumbh and Nishumbh)

Namaste friends, how are you doing today? Lord Shiva and Sri Parvati Devi blessings to you and your family!

There were two asuras (demons) named Shumbha and Nishumbha. They meditated a lot and pleased Sri Brahma Deva. 

Sri Brahma Deva thereupon gave them the boon that they could not be killed by males. 

Having obtained the boon, the two demons started to oppress the world. They drove the Demigods out of heaven and the Demigods went to Sri Brahma Deva, so that a solution might be found to the problem.

Sri Brahma Deva went to Lord Shiva. You have to help the Demigods, he told to Lord Shiva. I have given Shumbha and Nishumbha the boon that they cannot be killed by males. Find a way so that a female is born out of Parvati Devi’s body. She will kill Shumbha and Nishumbha.

I will try, replied Lord Shiva.

When Shiva next met Parvati Devi, he addressed her as Kali Devi. This angered Parvati Devi, since Kali Devi means black or dark.

Why did you marry me if you thought I was so dark? she asked Lord Shiva. Why do you pretend to love me? Cursed is the woman who is not loved by her husband. I am going to perform tapasya, so that I may become fair. I am going to pray to Sri Brahma Deva.

Parvati Devi went off to meditate. She meditated for many years.

There was a tiger which saw Parvati Devi meditating. It was not a good tiger at all, but an evil one. It thought that Parvati Devi would provide a good meal. 

It sat down in the front of Parvati Devi to appreciate for a while the treat that was in store for it. Parvati Devi did not realize that the tiger was planning to eat her. 

She thought that it had sat down in front of her because it wanted to protect her from other wild beasts. She thought that the tiger was one of her devotees and she therefore entered the tiger’s soul. 

As soon as she did this, all thoughts vanished from the tiger’s mind. Now it was indeed one of her devotees.

Meanwhile, Sri Brahma Deva arrived to find out who Parvati Devi was meditating. Parvati Devi said that she wanted to become Gauri Devi, that is, someone who is fair. 

She was sick and tired of being addressed as Kali Devi. Sri Brahma Deva granted the boon.

Parvati Devi shed off all the dark cells (kosha) from her body and became Gauri Devi. 

From the cells emerged a dark-hued goddess named Koushiki Devi. Parvati Devi handed over Koushiki Devi to Sri Brahma Deva. 

Endowed with weapons by Sri Brahma Deva, Koushiki Devi killed Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Parvati Devi returned to her husband as Gauri Devi.

What happened to the tiger? Lord Shiva turned him into a man and he was employed by Nandi as one of Shiva’s guards. 

He was named Somanandi.

PS: We should always remember that all these are leela / nataka of Bhagavan Sri Hari to show the greatness of the Sri Parvati Devi.

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