How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva

How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva

Illustrated by: Pieter Weltevrede
The magical story of how the princess Parvati opens the heart of her eternal husband Shiva

• The courtship story of one of the central couples in Indian lore, Parvati and Shiva, made accessible for Western children

• Illustrated throughout with paintings from the classic Indian tradition

In the Hindu pantheon the great mother goddess Adishakti is the heavenly wife of Shiva, Lord of All Gods. Whenever Shiva or Adishakti come to Earth in human form, they are fated to marry each other again--but that’s no guarantee that all will go smoothly with their courtship. In this story Adishakti comes to Earth as the mountain princess Parvati, who has her work cut out for her when she tries to win the affections of Shiva. Shiva spends all his time meditating on a remote mountainside in the Himalayas and has no interest in marriage. Parvati washes his feet, wipes his brow, and lays sixteen offerings before him, but he won’t even look at her. Sage Narada advises her to invoke Shiva’s name--Om Namah Shivaya--over and over again as a mantra. So in the heat of the sun, in the driving rain, in snow up to her neck Parvati sits and repeats her beloved’s name until the focused power of her intent opens his heart and persuades him to ask for her hand in marriage.

Parvati’s timeless story teaches children that with enough love and perseverance even the seemingly impossible can be achieved. Accompanied by rich, color illustrations prepared according to the traditional Hindu canon, How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva will transport children to a magical world filled with ancient wisdom.
  • Bear Cub Books | 
  • 32 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781591430421 | 
  • November 2004 | 
  • Grades P - 6
List Price $15.95
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About the Authors

Harish Johari

Harish Johari (1934-1999) was a distinguished North Indian author, Tantric scholar, poet, musician, composer, artist, and gemologist who held degrees in philosophy and literature and made it his life's work to introduce the culture of his homeland to the West.
Here is a hot link to a web site dedicated to Harish Johari's work that was set up by his students.


Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling, Ph.D., fluent in a number of Indian languages and Sanskrit, learned these traditional stories at her mother’s feet and enjoys introducing them to children of the Western world. Before marrying and moving to the United States, she was the chief of Clinical Microbiological Services at the largest children’s hospital in India. She is the author of How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head, How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva, Ram the Demon Slayer, Hanuman’s Journey to the Medicine Mountain, Ganga: The River that Flows from Heaven to Earth, and Karna: The Greatest Archer in the World. She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.