Siva is Maha Isvara, as isavasyam he pervades everywhere and everything. Thus Maheshvara is the Great God. But, even Maheshvara seeks his accomplishment in Shakti, his consort. Hence, he is Maheshvara only with Uma. This Uma-Maheshvara is one of Shiva's earliest anthropomorphic forms. In this aspect, Maheshwara is embracing Uma-Parvati.
It is one of Siva’s rare but serene and calm forms in which both are in yoga. In his manifest form, the Lord of Yoga, married Parvati for the sake of his devotees. Yet Parvati is essentially a part of her Lord and Parvati together are also considered a symbol of Moksha – release from samsara, the round of births and deaths
She is equal to her husband is yoga and meditation, and their partnership symbolizes the yin and yang of nature. Through Parvati, Shiva is able to manifest his full potential and express himself as a loving husband and caring father. Without her, he would remain an isolated monk immersed in yoga and meditation. Parvati not only compliments Shiva, she completes him.
The Uma Maheshvara symbolism is an image of great tenderness and grace, seated on Nandi or lotus. This pairing of the divine lovers is understood as a metaphor for the dissolution of the illusion of duality that veils the true nature of the universe. There is no separateness in their Yoga; jivatman merges with the Paramatma.
DEPICTION: They are depicted as seated or standing. Sometimes Shiva and Uma are just proximate but sometimes he is represented as embracing her quite ecstatically. In some of such Uma-Maheshvara images Shiva is represented as playing on his 'vina'. The known Ravana Anugrahamurti is only a form of Uma-Maheshvara Murti. When on Mount Kailasha with Uma in his embrace, Shiva finds arrogant Ravana shaking the Mount, he chastises Ravana and redeems him of his false ego.
When Uma is shown alongside Shiva, she appears with two arms. She has four to eight arms riding on a tiger or lion when she is alone. This is the benevolent Goddess taking her wrathful forms such as Durga and Kali which owes her tantric forms in the Mahavidyas. Kathyayini, Mahagauri, Kamalatmika, Bjuvaneshwari and Lalitha are her sole feminine energy manifesting without the company of Shiva. In Shaktam, Mother Uma-Parvati transcends Shiva and stand as the Supreme Mother Goddess. Indeed, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have their origins in the Supreme Mother.
So, Uma-Parvati ideally represents both householder harmony of being wife to Shiva and also her independent stand as Feminine Energy. Uma Maheshvara depict her as the ideal householder who settles down Shiva and any of his perennial tensions. Her calming ways have been narrated in various ways. His fierce Tandava is complemented by her slow and graceful Lasya dance. He has to fall in the fold and slows down.
In the domestic scene in Kailasha, Shiva is portrayed as both an ascetic but also of immense sexual prowess. Uma plays her role in both these aspects. She uses her seducing and luring ways to drag the ascetic out to the physical world. He comes out of meditation and enjoys being in yoga with her. When he is uncontrollably sexy, she takes the form of yoni to hold his linga in her yoni to control Him.
This is for cosmic balance and creation. There is a posting previously from the Padma Purana in which the sage Bhrigu appears in Kailasha when they were in lingayoni yoga. Shiva and Parvati did not entertain the sage while they were in dalliance. This earned sage Bhrigu’s curse that since there was so much importance given to his linga, henceforth, Shiva would be venerated in the form of Linga.
It is such dalliance that is behind Uma-Maheshwara. Their ecstasy and sexual bliss or the union of the male and female principle is depicted as Uma Maheshvara in temple sculptures. This is also called the Hara-Gauri forms. Most of the depictions of Uma-Maheshvara forms show Shiva relaxing in his mountain home with his consort Uma-Parvati. The daughter of the mountains is sometimes shown in erotic embrace or reclining against Him.
The multi-armed Shiva is identified by his characteristic weapon, the three-pronged trident. The bull-mount of Shiva, Nandi, sits on his right. He is clad in deerskin or tiger-skin and has a snake around his neck. Parvati is adorned with beautiful flower garland. These divine figures are attended by a number of smaller figures or his pariwars. Ganesha and the ganas are also alongside Shiva.
UMA MAHESHWAR PUJA. In this puja, Lord Shiva and Shakti are the chief deities. They are venerated for their marital accord. They are considered to be the perfect match bringing harmony and peace. This Shiva Puja is performed for a Happy Marital Life. Bhaktas pray to Maheshvara and his counterpart Uma to resolve problems between married couples.
It is strongly believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti are the epitomes of mercy and compassion. The marital harmony between the celestial beings is considered the most inseparable and exceptional. Praying to them for marital bliss will keep the couple secure, contented and gift them with a long life span. Evil forces like greed, ego and anger are shattered to pieces by the power Uma-Maheshvara. Tuesday and Fridays are auspicious days for Uma-Maheshvara puja.
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