Oct 09 2018, 18:26
During Navaratri, we invoke the divinities who are in Arupa state, to Rupa state, in the form of Shaila. This transformation of divinities into Rupa state, is represented by the form of Shailaputri.
Navaratri begins with the worship of Devi Shailaputri on its first night. Shaila means a mountain, a hill, a rock. This name is in reference to Devi’s incarnation as Parvati, the daughter of Himavana, the king of the Himalaya.
King Himavam is also known as Parvata Raja. Thus, since Devi in this form is the daughter of Parvata Raja, i.e. Parvata Kumari, she is known as Parvati.
On this earth, Shiva Tattva in His form as Shankara, has His Abode in the Himalayan range in Mount Kailash, Kailash Parvat.
As per the Puranic legends, Shiva in His Avirbhava form on this earth, Bhuloka chose the daughter of Parvata as His consort.
The name for Parvathi, His consort, comes from the word Parvath, meaning the great mountain.
Having chosen Her as His consort, Shiva made one of the main peaks in this Himalayan range, Kailash Parvat His abode on earth.
Kailash etymologically means touching the sky.
Similarly the two other popular abodes of Shiva too are in the Himalayan ranges, Kedarnath and Amarnath, all of which are at high altitudes.
We speak about Kedarnath, and the calamity that struck the temple, in our article – “Himalayan Tsunami – Waiting to Happen. Happened – Why?”
More on this in our book, Understanding Shiva.
The mountain symbolized the highest peak of consciousness. When you are situated in this highest state of Consciousness, the Divinity in you is awakened.
Shaila also means a Rock. From this word, is derived the term Shila, meaning an idol. The word Shilpa, meaning decoration also has the same roots. Shilpi is the one who sculpts a Shila from a Shaila, and enhances the Shila through Shilpa Kala, the art of decoration.