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THE STRUCTURE OF THE DIVINE FAMILY OF ŚIVA: READINGS FROM THE ŚAIVA PURĀṆAS









Abstract

Family as a theme of study has been the concern of sociologists for they have dealt with theorizing the definition of family as a social entity. In the light of the debate among scholars on the various kinds of structures of family in India, but particularly taking clue from A. M. Shah’s proposition of ‘patriarchal elementary’ structure of family I discuss how Śiva’s family consisting Pārvatī, Gaṇeśa, Kārttikeya and Śiva do resemble a similar structure, however, cannot be concluded to be so. The family of Śiva represents the aspirations of the society in which it finds expression. The family captures the most preferred kin roles ascribed by the society for its people. The family of Śiva in the Puranic myths allegorically reveals the ideal kin-roles of males (the role of father and husband personified by Śiva, and son personified by Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa) and females (the role of mother personified by Pārvatī, and wife personified by both Satī and Pārvatī) preferred within the brahmanical tradition during the early medieval India. Thus, the family of Śiva, I state, at best can be regarded as an ideal ‘patriarchal elementary’ family.



Keywords Content

Śiva and Pārvatī along with their two progenies Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa constitute one of the most significant divine pantheons in the brahmanical tradition. Scholars regard a non-brahmanical (‘tribal’) origin of Rudra/Śiva, Umā/Pārvatī, Skanda-Kārttikeya, and Gaṇeśa/Gaṇapati. Scholars also agree on the fact that these deities were subsequently assimilated into the brahmanical pantheon, but with some modifications. The process of assimilation was multi-layered or rather multifaceted and was not a matter of a single century but was spread over a millennium. Scholars regard myths, and iconographic depiction of Śiva, Pārvatī, Kārttikeya, and Gaṇeśa on the premises of brahmanical temples as some of the ways through which the assimilation of these deities within the brahmanical tradition occurred (Agrawala, Prithvi Kumar: 1967; Banerjea, J.N.: 1956; Bhandarkar, R.G.: 1913; Bhattacharji, Sukumari: 1988; Kosambi, D.D.: 1962; Nath, Vijay: 2001; Thapan, Anita Raina: 1997).

However, once these deities got assimilated into the Śaiva pantheon, together they also came to represent a social unit of brahmanical tradition during the early medieval India, that is, a familial unit that if looked through the reading of the sociological studies on family reveal a structure. In the present paper, thus, I will analyze the structure of Śiva’s family in the light of the studies on family by sociologists, and also, the studies, which have contributed in illuminating the nuances of familial issues such as marriage, kin and gender relations. The primary sources for the present analysis will be the Śaiva myths from the two Śaiva Purāṇas - Liṅga and Śiva, dated approximately to c. 400-1000 C.E., and 800-1100 C.E., respectively (Rocher, Ludo 1986; 187-188, and 222-228).

The paper is sub-divided into two sub-sections. In the first sub-section Marriage: Monogamous, I will discuss scholars’ opinion on marriage in itself, and thereafter, I will analyze Śiva’s marriage with Satī and Pārvatī. In the second sub-section, Family: Elementary, in the light of the debate among scholars on the various kinds of structures of family in India, I will look at the kind of family structure that the divine family of Śiva represents.

WITHIN A NETWORK OF CONTEXTS

The boundedness of the category - ‘family’- was itself a historically produced effect (Chatterjee, Indrani 2004: 33). Indrani Chatterjee explains that “family” as a category was implicitly borrowed in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from colonial Western law (Chatterjee: 8). The word ‘family’ is derived from the word familia, which also denotes ‘household’. The word familia has its root in the Latin word famulus, i.e., servant or attendant (Chatterjee: 14). The ‘family’ in South Asian history, writes Chatterjee, was simultaneously a social, political and economic entity. Further, families acted as agents of change rather than merely as sanctuaries from the ongoing (Chatterjee: 21). The family existed within a network of contexts, not on the outskirts of it. The family, thus, embraced multiple meanings (Chatterjee: 35).

Marriage: Monogamous

The husband-wife unit, writes Carle C. Zimmerman, is the building block from which branches out other familial bonds. The unit of husband-wife, in turn, branches out from marriage. Any discussion on family, points out Zimmerman, must begin with the analysis of the nature of the husband-wife unit (Zimmerman, Carle C. 2005: 54).

In 1949, Claude Levi-Strauss in his work Les Structures élémentaires de la Parenté (The Elementary Structures of Kinship) regarded kinship as a universal system (not uniform everywhere), and marriage as one of the most important elementary structures of kinship in any society because it is through marriage that kinship ties are solidified or loosened (Levi-Strauss 1970: 483).  Marriage, in the words of Strauss, is the “archetype of exchange”, an alliance which involves the gift of women (Levi-Strauss 1970: 483).

Strauss did not define marriage in itself but rather as system within the kinship system. However, some of the scholars have attempted to define marriage per se. For instance, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in 1951 defined marriage as ‘a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are recognized legitimate offspring of both parents’ (Uberoi, Patricia 2005: 237).  It is apparent in this definition that marriage is the means to legitimize the progeny, though whether legitimation is social or legal is not made explicit in this definition. Further, this definition implies marriage as a union of heterosexual human beings. On the other hand, writing in 1971 sociologists like Burgess, Locke and Thomes provided a little less vague definition of marriage. In their word marriage implies ‘a ceremony, a socially sanctioned union of one or more men with one or more woman, with a recognition of obligations to the community assumed by those entering this relationship’ (Burgess, Locke, and Thomes 1971: 5). This definition also regards marriage as a union of heterosexual human beings. In addition, however, these sociologists define marriage as a socially sanctioned phenomenon.

A combination of these two definitions is perspicuous in the definition of marriage provided in the glossary section of the book Family, Kinship and Marriage in India,edited by Patricia Uberoi. ‘Marriage is,’ mentioned in the glossary as, ‘a socially sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman, usually involving, economic co-operation and residential and sexual cohabitation, and ensuring the legitimacy of the children born of the union’ (Uberoi 2005: 469). This definition too refers to marriage as a socially sanctioned union between heterosexual human beings, which also legitimizes the children born of such a union. However, the residential and sexual cohabitation are regarded as an occasional and not an accomplished occurrence.

Marriage, taking into consideration all these definitions furnished by social anthropologists and sociologists, can be regarded as an alliance, a union of heterosexual human beings which is socially sanctioned and whereby the children born of such a union may be ascertained as legitimate. Furthermore, marriage occasionally implies residential and sexual cohabitation. Does the marriage of Śiva with Satī and then Pārvatī fulfill these criteria of marriage as well? 

The marriage of Śiva with Satī and then Pārvatī is a union of heterosexual beings and can be called an alliance as well. Both Satī and Pārvatī, choose to marry Śiva and perform vratas and penance to attain the eligibility to marry Śiva too. However, Śiva marries Satī and, after Satī’s death, Pārvatī only for the welfare of the world, that too after being reasonably persuaded by Brahma, Viṣṇu and other gods (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 345, 570-71). Hence, the marriage of Śiva with Satī and then Pārvatī is such that their parents in marriage exchange both of them with Śiva for the greater well of the universe rather than for the gift of wife in return. The marriage of Śiva with Satī and then Pārvatī, thus, is an alliance undertaken for the welfare of the universe.

This marriage alliance, however, is also a socially sanctioned one; a feature apparent from the marriage celebrations peopled by gods, Śivagaas and other celestial beings along with the bride and groom. In order to wed Satī, Śiva reaches the abode of Dakṣa—the father of Satī, along with Viṣṇu, Devas, sages and others. Dakṣa welcomes Śiva ‘with great humility and boundless joy’. Further, Dakṣa honours not just Śiva but also all the guests; makes them sit comfortably in his abode (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 356). On the other hand, at the time of Śiva’s marriage with Pārvatī, Śiva accompanied by his gaas and other gods is received by Menā- the mother of Pārvatī, along with her womenfolk near the entrance of her abode. Mena performs ‘the customary Nīrājana (waving of lights) rites of Śiva,’ and also duly honours the guests (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 668-669). Moreover, none other than Brahma himself performs the marriage rite of Satī with Śiva and then after Satī’s demise with Pārvatī (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 356 and 679). It is clear, then, that the marriage of Śiva with Satī and then Pārvatī is of supreme significance.

Śiva’s marriage with Satī as well as Pārvatī involves residential cohabitation too, for it is the wife who leaves her maternal home and comes to reside with Śiva. For instance, Śiva, after the completion of the marriage rites, with Dakṣa’s consent, takes Satī to his residence on his vehicle—the bull (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 368).

Similar events occur when Śiva marries Pārvatī. Śiva, this time around as well, takes Pārvatī not without Himavat and Menā’s (the parents of Pārvatī) consent, though in the palanquin, to his abode on the mountain Kailāsa (The Śiva Purāṇa  1970: 707). The pattern of events suggests that for the bride in the brahmanical society the family of procreation, i.e. the family formed by marriage is much more important than the family of orientation, i.e. the family into which one is born (Uberoi 2005: 468). It is important to the extent that it requires the bride to reside after her marriage with the groom at groom’s residence. For the groom, however, it appears that the marriage does not announce a dramatic change rather arrival of a mate with whom he willingly shares his residence.

The marriage of Śiva with Satī and Pārvatī, thus, can be regarded as an alliance, a socially sanctioned union, which involves residential cohabitation but legitimizes only those children who benefit the society inhabited by their parents. The marriage of Śiva with both Satī and Pārvatī, however, signifies another feature too. The marriage is monogamous. Monogamous marriage is that marriage in which one man marries one woman at one time (Uberoi 2005: 470). Śiva does not marry Satī and Pārvatī at the same time. He marries them one after the other. His marriage to Pārvatī takes place after Satī dies at her father’s grand Vedic sacrifice. On both occasions, Śiva, is a reluctant groom and does not readily agree to marry either Satī or Pārvatī. Even though Śiva is represented in the Purāṇas as being married twice, it is maintained that Śiva’s spouse is actually one for both Satī and Pārvatī are the human incarnations of Śakti—born for no other reason but to be Śiva’s wives. A feature that implies that Śiva’s marriage with Satī and then Pārvatī is monogamous. The Purāṇas do provide an answer to the query—‘Why is Śiva’s marriage monogamous?’ The reason in the Purāṇas is narrated through a myth. In the Śatarudrasahitā of the Śiva Purāṇa is mentioned the myth of the ‘Half-female incarnation of Śiva’ which answers this question. Brahmā realized that since no generation of women was formed by him creation by means of copulation was not possible. Hence, Brahmā began a penance while pondering over Śiva united with Śakti called Śivā. After a long period Śiva, being satisfied with Brahmā’s penance, disposed himself in the form of half male and half female to Brahmā. On seeing this form of Śiva and Śivā, Brahmā eulogized with palms joined in reverence. Consequently, Śiva detached the female half Śivā from his body. Brahmā, said to Śakti that since all Śaktis originate from the Great Śakti alone he would be obliged to be granted the power to create women by the great Śakti. Along with this boon Brahmā requested Śakti to take birth as the daughter of his son Dakṣa, “for the increase of the mobile and immobile beings through the Īśa (Śiva).” Hence, Śivā—the great Śakti created another Śakti in her own image from the middle of her eyebrows. Thereafter Śiva merged with Śivā again and vanished from the scene. Then onward, the creation became copulatory (The Śiva Purāṇa, 1970: 1075-78).

This myth is regarded by Ellen Goldberg as the one in which ‘the ideology of patriarchy is being birthed in’ and is given divine sanction for ‘Śakti’ emerges from, and returns to, the male-identified god head (Śiva)’ (Ellen Goldberg 2002: 116-7). However, this myth expresses another feature as well. Firstly, this myth narrates how creation became copulatory. But more importantly, it defines monogamy as a given. In the myth it is Śiva who is shown as possessing the female-half. It is from Śiva that Śakti comes into being completely as an individual. Therefore, it is made explicit that Śakti belongs to Śiva and that she alone can be Śiva’s better half, i.e., spouse for she alone is equal to him, though differently. Śakti is the eternal spouse of Śiva. Consequently, her incarnation as a mortal female is destined to attain Śiva as a husband. All this, though, also add to the reverential status of Śiva as a god, for Śakti’s sole purpose to incarnate is to be united with Śiva; Śakti, thus, exists for Śiva.

Śiva’s marriage with Śakti’s female incarnation Pārvatī leads to the formation of Śiva’s family. The family of Śiva, like the marriage of Śiva as discussed above, has a structure and I now proceed to analyze it.   

Family: Elementary

In India, one of the earliest scholars who attempted to historically trace the kinship and family patterns was Irawati Karve. Irawati Karve in her work Kinship Organization in India published in 1953 attempted to unlock the kinship structure of India through the study of vocabularies of kin terms. Karve identified four major zones of kinship organization in India: northern, central, southern, and eastern zones (Karve, Irawati 1953: 4). Karve based this division on the cultural and linguistic differences found between these four geographical zones. According to Karve, the two important social institutions which helped shape the kinship structure of India to a great extent are the caste system and the joint family. Karve traced the evidence for the caste system and joint family from the Vedas and the Brahmanas but largely from the Mahābhārata (Karve 1953: 28). Karve states that the ancient Sanskrit literature reflects the picture of a patrilocal, patrilineal and patriarchal joint family in which the married women lived in the ‘house of their father-in-law’ (Karve, 1953: 78-79).     However, the very idea of ‘joint family’ being one of the hallmarks of India was put to scrutiny during 1970’s by Indian sociologists themselves. It was argued, writes Patricia Uberoi, that the notion of ‘joint family’ was an Indological conception popularized during the colonial era through the colonial textbooks on Indian history (Uberoi 2005:  32). The notion of ‘joint family’ was developed through the reading of ‘classical Indian Sanskrit literature’ particularly the Dharmaśāstras and their commentaries, such as Mitākṣara, which describe the ‘Hindu joint family’ as a group of three or four generations. It was presumed by the colonialists that all ‘Hindus’ were governed “generally by the legal rules” prescribed in the śāstras. Hence, the notion of ‘joint family’ came to be attached with the image of India as a country (Uberoi 2005: 384). However, sociologists on the basis of the field study of family patterns in India point out that ‘joint family’ is one of the categories of family structures in India and ever was (Uberoi 2005: 384). The sociologists, thus, regarded the notion of ‘joint family’ as an ideal and the term ‘joint family’ as a sociological category.

With regard to the definition of the term ‘joint family’ as a sociological category, the work of A. M. Shah is illuminating for he not only provides the definition of this term alone but also of other terms and concepts pertaining to family as a field of study in India. Shah in his essay Basic Terms and Concepts in the Study of the Family in India first describes the four meanings of ‘family’ as defined in common English parlance. The word ‘family,’ firstly, is used to denote a household in which parents, children, servants etc., live under one head or in one house. Secondly, parents and their children are either living together or apart. Thirdly, there are people related by blood and affinity, and finally, ‘those descended or claiming descent from a common ancestor; a house, kindred, lineage’ (Shah, A.M. 1998: 15). Shah states that though these meanings are often interconnected, however, they should not be conflated. Another feature, as he points out, is that even though ‘household’ is a referent of the word ‘family’ it however is also one of the referents of ‘family’. Hence, the group of people defined as a ‘family’ may not live in one house but can still be regarded as a family (Shah  1998: 15).

Shah, then, proceeds to clarify the two major categories used by sociologists to describe the structure of family in India. The first being the ‘elementary family’ and the other being the ‘joint family’. Shah begins his discussion with the first category, i.e., ‘elementary family’. Shah defines ‘elementary family’ as ‘a group composed of a man, his wife and their children’ (Shah 1998: 15). Shah mentions that often the writers on family assume the members of this kind of family to be living together in the same household. However, Shah, as an example, discusses the case of family structures in Kerala, particularly the case of Nayars, where the husband resides not with his wife and children but with the matrilineal kin and visits his ‘family of procreation’ only occasionally, and then suggests that the ‘elementary family’ by itself does not carry any implication of transfer of residence either of the bride or the groom after marriage. (Shah 1998: 15)

Shah regards ‘elementary family’ not as an antithesis of the ‘joint family’. This aspect stands out in the definition of the ‘joint family’ provided by him. ‘Joint family’ in Shah’s words mean, ‘two or more elementary families joined together’ (Shah  1998: 18). The ‘joint family,’ according to Shah, when based on the principle of patrilineal descent is called ‘patrilineal joint family,’ and when based on the principle of matrilineal descent is called as ‘matrilineal joint family.’ The ‘patrilineal joint family,’ according to Shah, is further based on the extension of father-son relationship, and the ‘matrilineal joint family’ is based on the extension of mother-daughter relationship. Shah keeps the discussion limited to ‘patrilineal joint family’ households (Shah 1998: 18-19).

In the ‘patrilineal elementary family’ the father is taken as the Ego around which the family is composed. Similarly, writes Shah, in the ‘patrilineal joint family’ the father is the Ego in the family (Shah 1998: 18). Considered in this way, mentions Shah, an addition of one person to the ‘elementary family structure’ would make it a ‘joint family structure,’ and if they live together then it can be termed as ‘joint family household’. Such is the case, points out Shah, because an addition of a person means addition of a social relationship. For example, ‘the addition of the son’s wife means the addition of relationships not only between the son and his wife but also between father-in-law and daughter-in-law and mother-in-law and daughter-in-law’ (Shah 1998: 21). The structure of the household, hence, with an addition of a person to the ‘elementary family’ becomes complex, and thereby leads to the formation of ‘joint family household’ (Shah 1998: 21).

A. M. Shah, therefore, in his essay Basic Terms and Concepts in the Study of the Family in India differentiates between ‘family’ and ‘household’; ‘elementary family’ and ‘incomplete elementary family’; ‘elementary family’ and ‘joint family’; and ‘joint family’ and ‘joint family household.’ Finally, Shah asserts that even these categories must be used carefully. For example, Shah states that ‘in “patri-centerd Hindu society” an elementary family with an unmarried daughter and no son’ could be regarded as ‘socially incomplete.’ Hence, in Shah’s opinion, it is necessary to be cautious with the definitions of the terms and concepts used for the study of family in India, for otherwise the study can result in misleading conclusions (Shah 1998: 49). In the light of the above discussion on the sociological terms and concepts used by the sociologists to define the family structures in India, I now turn to analyze the structure of the divine family of Śiva. It must be noted that the studies used for understanding the sociological terms pertaining to family are based on the field survey of kinds of family structures in India and not on the historical evidence. The reason, then, these studies are used for the present discussion is that the theory these studies propound for the structures of family in India could be contrasted with the kind of structure Śiva’s divine family represents, and thereby, the subtle aspects of the structure of Śiva’s family could be understood more comprehensively. Śiva after his marriage with Satī becomes the son-in-law of Dakṣa and Vīrinī (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 332). Though, as noted above, Śiva along with Satī does not live with his parents-in-law but at Kailidāsa. The house of Śiva at Kailiāsa is already peopled by his gaṇas and his chief gaṇa Nandī even before he marries Satī. Nandī, however, is not a kin of Śiva but a devotee who was raised to the level of leader of Śiva-gaṇas because of his as well as his father’s (Śilāda) devotion to Śiva. The narration of the origin and coronation of Nandīśvara (Nandī) is described in the Ligapurāṇa (The Liṅga Purāṇa  1973: 169-179).

Hence, after Śiva’s marriage with Satī, Śiva’s abode at Kailāsa consists of Satī along with Nandī and Śiva-gaṇas. Śiva’s family, on the other hand, consists of Dakṣa, Vīrinī, Satī, and Nandī. However, after Satī casts-off her own body at her father—Dakṣa’s sacrifice, and the subsequent destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice by Vīrabhadra and grant of a goat’s head for Dakṣa by Śiva, Dakṣa and Vīrinī are no longer mentioned in the narrative of Śiva in the Purāṇas as Śiva’s parents-in-law. Śiva, though, marries again, although his wife is believed to be the reincarnation of Satī, i.e. Pārvatī. Pārvatī is the daughter of Himavat and Menā (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 489). Śiva, thus, after his marriage with Pārvatī becomes Himavat (Himācala) and Menā’s son-in-law. But again Śiva lives along with Pārvatī at his abode in Kailāsa and not at Himavat’s house. Śiva’s house now consists of Pārvatī, Nandī and Śiva-gaṇas.

The children, i.e., male progeny, born out of Śiva-Pārvatī’s union or their own (Satī and Śiva are not mentioned to have any children) are not always regarded as their children. Out of the four sons regarded in the Śiva Purāṇa as the children of Śiva-Pārvatī only two (Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya) are revered as their children and the other two (Andhaka and Jalandhara) are identified as demons, i.e., much problematic for the welfare of the brahmanical Purānic gods and goddesses. Andhaka, even though he submits himself to Śiva and Pārvatī after a dreadful battle with Śiva, achieves only the status of the head of Śiva-gaas but is not proclaimed as a son equal in stature of Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya (The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 1021). In contrast, Jalandhara refuses to submit to Śiva, and thereby, receives death at the hands of Śiva himself. Hence, the mother accepts only those children who embrace the order maintained by the father. 

Therefore, Śiva’s abode at Kailāsa consists of his two sons, Pārvatī, Nandī and Śiva-gaṇas. His family may be said to include all those living in his house as well as his parents-in-law, Himavat and Menā. However, the present study is concerned with the kin-group of Śiva, Pārvatī, Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa, hence, I now analyze the family structure that these deities represent together.

Śiva is the Ego in his family, i.e., the person around which is composed his family. He is the husband and the father in the family. Pārvatī lives with him. Similarly, the two sons live with him at his abode as well. Consequently, Śiva’s house could be regarded as based on patri-lineal descent, i.e. ‘descent reckoned exclusively through male links’ and his residence as patrilocal in nature for Pārvatī, Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa are parti-lineal relatives of the husband/father—Śiva (Uberoi 2005: 470). Śiva’s family for Śiva and Pārvatī is the ‘family of procreation,’ but for Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa it is the ‘family of orientation’ for they are born into the family of Śiva and Pārvatī. Furthermore, Śiva, Pārvatī, Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa together as a family resemble the ‘patrilineal elementary structure’ of family described by A. M. Shah, i.e. ‘a group composed of a man (Śiva), his wife (Pārvatī) and their children (Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa) (Shah 1998; 15). Their family is not even ‘socially incomplete’ for Śiva and Pārvatī have two sons and the presence of sons in the brahmanical patriarchal society makes the family socially complete.

However, the family of Śiva, which consists of Śiva, Pārvatī, Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa, at best remains ideal. This divine family marks the most favoured type of family. The family of Śiva represents the aspirations of the society in which it finds expression. The family captures the most preferred kin roles ascribed by the society for its people. The male in the brahmanical patriarchal society are considered to be protectors, and thus, they are mostly described in kin roles of fathers, husbands and sons. Śiva as the husband and the father is literally shown in the Purāṇas and the early medieval Indian temple art as the sole creator and protector of the universe. Śiva’s sons (Kārttikeya and Gaṇeśa) as well accord the roles of protectors. Kārttikeya, for example, slays the demon Tāraka and protects the deities. Gaṇeśa, on the other hand, until he is beheaded by Śiva guards the door of Pārvatī’s chamber from Śiva and Śiva-gaṇas.

The females, in contrast, are seen in the brahmanical patriarchal society as the nurturers and hence they are portrayed as chaste wives or devoted mothers. For instance, Manu in Manusmti states: “The production of children, the nurturer of those born and the daily life of men, of these matters the wife is visibly the cause. Offspring, the due performance of religious rites, faithful service and heavenly bliss for the ancestors and for oneself depends on the wife alone”(Paraphrased in Chakravarti, Uma 2009: 71-2).

The text Manusmti, according to P. V. Kane, was written during the early centuries of Common Era (Kane, P.V. 1962: xii). It is a prescriptive text that prescribes the most agreed upon views (agreed upon by the brahmin males) expected to be followed by the people belonging to the brahmanical society. Taking into consideration such a description about the wives encoded in the smṛti, it is not surprising that Pārvatī’s role as the wife and the mother is more highlighted than her any other role in the Purāṇas too, texts which are written by brahmins as well. Pārvatī, in the Purāṇas, is persistently referred to as the wife of Śiva and the mother of the universe(The Śiva Purāṇa 1970: 1020). Therefore, if any sociological structure could be ascribed to the divine family of Śiva, then it would be ideal (exemplary) ‘patriarchal elementary family,’ that is, the marriage of Śiva captures the brahmanical ideal of chaste wife (Satī and Pārvatī) and divine husband (Śiva), whereas, the family of Śiva represents brahmanical preferred kin-roles of male (i.e., father, husband, and son) and female (i.e., mother and wife).

 

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