--> Skip to main content

Goddess Uma – About - Goddess Uma Symbolism In Hinduism

Uma is Mother Goddess Shakti. She appeared as the daughter of Himavan, King of Himalayas, and his wife, Mena. Uma means ‘one who measures Shiva.’ ‘U’ means ‘Shiva’ and ‘ma’ means one who measures. She is Shakti.

Goddess Uma appeared before Indra, the king of Devas, to impart the knowledge of Brahman (Supreme Reality) – this is mentioned in the Kena Upanishad.

As per Matsya Purana, Uma appeared after the death of Sati to bring back Shiva into householder’s life. But Shiva was not ready to accept Uma and then she performed severe austerities to please Shiva.

Popular stories of Goddess Uma are found in the Kumarasambhava of Kalidasa. Goddess Shakti performed severe tapas without taking food. As per Kumarasambhava, Uma means ‘do not daughter.’ Here ‘Ma’ means ‘do not’ and ‘U’ means ‘my daughter.’ Legend has it that Mena, mother of Goddess Uma, was worried about her daughter undertaking severe penance and therefore constantly uttered ‘Uma’ and Goddess got the name.

Goddess Uma is popularly known as Parvati. She is also known as Gauri. She has thousands of names depending on which way a devotee want to perceive her.

Source - Encyclopedia of Hinduism - Volume XI - page 22 published by India  Heritage Research Foundation and Rupa Publications

Goddess Uma Symbolism In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Goddess Uma, also known as Parvati or Shakti, holds significant symbolism representing various aspects of feminine energy, power, and devotion. Here are some key aspects of her symbolism:

Feminine Energy: Uma symbolizes the eternal feminine energy in the universe, known as Shakti. She represents the dynamic and creative aspect of the divine feminine principle.

Motherly Love and Nurturing: As the consort of Lord Shiva, Uma embodies the ideal of motherly love and nurturing. She is often depicted as a caring and compassionate mother figure, especially towards her children, including the elephant-headed god Ganesha and the warrior god Kartikeya.

Balance and Harmony: Uma is often depicted as being in perfect union with her consort Shiva, symbolizing the balance and harmony between masculine and feminine energies. Their union represents the cosmic balance necessary for creation, preservation, and destruction.

Asceticism and Devotion: Uma is also associated with asceticism and devotion. In her aspect as Parvati, she is said to have performed intense penance to win the love and affection of Lord Shiva. This represents the power of devotion and the ability to transcend worldly desires through spiritual practice.

Goddess of Power and Strength: Uma is often depicted as a fierce warrior goddess, especially in her manifestations as Durga and Kali. In these forms, she symbolizes power, strength, and the ability to overcome evil forces. She is often depicted riding a lion or tiger, wielding various weapons, and defeating demons.

Domesticity and Family Life: Uma is also revered as the ideal wife and homemaker. Her relationship with Shiva exemplifies the importance of marital harmony and mutual respect within Hindu families. She is often depicted alongside Shiva in domestic settings, symbolizing the importance of family life and household duties.

Goddess of Fertility and Motherhood: Uma is associated with fertility and motherhood, and she is often worshipped for blessings related to childbirth and family prosperity. She is sometimes depicted with a child in her arms, emphasizing her role as a nurturing mother goddess.

Overall, the symbolism of Goddess Uma in Hinduism is multifaceted, representing various aspects of feminine power, devotion, nurturing, and balance within the cosmos and in human life.