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Goddess Uma – About Goddess Uma

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