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Maya Shiva - Story Demon Jalandhara Attempting To Marry Parvati

The story of Maya Shiva is found in the Padma Purana and narrates how a demon named Jalandhara approached Goddess Parvati as Shiva. Mayashiva tried to make love with Goddess Parvati to insult and reduce the powers of Shiva.

Legend has it that the demon army led by Jalandhara and Devas (demigods) were engaged in a fierce battle. The demon army had the upper hand and Devas were about to be defeated when Shiva entered the battlefield. With the entry of the army led by Shiva, the tables were turned and the demons found it hard to defend the attacks of Shiva and His ganas.

Jalandhara knew that defeat was imminent so he decided to cheat Shiva and avenge for the defeat. He asked Asura Sumbha to take his place in the battlefield. Sumbha changed into Maya Jalandhara and went into the battlefield.

Jalandhara and another demon named Durvarana went into a cave. Jalandhara took the form of Mayashiva and Durvarna took the form of Nandi.

Mayashiva approached Goddess Parvati in Kailash atop Maya Nandi. Mayashiva was wounded and was bleeding. He also carried fake heads of Ganesh and Kartik to show that all of them were killed in the battle.

Goddess Parvati did not believe what she saw. Still she pretended that she was crying. Mayashiva tried to console Goddess Parvati by embracing her. But Goddess Parvati cleverly moved away from the embrace.

As if in grief she went to Akashganga and started meditating. She also asked her maid Jaya to go in her dress to Kailash. Parvati said to Jaya that if Mayashiva embraces here He is a demon in disguise but if he asks your welfare first then he is the real Shiva.

As soon as Jaya reached Kailash, Mayashiva caught hold of her and tried to embrace and kiss her. Jaya got out from the embrace and went to Akashganga and reported what had happened to Goddess Parvati. Thus Goddess Parvati confirmed that it was Mayashiva.

Meanwhile Vishnu who came to know about the tactics of Jalandhara played the same trick on him. Demon Jalandhara was powerful because of the purity and chastity of his wife Vrinda. By trying to violate Goddess Parvati, Jalandhara broke all rules of war.

Vishnu appeared as Jalandhara before Vrinda and lived joyfully for several days. Some guards who found this out reported to Sumbha who was in disguise as Jalandhara. This matter was reported to Mayashiva who returned to the battlefield as Jalandhara.

Vrinda for no fault of hers had to bear the insult. She cursed Vishnu and made him turn into Shaligram.

Lord Vishnu did not let Vrinda suffer for no fault of her. She was turned into a Tulsi plant and gave her the boon that she will find a place in all houses and she will be worshiped. Tulsi Vivah is performed to establish this divine relationship between Lord Vishnu and Vrinda.