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Offering the moon for love

Published May 20, 2022
Updated Oct 26, 2022

📍 🇮🇳 Offering the moon for love

If men have often boasted they could “get the moon” for their beloved, Parvati is the only one who has actually got it! Indian iconography shows Hindu deity Siva with a crescent moon in his hand before offering it to his wife Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas - such as here at Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal (7th-8th century CE).

Indians are very conscious of their lunar calendar, the moon being personified in many popular tales and romantic stories. One example perhaps? Listen here to Siva, mesmerized by the moon, alluring his own Goddess (Parvati) with some sweet talk…

"The east urged by the night brings out this orb of moon, like a secret hidden from the day, laying low like a slight smile of moonlight. Capturing dark with his rays as if locks of hair in fingers, the moon seems to kiss the mouth of the night, while the eye-shaped lotuses close like buds. See, O Parvati, the sky looks clear like Manasa lake, darkness removed by the new rays of the moon. O thou who art beautiful beyond words! Moon, with his throbbing rays over wish-giving trees, seems to form strings of necklaces for you. Fasten your hair with these pieces of moonlight coming from between the leaves, delicate like flowers, falling at its roots. O sweet looking! The moon is united with his star, its orb twinkles, like the newly wedded girl trembling with fear in embrace of her groom. O thou whose gaze is fixed on the lunar orb! The moonlight grows as if from your cheeks, white like the ripe blossomed sara grass stalk, illuminated with the flashing moon reflected therein."

Love struck the divine couple, as told in the epic drama written by the great Kalidasa in his 5-6th century CE play. Adorable, almost believable... Brings them both close to our hearts.

____ Sources _____

>> Kalidasa, Kumarsambhava, translated by M.R. Kale (from Sanskrit to English)

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5th-8th CE