Shiva, Parvati And The Bull: My Favorite Religious Analogy

Lord Shiva and Parvati were traveling on their bull – Shiva had taken the form of an old man, while, Parvati remained young and beautiful. On the road, all passers-by looked on with judgment at this odd couple of an old man and a young woman.

Noticing people’s condescending looks, Lord Shiva said to Parvati, “My dear, please sit and ride on the bull during this journey.” Parvati promptly obeyed and mounted the bull while Shiva walked alongside of it.

The village folk and other strangers bitterly criticized, “What a selfish woman! She is young and healthy and yet she chooses to comfortably ride while forcing the old man to walk.”

Hearing these remarks, Shiva again changed his mind, “Parvati, the people are mocking you. It is wiser that I sit and you walk.” Therefore, Shiva and Parvati switched places.

Further along, other strangers came with sharper comments, “Oh, look at this mean, bully of a man. He’s fat and robust, and evil too. He enjoys the ride while forcing this young and gentle lady to walk on foot.”

Hearing this, both Shiva and Parvati both looked at each other and climbed on the bull to ward off the criticisms.

But no sooner had they come to the next village, people sneered and jeered saying, “Look at this nasty couple. Both of them have mercilessly climbed upon the bull. They’ll kill the poor creature!”

Now there was only one option left. They both got off the bull and walked along side it. While they walked, they met new people who harbored new bitterness, shouting “What foolishness! They have taken a bull and neither of them is using it.”

Straight away Shiva told Parvati, “Come let us do what we think is right, and live the way we want to. The world will never appreciate or see what we do as correct.”

In this world, even if we perform a good deed not everyone will like it or support it. The problem lies with the nature of our world and the power of opinion. If a Sadhu shows miracles people say,  “He’s into black magic and possesses evil powers.” And if a Sadhu avoids miracles, dissenters complain, “Oh! He shows no miracles. He’s ordinary and is of no use.” This is the way of our planet – it is crooked from both ends and whatever you do, the world will never see you straight. Therefore, pay no attention to the words of the worldly people and continue to devoutly worship God.

This one never fails…ever.

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