Rudrā-Śiva: The Unconditional Father to All

Rudra Sculpture Tala, Bilaspur India. Unique Sculpture composite of various animals and beings. Source: gallery.

Let us start with an event/story from CarakaKatha Shaka of Yajur Veda (Āraṇyaka II-100/III-177/183). It so happened that after Prajapathi’s Yajñá, the Devas emerged and ascended to the heavenly realm (Svarga). They noticed an entity with a Sun-like luster (ādityavarna), whom they failed to recognize. This being was Rudra. This event is very similar to the one in Kenopanishad, where the Devas walked into a fire pillar (Agni Skamba) and couldn’t recognize it. However, Rudra ascended to supremacy (mukhya mahiman) with His own might and threatened the Devas into submission for trying to exclude him from the Yajñá. In this way, the Pravargya Yajñá was designed for the one performing it (Yajamana) to attain a subtle body which would ascend to the heavenly realm called Svargakrti, just like Rudra. This matches with the Aṅganyāsa ritual, wherein one invokes Rudra within oneself by pointing their fingers to various locations/organs of the body. With this new body, the Yajamana will overcome the cycle of rebirth and re-death (punarmrtyu) – as the hymn sings: “apa punarmrtyum jayati, ya evam veda” KA III-219. If we compare this event with Aitareya Brahmāṇa of Rig Veda we will see a similar event where a nameless entity emerges – “He whose name is unknown and whose name is not uttered AB3.34. This made many western scholars consider Rudra to be an independent outsider and a Sovereign Divinity. Even Puranas like Srimad Bhagavatam say “Lord Rudra is absolutelyIndependent, neither I (Brahma) nor Yajna, nor you (Devas), nor sages, or any embodied beings, know his real nature”4.6.7 However, as we progress deeper into the relation with other Vedic divinities like Agni, Soma, and Varuna, much clarity dawns. This independent sovereignty of Rudra is in line with His unique nature of being benevolent and malicious at the same time, and of His uniqueness to emerge in any divinity. More interesting is His benevolence towards both nefarious and pious beings TS4.5. Nefarious beings are the chthonic beings (those of crude levels of consciousness) and Vrātyas RV3.26,5.53,AV15, nomadic sages or wanderers, and many more, collectively addressed as bhuta-ganas. These include groups of beings with different backgrounds, irrespective of their geographic locations, skills, age groups, genders, physical attributes, profession, clan, and lineage, whether learned or immature, famous or unknown, rich or poor, and not limited to those liked by the Devas, especially Indra (Solar Deities). Hence, many scholars used the title Harikeśa (self-luminant and fair-headed) to mean “the one who is unprejudiced towards all beings”. Hence the word Rudras refers to various groups or “ganas” who have the common leader īśhana or the father Rudra. The details of this fascinating multitude of groups are elaborated in both Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5 and Sukla Yajur Veda Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 16. This is the very reason various Vedic Śākhās called him with similar titles as Satpatim, Bhutapatim, Paśūpati, Bhutanam Adipathi & Jagathpati. The term “Beings” is well explained in Rig Veda as ‘Sat’ and ‘Bhuta’ hence the titles Bhutapatim, Bhutanam Adipathi and Satpatim. In Atharvana Veda as Ātmanvant (“आत्मन्वन्त्“) AV11.2.10, meaning “entities of Atman”. In both Yajur Vedas as Pashu, meaning beings tied in bondage hence the title Paśūpati.

स्वयश = self-majestic RV1.129.3
स्व व्ने = self supreme RV7.46
स्वतवसो = self-mightily RV1.166.2
Independent Divinity holding the elixir of immortality RV5.58,TS4.5 and healing medicines RV1.114.5
JagatamPataye / Kśhetranam Pataye TS4.5.2 VS16.18 = Creator of Creation/realities/auspicious sites
Ruler of those with 2 and 4 legs RV1.114.1 AV4.28.3
Paśūpati/Pashunampati TS4.5.2 = Ruler of all beings and groups TS4.5
Satpatim = Abode/master of all beings RV2.33.12
Bhutapati = Lord of all beingsAV11.2.1, (this title is also given to Indra RV1.11.1)
Bhutanam Adipathi (भूतानामधिपतयो) = Overlord of all beings TS4.5
Pathīnāṃ-Pataye VS16.17 = Lord of Lords.
KshayaDhīrā (क्षयद्वीराय) = Rulers and leader of all brave. RV10.92.9
Satwanam Pataye (सत्वनां पतये) = Abode of all that is virtuous TS4.5.2

It is because of Śiva/Rudra being self-majestic, self-supreme, self-mightily and Independent Divinity holding the elixir of immortality and healing medicines, he doesn’t operate on any dictated methods or rule or under any command, he is “modus operandi” hence Mahabharata Itihasa said:

Samvarta said, “There is a peak named Munjaban on the summits of the Himalayan mountains, where the adorable Lord of Uma (Mahadeva) is constantly engaged in austere devotional exercises. There the mighty and worshipful god of great puissance, accompanied by his consort Uma, and armed with his trident, and surrounded by wild goblins of many sorts, pursuing his random wish or fancy……. Glowing with its own splendor, that mountain looks resplendent as the morning sun.^ And no creature with his natural eyes made of flesh, can ever ascertain its shape or configuration, and neither heat nor cold prevails there, nor doth the sun shine or the winds blow.^ And, O king neither doth senility, nor hunger, nor thirst, nor death nor fear afflict anyone at that place.

Mahabharata Itihasa Aśhwamedhika Parva 7, Non-Jaya section

This is the reason why Rudra is a very unpredictable divinity, a polar divinity, and a contradiction that cannot be confined to a single mode or concept, form, or name. This is why Veda choose to define him as Viṣvarūpammeaning the cosmic form or the all-encompassing omni-form, and Pururūpam, meaning multiform/multihued, and Virūpam, meaning multifold altering forms, and Vahurūpa meaning multi-formed RV2.33.10,TS4.5.4,TA10.23.1. In total contradiction, the Vedas called him Sūkṣma (सूक्ष्म) meaning subtle/atomic and Paran and Atman BhruUpa3.9.4 and the hidden indweller of all Divinity RV4.5.9.

By the time of the Atharvana Veda, the stature of Vrātyas reached that of Brahman in the 15th kanda/chapter called Vrātya Suktam. The exploration relating to Vrātya Suktam and Śiva Sankalpa Suktam will be done as a separate section, for now, we will just use its reference.

Then comes the title “Asura”, which is used to describe a group of primordial beings alongside the Devas, with whom the Devas compete for Soma (amṛta) RV1.108. Many examples can be found in the Itihāsa, for instance in Ramayana, Ravan gets his boons from Mahadeva, and so does Sri Rama when He shows Devi Sita the place where Mahadeva bestowed his grace before the battle R6.123.19. Similarly, Mahābhāratam Shanti Parva gives us a perfect quote “Rudra decimates all, the honest/noble and the wicked alike, he makes no favorites and no distinction” because Ashwathama gets his boon from Mahadeva using which he creates irrefutable damage to the Pandavas, the same Mahadeva gives his Paśūpatastra to Arjuna. On many occasions, the word ‘Asura’ is used as a title to describe the strength and ferocious side of the Devas’ wrath, often associated with Mitra, Varuna, and Indra. But there is a difference between associating someone with Asura versus calling Rudra “The Asura of Mighty Heavens” RV2.1.6/1.122.1 TS1.3.14, and Maruts are addressed as the “Lord of Asuras” RV1.108/122. From this is clear why Rudra is both “the lord and mighty Asura” and Satwanam Pati, meaning “lord of all virtuous”. What about Soma? Soma and Rudra both are called Asuras, and sages in fact ask for their Asura powers to be kept at bay RV6.74.1.

There also comes the title Manyu SY10.20 found both in Rig Veda and Yajur Veda and the title Ugra RV2.33,9.11, AV2.28.3, meaning a ferocious one. So, this Rudra who is ferocious, makes us weep, whose children (Rudras) are rustic, mountain dwellers, destroyers, who associate with Asuras and nefarious beings, hence Rudra is Ghora (terrible), Manyu (wrath), Vrātya (nomadic), Ugra (threatening) and Asura (Fierce), yet in total contradiction, the same Rudra is Śiva (The Auspicious), following are few of the Vedic adjectives used to describe Rudra, and obviously the list is overwhelmingly clear.

Śiva = the auspicious RV10.92 , Mayaḥ = bestower of ananda/bliss RV1.114Śreṣṭhaḥ = the foremost & pure RV1.43Mīḍhvaḥ = generous RV1.114 , śriyās = welfare/bliss/prosperous RV2.33.3Mṛḷayākuḥ Hastaḥ = a compassionate hand RV2.33.7Shamtamam Hruday = pleasant or beneficent heart RV1.43Sumna = pious/pure/forgiving RV2.33.7, Sumangala सुमङ्गल = wellbeing- fortune VS16.6 ,  sumanasyá mānā = Kind hearted RV6.74.4, suhávo सु॒हवो॒ = easily reached/invoked RV2.33.7, r̥dūdáraḥ ऋदू॒दर = kind/soft/gentle RV2.33.7śam-yoḥ sumnam = friendly bliss/ānandamRV1.43/6.74.1, mrḷataṁ = friendly forgiving, RV6.74.1, Swati-bhi स्वस्तिभि RV7.46.4= bestower of welfare/happyness/safety. Shubha-ya शुभया TA10.10 = Holy/sacred/auspicious. विचिन्ता = thoughtful and caring. mīḍhuṣe मीढुषे = bestows benedictionsVS16.8 , मीळ्हुषे milhuse = Generous/rewarding/loving RV1.122.1. Satwanam Pataye (सत्वनां पतये) = Abode of all that is virtuous TS4.5.2

Does that mean Rudras will not slay Vṛtra? of course not, Rudra is called “vr̥trahánā” meaning the one who slays Vṛtra, this exact title is given to Indra as well. Atharva Veda 4.28.3 says “oh thousand-eyed slayer of Vṛtra, lord of both two feet and four, save us from our sorrows”. However, both sages and commoners feared the wrath of Rudras, but they knew that Rudras were not malicious. They understood the compassionate hand of Rudras that holds the elixir of immortality and the healing medicines RV1.114.5/2.33.7 , a hand that can protect from divine will give shelter, health, boons to bear children, boons to get a loving spouse, wealth, and prosperity RV2.33.7,VS3.57-59 . Rig Veda says in conjunction with that above that Rudra and Soma are the bearers of “seven gems” of consciousness which are the wisdom of seven sages and the brilliance of the Sun’s seven rays. Patanjali Yoga Sutras also explains the seven levels of consciousness in its Sadhana Pads. On a physical level, it also refers to the seven Dhātu explained by Ayurveda that constitution our bodies RV6.74.1, that is why Rudra is called Puśtanam Pataye (पु॒ष्टानां पतये) TS4.5.2 meaning the abode of all abundance/all that fulfills or suffices our needs. A more exciting part can be found in Atharvana Veda 10.2 which is a hymn by Rishi Nārāyaṇa and Devata as Pūrusha asks a question on our behalf, which is “who brings forth to the mighty Pūrusha both pleasant and unpleasant things, evil, suffering, distress? Whence comes success, prosperity opulence, thought, and utterance?“ Hence, Rudra the divine contradiction and a father to all is the answer to this question. Both Yajur Saṃhitā, the Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5&7 and Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 10.20 primes this conclusion in its Śrī Rudram and Śatarudrāya respectively, but let us start with Rig Vedā 6.49.10 then move to both Yajur Vedas and finally find its residence in Upaniṣhad, but before that let’s examine another question asked on our behalf by Rishi Nārāyaṇa, which is: “By whom was this our earth disposed of? By whom was heaven placed over it?”

भुवनस्य पितरं गीर्भिराभी रुद्रं दिवा वर्धया रुद्रमक्तौ ।बृहंतमृष्वमजरं सुषुम्नमृधग्घुवेम कविनेषितासः ॥
Of all dimensions/celestial mansions (भुवन) are your progeny (गर्भिन्) and you the father/source (पित), oh Rudra (रुद्र), by day/dawn (दिवा) and by dusk/night ( रुद्रमक्तौ ) you encompass everything (वर्ध) | Oh great and honorable and timeless/ageless (बृहंतमृ + ऋष्व + अजरं), most gracious(सु-सुम्न), unconditional one, we/rishis sing our poetic hymns (कविने) to the Supreme (इषितासः/iṣitāsaḥ). Rig Ved6.49.10

सथिरेभिरङगैः पुरुरूप उग्रो बभ्रुः शुक्रेभिः पिपिशेहिरण्यैः |ईशानादस्य भुवनस्य भूरेर्न वा उ योषद रुद्रादसुर्यम ||
You are well/completely (अङ्ग) established/sustainer (स्थिरेभिः) with multiple/diverse forms (पुरुऽरूपः), You are fierce (उग्रः), yet pure and luminous (शुक्र+भिः), with reddish brown and tawny hue (बभ्रु), all-encompassing (पिपि+श) brilliance (हिरण्यैः) | You are the sovereign authority (ईशानात्) of all realms/worlds (भुवनस्य), oh Great one (भूरि), You Rudra (रुद्रा +त्) the Divine spiritual head(सुर्यम्) 2.33.9
Please note: अङ्ग here is not hands or fingers but is a stressing adjective refers to Confirmation or solicitation. शुक्र means clear/white/opaque, hence the name śukreśvara linga of Varanasi.सुर्यम् means Godhead

 Rig Veda 2.33.9/6.49.10

भवस्य हेत्यै जगतां पतये नमो नमो 4.5.2
Of Creation, of birth, of existence (भवस्य) you are its basis (हेत्यै) and the realities (जगतां ) you are the load/abode (पतये ) salutation (नमो )
Please note: भव is the title of Rudra defining the aspect of Creation and it progeny.

 Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.5.2

यो अग्नौ रुद्रो यो अप्स्व् अन्तर् य ओषधीर् वीरुध आविवेश । य इमाविश्वा भुवनानि चक्लृपे तस्मै रुद्राय नमोऽस्त्वग्नये ।। 7.87.1
Its you Rudra (रुद्रो) who is (यो) in Agni (अग्नौ), who dwells in waters, to Rudra who hath entered into herbs/medicinal plants (ओषधी +र्वीरुध ) , to Him who formed and fashioned all these entirety (इमा -विश्वा) and its worlds (भुवन), to this (तस्मै) Rudra, we give our homage (स्त्वग्नये) and salutations (नमो)

पुरस्तात् ते नमः कृण्म उत्तराद् अधराद् उत ।अभीवर्गाद् दिवस् पर्य् अन्तरिक्षाय ते नमः ॥ 11.2.4
तव चतस्रः प्रदिशस् तव द्यौस् तव पृथिवी तवेदम् उग्रोर्व् अन्तरिक्षम् । तवेदं सर्वम् आत्मन्वद् यत् प्राणत् पृथिवीम् अनु ॥11.2.10
From the front/Eastward (पुरस्तात्) I give you (ते ) myself as oblation (नमः ), and from Northward/Upper regions (उत्तराद्=uttarAdri Himalayas) and from Below/Southern regions (अधरा), | reaching all quarters/directions/dominions (अभीवर्ग + दिवस्) all around (पर्य्), and from the atmospheres/sky/celestial spaces in the middle (अन्तरिक्षा) I give you myself as homage (ते नमः )
You are (तव ) the four directions/quarters (चतस्रः), you are the celestial worlds (प्रदिश्) and the heavens (द्यौस्), you are the Earth (पृथिवी), you of formidable and fierce (उग्रोर्व्) of all that is in the skys (अन्तरिक्षम्), you are entirety (तवेदं सर्वम् ), you are all that is atman/beings (आत्मन), you are the life (प्राणत्) of/on Earth (पृथिवी) and everything after/beyond (अनु)

भवाशर्वौ मन्वे वां तस्य वित्तं ययोर् वाम् इदं प्रदिशि यद् विरोचते। 4.28.1
सहस्राक्षौ वृत्रहना हुवेहं दूरेगव्यूती स्तुवन्न् एम्य् उग्रौ । याव् अस्येशथे द्विपदो यौ॒ चतुष्पदस् तौ नो मुञ्चतम् अंहसः ॥ 4.28.3
Oh Bhava (भवा) oh Sharva (शर्वौ ) looking up to your (वां) in reverence (मन्व ) may this (तस्य – वा for वाम्)) existence (वित्त) thou under (इदं)  your command/dominion (प्र-दिश्) that exists under your (यद् – इदं) illuminating (विरोचते)
Thousand-eyed (सहस्राक्षौ ) slayers of Vritra (वृत्रहना ), I call up you (हुव-हं ) and I sing to thy in praise (स्तुवते) secure us/comfort us (ए म्य्/क्षेम्य) oh fierce one (ugrau) whose reach is of far (दूरे) dwelling lands (गव्यूति). Your are (याव् ) the origin/caretaker (अस्य शथे =  śám ásad) all these two-footed (द्विपदो ) and four-footed (चतुष्पदस् ) creatures [Pasupati], deliver us/free us/untie us (मुञ्चति मुञ्च°ते) from distress (अंहति /अंहस्).
[Consistently similar reference can be found in Rig Vedā 1.114.1 and Yajur Vedā 3.1.4. More interesting part can be found in Atharvana Vedā 10.2.6 which is a hymn by Rishi Narayana and Devata as Pūrusha asks the question “Whose might surpasses all directions so that the two-footed (द्विपदो ) and four-footed (चतुष्पदस् ) have their ability? and all 3 Vedās as we see above answers that question. This finally landed in Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad 4.13]

Atharvana Veda Śaunakīya Saṃhitā 7.87.1 /4.28.1-3/11.2.4/11.2.10/11.2.27

प्रजापते॒ न त्वदे॒तान्य॒न्यो विश्वा॑ रू॒पाणि॒ परि॒ ता बभूव । यत्कामास्ते जुहु॒मस्तन्नो अस्तु । अ॒यम॒मुष्य पि॒तासाव॒स्य पि॒ता । व॒यँ स्याम॒ पतयो रयी॒णाँ स्वाहा । रुद्र॒ यत्ते॒ क्रिवि॒ परं॒ नाम॒ तस्मिन्हु॒तमस्यमे॒ष्टमसि॒ स्वाहा ।। 10.20
Oh Prajāpati, none other than you to comprehend all that is created and its forms, to fulfill our heart’s desire; I offer my oblations to thee, you are father and thy sire?
Praise to that Rudra, the abode/lord of all riches, most vital supreme of names, I offer my oblations to thee! 10.20

शिवो नामासि स्वधितिस्ते पिता नमस्ते अस्तु मा मा हिँसीः । 3.63
Śivo nãmãsi svadhiṣṭhite pitha namaste asthu
Salutations (नमस्ते ) to the one named Śiva (नामासि॒ शि॒वो the auspicious and gracious one) the all-knowing father (स्वधितिस्ते pitha), harm(हिंस) us (मा ) not”.

Sukla Yajur Veda Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā 3.63/10.20

Let’s compare two hymns belonging to two different Shakhas of Atharvana Veda to see the level of consistency:

भवो दिवो भव ईशे पृथिव्या भव आ पप्र उर्व अन्तरिक्षम्। तस्यै नमो यतमस्यां दिशी॑तः॒ ॥ 11.2.27
As Bhava (भव) you are the authority/rule (ईशे) over Heavenly/Celestial (दिवो) and Earthly realms (पृथिव्या), and you encompass the regions in the middle, where ever you may be, we pay our reverence.

Atharvana Veda Śaunakīya Saṃhitā 11.2.27

नमस्ते भव भामाय नमस्ते भव मन्यवे । नमस्ते अस्तु बाहुभ्यामुतो त इषवे नमः ।।४।।
Salutations (नमस्ते) to thy Bhava-The lord of creation (भव), of fierce wrath (भामाय ),
of great energy/fire (मन्यु), Salutions to the one with mighty shoulders (बाहुभ्य) and to sole lord/ruler/authority (इषवे) I salute to thy (नमः).

Atharvana Veda Paippalāda Saṃhitā 14.3.4

The above is further elaborated in Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 10.10, which later gave rise to sloka 4, Chap 3 in the Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad (one of the 18 primary Upaniṣhads):

यो देवानां प्रथमं पुरस्ताद्विश्वाधियो॑ रुद्रो महर्षिः॑ । हिरण्यगर्भं पश्यत॒ जायमान स नो देवः शुभया स्मृत्यास्संयुनक्तु ।  यस्मात्परं नापरमस्ति किंचिद्यस्मान्नाणीयो न ज्यायोस्ति कश्चित् ।  T.A 10.10
That among (यो) the Divinity (देवानां) is first (प्रथमं) foremost ruler/observer of creation (पु॒रस्ता॒द्विश्वाधियो॑ = पुरस्तात् + विश्वा + विधियोग) oh Rudra (रु॒द्रो) of great austerity bestower of wisdom (महर्षिः) | The golden womb of creation/Prajāpati (हिरण्यगर्भं) come to visibility/conspicuous be witnessed  (पश्यत) it into existence/ nascent (जायमान) he/heaven (स) for us (नो) as Divinity (देवः) auspicious/wellbeing (शुभया) remember (स्मृत्या) union may endow bestow (संयुनक्तु)

 Kṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 10.10

यो देवानां प्रभवश्चोद्भवश्च विश्वाधिपो रुद्रो महर्षिः।हिरण्यगर्भं जनयामास पूर्वं स नो बुद्ध्या शुभया संयुनक्तु॥
He is (यो) the creator/source (प्रभव) of the emergence (उद्भवः) of all Deva’s/Divinity (देवा+नां) and the highest of Rishis (महर्षिः) and the supreme owner over entirety ( विश्व+अधिपो ). He who is the cause of time/and the emergence (जनया+अमस/जनयाम्+आस) of the brilliant/golden womb which is the source of creation (हिरण्यगर्भं), prior (पूर्वं) to celestial heavens and us (स – नो) and the one only (शुभया) to bestow/endow (संयुनक्त+ उ) knowledge and intelligence (बुद्ध्या)
Please note: जन = people or production, जनया = leading man/mankind andअमस = time, but जनयामस can also be broken as जनयाम्+आस wherein जनयाम् = “cause of birth”.

 Svetasvatara Upaniṣhad 3.2

If He is the father to all creation and realities are we to give oblation to Him as his children?

कुमारश्चि॑त्पितरं वन्दमानं प्रति नानाम रुद्रोपयन्तम् भूरेर्दातारं सत्पतिं गृणीषे स्तुतस्त्वं भेषजा रास्यस्मे || RV2.33.12
Like a son (कुमार) gives salutations (वन्दमानं ) to one’s father (चित् + त्पितरं), likewise in your presence (उपयन्तम्) I too present my obeisance (नानाम) towards you (प्रति) Oh Rudra (रुद्रो) Oh giver/benifactor (दातृ / दातार) in abundance (भूरेर भूरि) I sing my praise (गृणीषे) oh lord of all beings (सत्पतिं) I sing your (त्वम्) hymns (स्तुतस्) bestow upon us (रास् + अस्मे asmé) your healing medicines (भेषजा)

आ ते पितर्मरुतां सुम्नमेतु मा नः सूर्य॑स्य संदृशो युयोथाः अभि नो वीरो अर्वति क्षमेत प्र जायेमहि रुद्र प्रजाभिः RV2.33.1
Hither (आ ) Bestow upon us (मा ) your (ते ) benevolance (सुम्न), oh father of Maruts (पितर्+मरुतां ), may you never (नः) refuse/keep us away (युयोथाः) from your brilliance (सूर्य॑स्य), may you be gracious upon our cavellery/warriers/heros (वीरो ) and from harm (अर्वत), may we (प्र=ask to fullfill our wish) be forgiven (क्षम) come as your progeny as your (रुद्र ) children (प्रजाभिः जायते= be born again) through your children.
Please note: Because Maruts are: children of Pṛśni “The Vedic Cow of Knowledge”, “born in knowledge”, “the makers of māyā and of clear vision/light”, and “conscious & omniscient” RV1.64.6-10 And Ruda is the laord of heros RV 1:114,VS16.48. Grihya-sutra of Paraskara Sukla Yajur Veda 1.3 also states that Aditi is the cow of knowledge.

Rig Veda 2.33.1/12

Much clear evidence will be seen soon when we discuss the essence of Uma and Daksha Yajñá in the upcoming sections. As the great scholar Kalidas said:

वागर्थाविव संपृक्तौ वागर्थप्रतिपत्तये । जगतः पितरौ वन्दे पार्वतीपरमेश्वरौ ।।
“I bow to the mother and the father of the world, Pārvatī and Parameśvara (Ṥiva), who are inseparably conjoined, just like a word and its meaning are inseparably conjoined for the purpose of comprehension.”

Raghuvansham by Kalidas

Similarly, Śrī Adi Śankaracharya said:

माता च पार्वती देवी पिता देवो महेश्वरः बान्धवाः शिवभक्ताश्च स्वदेशो भुवनत्रयम्
My mother is Devi Parvati, my father is the divine Maheśvaram (the supreme authority); all who worship the ever auspiciousness (Śiva) are my relatives, in this land and all the three worlds.

Annapurāstakam by Śrī Adi Śankaracharya

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