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Who is Shiva first wife?

Shiva is one of the most important gods in Hinduism and is part of the Trimurti along with Brahma and Vishnu. He is known by many names including Mahadeva, Pashupati, Nataraja and the destroyer. Shiva is often depicted as an ascetic yogi sitting in deep meditation with matted hair and his body covered in ash from cremation grounds. He also carries a trident and wears snakes as ornaments. Shiva has two consorts or wives – Sati and Parvati, though Parvati is considered his first wife.


According to Hindu mythology, Sati was Shiva’s first wife. She was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati, one of Brahma’s sons and a king. Sati married Shiva against her father’s wishes as Daksha did not approve of the ascetic Shiva. During a yajna ceremony conducted by Daksha, he did not invite his son-in-law Shiva and even insulted him. This angered Sati and she immolated herself by jumping into the sacrificial fire, unable to bear her father’s insults towards her beloved husband.

Shiva was deeply grieved by Sati’s death. In his profound anger, he punished Daksha by replacing his head with that of a goat. He then withdrew from the material world and went into deep meditation while carrying Sati’s corpse over his shoulders. Vishnu had to later cut Sati’s body into 51 pieces to bring Shiva back to his senses and restore balance. The places where Sati’s body parts fell are now revered as Shakti Peethas.


After Sati’s death, Shiva went into isolation and showed no interest in worldly affairs. The demons took advantage of this and gained power in the three worlds. It was then that the gods realized Shiva must marry again to defeat the demons. Hence, they sent Kamadeva, the god of love and desire, to break Shiva’s meditation and make him fall in love again.

Kamadeva shot his arrow of desire at Shiva while he was deep in meditation. This disturbed and enraged Shiva who opened his third eye and burned Kamadeva to ashes. However, Kamadeva’s mission was successful as Shiva agreed to marry again for the well-being of the three worlds.

The gods then churned the cosmic ocean hoping to obtain amrita, the elixir of immortality. One of the things that emerged from the churning was a beautiful woman named Parvati. She was the reincarnation of Sati and was born specifically so that she could marry Shiva.

Parvati was the daughter of Himavat, the personification of the Himalayas, and Maina Devi. She was a great devotee of Shiva from her childhood. Parvati engaged in intense tapasya and prayed to Shiva to accept her as his wife. Finally, Shiva agreed and he married Parvati in the presence of the gods.

Parvati played an important role in helping Shiva overcome the grief of losing Sati. Their marriage was one of great love, mutual respect and equality, unlike the tragic relationship between Sati and Shiva. Parvati and Shiva have two sons together, Ganesha and Kartikeya.

Therefore, though Sati was chronologically Shiva’s first wife, Parvati is considered his true consort and primary wife in Hinduism. She helped restore Shiva’s faith in relationships and the sanctity of marriage. Hence, Parvati’s status as the first wife eclipses that of Sati, who met a tragic end.

Other Wives & Children of Shiva

In addition to Sati and Parvati, Shiva has taken many other wives according to regional Hindu traditions. These include:

  • Uma – Another name for Parvati
  • Durga – A warrior goddess, sometimes considered an incarnation of Parvati
  • Kali – Fierce form of Parvati, goddess of time and destruction
  • Annapurna – Goddess of nourishment and food
  • Sarvamangala – Goddess of wellbeing and auspiciousness

Shiva and Parvati’s children include:

  • Ganesha – Elephant headed god, remover of obstacles
  • Kartikeya – God of war and commander of the divine armies
  • Ashokasundari – Goddess of happiness
  • Andhakasura – Born when Parvati playfully closed Shiva’s eyes

Shiva also has sons from his relationships with Sati and other goddesses:

  • Ayyappan
  • Bhringi
  • Jalandhara
  • Kirtimukha
  • Bhadravata

The Many Forms of Shiva’s Consorts

Though Parvati is considered Shiva’s primary consort, she is worshipped under many different aspects that highlight her different characteristics as the supreme goddess. Some of her most popular forms are:

Form Description
Durga Warrior goddess who slays demons
Kali Fierce form associated with destruction
Annapurna Goddess of food and nourishment
Bhuvaneshwari Creator of the universe
Lalita Tripurasundari Goddess of beauty and sexuality
Meenakshi Fish-eyed goddess, consort of Sundareswarar

These different aspects highlight Parvati’s role as the universal mother and supreme Shakti. She complements Shiva’s ascetic nature with her creative energy. Together, their union represents the eternal process of creation and destruction.


Though Shiva had two wives – Sati and Parvati, Parvati is widely regarded as his first wife in Hinduism. Sati was Shiva’s first wife but their marriage ended tragically when she killed herself due to her father’s insults. Parvati was reborn as the daughter of the Himalayas so she could marry Shiva and draw him back into the worldly life. Their marriage signifies the ideal union of yin and yang energies and restored Shiva’s faith in relationships.

Parvati is worshipped under many names and forms signifying her multifaceted nature as the Great Goddess. Along with Shiva and their children, she makes up the Holy Family in Hinduism. Parvati’s role was instrumental in completing the Trimurti by bringing balance to the ascetic nature of Shiva. Hence, she is revered as the shakti or divine feminine energy who partners with Shiva in his cosmic dance of creation and destruction.