Sage Bhringi was a great devotee of Lord Siva. But while he focused his attention on Siva, he chose to ignore Sakti. He would recognise none but Siva as His God, said Sarala Rajagopalan in a discourse. In Kailasa, he wanted to circumambulate Lord Siva, but did not want to go around Sakti. But the Divine Couple were seated closely and the sage was unable to go round Siva alone, avoiding Sakti. So, Bhringi assumed the form of a bee and passed through the tiny gap between their heads. This angered the Goddess. She asked Siva how his devotee could insult Her in this manner. Lord Siva replied that Bhringi was a seeker of permanent residence in Sivaloka. There was nothing else he was interested in. So, it was only natural that he should turn his thoughts towards Lord Siva alone.

The Lord’s justification of the sage’s act only served to make the Goddess angrier. She decided to teach Bhringi a lesson. She said that without Her grace he would never be able to attain Siva’s feet. She also sapped all the sage’s energy, so that the sage was not able to stand up. The Lord took pity on him and enabled the sage to stand and walk.

Observing how the Lord had thwarted Her attempt to teach the sage a lesson, the Goddess said that She would no longer stay in Kailasa. She left Lord Siva’s abode. However, the separation was not to Her liking. So, She observed the Kedara vrata for twenty one days. At the end of the period of the vrata, Lord Siva appeared before Her and asked Her what She wanted of Him. The Goddess said that She never wanted to be separated from Him. Siva granted Her wish, and from that day onwards, Goddess Parvati constituted half of His body. He came to be known as ArdhanArIswara, showing that the two are, in fact, One.

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