Goddess Uma came to the earth from Kailasa, Her heavenly abode. Kailasa is described as being white in colour. It is white like the sacred ash that adorns Lord Siva. It is white like the pure hearts of His devotees.

While seated in Kailasa, the Goddess made a request to Lord Siva. The Consort of Lord Siva was also known as Dakshayani, because She was the daughter of Daksha. But Daksha, in his arrogance, had insulted Lord Siva. When the Goddess had not heeded Lord Siva’s words and had visited the site of Daksha’s yaga, She too had been insulted by Her father. She, therefore, wished to shed the tag of being known as Daksha’s daughter. She asked Lord Siva for a solution. He suggested that She become the daughter of Himavan, a king who was childless. Himavan and his wife longed for a daughter. The Goddess appeared near a lotus as a baby. When Menai, the wife of Himavan, saw the baby, milk flowed involuntarily from her breasts. She was moved by the sight of the effulgent baby, D. Gnanasundaram said, in a discourse.

When the Goddess was five years, She decided to do penance in order to reach Siva. Her mother was anxious for the welfare of her child, and she asked Uma not to subject Herself to such difficulties in the name of penance. A flower can bear the weight of a bee. But can it bear the weight of an eagle? So she reasoned with her daughter and pointed out that one so tender and young and who had lived as the daughter of a king could not bear the severities of penance. Himavan too supported his wife’s views. The Goddess replied that no one could save or protect or support anyone. The only One who protected all was God. She refused to be turned away from Her determination to do penance. Himavan, seeing that his daughter was determined to do Her penance, prepared a suitable place for Her.

Uma’s penance was rewarded, and Lord Siva appeared before Her and married Her. He too had been doing penance, and Manmatha, the God of love, had to disturb His penance, to bring the Divine Couple together again. Thus Daksha’s arrogance resulted in the Goddess disowning him and appearing as Himavan’s daughter.

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