Does Shiva have children?
Throughout the world there are many people who are interested in the amazing Shiva. This popularity has given rise to a very keen interest in Shiva and his family. Shiva is a god who balances both the life of an ascetic and that of a married man with children very well. Through meditation he has found the power to destroy ego and bring balance in his life filled with dichotomies.
Shiva has two wives, the goddess Sati and the goddess Parvati. The goddess Parvati is said to be the reincarnation of Sati. The death of Sati, the birth and life of Parvati and the married life of Shiva has been mentioned many times in the ancient Hindi texts especially the Shiv Purana and the Linga Purana. Many paragraphs are dedicated to Shiva, what an ideal husband he was, what a loving father he was and how he maintained a healthy balance in his married life and his ascetic life.
According to many legends Parvati, the second consort of Shiva, desperately wanted a child. She pleaded with Shiva over and over but he refused. Shiva liked his life as an ascetic and as an ascetic it is vital that he remains free from all distractions and attachments. Having a child would change all that. No matter how much Parvati cried, this was one topic on which Shiva refused to give in.
Once when Shiva had done his disappearing act again,Parvati was very lonely and went to take a bath. Wanting to make sure she would not be disturbed during her bath, Parvati made the idol of a boy from the dirt on her skin and brought him to life. Telling this young boy to guard the gate of the bath house Parvati goes inside to take a bath. This young boy was the great lord Ganesha. The story of how Ganesha got his elephant head is a completely different one!
Besides lord Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati also had another son, the god of war – Kartikeya also known as Skanda. While Ganesha seems to be the most well known of the two, after all Ganesha is the one whose name everyone must take before any prayer is said, Skanda or Kartikeya is known to be a great warrior and a the leader of the divine armies.
There are many different stories about Kartikeya. While one sect believes that he is the younger son of Shiva and Parvati, there are others that believe that he was the elder son of Shiva, that his birth was necessary to vanquish the evil demon Taraka or that he helped Shiva battle Ganesha at the bath-house. While all or any of these might be true there is one point about Skanda or Kartikeya that is always mentioned. Skanda, in Hinduism, is the god who can bestow spiritual powers a description that complements his brother, Ganesha’s role as the remover of obstacles.