―Who are the ancestors?‖ asked the sages.
Lomaharshana recounted the following story. When Brahma first started to created, the gods were born. These gods not only did not worship Brahma, they started to create themselves. Brahma therefore cursed them that they would become ignorant. The gods did not relish this idea, they therefore tried to pacify Brahma.
―You will have to perform penance for your sins.‖ said Brahma. ―As for the means of penance, why don‘t you ask the beings whom you have created? They will instruct you in the ways of wisdom.‖
The sons accordingly instructed the fathers. A person who instructs is known as a father (pita). The sons of the gods according became like the fathers of the gods and are revered as the ancestors (pitris). It is these pitris who are given offerings at the time of shraddha (funeral) ceremonies. In general, the pitris also include dead ancestors and the ten prajapatis who rule over the universe.
The ancestors had a daughter named Mena who was married to Himavana (the Himalayas). Mena (alternatively Menaka) and Himavana had three daughters named Aparna, Ekaparna, and Ekapatala.
These three daughters meditated for two thousand years. Ekapatala meditated under a snake- gourd (patala) tree. Each day, she ate only one (eka) snake-gourd. It was thus that she came to acquire the name of Ekapatala. The word parna means leaf. Ekaparna ate only one leaf every day and thus acquired her name. Aparna ate nothing at all. Since she did not eat even a leaf, she came to be known as Aparna. Aparna was also known as Uma. And even as Parvati, since she was the daughter of the mountain (parvata) Himavana.
Parvati was married to Shiva. Their son was Skanda or Kumara. Skanda got separated from his parents and was brought up by the Krittikas (goddesses or nakshatras). He therefore obtained the name of Kartikeya.