Those of the gods who had survived the battle and were still free started to pray to Brahma.

―What can I do for you?‖ asked Brahma. Why are all of you looking so despondent?‖ ―You are the one who is responsible for our misfortune,‖ replied the gods. ―You have granted Taraka a boon that has made him virtally invincible. Armed with this boon, he is oppressing the universe and  has  soundly  thrashed  us.  What  are  we  to  do  now?‖  ―There  is  no  cause  for  such despondency,‖ said Brahma. ―Taraka is not immortal. He will be slain by a seven year old child. Unfortunately that child has not yet been born. He will be the son of Shiva. The problem is that Shiva is unmarried. He was earlier married to Sati, but Sati immolated herself at the time of a yajna. She has now been reborn as Parvati. The task at hand is to get Shiva and Parvati married. Their son will kill Taraka.‖

It was necessary to make Shiva fall in love with Parvati. Madana, the god of love, was sent by Indra to Shiva‘s hermitage so that this might be achieved. But because this disturbed Shiva‘s meditation, Shiva burnt Madana up. Meanwhile, Parvati had begun to perform tapasya so that she might have Shiva for a husband. For one hundred years more, she ate only one leaf a day. And for the final hundred years, she meditated fasting. The seven great sages went and told Shiva about Parvati‘s tapasya and Shiva agreed to marry Parvati. The marriage took place amidst a great deal of fanfare. All the rivers and the mountains came to attend the ceremony. So did the sages, the gods, the gandharvas, the apsaras and the yakshas. Brahma himself acted as the priest for the marriage ceremony.


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