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There are images of Maa Parvati as Maa Tara breastfeeding MahaDev in an infant form

The explanation given upon many websites is that Maa Tara did this to save MahaDev from the poison he drank.

Other tellings of this story have Manasa Devi helping to absorb the poison, and the one I heard most often was Parvati placing hand on MahaDev throat so poison doesn’t go down. These all makes sense.

So this question partially covers this type of image :

Question about Mother Parvati and Maa Tara?

My question here is, why is MahaDev depicted as an infant ?

If He was depicted as fully grown then the image would be great, and wonderful in what it’s showing.

But the majority of images I’ve come across show MahaDev as an infant, baby, drinking from Maa Tara’s breast, as if he’s her child. Which gives all kinds of weird messed-up connotations here, obviously

I understand why many people find this image disturbing and I did a double take first time I came across it too.

Is there some reason to depict MahaDev this way as an infant breastfeeding from Maa Tara ?

Do Hindu texts explain this in any way ?

Am I missing something about the symbolism or deeper meaning of a Hindu Tantric image like this ?

The images where MahaDev is fully grown guy drinking from Maa Tara’s breast are actually kind of like many Shiv-Shakti love images, sort of romantic and erotic, between two grown ups. Who are consenting adults who should do whatever they want.

But the images where Shiv is shown as an infant drinking from Maa Tara’s breast are weird and disturbing cause of many obvious reasons.

Ok this post has gotten way too long

2 Answers 2


Well, Linga Purana describes the Story of Lord Batuka Bhairava, a child form of Bhagawan Shiva pacifying Maa Kali's anger as a child.

Part 1, Chapter 106, Linga-purāṇa.:

आज्ञया दारुकं तस्याः पार्वत्याः परमेश्वरी । दानवं सूदयामास सूदयन्तं सुराधिपान् ॥ १०६.१९ ॥

19. At the behest of Parvati, the great goddess slew the demon Diruka who used to attack and kill the chiefs among Devas.

संरंभातिप्रसंगाद्वै तस्याः सर्वमिदं जगत् । क्रोधाग्निना च विप्रेंद्राः संबभूव तदातुरम् ॥ १०६.२० ॥

20. O leading brahmins, by virtue of impetuosity, and the fire of anger, the entire universe became agitated.

भवोपि बालरूपेण श्मशाने प्रेतसंकुले । रुरोद मायया तस्याः क्रोधाग्निं पातुमीश्वरः ॥१०६.२१ ॥

21. Bhava assumed the form of a boy due to his power of Maya and stationed himself in the cremation ground full of corpses and ghosts, vara, then cried in order to quell the fire of her anger.

तं दृष्ट्वा बालमीशानं मायया तस्य मोहिता । उत्थाप्याघ्राय वक्षोजं स्तनं सा प्रददौ द्विजाः ॥१०६.२२ ॥

22. O brahmins, on seeing the boy, who was actually Isana the goddess was deluded by his Maya. She took him, kissed him on his head and suckled him at her breasts.

स्तनजेन तदा सार्धं कोपमस्याः पपौ पुनः। क्रोधेनानेन वै बालः क्षेत्राणां रक्षकोऽभवत् ॥१०६.२३ ॥

23. Along with her breast milk, the boy quaffed up her wrath also and he became the protector of the holy centres.

मूर्तयोऽष्टौ च तस्यापि क्षेत्रपालस्य धीमतः । एवं वै तेन बालेन कृता सा क्रोधमूर्च्छिता ॥१०६.२४ ॥

24. He assumed eight physical forms for his manifestation as the intelligent protector of holy centres. Thus, her excessive anger was ceased by that boy.

कृतमस्याः प्रसादार्थं देवदेवेन तांडवम् । संध्यायां सर्वभूतेन्द्रैः प्रेतैः प्रीतेन शूलिना ॥ १०६.२५ ॥ पीत्वा नृत्तामृतं शंभोराकंठं परमेश्वरी । ननर्त सा च योगिन्यः प्रेतस्थाने यथासुखम् ॥ १०६.२६ ॥ तत्र सब्रह्मका देवाः सेंद्रोपेंद्राः समंततः । प्रणेमुस्तुष्टुवुः कालीं पुनर्देवीं च पार्वतीम् ॥ १०६.२७ ॥ एवं संक्षेपतः प्रोक्तं तांडवं शूलिनः प्रभोः । योगानंदेन च विभोस्तांडवं चेति चापरे ॥ १०६.२८ ॥

25-28. In order to propitiate her, the delighted trident bearing lord of Devas performed the tandava dance at dusk, along with the ghosts and leaders of goblins. After quaffing the nectar-like dance of Siva up to the throat [i.e.alter enjoying the dance of Siva very much] Paramesvari danced in the midst of ghosts, happily along with yoginis. Devas all round, including Brahma, Indra and Vişnu, bewed to and eulogised Kall and then prayed to the goddess Parvati. Thus, the Tandava of the trident-bearing lord has been briefly mentioned to you. Others are of the opinion that the Tandava of the lord is due to the Bliss of yoga.

I don't think this should be disturbing as Shriti says every male is Shiva and every female is Shakti and they as their Parents becomes their children also. Ardhanareshwara is One. So, they both are each other's consorts, children, parents and everything.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • 1
    I do really like the imagery of the rest of the story you posted here though ! It’s awesome, like all the imagery connected to my beloved Kali & Durga Maa 😍 Jan 5, 2023 at 18:13
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    Well, I don't think there is any wrong in Mata Sita/Lakshmi breast feeding baby Lord Vishnu/Rama. If i remember correctly in Adhbooth Ramayana Lord Rama worshipped the Kali form of Maa Sita as mother. Plus, it's pure na. No lust involved. Think it positively like half glass full instead of empty half glass. Jan 5, 2023 at 18:16
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    "Matha cha Parvathy Devi, Pitha devo Maheswara, Bandhava Shiva Bakthamscha, Swadeso Bhuvana thrayam" ---> "My mother is the goddess Parvathy, My father is the Lord Shiva, My friends are the devotees of Shiva And my native place is all the three worlds." Jan 5, 2023 at 18:18
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    Yeah this is true, thx ! 🕉 @Savdy Jan 5, 2023 at 18:42
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    You are most Welcome. 😊👍🌞.. Jan 5, 2023 at 18:46

As one of the Above Answers have already said, Shiva and Shakti are indeed each others' consorts, children, parents everything. I would Simply like to supplement that idea alone with this beautiful citation from Skanda Purana.

ईश्वर उवाच अहं ते हृदये गौरि त्वं च मे हृदि संस्थिता । अहं भ्राता च पुत्रश्च बन्धुर्भर्ता तथैव च॥ त्वं तु मे भगिनी भार्या दुहिता बान्धवी स्नुषा। अहं यज्ञपतिर्यज्वा त्वं च श्रद्धा सदक्षिणा॥

Īśvaraḥ said to Īśvarī : O gaurī, I am abiding in your heart. You are stationed in my heart. I am your brother, son, kinsman and husband.

You are my sister, my wife, daughter, kinswoman and daughter-in-law. I am the performer of yajñaḥ and the Lord of yajñaḥ. You are Śraddhā (faith) and also the dakṣiṇā.

~ Skanda purāṇa -

Hence, not just Husband-Wife. Every male-female relation that exists in the world is Shiva-Shaktimaya.

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