pitrbhyam prasthite sadhvi
nityam paryacarat pritya
bhavaniva bhavam prabhum
maitreyah uvaca—Maitreya said; pitrbhyam—by the parents; prasthite—at the departure; sadhvi—the chaste woman; patim—her husband; ingita-kovida—understanding the desires; nityam—constantly; paryacarat—she served; pritya—with great love; bhavani—the goddess Parvati; iva—like; bhavam—Lord Siva; prabhum—her lord.
Maitreya continued: After the departure of her parents, the chaste woman Devahuti, who could understand the desires of her husband, served him constantly with great love, as Bhavani, the wife of Lord Siva, serves her husband.
The specific example of Bhavani is very significant. Bhavani means the wife of Bhava, or Lord Siva. Bhavani, or Parvati, the daughter of the King of the Himalayas, selected Lord Siva, who appears to be just like a beggar, as her husband. In spite of her being a princess, she undertook all kinds of tribulations to associate with Lord Siva, who did not even have a house, but was sitting underneath the trees and passing his time in meditation. Although Bhavani was the daughter of a very great king, she used to serve Lord Siva just like a poor woman. Similarly, Devahuti was the daughter of an emperor, Svayambhuva Manu, yet she preferred to accept Kardama Muni as her husband. She served him with great love and affection, and she knew how to please him. Therefore, she is designated here as sadhvi, which means “a chaste, faithful wife.” Her rare example is the ideal of Vedic civilization. Every woman is expected to be as good and chaste as Devahuti or Bhavani. Today in Hindu society, unmarried girls are still taught to worship Lord Siva with the idea that they may get husbands like him. Lord Siva is the ideal husband, not in the sense of riches or sense gratification, but because he is the greatest of all devotees. Vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh: Sambhu, or Lord Siva, is the ideal Vaisnava. He constantly meditates upon Lord Rama and chants Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Siva has a Vaisnava sampradaya, which is called the Visnusvami-sampradaya. Unmarried girls worship Lord Siva so that they can expect a husband who is as good a Vaisnava as he. The girls are not taught to select a husband who is very rich or very opulent for material sense gratification; rather, if a girl is fortunate enough to get a husband as good as Lord Siva in devotional service, then her life becomes perfect. The wife is dependent on the husband, and if the husband is a Vaisnava, then naturally she shares the devotional service of the husband because she renders him service. This reciprocation of service and love between husband and wife is the ideal of a householder’s life.
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