(Whereupon her falling in love, she found no peace in her father'shouse, even on the snowclad rocks, the sandal-paste on her forehead drying up and powdering her curls.)
The intensity tends towards the sensuous in Kalidasa, not to the spiritual. Poets in India have always taken the common folk away from the spiritual, even as they are depicting the divine. Here the poet presents Parvati as resorting to great austerities-doing penance in panchagni, etc.-in order to get Siva as her bridegroom.
What is important is that Parvati could recognise Shiva as a great master. In her spiritual practices, she emulates the Master, evolving into a transcendental being herself in the process. Her strife probably was to be a match for him, to attain him in spirit. There is no other godly couple to compare them to-not even the unparalleled Radha and Krishna. Parvati and Shiva merged into one being-ardhanareeshwara-part man and part woman. ardhanareeshwara represents the fine and perfect balancing of the male and female principles in Nature-the purusha and prakriti of creation. (very much like the feminine Yin and male Yang of Chinese philosophy.) The legendary elevation of the couple has to be attributed as much to Parvati'sasceticism as to that of her auspicious master-the austere vanquisher of Death!
(The writer is a well known literary personality and social activist, she writes mostly in Malayalam.)
What is Shiva without his shakti-Parvati, the daughter of the great Himalayas?