The Goddess of Uma: Feminine Power, Selfless Love
At UMA, one of our main driving forces is the celebration of womanhood in all of its forms. We want to empower women to take charge of their own wellbeing and embrace their own unique beauty through the creation of products that harness ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and restorative, organic ingredients. This celebration of womanhood goes straight to the roots of who we are: UMA was founded out of inspiration for the beloved aunt of UMA’s founder, Shrankhla, who aims to use the brand to honor the beautiful and generous spirit of womanhood that Uma embodied. Furthermore, as our Ayurvedic expertise goes back centuries and generations, we maintain deep connections to Indian tradition and myth.
As part of our ongoing celebration of womanhood, we’re doing a series of write-ups on several goddesses and myths from ancient Hindu tradition for those interested in learning more about the roots of our practices and philosophies. Today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring none other than Uma herself (the goddess, that is!), who represents the divine and nurturing essence of womanhood, and the generosity and kindness of selfless love.
The Story and Meaning of Uma
Uma is also known as Parvati, the wife of Shiva. In her Uma/Parvati form, this feminine goddess represents light and wisdom; as such, she is also known as “The Peace of Night” and “The Bright One.” She manifests the loving, nurturing spirit of the mother and reminds us of the immense beauty of womanhood and love.
Uma was born the daughter of Himavat, the personification of the Himalaya mountains, and is often represented as an ideal of royal, exquisite beauty. As one legend has it, Shiva, who is the god of ascetics, spent much of his time meditating and turning away from the external world. Uma, who also devoted herself to asceticism, won Shiva over through her commitment to practices of self-denial. Together, the couple had two sons—Kumara and Ganesha.
As the Shakti of Shiva, Uma represents the necessity of feminine energy for divine wholeness; without Uma, Shiva’s power would not be complete. Uma also represents the act of self-sacrifice for the sake of love. She is generous, humble and caring, enabling her to practice a form of love that places the needs of others before her own, a denunciation of selfishness that in turn leads to a deeper understanding of the self and others. Of course, understanding when to walk away from a harmful relationship is also a form of profound self-love.
We could all learn something from Uma’s commitment to love as an act of care and selflessness; were we to commit to these values mutually in our relationships, we would experience a love that encourages mutual growth and nurturing. Let’s channel Uma’s divine warmth and celebrate forms of love rooted in mutual care, generosity and respect this Valentine’s Day and beyond!