Parvati is the daughter of the king of Parvatas, Himavan and the consort of Lord Shiva. She is also called Shakti, the mother of the universe. Her popular names include Amba, Ambika, Gauri, Durga, Kali, Rajeshwari, Sati, ​and Tripurasundari.

The celestial sage Narada proceeded to Kailash in the Himalayas and saw Shiva and Parvati with one body, half male, half female – the Ardhanarishwara. Ardhanarishwara is the androgynous form of God with Shiva (purusha) and Shakti (prakriti) conjoined in one, indicating the complementary nature of the sexes. 

Parvati ever dwells with Shiva as his Shakti, which literally means ‘power.’ She sheds wisdom and grace on her devotees and makes them attain union with her Lord. The Shakti cult is the conception of God as the Universal Mother. Shakti is spoken of as Mother because that is the aspect of the Supreme in which she is regarded as the sustainer of the universe.

Shiva and Shakti are essentially one. Just as heat and fire, Shakti and Shiva are inseparable and cannot do without each other. Shakti is like the snake in motion. Shiva is like the motionless snake. If Shiva is the calm sea, Shakti is the ocean full of waves. While Shiva is the transcendental Supreme Being, Shakti is the manifested, immanent aspect of the Supreme.