Lord Shiva, one day decided to tell Goddess Parvati about Brahmadayana, or the mysteries of the Universe. She was very eager to learn, as she knew that only he knew everything about it.
Days turned to months and months to years, and Goddess Parvati listened with unfailing attention, as Lord Shiva expounded the mysteries to her. After several years, there was still no end in sight of Lord Shiva’s lessons. Just for a moment, Parvati lost her focus and started admiring the scenery around her.
When Lord Shiva noticed that Goddess Parvati was distracted, he became very furious. He yelled, “Ungrateful woman! There are millions who would do anything to hear me speak of Brahmadayana, but you refuse to concentrate. You should be born amongst the fisher folk so that you learn about hard work. They know that they cannot afford to think about anything else.”
As soon as Lord Shiva uttered those words, poof! Parvati disappeared from his side. Lord Shiva regretted uttering the harsh words. He lamented, “What have I done? How am I supposed to stay happy without you by my side?”
Meanwhile, as Lord Shiva wanted, Goddess Parvati was born as a baby girl on earth. She lay sheltered under a large Punnai tree. When the chief of the Paravars, a clan of fishermen, found the tree, he picked her up and said, “The heavens have blessed me! I shall bring her up as my own daughter.” He took her to his house, and named her Parvati.
Parvati grew up to a lovely girl, and she was adored by everyone. She would always accompany her father on his fishing expeditions and soon she mastered the art of rowing a boat and also netting the fish in the water.
Lord Shiva was unable to bear the separation from Goddess Parvati and was pining away for her. When Nandi, Lord Shiva’s most loyal servant, saw his master in state of despair, he asked “My Lord! Why don’t you bring back Goddess Parvati? You know she is living with the Paravars clan. There must be something that you can do to bring her back to Mount Kailash.”
“There is nothing I can do,” explained Lord Shiva, “As per the law of the world, she will have to marry a fisherman in this birth.”
Nandi was adamant to unite his master so he took the form of a giant shark and swam to the coast near the Paravars clan. There he saw two fisher man boats and swam towards them. The fishermen panicked on seeing him and tried to row back to the coast, but the shark capsized their boats. For the next few days, Nandi created havoc. He crushed their boats to smithereens, and tore their nets to shreds. He however made sure though that no innocent lives were lost in his quest to return Goddess Parvati to Lord Shiva.
The Chief of the Paravars made an announcement before his people, “I shall give the hand of my daughter to the person who can capture the shark.”
Many valiant young men came forward, but Nandi made sure that no one succeeded and continued with his destruction.
Distraught that no one was able to catch the shark the chief along with his daughter started praying to Lord Shiva. Disguising himself as a young fisherman, Shiva approached the chief.
“I have heard that a shark is bothering you, so I have come to hunt it down.”
As the Chief and his fishermen stood by the shores, the young fisherman waded into the water with a net in his hand and caught the giant fish. Nandi recognized his master and allowed him to drag him to the shore.
The clan rejoiced at the end of their troubles and Parvati wedded the young fisherman. After the wedding, Lord Shiva resumed his true from and returned happily to Mount Kailash with his wife.