View Full Version : Meenakshi's Little Green Parrot

03 March 2012, 05:29 AM
Have you ever seen a fruit dove? Take a look sometime on the internet – there are many varieties and their colors are amazing. In particular there is one called the Superb Fruit Dove. Birds are amazing living souls, there is an entire world at the tree lines and sky where they live. Sometime if you want to take a moment to observe, it is very interesting to discover this other world of theirs which is around you everyday but you may not even notice.

It is really interesting actually, how there are so many other worlds right in front of us but we don’t even see them.

I love birds, but tonight I am thinking of one particular bird. It is very popular all over the world. Just as there are many varieties of fruit doves, there are also many varieties of the beloved parrot. But, I wouldn’t be in the minority to say that, for me, when I think of a parrot I always imagine what so many image as the emblematic parrot – and that is, a green parrot.

I have a question.

In India, there is a very special temple for the Goddess. Thousands of people go to this temple every single day. The Lady who is the Goddess there is called Meenakshi. She is very beautiful. At this temple you will also find green parrots.

At one time, in the corridor that surrounds the sanctum of Meenakshi, there were many, many green parrots. They could speak, just as many parrots can. They would say, “Mee-Nak-Shi”.

Even today, you will find green parrots there. Perhaps there were more in the past, I have been told so.

I had a friend of mine from India once tell me, perhaps more than once actually, that I am happy with very simple things. And that I am, simple. Now this same friend, he was very simple and I can tell you that for a fact. I met other gentlemen from India by his acquaintance, and some of them told me that there are many things in Hinduism which are actually symbolism. For example, some would say “Garuda the eagle is a symbol of (this or that)” …

But to my friend, it was very simple. Garuda was Garuda, not a symbol.

Tonight I have been thinking about a very special green parrot. It is the little green parrot that perches on the finger of Meenakshi. Have you ever seen it? Beautiful! Like a jewel, there is the parrot. A jewel on this beautiful girl.

Perhaps some may say this little green parrot is a symbol. I don’t know. I am more simple than that. I am thinking, this is no ordinary parrot. There is something special. In fact, I believe for example that Hanuman is still alive in this world and will remain here so long as there are still people who tell the story of the Ramayana. And, I also believe that Hanuman something I was told, that Hanuman is Lord Nataraj Shiva, and as long as there are people in this world who tell the story of the Ramayana, that will mean that Hanuman is still here and will not become the Nataraj who marks a time when everything will change and we will not be ready for that – particularly myself who likes things simple.

The wife of Shiva is Parvati. I have also been told that Meenakshi is the same Lady.

So I am thinking, this little green parrot –this is something very special. Perhaps someone knows the answer to my question: Do you know who this little green parrot is? Maybe all I have to do is notice another world where perhaps this parrot lives. It might be right in front of me. I sure would like to find out. Does anyone know?

Eastern Mind
03 March 2012, 05:31 PM
Vannakkam: This is the first time I've heard of this parrot, and I've been to that temple twice now, not that that means anything. If she is holding it, the shakti (energy) was too powerful for me to notice. I don't think the temple keeps parrots any longer.

Here's a picture of it ... this is directly in line with the sanctum where Meenakshi would be... http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=30819&postcount=17

Yes, Meenakshi is another form/name of Parvati.

Having said that, I really appreciate your observations about the other worlds around us that we don't even notice. (Well, some of us do ... a little.)

Aum Namasivaya

03 March 2012, 06:16 PM
hariḥ oṁ


meenakshi ( more like meenaakshee) = mīnākṣī = मीनाक्षी

mīnākṣī is is defined as 'fish-eyed'. We can look at it like this mīnā+ākṣī . This mīnā ( in masculine gender) is a fish. It then is also the name of the sign of the zodiac Pisces. If we apply feminine gender its a stick.

Now what of this ākṣī ? If we look at ākṣi it means to abide, inhabit , take possession. Yet there is more - ākṣī is related to akṣi which means the eye and we have the connection.

Yet what is interesting (to me) this akṣi also means sun and moon. We consider the right and left eye the sun and the moon. We also consider the sun and moon śiva & pārvatī¹ (śakti).

Other views may also consider mīnā + kṣī as appropriate. This kṣī is rooted in kṣi (derived from kṣīṇá ,kṣī́ya)
and has the following definitions:

to possess , have power over , rule , govern
to abide , stay , dwell , reside ( we can see the connection then to ākṣī )
to destroy praṇām


pārvatī we are told is from parvata - being in or growing on or coming from the mountains ; daughter of himavat , king of the snowy mountains

03 March 2012, 08:03 PM
Thank you both for this wonderful sharing of insight into Meenakshi Devi. She is linked to both Shiva and Vishnu. There are wonderful images of this beautiful Devi with Hari standing on one side and Shiva standing on the other side. Below is a link to an image of Meenakshi Devi with the little Green Parrot perched on her right hand.

This parrot is found on so many of Her popular posters, and I see this same parrot on bronze and metal murthis of hundreds of years ago.

This little Green Parrot is very blessed to be so honored and iconic to be perched on her finger.


There is a special place for every good soul found in this universe. Even the little green parrot. It wouldn't surprise me to find that among the world of the green parrot, they are so proud and happy that one of their own can sit perched on the right hand of Devi -- the very same right hand that touches the feet of Lord Shiva and fed the mouth of Her son Murugan.

04 March 2012, 03:05 AM

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

View Full Thread (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=6154)


04 March 2012, 05:28 AM
Namaste Brian, All.

What delightful creatures these fruit doves are, thank you kindly for directing my attention to them, they are quite beautiful.

Might the green parrot be looking for his/her soul mate, finding solace in the company of the divine mother until that time?

There are after all; two fish in pieces...

Thank you kindly for your inspiring posting.



Eastern Mind
04 March 2012, 08:34 AM
Perhaps some may say this little green parrot is a symbol.

Vannakkam: With a bit of further research, I found one explanation, and it is that the parrot represents the transfer of knowledge into wisdom. Have you heard the quote "Wisdom is the application of knowledge"? So I'm guessing that's what its about. Reading a spiritual guiding book is meaningless unless you can apply it.

Aum Namasivaya

04 March 2012, 05:17 PM
Thank you all for your inspiring and insightful answers! What a wonderful forum, and there are many great savants here! Thanks again! And Jai Shree Devi and Shiva!

19 April 2013, 08:39 PM
To all namaskaram.

Dear ShivaFan, your post “Meenakshi’s Little Green Parrot” was written more than one year back, but as a new member I am treating myself to many interesting reads maintained on HDF. When I saw the title of your post, my interest was instantly piqued. I love to contemplate the distinguishing features of our deities. Really it’s my favorite pastime.

You have raised two issues: One, what is that parrot? Two, is the parrot a symbol or an actual entity?

On Issue Two my opinion is already determined by principles I accepted many years ago: The formless grace of the Supreme, accommodating itself to the culture and psyche of human beings, results in the advent of specific deities whose personhood is Hyper-Real. That is, the deities (and their retinue) are more real than we are. And the deities come to us as a divine revelation, so naturally all their features are resplendent with significance. Thus, for me, Sri Meenakshi Devi’s parrot is hyper-real as well as possessed of revelatory significance.

That leaves Issue One: Who is that parrot?

First, it’s germane to point out that Adi Shankaracharya in his hymn Sri Meenakshi Stotram addresses the Devi as "Sri Vidya" and describes her as "residing in the Sri Chakra," also known as Sri Yantra. As you may know, Sri Vidya is a prestigious and influential Shakta tradition, especially in South India, where the principal murti of Meenakshi Devi has Her residence. Although I'm not an initiate of Sri Vidya, I have been exposed to that tradition through substantial contact with an active society of practitioners, through the spiritual efflux of my guru who is a well-known master of Sri Vidya, and also through reading whatever I could get my hands on concerning Sri Vidya. Due to that influence, I am of the opinion that Meenakshi’s little green parrot is the emblem of Kamadeva, if not Kamadeva himself in the form of a parrot.

Some may be surprised that Sri Devi is sustaining and cherishing Kamadeva whom Her own husband Shiva had once upon a time incinerated. How can this be? Well, it’s all related to the distinguishing peculiarity of Sri Vidya, which is to approach the Supreme via the path of Beauty. This is not an easy path. Rather it’s said to be a path fraught with obstacles and pitfalls. Anyway, the idea is to cultivate aesthetic sensitivity to a degree that renders the mind susceptible to eternal beauty, i.e., the beauty of the Almighty. For further exploration of this notion please refer to (1) Plato’s Symposium on the aesthetic path to higher consciousness; also Indian aesthetic philosophy as propounded most famously in (2) Bharata Muni’s Natyashastra, followed by (3) Abhinavabharati by Abhinavagupta.

It is said that Adi Shankaracharya brought Sri Vidya from Kashmir to South India, establishing it first of all at Srngeri, but eventually at all his maths, where the tradition continues in force till the present day. It is also said that Adi Shankaracharya composed Saundarya Lahiri (Waves of Beauty), a mystical hymn that also frankly celebrates the lovely features of the Goddess. For obvious reasons, many people may find it distracting or unhelpful to focus intensively on the feminine pulchritude of the Devi. Consequently, for most Sri Vidya initiates (if they do not take the alternative path of kundalini yoga) the principal object of contemplation is Sri Yantra, a geometric cosmogram whose stunning beauty is appreciated worldwide. But wait, there’s more… Taken together with the visual beauty of Sri Yantra there’s also the auditory beauty of Panchadasakshari, the 15 syllable mantra of Sri Vidya—so soothing and elevating, at least as I’ve heard it sung.

Now than, back to Kamadeva. As we know, Kamadeva is the deity of sensuous beauty and romantic love. Kamadeva is found in the company of Sri Devi for the reason outlined above:
Beginning from sensuous love and beauty, aesthetic development extends into the transcendental love and beauty of the Almighty. From that point of view, Kamadeva is in the service of the Divine. Kamadeva stays with Meenakshi as mommy’s little helper. Fact is, within the tradition, Kamadeva is known to be Sri Devi’s ardent devotee and a chief proponent of Sri Vidya. Morever, the sugarcane bow and flower arrows, originally the attributes of Kamadeva, become in Sri Vidya the attributes of Sri Devi also.

More could be said. For example there’s Lalitopakhyana (The Story of the Goddess Lalita) which describes how Sri Devi had to rescue the universe from the catastrophe that befell when Kamadeva was incinerated by the Lord. You can read this story at the following address:http://www.dattapeetham.com/india/festivals/navaratri99/lalitopakyana.pdf :o Hmm...on Preview the (very long) web address is abbreviated with dots, yet when selected, it's live. I'm such a cybertwit. Izzat spozed to happen? Anyway, besides Lalitopakhyana, there’s the better known story that right after the wedding of Shiva and Parvati, Kamadeva was revived on Parvati’s insistence.

In conclusion, there’s definitely a significant relationship between Devi and Kamadeva, which is why Sri Meenakshi Devi has a little green parrot.

Aim kleem sauh! Pranam.

20 April 2013, 12:20 AM
To all namaskaram.

Dear ShivaFan, as a postscript on my earlier message re: Meenakshi's little green parrot, please see attached picture of Kamadeva riding his parrot vehicle.

Shivam satyam sundaram.

20 April 2013, 12:49 AM
Namaskaram. Also wanted to mention that not only Madurai Meenakshi Devi but also Kanchi Kamakshi Devi is holding a parrot. Please see attached pix of both Goddesses, Meenakshi on the left, Kamakshi on the right. Shivam satyam sundaram.

14 May 2013, 07:57 PM
They are very beautiful parrots.