Also known as Ambika, Durga or Shakti. In her aspect as Parvati she is a benevolent goddess, granting the boons of her worshippers and is the consort of Shiva. However, in her aspect as Kali, she is a fierce goddess, the destroyer of her foes and has a terrible visage.
Lion – represents power, will and determination. Parvati riding the lion symbolises her mastery over all these qualities.
Sati, reborn as Parvati, daughter of Himavan or Parvata raja had to do a very intense penance to get Lord Shiva as her husband. When she was doing her meditation taking Lord Shiva’s name, a hungry lion passing by happened to hear her.
The lion came to eat her up but ended up waiting for her to complete her meditation. It is said that many many years passed by before Lord Shiva was pleased and appeared before Parvati. Once the Lord promised to marry Parvati, she opened her eyes only to see the lion asleep, unintentionally in penance waiting for Parvati to wake up.
The Goddess was very pleased with the devotion of this lion and gives the privilege of being her Vahana or vehicle.