Brahma, Shiva Parvati, Hindu Cave 15, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India
Sculpted scene is narrating why Brahma is persuading Shiva to marry Parvati. You need to know the Tarakasura myth before you can appreciate this scene. How to reach Ellora Caves?
At mount Kailasha - Shiva has withdrawn and is in deep meditation after the tragic death of his first wife Sati.
At Swarg-lok - King Taraka an asura has received a boon for his severe penances from Brahma that he can be killed only by a 6 day old child-warrior. Tarakasura believing himself to be almost immortal terrorizes all including the devas in the Swarg-lok.
Palace of Himavant - Sati is reborn as Parvati daughter of Himavant, the king of the Himalayas and his wife Mena. Parvati is devoted to Shiva since her childhood and once of age goes to Himalayas and prays to Shiva with only one wish that he marries her.
At mount Kailasha - The gods had reach Brahma for a solution and they all conspired to disturb Shiva's meditation. They send the scared Kamdeva (god of love) who awakens Shiva supposedly with his arrow of love and is burned to instant ash by the furious Shiva.
Gods implore Shiva to marry Parvati but Shiva decides to test Parvati's's devotion first. He sends the Saptarishi who describe Shiva's lifestyle trying to dissuade Parvati - though Parvati listens intently as they are the great seven sages - she holds on to her beliefs and continues doing her puja and penance steadfastly. Then Shiva appears before her as an old ascetic and maligns himself - annoyed Parvati is about to leave the ascetic reveals his true form - Shiva appears pleased with her devotion agrees to marry her. They give life to Kartikeya, who as a six day old warrior slays Tarakasura. There are innumerable tales of Kartikeya's birth too :)
Frame is from Cave 21 - placed here to support the myth as many descriptions of Cave 15 include a similar panel in Cave 15.