Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
There aren’t any serious ‘fights’ mentioned, what with Shiva and Shakti being two halves of a single entity. But there are several instances of little tiffs and quarrels between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The previous avatar of Shakti, Devi Sati, was more soft and docile in nature, while Devi Parvati is often depicted as firebrand and boisterous in nature.
I am reminded of two particular stories where they both had a tiff – ‘Parvati’s Test’ and ‘Parvati the Fisherwoman’.
After the debacle involving Kamadeva, a distraught Parvati becomes even more bent upon winning Shiva’s heart and decides to take up intense penance.
After a long while, Shiva’s heart is moved but He wished to make sure that Her mind was firm about Her feelings for Him. So He first sent the Saptarishis (Seven Divine Sages) to her to try to change Her mind. She remained firm. The sages were pleased and blessed Her. They went back to Kailas and told Lord Shiva about the sincerity of Parvati’s emotions. Shiva was pleased but wished to make sure for himself.
So He disguised Himself as a Brahmin youth and went to the place where Parvati was doing her penance. The tale has been beautifully narrated in Shiva Purana . I take the liberty of copy-pasting the relevant bit here…
1.2.86 Lord Shiva Tests Parvati
Lord Shiva then himself went to Parvati in the guise of a brahmin. Parvati on seeing a brahmin welcomed her with full honour.
Shiva asked Parvati as to why was she doing penance. Parvati told him that she wanted to have Shiva as her husband. Lord Shiva, who was in the guise of a brahmin started cursing Shiva to see how Parvati reacted to it.
Parvati replied that inspite of her penance Shiva did not appear, so she has decided to give up her life in burning pyre. After saying like this Parvati requested the Brahmin to go back and she herself entered into the burning pyre but remained unharmed Lord Shiva was very pleased to see her firm resolve and devotion. He again asked her as to what was the purpose behind doing such a tremendous penance.
1.2.87 Parvati’s Reply
Parvati told the brahmin; who in reality was Shiva himself that, she wanted to have Shiva as her husband at any cost. She said-
“You say that lord Shiva does not possess anything – not even wealth. He does not put on clothes on his body. You also say that he is not fit to be a bridegroom of me. But all of your utterances prove your mean intelligence.”
1.2.88 Shiva Reveals his True Identity
Parvati continuing with her statements said that Shiva was the most capable deity in all the three world. “There is no sin greater than condemning Shiva.” said Parvati.
As Shiva, who was in the guise of Brahmin was about to say something Parvati said to one of her companion-
“This condemner should be killed, if this is not possible then we must leave this place at once.”
As she was about to leave that place, lord Shiva revealed his true identity and by holding her hand said- “You have been my wife since time immemorial where are you going?”
Parvati became very pleased and her heart was filled up with extreme joy. She requested him to take to her father regarding their marriage. Lord Shiva agreed. He went back to Kailash mountain and narrated the whole story to his Ganas – Nandi, Bhairav etc. Everyone became very happy and awaited eagerly for the day Shiva would marry Parvati.
This was one of the first instances that Parvati had a quarrel with Shiva, though His true identity was unknown to her at that point of time. The full tale can be read here →
Parvati the Fisherwoman
Once Lord Shiva took upon Himself to instruct the Brahmandayana, or mysteries of the universe to Parvati. She was very interested in learning it and started to listen to it attentively. The narration went on for several years without a break. Though She tried very hard, Her concentration faltered for a moment and she lost her focus. At this Lord Shiva lost His temper and told Her…
“Parvati, if you think what I am saying is boring, I shall stop. If you cannot concentrate on something so important, you should have been born to fisherfolk so that you could do hard work and not think about such matters.”
Parvati was very hurt and She disappeared from Kailas at that moment, leaving Shiva repentant and sad. She took birth on earth and was raised as the daughter of the king of the Parvaras or fisherfolk, and was coincidentally named Parvati.
Finally it was with the intervention of Nandi that Parvati was reunited with Shiva once again. The story can be read on this link →