Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The story of Saptha mathrikas and munishwaras

In some folk-lores of remote villages in India especially in south, they say that Munishavaras who were the sapta-rishis who were peace endeavourers, turned warriors to protect Parvati  who was being lusted by a local king, in the latter part of the story these warrior-sages flayed him alive and yet their enragement never went down. So they are worshipped as Munishwaras which mean “The warrior-sages”, in villages of Tamilnadu and are offered ,food served with raw meat or sometimes cooked unlike any other gods along with alcohol. These men are sometimes seen married and sometimes polygamists. 

Another story says that ,the wives of these 7 sages or Saptha-rishis were being suspected by their husbands of their pregnancy (as mentioned in Skanda purana) left them behind on the banks of river Ganga. When they bore a kid each (6 in total and the seventh woman was also suspected by her husband, as he thought that when all the women stayed together, she also would have committed the same mistake as others). When the kid was born they tried to kill it as they felt that the offspring was the cause of their disdain. The kid was later called Karthikeya who later granted them a boon to be worshipped as Sapta-matrikas who cause illness and malady to children (this was done to wane the rage in them against children) but, they also grant boons of unlimited wealth, health and wishes come true when are impressed by pure devotion. Even  till today people in the country side, children of whom, suffer ill health or any kind of severe disease, beg these gods 
not  to cause anymore trouble to their offsprings. Well they are also seen as 7out of 10 Main forces called “The Dasha maha Vidyas”.

Celibate Gods

Celibate Gods:
Beliefs bestowed upon Hindus varies from state to state as one moves from north to south. Gods or mythical characters considered celibate in north are not in south.
Lord Hanuman in south is seen with a female deity called Svarchala devi , Daughter of Surya (the sun god), when Hanuman requested his guru Surya to teach him    “The Nava Vyakarana” which is a chapter in Grammar which should be learnt as a couple only. Surya proposed to him to marry his daughter Svarchala, Hanuman explained to her about his celibacy which he can’t break. Svarchala agreed to endorse him as his spouse until he finishes his edification in Nava Vyakarana. The latter part of the story says that they depart by breaking up their relationship.

Lord  Dattatreya with Anagha.

Similarly Lord  Kartikeya though is seen as a celibate in north and west of India, as they believe that Lord kartikeya who was manly with no minimal feminine qualities that every man does(every man is born with minimum feminine qualities and every woman is seen with nominal masculine qualities) but he was made to be born with no feminine qualities in him, that made him an emotionless war god, who later could see only weeping widows of dead soldiers in every woman he saw, he was phobic to see his bride in the same situation and hence denied to marry. But in south he  is seen with two  consorts  Valli daughter of Nampi a tribal head  and Devasena daughter of Indra the king of devas, which was to show that he gave equal importance to both devathas and to someone of a lower caste, to show that everyone who is a part of his creation is equal be it the worst or the best.

Lord Ayyappa who thought the root cause for all tribulations  were desire and women and thus wished to remain a  celibate, even today women are not allowed in his shrine. But he later married a princess called Pushkala devi whose father was ready to sacrifice her for he wished to gain more power which his daughter’s death would fetch him, he then rescued in the form of a warrior who fought against the evil king and the black wizard and thus was called “Ayyanar”. He also did marry another maiden, purnakala devi  who was devoted to him. 

Similarly Nandi is seen with Suyasambika devi.

Narad is though seen a celibate, had to once experience the acquaintance of family and worldly desires. He once met a beautiful woman enchanted by her beauty at a river side followed her, made love to her, they bred kids and grandchildren and one fine day he and all his family were killed by a flood. Krishna also fathers 60 children of Narad(who disguises himself as a woman) as mentioned in a few puranas.
Though Krishna married 1608 women, he never fathered any of his sons by natural intercourse, but instead by boons. This doesn’t mean that he was sterile, but he had to maintain his celibacy because the Kurukshetra war had to be ended by a celibate was the statute. Though contradictory to stories which sagas his love making act, he’s seen as one of the greatest celibates.
It’s seen that Ganesh moved from south to north after his accomplishment of  the penance instructed to him by his parents, he was a celibate boy when he came south later went back to Kailaasa the abode of Shiva and introduced Siddhi, buddhi  or Ridhhi (in the form of women)to his parents the power he obtained due to the penance performed, its also said that he then fathers two sons Shubh , Laabh and also a daughter named Santhoshi.

 Karthikeya moved from north to south, after he felt insulted by the judgment of his father, who announced Ganesh to be the winner, in "who’s the fastest" game. Karthikeya felt he was being cheated and fights with his parents and moves south and falls in love with a tribal woman Valli and also  indra’s daughter deva-sena ,whom, his parents feel is the best match for their son Karthikeya.

Why so?
Why a few male deities who are adored as celibates in north are are not in south and vice versa is that,
Though these might create confusions and controversies as it depends on the rank of perception people possess. They are literally not the spouses or consorts of each-other as being told or worshiped, Instead some  are the feminine qualities in each being realized  and  are given equal significance to show male and female qualities dwell in everything which exists in nature, while some are the powers gained and some after long time of struggle with perceptions and perplexions  with Prakriti  understood the importance of female force in nature and accepted them and yet remained detached from worldly desires. Though these gods are seen with their consorts in a few shrines there are very few puranas which describe their nuptials or weddings.     
 Another reason being:
While they started their voyage they were celibates but at the end of their journey they settled down marrying women of their choice. So when it comes to their varying marital status, its quite obvious that when we humans, picture our days past, the people we met, we at first recollect the data of how he looked physically the last time seen, marital status of the Same the last time when met and when met after a long time our data regarding the same person is changed. The physical changes and his marital status renews the previous data or will be an add on data to the past. So the changes from region to region reflects the changes these  personalities underwent in their lives.