The Navratri festival is probably the most vibrant festival of India. Spreading across the expanse of India it is celebrated in different hues in different parts of the country each imparting its own flavour.
This is the only festival that lasts nine days and culminates with Dushera. A celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
There are enough tales, plots and sub plots to keep an inquisitive reader engaged for months. Here is a selection of short stories. One story for each of these ten days, to learn more about what made this such an absorbing contest.
Tales of one who had ten heads, yet not a sound mind.
Tale Five – Lust
Ravan used to force himself upon the women who prevented his advances. There are two stories regarding it.
Vedavati was a beautiful lady who was performing penance with the intention of having Lord Vishnu as her husband. Her beauty enchanted Ravan. Vedavati resisted Ravan’s advances but Ravan did not stop. Vedavati foretold that she would return to the mortal world as the cause of death of Ravan. After that she sacrificed her life in a funeral pyre. She was then born as Ravan and Mandodari’s first child. Ravan was told before his marriage that their first child would cause his death. So after his first child was born, he sent Subahu to kill the child. Subahu was unable to kill the beautiful baby girl and lied to Ravan that he has killed her. The baby was found by King Janaka, who raised her. She was married to Rama, Vishnu’s incarnation and was the cause of Ravan’s death.
The second story is about Ravan’s encounter with Apsara, Rambha. He tried to capture Rambha who was engaged to Kuber’s son. She pleaded with Ravan that she was like his daughter, but Ravan was not discouraged. Kuber’s son was so angered that he cursed him stating that if he forced himself upon any woman, his ten heads would fall off immediately. This curse helped to protect Sita’s chastity when she was Ravan’s captive for about a year.
Read Tale Six tomorrow