Faith

The nine warriors

The celestials, unable to bear the trouble that the demon Soorapadman gives them, beg Lord Siva to help them. Siva then opens His third eye, and out of it comes a spark of such intensity that Goddess Parvati takes fright and runs away. The spark is transformed into six babies that later become Lord Subrahmanya, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse. When Parvati hears of the birth of Subrahmanya, She comes back to Siva.

Angry that She has had no role in the birth of Subrahmanya, Parvati turns Her anger against the celestials, for it was at their request that Siva had brought forth the spark. So Parvati curses the celestials, saying their wives would be barren. When Parvati had run in fright at the intensity of the spark, the precious gems in Her anklets had scattered. Siva sees Her image in these gems. He causes a woman to emerge from each of the gems. The nine women who thus emerge are Manickavalli, Nithilavalli, Pushparagavalli, Gomedhakavalli, Vaiduryavalli, Vairavalli, Maragathavalli, Pavazhavalli and Neelavalli.

Siva decrees that to these women would be born warrior sons, who would assist Lord Subrahmanya in his battle against Soorapadman. When Parvati finds that these women are pregnant as well, She curses them. She says they will never be able to give birth to their babies, but would carry their foetuses forever. The women sweat in fear at Parvati's wrath. From their drops of sweat appear one lakh soldiers. And Siva says these would be soldiers in Subrahmanya's army.

In the meanwhile, the foetuses of the nine women are growing and even pray to Siva from their mothers' wombs. The women complain to Siva of their inability to carry the babies any more. Parvati, taking pity on them, lifts the curse, and they give birth to warriors, who are to prove crucial in the battle against Soorpadman. They are Veerabahu, Veerakesari, Veeramahendra, Veeramaheswara, Veerapurandara, Veerarakshasa, Veeramarthanda, Veerantaka and Veeradheera. These nine warriors worship Siva and Parvati, and Siva tells Parvati: “These are our children. They are not strangers to us.” Thus, Siva earns for the warriors the goodwill of Parvati too.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:53:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/The-nine-warriors/article14690369.ece

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