~ 48. The Story of Arundhati ~


When the brides arrived at Ayodhya, Arundhati, wife of the priest Vashishtha, warned them to always wear their marriage symbols: beads, bangles, toe-rings, and vermilion in their hair.
"There were once seven couples in the forest," she said, "seven rishis and their wives. But one day six of the wives worshiped the fire without wearing their symbols. The fire-god Agni, thinking they were unmarried, ravished them, and their husbands then rejected them. They became the Matrikas. But I wore my marriage symbols, and Agni did not touch me, alone of all the wives."
The brides took her warning to heart.


Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 66 of the book. The Sapta-Rishi constellation is called the Great Bear in English, and the star Arundhati is called Alkor. Meanwhile, the Krittika constellation is the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. You can read more about Arundhati, the Seven Sages, and the Matrikas at Wikipedia; the number of Matrikas varies from story to story. There is also an article about the Krittikas (constellation).


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