~ 131. Kali Demands a Sacrifice ~

"To win this war, " Krishna said, "we must sacrifice to the goddess Kali." Then he pointed to one of the soldiers. "We must sacrifice you!'
"But who is he?" asked Arjuna, surprised.
"I am Iravan, your son," said the soldier to Arjuna. "My mother is Ulupi, the naga princess. I gladly offer myself, but I don't want to die a bachelor. Let me marry first!"
No woman would marry this man fated to die, so Krishna became Mohini, a beautiful woman, and Mohini married Iravan. The next morning, they sacrificed Iravan to Kali, and Mohini wept for her dead husband.

Inspired by: Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.
Notes: This story is on p. 247. Krishna does not immediately propose Iravan as the victim; instead, he explains that Kali demands a warrior whose body bears thirty-two sacred marks, and there are only three such warriors: Arjuna, Krishna himself, and Iravan.

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