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Lesser-Known Goddesses of Indian Mythology

- May 28, 2021

By Aditi Pasumarthy and Niranjana Sivaram Our Puranas are filled with some of the most intriguing gods and goddesses. Many know the stories of popular gods and goddesses such as Krishna, Ganesha, Durga, and others. However, there are many goddesses who have fascinating stories but are not known by many. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-known goddesses of Indian mythology. Ushas  Ushas, the goddess of dawn, brings life and light into the world every day. She is praised for driving away oppressive darkness and evil demons. As dawn breaks Ushas. representing the cosmic order, dispels darkness and chaos each morning. Illustration: Sanjhiya Mayekar and Ritoparna Hazra Ratri  Ratri, Ushas’ sister, is the goddess of night. Some praise her for her countless stars, which provide light in the dark, and for protecting people from the dangers of the night. However, she is sometimes associated with those very dangers which nighttime brings. Vac The goddess of speech, Vac, makes creation possible by naming things. She is essential in the ritual mantras of priests and the insightful vision of the sages. Vac is also the reason that people can see and recognise friends, and communicate with each other. Illustration: Sanjhiya Mayekar and Ritoparna Hazra Karni When goddess Karni asked Yama. the god of death, to bring a woman’s son back to life, Yama refused. Karni then vowed that her devotees would never die, but would instead be reborn as mice in her temple in Rajasthan. The mice would again be reborn as her devotees. Kotravai Kotravai is the goddess of war and victory. She is a fierce, wild and vicious goddess who hau...

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