Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 11 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 8-08 am



Post No. 4386

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Brahma, in addition to his learned wife Sarasvati, had a second wife by name Gayatri. An interesting story is told in the Skanda Purana of their rivalry between the two women and subsequent reconciliation.


Siva told this story to his wife Parvati

“Listen, O Devi! I will tell you how Sarasvati forsook Brahma  and he in consequence espoused Gayatri. The Vedas have declared the great advantages that are derived from sacrifice, by which the Gods are delighted and bestow rain upon the earth.

For this purpose Brahma, Sarasvati, the gods and the holy sages repaired to Pushkara; but when all preparations were made, with all our rites and ceremonies for performing the sacrifices, Sarasvati detained by some household affairs was  not in attendance. A priest went to call her, but she replied, “I have not yet completed my dress, nor arranged several affairs. Lakshmi, Gowri, Gangadevi, Indrani and the wives of other gods and holy sages have not yet arrived, how therefore can I enter the assembly alone?”


The priest returned and addressed Brahma,

“Sarasvati is busy with other things and so she would not come. A man can’t do any religious rites without his other half (wife). Immediately Brahma got angry and commanded Indra, “Hurry up, get me another wife wherever you can find one”  Indra ran out and saw a beautiful milkmaid with a smiling face. He brought her to the assembly of Brahma. With the consent of the gods and sages in the assembly he married the milkmaid named Gayatri.

At this time Sarasvati accompanied by the wives of Rudra, Vishnu and other gods came to the place of the sacrifice. Seeing the milkmaid in her seat and the priests performing sacrifice, she cried out,

“O Brahma! have you decided to leave me who is your lawful wife? Have you no sense of shame and influenced by love, you did a shameful act. You are called the great father of gods and yet you publicly acted in a manner as to excite the derision of the three worlds”.


Brahma replied, “O my darling! The priests informed me that the time for the sacrifice was fast passing by and I cannot perform the sacrifice without my wife. Indra brought Gayatri and Rudra and Vishnu gave her in marriage to me”.


On hearing these words Sarasvati got and angry and cursed,

“By the powers which I have obtained by the performance of sacrifice, may Brahma never be worshipped in a temple or sacred place except one day in a year. And Indra!  since you have brought this woman you shall be bound in chains and confined in a strange country. Turning to Vishnu she said, since you gave that milkmaid in marriage you shall be born amongst men and wander for a long time with the cattle. To the priests she said you shall perform the sacrifices with the sole aim of receiving gifts.”


Having pronounced these curses, Sarasvati left the assembly; but at Brahma’s request, Vishnu and Lakshmi followed Sarasvati  and begged her to return to the assembly. In the meantime, Gayatri modified the curses and promised all kinds of benefits and blessings for the worshippers of Brahma

When Sarasvati returned to the assembly, Brahma asked Sarasvati  what she wished him to do with Gayatri. Before she replied, Gayatri threw herself at the feet of Sarasvati. She raised her up and said,

“A wife must obey the orders of her husband; for that wife who reproaches her husband and who is complaining and quarrelsome shall most assuredly, when she dies, go to hell. Therefore, let us both be attached to Brahma”.

Picture posted by Lalgudi Veda


‘So let it be’, said Gayatri

“I will obey your orders; I esteem you friendship, precious as my life. I am like your daughter. Please protect me.”

The reconciliation was complete. But Sarasvati’s curse was so strong even now Brahma is not worshipped in temples as a main deity.


(There are a few other reasons given for the non- worship of Brahma  in South India.)


My Comments:

What are the messages this story gives us:

1.A Hindu cannot do any ritual without his wife

  1. A wife though angry always obeys her husband

3.No one can escape from the curses or the evil acts they do.

4.Brahma lost his pride and prominence because of marrying second time when his wife was alive.

5.When there is obedience and humility, two women can live amicably

  1. Sacrifices don’t wait for anyone; they must be done on time. Even gods follow the rules laid out in the Vedas.

Brahma from Cleveland Museum

7.Skandam (Kanda Purana) is the largest of the 18 major Puranas (mythology) and it has lot of interesting stories like this.

8.Gayatri and Sarasvati, Savitri and Sandhya are all one and the same goddess with different aspects. They are created by the sages to give some messages.

9.Symbolism must be understood and explained at the end of each story; otherwise it would confuse children and illiterates.



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