The hindu mythology is filled with stories of how a woman’s beauty change the course of time and turn the outcome into another direction altogether.
Who are Apsaras in Hindu Mythology?
These divine nymphs are known as the apsaras in the hindu texts. They are dancers in the court of the Dev King Indra and there are numerous stories where the Devs and the Gods have used these women and their beauty to turn critical situations into their own favor. Below are some stories related to these women who used their beauty to accomplish tasks for the Devs and the Gods :
- Menaka was the dancer in Indra’s court and was known for her enchanting beauty and she could woo possibly anybody in the world.
- Indra once called upon Menaka and tasked her to woo Sage Vishwamitra who was doing continuous penance and was in a deep state of meditation. Indra feared that if Vishwamitra is successful in his penance then the Sage may become more powerful than him.
- Menaka arrived in front of Vishwamitra, she danced, sang and seduced him to best of her abilities and after months of efforts Vishwamitra was enchanted by her beauty and his meditation was haulted. He married Menaka and she gave birth to their daughter Shakuntala after which Menaka left for Swarg Lok or Heaven.
Mohini was the female form of Lord Vishnu and was known for her extreme beauty. There are two main stories associated with Mohini :
- As per the mentions in the texts when the Asuras and Devas were fighting for Amrit and the Asuras ended up taking up the Amrit for themselves to gain immortality then Vishnu took the form of Mohini and seduced the Asuras which resulted the Asuras to give Amrit to Mohini and she started to distribute the it amonst the Devas. Then a demon RahuKetu changed form and tried to get Amrit which angered Lord Vishnu and he slew the head of the demon and the demon’s head was named Ketu and his body as Rahu.
- There is another story where a demon called Bhasmasur gained a boon from Lord Shiva that he will be able to burn anybody to ashes by placing his hand over the head of the person. Bhasmasur then saw Mother Parvati and decided to marry her and therefore went after Lord Shiva to burn him down. Vishnu then took the form of Mohini to help Shiva and seduced Bhasmasur. Bhasmasur wanted to marry Mohini to which Mohini said to agree only if Bhasmasur imitates her dance moves. After months of efforts Mohini tricked Bhasmasur into touching his own head through a dance move which turned the demon into ashes.
Once Indra sent all of his apasras to hault the severe tapasya of Nara-Narayan (twin brother incarnation of Lord Vishnu) to prevent them from becoming more powerful. The brothers were angered upon witnessing the apsaras who came to destroy their penance. Nara-Narayan patted their thighs and then was born a beautiful woman called Urvashi. Urvashi was the most beautiful amongst all women on earth as well as on heaven. Apasras saw Urvashi and ran away to heaven in shame. Indra upon knowing the situation apologized to the twin brothers and was eventually forgiven and Urvashi was sent to heaven.