This Indian holy woman breastfed the Gods , who was she?

Have you heard the story of the Indian holy woman who breastfed the Gods?

Read this post on Indian culture and know more about the people and history of this marvelous country. I am writing this post because I wanted to cover the birthday of Lord Dattatreya. He is considered to be one of the most important yogis ever born.

Who was this holy woman?

Her name was Anasuya and she was the purest lady who ever lived on Planet Earth. By purity, I do not mean physical cleanliness only, I also mean mental purity.

How was she pure? She was pure because she used to consider her husband, Sage Atri, as God. He was a great sage and you will be happy to know that one of the stars of the Great Bear constellation is named after him.

But let us come back to Anasuya.

Since she was mentally strong and pure, the gods of Devalok used to fear her. They thought that someday Anasuya might remove them from their nice little perches and make her husband the king of Devalok.

So one day, they hatched a plan.

The plan to insult this holy woman

Led by Indra, all these gods approached the Holy Trinity of Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh and asked them to insult Anasuya in some way.

The Trinity agreed and decided to test Anasuya’s mental toughness.

Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh disguised themselves as ordinary human beings and one day reached the holy woman’s house.

Her husband was not around that moment and Anasuya was busy doing some work.

They called her out and requested some food to eat. She agreed and began preparing lunch for them.

But the Trinity had some other plans in its mind. It wanted to shame that great lady.

Please get naked

When she came out of her kitchen and laid out the food, the Trinity made a very stupid and insulting demand.

We will have food only if you serve it while being naked, the Trinity said.

Anasuya was a bit shocked but then quickly regained her senses. She went to one of her rooms and meditated deeply. Ultimately, she became aware of the identity of these guests.

She meditated again and established contact with her husband. Both of them planned a strategy to save the situation.

Image result for images of Atri Ashram
This is the Ashram of Atri and Anasuya in Allahabad

What was the plan?

She disrobed herself and when she entered the room where the Trinity was sitting, she made them into infants.

Now it was the turn of the Trinity to be horrified.

One by one, each infant was picked up by Anasuya and was suckled to its heart’s content. But the infants could do nothing, they were powerless. The Holy Trinity was now powerless infants.

This carried on for many days. Every morning, these small infants were picked up by the holy woman and breastfed.

Where are our husbands?

By now the wives of the members of the Holy Trinity had become worried.  They could not find their husbands.

Finally, they came to know that their husbands had last gone to the house of Anasuya.

The wives rushed to her house and saw Anasuya feeding the three infants.

Excuse me, have you seen our husbands?

Err…I don’t know where your husbands are but right now I am busy feeding my three children, Anasuya replied.

But the small infants had noticed their wives and were now crying for their attention.

‘These are our husbands, why are they here as small children,’ the ladies cried.

Oh, are they your husbands? These kids…..? Are you sure?

Yes, yes, please give them back to us.

Ok, take them back, here hold them…

Can you please make them grown up men again? Please?

Sure, why not?

And here the tale ends

And sure enough, Anasuya, the holy woman had turned those small kids back into full grown adults.

The Holy Trinity was embarrassed but it asked the lady to ask for a boon.

I want you to be my children for a very long time, Anasuya demanded.

Sure mother, all three of us will merge into one human being who will become your son.

His name will be Lord Dattatreya.

You an also read this funny post on Frog weddings in India

After a few days, Anasuya Devi was blessed with a baby whose name was Dattatreya. He is shown in images being accompanied with 4 dogs and a cow.

The dogs represent the 4 Vedas and the cow is a symbol of Mother Earth.

Image result for images of Lord Dattatreya
Lord Dattatreya

Many people consider Lord Dattatreya as the first Guru of mankind. He did not have any teacher but learned the philosophy of life by observing birds, animals, sky, moon, winds, Sun, oceans, elephants, deer, bees, beekeeper etc. Please read about the first Guru of the human race here >

Did you find this tale interesting?

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  1. It is a lot to take in, that much I will admit. Of course, it goes without saying that it makes for an interesting tale. At first, I was thinking, the so-called gods were powerful people (in terms of influence). But then, Anasuya did turn the three asses into infants. So, she does have divine power. I mean, if she had that, she could have done other things other than feeding them?

  2. That a was a bit weird right? Mythological and fold stories usually are though. I agree with Robert, she could have done anything to them, why turn theme into breastfeeding babies? Probably cause that was her deepest wish, to have children of her own. Such a crazy tale.

  3. Well, the last tale I read from you was about the donkey soldier? While that was heart-warming, this is puzzling. A human being turned the holy trinity into infants? Then, that gives away that she isn’t a human being. She’s touched by the divine. But, it still puzzles me on how the holy trinity were not able to contradict the “infancy spell” that she placed. Nevertheless, this tale is truly magnificent and you are a great story teller!

  4. This is interesting. It can be interpreted in many ways. Though to us who are not familiar with the Indian stories, the story sounds kinda odd. If she was a pure woman, how come she lied about the husbands? Can you explain that?

  5. wow this is yet another interesting tale. It reminds me of a certain anime character who has the ability to turn her foes to toddlers.. I just wonder why did she ended up with such decision to turn them into babies instead of doing something else to teach them a lesson… maybe that was her gentle and harmless way?

  6. This is an interesting tale. I’m trying to understand it and interpret it in my way. There’s a lesson to be learned in that the men were turned into babies to feel humility and helplessness just as she felt when she was asked to disrobe. At least that’s my interpretation.

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