Thursday Myths & Legends 101: Svaha and the Seven Krittika

Today I wanted to share with you a pretty awesome Hindu legend, involving the Big Dipper, Taurus the bull, and the Pleiades.

The story starts out with the seven Rishis, sages that made the sun rise and shine.  They made the seven stars of the Big Dipper, and they were married to the seven Krittika.

One day the fire god Agni emerged from a fire created in a ritual of the Rishis’ and he fell in love with the seven Krittika.   To try to forget his hopeless love, he wandered in the forest.  There he met Svaha, who is the star Zeta Tauri, the tip of one of the horns from the constellation of Taurus.  Svaha fell in love with Agni, but couldn’t tempt him, so instead she disguised herself as six of the seven Krittika (how this worked, I’m not really sure about but…) and succeeded in seducing him.  The seventh Krittika could not be impersonated somehow, because she was too faithful to her husband.

Eventually Svaha gave birth to a child, and rumors were raised that his mother was six of the seven Krittika, meaning they must have been unfaithful, which resulted in those six Krittika being divorced by their husbands—they were then thrown out of their homes in the stars of the Big Dipper, and so they became the Pleiades.

I’ve got to say, I really like this explanation for the seven sisters, and that they corresponded with the seven stars of the Big Dipper.  Star legends are maybe my favorite… you will surely see more here at the Hollow Tree!

About Lisa Asanuma

Lisa is a professional freelance writer and editor, along with a bookbinder and knitting obsessee. Lisa has a passion for YA literature (inside her passion for literature in general) and is currently working on her first novel. View all posts by Lisa Asanuma

2 responses to “Thursday Myths & Legends 101: Svaha and the Seven Krittika

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