Hey guys, today I want to show you a very strange Hindu Goddess carved in the ancient Kailsanathar Temple. As you can see there are three goddesses here, the one in the center is standing majestically on top of a Lion. Her name is Durga and let’s not focus on that Flying Saucer or UFO like craft on top of her. I am here to focus on this Goddess, on the left. This is a very strange and interesting carving.
It looks like the complete opposite of Hindu deities we have seen. I have shown you thousands of ancient Indian carvings, and the carvings of goddesses are almost always very lean and fit. But here is somebody who is overweight, who does not look very healthy. Look very carefully, her eyes are closed, she looks like she is sleeping. Who is this Goddess? And why is she portrayed like this and what is the story behind this?
This is a deity called Jyestha, she is the Goddess of Laziness, she is the Goddess of misfortune, poverty , sickness and sorrow. This is unique right? Hinduism has thousands of deities, but they are mostly associated with good things, but this one represents all the bad things.
What does Jyestha mean? The word Jyestha actually means elder or older in Sanskrit. Older to who? She is the elder sister of this deity called Lakshmi, who is shown directly on the opposite side of the wall. Lakshmi is the goddess prosperity, good fortune and beauty. And it is carved intentionally with a sharp contrast. Remember, we are looking at carvings that are at least 1300 years old. And the carvings have gone through significant erosion, corrosion and even human destruction, but we can still see the amazing contrast between them and understand them.
Look at how Lakshmi is carved. She is incredibly fit, sits with a straight back with only leg on the ground, and the other leg folded up. Now look at Jyestha. Look at how she is shown over weight and Look at the comfortable posture, sitting in sort of a very cushy, lazy way with both her feet on the ground. There is a Buffalo headed man, standing next to her. The buffalo is a very slow, lazy animal and in South India this figure is called Maanthan, sometimes thought of as a son of Jyestha. On the other side a girl, known as Maanthini has a mischievous smile, probably out of guilt from wrong doing. If you look at Lakshmi, she has a cow, a symbol of fertility and abundance on one side, and lion, a symbol of Bravery on to her other side.
Two more weird features of Jyestha, she is shown with a broom stick, which symbolizes that she is not very clean. You wouldn’t normally sit next to a broom stick or a trash can. And then she is also shown with a crow, crow is the ultimate scavenger bird which eats anything, dead or alive. It is fantastic to observe all these details of this very strange goddess. It is easy to understand the symbolism, if you are lazy and dirty, you will end up being poor and unhealthy.
Remember what I told you, This temple, the Kailasanathar temple is full of amazing symbolism, a few videos back, I showed you how these animals are telling us to go and find these secret chambers. This temple is full of such information.
In ancient Hindu tradition, all goddesses are supposed to fall under 2 categories. One is called Sowmya which means charming or pleasing, and the other is called Ugra which means fierce or scary. I have mostly shown you Sowmya type carvings, but sometimes I show you UGRA type also, these are really scary and fearsome. But Jyestha is an exception to this rule. Because it is neither charming, nor scary. It is merely unimpressive, 99% of the visitors will easily overlook this carving, unless you are like me, examining each and every carving in the temple.
But history is a very strange subject. Not only are we looking at a piece of history here, even this deity has her own history, she was not always carved fat. This temple is 1300 years old, but even older statues of Jyestha exist in South India, and surprisingly, she was shown as a thin, lean girl. Known more commonly as Tavvai or Moodevi in this region, she is carved with beautiful features.
In villages, even today, looking at this deity is considered a sin. In some places, the statue’s eyes are sealed with turmeric, so she cannot lay eyes on you. Another very interesting routine, it is said that if you have looked at her statue, you should show it to at least 3 friends. If you fail to do it, you may get sick or face trouble. Wait, you have seen her in this video, so you have to share this video to at least 3 friends, otherwise you may get problems.