Below is a collection of small stories about 9 Indian female mythological characters. Each story or character teaches young children an important trait. It is even more important for young girls of today’s generation to learn about strong female characters.
Also Read: Indian Mythology Books for Children | Books about Indian Culture
9 Indian Female Mythological Characters for Kids With Morals
Devi Annapoorna is the goddess of food and nutrition in India. Annapoorna is another form of Parvathy, wife of Lord Shiva.
Legend has it that Shiva did not think that food was important. And said that it was merely a cosmic illusion. After hearing that- Devi Annapoorna got upset and disappeared. She removed all food and nutrition from the earth. This created a crisis. Finally, Shiva understood his mistake. So went to Annapoorna with a begging bowl and begged for food as alms. She gave him a handful of grains, and food returned to the earth.
In many temples in India, this form of Shiva and Annapoorna is worshiped. There are various festivals, most significantly the festival named Annakut- which falls on the day after Diwali. On this day, food is distributed from many temples in India, to the elderly and those in need.
Morals: Devi Annapoorna teaches your child the importance of food and nourishment in daily life.
Devi Durga is the goddess of power and destroyer of all evils. She has 10 hands.
Legend has it that the demon Mahisasur worshiped Brahma and got a boon from him that neither a man nor a god can kill him. with this power, Mahisasur created havoc in the world. He terrorized all the gods and started taking their place.
Seeing this – the trident – Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswar came up with an idea to defeat Mahisasur. They created a woman together will all the power from the trident. Once she was born, all the gods armed her with their own weapon. Thus Durga got Chakra from Vishnu, Indra gave Vajra, Shiva gave Trishul, etc.
Armed with all the weapons, Devi Durga went to fight Mahisasur. This went on for 9 days. Finally, Mahisasur died after a fierce battle. Peace ensured. These 9 days are celebrated as Navaratri in India. While the 10th day is celebrated as Dusshera – the day of the destruction of evil.
Morals: Devi Durga teaches young children that when needed, one must take the form of Durga and destroy the evil.
Goddess Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. She is the goddess of knowledge, intelligence, music, arts. She is the repository of Brahma’s creative intelligence and helped him create the universe and bring order. Saraswati is worshiped by students and in educational institutions for her wisdom, knowledge, learnings.
Saraswati has 4 hands. One hand holds a lotus, another a book. She plays her musical instrument Veena with the other two hands. She rides a swan. The swan reflects the power of discrimination and judgment. It is said that a swan can drink only milk part from a mix of water with milk, leaving the water behind. This is symbolic to the power and knowledge to identify good from the bad.
Saraswati is adorned in white or yellow saree always. She is a symbol of elegance and simplicity. People in India celebrate Vasant Panchami as the day when goddess Saraswati was born.
Moral: Goddess Saraswati teaches us that knowledge is at the epitome and center of everything including the universe. It is also important to be humble and remain simple.
Goddess Lakshmi is the other daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The word Lakshmi is derived from the Sanskrit word Lakshya, meaning goal and knowledge of objective.
Lakshmi holds Lotus in one hand. Grains pour out from her other hand, or she is shown holding a jar of money. Lotus signifies purity as per mythology, which can bloom in a dirty or pure environment. Wealth, on the other hand, signifies that she blesses the world with food and other materialistic need. It also signifies the importance of charity to those in need. She adorns red saree with gold jewelry symbolizing fortune and wealth.
Goddess Lakshmi is married to Lord Vishnu. She is known to take birth on earth as the companion of Vishnu during his birth as Avatars. Thus Lakshmi was born ar Sita with Ram, Rukmini with Krishna, to help Vishnu fulfill the duties in each avatar.
Lakshmi is worshiped throughout Indian households in various forms. Businesses worship the goddess Lakshmi to seek the blessings of prosperity and wealth.
Moral: Goddess Lakshmi in the form of wealth, teaches young children the value of wealth. It is also important to share when one can.
The Ganga is the holiest river as per mythology in India. Goddess Ganga is worshiped in the form of the river Ganga, and it is believed that bathing in the river Ganga purifies one’s soul. As per mythology, she is the daughter of Himavat (King of Himayalas) and Menavati, an apsara. Ganga is known for her playful nature. Goddess Parvathi is her sister.
Ganga was brought to the earth by Bhagirath. He wanted to free the soul of his 60,000 ancestors, who were cursed by Kapila muni. Shiva trapped Ganga as she descended on earth and let her out in 7 streams. The original stream is named Bhagirathi, after king Bhagirath.
Ganga is also mentioned in the epic Mahabharat as the wife of King Santanu and the mother of Bhishma.
Goddess Ganga is shown holding water Lily in one hand, a lute in the other. In her four hand form, she is also shown as holding a water pot and rosary in the other 2 hands. Makar, an animal with the head of a crocodile and tail of a dolphin is Ganga’s vehicle. The Makar symbolizes that one should face the fear and move forward on the path of greater growth, strength, knowledge.
Ganga is worshiped throughout other countries in Indian subcontinents in different forms.
Moral: Goddess Ganga story teaches young children that persistence pays and how a force of destruction, if channeled correctly, can be used to bring good to the world.
Goddess Kali is the most powerful form of Shakti and destroyer of evil in the world. She destroys the evil to protect the innocents.
The birth of her story goes like this. Devi Durga was in a fierce battle with the demon Raktabeej. However, she was not winning, since every drop of blood of Raktabeej, when fell on the ground, gave birth to more demons. Thus every time, Goddess Durga wounded him, more demons were born. This made Durga very angry. She was so enraged that her anger burst out from her forehead in the form of goddess Kali.
Kali attached Raktabeej and drank all his blood even before it could fall on the ground. After that, he killed Raktabeej. But she was so angry that she did not stop there and went on destroying everything on her way. All the other gods went to Mahadev for help. He came and lay down on her way.
Now, without noticing, Kali stepped on Mahadev. As soon as she realized what had happened, she came back to her sense and bit her tongue. She calmed down and stopped the destruction.
This form of Kali, with tongue sticking out is worshiped across India. In the eastern side of India, goddess Kali is revered as mother since she is the savior for the people.
Moral: Kali is the goddess of destruction. She was born to fight and eliminate all evil from the world. Your child learns that, it is important to stand in the way of bad and destroy it. It also teaches how a mother can become a force of destruction, when her children are harmed.
Bhumi is the goddess representing Mother Earth. She is also known by many different names. Some of the popular names are – Vasundhara, Bhudevi, Urvi, Ira, Prithvi. She is also the wife of Varaha – boar avatar of Lord Vishnu. She is the epitome of forbearance, compassion, and patience.
Goddess Bhumi is usually shown with four hands. One hand holding a pomegranate, a water vessel, a bowl containing healing herbs, another bowl with vegetables. She has two sons – Narakasura and Mangala.
Moral: Goddess Bhumi emphasizes to young children that how earth is the epitome of patience and we need to take care of it.
Goddess Parvati is the daughter of King Himavat (King of Himalaya) and queen Menavati, an apsara. She is the goddess of love, marriage, domesticity, motherhood. She is the wife of Lord Shiva.
It is said that – when Shiva’s first wife Sati died, Shiva vowed to not marry again and renounced worldly pleasures. To get Lord Shiva back in his original way, all the gods persuaded devi Sati to be reborn as Parvati. Thus Shiva got married to Parvati and came back to his role of destroyer and savior God.
Goddess Parvati had many incarnations in the form of other goddesses. She has 4 children – Lakshmi, Ganesh, Saraswati, Kartik.
Parvati’s vehicle is a mythical animal that is half lion and half tiger.
Moral: Story of goddess Parvati is one of a mother. It tells everyone that, just like Parvati, a mother nurtures her family with love and care.
Savitri was born in the house of king Ashvapati. She was an extremely intelligent and brave girl. When it was time for her marriage, she chose Satyaban, the son of a blind ex-king as her husband. Hearing this, Sage Narad told her that Satyaban was destined to live for only another year. Hence she should choose another husband. However, Savitri was determined to marry Satyaban. Her father agreed to this and got her married.
After one year, when the time came for Satyaban’s death, Savitri remained constant by his side. When Yamraj (the god of death) came to get the body of Satyaban, after his death, Savitri did not allow him to take. She remained by his side and kept on questioning Yamraj.
After sometime, impressed by her intelligence, Yamraj asked her for any wish, except the life of her husband. She requested her father in law’s vision be returned. And her wish was granted. When Yamraj gave another wish, she requested the kingdom be returned to her father in law. In the next wish, Savitri asked to be the mother of 100 sons.
Now Yamraj was in trouble. If he granted the wish, Satyaban had to live. Finally, Yamraj had to agree to the wish since he already gave his word. Satyaban got his life back.
Moral: The mythology story of Savitri teaches children that persistence pays. And any tricky situation can be navigated through intelligence.
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