Hinduism is the largest religion in India. With 33 million Gods to worship, Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. We have different deities to worship on different occasions, and we’re always welcoming them to our houses. It is strange to hear about a deity who is associated with negativity, ugliness & misfortune. People generally do not worship her because they always have a positive deity to worship but some people worship her, only to keep her happy so that she never eyes on their house & enters it. It is believed that she brings bad luck and destroys every happy occasion, wherever she goes. But you might have never heard of her. Have you?
Jyestha Devi was the sister of Goddess Laxmi, who is known as the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and progress. While Jyestha Devi is her exact opposite. She is known for bringing misfortunes, quarrels, poverty, and bad luck. She is also known as “Alaxmi”, the antonym of Laxmi. She comes on her donkey, escalates existing problems & invites trouble for people.
What is the story of the Goddess of misfortunes?
According to scriptures of Padma Purana, it is believed that when God and demons were churning the ocean for the nectar of immortality, various things came out of the womb of the ocean-like precious gems, divine cows & horses. Devi Lakshmi also appeared out of the ocean at the event and married Lord Vishnu right away. But before Devi Laksmi, Jyestha Devi came out of the ocean as a dark woman, wearing dirty clothes carrying a broom and pan & this is how she became the elder sister of Devi Lakshmi. Unlike Devi Lakshmi, both Gods and Demons unwelcomed her due to her appearances and qualities, so she decided to dwell in inauspicious and dirty places. Unwelcomed, Devi Jyestha was unable to find a groom for herself and complained. She was later married to Dussehra. Dussehra later found out that his wife was unable to witness holy & auspicious occasions. She always used to throw tantrums, if there was anything auspicious they had to attend. This soured the relationship between the two, and Dussaha went to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu suggested him restrict her to unholy and inauspicious places only. Knowing that his wife could only bring tears, grief, and sorrows on anyone, he abandoned & left her in a non-Vedic place. Then, Devi Jyestha approached Lord Vishnu for her relief. He then decreed that she will be sustained by the offerings of the women.
She is usually depicted with a flabby belly, thick thighs, a large nose, hanging lower lip, holding broom; in short, depicted as the epitome of ‘Ugliness’. Devi Jyestha was worshipped in Hindu Traditions especially south Indian people in the 10th century, after which people stopped worshipping her. Her name is mentioned way back in 300 BC.
Very few people know about her today, but she is still acknowledged in our traditions by hanging green chili & lemons in a thread at the entrance to avoid her from entering the house. It is believed that she loves to eat spicy and sour foods, hates to hear auspicious sounds. She brings unhappiness, poverty, death, and grief to the house.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author