April 13th, 2008 by sabrina

Meenakshi is the Hindu Goddess of Madurai, the city of nectar. She is an avatar of the Goddess Parvati. The King of Madurai, Malayadwaja Pandya, was without an heir to his throne. He performed sacrifices before a sacred fire, called yagnas, to pray for a child. During one of the yagnas, a three-year-old girl stepped out of the fire, and Malayadwaja Pandya adopted her as his daughter. The child had eyes that were shaped like fish, so he called her Meenakshi (which means fish-eyed).

The child was also unusual in that she had three breasts. Malayadwaja was concerned about this, but a divine voice told him not to worry, that the third breast would disappear when Meenakshi met her mate. She grew to be a beautiful princess, and took over the kingdom when her adopted father died. She ruled well, and was expanding her kingdom when she met up with Shiva. As soon as she saw him, her third breast disappeared. They married and are worshipped side by side in Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai.

Meenakshi’s name is also seen as Minaksi or Minaci, and there are hymns of praise to her which give her the following epithets:
Treasure house of mercy
Consort of Lord Shiva
Personification of sacred truth
Daughter of the mountain
Enchanter of the universe
Goddess of varied aspects
Greater than the great

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