We have often heard of stories and epics of Hindu God & Goddesses taking birth into different avatars with the purpose of protecting humanity from all possible evils. Each birth and avatar has witnessed a new reform in the entire Universe, resulting in the goodwill of Humanity.
One such Avatar taken by Lord Vishnu is not known to many. While most of the forms that God has incarnated on the Earth are known to all and a plenty of them have been Male versions. Lord Vishnu has incarnated twenty-four times on Earth. The most famous among these is “Dashavatara”, the name given to the collection of the ten most prominent forms of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu had even taken a Female Avatar- “Mohini”!! Mohini was depicted as a beautiful nymph, carrying a pot filled with nectar. Let us explore more about this beautiful form of Lord Vishnu and what was the intention behind this unusual incarnation.
The word “Mohini” comes from the Hindi word “Moha”, which means attraction or fascination. Mohini, therefore, refers to the one who can endear and attract or seduce someone to attain her intentions. She who acquires the pot of Amrita from Asuras (demons) and handed over back to the devas (gods) helping them retain their immortality.
Incarnation of Mohini by Lord Vishnu:
When Goddess Lakshmi was disappointed with Vishnu and left his abode, all the Devas in the Devlok started suffering because of her absence. And in order to get the Goddess back, Vishnu was told by Brahma that all the gods and the demons should together churn the milk of the ocean from which the Goddess Lakshmi will appear. The demons would not help the gods without there being any benefit to them, therefore they were told that a pot of Amrita is there inside the ocean, on drinking which they would become immortal. When the churning started, various items appeared from the ocean before the appearance of the Goddess herself. The pot of nectar was to appear after the Goddess.
When the pot finally appeared after the Goddess, the gods and the demons were supposed to distribute it equally among all. Well, whoever is not aware to know how risky it is to let the demons drink nectar and become immortal. After all, it is goodness that should prevail in the universe and not the evil. Lest the universe might be damned.
Lord Vishnu soon took the form of Mohini, in order to resolve the matter. Now what Mohini was supposed to do is lure the demons, and not let them drink the nectar of immortality. When Mohini appeared, the gods and the demons, all were mesmerized to see her beauty. Taking advantage of this, she lured all of them, took the vessel in her hands, and tricked the demons. The trick was to give the demons ordinary water and the gods the nectar of immortality.
Mohini was thus successful in fooling the demons as a result of which, the gods, who had drunk the real nectar became immortal and the demons could not.
The Union of Mohini & Lord Shiva..
The one among the tales of Mohini is her Union with Lord Shiva. According to Bhramanda Purana, Shiva and Mohini( Lord Vishnu) have a Union which led to the Birth of another God- Ayyappa Swami. Ayyappa is believed to be an incarnation of Dharma Sasta, the offspring of Shiva & Vishnu.
Temples Worshipping Mohini- Incarnation of Lord Vishnu..
Devi Mohini was the one Incarnation of Lord Vishnu who gifted Immortality to the Devas and death to the Asuras or Demons. People believe in the power of Mohini and her strength in the form of Vishnu and thus worship her widely even today. Here are the temples that worship Devi Mohini:
Jagan Mohini Keshava Swami Temple in Andhra Pradesh East
Mahasala situated in Maharashtra
Harikanyaka Temple near Guruvayur
Ryali Jagan Mohini Temple
Ravi Raj Pokharel