Information Request

Narayan S. Raja raja at IFA.HAWAII.EDU
Tue Feb 22 23:04:09 UTC 2000

On Mon, 21 Feb 2000, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Tamil legend of Siva disguising
> himself as a vaiSya woman and breast-feeding a child, thereby becoming a
> mother. Hence he is called tAyumAnavar (he who also became a mother),
> Sanskritized as mAtRbhUta. There is a temple in Trichy dedicated to Siva as
> mAtRbhUteSvara.

As I recollect, actually in this legend
Siva appears as a woman in order to help
her "daughter" who is about to deliver.
So, Siva is actually the "grandma"
(of the newborn baby) in this legend.
I don't recall whether breast-feeding
is involved.

The real grandma, who was delayed by a flood
in the river Kaveri, shows up later.

This is how I remember the story.  If I'm
wrong, I hope to be corrected.



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