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Mandodaree is a Raamaayan character. Mandodaree was the daughter of Maya Daanav (from Hemaa Apsaraa) and was married to Raavan. Once Maya Daanav met Raavan. He asked his introduction. Raavan told him that he was the grandson of Pulastya Muni. Considering him from a noble family he married his daughter Mandodaree to him. She had two brothers - Maayaavee and Dundubhee. Both were killed by Baali (Sugreev's brother).

She had three sons - named Meghnaad, Atikaaya and Akashya Kumaar. Meghnaad was mightier than Raavan. He had won Indra that is why he was called as Indrajit also. She was a very good, logical, religious and a Satee woman. She is counted among five Satee women, thus she was not inferior to any good woman even being a Raakshas' wife.

She is one of the Panch Kanyaa (five Virgins) also -
Ahalyaa Draupadee Kuntee Taaraa Mandodaree Tathaa |
Panch Kanyaa smare Nityam Mahaapaatak Naashanam ||

During the whole war period, according to Maanas, she had been advising like a good wife to Raavan to return Seetaa to Raam and not break out war with Him, but he didn't listen to her. At last she had to lose both her son and her husband in this war.

Birth of Mandodaree
According to Uttar Raamaayan, Mayaasur, the son of Kashyap Jee, was married to Hemaa Apsaraa. Both had two sons - Dundubhi and Maayaavee; but longed for a daughter. So both did Tap for Shiv Jee. Meanwhile an Apsaraa Madhuraa came to Kailaash to pay her respects to Shiv Jee. Paarvatee Jee was not there so she had Shiv. As Paarvatee returns she finds Shiv's body ash on the breasts of Madhuraa, she curses her to live as a frog in a well for 12 years. Shiv consoles Madhuraa and tells her that she would become a beautiful woman and cry loudly from the well. Mayaasur and Hemaa Apsaraa are doing Tap nearby that well, they would hear your cry, they would her call and adopt her as their daughter. And they would bring her as Mandodaree.

Mandodaree and Birth of Seetaa: a story from Adbhut Raamaayan
See also "A Legend About Seetaa's Birth"

Adbhut Raamaayan gives this description about Mandodaree, not found in any other Raamaayan or Maanas. Raavan had gathered blood of many ascetics in a pitcher. Mandodaree tried to convince Raavan not to do such atrocities with Braahman and Rishi, but he did not listen to her. Frustrated by this, Mandodaree decided to commit suicide, so she drank some blood from that pitcher in spite of Raavan's warning. Because it is believed that that blood was more than poisonous than any poison. But instead of dying she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl, incarnation of Lakshmee to whom she threw very far, due to the power of Ghritsamad's milk - where, later, King Janak ploughed his land and found that girl. It is believed that Seetaa resembled Mandodaree so much that Raavan had really started loving Her as he loved Mandodaree very much. This was the reason that Hanumaan mistook Mandodaree as Seetaa.

The Devee Bhaagvat Puraan says that when Raavan wanted to marry Mandodaree, Maya Daanav said to him - "Her charts says that her eldest child will destroy her clan and thus should be destroyed. Raavan ignored Maya Daanav's advice and married her. Her first child was a girl to whom Raavan buried in a casket in Janak Puree, where it was discovered by King Janak and the girl was named Seetaa and was brought up by the King.

According to Aanand Raamaayan, there was a king named Padmaaksh, who had a daughter named Padmaa (incarnation of Lakshmee). Padmaaksh wanted to marry her to Naaraayan, but for the same reason Raakshas killed him and wanted to take Padmaa. Seeing this battle Padmaa jumped into Agni Kund. Most Raakshas thinking that he had burnt returned to their homes, but Raavan waited for the fire to be cool. Later he put off the fire and searched for Padmaa in its ashes, but did not find her, instead he found a tiny casket. When he opened it he found five gems in it. He took them to Lankaa sealed in a big box. Having arrived in Lankaa he kept that casket in his worship place and said to Mandodaree that it was for her, she could take it. When Mandodaree tried to open it, it wouldn't open. They could open it with great difficulty and found a girl in it. Mandodaree got afraid to see her and she asked her people to bury the casket in a remote place. Her people buried it in Janak Puree, where it was found by Janak Jee who brought her up as his own daughter.

Mandodaree and Raavan
When Maya Daanav and Hemaa Apsaraa had this beautiful daughter, Hemaa Apsaraa had neither loved her father nor her, so when Devtaa called her, she left her baby and went to Heaven. In the absence of her mother, Maya loved her very much and always used to keep her with him. Maya married her to Raavan when she was 15 years old. He gave Raavan many Divine and deadly weapons too. Although Raavan had many women from many communities, kings, Naag, Daitya, etc but Mandodaree was his most loved queen. She had one son - Meghnaad who later became better known as Indrajeet, because he had won Indra.

Although Mandodaree tried her best to convince Raavan several times to return to Raam but Raavan didn't listen to her.

Her last and best advice is in Maanas' Lankaa Kaand, after Angad has gone back to Raam after the Peace message. After the Dohaa 35, she gives several reasons for not to fight with Raam--

--Raam's Lakshman drew a line which you could not cross it
--How can you win that man whose emissary has done all this to you - crossing sea, coming to Lankaa, destroying you Vaatikaa, killing Akshaya Kumaar and burning the whole Lankaa
--Maareech kne the greatness of His arrow but you did not agree
--There were many kings in Jana's Dhanush Yagya, you were also there, but Raam married Seetaa after breaking the bow, and you could not do anything
--Indra's son Jayant also thought that He had not much power, but He forgave him just by piercing his one eye
--He killed Viaadh, Khar Dooshan and Kabandh
--He killed Baali only with one arrow - know Him
--He crossed the sea an sent His emissary to you for your good; he showed his might to you but you could not do anything

In the end of the war he was killed by Him. She wept bitterly for him but when Raam saw her with His grace, her all illusion of attachment disappeared.

Mandodaree and Seetaa: face to face
Maanas mentions Mandodaree facing Seetaa when Seetaa was sitting in Ashok Vaatikaa, and Hanumaan was hiding among the leaves of a tree looking for a suitable opportunity to deliver Raam's message to Seetaa. Raavan came there along with Mandodaree and other women. When Raavan wanted to kill Seetaa, Mandodaree held his hand not to kill Her.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 06/15/13