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Lord Shiva’s two sons are quite well known in Hindu mythology – Murugan (Karthikeya) and Ganesha. But what if you got to know that Lord Shiva had a beautiful daughter too? Yes, he has a daughter named Ashoka Sundari. Although she is not a well known deity, she features in a lot of folklore across India in various forms.
Ashoka Sundari was born out of Parvati’s wish whilst she was alone. Padma Purana and many other Gujrati folklore has mentions of her. In the Shiva Purana, there is a detailed description of Lord Shiva’s transformation to a household from a hermit.
Previously Lord Shiva was a detached hermit who does not associate in worldly pleasures. But since Lord Shiva gets married to Goddess Parvati, he turns into a complete household and as a part of that life, he became the father of 3 children, one of them is a girl child.
The Story of Lord Shiva’s daughter Ashoka Sundari
According to the myths, one day Shiva and Parvati came across a wish fulfilling tree known as the Kalpavriksha. Because Lord Shiva frequently went out of Kailash Parvat to fight demons, Parvati used to often feel lonely and so she asked for a daughter from the tree. As her wish was granted, Ashoka Sundari was born.
The word Ashoka means without sorrow and because she got rid of Parvati’s sorrow, she was named Ashoka Sundari. Sundari means beautiful. Since the girl was extremely beautiful, she did justice to her name.
Mysteriously, not much is mentioned about her in most scriptures apart from the fact that she was present at the time Ganesha was beheaded. Ashoka Sundari got scared by her father’s act and hid behind a sack of salt. When Parvati got to know about her sons fate, she becomes extremely angry. Out of anger, she also cursed Ashoka Sundari to become a part of the salt. Later when Ganesha’s head was restored by Shiva, they restored life in their daughter and pacified her. That’s how Ashoka Sundari is associated with salt without which food is tasteless.
Apart from few such legends, the existence of Shiva’s daughter is not known by most people. However in some parts of India, there are few folklores that are popular in Kolkata as it is believed that Goddess Manasa was a daughter of Shiva who was born accidentally in a non intended way.
So these were a few stories about Ashoka Sundari, Lord Shiva’s daughter. There’s a slight speculation about the authenticity of these stories but since folklores are an important part of Indian culture, we can’t deny the possibility that Lord Shiva also fathered a daughter.
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