Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How the Peacock became Goddess Saraswati’s mount & got its unique colours

Ever wondered how the peacock got its beautiful deep blue coat and unique train? This blog post narrates the mythological legend of the peacock and its beauty. 

Goddess Saraswati once expressed her desire to explore different places on earth. Sage Narada told her that the most beautiful place on earth was India as, of all the places on earth, it was the most colourful and enchanting place. He did not want Goddess Saraswati to go on her own, though, so accompanied her on her travels around India. 

After roaming around many regions of India, Goddess Saraswati arrived in Rajasthan. It was an extremely hot region and the Goddess’s feet started burning with the heat. On seeing this, a peacock offered to give his train on which the Goddess could place her feet and move around. When the Goddess wondered if such a frail-looking, short bird with awkward legs could take the weight of her feet, the peacock told her not to worry. So the Goddess placed her feet on his train and as he moved forward in short hops, the Goddess too would get ahead, her feet never touching the hot ground at any time.

After her travel around Rajasthan, Goddess Saraswati realized that the peacock's body had become hot and even his train was withered and slightly charred too in some places due to the extreme heat. Astonished, the Goddess asked the peacock how he was able to bear the heat and why he had not said a word despite knowing his train’s feathers were literally getting burned. The peacock replied that as a resident of the area, he was used to the heat and it had no adverse effect on him. Further, the peacock said, the Goddess was a guest to his home region and a guest’s every comfort should be attended to.

Goddess Saraswati was extremely pleased with the peacock’s devotion and care for her. As a reward, the Goddess told the peacock that from then on he would be the most respected bird and would always be her personal mount whenever the Goddess travelled anywhere. 

The Goddess also removed her beautiful blue garment and draped it on the peacock’s back. Part of the garment was studded with various coloured gems, this part thus covering the train of the peacock. The Goddess also placed a pointed tiara on the peacock’s head.

Hence whenever you see a peacock you will see the distinct, sparkling many- hued train, the intense deep blue on its body and the tiara-like feathered crest on the head. 

As for Goddess Saraswati giving her special blessings to the peacock and saying he would be the most respected bird – well, now you know why the peacock is our national bird!

[This is the legend of the peacock and its colourful beauty, as narrated to me by my aunt, a great source for myths and legends!]

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