The Hindu mythology affirms that Ratri, the nocturnal goddess and is the sister to Ushas, the Vedic goddess of Dawn.
Ratri possesses the conventional attributes of the Hindu Gods including extraordinary strength, long life, resistance to injury and several supernatural powers.
Ratri is one of the prehistoric Vedic Gods who existed before the Hindu Pantheon. The epitome of darkness, she and her sister, Ushas, the dawn-goddess, were often pursued by Surya, the sun god.
Ratri was also believed as the protector of law and order in the universe and the waves of time. She is generally a gentle entity who offers rest and renewed vigor and who was also invoked to ensure safety through hours of darkness. Ratri put down the gift of morning dew as well as the harbinger of a bleaker aspect of one who brings gloom and barrenness.
Ratri was relegated to a new position as goddess of love replacing Lakshmi-Sri, the wife of Vishnu.
A mythical story relating Ratridevi is that, an Indian rebel called the Mahdi, seeking to destroy the British army, prayed to the Hindu gods, demanding the power to fight the British. In a vision, Yama, god of the dead, Ratri goddess of night, Agni god of fire, Maya goddess of dreams, and Kali granted Mahdi powers and weapons to fight the British. From Yama, Mahdi gained a fiery sword, from Ratri the power of the night's shadows, from Agni sacrificial flame, from Maya the power to drive his enemies to despair with illusions, and from Kali the wheel of destruction. Mahdi then used these powers in battle, only to discover too late that he had offended the gods by trying to order them around. Mahdi's weapons were only illusions, and he died in battle.
(Last Updated on : 04-02-2009)
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