Sriramodantam — Day 8
Sloka in English for better understanding
Mandodarim Mayasutham Pariniya Dashanana I
Tasyam Utpadayamasa Meghanadahwayam Sutham II
Meaning of the sloka
Ravana married Mandodari, daughter of Maya, and begot a son in her called, Meghanada.
Origins of Mandodari (One of the Panchakanyas)
Panchakanya(पञ्चकन्या, pañcakanyā), also known as the Five Virgins, is a group of five iconic heroines of Hindu epics, extolled in a hymn and whose names are believed to dispel sin when recited. They are Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodari. While Draupadi is from Mahabharata.
Ahalya, Tara, Sita and Mandodari are from the epic Ramayana. The panchakanya are venerated as ideal women and chaste wives.
Ahalyā draupadī Sita tārā mandodarī tathā ।
pañcakanyāḥ smarennityaṃ mahāpātakanāśinīḥ ॥
Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodari
One should forever remember the panchakanya who are the destroyers of great sins.
Different origin stories of Mandodari
There are several stories about the origins of Mandodari;
- Hema, an apsaras(celestial dancer) who was turned into a female frog for disrespecting Sage Vasistha and after serving her time as a frog, she was turned back into a beautiful woman born as the daughter of Maya, chief architect of Asuras.
- Another story explicitly mentions her origins from the sandal paste of the body of Lord Vishnu, in a ploy to make Ravana weaker.
- Another story mentions her as the reincarnation of a nymph insulted by Ravana after he killed her husband.
- Mandodari means ‘light-bellied’
My primary source for meanings of the slokas is from the E-book published by http://hinduebooks.blogspot.com.
Om Namo Narayanaya