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Renuka - The Wife Of Sage Jamadagni

Renuka – The Wife Of Sage Jamadagni

Renu, Renuga or Renuka is the wife of Jamadagni who is worshipped in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana etc. Her abode is at Mahur which is situated in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. She rides a lion. Parashurama and Vasus are her sons.

The story of her birth is a very interesting one. King Renu was performing a yagna (offering) to make sure there is peace and health to his family and kingdom. While he was performing this ritual, he was blessed with a daughter that came to be from the fire of this very offering. Renuka was a very grounded, humble, active and bright child while growing up and was one of the most favourite children of her parents. Sage Agastya, the husband of Lopamudra, advised the king to get Renuka married to sage Jamadagni when she comes of marriageable age. King Renu readily agreed to this proposition and when Renuka reached that age, her marriage was fixed with the Saptarishi Jamadagni.

Jamadagni and Renuka lived happily in the Ramshrung mountains which are located near the Saundatti area in the Belgaum district. Renuka was a devoted wife and she helped Jamadagni from time to time in performing and fulfilling his duties. She also helped him in performing rituals, prayers, offerings etc. Just like her parents, she soon became the favourite of Jamadagni as well. They got very close and became dear to each other. Renuka was blessed with a daughter – Anjana who was later known as Anjana Devi.

Renuka was known to be extremely devotional to her husband. So much so that she used to fill up water in a pot created of sand every day and it used to hold water. This was all only because of her devotion and love for her husband. Renuka had a ritual of bathing early in the morning in the Malaprabha river. She made sure her concentration and devotion were complete and totally towards her husband. She brought water for her husband in a pot made of sand and helped him with his rituals.

Renuka had five sons along with Parashurama who was the youngest. One fine day, Renuka encountered Gandharva who was flying over the pond with his wife when she went to the pond for her bath and got distracted. As she thought about another man, she lost devotion, concentration and love for her husband which led to her losing the power of gathering water in the unbaked pots. Jamadagni had seen the happenings through his yogic power and was bursting with fury. He ordered Parashurama to kill Renuka and punish her for what she had done.

When Renuka came to know what was going to happen, she hid in a small hut by the river and requested the fisher couple to help her out. Parashurama was filled with rage and wanted to obey his father’s instructions. He killed them all but soon after that, he convinced his father to let them live. Jamadagni had turned the Vasus into stones for not following his orders. Parashurama got them back to life as well and wiped their memory of being dead.

When the resurrection of Renuka happened, her body was switched with that of the fisherman’s wife and the fisherman’s wife got the body of Renuka. Here is where the phenomena of Renuka and Yellama came into being. Renuka and Yellama are extensively worshipped in today’s time differing from state to state.

Click here to read about Menaka – The Wife Of Sage Vishvamitra.

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