Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Tataka - Mother of Subahu and Maricha


Tataka was a shape-shifting Yaksha woman, the mother of the demons Subahu and Maricha. She was the daughter of a Yaksha named Suketu, who obtained her by performing a penance directed to Lord Brahma. Suketu had desired a son, but Brahma gave his daughter the strength of a thousand elephants instead.

When she came of age, she was given in marriage to Sunda, the son of Jambha. She gave birth to Maricha. Sunda was killed by a curse of the sage Agastya, and trying for revenge, she attacked the sage accompanied by her son. The sage cursed Maricha to become a demon. The sage also cursed Tataka to be transformed into a man eater of monstrous shape.

She then took up residence in a place near the habitations of Malada and Karusha in a forest, which came to be known as Tataka's forest. She terrorized the inhabitants, devouring anyone who dared to set foot in that forest.

When Rama and Laxmana accompanied the sage Vishwamitra to protect his sacrificial rituals, the had to pass through her forest. The sage asked Rama to slay the monster Tataka, but Rama demurred, because he did not want to slay a woman. However, when it was explained to him that evil has no gender, his mind was eased and he slew the demoness with his arrows.

Last Modified At: Sun Nov 14 22:50:28 2004