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I am looking for a story on a goddess who married a monster.I remember reading the story a few years ago but I can't seem to remember it.In the story,a goddess marries a monster in order to stop him from being evil and terrorising people and be good instead.The goddess in the story is an Asian one,who is either from an Indian,Korean,Japanese or Chinese mythology (e.g. Buddhism,Taoism).I'm not sure what the monster was though,but I am preety sure it was either a king or a dragon.It possibly might have been both.Does anybody recognize the myth? Can you give me more info on the goddess and the monster , and a source where it is recorded?

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I suspect you're referring to Benzaiten, a Buddhist and Shinto Goddess.

The linked Encyclopedia Britannica article mentions to her marriage to the dragon, and Britannica is generally considered a reputable source, however they don't provide citations, at least for this online article, so you may want to seek out the source material on your own to verify.

This site says: "A dragon once ravaged a village in Kanagawa. Benzaiten swooped down from heaven and engaged the dragon. She agreed to marry him, and by her influence, the dragon ceased his wicked ways, and peace returned to the region. The island of Enoshima rose up in the place in which the dragon's lair once rested."

This comes with a big caveat that the references on that website are not reliable.

However, my inclination is to trust this source:

"The Legend of the Goddess and the 5-Headed Dragon"

Long ago there lived a 5-headed dragon. The dragon demanded sacrifices be made to him, caused floods, and rained down fire, committing one wicked act after another. In the year 552, the Heavens and the Earth suddenly began to shake and a goddess appeared above the clouds. Gradually, the clouds gave way to sunlight, and Enoshima was born. The Dragon immediately fell in love, and asked for the goddess' hand in marriage, but knowing of the wicked acts the Dragon had committed, the Goddess refused. Not prepared to give up, the Dragon vowed to mend his ways, and so the goddess (known as Benzaiten) agreed to marry him. On the shore opposite Enoshima lies "Dragon's Mouth Mountain". The Dragon turned into the mountain so as to watch over the goddess, even after death, and it is said that the Dragon still keeps watch over Enoshima today. Due to "The Legend of the Goddess and the 5-Headed Dragon", Enoshima is today famous as a spiritual site for marriage."


Note: If I get a chance to get my hands on some vetted source material for Japanese mythology, I'll return and make citations. In the meantime, I hope this answer is helpful.

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  • Thank you but I do have a few questions about Benizaiten and the Dragon.Firstly,did Benizaiten actually love the Dragon?If so,why did she let him die?Did the Dragon's spirit inhabit the mountain? – user1385 Oct 7 '16 at 2:18
  • @K Vickneshvara I wish I could provide you answers to those questions. (I don't know as much as I'd like about Japanese mythology, particularly the Shinto material, but that story was familiar so I decided to do some digging.) – DukeZhou Oct 7 '16 at 20:24
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High chance is your are referring to something as the Hittite goddess Sauska (šauška it should be pronounced Chauchka as the š are showing). You can find her under the name Anzili as well. First Sauska is a kind of counterpart of a love/fertility/war goddess that are the Sumerian Inanna, the Babylonian Ishtar, the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Athena. She is both incredibly gorgeous and she kicks ass.

She appears in one story the song of Hedammu which is part of the great cycle of Kumarbi. Kumarbi is the equivalent of Sumerian Enlil, Greek Chronos. After fighting his father Anu (the Sumerian An, Greek Ouranous) the new God generation rebel against him, especially Teshub/Tessub/Tešub (Zeus/Thor... see him with his thunderbolts and axe here!!)

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Teshub is the son he got by biting Anu's sex and spitting him. (Compare with Chronos castrating Ouranos and eating his children until Zeus is not eaten before finally spitting the Olympians...)

Kumarbi sent 2 monsters to kick the but of the new Gods:

  • Hedammu which will be overthrown by Sauska
  • Ullikummi, the Greek Typhoeus, because noticing how Sauska has enticed Hedammu he sent a monster that Sauska cannot seduce. The main difference here being that Ullikumi is sent directly by Kumarbi/Chronos and not Gaia.

The song of Hedammu goes like that. Kumarbi is displeased by Teshub and tries to overthrow him. Teshub plays a minor role here. It is Sauska (you can find her as Anzili in the story... As my hittite is badly bad I rely on translation, some her put Anzili, other Sauska, I don't know why) who sees Hedammu and the potential danger. I will give some translations, with explanations. Beware those are Hittite translations and they are incredibly fragmentary. Translation I am giving are from Hoffner's book Hittite myths.

The Great Sea God began to reply to Kumarbi: "Our matter is settled, Kumarbi, Father of the Gods. Come to my house in 7 days, and I will give you Sertapsuruhi, my daughter".

After they mate, Sertapsuruhi and Kumarbi has a son (probably that part is missing, but we can safely guess) Hedammu with is a voracious dragon/snake. After some discussions between Teshub and Sauska here is what happens (beware the erotic text):

Sasuska went to the bath house. The queen of Nineveh went there to wash herself. She washed herself... She anointed herself with fine perfumed oil. She adorned herself. And (...) love ran after her like puppies.

I invite you to compare this text with most Sumerian text with Inanna, especially her love component when she "plays the brat" while taking all the care in the world to anoint herself. Nineveh was the Assyrian capital, land of king Ashurbanipal. Now:

Sauska began to say to Kulitta: Take an arkammi instrument, take a galgalturi instrument. At sea on the right, play the arkammi, on the left play the galgalturi... Perhaps Hedammu will hear our message.

Compare that with Japanese's Amateratsu seduction with she is hiding in a cave. Kulitta is the Hittite goddess of music, generally associated with Ishtar, she often plays to entice Tammuz (The sumerian Dumuzid).

Now we have this part (very fragmentary):

Hedammu raised his head from the watery deep. He spied Sauska. Sauska held her naked members before Hedammu. Hedammu began to speak the words to Sauska: "What deity are you? (that you are not afraid of me)"

After that a pretty long extremely fragmentary part appears where Sauska keeps taunting Hedammu (in the sexual sense, keeping somehow stripping herself, even if it is quite unclear) while Hedammu is always amazed she does not flee in terror. Finally they have sex which seems to render the poor Hedammu totally none valiant.

Sauska, Queen of Nineveh, (...) came down to Hedammu and, Sauska, walked before him. (...) The valiant Hedammu came down from his throne, from the sea. He came onto the dry land.

I try to keep the translation as fluid as possible (go to the original to see what I did) and keep the most sexual part out. But you see here the Goddess of love/war at work. In the subsequent story where Teshub will fight Ullikummi, Kumarbi learnt his lesson and take care Ullikumi cannot be seduced by Sauska. We see Sauska coming back trying the same method but miserably failing. But this is vainly because Teshub will finally overcome him (I don't give the detail).

Notice that Sauska/Inanna/Ishtar/Isis/Athena still exists in modern world as Lara Croft or Wonder Woman or such heroines. Woman mixing beauty and fighting ability. Notice also most of those modern females are never representing adorning themselves with great care to win battle with their sexual nature.

Note that on a historical plan the story of Anu taking down Alul, before being taken down by Kumarbi which will be beaten by Teshub is reminiscent of the Mesopotamian history when Sumerian was replaced by Babylonian which are replaced by Assyrian, which are replaced by Neo Babylonian, before vanishing in the persian empire, with the specific God An, Enlil, Marduk, Teshub becoming the main god.

Modern Wiccan still use Sauska, for what I know. And modern Indian Chhathi Maya is very obvious port from Inanna/Ishtar/Sauska. There was an old TV show with Ishtar as a main character. And Athena is popular enough nowaday, for example as Percy Jackson's love affair mother Annabeth Chase or the main Goddess in Saint Seiya.

Not sure that was not exactly the story you described but that answer plainly to you.

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