Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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CHHAYA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Shade.'

A handmaid of the sun. Sanjna, wife of the sun, being unable to bear the fervour of her lord, put her handmaid Chhaya in her place. The sun, believing Chhaya to be his wife, had three children by her: Sani, the planet Saturn; the Manu Savarni; and a daughter, the Tapati river.

As mother of Saturn, Chhaya is known as Saniprasu.

The partiality which she showed for these children provoked Yama, the son of Sanjna, and he lifted his foot to kick her. She cursed him to have his leg affected with sores and worms. This made it clear that she was not Sanjna and mother of Yama, so the sun went in search of Sanjna and brought her back.

According to one Purana, Chhaya was a daughter of Viswakarma, and sister of Sanjna, the wife of the sun.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM