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Mohinī


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An avatāra of Viṣṇu, in which he takes the shape of a beautiful and seductive woman. According to the Churning of the Ocean myth, Viṣṇu (Nārāyaṇa) appears in this form to seduce the demons (daityas) into handing over the amṛta, which Mohinī then gives to the devas to drink. According to another myth, the Tamil god Aiyappaṉ is the result of Śiva's love affair with Mohinī. In South Indian temples, especially preceding the annual Vaikuṇṭha Ekadaśi festival, male images of Viṣṇu are ritually dressed as the female Mohinī.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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