Behula: A Legend Of Female Resilience And Strength

In the western world, we hear folktales of great heroes who save their damsels in distress! However, the Indian world was always so much different! Today I will tell an amazing story of the Bengali and Assamese legends. This is a story of a woman getting her husband back from death! How amazing that sounds!

Behula A Legend Of Female Resilience And Strength

However, the epics were mainly hymns for the goddess of snakes: Manasa. But, the stories are so romantic that they transcend their purpose of eulogizing the goddess and are more famous for the love of Behula and her husband, Lakshminder.

So, let’s start our epic tales of female strength and love!


To understand the story of Behula-Lakshminder, we must go deeply into the Hindu mythology of Indian Gods! Manasa was the daughter of Lord Shiva. All the mortals worshiped Shiva only. But no one worshiped Manasa because she was a snake goddess. This raises the question of her divinity.

In such a situation, Lord Shiva gave his daughter a solution. He asked her to persuade Shaiva, a devout follower of Shiva. If a devout Shaiva can somehow be persuaded to worship Manasa, other Shaivas would also worship her.

An idol of Goddess Manasa

Chand Sadagar of the Champaknagar area was a devoted devotee of Shiva. Goddess Manasa chose him to worship her. But Chand Sadagar refused to worship her. He asked her how a devotee of the great lord Shiva could worship the serpent goddess.

Hearing this, Manasa got angry and started harming him step by step. She kept trying to get worshipped by him by deceiving him but failed every time. Because Chand Sadagar had a special mantra of Lord Shiva. Under the influence of this mantra, he overcomes all deceptions.

At one point, when Manasa saw that it was not working like this; Then she came to Chand Sadagar half-naked as an unmarried woman or Apsara. When Chand Sadagar wanted to touch her, Apsari told him he would have to say that special mantra.

In the illusion, Chand Sadagar told her the mantra. Then Manasa left the disguise and came in her original form and Chand to worship her. As Chand Sadagar told the Mantra to Manasa, the mantra was no longer with Chand but went to Manasa. So, now what could save him from the deceits of Manasa?

So, Chand Sadagar took help from his friend Shankara, who also knew Mantra and Tantra. However, Shankara’s mantra did not last long as well. Manasa killed Shankara with an even more powerful spell, making Chand Sadagar helpless again.

But Chand still didn’t cave into Manasa’s requests! In anger, Manasa cursed Chand that she would kill all his sons on the night of their wedding. Manasa killed six of his sons on the night of their weddings; she didn’t even exempt the domestic animals! Such was the ruthless nature of Manasa!

As a result of such injustice, Chand Sadagar lost everything and became destitute; at one point, he started begging. Even then, he did not worship Manasa; instead of worshiping Shiva. Such was his devotion to Shiva.

Birth Of Behula And Lakshminder

After an accident, Chad Sadagar returned to Champaknagar, remarried, and his wife gave birth to a boy named Lakshminder. At the same time, a daughter was born in his friend Saha’s house; her name was Behula.

It is believed in some areas that Manasa herself conspired for their births. When the goddess saw that she could not gain worship from Chad no matter what she did, she sought the help of two heavenly dancers, Usha and Aniruddha, who were in love.

They agreed they would take birth on earth as one Behula and the other as Lakshminder and get Chad Sadagar to worship Manasa.

Marriage Of Behula And Lakshminder

Two children grow up at the same time. The parents thought of their marriage and saw in Kosthi guna (horoscope) that a snake would bite Lakshminder on his wedding night. On the other hand, they saw that Behula would never become a widow!

Besides, both Behula and Lakshminder worshiped Manasa, so they married, thinking Mansa might not kill them. But still, the fear remains. As the goddess had killed six children before, what is the guarantee that she will not kill this one?

Gokul Medh The Wedding House of Behula Lakshminder

So Chand Sadagar took extra precautions with Lakshminder. He decided to build a very impenetrable room with an iron wall for Behula-Lakhinder’s wedding night. This wall would not have the slightest hole through which any snake could enter.

But here also, a little error remains. The God of artisans, Vishwakarma, built the iron wall. Under the pressure of Goddess Mansa, He left a small hole in the iron wall.

On the wedding night, Manasa sent Goddess Kalnagini, the most venomous snake, to the room. Behula decided to stay awake all night and guard her husband. But Manasa put her to sleep with a powerful spell.

Nagini sees that Behula is sleeping but has protected her husband so well that no part of his body can be bitten. But a little carelessness remained. Behula’s hair was hanging down from the bed. Kalnagini goes up through the hair and bit Lakshminder. He lost his life from snake venom.

The Journey To Heaven!

In Indian culture, it was a customary funeral ceremony to float snake-bitten dead bodies on a raft on the river. According to the rules, Lakhsminder was also floated on a raft. Rafts usually float only the dead body bitten by the snake and no one else. But Behula did a mighty brave thing here. She ignored everyone’s cries and went on the raft to be with her husband!

Behula with Lakshminder's corpse

Day after day, month after month, the raft drifted, and Lakshminder’s corpse began to rot. Village after village went by, and the villagers started calling Behula crazy. But Behula never gave up hope. She continued to pray to Manasa. However, Manasa Devi did not help in any way except to keep the raft afloat.

Behula’s journey comprised seven steps, each with its challenges that she had to go beyond. It demonstrated the strength and resiliency of this tender and kind girl. Behula persisted in facing all the monsters, ghosts, or other problems the goddess Manasa flung at her.

The raft floated for six months. Once upon a time, they reached the village of the foster mother of Goddess Manasa, Nita. Nita was washing clothes at the riverside.

How Nita became Mansa’s foster mother is another story, I will tell that story later! Seeing Behula’s constant prayers and love for her husband, she decided to take them to Manasa in heaven. She used her miraculous powers to take the husband and wife to Swargaloka (heaven) to meet Mansa.

Behula’s Last Dance

Behula eventually reached heaven with Nita’s help. After dancing and singing for the gods, Manasa made a deal to return Lakhinder’s life in exchange for Chand, Lakshminder’s father, pledging allegiance to her.

Behula pledging to Goddess Manasa

Manasa demanded that Chand Sadagar prays to Manasa in a ritual called Manasa pooja. Behula agreed that at any cost, she would convince Chand Sadagar. Then Lakshminder came back to life. His eyes widened, and he looked at Behula, smiling beautifully. And the rotting body also became normal.

After that, Nita brought them back to earth again.

The Epilogue

After reaching Champaknagar, Behula told all the events, and Chand could not help but worship Manasa. But Manasa gave him so much trouble that Chand Sadagar was still angry with her. He could not completely forgive Manasa. So, he worshipped Manasa with his left hand. That, too not looking at the idol at all but the other way around.

But Manasa was pleased with it, and her divinity was fulfilled. Since then, the practice of worshiping Goddess Manasa has begun in the mortal world. As a result, the remaining six sons of Chand Sadagar were also given back their lives. Along with this, the looted assets were also returned.

As a result, Behula-Lakhinder and Chand Sadagar’s family lived happily and peacefully.


This love story of Behula and Lakshminder, which has been prevalent for ages, has greatly influenced the women of the Bengal region! This story is still heard in Bangladesh and West Bengal. It has survived through the ages as a unique example of Swamibhakti, or love for one’s husband. Many movies, dramas, and serials have been made based on this story.

However, to my mind, this is a story not only of love but of resilience and willpower. A tale that teaches us that women, too, can show strength and even bring back their loved ones from death itself!

Until our next story, stay interested!

Nilanjana Das

I love investigating the unknown and exploring the weird and unexplained. I find it fascinating how our minds can create whole worlds of mystery and suspense. What's even more exciting to me is uncovering these mysteries and looking for evidence that they actually exist!

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