Lord Vishnu, notorious for his various avatars performs all kinds of unimaginable Leela. To overpower evil with goodness and to ensure the establishment of Dharma, he descended to earth in various forms. As Rama he set an example of Maryada Purushottama, while as Krishna he romanced with the Gopis, leaving Raas Leela to the imagination of generations to come.
As Narsimha he adorned the wildest and ferocious body, but as Vamana, he showed up as a feeble little brahman. But with his popular avatar of Mohini, the less popular story of his association with Shiva comes up. Mohini was the only female avatar of Vishnu. During Samudra Manthan, after churning the Ocean of Milk to produce the Amrit or the nectar of immortality, the Devas (Demi-Gods) and the Asura’s (Demons) broke into a fight.
The Asura’s overpowering the Devas decided to keep the Amrit for themselves, and this angered the devas. Seeing the Amrit in the wrong hands, Lord Vishnu assumes the form of the most enchanting woman “Mohini” and showed up amongst the men. Mohini was the epitome of feminine beauty, a kind that was never seen before. She was an enchantress, the glance of whom maddened people, sometimes leading them to their doom. At the very sight of Mohini, Davis and Asuras lost all their senses.
They became oblivious of their surroundings and only overflown by the lust towards the divine beauty. Mohini used her allure to trick the asuras into giving her the Amrita and then distributed it amongst the Devas. While the stories of Mohini following this event are not as well known, there are some famous South Indian texts including our Bhagwat Purana that references the relationship of Shiva and Mohini to serve the bigger purpose of killing the evil Mahishi. She was a sister of Demon Mahishasur who was killed while Goddess Durga.
After years of penance, Mahishi please lord Brahma and requested immortality. But unable to fulfill her wish, he assures that nothing in the world except the child of Shiva and Vishnu will bring her death. Assured by the fact that two men can never bear a child. Mahishi sought out revenge for her brother’s death. She wreaked havoc and made the lives of people and devas miserable.
On the other hand, after having helped the Devas in Samudra Manthan, Vishnu female avatar of Mohini was praised in all the worlds. Having heard so much about the divine beauty of Mohini, Lord Shiva paid a visit to Vishnu. With appreciation for his efforts in helping the Devas, he asked Vishnu to show him his Mohini Avatar. When Vishnu reappeared as Mohini, Shiva couldn’t resist admiring the beauty of his female form. He was overflowing with emotions of admiration and lust.
While a few say that Lord Shiva mated with Mohini, others described that looking at the enchanting visual of Mohini, Shiva was unable to control his desires, and drops of the semen fell on the ground. However, the story that follows has no controversies amongst people. Out of this association, Shasta was born. He is more commonly known as Ayyappa in southern India. Ayyappa inheriting the beauty of Mohini is known to be the most handsome among gods. He was raised by a childless royal couple named Rajashekara Pandiyan and koperundevi and grows up as a warrior yogi of ethical and dharmic living.
Ayyappa, the son of Shiva and Mohini goes on to kill Mahishi and liberate the earth from evil. While this has always remained a controversial story with the debate of it being a myth of fact, we let you decide if this is true or not for yourself. After all, God is a personal emotion. Everyone’s feelings and relationship with God are different. So suit yourself with your own beliefs and faith.