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Sukanya praying to Aswini kumaras to reveal her husband's identity
Family Vaivasvata Manu (father)
Spouse(s) Chyavana

In Hindu mythology, Sukanya (Sanskrit: सुकन्या) was the daughter of Sharyati, son of Vaivasvata Manu and the wife of the great sage Chyavana.[1]

The sage had spent so long in meditation that he was covered by a crows nest. The beautiful girl Sukanya came upon the nest and saw two shining objects inside. Not realizing these were the eyes of the sage, she poked playfully at them, and the sage was blinded.

Chyavana was enraged, and Sukanya's father placated him by offering her in marriage. After their marriage Sukanya served the sage cheerfully, despite his old age and blindness.

One day she was spotted by the Ashwini Kumaras, identical twins who served as physicians of the gods, who decided that her ethereal beauty was worthy of residence in heaven rather than languishing on the Earth serving an old blind sage. They asked her to marry one of them. Being a faithful wife, she vehemently objected to their request. Pleased with her devotion to her husband, the Ashwini Kumaras offered to restore her husband's youth and eyesight. The bargain was conditional on Sukanya's ability to distinguish her husband from the twins themselves. If she failed to do so they would return him to old age and blindness. All parties accepted these terms. The Ashwini Kumaras asked Chyavana to accompany them into the nearby pond. Being demigods, the Ashwini Kumaras left no footprints on the bank as they exited the pond. Although the rejuvenated sage looked identical to the twins, he left footprints. The Ashwini Kumaras blessed the couple and left. In return they also requested that the sage give them a share of the sacrificial offerings in the future. This resulted in a conflict with the king of Devas, Indra.

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  1. ^ Pargiter, F.E. (1922, reprint 1972). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsid, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.197