Legends of Nepal
death is not seen
It is believed that death was a visible body.
When the time for one to die would come, death
would come to the person and the person would
accept to go to the Yamaloka (the place for the
dead). Death was thus accepted and was celebrated.
Once, while death
was going through the list of people who had to
die he came across a young blacksmith who was
not ready to die. He still had a lot of dreams
to fulfill, so, when he saw Death come to him
he was polite with death for he wanted Death to
leave him alone. Death would not leave him. He
then told death that he wanted to show him his
work and took him to a multi-chambered iron building,
which he had built. He guided death to the innermost
chamber and asked Death to relax there. He then
locked Death inside the chamber, locking seven
doors. The blacksmith told no one his secret.
Lord Shiva found out that Death was trapped and
entrusted his consort, Parvati, to carry out a
plan to release Death. Parvati, disguised as a
beautiful woman working in the place where the
blacksmith went every evening to drink, went to
the world of the mortals. She served the young
blacksmith many fine drinks, acting very seductive,
and tried to find out his secrets. The intoxicated
blacksmith revealed all she wanted to know. Then,
Death was released and from then on, death never
went to the world of the mortals in its visible
Queen who got stuck in mud
There was once a queen, widely known for her pure
and enchanting beauty, simplicity, modesty and
the fact that she never wore any jewelry. She
was a great devotee of the sun god and her favorite
morning ritual was worshipping the sun god after
washing herself. She had dedicated a sacred pool
to the sun god in the middle of which was a beautifully
crafted crystal column with the statue of the
sun god. There were lotuses all over the pool,
she would gently step on to them to get to middle
of the pool.
One day, when she
was attending a festival she beautiful lady heavily
ornamented with gold jewelry. She felt inferior
and asked her husband to buy her jewelry. The
king was shocked to see that his wife had changed.
He tried to convince her that it would be sad
to trade her precious simplicity with material
luxury, but the queen would not listen. The saintly
king had never collected revenue for his own luxury
and thus had no money to fulfill her desires.
He was forced to ask his subjects to contribute
some gold and soon a goldsmith was called.
When the queen got
her new jewelry, she couldn't wait to show it
everyone. She attracted everyone`s attention that
day and she enjoyed every bit of the attention.
She was so excited that it was tough for her to
The next morning,
she washed up to go to worship the sun god but
when she foot on a lotus it would no longer support
her. She fell down and was stuck in the mud of
the pool. There was no one around to help her
out, so, she had to struggle very hard to free
herself. She finally freed herself and rushed
to her room just to find out, while glancing in
her mirror, that she had turned very ugly. From
then on she could neither worship the sun god
nor could she beautify herself.
who did not fear death
There was once a philosopher king, Yoga Narendra
Malla,who believed that he was immortal. So, to
convince people about his belief he installed
a statue of himself in front of his palace. The
statue had a naga forming a canopy over his head
and a bird on top of the nagas head, which looked
as if it was about to fly. The statue was devoted
in prayer to taleju, the goddess of Patan state.
Then the king proclaimed that as long as the bird
perched on top of the naga, his subjects should
know that he was still alive.
One day the king
disappeared mysteriously. The staue prayed to
taleju and the bird had not flown away. Thus,
once a year there is a big festival at which the
golden window of his palace is left open in the
hope of his return. A dish of meal is also served
for him regularly.
The naga who won
the heart of garuda
Once, a very distinguished Naga (snake/serpent)
wanted to see the great bathing ceremony of the
rato machindra, the famous Buddhist rain-god,
which was to take place on a full moon night of
Chaitra (April). He went disguised as a human,
telling his wife not to tell anyone about his
Soon Garuda, a
mythical bird and enemy of all naga`s, went to
the Nagas` wife asking where her husband was.
Upon the insistence of the Garuda she told him
where her husband was and that he could be recognized
as he would appear to be the tallest man in the
crowd watching from the Lagan Stupa as that was
the best place from where the ceremony could be
viewed. The garuda went to the ceremony and found
the Naga. The garuda got hold of him and commanded
him to present himself for the Garudas next meal.
Thje naga was neither surprised nor frightened
at the prospect of being swallowed up by the Garuda,
for he knew that there was no escape. Instead,
he pleaded the garuda saying that he would readily
be the garudas meal if the garuda would allow
him to see the ceremony of the rato macchindra,
to whom he was deeply devoted. The garuda agreed.
When the festival
was over, the naga went home to bid farewell to
his wife. He was not angry at his wife, but he
explained what had happened and went to the Garudas
home on time. The garuda was greatly moved by
his truthfulness and loyalty. The Garuda then
decided that the Naga should be presented to the
rato macchindra. Till this day, the Rato Macchindra
wears a necklace called 'Satya Naga'.
There was once a potter, who was a great devotee
of the lord Shiva. Once the lord, impressed by
the potters` actions granted him a wish. The potter
wished that all the pots he made would never break.
The lord granted him the wish, smiling mysteriously.
The potter tested the promised and he found out
that his wish had indeed been fulfilled.
Soon, he was famous
far and wide for his unbreakable pots and everyone
came to buy them. This went on for a few years
but since the pots would never break, people did
not want new pots. His business suddenly stopped
and his family went hungry. He could not understand
how the boon given by Shiva had brought him misery.
One early morning
as he was praying to Lord Shiva, with utmost sorrow
in his heart. The Lord was moved by the hard times
he was going through, thus the lord asked why
he was unhappy. The potter, falling at the lords`
feet, pleaded the lord to take the boon back and
asked for forgiveness. The Lord was pleased and
so he took back the boon. From then on, the potter
happily made pots that would break and crack and
would need to be replaced in due course of time.
changed her mind
Once Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, granted a wish
to Vishwakarma, a great architect, for building
a beautiful house for her. When Viswakarma told
her that he would accept anything she would give,
she told him that she would give him gold enough
to cover his body and a luxurious life. Then she
brought an enormous jar of gold-powder and started
to pour it over his body. The jar of gold did
not suffice and so she went to get more. This
display of magnanimity started to worry Vishnu,
the lord of balance and preservation. Vishnu was
worried that the boon would make him lazy and
forget his talents as an architect. He made a
plan and accordingly put fleas and ticks inside
the gold dust, which made Vishwakarma to move
On the other hand,
Laxmi was tired of filling and pouring the gold
dust without succeeding in completing her task.
She finally decided that the Vishwakarma was moving
because he wanted more and more gold. She, deciding
that he was getting greedy, put a curse on him
saying that he must work hard even on her ceremonial
birthday (laxmi-puja day). At first Vishwakarma
was confused, but he wasn't sad for he was relieved
of the fleas. Thus, in this way everything went
back into order as usual.