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Monday, February 8, 2016

Wedding to a Female spirit : The Chudiyal

Marrying a “Chudiyal” or Evil Spirit

A Chudiyal in Indian folklore is an evil spirit who can take the form of a beautiful woman. The Chudiyal is part of Hindu mythology and denotes a woman evil spirit who has been denied entry into the spirit world for some terrible crime like child murder or killing of husband. Such spirits are destined to roam the human world and frequently meet men, who are their target. Such spirits will even marry a man and then at the appropriate time kill him. In the villages of India there are many tales of such woman spirits marrying men. Most people who relate these tales swear an oath that they are true. Perhaps there is an element of truth in it as the spirit world has not yet been explored by man and science.

The first time I heard the tale of a Chudiyal was when I was very young. I had gone to my village and my uncle related a bizarre tale. He said that there was a lonely bachelor in the village, who wanted to marry. One day while walking along one of the mountain paths he espied a most lovely and enticing lady crying. She told the man that she had been banished from home by her father and had no place to go. Smitten by her beauty, the man brought the woman home and married her. But a peculiar aspect of his life began to make the man wonder. The woman asked for no firewood and this intrigued him greatly. One day he decided to decipher the mystery and came home early. He peeped through the window and saw the woman having her leg aflame and using it for firewood by thrusting it in place of a log inside the Chula or stove.
This frightened the man greatly and when he came home and the woman lay down with him, he began to perspire with fear. There was a lamp some distance away and the lady asked him to smother the flame. He just lay and wondered what to do. The woman laughed and suddenly elongated her leg and with a swish of her feet extinguished the flame. Seeing this man ran out of the house saying a Chudiyal had entered his house. All the villagers collected and a soothsayer was called. He told the gathering that the lady inside the house was a Chudiyal and she would kill the man. Reciting mantras the soothsayer went inside the house and by extra sensory powers and mantras ousted the Chudiyal who ran away naked from the house into the woods.
Tales of Chudiuyal’s abound in India and one wonders whether there is an element of truth in them. Maybe some authentic research is called for.