Shachi (Sachi) is the wife of Indra deva and the divine queen of the gods. Shachi was also known as Indrani, Aindri, Poulomi, and Mahendri. Shachi is the goddess of wrath and jealousy. Shachi is one of the seven Matrikas. She lives in Amaravati with Indra and many others. Sometimes Indra is known as Sachipati, or husband of Sachi.
Shachi is really beautiful, intelligent, and attractive. She is described as having one thousand eyes. She has two mounts. She has the same mount as Indra: a white elephant. Shachi is also associated with lions.
Early Life and Marrying Indra
Shachi was the daughter of a Danava named Puloman. Once, Shachi was carried off by Indra deva. Soon, she fell in love with Indra and married him. She then became a goddess and was granted immortality. She was now also called Indrani (queen or wife of Indra).
Nahusha and Shachi
Once, there was an asura named Vritra. Indra and the devas set out to kill him in battle. Vritra was too powerful for them. They asked help from Vishnu deva. Vishnu deva told them to make peace with Vritra and then wait for the chance to kill him. Indra followed Vishnu deva’s advice. Soon, when he got the chance, he killed Vritra. But because of all his sins, Indra wanted to leave his position, but upon request by the devas, he stayed. Soon, he once again became arrogant and did some mean things. After being taught a lesson by the Trimurti, Indra left the position of king of gods and went to meditate.
For the full, detailed story, see Indra
The devas now needed another king for themselves. They decided to approach Nahusha. Nahusha warmly welcomed the devas.
The devas then said, “You know how we are without a king right now. Well, we thought that we will temporarily need a ruler and we have considered you.”
“Wait, what. Me! I am very thankful for this offer, but there must be a better candidate for this job. I am not fit to take the place of Indra,” Nahusha said.
“We need to crown an Indra fast. The Asuras will attack, and without leadership, we will be destroyed. You are a good king: the people are happy and your kingdom is prospering,” the devas reasoned.
After much thought, Nahusha finally accepted the position as king of the devas. Soon, Nahusha became arrogant of his position. He would order sages and devas to bow to him all the time and treat them as slaves. The people living in Amaravati became really upset, but they couldn’t do anything.
All the celestial Apsaras were in Nahusha’s control, but his greed for women was not satisfied. He started eyeing Shachi, the wife of Indra. When he asked for her hand in marriage, Shachi completely rejected him. But Shachi knew that Nahusha would not stop, so she left and sought refuge in Brihaspati. Brihaspati told Shachi what to do. Accordingly, Shachi came to Nahusha and said, “I will marry you, but you must first let me search for my husband.”
Nahusha agreed and started preparing for the marriage. Meanwhile, Shachi meditated on Upashruti, the goddess of the night. With the help of Upashruti, Shachi was able to find Indra. She told him about everything that had happened. Indra was outraged and told her the plan.
According to Indra’s plan, Shachi approached Nahusha. She said, “Oh Nahusha, I have accepted your marriage proposal. But I want our marriage to be grand. I would like you to make a palanquin. You will come to my residence in a palanquin carried the greatest sages of all time.”
Nahusha accepted and had a beautiful palanquin crafted. He employed Agastya and other great sages to carry the palanquin. Shachi knew that Nahusha was vainglorious and would anger the sages.
When the day of the marriage arrived, Nahusha set off to Shachi’s residence on a palanquin carried by great sages. Nahusha was not satisfied with their speed, so he yelled “Sarpa, Sarpa”, which means faster, faster. The sages started running, but Nahusha still wasn’t satisfied and kicked Agastya rishi. Agastya was enraged and cursed, “Nahusha, how dare you kick me! I am the great Agastya Rishi. You said “Sarpa”, telling me to go faster. Thus, I curse you that you will turn into a Mahasarpa ( huge snake) right now!”
Nahusha was horrified and started pleading at the feet of Agastya. Agastya said that Nahusha would be freed from the curse and would attain heaven when he meets Dharmaputra. Nahusha instantly changed into a snake and fell down. Soon, Indra was once again made king of the devas.
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