Story of Anasuya and the Great Drought


Anasuya means one who is free from jealousy and envy. She is believed to have had miraculous powers. She was the wife of Sage Atri and mother of Sage Dattatreya. It is stated in the Ramayana that Anasuya through her piety and intense austerities had saved earth from a life threatening drought.

Legend has it that once there was no rain for 10 years. The whole world was suffering. Rivers were all dried up. Even River Ganga got dried up.

Then Anasuya used her Tapa Shakti (powers as the result of tapas, purity and austerities) to bear fruits and vegetables. The Tapa Shakti of Anasuya made Ganga to flow again.

The story symbolically states the greatness of women and the role they play on earth. Without Her nothing is born. It is because of her that all that is here is there. Without her creation comes to an end.

The story of Anasuya is found in Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Cantos 117 and 118. The Cantos contains Sri Ram and Mata Sita reaching the Ashram of Sage Atri. Here they met Anasuya and Sage Atri. The conversation between Mata Sita and Anasuya contains valuable lessons.