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Goddess Hariti Mata

Goddess Hariti Mata is mainly worshipped as a Buddhist Goddess but she also has Hindu elements and Hindus too consider her as Goddess of the Hindu pantheon. It is believed that Hariti Mata cures diseases, destroys evil forces and helps astrologers in predicting future. She is mainly worshipped in Nepal. She was also the deity invoked for finding cure for smallpox.

As per local Nepalese belief, Hariti Mata is the consort of Panchika, a nature spirit. She had five hundred sons and five hundred daughters. It is said that she used to kidnap other children and feed them to her children.

Buddha who happened to hear about this gruesome act of Hariti Mata, kidnapped her favorite daughter, Ananda. This brought huge pain to Hariti mata. She approached Buddha to help her in finding her daughter. Buddha revealed to her that it was he who kidnapped her daughter to teach her the value of the life of other beings. If she who has five hundred daughters could not bear the loss of one child, how can parents who have a single child bear the loss of their child due her gruesome acts. Hariti stopped her wanton behavior and became a protector of children.

It is also said that those who insult and desecrate the murti of Hariti Mata will soon be killed in a gruesome way.