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Vetoba Story

Vetoba, popularly known as Betal or Vetal, is a manifestation of Bhairava form of Shiva. The deity is poularlly worshipped in Goa, districts of Sindhudurg and Kolhapur of Maharashtra and Karwar of Karnataka in India. The name Vetoba is popular in the Konkan area of Maharashtra and Goa, and in the Sindhudurg district. Here is the popular Vetoba story.

The Shiva Purana (III.21) and Kalika Purana (Chap.47 onwards) contain captivating tales of the connection between Bhairava and Vetala. According to the Shiva Purana, during a moment of intimate play between Shiva and Goddess Parvati, Bhairava was assigned the role of a doorman to ensure their privacy.

When Parvati emerged from the room in a disheveled state, Bhairava, captivated by her charm, gazed at her in a manner that resembled a woman. In response, he prevented her from leaving, leading to her anger and a curse that transformed him into a human.

Despite this curse, Shiva reacted with understanding and compassion rather than anger. He comforted Bhairava in various ways. Upon Bhairava's earthly rebirth as Vetala, Shiva, out of affection, assumed the form of Mahesha, and Goddess Parvati took the incarnation of Sharada.

Vetoba, the king of ghosts and the guardian deity of the village, reigns over the Konkan region along with his ghostly followers. Worshipped for protection against ghosts, Vetoba is the region's protective deity. Clad in black, he wields a sword and a skull bowl, embodying the characteristics of a kshetrapala, a guardian deity.