Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arachne and Chenkannan - Spiderwoman and Spiderman

Greek mythology: Story starts off with a woman and her next life as Spider
Arachne: Wild-eyed* mortal
Mortal woman with excellent weaving and embroidery skills.
Athena: Green-eyed* goddess
The greek goddess of wisdom and skill and elegance
Duel between the mortal and the goddess:
She boasted too loud about her skills as a weaver. She once even boasted that she is better than Athena.
Annoyed by her arrogance, Athena called out a duel and both wove.

Athena's work had God Poseidon and mortals as inferior beings to teach Arachne her place.
Arachne's work had the flaws of gods - illegitimate dirty playboy conquests of Zeus.

This insult and mockery angered Athena and she struck the work with her shuttle and tore it into pieces. And she touched Arachne's head and injected guilt and shame. Which made the mortal woman hung herself on a rope.

To teach other mortals a lesson, Athena turned her into a spider. Till today the species Arachnida continues to hang on a thread and keeps weaving constantly and endlessly.

Hindu mythology: Story starts off with a spider and it's next life as a King.
Chenkannan :  Red-eyed king
Chenkannan - Chola King, his name literally means red-eyed king. This king in his previous life was a pious wide-eyed spider.

Spider: Wide-eyed* spider
Spider - ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Daily it used to spin a web over Lingam (Idol of Shiva) under the Jambu tree to prevent it from getting soiled by falling leaves.
White elephant: open-eyed* elephant
And in same place another devotee of Shiva a white elephant lived too, which felt annoyed by the dirty web and cleaned the place to retain the holiness and adorned the linga with flowers.
Elephant clears the web and does puja and next day spider builds the web over the Linga to protect. This continued for sometime.
Duel between spider and the elephant:
The annoyed spider one day entered into trunk of the elephant and bit it hard, the pain and poison caused the elephant to die. The spider died as well when Elephant fell to death.
Lord Shiva was pleased by service of both the Elephant and the Spider.

Lord Shiva gifted spider it's next life as a King.
Gifted curse:
Chenkannan built a huge temple for Lord Shiva in Thiruvanaikaval but the actual place of worship of Lord Shiva ie sanctum sanctorum would be small and is in basement level in contrast to the entire infrastructure of the temple.
Even in his next life as King he couldnt forget the feud with elephant and had to build the temple to prevent entry of elephants into Shiva's sanctum sanctorum ;-)

*wild-eyed - idealistic and unrealistic
*green-eyed - jealousy
*wide-eyed - childlike
*open-eyed - watchful


Greek : You can take amour propre out of a mortal, but you cant take jealousy out of a goddess bitch.

Hindu : You can make a king out of a spider, but you cant take the spider out of the king.


  1. Both of those are great stories and the moral is true in both. Goddesses are bitches and I don't ever want to run into one. Kings spin webs of intrigue and it's deadly to get caught in one. I don't want to meet a King.

    I think elephants are cool and would love to meet one!!!

    1. Thanks Anne. Goddess are total bitches, toast to that.

      Elephant is cool, I would go for that as well, actually I am terrified of Elephants, but if you are around, Cat, and elephant -


  2. Geez, the more you tick off a God the more they change you into a bunch of creature features, hmmm there could be an idea haha

    1. Let me guess, you are thinking about Pat and him as spider-cat-man with uncovered raw carrot ass like the ones male stripper's wear?

  3. I really enjoyed the Greek story. And I can't read anything about Shiva without thinking of The League. I love that show...

    1. The League? I checked in wikipedia, it is talking about a lady, Lord Shiva is alpha god :)
      Sacriledge Geek sacriledge. - Says me :)

  4. So let me ask, is "duel" the correct term for challenging someone to weaving? That sounds like the lamest duel I've ever heard. Though, admittedly, I would watch it if I knew the loser was turned into a spider.

    Also, you earned your tweets, and you're getting them. I'll release them once an hour so they don't get all crushed together. You're welcome. :) Oh, and thanks for supporting us!

    1. You are kidding me right? In MY grammar killing field, you are asking about right choice of word - me speakth the no English Byran.

      Let me make it up to you, close your eyes and imagine
      1. Athena in close to wonderwoman costume and
      2. Arachne in close to catwoman costume,
      3. Now killbill lady starts off the contest by waving her sword - samurai style and
      4. then both sit and start to weave, swaying up and down like ninja and matrix Neo.

      Does the word "duel" do justice now?

      Cant wait to see your reader's tweets, I love the comments in your blog, they are funny.

  5. I should anger the gods so they give me super cool powers! I wouldn't mind being a spider for a day!

    1. Only a day Dan? Spiderman is a superhero, dont forget that.
      I would love to see you in spiderman costume and beer bottle and would love to listen to your rant Dan.

  6. Interesting story ~ I enjoyed the interpretations too ~

    A coincidence but we watched the latest Spider movie last week and enjoyed it ~

    1. Thank you Heaven.

      Enjoyed Spiderman? Glad to know, I didnt enjoy much, it was too weird and less funny and less interesting.

  7. What is Puja? I'm not familiar with that term.

    Can't take jealousy out of a goddess bitch? It's hard to take jealousy out of any female. I think we are all perfectionists wanting better than we have. Great stories.

    1. Puja is form of worship. Like how you guys burn candle, the priests would throw flowers on the idol chanting holy slogans. Then after dedicating fire - aarthi to god they would ask devotees to accept fire and holy ash.

      Thank you Jax. Jealously out of a female? I always think I am unique and superior, oops like another Arachne? Women we can only be Arachne or Athena right?

    2. Oh, thanks for teaching me something new :)

      What about Aphrodite? haha

  8. She's a goddess, she has every right to be a jealous bitch

    @Jax: Can't take the jealousy out of a female. Can't take the jealousy out of a goddess bitch.

    Ergo, all females are goddesses, but they are all jealous bitches :p

    1. Rustyyyyyyyy. Not sure whether your accent shall save you all time :)

      what do you think about playboy Zeus? All guys are greek gods and all greek gods violate woman and are playboys

      Ergo, all guys are playboys? ;-)

    2. Come now, Rusty, let's be nice.

      P.S. I'm totally jealous of Australian accents. Maybe I could fake it...

    3. Playboy Zeus, god and all, was a bit of a dick-head. More of a spoilt child than a responsible God.

      So using the above logic, all men are dick-heads.

  9. I love these stories. Though a weaving match is a bit mental. I hate spiders.

    1. Thanks Juliette.

      Did you try the experiment I suggested to ABFTS to fantasize weaving as some sort of techno war and highly skilled contest?

      Who loves spiders, ho human is immune to arachnophobia is what I assumed.

  10. I prefer the Greek version of the spiders.
    What I don't get it, though, is that how can animals pray God? Hasn't God made them inferior in the sense that they can't think?
    (atheist using God's flawed logic. :P)

    1. Well said. But a theist would say that they were punished with life as an animal because of the their failure to pray.

      You are an atheist, you are hardly 15 how can you be a atheist at very early age?

    2. God just doesn't exist for me. I'm not that person who blindly believes everything they hear, or are told. I need to question everything, and religion (in my experience), doesn't allow that.

  11. That poor elephant. Why was it so hard for the spider to understand where the elephant was coming from?

    I don't think being turned into a spider would be so terrible. Most people find them repulsive, but I have a good relationship with them. I've even come to pet them. Black widows have bitten me, but I don't hold it against them.

  12. I've always liked the Arachne myth.

  13. So thats where arachnids got their name

  14. Wow the weave off between athena and the mortal must have been dangerously wild :D

  15. hi..found this post really interesting..u gave a nice twist *_*! am following you now..wana visit our blog?

    xoxo..Ching (Just Ching and Etc)

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  17. Ah the good ole days... 2012. How's life?