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In the Mahabharata Vana Parva, Markandeya narrates her story to the Pandavas. Svaha was the daughter of Daksha. She fell in love with the god of fire, Agni, and was pursuing him. Agni did not notice her. Agni presided over the sacrificial rituals of the Saptarshis. The god became highly besotted with the wives of the Saptarshis who were so attractive and beautiful, and kept staring at them.

Finally, Agni could not bear the guilt of longing for wives belonging to someone else and he went to the forests to perform penances. Svaha followed him and realised his desire. She took the forms of the wives of the Saptarshis (though she was unable to take the form of Arundhati, wife of Vashishtha) and approached Agni. Agni and Svaha spent many loving moments in the forest.



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