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You must be wondering that when did Lord Shiva became a father a girl child? Shiva's two sons are quite well-known in Hindu mythology - Karthikeya and Ganesha. But what if we tell you that Lord Shiva had a beautiful daughter too? Yes, He also had a daughter named Ashok Sundari. She is not a very well-known deity but, She features in many folklore across India in various forms.
Ashok Sundari was born out of a wish of Goddess Parvati while She was alone. Ashok Sundari finds mention in the Padma Purana and many Gujarati folklores. In the Shiva Purana there is a detailed description of Lord Shiva's transformation from a hermit to a householder. Initially Lord Shiva is a detached hermit who does not entangle in any worldly pleasures. But Lord Shiva gets married to Goddess Parvati and turns into a complete householder. As a part of the householder's life, Shiva became a father of three children. One of them is a girl child.
Let us find out more about Ashok Sundari, the daughter of Shiva:
Story Of Ashok Sundari
As per the myths, once Shiva and Parvati came across a wish fulfilling tree known as the Kalpavriksha. Since Lord Shiva frequently went out of Kailash to get rid of the demons and other negative forces, Parvati used to feel very lonely. So, She asked for a daughter from the wish fulfilling tree to get rid of Her loneliness. Soon Her wish was granted and Ashok Sundari was born.
The girl was named Ashok Sundari because Ashok means without sorrow as she got rid of Parvati's sorrow. Sundari means beautiful. Since the girl was extremely beautiful, hence She was named Ashok Sundari by Parvati.
Nothing much is mentioned about her in most scriptures apart from the fact that she was present at the time Ganesha was beheaded. Ashok Sundari got frightened by her father's act and hid behind a sack of salt. When Parvati came to know about Her son's fate, She became extremely angry. Out of anger She also cursed Ashok Sundari to become a part of salt. Later when Ganesha's head was restored by Shiva, Parvati and Shiva revived their daughter and pacified her. Hence, Ashok Sundari is also associated with salt without which food would be tasteless.
Apart from a few legends, the existence as Shiva's daughter is not known by most people. However, in some parts of India few folklore are popular like in Bengal it is believed that Goddess Manasa was a daughter of Shiva who was born accidentally when Lord Shiva's semen touched a statue which was made by the mother of snakes named Kadru.
So, these were a few stories about Lord Shiva's daughter. Whether these are true or not it is unknown. Since folklore have been an important part of Indian traditions, we cannot ignore the fact that possibly Lord Shiva also fathered a daughter.