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Ila / इला

  • Ila was the daughter of Manu Vaivasvat and sister of Ikshvaku. Vaivasvat and his wife Shraddha had no children for a long time.
  • Vaivasvat then had a sacrifice performed by Agastya, to propitiate the Adityas - Mitra and Varun, for a son. But instead a daughter was born to him. When Vaivasvat complained to Vasishth, Vasishth immediately converted the daughter into a son by his powers. The son was called Sudyumna.
  • One day, Sudyumna went with his friends to the Kumar forest, and because of the curse laid on it by Shiv, all those who entered it were turned into women. Struck by grief, Sudyumna and his friends stayed for some days in the forest, before they headed back for the palace. Sudyumna was now named Ila.
  • On the way, Ila met Budh, son of Som by Tara. They fell in love with each other and were married.
  • Ila bore Budh a child named Pururava. When Ila expressed her displeasure at being turned into a woman to Vasishth, he requested Shiv to turn Ila back into a man.
  • Shiv said that Ila would be a man every alternate month, her role alternating with the sex, i.e. in the month when she was a man she would handle the affairs of the kingdom and as a woman she would remain in the inner apartments.
  • Hence Ila became both mother and father to Pururava.