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In Hindu mythology, Putana ( Sanskrit: Pūtanā, lit. "putrefaction") is a Rakshasi (demoness), who is killed by the infant-god Krishna. Putana is also considered as a foster-mother of Krishna as she breast-fed him, though it was with the motive of killing Krishna by poisoned milk. By offering her milk, Putana had performed "the supreme act of maternal devotion", in the shadow of her evil motives. The myth is told and retold in Hindu scriptures and some Indian books, which portray her variously as an evil hag or a demoness who surrendered herself to Krishna, though she initially came with evil motives.

Putana is interpreted as an infantile disease or bird, symbolizing danger to an infant or desire respectively, and even as a symbolic bad mother. She is included in a group of malevolent Hindu mother goddesses called the Matrikas and also in the group of Yoginis and Grahinis (Seizers). Ancient Indian medical texts prescribe her worship to protect children from diseases. A group of multiple Putanas is mentioned in ancient Indian texts.

Putana (disambiguation)

Putana may refer to:

  • Putana, a demoness in Hindu mythology
  • Putana Volcano, Chile
  • Prostitute