A Jealous Goddess

The goddess Benzaiten is often characterized as “jealous,” at least in English-language sources. It’s not a phrasing I like, for fairly obvious reasons. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t disagree with the sentiment behind it, as Herself is indeed a very intense personality. It’s said that in Classical times, those who worshiped her to increase their talents were sworn to remain unmarried…or she would take those talents away. Husbands and wives were to worship her separately, or she would separate them herself by breaking up their marriage.

Benzaiten-sama has driven away all the other deities I have tried to work with. She has marked me as her own so thoroughly that I could not find another patron if I wanted to. But I don’t really want to. One thing I know is that she will never abandon me, and another is that she will always protect me. It isn’t so much jealousy that binds her to her devotees, as the fact that she takes her relationships with them incredibly seriously. She has high standards, and she has pushed me to meet them, but that has been the most rewarding part of all.

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