In her previous birth Valli and Deivayanai (the two consorts of Lord Murugan) were the daughters of Lord Vishnu, and both of them undertook several penance to became the consorts of Lord Murugan, who appeared before them and assured them that he will marry them in their next birth.
Devasena was given in marriage to Kartikeya by her father, Indra, after the destruction of Surapadman / Tarakasuran.
How Valli was born and adopted and given in marriage by the tribal chief Nambi is narrated below.
In a village in the mountainous region of Valli Malai, there lived a tribal hunter chieftain called Nambi. He and his wife longed for a girl child. There also lived on the slopes of the mountain an ascetic called Śivamuni whose passion for a gazelle made it pregnant. Lord Vishnu had taken birth as Sivamuni as a result of the curse of Sage Kanva who had felt slighted by Vishnu and His consort, Lakshmi, when he had paid them a visit.
In due time, the gazelle gave birth to a girl in a pit dug out by the hunter while searching for edible tubers (valli). Finding that she had given birth to a strange being, the gazelle abandoned the child. The hunter women took the child to their chieftain. Overwhelmed with joy, the couple adopted the little girl as their own, and named her Valli.
Valli fell in love with Muruga after hearing from Narada stories of his martial prowess and his handsome features.
When Valli reached the age of twelve, she was sent to the millet field to guard the crop against parrots and other birds. She sat all day long on an elevated platform (paran), chasing the birds and other beasts away. The sage Narada, who visited Valli-malai and saw the girl, informed god Murugan about Valli's exceptional beauty and her devotion to Murugan, the god of the hunters.
Muruga assumed the form of handsome tribal hunter and appeared before Valli as though he had lost his way chasing a deer. However, at that moment Nambi and his hunters brought some food for Valli (honey, millet flour, valli roots, mangoes, milk of the wild cow) and Murugan assumed the form of a tree (vengai, Pterocarpus bilobus) to escape Nambi's eyes.
When Nambi and his folks disappeared, Muruga approached Valli and expressed his love for her. The princess who had her heart only for the God was angry at the proposal and lashed out the hunter. She also warned Murugan that her wild kins were just on their way to the field. The god transformed into an old man, and blessed Nambi and his kin.
The old man asked Valli for food, and she gave him some millet flour mixed with honey. Then she scooped some water from a pond to quench the old man's thirst. The old man expressed his love for Valli, but the girl refused to return his love.
As Valli stated to leave the place, the lord requested his brother Lord Ganesha's help. Lord Ganesha appeared as a wild elephant. The frightened Valli ran back to the arms of the old man, but the old man cheekily said he would save her only if she agreed to marry him. Valli had no choice but to agree and Muruga revealed then revealed his true form. It was then Valli realizes that it was her beloved Lord, who was with her all the time.
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