Psyche was one of the three beautiful daughters of a King. However, Psyche was so beautiful that she seemed like a goddess amongst mortals.
When Aphrodite heard about Psyche’s beauty, she was jealous and summoned her son, Eros (also referred to as Cupid in some stories) and ordered him to put a spell on Psyche, so as to ensure that nobody would want to marry her. Eros flew down to the earth to follow his mother’s instructions.
Eros was so charmed by her beauty, that he fell in love with Psyche, but could not go against Aphrodite’s wishes. So along with his mother’s wishes, he sprinkled a magic potion on her eyelids to ensure that she found all the love and happiness in life.
Sure enough, as Aphrodite had willed, nobody was willing to get married to Psyche. Her parents were worried and consulted an Oracle, who confirmed to them that sure enough no mortal would marry her, but there was a monster at the top of the mountain who would marry her.
Giving in to what was destined for her, her parents left her at the top of mountain. On reaching the peak, she came across a beautiful palace decorated and lit up for a wedding. The palace had everything to take care of her including invisible servants and attendants. At night, in the dark, she felt the presence of a prince. The prince was very gentle and nice and assured her that he would love her no matter what. He was very romantic and Psyche instantly fell in love with him. But the prince made a condition, that she should never insist on seeing him, and if she did, he would vanish. Psyche started living a life full of romance and was happy in ignorance, that the Prince was none other than Eros himself.
Soon Psyche was feeling lonely and started missing her family members. She pleaded with Eros, to allow her to get her sisters to visit her. Though Eros warned her that it would lead to trouble, Psyche would not hear, and Eros gave in to her request. When her sisters saw her opulence, they were jealous. When they came to know about Psyche’s unique relationship with her husband and that she had not even seen her husband, they started filling her in with all that the Oracle had said and convinced her to see her monstrous husband.
So one night, she went to bed with a candle and a dagger. If her lover was a monster, then she would kill him with the dagger. That night, when she saw under the light of the candle that her husband was none other than the god of love himself, she was too delighted. In her delight a drop of candle fell on Eros who woke up to find Psyche staring at him. A disappointed Eros left the palace saying where there was no trust, there could be no love.
Aphrodite soon learnt about her son’s disobedience and decided to punish Psyche by making her suffer. She punished Psyche by making her go through a number of torturous tasks, which she fulfilled, albeit, with the help of Eros, who was helping her secretly.
Zeus, the king of gods, intervened and decided to get Eros and Psyche united, as both had proven their love for each other.
This love story of romance, obedience and patience has given rise to many a story in later times, the most famous being, ‘Beauty and the Beast’.