Adityas – Gods, Sons of Aditi and Kasyapa

The sons born to Kas´yapa-prajâpati (a grandfather or procreator) and Aditi (mother of the gods) are called the âdityas. In the hymns of the Rigveda, Aditi only had seven or eight children. But by the time of the Brâhmanas there are twelve âdityas: Dhâtâ, Mitra, Aryaman, Rudra, Varuna, Sûrya, Bhaga, Vivasvân, Pusha, Savita, Tvashta, and … Read more

Aditi – The Vedic Hindu Mother of Gods

A devî (goddess), mother of the gods. There are few interesting myths to tell about Aditi, but her status and roles change so remarkably that she illustrates the fluidity of Hindu myths. Her name literally means eternity (free, boundless, infinity), so philosophically she is a personification of time. Aditi slowly evolved as the prototype of … Read more

Adi – The Invincible Demon (Asura)

The demon Âdi was the son of Andhak, who had been killed by S´iva. To gain revenge, Âdi did austerities (tapas) with the sole purpose of receiving a boon (vara) from Brahmâ, the creator. In due course Brahmâ granted him the vara, so Âdi asked for invincibility in battle. But boons, especially to demons, are … Read more

History of Hindu Mythology as a Whole

Myths are situated within historical periods. The same myth told in the medieval period of India as it was articulated in the Purânas (a body of scriptures of later Hinduism) may differ from earlier contexts and meanings. For example, Siva has not always been the same supreme deity that he became in some of the … Read more

Hindu Mythology as a Lively Entity

A Hindu does not have to “believe in” the details of the myths. These details are open to variation. In fact, there are often many versions of the same story, and one version may contradict the details of another. A Hindu can participate in the mythic meaning of a tradition simply by identifying with the … Read more