Today we introduce you to the Adityas, erected as Protector Gods of the Spiritual Beings, they offer us great legends.
Adityas, Protector Gods
Adityas protective gods of spiritual beings. In Hinduism, Âdityas (Sanskrit: आदित्य Ādityá, pronouncedaːditjə), meaning “of Aditi”, refers to the offspring of the goddess Aditi and her husband the sage Kashyapa. The name, Aditya, in the singular, is taken to refer to the Sun God, Surya. The Rig Veda mentions 7 Adityas, along with Martanda, who is considered the eighth Aditya.
The Bhagavata Purana lists a total of twelve Adityas as sun-gods. In each month of the year a different Aditya is said to shine. According to the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, each of these Adityas is a different expression of the Supreme God Vishnu in the form of the Sun-God.
In the Rigveda, the Âdityas are the seven celestial deities, sons of Âditi, Varuna, Mitra, Surya, Chandra, Kamadeva, Agni.
The eighth Âditya (Mārtanda) was rejected by Aditi, leaving only seven sons. In the Yajurveda (Taittirīya Samhita), their number is eight, and the last is believed to be Vivasvān Hymn LXXII of the Rig Veda, book 10, also confirms that there are nine Adityas, the eighth being Mārtanda, who later revives as Vivasvān. “So with her ‘seven sons,’ Aditi went forth to meet the earliest age.
She brought Mārtanda thither to come to life and die again.” The Âdityas of the Rig Veda are “devas,” a distinct class of gods and are different from other groups such as the Maruts, the Rbhus or the Viśve-devāḥ (although Mitra and Varuna are also associated with the latter).
In the Bhagavata Purana, the names of 12 Adityas are given as: Vishnu (The head of all the Adityas)
- Parjanya (Savitr?)
In each month of the year, it is a different Aditya who shines as the Sun-God. Like Indra, Surya destroys the enemies of the gods. As Dhata, he creates living beings. Like Parjanya, he bathes in the rain. As Tvashta, he lives in trees and herbs. Like Pusha, he makes food grains grow. Like Aryama, it is in the wind. As Bhaga, it is in the body of all living beings. As Vivasvana, he is in the fire and helps in cooking. As Vishnu, he destroys the enemies of the gods. As Amshumana, she is again in the wind. As Varuna, he is in the waters and as Mithra, he is in the moon and the oceans.
The Aditya have been described in the Rig Veda as bright and pure as streams of water, free from all guile and falsehood, guileless, perfect. This class of deities has been seen as upholders of the moving and immovable Dharma. The Adityas are beneficent gods who act as protectors of all beings, who are provident and guard the spirit world and protect the world, in the form of Mithra-Varuna, the Adityas are faithful to the eternal Law and act as the exactors of debt. In current Sanskrit usage, the term Aditya has become singular in contrast to the Vedic Adityas, and is being used as a synonym for Surya, the Sun.
The twelve Adityas are believed to represent the twelve months in the calendar and the twelve aspects of the Sun. As they are twelve in number, they are called Dvadashadityas. The 12 Adityas are basically the monthly suns which is the ancient word for the earth, moon, barycenter for the lunar month. These are also called as the 12 purushas pertaining to the 12 lunar months of the year. Here the months refer to the lunar months. In astronomy lunar months with a solar sankranti are said to have an Aditya or purusha. The month without a sankranti is said to be neuter and is said to be the extra month or the intercalary lunar month.
According to the Linga Purana, the Adityas
- Indra (The one responsible for Ādityas)
- Vedanta and Puranic Hinduism
In the Chandogya Upanishad, Âditya is also a name of Viṣṇu, in his avatar as Vāmana. His mother is Aditi.
The Ādityas in the Vishnu Purana
- Vishnu (This Sun-God is the head of all the Adityas)
The Vedas do not identify the Âdityas and there is no classification of the thirty-three gods, except in the Yajurveda (7.19), which says that there are eleven gods in the sky (light space), eleven gods in the atmosphere (intermediate space), and eleven gods on earth (observer space). In the Satapatha Brahmana, the number of Ādityas is eight in some passages, and in other texts of the same Brahmana, twelve Adityas are mentioned.
The list of 12 Adityas
- Sūrya o Arka
Adityas as Nakshatra Devtas
The Adityas are responsible for the proper functioning of the universe and in Hindu cosmology are given lordship over the celestial constellations, called Nakshtras in Jyotish. The Nakshatras are forces of universal intelligence that are intertwined with the cycle of birth and death of life, the identity of all created beings, events and everyday consciousness in our lives. The Adityas manage the Shakti of the nakshatras. Here are some examples.
Bhaga has lordship over the Purva Phalguni Nakshatra. The Bhaga is a giver of fortune. Bhaga in Sanskrit means “a portion”, so our portion in life is regulated by this divine celestial being. Many times this is related to fortunate marriages, or the fortune of marriage and couples. It is a very worldly nakshatra that bestows divine intelligence regarding worldly gains in life. Beings born when the Purva Phalguni rises in the east are a literal physical manifestation of this energy.
Aryama, the God of Patronage, is an Aditya who is the lord of Uttar Phalguni nakshtra and as his name suggests, a person born under the auspices of Aryama finds many fortunate opportunities with benefactors in their lives, among many other qualities possessed by this divine being. Savitur rules Hasta Nakshatra and is the cheerful Aditya who handles worldly skills and art. Manual work of all kinds, from embroidery, pottery to the industry of technical skills, the tricks of pickpockets, magicians and Reiki masters are blessed by the divine intelligence and benevolence of this Aditya.
Mitra, rules over Anuradha nakshtra, they are the peace keepers of this world. Varuna, rules over Shatbhishak nakshatra the nakshatra of 1000 healers and gives a person intelligence about all types of medicine. The Varuna as its ruler Aditya is the guardian lord of law, therefore the issues of crime and punishment, law and order fall under his rule. Varuna is to be feared in RigVeda and not taken lightly. This makes the Vedic Adityas not a conceptual, abstract or mythological character in a storybook, but part of the visible cosmology and everyday realities of our daily lives. We manifest his qualities in our lives and as such are part of the divine ourselves.
Ahura-Mazda and Aditya
Avestan-Ahura derives from the Indo-Iranian Asura, also certified in an Indian context as RigVedic Asura. Avestan Daivas are considered synonymous with Vedic Devtas, or Adityas. Vedic and Zoroastrian Avesta have a common name Ahura-Mazda, which may refer to some Vedic God (sometimes in Rigveda some demigods or devatas are worshipped as “asura”, which in Zoroastrianism is Ahura-Mazda. Ahura-Mazda is commonly considered a link between Avestan Zoroastrianism and the Asuras of Vedic literature, however there is no one specifically named Ahura Mazda in the Vedas. For evolutionary reasons, Asuras and Devtas fought great battles.
Adityas, sons of Rishi Kashyap and Aditi always followed the guidance of Trimurti, or the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and are responsible for the proper functioning of the universe, the Asuras challenged their authority on several occasions. Most significantly, there are constant battles for the Elixir of Immortality, called Amrit, between the two. This may explain why Avestan Asura-Mazda advised his followers to stay away from Daivas or Vedic Devas, calling them untrustworthy and unscrupulous shining beings to be avoided at all costs.
The Devtas including the Adityas are considered benevolent, and worshipped in the Vedas. There are several types of Devas in Hinduism and Buddhism, all of which are venerable. Historically there was little difference between Asuras and Devtas during Veda times. Many of them were highly regarded and comparable to the necessary forces of nature. In the post Vedic era, especially in the narratives of the Puranas, many Asuras became synonymous with troublemakers, coming into conflict with Mahadev Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Indra, wreaking havoc on civilizations.
There are some famous conflicts between Asuras and Devtas, such as Samudra Manthan in relation to the turmoil of the ocean. There are some famous Asuras like Vritra-Asur, Bana-Asur, and Bhasma-Asura who challenge Adityas and specifically Indra, the king of Devtas. Following Sanskrit definitions, Asura is opposite of Sura. Sura is anything that is in harmony, in tune with the laws of nature, called eternal truth or Sanatan Dharam. A-Sura is a being or force of nature that is chaotic, disordered and out of tune.