Adityas (आदित्याः)

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ADITYA. The twelve sons born to the sage Kasyapa of

his wife Aditi are known as the twelve Adityas. They

are the following : Dhata, Mitra, Aryama, Rudra,

Varuna, Surya, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusa, Savita, Tvasta

and Visnu. Besides these Aditi had twentyone children

including Indra. All of them are called Adityas meaning

children of Aditi. From the thirtythree sons of Aditi

were born the thirtythree crores of devatas. Of these

the eldest is Indra and the youngest, Vamana. (Sloka

36, Chapter 66, Adi Parva, M.B.). (There is corroboration

for this in Sloka 14, Sarga 14, Aranya Kanda,

Valmlki Ramayana) .

Sirdar K.M. Panikar in his preface to the book "Rgvedasamhita" writes thus about Adityas : ''Generally we

think of Surya (the Sun) when we hear the word

Aditya. But there are many different Adityas in Rgveda,

chief of them is Varuna. Though Savita, Pusa

and Mitra are all synonyms of Surya in Rgveda they

are all separate dcvas. There is no end to the varieties

of Adityas and their prominence in the Vedas. Summarising

we can say thus. The familiar devas like

Indra, Agni, Varuna and Surya are not found in the

same form or power as we are taught to believe. Those

whom we have lowered down to the posts of the eight

sentries of the universe are very prominent devatas in

the Vedas. Many Adityas have merged in Surya and

winds in the god of Vuyu. Rudra has merged in Siva.

Who will believe that the all-powerful Deva of the Rgveda

and the vainglorious Indra who lives in fear of

men doing penance are one and the same person ?"