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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 ?"