Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Surya and Saranya in Hinduism

Posted by Fredsvenn on July 18, 2015

Planets in astrology

Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and “wandering stars”, which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year.

To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this group comprised the five planets visible to the naked eye, and excluded the Earth. Although strictly the term “planet” applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened, particularly in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon (sometimes referred to as “Lights”), making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today.

To ancient astrologers, the planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon human affairs. To modern astrologers the planets represent basic drives or urges in the unconscious, or energy flow regulators representing dimensions of experience. They express themselves with different qualities in the twelve signs of the zodiac and in the twelve houses. The planets are also related to each other in the form of aspects.

Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets’ influence. Hone writes that the planets exert it directly through gravitation or another, unknown influence. Others hold that the planets have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organizing principles in the universe. In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-like fashion, and “as above so below”.

Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect the ebb and flow of basic human impulses. The planets are also associated, especially in the Chinese tradition, with the basic forces of nature.

The planets in Hindu astrology are known as the Navagraha or “nine realms” (Tamily kōṇmīṉ, “imperial stars”), which includes the planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn; the Sun; the Moon; and positions in the sky, Rahu (north or ascending lunar node) and Ketu (south or descending lunar node).

In Chinese astrology, the planets are associated with the life forces of yin and yang and the five elements, which play an important role in the Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui.

Surya (the first sign)

Surya (“the Supreme Light”), also known as Aditya, Bhanu or Ravi Vivasvana in Sanskrit, and in Avestan Vivanhant, is the chief solar deity in Hinduism and generally refers to the Sun. He is the chief of the Graha (Sanskrit gráha “seizing, laying hold of, holding”, Tamil: kōḷ), the Navagraha, astrological figures in Hindu astrology, the nine Indian Classical planets and important elements of Hindu astrology. He is the son of Aditi and Kashyap, and equavalent to Sol, the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion, Apollo and Helios.

Surya has the following associations: the colors – copper or red, the metals – gold or brass, the gemstone – ruby, the direction – east and the season of summer. The food grain associated with him is wheat.

He is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by seven horses which might represent the seven colors of the rainbow or the seven chakras in the body. He is also the presiding deity of Sunday. He is regarded as the Supreme Deity by Saura sect and Smartas worship him as one of the five primary forms of God. The sun god, Zun, worshipped by the Afghan Zunbil dynasty, is thought to be synonymous with Surya.

Surya is also known as “Mitra” (meaning friend) for his life nourishing properties. The Mitra form of Surya had been worshiped mostly in Gujarat, where a clan of Suryawanshi kings was known as Mitrawanshi kshatriyas, also known by its derivative name “Maitrakas”.

Like some other deities, such as Shiva (who are worshiped by saints, normal worshipers and demons), Surya has a following of the same types of beings. A group of Raksasas known as Yatudhanas were the followers of Surya and wandered with him. It is mentioned that Bhauvana the Daitya offered a prayer to Surya with the Rathantara saman and was immediately turned into an elephant.

In Vedic astrology Surya is considered a mild malefic on account of his hot, dry nature. He represents soul, will-power, fame, the eyes, general vitality, courage, kingship, father, highly placed persons and authority. He is exalted in the sign Mesha, is in mulatrikona in the sign Simha and is in debilitation in the sign Tula.

Surya is lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Krittika, corresponding to the open star cluster called Pleiades in western astronomy, one of the clusters which makes up the constellation Taurus, Uttara Phalguni, corresponding to Denebola (β Leo, β Leonis, Beta Leonis, “tail of the lion”), the third brightest star in the zodiac constellation of Leo, and Uttara Ashadha, knwn as the constellation of Sagittarius.

Surya is the father of the famous tragic hero Karna, described in the Indian epic Mahabharata, by a human princess named Kunti. His sons, Shani and Yama, are responsible for the judgment of human life. Shani provides the results of one’s deeds during one’s life through appropriate punishments and rewards while Yama grants the results of one’s deeds after death.

Apollo

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more.

He is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. He is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis, s one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities.

Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague.

Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.

Helios

The Greek Helios is the inherited word for the Sun, from Proto-Indo-European *sóh₂wl̥, cognate with Latin sol, Sanskrit surya, Old English swegl, Old Norse sól, Welsh haul, etc. The Greek sun god had various bynames or epithets, which over time in some cases came to be considered separate deities associated with the Sun. Most notably, Helios is closely associated with, and sometimes consciously identified with, Apollo.

Diodorus Siculus of Sicily reported that the Chaldeans called Cronus (Saturn) by the name Helios, or the sun, and he explained that this was because Saturn was the most conspicuous of the planets.

Among these is Hyperion (superus, “high up”), Elektor (of uncertain derivation, often translated as “beaming” or “radiant”; especially in the combination elektor Hyperion), Phaëton “the radiant”, Hekatos (of Apollo, also Hekatebolos “far-shooter”, i.e. the sun’s rays considered as arrows).

Ra

The Greek counterpart of Surya is Helios and his Egyptian counterpart is Ra or Re, the ancient Egyptian solar deity, who by the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BCE) had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun. In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Ra-Horakhty (“Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons”). He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the earth, and the underworld.

Ra was associated with the falcon or hawk. When in the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra. During the Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar deity, the Aten, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cult of Ra was restored.

The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its centre in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city. All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names. Alternatively humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the “Cattle of Ra.”

In the myth of the Celestial Cow it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them. When she became bloodthirsty she was pacified by drinking beer mixed with red dye.

Saranya

Surya had three wives: Saranya, Ragyi and Prabha. Saranya or Saraṇyū (also known as Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya) was the mother of Vaivasvata Manu (the seventh, i.e., present Manu) and the twins Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yami. She also bore him Revanta (“brilliant”), a minor Hindu deity, and the twins known as the Ashvins, divine horsemen and physicians to the Devas, the Indian Dioscuri (the Indian and Greek myths being regarded as identical).

Saranya, being unable to bear the extreme radiance of Surya, created a superficial entity from her shadow called Chhaya (“shadow” or “shade”) and instructed her to act as Surya’s wife in her absence. Chhaya was born from the shadow of Saranya and replaced Saranya in her house, after the latter abandoned her husband.

Chhaya mothered two sons Savarni Manu (the eighth, i.e., next Manu), who is destined to be the next and eighth Manu (progenitor of mankind) – the ruler of the next Manvantara period, and Shani (the planet Saturn), and two daughters, a feared graha; goddess Tapti, the personification of river Tapti, and Vishti.

Saranya, the the goddess of clouds in Hindu mythology, is the daughter of Visvakarman (Sanskrit “all-accomplishing, maker of all, all-doer”), the personified omnipotence and the abstract form of the creator God according to the Rigveda. She is the female form of the adjective saraṇyú. Her name meaning “quick, fleet, nimble”, used for rivers and wind in the Rigveda.

She is sometimes associated with Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture, and etymologically, Saranyu may be related to Helen of Troy. In Rigveda 10.17, she is the daughter of Tvastar, and, like Helen, is abducted, and Vivasvat is given a replacement bride instead. According to Max Müller and A. Kuhn, Demeter is the mythological equivalent of the Sanskrit Saranyu, who, having turned herself into a mare, is pursued by Vivasvat.

According to Farnell, the meaning of the epithet is to be looked for in the original conception of Erinys, in Greek mythology also known as Furies, female chthonic deities of vengeance; they were sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses”, which was that of an earth-goddess akin to Ge, thus naturally associated with Demeter, rather than that of a wrathful avenging deity.

Usha

Saranya, sometimes called “Usha”, Sanskrit for “dawn”, a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. Sanskrit uṣas is an s-stem, i.e. the genitive case is uṣásas. It is from PIE *hausos-, cognate to Greek Eos and Latin Aurora.

Ushas is an exalted goddess in the Rig Veda but less prominent in post-Rigvedic texts. She is often spoken of in the plural, “the Dawns.” She is portrayed as warding off evil spirits of the night, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky. Due to her color she is often identified with the reddish cows, and both are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.

In the “family books” of the Rig Veda (e.g. RV 6.64.5), Ushas is the divine daughter—a divó duhitâ —of Dyaus Pita (“Sky Father”). In one recent Hindu interpretation, Sri Aurobindo in his Secret of the Veda, described Ushas as “the medium of the awakening, the activity and the growth of the other gods; she is the first condition of the Vedic realisation. By her increasing illumination the whole nature of man is clarified; through her [mankind] arrives at the Truth, through her he enjoys [Truth’s] beatitude.”

Shukra (Śukra), the Sanskrit for “clear, pure” or “brightness, clearness”, is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the planet Venus, one of the Navagrahas. He presides over Shukravar “Friday”. Shukra is etymologically identical with Shukla “light”.

Manu

In Hindu mythology, Sraddhadeva Manu is the current Manu and the progenitor of the current humanity (manvantara). He is the seventh of the 14 Manus of the current kalpa (aeon). He was the king of Dravida (in present-day South India) during the epoch of the Matsya Purana (literally, the ancient chronicle of Matsya) before the great flood. He is the son of Surya, also known as Vivasvat, and therefore, is also known as Vaivasvata. Besides, he is also called Satyavrata (“the honest one”).

Forewarned about the flood by the matsya avatar of Vishnu, he saved the humanity by building a boat that carried his family and the seven sages to safety. He married Shraddha and had ten children including Ila and Ikshvaku, the progenitors of the Lunar Dynasty and Solar Dynasty respectively.

According to the Matsya Purana, the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu first appeared as a shaphari (a small carp), to Sraddhadeva, while he washed his hands in a river flowing down the Malaya Mountains in his land of Dravida.

The little fish asked the king to save Him, and out of compassion, he put it in a water jar. It kept growing bigger and bigger, until the king first put it in a bigger pitcher, and then deposited it in a well. When the well also proved insufficient for the ever-growing fish, the King placed it in a tank (reservoir), that was two yojanas (16 miles) in height above the surface and on land, as much in length, and a yojana (8 miles) in breadth.

As it grew further, the king had to put the fish in a river, and when even the river proved insufficient, he placed it in the ocean, after which it nearly filled the vast expanse of the great ocean.

It was then that Vishnu, revealing himself, informed the king of an all-destructive deluge which would be coming very soon. The king built a huge boat which housed his family, the seven sages, 9 types of seeds, and animals to repopulate the earth, after the deluge would end and the oceans and seas would recede. At the time of deluge, Vishnu appeared as a horned fish and Shesha appeared as a rope, with which the king fastened the boat to horn of the fish.

The boat was perched after the deluge on the top of the Malaya Mountains. After the deluge, Manu’s family and the seven sages repopulated the earth. This narrative is similar to other flood myths such as that of Gilgamesh and Noah.

Matsya Purana (literally, the ancient chronicle of Matsya) is one of the oldest of the 18 post-Vedic Hindu scriptures called the Puranas. The scripture is a composite work dated to c. 250–500 CE. It narrates the story of Matsya, the first of ten major Avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu.

During the period of mahapralaya, Lord Vishnu had taken Matsya Avatar (fish incarnation) to save the seeds of all lives and Manu. Matsya Purana contains a comprehensive description of Manu and Matsya avatar. The Padma Purana categorizes Matsya Purana as a Tamas Purana (Purana of darkness or ignorance).

Shani

Hindus believed in the existence of nine planets called Navagraha. Shani, also known as Śanaiścara, equivalent to Cronus and Saturn, is one of the Navagraha (the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology) of Jyotiṣa. He is embodied in the planet Saturn and is the Lord of Saturday, and is equated to the Greek Cronus (the Titan father of Zeus), the Babylonian Ninurta and the Roman Saturn.

The word shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages. The word shani comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ (the one who moves slowly), because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. Shani Jayanti the birth anniversary of Lord Shani falls on the Amavasya (New moon day) of Jyeshta month of Hindu calendar.

Shani is a deva and son of Surya and his wife Chhaya, hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu god of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of justice. Surya’s two sons Shani and Yama judge. Shani gives the results of one’s deeds through one’s life through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one’s deeds after death.

It is said that when Shani opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher and well wisher for the righteous as well the greatest punisher for those who follow the path of evil, betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge.

Shani is also known as the lord of masses and his blessings are thus considered very important in an individual’s horoscope for bestowing him with mass following and popularity. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and mounted on a crow, which is Shani’s vāhana. As protector of property, Shani is able to repress the thieving tendencies of birds.

Yama

Yama or Yamarāja, equated with Pluto (“wealth”) and Hades (“the unseen”), is the god of death, belonging to an early stratum of Vedic mythology. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean “twin”. In the Zend-Avesta he is called “Yima”. According to the Vishnu Purana, his parents are the sun-god Surya and Saranya.

In the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, called “Lord of the Pitrs”. Mentioned by the Buddha in the Pali canon, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese mythology as a wrathful god under various transliterations. He is otherwise also called as “Dharmaraja”.

In a disputable etymology, W. Meid (1992) has linked the names Yama (reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European as *yemos) and the name of the primeval Norse frost giant Ymir, which can be reconstructed in Proto-Germanic as *umijaz or *jumijaz, in the latter case possibly deriving from PIE *ym̥yos, from the root yem “twin”. In his myth, however, Ymir is not a twin, and only shares with Yama the characteristics of being primeval and mortal. However, Ymir is a hermaphrodite and engenders the race of giants.

A parallel character in Iranian mythology and Zoroastrianism is known as Yima Xšaēta, who appears in the Avesta. The pronunciation “Yima” is peculiar to the Avestan dialect; in most Iranian dialects, including Old Persian, the name would have been “Yama”. In the Avesta, the emphasis is on Yima’s character as one of the first mortals and as a great king of men.

Over time, *Yamaxšaita was transformed into Jamšēd or Jamshid, celebrated as the greatest of the early shahs of the world. Both Yamas in Zoroastrian and Hindu myth guard hell with the help of two four-eyed dogs.

Yami

Yama is the brother of the current Manu Vaivasvatha and of his older sister Yami, which H. H. Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna river, which like the Ganges is highly venerated in Hinduism and worshipped as goddess Yamuna, throughout its course. It is a sacred river in Hinduism and the main tributary of the Ganges (Ganga), the holiest river of Hinduism. In the Vedas, Yamuna is known as Yami, while in later literature, she is called Kalindi. According to Harivamsa Purana her name is Daya.

In Hindu mythology, she is the daughter of Sun God, Surya, and is associated with her twin brother and partner Yama, the god of death, hence also known as Yami and according to popular legends, bathing in its sacred waters frees one from the torments of death. Later, she is associated with the god Krishna as one of Ashtabharya, his consort as well and plays an important role in his early life as a river. Bathing and drinking Yamuna’s waters is regarded to remove sin.

The Ashvins

The Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras (Sanskrit: aśvin-, dual aśvinau), in Hindu mythology, are two Vedic gods, divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranyu. They symbolise the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness.

They are the doctors of gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are represented as humans with head of a horse. In the epic Mahabharata, King Pandu’s wife Madri is granted a son by each Ashvin and bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas.

They are also called Nasatya (dual nāsatyau “kind, helpful”) in the Rigveda; later, Nasatya is the name of one twin, while the other is called Dasra (“enlightened giving”). By popular etymology, the name nāsatya is often incorrectly analysed as na+asatya “not untrue”=”true”.

Various Indian holy books like Mahabharat, Puranas etc., relate that Ashwini Kumar brothers, the twins, who were Raj Vaidhya (Royal Physicians) to Devas during Vedic times, first prepared Chyawanprash formulation for Chyawan Rishi at his Ashram on Dhosi Hill near Narnaul, Haryana, India, hence the name Chyawanprash.

The Ashvins can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion. The Nasatya twins are invoked in a treaty between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, kings of the Hittites and the Mitanni respectively.

Visvakarman

Visvakarman is the presiding deity of all artisans and architects. He is believed to be the “Principal Architect of the Universe”, and the root concept of the later Upanishadic figures of Brahman and Purusha.

Vishwakarma is visualized as Ultimate reality (later developed as Brahman) in the Rig Veda, from whose navel all visible things Hiranyagarbha emanate. The same imagery is seen in Yajurveda purusha sukta, in which the divine smith Tvastar emerging from Vishwakarma. In the later puranic period this concept paved the way to the imagery of Padmanabha and Sadasiva.

In the Vedic period the term first appeared as an epithet of Indra, Surya, and Agni. In that time the later developed creator concept of Brahma might have been intertwined with the concept of Vastospati and Bṛhaspati, or Brahmanaspathi.

In the last phase of vedic period and during the growth of monotheism, this realistic God concept becoming more abstract and one can see Vishwakarma [the invisible creative power] emerged as the supreme god who was perceived as a hotar, the unborn [Aja] creator and name giver of all other gods who have lot of faces, eyes and feet on every side; and who helps Tvashtar (the visible creative power of viswakarma) in producing all the Heavenly, Earthly and other Celestial realms and preserves them through the exercise of his arms and wings.

He sacrificed himself to himself for the evolution of this visible world, thus he is Purusha or Narayana His attributes like Vachaspathy connect him with Brahaspathi (the Guru of Gods). Again, Yajurveda pictured him as the Prajapati and in the Atharva veda he is mentioned as Pashupati.

Shwethashwatharopanishad described him as Rudrasiva, the one who is dwelling in all living forms. Na Bhoomir Na Jalam Chaiva Na Teejo Nacha Vaayavaha Na chakasam na chitthasha Na budhi khrana gocharam Nacha Brahmaa Na Vishnuscha Na Rudrascha Taarakaaha Sarvashoonya niralambam Swayambhu Viswakarmana.

According to the above hymn, from Moolastambha purana which is something similar to Nasadeeya suktha It/He was the one who created himself from thyself when there was no earth, water, light, air and akasha,and even the Thrimurthies Later in the post vedic and brahmanic period, the term Vishwakarma is appeared both as the Rsi and the Silpi.

In yajurveda the term is seen as one of names of pancha risis. Though the term is an epithet of suryanarayana, one of the seven rays of Surya is also known as Viswakarma. Bhuvana Vishwakarma (Atharva/Angirasa Gothra) is a vedic Rsi who was the author of Rg 10-81,82 suktha, (Prabasa Vishwakarma) was probably a silpi and the son of Prabhas, the eighth hermit of the legendary Astam vasu and Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati. He is said to have revealed the Sthapatya Veda / Vastu Shastra or fourth Upa-veda, and presides over the sixty-four mechanical arts.

Vishvakarma created five prajapathies — from his five faces such as Sadyojāta,Vāmadeva, Aghora, Tatpuruṣha, Īsāna. They are Manu, Maya, Twosta, Silpy, Viswajna and their respective Rishis are Sanaga Brahma Rishi, Sanaathana Brahma Rishi, Ahbhuvanasa Brahma Rishi, Prathnasa Brahma Rishi, and Suparnasa Brahma Rishi, and created five Vedas:- from his five faces such as Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharvana Veda, Pranava Veda.

Since Vishwakarma is the divine engineer of the world, as a mark of reverence, he is not only worshiped by the engineering and architectural community but also by all professionals. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in his name.

Vishwakarma is visualized as Ultimate reality (later developed as Brahman) in the Rig Veda, from whose navel all visible things Hiranyagarbha emanate. The same imagery is seen in Yajurveda purusha sukta, in which the divine smith Tvastar emerging from Vishwakarma. In the later puranic period this concept paved the way to the imagery of Padmanabha and Sadasiva.

Tvaṣṭṛ

In later puranas Vishvakarma is sometimes identified with Vedic Tvastar, a solar deity in the Mahābhārata and the Harivaṃśa. Silpi Vishwakarma is the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons and divine attributes.

Vishwakarma/Tvastr is also credited with creating the missiles used in the mythological era, including the Vajra, the sacred weapon of Lord Indra, from the bones of sage Dadhichi. He is regarded as the supreme worker, the very essence of excellence and quality in craftsmanship.

Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned as the son of Kāśyapa and Aditi and is said to have made the three worlds with pieces of the Sun god, Surya. In the historical Vedic religion, Tvaṣṭṛ is the first-born creator of the universe. The Purusha Sukta refers to the Purusha as Tvastr, who is the visible form of creativity emerged from the navel of the invisible Vishvakarman.

In the Yajurveda, Purusha Sukta and the tenth mandala of the Rigveda, his character and attributes are merged with the concept of Hiranyagharbha/Prajapathy or Brahma. The term, also transliterated as Tvaṣṭr, nominative Tvaṣṭā, is the heavenly builder, the maker of divine implements, especially Indra’s Vajra and the guardian of Soma.

Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned 65 times in the Ṛgveda and is the former of the bodies of men and animals,’ and invoked when desiring offspring, called garbha-pati or the lord of the womb. The term Tvaṣṭṛ is mentioned in the Mitanni treaty, which establishes him as a proto-Indo-Iranian divinity.

As per Ṛgveda Tvaṣṭr known belongs to clan of the Bhṛgus. Similarly, as mentioned in the epic Mahābhārata, Tvaṣṭr is Śukra’s son. Tvaṣṭṛ is sometimes associated or identified with similar deities,such as Savitṛ, Prajāpatī, Viśvakarman and Puṣan.

He is the father of Saranyu, who twice bears twins to Surya (RV 10.17.1), Yama and Yami, identified as the first humans to be born on Earth. He is also the father of Viśvarūpa or Triśiras who was killed by Indra, in revenge Tvaṣṭṛ created Vrtra a fearsome dragon. Surprisingly he is also inferred to as Indra’s father.

Tvaṣṭṛ is a solar deity in the Mahābhārata and the Harivaṃśa. He is mentioned as the son of Kāśyapa and Aditi and is said to have made the three worlds with pieces of the Sun god, Surya.

Tuisto

According to Tacitus’s Germania (98 CE), Tuisto is the divine ancestor of the Germanic peoples. The figure remains the subject of some scholarly discussion, largely focused upon etymological connections and comparisons to figures in later (particularly Norse) Germanic mythology. In the larger Indo-European pantheon, Tuisto is equated to the Vedic Tvastar.

The Germania manuscript corpus contains two primary variant readings of the name. The most frequently occurring, Tuisto, is commonly connected to the Proto-Germanic root tvai (“two”) and its derivative tvis (“twice”; “doubled”). Allusions to intersex is entirely conjectural, as the tvia/tvis roots are also the roots of any number of other concepts/words in the Germanic languages. Take for instance the Germanic “twist”, which, in all but the English has the primary meaning of “dispute/conflict”.

The second variant of the name, occurring originally in manuscript E, is Tuisco (sometimes rendered Tuiscon). One proposed etymology for this variant reconstructs a Proto-Germanic tiwisko, and connects this with Proto-Germanic Tiwaz, yielded the meaning “son of Tiu”. This interpretation implies that Tuisco is the son of the sky god (Proto-Indo-European Dyeus) and the earth-goddess.

Connections have been proposed between the 1st century figure of Tuisto and the hermaphroditic primeval being Ymir in later Norse mythology, attested in 13th century sources, based upon etymological and functional similarity. Meyer (1907) sees the connection as so strong, that he considers the two to be identical.

Lindow (2001), while mindful of the possible semantic connection between Tuisto and Ymir, notes an essential functional difference: while Ymir is portrayed as an “essentially … negative figure” – Tuisto is described as being “celebrated” (celebrant) by the early Germanic peoples in song, with Tacitus reporting nothing negative about Tuisto.

Jacob (2005) attempts to establish a genealogical relationship between Tuisto and Ymir based on etymology and a comparison with (post-)Vedic Indian mythology: as Tvastr, through his daughter Saranyū and her husband Vivaswān, is said to have been the grandfather of the twins Yama and Yami, so Jacob argues that the Germanic Tuisto (assuming a connection with Tvastr) must originally have been the grandfather of Ymir (cognate to Yama). Incidentally, Indian mythology also places Manu (cognate to Germanic Mannus), the Vedic progenitor of mankind, as a son of Vivaswān, thus making him the brother of Yama/Ymir.

Tacitus relates that “ancient songs” (Latin carminibus antiquis) of the Germanic peoples celebrated Tuisto as “a god, born of the earth” (deum terra editum’). These songs further attributed to him a son, Mannus, who in turn had three sons, the offspring of whom were referred to as Ingaevones, Herminones and Istaevones, living near the Ocean (proximi Oceano), in the interior (medii), and the remaining parts (ceteri) of the geographical region of Germania, respectively.

Tacitus’s report falls squarely within the ethnographic tradition of the classical world, which often fused anthropogony, ethnogony, and theogony together into a synthetic whole. The succession of father-son-three sons parallels occurs in both Germanic and non-Germanic Indo-European areas. The essential characteristics of the myth have been theorized as ultimately originating in Proto-Indo-European society around 2,000 BCE.

According to Rives (1999), the fact that the ancient Germanic peoples claimed descent from an earth-born god was used by Tacitus to support his contention that they were an indigenous population: the Latin word indigena was often used in the same sense as the Greek autochthonos, meaning literally ‘[born from] the earth itself’ (from χθών – chthōn “earth”).

Lindauer (1975) notes that, although this claim is to be judged as one made out of simple ignorance of the facts on the part of Tacitus, he was not entirely wrong, as he made the judgement based on a comparison with the relatively turbulent Mediterranean region of his day.

The sequence in which one god has a son, who has three famous sons, has a resemblance to how Búri has a son Borr who has three sons: Odin, Vili and Vé. The same tradition occurs with the Slavs and their expansion, in the legend of Lech, Čech and Rus.

In 1498, a monk named Annio da Viterbo published fragments known as “Pseudo-Berossus”, now considered a forgery, claiming that Babylonian records had shown that Tuiscon or Tuisto, the fourth son of Noah, had been the first ruler of Scythia and Germany following the dispersion of peoples, with him being succeeded by his son Mannus as the second king.

Later historians (e.g. Johannes Aventinus) managed to furnish numerous further details, including the assertion by James Anderson that this Tuiscon was in fact none other than the biblical Ashkenaz, son of Gomer.

Tyr

Týr (Old Norse: Týr) is a god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz. The Latinised name is Tius or Tio. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

In the late Icelandic Eddas, Tyr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto (see Tacitus’ Germania) suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion.

Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor. After a warrior has dedicated his weapon to Týr he should not lose it or break it. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

Old Norse Týr, literally “god”, plural tívar “gods”, comes from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz (cf. Old English Tīw, Old High German Zīo), which continues Proto-Indo-European *deiwós “celestial being, god” (cf. Welsh duw, Latin deus, Lithuanian diẽvas, Sanskrit dēvá, Avestan daēvō “demon”). And *deiwós is based in *dei-, *deyā-, *dīdyā-, meaning ‘to shine’.

The earliest attestation for Týr’s continental counterpart occurs in Gothic tyz “the t-rune” in the 9th-century Codex Vindobonensis 795. The name is later attested in Old High German as Cyo in the A Wessobrunn prayer ms. of 814. The Negau helmet inscription (2nd century b.c.) may actually record the earliest form, teiva, but this interpretation is tentative.

Týr in origin was a generic noun meaning “god”, e.g. Hangatyr, literally, the “god of the hanged”, as one of Odin’s names, which was probably inherited from Tyr in his role as god of justice.

Planets in astrology

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