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modern rendition of Varuna = riding the makara (sea monster) + whip, rein, or lasso of a water-snake

OM Vam Varunaya Namah

Aditya * Aditi

eternal, no-limits, indivisible

Aditi the World Mother and Her Offspring

7 or 8 or 12 * deities of the heavenly sphere


Calotropis Gigantea, the "Crown Flower" sacred to Aditi * blooming in Hawai'i

  • explanation:

Vocabulary for Aditya

"Belonging to or coming from Aditi, son of Aditi

Name of seven deities of the heavenly sphere (RV)
  • The chief is Varuna, to whom the Name "Aditya" is especially applicable
  • The succeeding five are Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Daksha, Ansa
  • That of the seventh is probably Surya or Savitri;
As a class of deities they are distinct from the vizve-devAH
  • sometimes their number is supposed to be eight
  • and in the period of the Brahmanas twelve
As representing the sun in the twelve months of the year
  • name of a god in general, especially of Surya (the sun) (RV. AV)
Name of Vishnu in his Vamana or dwarf avatAra, as son of Kasyapa and Aditi
  • The plant Calotropis Gigantea
name of a constellation, the seventh lunar mansion Punarvasu-Yamaka
  • relating to the god of the sun"
What are Aditi?

Who is Diti?

How many various lists of Aditya are there ?

Various scriptures define Aditi in various ways.

Sindhi primary deity = Varun Dev = Lal Sai, Uderolal, Jhulelal, Doolhalal + Zinda Pir

Varuna rules earthly waters esp. rivers and oceans; He is attended by Naga; the souls of the drowned revert to Him

Seven or Eight

In the older texts (Rik Veda, Atharva Veda) Aditi has seven offspring, also called "aditi" in the sense of "sons of Aditi".

  1. Varuna the Commanding Aditi
  2. Mitra
  3. Aryaman
  4. Bhaga
  5. Daksha
  6. Ansa
  7. Savita * Surya

Aditi are called the leaders because they govern the events of the world (Earth and its cosmic environment).

Aditi is a name for the indivisible World Mother, a mother of the gods, who is the source of all things which come alive, all forms which are infused with life-force.


In later tales and tellings, there are twelve Aditi who correspond to the twelve zodiacal rashi signs.

The Aditi serve to guide the Sun during His annual march through the twelve rashi.

The twelve offspring of Aditi the World Mother are generally named as:

  1. Mitra friendship, alliance, neighborliness

  2. Varuna all-enveloping sky

  3. Aryaman companion, fellow, courage

  4. Daksha dexterity, cleverness, ritual skill

  5. Bhaga the patron, the fortunate, credit

  6. Amsha * Ansa * the portion, the unfortunate, debit

  7. Tvastr carpenter, maker of carriages, creator of living beings, heavenly builder *yantra, architecture, balanced designs

  8. Savitr mantra, transformative power of sound, the transformer

  9. Pushan shepherd, conductor on journeys and on the way to the next world

  10. Indra * Sakra * One Who Drops, falling thunder and rain

  11. Vivasvat brilliant, shining forth, diffusing light

  12. Vishnu maintainer, bridge between reality and dream

Yet, across the multi-millennial scope of Sanskrit literature there are numerous variants upon this particular listing. Here are a few of the many varieties.

  1. Mitra * friendship, alliance, neighborliness
  2. Aryaman * companion, fellow, courage * patron of uttaraphalguni
  3. Bhaga , patron of purvaphalguni
  4. Varuna * all-enveloping sky * patron of Shatavisakya
  5. Daksha * dexterity, cleverness, intelligence, skill
  6. Amsha
  7. Tvastr * carpenter, maker of carriages, creator of living beings, heavenly builder * patron of Chitra
  8. Pushan * shepherd, conductor on journeys and on the way to the next world * patron of Revatika-Pushana
  9. Vivasvata * brilliant, shining forth, diffusing light
  10. Savitra
  11. Indra * Shakra * Indra = One Who Drops, falling thunder and rain * patron of Pegasus-Purvabhadra
  12. Vishnu

  1. Vivaswaan
  2. Trivikrama
  3. VaasudEva
  4. JagadyOni
  5. AnaMta
  6. Sheshasaayi
  7. SankarshaNa
  8. Pradyumna
  9. Daityaari
  10. VishvatOmukha
  11. Janardhana
  12. Dharaavaasa
  13. Daamodara
  14. Agardhana

  1. dhata
  2. aryama
  3. mitra
  4. varuna
  5. indra
  6. vivasvan
  7. tvashtha
  8. vishnu
  9. amshuman
  10. bhaga
  11. pusha
  12. parjanja

Names of Surya located in 12 Rashi

According to most (not all) traditions, Aditya is a name given to Surya located in a Ninth Amsha

  1. [Surya-Mesha] Mithra * neighbor, companion
  2. [Surya-Urisha] Ravaye * the noisy one, the roaring one (Ravi = firebird; Rava = howl, yell, or squawk)
  3. [Surya-Mithunaya] Suryaya * the supreme one
  4. [Surya-Karkata] Bhanu * ray of light
  5. [Surya-Simha] Khaga * Khagaya * air-moving
  6. [Surya-Kanya] Poshanya * Pushna * the nourisher
  7. [Surya-Vanika] * Hiranya-garbha * golden fetus
  8. [Surya-Vṛścika] * Maricha * particle of light
  9. [Surya-Dhanus] Aditya * the unsplit, indivisible
  10. Surya-Makara - Draco * Savitra * the stimulator
  11. [Surya-Kumbha] Arka * the radiator * radio
  12. [Surya-Meena] Bhaskara * the illuminator

the patron, who is an Aditya that protects happiness in marriage, especially for women. The eye of Bhaga is adorned with rays.


according to W.J. Wilkins (1900) Hindu Mythology P 30:

"Surya is the name used in the Rikveda in reference to the Earth's Sun when the sun is visible to worshippers; whereas Savitra is used more often in reference to the sun when it is present but invisible to worshippers. "

(Thus, Sun seen only via reflection upon the Moon at night, Hasta being a Nakshatra of Chandra .)

Reflections on The Words

Noun Adita (m.) Aditi (f.)

Singular adjective = Aditya (often a possessive adj.)

Plural nominal = Aditi.

Possessive adjective form Aditya can mean an attribute "of Adita" such as a child of Adita (m.) or child of Aditi (f.). Aditya personified frequently refers to a putra son of his mother Aditi.

When the Sanskrit word gets adopted into other languages (such as English) the host language will often use its native method of pluralizing. Thus the 12 Aditi are usually mentioned in English as "Adityas" using the English pluralizer final-s-suffix.

  • However, the scholarly plural = Aditi, which is both the name of the World Mother (f.) and the native Sanskrit pluralized noun meaning more-than-one-Adita, is used also.t

Scholarly terms in English show academic prestige. Scholarly terms provea that the speaker-writer is grammatically literate enough to operate with the native morphology of a foreign language without converting the foreign word into English morphology.

For example, datum the singular form of data . However, in practice datum is used only in academic circles where people read Latin. In normal non-scholarly English usage, data functions like a mass noun which has the same form for singular and plural, like deer or pair.

Similarly, the English speaker who is adequately educated in classical Greek will use the Greek singular form phenomenon to display their knowledge, despite the fact that the word phenomena was adopted into mainstream English centuries ago as a functional mass noun, and normalized to a morphology which is more natural in English: both singular and plural form ending in "a".

Very few native English speakers are formally educated in Sanskrit grammar, and even those who are are typically in the role of communicating Vedik cultural concepts to speakers of Other Languages. So, in the process of spreading the knowledge, it becomes necessary to apply English morphology to Sanskrit (or Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew) words. And the result is the remarkable plural form, Adityas!)

In the post-RikVeda view, the Adityas operate in six pairs. They are often represented as six spokes in the wheel of Time (kala). They are called governors, leaders, or conductors. Aditya lead the Sun through the 12 rashi stations on His annual journey "around" the Earth.


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updated:14 November 2021

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