Âdityas (Sanskrit: आदित्य, pronounced
[ɑːd̪it̪jɐ]), meaning "of Aditi", refers to the offspring of the
Aditi and her husband the sage Kashyapa. The name, Aditya,
in the singular, is taken to refer to the Sun God, Surya.
Rig Veda mentions 7 Adityas, alongwith Martanda, who is considered
as 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.
2 Bhagavata Purana
4 Linga Purana
5 Vedanta and Puranic Hinduism
Ahura-Mazda and Aditya
9 See also
10 Further reading
In the Rigveda, the
Âdityas are the seven celestial deities, sons of
Anśa or Aṃśa
The eighth Âditya (Mārtanda) was rejected by Aditi, thus leaving
only seven sons. In the
Yajurveda (Taittirīya Samhita), their number
is given as eight, and the last one is believed to be Vivasvān. Hymn
LXXII of the Rig Veda, Book 10, also confirms that there are nine
Adityas, the eighth one being Mārtanda, who is later revived as
"So with her 'seven sons',
Aditi went forth to meet the earlier age.
Mārtanda thitherward away to spring to life and die
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
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)
In each month of the year, it is a different
Aditya who shines as the
Sun-God. As Indra,
Surya destroys the enemies of the gods. As
Dhata, he creates living beings. As Parjanya, he showers down rain. As
Tvashta, he lives in the trees and herbs. As Pusha, he makes
foodgrains grow. As Aryama, he is in the wind. As Bhaga, he is in the
body of all living beings. As Vivasvana, he is in fire and helps to
cook food. As Vishnu, he destroys the enemies of the gods. As
Amshumana, he is again in the wind. As Varuna, he is in the waters and
As Mitra, he is in the moon and in the oceans.
Aditya have been described in the
Rig Veda as bright and pure as
streams of water, free from all guile and falsehood, blameless,
This class of deities has been seen as upholding the movables and
Adityas are beneficent gods who act as protectors of
all beings, who are provident and guard the world of spirits and
protect the world.In the form of Mitra-Varuna, the
Adityas are true to
the eternal Law and act as the exactors of debt.
In present-day usage in Sanskrit, the term
Aditya has been made
singular in contrast to Vedic Adityas, and are being used synonymously
with Surya, the Sun. The twelve
Adityas are believed to represent the
twelve months in the calendar and the twelve aspects of Sun. Since
they are twelve in number, they are referred as Dvadashadityas.
Adityas are basically the monthly suns which is the ancient
word for the earth moon barycenter for 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 the
lunar months with a solar sankranti is said to have a
purusha. The month without a sankranti is said to be neutar and is
said to be extra month or the intercalary lunar month.
According to the Linga Purana, the
Indra (The head of 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 are:
Vishnu (This Sun-God is the head of all the Adityas)
Vedas do not identify the
Âdityas and there is no classification
of the thirty-three gods, except for in the
Yajurveda (7.19), which
says there are eleven gods in heaven (light space), eleven gods in
atmosphere (intermediate space), and eleven gods in 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 is as follows:
Sūrya or Arka
Adityas are responsible for proper functioning of the universe and in
Hindu cosmology they are given lordship over celestial constellations,
called Nakshtras in Jyotish. Nakshatras are forces of universal
intelligence which are intertwined with the birth-death cycle of life,
identity of all created beings, events and day to day consciousness in
Adityas manage the Shakti of the nakshatras. Here are few
Bhaga has lordship over Purva Phalguni Nakshatra.
Bhaga is bestower of
Sanskrit means "a portion" so our portion in life is
regulated by this divine celestial being. Many a times this is related
to fortunate marriages, or fortune from marriage and partnerships. It
is a very worldly nakshatra bestowing divine intelligence with respect
to worldly gains in life. Beings born when Purva Phalguni is rising in
the east are literal physical manifestation of this energy.
Aryama, the God of Patronage, is an
Aditya who is the lord of Uttar
Phalguni nakshtra and as suggested by the name, a person born under
the auspices of Aryama finds many lucky opportunities with benefactors
in their lives, among many other qualities that are possessed by this
Savitur, rules over Hasta
Nakshatra and is the cheerful
manages worldly skills and artistry. Handiwork of all kinds, from
needlework, pottery making to technical skills industry, sleight of
hand pick pockets, magicians, and Reiki masters all are blessed by the
divine intelligence and benevolence of this Aditya.
Mitra, rules over Anuradha nakshtra they are the peacekeepers of this
Varuna, rules over Shatbhishak nakshatra the nakshatra of 1000 healers
and gives a person intelligence about all sorts of medicine.
Aditya is lord keeper of law, hence themes of crime and
punishment, law and order fall under his rulership.
Varuna in RigVeda
is to be feared and not taken lightly.
This makes Vedic
Adityas not some conceptual, abstract, or
mythological characters in a story book, but part of the visible
cosmology and the everyday realities of our daily lives. We manifest
their qualities in our lives and as such are part of the divine
Ahura-Mazda and Aditya
Avestan Ahura derives from Indo-Iranian Asura, also attested in an
Indian context as RigVedic Asura. Avestan Daivas are considered
synonymous to Vedic Devtas, or Adityas.
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. See
Vishnu sahasranama (Aditya: 39 aadityah, 563 aadityah - Son of
Ahura-Mazda is commonly considered a link between Avestan
Asuras of Vedic literature, however it must be
noted that there is no one specifically called Ahura Mazda in the
Additionally as suggested by the phonetic similarity to the Old Norse
Gods called æsirs, Indo-Iranian Asura may have an even earlier
Indo-European root. Aesirs are the Norse gods whose region became
known as Asia, the land of Aesirs.
For evolutionary reasons
Asuras and Devtas fought great battles.
Adityas, sons of Rishi
Aditi always followed the guidance
of Trimurti, or the Trinity of Brahma,
Shiva and are
responsible for proper functioning of the universe,
their authority at various occasions. Most significantly there are
constant battles for the Elixir of Immortality, called Amrit, between
the two. This could explain why Avestan Asura-Mazda advised his
followers to stay away from Daivas or Vedic Devtas, calling them
untrustworthy and unscrupulous shining beings to be avoided at all
Adityas are considered benevolent, and worshiped in
the Vedas. There are various types of Devtas in
Hinduism and Buddhism,
all of them are venerable.
Historically there was little difference between
Asuras and Devtas
during the times of Veda. Many of them were highly regarded, and
comparable to necessary forces of nature. In post Vedic era especially
in the narratives of
Asuras became synonymous with
trouble makers, who come into conflict with Mahadev Shiva, Vishnu,
Indra wreaking havoc on civilizations. There are some
famous Asuras-Devtas conflicts including Samudra Manthan regarding
churning of the Ocean. There are some famous
Asuras such as
Vritra-Asur, Bana-Asur,and Bhasma-Asura who challenge
specifically Indra, the king of Devtas.
Sanskrit definitions Asura is opposite of Sura. Sura is
anything that is in harmony, in tune with laws of nature, called
eternal truth or Sanatan Dharam. A-Sura is a being or force of nature
which is chaotic, disorderly, and out of tune.
On the Adityas
^ Werner, Karel (2005). A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism. Routledge.
^ a b Srimad
Bhagavata Purana 12.11.27-49
Bhagavata Purana 12.11.45: All these personalities are the
opulent expansions of the Supreme God Vishnu, in the form of the
sun-god. These deities take away all the sinful reactions of those who
remember them each day at dawn and sunset
Rig Veda - Hymn LXXII - Seven Sons of
Aditi and Martanda
Rig Veda Book 10, Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith
^ a b Bhagavad Gita 10.21: "adityanam aham vishnur" meaning "Of the
Adityas I am Vishnu"
Rig Veda Book 2, XXVIIth Hymn, Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith
^ Sathyamayananda, Swami. Ancient sages. Mylapore, Chennai: Sri
Ramakrishna Math. p. 173. ISBN 81-7505-356-9.
Vishnu Purana: Book I: Chapter XV
^ Muir, John (1863). Original
Sanskrit Texts on the Origin and
Progress of the Religion and Institutions of India. Williams and