Diti (Sanskrit: दिति) is an earth goddess and
mother of the
Maruts with Rudra. She is also the mother of the Daityas
with the sage Kashyapa. She wanted to have a son who would be more
Indra (who had killed her previous children, who tried
Indra and the Aditya) and so she practiced black magic and
kept herself pregnant for one year.
Indra used a thunderbolt to
splinter the fetus into many pieces, the Maruts. She is also Aditi's
Diti is the daughter of Daksha-
Prajapati one of the
grandfathers of creation, a son of Brahma, the god of ritual skill and
a king. Her mother was Virani. She is one of the sixty daughters of
Daksha. She is one of the thirteen wives of Kashyapa, another
prajapati and a great sage. She has many demon sons and daughters. Her
two most famous sons were the rebirths of Vishnu's gatekeepers Jaya
and Vijaya who failed to keep their dharma. They were
was slain by Vishnu's
Varaha avatara and
Hiranyakashipu who was slain
by Vishnu's man-lion,
Narasimha avatara. She also had a daughter named
Holika who was killed by her own powers.
Diti is usually mean and
Kashyapa and Aditi. She is always obsessed with trying to
raise the power of demons to its peak. She also hates Aditi's sons who
are the gods. She was instrumental in the partitioning of India into
Hindi and Tamil, North and South India, to gain control and autonomy
over the Gods (Aditi's children).
Diti is assisted by her sister Uma.
1 Sanskrit Meaning of 'Diti'
2 Birth of Diti's children
3 Further reading
5 Books/Article References
Sanskrit Meaning of 'Diti'
In Sanskrit, the word
Diti means tej or brilliance or Idea.[citation
Birth of Diti's children
Seeing Kashyapa's co-wives being blessed with children,
Diti too was
eager to have a son, so she asked
Kashyapa for company. Though
Kashyapa had acceded to her request, He had asked her to wait for an
hour as it was then the time when
Shiva and his retinue of ghosts and
spirits moved about, a time which was considered inauspicious and
unsuited. However Diti, shaken by the passion of love and lust,
couldn't wait and she seized
Kashyapa by his garments, which was a
sign of immodesty. Since Diti's mind was impure, tainted by lust, she
would give birth to two unworthy sons who would violate all the ethics
(Dharma) and follow the path of Adharma. When
Diti felt sorry,
Kashyapa consoled her by saying that they would be slain by Lord
Vishnu himself and thus be blessed by the Lord's contact in the end.
Also, one of her four grandsons by her first son, would be a great
Vishnu and also the noblest man (He is Prahlada). In this
way, Jaya and Vijaya were born on this earth to
Diti as Hiranyakashipu
and Hiranyaksha. In Section 67, Adi Parava of Mahabharata, it is
stated that king Shishupala, the powerful ruler of Chedis, was also an
incarnation of Hiranyakasipu, the son of Diti.
Besides great Asura Hiranyakashipu, some other more famous sons of
Diti are also mentioned in Adiparava, Mahabharata, as follows:
Sivi: A great Asura, known among the sons of Diti, became on earth the
famous monarch Druma;
Aswa: That great Asura, son of Diti, known as Aswa (Asva), became
on earth the monarch Ashoka of exceeding energy and invincible in
Aswapati: Younger brother of Aswa and another son of Diti, was born as
Hardikya, the king of the Mallas;
Sarabha: A great Asura and son of Diti, was born on this earth as
royal sage Paurava;
Chandra: The foremost among the sons of
Diti and handsome as the lord
of the stars himself, became on earth noted as Chandra Varmana
Kamvoja, the king of the Kamvojas (i.e. Kambojas). Also see link:
Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious
Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley
^ Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 6 Chapter 18 Verse 45 Archived 28 July 2008
at the Wayback Machine.
^ same as Aswaka/Asvaka.
^ cf: "King Asoka was the incarnation of Asura or demon Asva" (Epic
Mythology, 1968, p 62, Edward Washburn Hopkins - Religion).
^ This epic reference to "Aswa/Asva" seems to allude to Mauriya
connections with the Asvaka/Asva clan, as supposed by Dr H. C. Seth,
Dr H. R. Gupta, Kirpal Singh and others. The Asvakas (from Aswa/Asva =
horse, horseman) were expert cavalrymen and followed horse-culture.
They lived in Kunar/Swat valleys north of
Kabul river, which was the
habitat of Kambojas. Scholars like B. M. Barua, J. W. McCrindle etc
also connect Mauriyas to north-west Punjab i.e. Taxila/Gandhara or
Kamboja region. D.B. Spooner also invests Mauriyas with Iranian
affinities (See: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain
and Ireland, 1915, (Pt.II), pp 406, 416-17).
^ Epic Mythology, 1968, p 62, Edward Washburn Hopkins - Religion.
Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna
TTD Publications.Go to this link to buy 'A Synopsis of Srimad
Bhagavatam' for further details.
Hindu deities and texts
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali