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In Hinduism, Diti (Sanskrit: दिति) is an earth goddess and mother of the Maruts
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 powerful than Indra
Indra
(who had killed her previous children, who tried to murder Indra
Indra
and the Aditya) and so she practiced black magic and kept herself pregnant for one year.[1] Indra
Indra
used a thunderbolt to splinter the fetus into many pieces, the Maruts. She is also Aditi's sister. Diti is the daughter of Daksha- Prajapati
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 Hiranyaksha
Hiranyaksha
who was slain by Vishnu's Varaha
Varaha
avatara and Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
who was slain by Vishnu's man-lion, Narasimha
Narasimha
avatara. She also had a daughter named Holika
Holika
who was killed by her own powers. Diti is usually mean and cruel to Kashyapa
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.

Contents

1 Sanskrit Meaning of 'Diti' 2 Birth of Diti's children 3 Further reading 4 References 5 Books/Article References

Sanskrit Meaning of 'Diti'[edit] In Sanskrit, the word Diti means tej or brilliance or Idea.[citation needed] Birth of Diti's children[edit] Seeing Kashyapa's co-wives being blessed with children, Diti too was eager to have a son, so she asked Kashyapa
Kashyapa
for company. Though Kashyapa
Kashyapa
had acceded to her request, He had asked her to wait for an hour as it was then the time when Shiva
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
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
Kashyapa
consoled her by saying that they would be slain by Lord Vishnu
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 devotee of Vishnu
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.[citation needed] 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),[2] became on earth the monarch Ashoka of exceeding energy and invincible in battle.[3][4] 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).[5] Also see link: [1].

Further reading[edit]

Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley

References[edit]

^ 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
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.

Books/Article References[edit]

Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola TTD Publications.Go to this link to buy 'A Synopsis of Srimad Bhagavatam' for further details.

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