Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Aditi at Wikipedia.

ADITI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'Free, unbounded.' Infinity; the boundless heaven as compared with the finite earth; or, according to M. Muller, "the visible infinite, visible by the naked eye; the endless expanse beyond the earth, beyond the clouds, beyond the sky."

In the Rigveda she is frequently implored "for blessings on children and cattle, for protection and for forgiveness."

Aditi is called Devamatri, `mother of the gods,' and is represented as being the mother of Daksha and the daughter of Daksha. On this statement Yaska remarks in the Nirukta: "How can this be possible? They may have had the same origin; or, according to the nature of the gods, they may have been born from each other, have derived their substance from one another."

"Eight sons were born from the body of Aditi; she approached the gods with seven but cast away the eighth, Marttanda (the sun)." These seven were the Adityas.

In the Yajurveda Aditi is addressed as "Supporter of the sky, sustainers of the earth, sovereign of this world, wife of Vishnu; "but in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as in the Puranas, Vishnu is called the son of Aditi.

In the Vishnu Purana she is said to be the daughter of Daksha and wife of Kasyapa, by whom she was mother of Vishnu, in his dwarf incarnation (wherefore he is sometimes called Aditya), and also of Indra, and she is called " the mother of the gods " and "the mother of the world."

Indra acknowledged her as mother, and Vishnu, after receiving the adoration of Aditi, addressed her in these13 words: " Mother, goddess, do thou show favour unto me and grant me thy blessing."

According to the Matsya Purana a pair of earrings was produced at the churning of the ocean, which Indra gave to Aditi, and several of the Puranas tell a story of these earrings being stolen and carried off to the city of Pragjyotisha by the Asura king Naraka, from whence they were brought back and restored to her by Krishna. Devaki, the mother of Krishna, is represented as being a new birth or manifestation of Aditi.

DEVAMATRI [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Mother of the gods.' An appellation of Aditi

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM