Who Are The 12 Adityas in Hindu Mythology?
If you only read one article on this blog, let it be this one. The 12 Adityas in Hindu mythology explain the evolution of consciousness from its primordial unformed state into energy that transforms into karmic manifestation.
And according to mainstream historians, archaeologists, paleoanthropologists and other short-sighted academics following the official line, ancient civilisations were not supposed to understand things like consciousness and evolution.
In light of the revelation you are about to discover, bear in mind that the Adityas first appeared in the Rig Veda written in at least 1500BCE, maybe 4000BCE, or quite possibly earlier. Scholars are undecided.
But regardless of flimsy academic dating, what we do know is the Vedas were written thousands of years ago – in an age modern academics choose to believe man was still relatively primitive – despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
The Rig Vedas are another example of how advanced ancient civilisation were. It is my opinion, the ancient Sanskrit writers had a deeper understanding of the cosmic energy and consciousness than most of us have today.
Although embedded in alchemical symbolism, the ancient Sanskrit texts explain the evolution of consciousness – which modern day psychologists admits they have little understanding of because it does not fit into the spectrum of science.
About one year into my research of ancient civilisations, I discovered alchemical symbolism in ancient myths relates to the body, mind, emotions, energy and consciousness. It basically explains how humans are connected to cosmic energies and governed by the laws of the Universe.
You will be familiar with some of these laws; the law of cause and effect (karma), the law of attraction, law of relativity etc. There are seven principle Universal laws, although around 50 altogether.
So let’s take a look at the characters and the story of the 12 Adityas from the Rig Vedas of ancient India and determine how the ancients describe consciousness in story form. It is hardly primitive.
A brief introduction to the 12 Adityas
The Adityas are classified as Sun Gods. In ancient symbolism, the sun represents various aspects of male energy. In Vedic mythology, these 12 celestial deities are said to be the offspring of the primeval parents, the mother goddess, Aditi and the sage, Kasypa.
In Sanskrit, Aditi means “boundless.” As the mother goddess, Aditi nourishes the earth and sustains all existence. She is also said to “support the sky.”
So here we have the idea of Father Sky (male energy) and Mother Earth (female energy) written about in the mythologies of later cultures such as Greek and Roman. And from the male and female comes consciousness which gives birth to promotion.
These primordial entities are personified attributes of the Universe, particles of formless energy that have not connected or congealed. Science tells us that male protons and female electrons merge together with neutrons to form complete atoms – and atoms are found in all matter.
Ancient occultists describe this process in their writing as the “chemical wedding.” Until the male and female elements of an atom unite and find balance, they serve no purpose. Their coming together is known as ‘the Energy of Purpose.”
The female electrons create, change and modify. They bond with male protons to seek stability or neutrality. Once this happens nature evolves. And all nature is consciousness energy.
In the 20th century, science came to realise that consciousness and energy are interlinked, but also interdependent. It is only when they join together and find stability that nature evolves into asymmetrical patterns.
When nature evolves as a result of equal parts of male and female energies, we have perfect creation. Otherwise, the matter than manifests is a deformed.
Given the Adityas are described as the sons (the creation) of the female energy, Aditi and the male energy, Kasypa, we can deduce they are aspects of consciousness and energy.
More precisely, when you examine the descriptions attributed to each of the solar deities in ancient Hindu myths, you find they describe the evolution of consciousness from the atom to creation.
And consciousness and energies form to create matter which we now is made of atomic atoms. It is matter that manifests on the material plane as nature and everything else we interact with…
…it is even the reality that manifests as your life.
Early accounts of the Adityas
There are several accounts of the Aditi and the Adityas in the Rig Vedas. Aditi is referred to as the mother the ‘Gods of Light’ and bestows blessings on children and cattle.
Children and cattle reflects the nature of man thoughts – the early stages of our conscious thoughts and our animal desires. Light is merely another word for illumination or enlightened – in other words, to have knowledge and understanding.
In the earliest texts, there are seven or eight Adityas. The number interchanges between texts, but not without good reason as we shall see later in the article.
In ancient symbolism all over the world, seven is the number of cosmic creation as it is the point where consciousness manifests and we have our first stage of conscious understanding.
For example, the first stage of consciousness is a stirring thought we may or may not be slightly aware of, but it hasn’t quite fully formed. Seven is when the thought has significant meaning, whether the idea is right or wrong.
The eighth Aditya was called Vivasvat, sometimes called Martanda. However, he was born deformed so Aditi abandoned him. He was obviously a bad idea that was not worthy of manifestation. We will take a closer look at this towards the end of the article.
As the ancient sages became to understand the evolution of consciousness with greater intensity, the Adityas became twelve – and thus we have the 12 houses of astrology – an art which tracks the 12-month cycle of the sun and describes personality traits with startling accuracy (in my experience at least).
As the earth orbits around the sun throughout the year, it passes through the different houses and as it is influenced by other magnetic forces from other celestial planets, comets and so forth, the energy changes. And this energy directly effects the magnetic energy on earth which we are all intricately connected to.
In modern science the male proton is considered the ‘Energy of Purpose.’ In the Vinu Purana, Kasyapa, a wise sage is represented as ‘vision.’ Surely the ancient scribes and modern scientists are making reference to the same thing here.
Aditi is boundless energy that transforms and creates just as the female electron transforms and creates atoms that become nature. When the female electron cannot find balance with the male proton, or if it is stronger, electrons moves on to another proton in search equilibrium.
The 12 Adityas are described in the Rig Vedas as “bright and pure…perfect.” Furthermore, they are different aspects of Lord Vishnu who symbolises absolute consciousness – and the source of Brahma, the God of creation.
As Sun Gods, the Gods of Light, Adityas therefore represent levels of creation as nature develops – and that includes the evolution of our conscious thoughts which ultimately manifest as reality.
The 12 solar deities in Hindu mythology
In all ancient civilisations, Sun Gods were described as “Creator Gods” in some form or other. But essentially, all creation comes from consciousness. In the case of mankind, what we manifest in our lives comes from our thoughts – which are energy that converts to matter.
As consciousness expands, the energy becomes stronger and forms into a fully blossomed thought which subsequently evoke emotions and compels us to act. It is mostly through our actions – where we invest most of our energy – that matter manifests as reality.
The names of the Adityas interchange from one text to another, but for the purpose of this article I will use the names given in the Bhagavata Purana.
The 12 solar deities of ancient Hindu mythology are:
In later Vedic literature, Vishnu is recognised as one of the Supreme Gods of the Trinity, but in the early Rig Veda texts was one of the Adityas. According to scholars, Vishnu was not even regarded as the most powerful of the solar deities although there is some debate amongst commentators who is regarded as the most powerful.
Some scholars consider Agni is the most powerful of the Rig Veda Gods as he gets the most mentions. Varuna is considered the chief of the Adityas because he alone allows the sun to shine on the firmament.
But it is Vishnu who emerges as a Supreme God and included as one of the Hindu Trinity, thus is the first in my list as he represents absolute consciousness. And it was by starting with Vishnu that I came to unlock the riddle of the Aditya puzzle.
Vishnu is the initial spark of energy that gives birth to Brahma, the creator God who represents our thoughts. The first stirring of consciousness comes from Vishnu, the source, which in modern times has been described as the ‘akashic records’ (Edgar Cayce), ‘collective unconscious’ (Carl Jung) and more recently the ‘morphogenetic field’ (Rupert Sheldrake).
Dhata, or Dhatr is mentioned in the Rig Veda as a ‘creator’ and the literal translation of his name in Sanskrit is ‘the creator of all things.’ He is therefore the forerunner of Brahma and thus emerges from the source of consciousness, Vishnu.
In Hindu myths, Dhata is connected with love making and the process of making children – hence we see the allegory of the ‘chemical wedding’ mentioned above which is the hermetic term to describe the process of male protons and female electrons bonding together in search of stability. This is the first process of matter becoming reality – which begins as a stirring thought.
The Bhaga of the Aditya means ‘marital bliss and prosperity’ and is said to bestow riches, affluence and material prosperity. The basis of the word means divine and is the root from which the ancient writers named the famous story, “Bhagavad Gita” in the Mahabharata.
Bhaga is also an abstract noun in Sanskrit meaning ‘destiny’ and in the Rig Veda is the God that oversees the destiny of man in accordance with his merits. As a god that bestows a high status, he is the God Hindus pray to for blessings of wealth – not necessarily financial wealth, but well-being, good health, prosperity, positive outcomes etc.
In Tvashtha we find the elements of the sub-conscious mind which forms the basis of our natural instincts. Known as the ‘lord of the womb’, he is a creator god that produces bodies of men and animals. In Hindu mythology, Tvashtha is the ‘heavenly builder’ that makes divine tools and is the guardian of soma.
Tvashtha is therefore the God that encourages us to move forward with confidence, but can also be the God that punishes us when we stray. This idea is reflected in the story of Indra and Vrtra. Tvashtha is also the grandfather of the twins Yama and Yami which represent dharma and karma. Their father is Surya.
Savitr or Surya
Savitr and Surya are used interchangeably as the name for the sun in Vedic texts. It is thought that Savitr represents the sun when it is invisible to worshippers and Surya – who shines so bright his glare is blinding – is used on the occasions we are not able to look towards the sun.
However, Savitr is also noted as a moon deity, which reflects the sun’s light at night. Here we have the light and dark aspects of our conscious actions. The light of day is said to be good dharma, whilst night represents the dark passenger that leads us into temptation.
The sun gods infuse energy into all creatures and bring life, but whereas Surya offers stability and permanency, Savitri takes the “souls of the departed to the abode of righteousness” meaning is the aspect of our attitudes and behaviours that change through the knowledge we gain.
Mitra is the personification of the morning star, the fertile light of the sun, where the first stirring of manifestation begins to start taking shape based on our actions. Mitra grants knowledge, harmony and integrity and is regarded as the god of friendship, truth and justice. Together with his twin, Varuna, Mitra represents cosmic laws of the Universe which ultimately manifest as reality based on our thoughts, emotions and actions.
Whereas Mitra is the rising sun, Varuna is the setting sun and uses his power to form the three worlds; the heavens (consciousness), the earth (physical reality) and intermittent space (time). Given Varuna causes ‘rain and rivers to flow” he is a god that is associated with cycles of water that are essential to the formation and evolution of life.
In Vedic astrology, Varuna corresponds with the zodiacal sign of the crab, cancer, which is dominated by the moon. In the Rig Veda, he shows characteristics of a lunar deity in opposition to his twin, Mitra who is a solar deity. Varuna therefore represents the shadow-self, the dark passenger that lurks in our sub-conscious and we often see in other people.
In Hindu texts, Aryaman is combined as a triad with Mitra and Varuna and is associated with chivalry, honour and rules of society. He has renown as a leader and a fighter who is confident of his strength. In other words, he represents determination, belief and perseverance.
Aryaman is depicted as the God of sacrifice and aspiration as he journeys along the path towards perfection and light. But it depends which path Aryaman follows that determines the outcome. The leaders of the path are Mitra and Varuna, the higher conscious self of the rising sun (illumination), or the sub-conscious mind of our dark passenger (the setting, or dying sun).
In ancient Sanskrit, the name Pusan, or Pushan, denotes “the reason for people to prosper” and is invoked during Hindu marriage ceremonies. In mythology, he is described as a herdsman that guides cattle and humans along the path to “the other world.”
Pusan is said to inspire the soul and increase wealth. But as the guardian of livestock who knows all creatures, he also looks after our animal nature, thus if we choose to follow the path of Varuna, Pushan respects our choice and helps us on our way.
In Sanskrit Ansa means bounty and is derived from an ancient Nordic word Anz, meaning to answer. We can therefore assume it is at this point where consciousness decides how energy will manifest.
It is in Hymn IV, verse 6 of the Svetasvatara Upanishad that we see Ansa expressed as the duality of manifestation, good, bad, or in this case happy and depressed. We read:
“Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruits, the other looks on without eating. On the same tree, man (Ansa) sits grieving, immersed, bewildered, by his own impotence. But when he sees the other, Isa, contented, and knows His glory, then his grief passes away.”
In other words, consciousness has the answer and is comfortable manifesting the energy of purpose. It is at this point where the male and female energies stabilise and neutralise.
In Vedic literature, Ushas is identified with the dawn, the break of a new day and is pulled in a chariot by one hundred horses. In gematria, 100 amounts to one – singularity, single outcome.
As the light of a new day, Ushas represents a positive outcome or good idea. She is mentioned in the Vedas as chasing away demons and giving man strength. Known as “the mother of all cows’ she bared her breasts for the good of humanity.
And so we come to Vivasat, the 12th Aditya, who was the eighth son of Aditi and cast away by his mother. Vivasvat was born a deformity and even though his seven siblings tried to “improve his appearance” he would never be perfect and was abandoned. The character is also known by the name Marrtanda which means ‘lifeless.’
A piece of Vivasvat is cut away and transformed into an elephant. In Hindu symbolism, elephants represent, patience, strength and wisdom, thus identifying the qualities we need to adopt in order to manifest perfect creation.
In Hindu astrology, Vivasvat is associated with the planet Pluto which in turn corresponds to characteristics which symbolise misfortune and deprivation. In Greek mythology, Pluto governs over the subterranean “realm of shadows.”
And thus we conclude what I believe is the evolution of boundless energy and consciousness, that bond, stabilise and manifest. Evidently, I cannot confirm this assessment is correct because modern day scientists have no evidence to prove it is so – but does it not seem to you that the ancient writers provide a perfectly reasonable theory.