How do we know there are 7 Adityas?

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by exile, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    To the best of my knowledge Adityas means "boundless ones" but has also been interpreted "gods of yore." I've seen several counts for how many Adityas there actually were. The most consistant counts seems to be 7. But I've scanned through the Rig Veda database and I can only find 4 gods that are either said to be a son of Aditi or Adityas in the Family Books 2-7 here:

    We will invoke strong , early - conquering Bhaga , the Son of Aditi , the great supporter : - RV 7.41.2

    Let Aditi rejoice and the Adityas , Varuna , Mitra , Aryaman , most righteous . – RV 7.51.2

    I've read that Daksa, Amsa, and Indra are also Adityas but I can find solid evidence for this. Can anyone else?
     
  2. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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  3. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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  4. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    The chart I posted shows small red numerals ---these numbers are the Chapter & Verse #s from the "Bhagavata Purana".

    Simply Googling the 3-Part verse # along with the Title "Bhagavata Purana" should bring you directly to the verse I illuminated in the chart.

    ie: one verse that mentions the 12 Adityas is sixth canto, chapter 18 verse sixty-nine--- so google:

    Bhagavata Purana, 6.18.69

    "The Family Books 2-7" ---I don't know the reference.

    If one has a historic narrative that includes "3 Adityas and 1 son of Aditi" ---IMO, the lack of mention of distant relations et al is commonplace factor in reading the Vedas ---that is why the Vedas are referred to as the "Vedic-Literatures". They must be taken as a whole, for they are inter-linked by various degrees of seperations, the Vedas are archives of ancient knowledge and those that "Knew it and what they did with their birthrights during their lifespans".

    Krishna said, "What ever a great man does, all the world pursues" ---so, inre this topic, the Personages of the Vedas were exemplars of behavior, even the wrong-doings of some and the heroism of others "etc etc etc" ---these "records" provide humanity hinesight, provenance & the Goal to seek, replete with roadsigns and take-home rituals all!
     
  5. exile

    exile Interfaith Forums

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    The Family Books 2-7 are supposed to be the earliest books of the Rig Veda 1, 8,9, and 10 being later books.

    In "The Religion of the Veda: The Ancient Religion of India" Maurice Bloomfield asserts that the term Adityas means "gods of yore," and that these gods represented abstract phenomenon. He says there are 7 Adityas, but I'm only concerned with the Adityas mentioined in the Family Books 2-7. Nevertheless he asserts that the Adityas were the oldest of the gods and that they represented abstract concepts. It seems to be convention that the gods named Asura also represented not so much social and moral phenomenon, but more generally abstract concepts. Do you think that Bloomfield's hypothesis is correct in designating the Adityas as the "gods of yore"?
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Exile,

    If you want to know about 'adityas', I would invite you to read Chapter VII of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak's book "Arctic Homes in Vedas" at Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak — The Arctic Home in the Vedas — Contents (page 139 onwards)

    "A dawn of thirty days, as we measure days, implies a position so near the North Pole, that the period of sunshine at the place could not have been longer than about seven months, comprising, of course, a long day of four or five months, and a succession of regular days and nights during the remaining period; and we find that the Ṛig-Veda does preserve for us the memory of such months of sunshine. We refer first to the legend of Aditi, or the seven Âdityas (suns), which is obviously based on some natural phenomenon. This legend expressly tells us that the oldest number of Âdityas or suns was seven, and the same idea is independently found in many other places in the Ṛig-Veda. Thus in IX, 114, 3, seven Âdityas and seven priests are mentioned together, though the names of the different suns are not given therein. In II, 27 1, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Varuṇa, Dakṣha and Aṁsha are mentioned by name as so many different Âdityas but the seventh is not named."

    The number of 'adityas', month's in the year continued to increase as Aryans migrated south. It was eight at the time of Taittiriya Samhita in its Aranyaka which was composed around 2,500 BCE. The Aranyaka said on the basis of tradition that eight 'adityas' are established, End (that there should be no further discussion on this) - "Ashtau tu vyavasita, iti." That the Aryans had a nine month ritual year or a ten month ritual year is established by the mention of 'Navagwahas' and 'Dashagwahas' (priests completing their ritual cycle in that many months). Old Roman Calender also had 10 months which was corrected by Emperor Numa in 700 BC by adding two months, January and February. The 12 month year came only later.
     
  7. Ecumenist

    Ecumenist New Member

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    Adityas (Sanskrit) Āditya-s [belonging to, issuing from aditi unbounded expanse] Sons of Aditi, space; in the Vedas a name for the sun; also referred to variously as five, seven, eight, and twelve in number. The eighth aditya (Marttanda) was rejected by Aditi, leaving seven son-suns, each manifesting a particular solar energy (cf RV 10, 72, 8-9). “ ‘The Seven allow the mortals to see their dwellings, but show themselves only to the Arhats,’ says an old proverb, ‘their dwellings’ standing here for planets” (SD 1:100).

    The Brahmanas and Puranas generally reckon twelve adityas. In a preceding manvantara they were called tushitas, but when the end of the cycle was near they entered the “womb of Aditi, that we may be born in the next Manwantara; for, thereby, we shall again enjoy the rank of gods.” Hence in the present seventh manvantara, they are known as adityas (VP 1:15). When the pralaya (dissolution) of the world comes, twelve suns will appear (MB 3:3, 26; Dict Hind 3). The twelve adityas are the twelve great gods of the Hindu pantheon; also, the twelve signs of the zodiac or twelve months of the year.

    The adityas are the sustainers of the solar divine life which exists in all things, and in our present Vaivasvata manvantara they are the divine solar pitris (fathers) — not the lower or lunar pitris — which incarnated in early humanity. “The wise call our fathers Vasus; our paternal grandfathers Rudras, our paternal great grandfathers, Adityas . . . ” (Manu 3:284).
     
  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    "A long dawn of thirty days indicates a period of sunshine for seven months, and we now see that the legend of Aditi is intelligible only if we interpret it as a relic of a time when there were seven flourishing month-gods, and the eighth was either still-born, or cast away. Mârtâṇḍa is etymologically derived from mârta meaning “dead or undeveloped,” (being connected with mṛita, the past participle of mṛi to die) and âṇḍa, an egg or a bird; and it denotes a dead sun, or a sun that has sunk below the horizon, for in Ṛig. X, 55, 5, we find the word mamâra (died. Aup adds - 'mara' is still the Hindi/Urdu word for dead) used to denote the setting of the daily sun. The sun is also represented as a bird in many places in the Ṛig-Veda (V, 47, 3; X, 55, 6; X, 177, 1; X, 189, 3).

    A cast away bird (Mârtâṇḍa) is, therefore, the sun that has set or sunk below the horizon, and whole legend is obviously a reminiscence of the place where the sun shone above the horizon for seven months and went below it in the beginning of the eighth. If this nature of the sun-god is once impressed on the memory, it cannot be easily forgotten by any people simply by their being obliged to change their residence; and thus the sevenfold character of the sun-god must have been handed down as an old tradition, though the Vedic people lived later on in places presided over by the twelve Âdityas. That is how ancient traditions are preserved everywhere, .."
    Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak — The Arctic Home in the Vedas — Chapter 7 (page 145-146)
     

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