|Hinduism | Hindu Gods and Goddess | Punniya Grandhas (Sacred Texts) | Sacred Places|
The trinity | Vedic Gods | Incarnations of Vishnu | Ganapati | Lakshmi | Parvati | Saraswati | Subrahmanya
Indra is the chief deity in the Rigveda. He is the
most important deity of the sky. Armed with the thunderbolt (Vajrayudha) and
rides in a chariot, he travels every where. Being a war-lord, he is the
symbol of royal power. Hence warriors worshiped him before going to the
battle field. In some temple sculptures, Indra is depicted in a human
form with four arms, riding the celestial elephant Airavata.
Surya or the sun, often identified with Aditya, Savitr and Pusan is another important Vedic deity. He rides in an exquisitely beautiful chariot drawn by seven horses. He gives light, produces day and night, gives power and strength to the living beings, makes them active and destroys their laziness and disease.
Surya is often described as being dark red, sitting on a red lotus or riding a chariot pulled by the seven horses of the dawn (representing the days of the week).
Varuna "the one who encompasses the whole world" is one of the oldest Vedic deities. He is the personification of the sky and is also associated with clouds and water, rivers and ocean. He sustains live by giving rain and crops. He has thousand eyes and oversees the whole world. In some of the temples he is depicted as riding on a crocodile. In two of his four arms, he holds a serpent and the noose (pasa). Sometimes he is pictured as riding in a chariot drawn by seven swans and holding the lotus, the noose, the conch and a vessel of gems in the four hands with an umbrella over his head.
In Rigveda, Agni is depicted as God of fire. Most hymns are devoted to God Agni in describing and praising him, he is often considered as supreme God the creator, the sustainer and all pervading universal spirit. His manifestation is in the form of fire, lightening and air on earth. In the Dyuloka (heaven) his manifestation is Surya (Sun). He often acts as a mediator between men and God. He is known for its power and mercy. Though he is immortal he lives among people fulfilling their needs and dispelling their difficulties.
The image of Agni in temples, represents him as an old man with a red body. Seven arms in which he holds objects like spoon, ladle, fan etc. seven tongues, four horns and three legs. He is attended on either side by his two consorts, Svaha and Svadha. The smoke is his banner and ram is his Vehicle.
He is the god of the wind. As the lord of sky he shares his power with Indra. He rides in a chariot drawn by two, ninety-nine, hundred or even thousand horses. He himself is invisible.
In mythology, he is described as blue in colour and as holding a fan and a flag in two hands, the other two hands showing the Abhaya and Varada Mudras (indicating Protection and granting of gifts).