Aditi: The forgotten Mother Goddess

While reading Vedas, one encounters various Goddesses namely Aditi, Usa, Vac, Saraswati, and Prithvi among others.

Aditi, meaning limitless, is the independent goddess with no evident male consort is invoked numerous times in Rig Veda. She also happens to be one of the most powerful and all-pervading Goddesses of her times. And this what precisely makes this Goddess unique and of particular interest to me.

It is said that ‘Daksa was born of Aditi, and Aditi was Daksa’s Child.’ She demonstrates the continuity of the cycle of life.

Aditi is the caring chief mother goddess who is equated with air, sky, the stream of water, cow, and heaven. She is the ghee (clarified butter) which is produced by the churning of the milk.

She is everything that is born and everything that will be born. She is the harbinger of all immortal life. She has Agni (fire) in her womb from where the seed of the humankind first arose.

She is the wife of Gods and the mother of Gods. She is first offered the oblation of sacrifice and also the concluding oblation of sacrifice. Three roddy spotted horse is provided to her as a sacrifice.

She along with Gods defends the life as she is the mother of all. She is the goddess of righteousness, protection, and guidance. She saves us from evils, grief, nights and enemies.

Puranas also mention Aditi as the mother of all Devas. All inhibitors of the earth are born from Aditi. Lord Vishnu and Sun, both have taken birth from her womb after being pleased from her devotion.

I will reiterate my question, why and how did worship of the Vedic deities mainly female stop? Rudra or Shiva is one of the primary Hindu God, and he is being revered since Vedic times.

Varun, Agni, and Soma are still invoked during the havans or yagyas although there are no temples dedicated to them.

Then why did we forget our Goddesses from Vedic times (except Saraswati)?

 

7 Comments

  1. Aditi… My fav name in vedic lore! Haha…how have I missed reading this! Good article! And great question.

    I guess vedic goddesses like Gauri, Saraswati, Lakshmi took prominent role in daily worship because of their role in terms of life-trinity: Strength, wisdom and wealth. Rest of the Gods and goddesses can not appeal to a householder, for, their role, how ever great it is in terms of philosophical aesthetics, does not have utilitarian value. And unfortunately, most of us look for a bargain than intellectual gratification or true realization. But, its interesting how Vedic deities are all like epitome of each other. So, catch one and the result of following others will be immanent (for, Vedas themselves claim “Eko vai bahudaa vadanti” – The one almighty manifests as so many deities).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think they are totally absent. But some of them changed their garb as Vyasa had to make it tangible to present gen. Vedic era is an era of diff class of ppl with diff approach to life. Present age is very diff than that. So, Vyasa had to tinker and he alone was allowed to do so, being the world teacher. Puranas are 18 and there are 18 more sub puranas. The seeds of all the allegories of puranas are from Vedas and thus they have to have vedic deities in one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

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