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Thread: Aditi - अदिति {Goddess of the Week}

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    Aditi - अदिति {Goddess of the Week}

    अदिती - limitless.
    Aditi is a goddess of the sky, consciousness, the past, the future and fertility.

    In the Vedas Although the Goddess Aditi is mentioned nearly eighty times in the Rig Veda, it is difficult to get a clear picture of her nature. She is usually mentioned along with other gods and goddesses, there is no one hymn addressed exclusively to her, and unlike many other vedic deities, she is not obviously related to some natural phenomenon. Compared to Usas and Prithvi, her character seems undefined. She is virtually featureless physically.

    Perhaps the most outstanding attribute of Aditi is her motherhood. She is preeminently the mother of the Adityas, a group of 7 or 8 gods which include Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Varuna, Daksha and Amsa. (2.27.1) Aditi is also said to be the mother of the great god Indra, the mother of kings (2.27), and the mother of gods (1.113.19). Unlike Prithvi, however, whose motherhood is also central to her nature, Aditi does not have a male consort in the Rig Veda. Aditi is the most important figure of all.

    As a mothering presence, Aditi is often asked to guard the one who petitions her (1.106.7 ; 8.18.6) or to provide him or her with wealth, safety, and abundance (10.100; 1.94.15). Appropriate to her role as a mother, Aditi is sometimes associated with or identified as a cow. As a cow, she provides nourishment, and as the cosmic cow, her milk is identified with the redemptive, invigorating drink soma (1.153.3)

    The name Aditi includes the root "da" (to bind or fetter) and suggests another aspect of her character. As A-diti, she is un-bound, free one, and it is evident in the hymns to her that she is often called to free the petitioner from different hindrances, especially sin and sickness. (2.27.14). In one hymn, she is asked to free a petitioner who has been tied up like a thief (8.67.14). As one who unbinds, her role is similar to her son Varuna's as guardian of rta, cosmic moral order. She is called the supporter of creatures (1.136).

    Aditi is also called widely expanded (5.46.6) and extensive, the mistress of wide stalls (8.67.12), and in this respect, one is reminded of Prithvi. In fact, Pritvi and Aditi become virtually identified in the brahamanas.

    Aditi also is the mother of the Vamana Avatar of Vishnu. Accordingly, Vishnu was born as the son of Aditi in the month of Shravana (5th month of the Hindu Calendar, also called Avani) under the star Shravana. Many auspicious signs appeared in the heavens, foretelling the good fortune of this child.
    From: Wikipedia
    In Hindu mythology, Aditi was the goddess of the boundless sky. Her name means "free from bonds" or "the unfettered" or "Limitless" and the Vedas hint that she was once all-encompassing. She undoubtedly pre-dates them, and was once the goddess of the past and the future, the seven dimensions of the cosmos, the celestial light which permeates all things, and the consciousness of all living things.

    In later times, she was known better for her children, who were called the Adityas in honor of her. She was named as the consort of Kasyapa or Brahma. She is sometimes depicted in the guise of a cow. She eventually was degraded as a guardian goddess who helped her worshippers find a smooth path to what they were looking for.
    From: Aditi
    Aditi means the one who is unbound, free and unfettered. She is the personification of the sky and space in which reside all gods, from where Indra sends down his thunder bolt or fights with Vrata to release the waters or where one can see Aditya, the sun god riding in his golden chariot yoked by seven ruddy horses. The Vedic hymns mention her frequently as the mother of gods and all creatures. Although no hymns are directly addressed to Aditi, she was undoubtedly a popular goddess as is evident from the copious references to her name in the Rigveda and Yajurveda, in the hymns addressed to other gods such as Indra, Varuna, Adityas and Soma.

    Aditi being the mother of gods, she is urged in the hymns to mediate between men and gods and exert her motherly influence to obtain their help. She is also directly addressed for protection, forgiveness,freedom from sin and abundance. Those who live in the heavens belong to Aditi. So those who desire to go to heaven seek her help and mediation. In some Vedic hymns she is mentioned as Prithvi, the supporter or substratum of alland in some compared to a cow, being the provider of nourishment for all creatures. Adityas are her effulgent solar sons, who are mentioned
    to be either eight or twelve in number of whom one is said to be her
    husband also. She is also described as the mother of Indra. In the Puranas she is described as the wife of Kashyapa through whom she begot Vamana, an incarnation of Vishnu.
    From: Aditi, Mother of the Gods

    Aditi, is called the free one, because in Sanskrit her name means "boundless," and is considered an archaic Mother Goddess, depicted in Hindu, Vedic literature. She represents unlimited space and consciousness, hence infinity or eternity. According to the Rg Veda Aditi is said to be the wife of Kasyapa or of Brahma, and the mother of the Aditya, under whose constraint the universe is made possible; and she also personifies death because she consumes everything. Aditi, therefore, represents a caution already present in the Vedas about contributing the origin of the universe to a personal agent, such as a god. No other consort is mentioned in literature. She is also considered to be the mother of Hari, and other legends have her the mother of Indra. No human physical features of her are drawn, though she is sometimes identified in the guise of a cow. Aditi was believed to be a guardian goddess of prosperity and could free her devotees of problems and clear away obstacles. She does not appear in later Hindu traditions.
    From: Aditi
    The Goddess of energy, Aditi
    Born of the Godhead through vitality,

    Mother of all the cosmic forces
    Who stands in the heart of every creature,

    Is the Self indeed. For this Self is supreme.
    Katha Upanishad part 2:7
    From: here


    Also see:

    Aditi * Lajja Gauri (long article)
    A prayer to Aditi for help and protection (the Atharva Veda)
    Rig Veda: Rig-Veda, Book 10: HYMN CLXXXV. Aditi.
    (also search Sacred-Texts Vedas section for more Aditi references)
    Last edited by Agaliha; November 6th, 2007 at 06:41 PM.

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    wow I've never heard of Aditi, the unfettered one, the all encompassing. She sounds awesome!
    Crying "cherry-picking!" with one breath and "diversity!" with the next doesn't work either.~brymble
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    Quote Originally Posted by aluokaloo View Post
    wow I've never heard of Aditi, the unfettered one, the all encompassing. She sounds awesome!


    She (and many older Vedic deites) are often overlooked in favor of the more popular ones. IMO, they're just as interesting and important.

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    why are they overlooked so much agaliha?
    Crying "cherry-picking!" with one breath and "diversity!" with the next doesn't work either.~brymble
    "Sometimes the Light at the End of the Tunnel is really a Cranky Dragon waiting to roast your ass!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by aluokaloo View Post
    why are they overlooked so much agaliha?
    Most of the Vedic gods were, I don't want to say forgotten because they're not, but they were sort of replaced by the other dieties (Shiva, Laskhmi, Kali, Ganesh) when it comes to worship. Some Vedic deities like Saraswati, Brahma, Vishnu, Ganga, Surya etc were carried though into modern worship (often gaining new attributes, etc), but many like Rudra, Ushas, Varuna, Dyaus Pita, Indra, etc were overlooked and aren't a focus of most modern worship. This isn't to say that no one in Hinduism still worships them or that one can't--people do & can. Vedic religion is a foundation and part of Hinduism, but the predominance for the Vedic pantheon is more in the background now.

    Vedism (aka Brahmanism) would be the name for the path that follows the more Vedic pantheon and practices. The focus would be on the older ways, rather than the newer ones (newer still being 1000s of years old).

    Some links:
    http://www.adf.org/rituals/vedic/why-vedism.html
    http://www.usao.edu/~usao-ids3313/ids/html/vedism.html
    http://library.flawlesslogic.com/vedism.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedism
    http://excoboard.com/exco/index.php?boardid=337 --this forum has a Vedic area with threads, just scroll down.

    Also if you're interested reading The Vedas would help give you a picture of the deities, worship and beliefs.
    Last edited by Agaliha; November 6th, 2007 at 09:36 PM.

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    oh wow, I had no idea that there was a whole separate religion for worship of the older Gods. That is really interesting. I've never heard of Aditi. Its a shame that the older deities are forgotten at times. To me, they are all important.

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    wow. I haven't been here or posted, I should say, in sooo long. Life has just been....crazy. Ive been going through ups and downs, dealing with my many inconsistencies and it seems when I'm ready to get on the right path with my life and spirituality, sin and confusion and depression always seems to strike and throw me off. That being said, I was so blessed to come on here today after just randomly deciding to see what was being posted after a minute of absence and, seeing this post really spoke to me. This goddess and her attributes seem to be what I need in my life right now. Freedom from sin and hesitation, fear and separation from my spiritual guides. I am still searching on my path and, for awhile I've become comfortable with accepting a kind of Universal Mother Goddess and Father God as all names, I think at least, represent the same being. I feel that, although certain specific quirks and cultural aspects may differ, the gods/goddesses are all from the same place and the people who worship their perspective dieties have more or less the same intentions or love/respect and seek the same guidance.....if you get what I mean.

    I don't know. That probably didn't make a whole lot of sense but...you know...in my head it's come together pretty nicely lol. But.,a s I said, my walk with God(dess) is my own and I'm just blessed to be able to continue living and coming closer every day to my real path. Of late, I've been comfortable worshipping the Father God as the "God" Jehovah or Yahweh or the God in three persons (father, son, holy ghost) common to so-called Christian traditions. Along with this, I've come to regard Kali as my Mother Goddess or feminine aspect of God. I'm wondering myself if this is alright or if anyone else has done something similar in mixing pantheons and such...but that's another topic

    sorry my mind is just running..like I said, I haven't been here in so long and I've been going through a journey...it's been interesting...

    but yes, Back to the current thread, the description of Aditi here really struck me as a force I need in my life right now. I have been searching and praying for deliverance from sin, confusion, misdirection, and depression. I have been looking for a closer spiritual relationship. I have been looking for freedom from insecurities, doubts, freedom from worthlessness and freedom, basically, to truly live and not be afraid of life. That's what I'm looking for now. Not saying I will "switch up" or replace my current patron dieties with Aditi but...I guess I'm just in need of what she represents right now and maybe I need a little of her in my life? Any thoughts? Help? Advice?

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    Sorry I never replied before I just wasn't sure what to say...or what you were asking advice for-- honoring Aditi or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by LithiumViolets
    but yes, Back to the current thread, the description of Aditi here really struck me as a force I need in my life right now. I have been searching and praying for deliverance from sin, confusion, misdirection, and depression. I have been looking for a closer spiritual relationship. I have been looking for freedom from insecurities, doubts, freedom from worthlessness and freedom, basically, to truly live and not be afraid of life. That's what I'm looking for now. Not saying I will "switch up" or replace my current patron deities with Aditi but...I guess I'm just in need of what she represents right now and maybe I need a little of her in my life? Any thoughts? Help? Advice?
    I think a lot of people (myself included, though I don't believe in sin) are going through the things your are. You're not alone As for Aditi, it's possible that you saw this thread for a reason, that she (or someone else) wanted you to read this and learn from her--either as a new force in your life or at a distance. I don't think any deity can provide someone with a quick fix or total answer to our problems, but they can help us out, to move forward and grow. You first posted this in November, have you gone further with this to see where it lead? If you need any ideas for honoring her, I can probably think up of some (in a less than Recon way).
    Last edited by Agaliha; January 17th, 2008 at 04:22 PM.

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