Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vayu वायु





HYMN CLXVIII. Vāyu.

1. O THE Wind's chariot, O its power and glory! Crashing it goes and hath a voice of thunder.
It makes the regions red and touches heaven, and as it moves the dust of earth is scattered.
2 Along the traces of the Wind they hurry, they come to him as dames to an assembly.
Borne on his car with these for his attendants, the God speeds forth, the universe's Monarch.
3 Travelling on the paths of air's mid-region, no single day doth he take rest or slumber.
Holy and earliest-born, Friend of the waters, where did he spring and from what region came he?
4 Germ of the world, the Deities’ vital spirit, this God moves ever as his will inclines him.
His voice is heard, his shape is ever viewless. Let us adore this Wind with our oblation.
HYMN CXXXIV. Vāyu.

1. VĀYU, let fleet-foot coursers bring thee speedily to this our feast, to drink first of the juice we pour, to the first draught of Soma juice.
May our glad hymn, discerning well, uplifted, gratify thy mind.
Come with thy team-drawn car, O Vāyu, to the gift, come to the sacrificer's gift.
2 May the joy-giving drops, O Vāyu gladden thee, effectual, well prepared, directed to the heavens, strong, blent with milk and seeking heaven;
That aids, effectual to fulfil, may wait upon our skilful power.
Associate teams come hitherward to grant our prayers: they shall address the hymns we sing.
3 Two red steeds Vāyu yokes, Vāyu two purple steeds, swift-footed, to the chariot, to the pole to draw, most able, at the pole, to draw.
Wake up intelligence, as when a lover wakes his sleeping love.
Illumine heaven and earth, make thou the Dawns to shine, for glory make the Dawns to shine.
4 For thee the radiant Dawns in the far-distant sky broaden their lovely garments forth in wondrous beams, bright-coloured in their new-born beams.
For thee the nectar-yielding Cow pours all rich treasures forth as milk.
The Marut host hast thou engendered from the womb, the Maruts from the womb of heaven.
5 For thee the pure bright quickly-flowing Soma-drops, strong in their heightening power, hasten to mix themselves, hasten to the water to be mixed.
To thee the weary coward prays for luck that he may speed away.
Thou by thy law protectest us from every world, yea, from the world of highest Gods.
6 Thou, Vāyu, who hast none before thee, first of all hast right to drink these offerings of Soma juice, hast right to drink the juice out-poured,
Yea, poured by all invoking tribes who free themselves from taint of sin,
For thee all cows are milked to yield the Soma-milk, to yield the butter and the milk.
Vāyu (Sanskrit: वायु, IAST: Vāyu; Malay: Bayu, Thai: Phra Pai) is a primary Hindu deity, the Lord of the winds, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman. He is also known as Vāta (वात), Pavana (पवन, the Purifier),[2] and sometimes Prāṇa (प्राण, the breath).

As the word for air, (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) is one of the Panchamahābhuta or five great elements. The Sanskrit word 'Vāta' literally means "blown", 'Vāyu' "blower", and 'Prāna' "breathing" (viz. the breath of life, cf. the *an- in 'animate'). Hence, the primary referent of the word is the "deity of Life", who is sometimes for clarity referred to as "Mukhya-Vāyu" (the chief Vāyu) or "Mukhya Prāna" (the chief of Life).

Sometimes the word "vayu," which is more generally used in the sense of the physical air or wind, is used as a synonym for "prāna".[3] There is however a separate set of five deities of Prāna (vital breath), Mukhya-Prāna being chief among them, so that, in Hindi and other Indian languages, someone's death is stated as "his lives departed" (uske prān nikal gaye) rather than "his life departed." These five Vāyu deities, Prāna, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna, and Samāna, control life (and the vital breath), the wind, touch/sensation, digestion, and excretion.

Vāta, an additional name for Vāyu, is the root of the Sanskrit and Hindi term for "atmosphere", vātāvaran (वातावरण).[4]

Pavan is also a fairly common Hindu name. Pavan had played an important role in Anjana's begetting Hanuman as her child. Hence Hanuman is also called Pavan-Putra (son of Pavana) and Vāyu-Putra.

In the Mahabharata, Bheema was the son of Vāyu and played a major role in the Kurukshetra war. He utilised his huge power and skill with the mace for supporting Dharma.

In the hymns, Vayu is "described as having 'exceptional beauty' and moving noisily in his shining coach, driven by two or forty-nine or thousand white and purple horses. A white banner is his main attribute."[2] Like the other atmospheric deities, he is a "fighter and destroyer", "powerful and heroic."[5]

In the Upanishads there are numerous statements and illustrations of the greatness of Vāyu. The Brhadaranyaka states that the gods who control bodily functions once engaged in a contest to determine who among them is the greatest. When a deity such as that of vision would leave a man's body, that man would continue to live, albeit as a blind man and having regained the lost faculty once the errant deity returned to his post. One by one the deities all took their turns leaving the body, but the man continued to live on, though successively impaired in various ways. Finally, when Mukhya Prāna started to leave the body, all the other deities started to be inexorably pulled off their posts by force, "just as a powerful horse yanks off pegs in the ground to which he is bound." This caused the other deities to realize that they can function only when empowered by Vayu, and can be overpowered by him easily. In another episode, Vāyu is said to be the only deity not afflicted by demons of sin who were on the attack. The Chandogya states that one cannot know Brahman except by knowing Vāyu as the udgitha (the mantric syllable "om").

Followers of Dvaita philosophy hold that Mukhya-Vāyu incarnated as Madhvacharya to teach worthy souls to worship the Supreme God Vishnu and to correct the errors of the Advaita philosophy.

From: Wiki
Vayu is the Hindu god of wind. In Vedic times he was much revered as one of the Hindu Triad. After that age, in the Brahmanic era, he was reduced in status but he still continues to occupy a certain eminent position in the Hindu pantheon. Vayu roams all over the earth and the heavens though his home is in the north-west, a quarter which he rules exclusively. He is featured as a destructive god who has an intemperate character and is often subject to violent desires which he never strives to repress. He is also said to be the king of the Gandharvas, spirits of the mountains who dwell in the foothills of Mount Meru, a mythical summit often mentioned in Hindu religious texts.

Notwithstanding Vayu's amicable association with Mount Meru, he nevertheless once mounted an attack on it and broke its summit. The story goes that, for some unknown reason, Vayu was incited by the sage Narad, a person who can be taken as akin to Mercury of Greek myth, to break off the top of Mount Meru. Vayu, being vindictive and violent, strived to do this for a full year, blowing hard continuously at the Mount but it was nobly defended by Garuda who spread his great wings and took the brunt of Vayu's force, thus shielding the mythical peak. After a full year had passed in this struggle, Garuda became tired and left his guard-post for a while. Narad, who was more mischievous than vindictive, saw the opportunity in this and immediately exhorted Vayu to double his efforts. This time Vayu was successful and Mount Meru lost its respectable top, which Vayu then hurled into the sea where it became the island of Lanka (present-day Sri Lanka).

Vayu's lusts were indiscriminate and the number of illegitimate children he engendered is legion. Though he was married to a daughter of Vishwakarma, the divine architect, he had offspring by many notable female characters of Hindu myths. One of his most famous illegitimate offspring is Hanuman, the monkey god. Hanuman's ability to fly is credited to his covert parentage. Another offspring Vayu engendered is Bhim, the third son of Kunti, one of the two principal mother figures of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Bhim's antecedents are more respectable as his mother conceived him as a result of a prayer to Vayu asking him for a son. There is also a tale told of Vayu trying to seduce all the hundred daughters of King Kusanabha. When they resisted all his amorous efforts Vayu gave all of them crooked backs.

Vayu is nevertheless important for certain Hindu ceremonies and is then perceived of in more temperate terms. He is called "the bearer of perfumes" and is credited with being a benign force who is a constant companion of Vishnu, one of the incumbent Hindu triad, and his wife Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and beauty.

From: here
Vayu is the god of the wind. Extremely handsome in appearance, he moves about noisily in a shining chariot drawn by a pair of red or purple horses. At times the number of horses increase to forty—nine or even a thousand. The latter number would probably be employed when there is a cyclone. He is also represented as a fair-complexioned man riding a deer and carrying a white flag. He may have two to four hands and may carry a goad and a wheel.

Often associated with Indra, Vayu won the race for the first draught of Soma juice (ambrosia). He does not occupy a very prominent position in the Vedic hymns. He is considered the friend of the waters. At a later stage he is said to have begotten a son, Hanuman (the monkey god), who played a conspicuous role in the epic Ramayana. In the other epic Mahabharata, Bhim also is said to be the son of Vail.

From: here
This is Vayu, the God of the Winds, who rules over the atmosphere. After Indra, he is perhaps the most prominent of the storm gods of the Vedas and is often associated with him. He is presented as riding the golden chariot of Indra, pulled by anything from 99 to a 1000 horses, red or purple in colour. Since he is supposed to have been born from the breath of Purusa, the Supreme Being, he is God of the Wind.

He is supposed to infuse the Universe with life, and to purify the atmosphere as Pavan (the pure) and it is said that his sounds have been heard but his form has never been seen.

Praises have been sung of his swiftness and agility, and later, in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he is said to be the father of two of the strongest and bravest heroes, Hanuman and Bheema respectively. Hanuman is often referred to as Pavanputra, the son of Pavan (Wind) by a monkey mother. Kunti, the mother of Bheema, was permitted to bear a child by any of the gods, since her husband could not become a father due to a curse. The fact that she chose Vayu, points to the fact that his position among the gods must have been significant.

Being associated with purification, he is dressed in white and even carries a white flag. He is often referred to as Maruti, the air necessary for life, or Anila, breath of life.

From: here
VAYU. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'Air, wind.' The god of the wind, Eolus. In the Vedas he is often associated with Indra, and rides in the same car with him, Indra being the charioteer. The chariot has a framework of gold which touches the sky, and is drawn by a thousand horses. There are not many hymns addressed to him. According to the Nirukta there are three gods specially connected with each other. "Agni, whose place is on earth; Vayu or Indra, whose place is in the air; and Surya, whose place is in the heaven." In the hymn Purushasukta Vayu is said to have sprung form the breath of Purusha, and in another hymn he is called the son-in-law of Twashtri. He is regent of the north-west quarter, where he dwells.

According to the Vishnu Purana he is king of the Gandharvas. The Bhagavata Purana relates that the sage Narada incited the wind to break down the summit of Mount Meru. He raised a terrible storm which lasted for a year, but Vishnu's bird, Garuda, shielded the mountain with is wings, and all the blasts of the wind-god were in vain. Narada then told him to attack the mountain in Garuda's absence. He did so, and breaking off the summit of the mountain, he hurled it into the sea, where it became the island of Lanka (Ceylon).

Vayu is the reputed father of Bhima and of Hanuman, and he is said to have made the hundred daughters of King Kusanabha crooked because they would not comply with his licentious desires, and this gave the name Kanyakubja, 'hump-backed damsel,' to their city.

Other names of Vayu (wind) are Anila, Marut, Pavana Vata, Gandhavaha, 'bearer of perfumes;' Jalakantara, 'whose garden is water;' Sadagata, Satataga, 'ever-moving,' etc.

From: here
VĀYU.
Another of the storm-gods is Vāyu, the god of the winds. He is often associated with Indra, and is regarded, equally with him, as representing or ruling over the atmosphere. He won the race for the first draught of the Soma juice; and, at Indra's request, allowed him to have a quarter of it. He does not occupy a very prominent position in the Vedic hymns. In one passage * we read, "The two worlds (heaven and earth) generated him for wealth." This may be intended to teach his parentage; and Dr. Muir says that he is not aware of any other passage where his parentage is declared. He is said to be the son-in-law of Tvastri (Visvakarma); but here a difficulty occurs: only one daughter of Tvastri is mentioned, and, as was noticed in the account of Surya, he was said to be husband of this girl.

Vāyu is described † as being most handsome in form; one who moves noisily in a shining car, drawn by a pair of red or purple horses. At times the number of horses is increased to ninety-nine, a hundred, or even a thousand. This latter number would probably be employed during a cyclone. He is seldom mentioned in connection with the Maruts (storm-deities), though in one place he is said to have begotten them by the rivers of heaven.

Another name for Vāyu in the Vedas is Vāta. The praise of Vāta is sung in the following hymn:— * (I celebrate) the glory of Vāta's chariot; his noise comes rending and resounding. Touching the sky, he moves onward, making all things ruddy; and he comes propelling the dust of the earth. The gusts of air rush after him, and congregate upon him as women in an assembly. Sitting along with them on the same car, the god [Indra] who is king of this universe is borne along. Hasting forward . . . he never rests. Friend of the waters, first-born, holy, in what place was he born His sounds have been heard, but his form is not (seen)."

In a later age, when it was thought necessary to connect the heroes, whose exploits are then sung, with the gods, Vāyu, or Pavan as he is then called, is said to have had a son, Hanumān, by a monkey mother. Hanumān played a most conspicuous part in Rāma's expedition in search of Sita. In the Mahābhārata, Bhīma (the Strong), one of the bravest of the warriors whose history is given there, is also said to be a son of Vāyu. Kunti, the mother of Bhīma, had a boon granted as a reward of her devotion, that she could obtain a child by any of the gods she might wish. As her husband, owing to a curse, could not become a father, she employed this charm, and so Vāyu became the father of Bhīma.

Vāyu or Pavan (the Purifier) is represented in pictures as a white man riding on a deer, and carries a white flag in his hand. In the Purānas he is said to be son of Aditi.

Other names by which this deity is known are the following:—Anila, breath; Mārut, air that is necessary to life; Sparsana, he who touches; Gandhavaha, he who carries odours.

From: here
Vayu - the God of Wind

Vayu is a Hindu deity, presiding over the element of air. Vayu is hence the Lord of the winds. Vayu, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman, is also known as Pavana, Vaata and Praana. Vayu is one of the Panchamahabhutas or five elements. 'Vaata' literally means both "atmosphere" and "blown", "Vaayu" means "blower", and "Praana", "breath". Hence, this deity is also regarded as the "Deity of Life", who is sometimes also referred to as "Mukhya-Vaayu" or "Mukhya Praana".

Interestingly, there is however a separate set of five deities of Praana (vital breath) and Mukhya-Praana is their chief. These five Vaayu deities, Praana, Apaana, Vyaana, Udaana, and Samaana, control life, the wind, touch/sensation, digestion, and excretion respectively.

Hanuman - son of Vayu

Pavan had played a vital role in Anjana begetting Hanuman as her child. Hence Hanuman is also called Pavan-Putra (son of Pavana) and Vaayu-Putra. In the Mahabharata, Bheema, another son of Vaayu, played a great role in the war of Kurukshetra. He utilised his formidable phyiscal power and skill in the Gada Yudhha (fighting with the mace) martial art to fight against the Pandavas.

Physical characteristics

Vayu is described as an exceptionally beautiful deity, moving noisily in his ratha (carriage), driven by forty-nine or thousand white and purple horses. His main attribute is a white banner. Like the other atmospheric deities, he is a warrior deity, powerful, heroic and destroyer of adharma.
Legends on Vayu

The Upanishads gives many illustrations on the greatness of Vayu. The Brihadaranyaka states that the gods who control bodily functions once engaged in a contest to determine who among them is the greatest. It was seen here that when a deity such as that of vision left a man's body, that man would still continue to live, albeit as a blind man. He would regain the lost faculty once the errant deity returned to his post. One by one, the deities all took their turns leaving the body, but the man still continued to live on, though impaired each time one of the deities left his body.

Finally, when Mukhya Prana started to leave the body, all the other deities were forced out of the body as well. This caused the other deities to realize that they could survive and function only when empowered by Vayu, and that Vayu could easily overshadow them.

Followers of the Dvaita philosophy believe that Mukhya-Vayu incarnated as Madhvacharya, in order to fulfill his mission of teaching people to worship the Supreme Lord Vishnu and to correct the errors of the Advaita philosophy as well. In fact, Madhvacharya himself makes this claim, citing the Rig Veda as his evidence.

From: here
 

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