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Encyclopedia of Hindu Gods


MITRA

Basic Description:    One of the six Major Sovereign Principles, or the 12 Adityas - offspring of Aditi, the mother of the gods. They are emblems of the sun for each month of the year, and are themselves called suns.  Mitra is the divinity of contracts, of pledges. He represents Friendship, or Solidarity.  Considered to be comforting, benevolent, protecting.  He is opposed to quarreling, violence and encourages right action.  His main influence is to make men abide by their promises and associate together.  Mitra is the complement of Varuna, the favor of the gods.  Mitra and Varuna work together to rule the earth and sky.  They both encourage virtue and piety. Mitra-Varuna is basically the cosmic law, relation of man with man and man with gods.

Alternate Names:  Friendship, or solidarity, was the most important divinized virtue of the early Aryans.  Only one of the hymns of the Rig Veda is addressed to Mitra.  In the celestial hierarchy, the Adityas and Mitra-Varuna are the embodiments of the priestly function, the Brahma.

Mythology:  Vasistha (Owner-of-Wealth) and Agasti (Mover-of-Mountains) were his sons with the celestial nymph Urvasi. Three other sons born by his wife, Revati (Prosperity): Impulse, Ill-Omen, and Pleasure.  Mitra is referred to in one of many descriptions of the Cosmic Being.

Sources:

Danielou, Alain.  The Myths and Gods of India.  Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1991.

Moor, Edward. The Hindu Pantheon.  Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1976.


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