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Encyclopedia of Hindu Gods


ARYAMAN


Basic Description:   Aryaman, or chivalry, is one of the twelve Adityas.  He is the second sovereign principle of this world, the quality of being a gentleman and the virtues it implies.  The main function of Aryaman is the maintenance of an aristocratic society and its high code of honor.  He governs marriage contracts and the laws of hospitality, the rules of chivalry, the maintenance of tradition, custom, and religion.  He protects the freedom of the roads and presides over matrimonial alliances, bringing men together as fathers-in-law, sons-in-law, and brothers-in-law.  Aryaman protects the family and tribal heirlooms and possessions and maintains the standards of dignified living.  Master of the Aryan rites, Aryaman regulates the performance of rituals from the outward, or the social, point of view.  His father is Atri the Devourer and his mother is Anasuya (Without Spite).  Aryaman is lord of yearning and striving for spiritual progress.

Alternate Names:   Aryana, Chivalry, the Great Ancestor

History/Practices:   Offerings are made to him in the rituals through which the Ancestors are fed.  He shares with Mitra and Varuna the offerings made with the word svaha in sacrifices to gods and the offerings made in the Ancestors' rituals with the word svadha.

Iconography:   His attributes are a club, two lotus, and a prayer wheel.

Sources

Danliélou, Alain.  The Myths and Gods of India .  Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 1991.

Jordan, Michael,   Encyclopedia of Gods.  New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993.


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