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Encyclopedia of Hindu Gods


VAYU



Image from Moor.

Basic Description:  Vayu is the God of the Wind.  He is one of the five elemental gods, (panchamahabhoota).  The other elemental gods are earth (prthivi), water (aap), fire (agni), air (vayu), and space (akasha).  Vayu is best known for being the father of Hamuman, the monkey king.

Alternate Names:  Anila, Sadagatha, Gandhavaha, Jalakantara, Pavana, Vata

History/Practices:  

Iconography:  Blue in color, he is depicted with four hands. He holds a fan and a flag in two hands while the other two are held in abhaya and varada mudras (postures).

Mythology:  When Hanuman was born, he flew up to the sky to steal the sun.  To stop Hanmuman, Indra and he made Hanuman uncouncious.  When Vayu learned of the fate of his son, he was enraged and withheld wind from the earth.  Finally, Indra pacified Vayu by returning conciesness to Hamnuman.

Hanuman was born of the womb of Anjana.  Anjana was once walking in the forest, when a cyclone came up and lifted the garmets of Anjana above her waist.  The wind then entered Anjana and she felt as if something was placed in her womb.  Hanuman was therefore born of Anjana and Vayu.

Riding Animal:  Antelope

Consort:  Anjana

Sources:

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

Moor, Edward.  The Hindu Pantheon.  Los Angeles: Philosophical research society, 1976.

Thomas, P.  Epics, Myths and Legends of India.  Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons & Co. Private Ltd, 1961.


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