12 Adityas, from fierce to the protector

12 Adityas are the sons of the Aditi as per the Puranas. However, as per the Vedas and Satapatha Brahmana, they are the upholder of Dharma. The name varies with the Puranas. While considering, the authority of the Brahmana texts of Yajnawalkya over the Puranas. The names are as per the Satapatha Brahmana.

One: Yama

Yama is one of the prominent Aditya among the 12 Adityas, he is responsible for the overall functioning of the Dharma in the mortal and immortal worlds. He is considered as a son of the sun god in puranic stories. His sister’s name is Yamuna and has one brother namely, Shani. Stories also consider Ashwini Kumar or the divine doctors to be his brothers.

Click here to read about 24 Avatars of Vishnu.

Two: Aryaman

Aryaman is the friend diety among the 12 Adityas. He is the protector of the customs and unions of the tribes and their people. Aryaman maintains noble deeds and he supports them like a friend. He is also the protector of the mares and the milky way (aryamṇáḥ pánthāḥ). This suggests his authority over nurturing the speed in an individual.

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Three: Indra, the King in 12 Adityas.

Indra is the king of the Devtas. He is the protector of the individual Karmas in the profession. He killed the Vritra demon responsible for the drought and other natural calamities related to fertility. Indra rules over the fertility of human beings as well as agriculture. He also rules over the sensations. Indra is also the god of thunder, rain, and water flows.

Click here to read about 8 forms of Durga.

Four: Ravi/Pushan

Ravi/Pushan is the poet god in the 12 Adityas. He is the protector of the marriages, journeys, roads, and the feeding of cattle. He is also the guide of souls. In the direct sense, he is the protector of cosmic rhythm. He never let men be exploited by other men.

Five: Varuna

Varuna in the 12 Adityas is the protector of the Rta (Natural Laws), Seas, and the Satya (Cosmic Truth). He protects the self-realization in Yoga. He is among the most talented gods in Hinduism. The greatness of the Knowledge of Varuna is mentioned in the Atharva Veda. There is a strong connection between Vishnu and Varuna. Yajur Veda mentions, Varuna to be Vishnu and Vishnu to be Varuna. In Rig Veda, he also has a strong connection with Mitra, the protector of treaties. His vehicle is a crocodile. 

Click here to read about 7 Avatars of Brahma.

Six: Bhaga

Bhaga in the 12 Adityas is the god of fortune in Hinduism. He is responsible for the good returns for good actions. He is the god of both mortal and immortals. Bhaga is also the god of wealth.

Seven: Savitr

Savitr is one of the most important deities in Hinduism. He is the agent god and the ruler of intelligence. He is a patron deity in Hinduism. The famous Gayatri Mantra is associated with the Savitr.

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Eight: Surya

Surya is the god of sight, perception, and knowledge. He is commonly considered as the Sun God. In the Ramayana, once Hanuman tried to eat the Sun considering it to be the fruit. As per the Vedas, he is the creator of Prakriti or the individual nature. Surya is the most important Aditya and one the eldest.

Nine: Ansha

Ansha is the god of the parts. Most commonly he can be referred to as the parts of the sun or the beams. There are seven principal rays of the suns as per Hinduism. However, he poses 15 rays. The rays also represent the colors of light in the Chakras, they represent the parts of our consciousness. He comes with the wind or he travels through Prana as per the Yoga.

rays of sun 12 Adityas

Ten: Mitra in the twelve Adityas

Mitra is a diety having similar attributes to that of Varuna. Mitra-Varuna is called Dvandva or the pair. They protect the Natural Laws.

Eleven: Dhatr

Dhatr is the god of health. He gives good health to the people who worship him. He is also the protector of Domestic Tranquillity.

Click here to read about 19 Avatars of Rudras

Twelve: Daksha

Daksha is the major Aditya. He had many births. In one of his births, he was the son of Brahma. A Prajapati or the ruler. He is also the protector of Skilled actions and the individual skills in individuals.

The List of the Adityas varies significantly in Puranas and Vedas. There can be a relation between them. However, in Hinduism, there is a concept of 33 Koti Devtas or 33 categories of the Gods. The 12 Adityas should also have categories so the list can vary in accordance with the inference of the sage or Rishis. Vishnu could be in the category of the Savitr or the diety of intelligence or any.

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