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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pushan (Pūṣan) is a Vedic solar deity and one of the Adityas. He is the god of meeting. Pushan was responsible for marriages, journeys, roads, and the feeding of cattle. He was a psychopomp, conducting souls to the other world. He protected travelers from bandits and wild beasts, and protected men from being exploited by other men. He was a supportive guide, a "good" god, leading his adherents towards rich pastures and wealth. He carried a golden lance, a symbol of activity.

He is mentioned in Mandala 6 of the Rig Veda. Pusan was originally the countryman's deity, somewhat as were Pan and Faunus.



The name of the deity is derived from Sanskrit verb, pūṣyati, which means "cause to thrive". So, his name means, "one who causes people to thrive."

Pushan in Vedic literature

Pūṣan is praised in eight hymns in the Rigveda. Some of these hymns appeal to him to guard livestock and find lost livestock. His chariot is pulled by goats. Sometimes he is described as driving the Sun in its course across the sky. He seems to represent the sun as a guardian of flocks and herds.

According to a narrative found in the Taittiriya Samhita, Rudra was excluded from a certain sacrifice. He, in anger, pierced the sacrifice with an arrow and Pushan broke his teeth as he attempted to eat a part of the oblation. The later versions of this narrative are found in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. In these versions, Rudra or Shiva was angry because his father-in-law, Daksha, the sacrificer, did not invite him. Shiva, in anger, kicked Pushan and knocked out his teeth as he was eating the oblation. In the Puranic versions, Virabhadra, created by Shiva from a lock of his matted hair knocked down Pushan's teeth.

Pushan in the Puranas

In the Puranas, he is said to one of the twelve Aditi's sons. Aditi’s other eleven sons as narrated in Purana's are Surya, Aryama, Tvashta, Savita, Bhaga, Dhata, Vidhata, Varuna, Mitra, Indra, and Lord Vamana.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pushan" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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