ॐ Hindu Of Universe ॐ

“God’s light is within you, It never leaves you.”


They are the lords of storm and destruction. They bring about huge storms that shake the earth and bring darkness even during day time. They are ferocious. In spite of this they are not wicked. They work for the welfare of man and give them strength to overcome obstacles and become rich.


Maruts are powerful and destructive storm gods, who lash the world from end to end, make the mountains rock and reel, rend the forest-kings apart, make the earth tremble, and drench the earth with heavy rains. Mighty and well-armed, impetuous in their haste, decked in glittering gold ornaments, they send their windless rain even on the desert places. When they inundate the earth they spread forth darkness even in day time, with the water filled rain clouds. Loud roarers, giving strength, devourers of the foe, they make the winds and the lightning with their powers. The Maruts are positively destructive forces of the heave, ferocious but not wicked. They are divine beings, who work for the welfare of the world and men, though they do it in their quite noisy way. The Maruts give strength to the worshippers to make them invincible in battle, bring wealth to the people, increase their progeny and prolong life.

About MarutsIn Hinduism, the Maruts or Marutas, also known as the Marutagana and sometimes identified with Rudras, are storm deities and sons of Rudra and Prisni. The number of Marutas varies from 27 to sixty. They are very violent and aggressive, described as armed with golden weapons i.e. lightning and thunderbolts, as having iron teeth and roaring like lions, as residing in the north, as riding in golden chariots drawn by ruddy horses.

The Marutas are a group of young storm gods. They are attendants to Indra. The Marutas are violent and aggressive in nature. They are also called Marutagana. There are 49 Marutas in number.

Mother: Diti
The Daityas (Asuras) are their brothers
Birth of Marutas
One evening, Diti, the mother of the Daityas was absorbed in thought. She was thinking about the many times her sons had been slaughtered by Indra and the devas. This made her really angry.

When her husband, Kashyapa, returned from his daily rituals, she asked him, “How come Indra and the devas always emerge victorious against my sons. How come, despite having brave sons who do a lot of penance, the devas always defeat them. Why?”

“It is because Lord Vishnu is on the side of the devas, Diti. You can’t do anything. Lord Vishnu will keep saving the devas,” Kashyapa said calmly.

“The power of penance is really strong. It can defeat anyone, even Vishnu. Grant me a son that shall kill that Indra. I will remain angry till Indra dies!” Diti yelled.

Kashyapa didn’t like Indra. He knew Indra was not an amazing king. But he disliked the Daityas even more. The order of the universe would only remain balanced if Indra remained king of the devas.

“You shall have the boon you wish for. But, you must observe a ritual while bearing a child. If you fulfill the ritual successfully, you child will destroy Indra,” Kashyapa said.

“You must perform this ritual for a whole year. During this time, you must not harm any creature. You can’t curse anyone, or tell a lie. You must not trim either your nails or hair. You must not touch anything that is unclean. You must not bathe by immersing yourself in water. Anger should also be under complete control. You must not speak to unworthy persons. You must always wear clean clothes, and you should eat anything that has previously been eaten by someone else. Eating meat is entirely forbidden. You must not drink water by taking it up in your hand. You must not go out at dawn or dusk, or without your hair being dressed properly. You must not sleep with your head to either north or west. You may not sleep without washing your legs, nor are you allowed to sleep with wet legs. You must always sleep alone, and must not sleep at either dawn or dusk. You must worship the household cow, Brahmins, and Laxmi before you eat in the morning. You must also worship those women whose husbands are still alive. You must also worship me, your husband,” Kashyapa explained.

“If you observe this Vrata (ritual/fast/penance), known as Pumsvana for a whole year, the son born then shall be the slayer of Indra and lead his brothers to victory,” he continued.

Diti soon became pregnant with the son she wanted. Aditi, the mother of many of the devas and Kashyapa’s other wife, learned about this and she went to Indra.

“Indra, Diti is having a really powerful son that is going to kill you, and you are just relaxing. If that child is born, you and all the other devas will be doomed,” Aditi said.

“I didn’t know about this, Mother. What do we do now?” Indra asked, alarmed.

“Diti is right now living alone. She is observing this ritual. If she breaks a condition of the ritual even once, she won’t have a child that kills you. You can go to her disguised as a servant. Then, once she breaks a rule of her ritual, you can kill the baby inside the womb,” Aditi said.

Indra listened to is mother’s plan and disguised himself as a servant. Diti accepted him as her servant. She thought he was a very devoted servant. One day, Diti was really tired and went to sleep without her washing her feet. This was violating the ritual. Indra took this chance and turned really tiny. He entered the womb and began slicing the embryo. He sliced into seven pieces. The baby suddenly started crying. Indra tried to silence the baby by saying ‘Ma Ruda’, which means don’t cry. But the baby kept crying. Indra got really frustrated turned the seven pieces into forty-nine pieces.

So, Diti gave birth to 49 sons, instead of one. They were called the Maruts because of what Indra had said in the womb: ‘Ma Ruda’. Since Diti had failed to fulfill the ritual, the Marutas became the companions and attendants of Indra, rather than his enemies.

The Marutas are really fierce and strong. They wear golden armor and are armed with golden weapons such as war-axes. They are capable of destroying mountains and forests. They have iron teeth and roar like lions. The Maruts ride in golden chariots drawn by huge horses.

The Maruts
If you have witnessed a heavy monsoon lashing in the Indian subcontinent, then you will agree it can be intimidating. As the clouds gather, they can darken the skies even in the middle of an afternoon. Then without a warning the rain bursts through the clouds, the huge drops pound the earth. Every now and then, the sky lights up to a crackle of lightening, accompanied by thunder. Children, reach out for their parents, seeking safety. In that moment, as you gaze outside, from the comfort of your modern home, you see neither sky nor earth. You know that the rain is good for you, your community, yet as the ferocity builds up, you can’t help but feel a slight sense of trepidation.

Now, take away the protection offered by modern technology and education and transport yourself to 3000 BC. How would you react to this onslaught? It is this kind of shock and awe that inspired ancients to metamorphose elements of nature into their Gods and Goddesses.

The God that caused the rain – he had to be extremely powerful, if he were to be the cause of an event so ferocious and fearful – was Rudra. The storm or rain became Maruts, his offsprings and the cloud that bears the storm or rain became the mother, and was called Prsni.

Hymn 66 of Mandala VI contains fascinating details of this metamorphosis. The entire hymn is dedicated to the Maruts.

RV 6.066.03
They who are Sons of the rain-pouring Rudra, whom the long-lasting One had power to foster:
The Mighty Ones whose germ great Mother Prsni is known to have received for man’s advantage.

Verse 3 makes it clear that Rudra, the “rain-pouring” God is the father of the Maruts and that Prsni is the mother. That rain is beneficial to man is obvious and hence Prsni bore the germ for the advantage of mankind, even though it is no mean feat to bear the impetuous Maruts. The composer of the hymn recognizes this and hence glorifies Prsni as “great Mother”.

RV 6.066.04
They shrink not from the birth; in this same manner still resting there they purge away reproaches.
When they have streamed forth, brilliant, at their pleasure, with their own splendour they bedew their bodies.

RV 6.066.07
No team of goats shall draw your car, O Maruts, no horse no charioteer be he who drives it.
Halting not, reinless, through the air it travels, speeding alone its paths through earth and heaven.

The impetuous nature of the Maruts is apparent in Verse 4 and Verse 7 – they stream forth, brilliant at their own pleasure. They travel through the air at their own will, “halting not”, speeding through earth and heaven. Neither goats nor horses can draw their chariot, not can a charioteer drive it.

The imagery in Verse 6 is unmistakable.

RV 6.066.06
When, strong in strength and armed with potent weapons, they had united well formed earth and heaven,
Rodasi stood among these furious Heroes like splendour shining with her native brightness.

The earth and heaven appear united, the effect of a thunderstorm, when the clouds cover both in impenetrable darkness. And the recurring crackle of lightening is metamorphosed into Goddess Rodasi, by her very nature “splendour shinning with her native brightness”.

Now let us examine how various natural phenomenon that accompany a rain-storm have been transformed or metamorphosed into characteristics or aspects of the Maruts.

RV 6.066.11
That swelling band I call with invocation, the brood of Rudra, armed with glittering lances.
Pure hymns are meet for that celestial army: like floods and mountains have the Strong Ones battled.

The Maruts are considered a celestial rather than a terrestrial army, given that rain originates from the skies. Glittering rain drops transmute into lances. The “swelling” band is an obvious reference to a protracted downpour.

Rv 6.048.20
May the kind excellence of him the Kind, loud Roarers! be our guide,
Be it the God’s, O Maruts, or a mortal man’s who worships, ye impetuous Ones!

RV 6.048.15
Bright as the host of Maruts mighty in their roar. May they bring Pusan free from foes;
May they bring hither hundreds, thousands for our men: may they bring hidden stores to light, and make wealth easy to be found.

They signal their arrival or presence by loud roaring of loud signing, an attribute transmuted from thunder.

RV 6.049.11
Ye who are youthful, wise, and meet for worship, come, Maruts, to the longing of the singer.
Coming, as erst to Angiras, O Heroes, ye animate and quicken e’en the desert.

As one would expect, they are able to animate even the desert, i.e. rain could bring a desert to life.

Relation with Pusan
RV 6.048.15
Bright as the host of Maruts mighty in their roar. May they bring Pusan free from foes;
May they bring hither hundreds, thousands for our men: may they bring hidden stores to light, and make wealth easy to be found.

RV 6.050.05
To whom the Goddess Rodasi clings closely, whom Pusan follows bringing ample bounty.
What time ye hear our call and come, O Maruts, upon your separate path all creatures tremble.

The two verse above suggest that the Maruts either bring Pusan to the worshipper or that Pusan follows the Maruts and brings ample bounty in his wake. Why? Because, Pusan is a pastoral deity, and a provider of pastures for grazing to the cattle, amongst other things. Can there be abundant pasture unless there is rain?

Maruts as accordant with Indra
RV 6.017.11
He dressed a hundred buffaloes, O Indra, for thee whom all accordant Maruts strengthen.
He, Pusan Visnu, poured forth three great vessels to him, the juice that cheers, that slaughters Vrtra.

RV 6.019.11
The Bull, whose strength hath waxed, whom Maruts follow, free-giving Indra, the Celestial Ruler,
Mighty, all-conquering, the victory-giver, him let us call to grant us new protection.

RV 6.040.05
Mayst thou, O Indra, on the day of trial, present or absent, wheresoe’er thou dwellest,
Thence, with thy team, accordant with the Maruts, Song-lover! guard our sacrifice, to help us.

Mandala VI has several verses that mention the Maruts being accordant with Indra or following Indra. No further details are available on the specific relation between them.