Saranyu

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"Saranya" redirects here. For other uses, see Saranya (disambiguation).
Saranyu
Goddess of clouds
Suryadeva.jpg
Surya with consorts Saranyu (Sanjna) and Chhaya
Devanagari सरण्यु
Sanskrit Transliteration Saraṇyu
Affiliation Devi
Consort Surya

Saranya (Saraṇyū) or Saraniya (also known as Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya) is the wife of Surya, and the goddess of clouds in Hindu mythology, and is sometimes associated with Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture, and Helen of Troy. According to Max Müller and A. Kuhn, Demeter is the mythological equivalent of the Sanskrit Saranyu, who, having turned herself into a mare, is pursued by Vivasvat, and becomes the mother of Revanta and the twin Asvins, the Indian Dioscuri (the Indian and Greek myths being regarded as identical). She is also the mother of Manu, the twins Yama and Yami. According to Farnell, the meaning of the epithet is to be looked for in the original conception of Erinys, which was that of an earth-goddess akin to Ge, thus naturally associated with Demeter, rather than that of a wrathful avenging deity.

Saraṇyū is the female form of the adjective saraṇyú, meaning "quick, fleet, nimble", used for rivers and wind in the Rigveda (compare also Sarayu).

Etymologically, Saranyu may be related to Helen. In Rigveda 10.17, Saranyu is the daughter of Tvastar, and, like Helen, is abducted, and Vivasvat is given a replacement bride instead.

1ab tváṣṭā duhitré vahatúṃ kṛṇotîtīdáṃ víśvam bhúvanaṃ sám eti1
1cd yamásya mātâ paryuhyámānā mahó jāyâ vívasvato nanāśa
2ab ápāgūhann amŕtām mártyebhyaḥ kṛtvî sávarṇām adadur vívasvate
2cd utâśvínāv abharad yát tád âsīd ájahād u dvâ mithunâ saraṇyûḥ
Tvastar prepares the bridal of his Daughter: all the world hears the tidings and assembles.
But Yama's Mother, Spouse of great Vivasvat, vanished as she was carried to her dwelling.
From mortal men they hid the Immortal Lady, made one like her and gave her to Vivasvat.
Saranyu brought to him the Asvin brothers, and then deserted both twinned pairs of children.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions (ISBN 81-208-0379-5) by David Kinsley
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.