Dyaus (deity)

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God of Sky and Heaven
Member of the Pancha Bhoota
Other namesAkasha
AffiliationDeva, Pancha Bhoota
AbodeDyuloka, Sky (आकाश / ākāśa)
Personal information
ConsortBhudevi (Prithvi)
SiblingsVaruna, Agni, Vayu

Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ (Vedic Sanskrit: द्यौष्पितृ / Dyáuṣpitṛ́, literally "Sky Father") is the "Father Heaven" deity of the Vedic pantheon, who appears in hymns with Prithvi Mata "Mother Earth" in the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. He is significant in comparative philology scholarship of Proto-Indo-European religion as similar vocative and nominative concepts share a similar derivation from the Indo-Eurooean language, such as Dies Pater (Latin), Zευς πατήρ (Ancient Greek), Tius or Zio (Old High German) and Toutiks dipater (South Picene), all of which like Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ mean "sky father".[1][2][3]

In the Rigveda, Dyaus Pitr appears in verses 1.89.4, 1.90.7, 1.164.33, 1.191.6, 4.1.10. and 4.17.4[4] He is also referred to under different theonyms: Dyavaprithvi, for example, is a dvandva combining 'heaven' and 'earth' as Dyaus Pitr and Prithvi Mata.

The name Dyauṣ Pitṛ is etymologically connected to theonyms such as the Greek Zeus Pater, and closely related to Latin Roman Jupiter. Both Dyauṣ and Zeus stem from a Proto-Indo-European *Dyeus (also *Dyḗus Ph₂tḗr, alternatively spelled *dyḗws). This, and many other parallels such as the similarity of Vedic rain god Parjanya' to Slavic Perun, Lithuanian Perkūnas, and Norse Thor and Fjörgyn led 19th-century scholars to comparative mythology studies and a conjecture that Vedic, post-Vedic, Greek and Roman rituals likely had more ancient Proto-Indo-European roots.[5]

The noun dyaús (when used without the pitā́ "father") refers to the daylit sky, and occurs frequently in the Rigveda, as an entity. The sky in Vedic writing was described as rising in three tiers, avamá, madhyamá, and uttamá or tṛtī́ya (RV 5.60.6).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Werner Winter (2003). Language in Time and Space. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-3-11-017648-3.
  2. ^ F Bopp; HH Wilson (1851). Edinburgh Review, Or Critical Journal Volume XCIII-XCIV. A & C Black. p. 171.
  3. ^ Friedrich Max Müller (1902). The life and letters of the right Honourable Friedrich Max Müller. Longmans, Green, and co. pp. 506–507.
  4. ^ Sanskrit: Rigveda, Wikisource; Translation: Ralph T. H. Griffith Rigveda, Wikisource
  5. ^ Hil Davidson (1993). The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. Psychology Press. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-0-415-04936-8.
  • Thomas Oberlies, Die Religion des Rgveda, Wien (1998).