The Thirty-three gods or Tridasha (Sanskrit त्रिदश tridaśa "three tens") is a pantheon of Hindu deities, of Vedic origin and a few of later development. The Samhitas, which are the oldest layer of text in Vedas, enumerate 33 devas, either 11 each for the three worlds, or as 12 Adityas, 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus, and 2 Ashvins in the Brahmanas layer of Vedic texts.
The 33 are:
- Eight Vasus (deities of material elements) – Dyauṣ "Sky", Pṛthivī "Earth", Vāyu "Wind", Agni "Fire", Nakṣatra "Stars", Varuṇa "Water", Sūrya "Sun", Chandra "Moon"
- Twelve Adityas (personified deities) – Vishnu, Aryaman, Indra (Śakra), Tvāṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Bhaga, Savitṛ, Vivasvat, Aṃśa, Mitra, Pūṣan, Dakṣa (This list sometimes varies in particulars)
- Eleven Rudras, consisting of Aja, Ekapada, Ahirbudhanya, Tvasta, Rudra, Hara, Sambhu, Trayambaka, Aparjita, Isana and Tribhuvan.
- Two Ashvins (or Nāsatyas), twin solar deities.
The list of Vedic Devas somewhat varies across the manuscripts found in different parts of South Asia, particularly in terms of guides (Aswins) and personified Devas. One list based on Book 2 of Aitereya Brahmana is:
- Devas personified: Indra (Śakra), Varuṇa, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Aṃśa, Vidhata, Tvāṣṭṛ, Pūṣan, Vivasvat (Surya), Savitṛ (Dhatr), Vishnu.
- Devas as abstractions or inner principles: Ānanda (bliss, inner contentment), Vijñāna (knowledge), Manas (mind, thought), Prāṇa (life-force), Vāc (speech), Ātmā (Self within each person), and five manifestations of Rudra/Shiva – Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva, Sadyojāta
- Devas as forces or principles of nature – Pṛthivī (earth), Agni (fire), Antarikṣa (atmosphere, space), Jal (water), Vāyu (wind), Dyauṣ (sky), Sūrya (sun), Nakṣatra (stars), Soma (moon)
- Devas as guide or creative energy – Vasatkara, Prajāpati
The identity of the 2 Ashvins sometimes varies:
There are eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Âdityas; and these two, Heaven and Earth, are the (thirty-second and) thirty-third. And there are thirty-three gods, and Pragâpati is the thirty-fourth;--thus he makes him (the sacrificer, or Yagña) to be Pragâpati 2: now that 3 is, for that is immortal, and what is immortal that is. But what is mortal that also is Pragâpati; for Pragâpati is everything: thus he makes him to be Pragâpati, and hence there are these thirty-four utterances, called expiations. [note 1]— Satapatha Brahmana 4:5:7:2
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes the existence of these deities with a different lineup:
Yājñavalkya said, 'These are but the manifestations of them, but there are only thirty-three gods.' 'Which are those thirty-three?' 'The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the twelve Ādityas—these are thirty-one, and Indra and Prajāpati make up the thirty-three.'— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Section 9, Verse 3.9.2
- Trāyastriṃśa, the Buddhist equivalent
- ^ aṣṭau vasavaḥ : ekādaśa rudrā dvādaśādityā ime eva dyāvāpṛthivī trayastriṃśyau trayastriṃśadvai devāḥ prajāpatiścatustriṃśastadenam prajāpatiṃ karotyetadvā astyetaddhyamṛtaṃ yaddhyamṛtaṃ taddhyastyetadu tadyanmartyaṃ sa eṣa prajāpatiḥ sarvaṃ vai prajāpatistadenam prajāpatiṃ karoti tasmādetāścatustriṃśadvyāhṛtayo bhavanti prāyaścittayo nāma.
- ^ Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott (2009). Hindu goddesses: beliefs and practices. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9781902210438.
- ^ Mani[full citation needed] pp. 654–5
- ^ George Williams (2008), A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195332612, pp. 90, 112
- ^ Monier Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary" Etymologically and Philologically Arranged to cognate Indo-European Languages, Motilal Banarsidass, p. 492
- ^ Hermann Oldenberg (1988), The Religion of the Veda, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803923, pp. 23-50
- ^ AA MacDonell, Vedic mythology, p. PA19, at Google Books, Oxford University Press, pp. 19-21
- ^ Francis X Clooney (2010), Divine Mother, Blessed Mother, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738731, p. 242
- ^ "Satapatha Brahmana Part II (SBE26), Julius Eggeling tr. ". Sacred Texts.
- ^ www.wisdomlib.org (2015-02-23). "Yajnavalkya and Vidagdha [Section IX]". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2022-07-31.