The Heavenly Builder
The Maker of Divine Implements
Lord of the Womb
|Texts||Purusha Sukta, Mahabharata, Puranas|
|Parents||Kasyapa and Aditi (according to the epics and Puranas)|
|Children||Children including Saranyu, Visvarupa and Vritra|
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Tvashtr (Sanskrit: त्वष्टृ, romanized: Tvaṣṭṛ) or Tvashta (Sanskrit: त्वष्टा, romanized: Tvaṣṭā) is a Vedic artisan god or fashioner. He is mentioned as an Aditya (sons of goddess Aditi) in later Hindu scriptures like the Mahabharata and Puranas, though his significance gets reduced. Tvashtr is sometimes identified with another artisan deity named Vishvakarma.
In Hindu Literature
In the Rigveda, Tvashtr is stated to be a skillful craftsman who created many implements, including Indra's bolt, the axe of Brihaspati, and a cup for divine food and drink. He is stated to be the creator of forms, and is often stated to be the crafter of living beings and wombs. He is also considered a universal father, and an ancestor of humans through his daughter Saranyu. He is the father of Bṛhaspati, and likely Indra's father as well. He wields a metal axe, and rides a chariot pulled by two fallow bay mares.
He is the guardian of Soma, and his son Vishvarupa is the guardian of cows. Indra has a conflict with his likely father Tvashtr, with him stealing Tvashtr's soma and trying to possess Vishvarupa’s cattle. Indra is consistently victorious in the conflict, and Tvashtr is stated to fear Indra. In the Taittiriya Samhita and Brahmanas, Vishvarupa is killed by Indra, and so Tvashtr does not allow Indra to attend his Soma sacrifice. Indra however, steals and drinks the soma through his strength. In order to have revenge for the murder of his son Vishvarupa, Tvashtr creates a demon called Vritra. However when wishing him into existence, Tvashtr makes a mispronunciation in his incantation, which allows Indra to defeat Vritra. In the Mānava Purana, he took rebirth as Arjuna's son, Babhruvahana.
- Dalal, Roshen (2014-04-15). The Vedas: An Introduction to Hinduism's Sacred Texts. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-81-8475-763-7.
- Macdonell, Arthur Anthony (1897). "Abstract Gods". In Bühler, G. (ed.). Vedic Mythology. Oxford University Press. pp. 116–118.
- De Witt Griswold, Harvey; Farquhar, J. N. (1923). The Religion of the Rigveda. Oxford University Press. p. 276.
- Stephanie Jamison (2015). The Rigveda –– Earliest Religious Poetry of India. Oxford University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0190633394.
- Jamison, Stephanie; Brereton, Joel (2014). The Rigveda: The Earliest Religious Poetry of India. Oxford University Press. p. 1090. ISBN 9780199370184.
- Jamison & Brereton 2014, p. 837.
- Jamison, S. W.; Witzel, M. (1992). "Vedic Hinduism" (PDF).