We have heard a lot of such statements made about the Devas since our childhood.

  1. The Devas are the luminaries of the Vedas.
  2. The Devas are the heroes of the puranas.
  3. They live in Amaravathi (Click for location).
  4. They are the children of Aditi and Kasyapa.
  5. They can perform magic and miracles.
  6. Sri Vishnu is always on their side.
  7. They are elements of nature. To understand who the Devas were, we are going to look at Vedas, the Valmiki Ramayanam and at the Srimad Bhagavatham.
  8. The Devas are indriyas or senses : Sankara’s commentary in Isa Upanishad 4th mantram.
  9. Deva Dwelling Places Along the Spine : Where the Gods dwell : Tantra Kundalini Yoga
  10. Popular cinema conception of Devakanyas : Manasasarovar : (Movie Simulation) : When a hero wins the daughter of the king of Gods: Song : Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari (1990)
  11. Devas : Divine Eyes
  12. According to  narasimha purANam : 4. Adisarga : Emergence of dEvAs and indriyAs and the brahmANDa (the great egg), the ten dEvAs and the eleventh manas emerged from the vaikArika ahankAra which emerged from the mahat. (The ten dEvAs might correspond to the 5 buddhi indriyAs and 5 karma indriyAs).
  13. The word indriya itself means power and since our senses and limbs are our powers they are our indriyAs
  14. sura from s’Ura? : (February 26, 2010) Did sura the word that has come to mean Deva derive from or father the words s’Ura mean valiant or brave? After all the dEvAs or AdityAs, sons of kAs’yapa and aditi, were our fist heroes or valiant ones, protectors of brahmins and worthy of their worship…

See Also : Chandra Deva, Atri’s son and Indra’s UncleIndra : Deva or Rshi?

1. Were the Devas, human?

We know from science, that a group of organisms belong to the same species if they are capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring. Below I give you a few examples of the fertile offspring that were produced when the devas interbred with other jathis and I conclude that the Devas were one of the jathis that existed in Ancient India, and may still be around us today, in our blood streams. (What Happened to the Hominids Who May Have Been Smarter Than Us? | Human Origins | DISCOVER Magazine)

  • Vali, the son of Indra Deva, and a Vanara lady, married a Vanara lady called Tara and they had a son called Angada. Since Vali was fertile, Devas and Vanaras must be of the same species.
  • Arjuna अर्जुन, the son of Indra Deva and Kunthi, a manava (human), had a son called Abhimanyu. Since Arjuna was fertile, Devas and Manavas are of the same species.
  • So Devas, Vanaras and Manavas are of the same species.
  • Visravas a brahman, married Idvida, a Yakshini, and they had a son called Kubera.
  • Visravas also married a Rakshasi-Gandharava called Kaikasi, and they had 3 boys and a girl. The most famous of these was the mighty Ravana रावण. And Ravana had many sons, the most famous of which was Indrajit or Meghanad, who defeated Indra in a battle. So, by our definition, Yakshas and Rakshasas are also of the same species as manavas.
  • The Sun God, Surya too, had one son by a Vanara, called Sugriva and one son by a human called Karna. So by this count we know that the Devas, Asuras, Rakshasas, Yakshas, Gandharvas… and all the rest of our legendary herores, were humans. They were Ancient Indians.
  • In the Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Durvasa said that Indra had become haughty because of the praise of munis such as Gauthama and Vasishtha. This makes him sound more like a hero more than like an astronomical Vishu Bindu.

2. Were the Devas stars, planets and other forces of nature?

To understand this, we have to understand two words called, identification and personification.

  • Ancient Indians and many modern Indians too, believe, that the rivers, stars, planets, light, knowledge, books and everything else have a spirit and that, this spirit can take a human form (or any other form) at will. This is called personification.
  • Ancient Indians and many modern Indians too, also, identify human beings with forces of nature. If someone is brilliant and brave and handsome and generous, they would say, he is verily, the sun himself! This is identification. So a human could be identified with the Sun and called Surya Deva.
  • The Surya Deva who gave the Syamantaka Mani to Satrajit, could have been the Sun personified, or could have been a human identified with or named after the Sun.
  • Every day we walk on Bhu Devi, Mother Earth. Traditional Indian dancers, bow to mother earth and pray for her forgiveness for the pain to her by their feet.

The following is a line from the puruSa sUktam, Rg Veda. (RV 10.90 : Purusha Suktham : Narayana Rshih)

RV_10.090.13.1{19} candramā manaso jātaścakṣoḥ sūryo ajāyata

The moon (candrama) was born from His mind and the sun (sUrya) from His eye.

RV_10.090.13.2{19} mukhādindraścāgniśca prāṇād vāyurajāyata

From His face were born Indra and Agni and from his breath (inward breath), vAyu was born.

Indra, Agni, Vayu, Surya and Chandra are all Devas.  Of these Indra and Surya are aditionally Adityas.

In this Suktam, the meaning can be easily interpreted as “naturalistic”.. eg the wind is born of breath of God as the Sun is born from His eye and the moon from his mind. The seasons are part of His Vedic Yajna. If we take one step away from the literal, then we see the grandeur of the Purusha who is everything and is of the scale of the universe.

3. Were the Devas, spiritual or abstract concepts or symbols?

Agni is Energy, Lakshmi is Light, Saraswathi is Learning, Siva is goodness, Vishnu is that which is present everywhere, Surya is the soul, Chandra is the mind, Sakthi is the Competence, Energy and Power and Purusha is man and Amba is Mother. Gandhiji said that the Devas and Asuras were all thoughts in our mind having a battle between having fun all the time and doing the right thing. See The Vedas are monotheistic.

4. Were the Devas divine?

A real question is: Could the Devas, do magic and grant wishes? Does Indra rule in a heaven called Swarga? Will he let us go there if we are good and honest people? Will he be angry if we do not offer prayer? Will he take our side in battles and worldly affairs? Will he be angry if we violate social rules? Does the burning mass of hydrogen – helium in the sky have a soul and a consciousness similar to the warm carbon earth based life forms? We know that life forms capture energy in the form of food, but the stars burn their own selves out and cool down. If we can have an ‘I’ can they?

  • If the Devas were human heroes of the past then, we can love and respect and admire them. If the Devas are elements and forces of nature, then again, we can love and take care of them, by keeping our environment clean and our ecology balanced. If we keep our air and water (Vayu and Varuna) pure, then they will grant us long and healthy life.
  • Sri Aurobindo was an Indian Rishi or a saint who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries. He was a freedom fighter and had been imprisoned by the British. At that time he did a lot of reading and meditating.
  • He said that people were reading the Vedas wrong. People were guessing the meanings based on comparative language studiesThis method has many limitations. Let us take an example. In Kannada gobra means manure while cobri means coconut. And in English Cobra means snake. ‘Avasaram’ is a Sanksrit word which means ‘haste’ when you use it in Kannada and which means ‘need’ when used in Telugu.
  • Sri Aurobindo then has given us the correct or original way of reading the Vedas. The right way is to chant the Vedic Mantra and meditate. That is what the original rishis didDevas : Cosmic Forces with High Level of Consciousness : R.L. Kashyap
  • (If you would like to try a mantra for yourself, then you can try the Gayatri Mantram, that we have already learnt in the Viswamitra story. If you are afraid of saying it wrong, you can try the Rama mantram. Just sit down or stand up comfortably. Try not to fidget. Then close your eyes and repeat the mantra. You can also try the Aum or Om sound as your mantra. Meditation as a way to God)
  • Divinity is something that you cannot understand with pure logic. The only way to understand divinity is to look into your heart and not with an echo cardiogram, but with your feelings.

5.  Were the devas holograms of terrestrial or extra-terrestrial superior technology?

  • When Sita Devi सीता देवी asked him to prove that he was a Deva so that she could trust him. Then Indra showed her that his feet did not touch the ground, his eyes did not blink, his clothes didn’t get dirty and his garland did not wilt.
  • This is also the way that Damayanthi differentiates between Nala and Indra.

6. Conclusion: All the above views are correct. When we read the scriptures or anything else we HAVE to look at the context.

  • I believe that the Devas were human with divine qualities, like Rama श्री राम and Sri Krishna and others. They were human in that they could marry humans and have children and grandchildren. They were divine in that they could grant wishes and could do magic and miracles, in response to prayer. They were definitely the heroes of our Puranas.
  • They were also identified with different aspects of nature as well as abstract concepts. For eg., Saraswathi Devi, who was the goddess of learning, was also identified with the Saraswathi River. Even today Indian children in schools pray to Goddess Saraswathi for success in learning.
  • When Chandra the Moon God is said to be overly fond of his wife Rohini, more than the other 26 constellations (nakshatras) then we may understand that the Moon is to be found more often near Rohini. (Rohini is the brightest of the 27 Stars used for Bharateeya Nakshatra system of names, with a brightness of 0.85. Rohini, Aldebaran, is identified as birth star of Sri Krishna. )

Other Thoughts and Ideas :

The Devas of the Veda

Deva – A divine being, luminary, worthy of worship derived from the root Div meaning – to illuminate, light etc. Diva means day. Divya means divine and so on.

Veda – means knowledge, that which is to be known, derived from the root Vid to know. Vidya – knowledge, Vidwan – knowledgeable person. Brahma-Vid – One who knows Brahman and so on

One of Yaska’s rules of etymyology is about reversal – eg pasyaka (seer) becomes kasyapa, himsa – violence, becomes simha – lion, arasu (king) becomes asura (mighty). Soham =Sah+Aham => hamsa (swan)


Deva becomes Veda and vice versa. Given that all the Vedas are about Devas.

Knowledge is about the luminaries and to illuminate, or throw light on  something is to increase our knowledge about it.

In the article Devas: Human or Divine?, I have presented many ways of looking at the Devas, as heroes, as elements of nature, as luminaries, as imaginary and so on. There are as many ways of understanding the Devas as there are of interpreting the puranas.

The more we know, the more layers we understand. As a little example. Sukracharya’s wife is Usha. But Sukracharya is Venus and Usha is dawn and Venus is seen at dawn and dusk. So at one level we know of Sukracharya, the grandfather of Yadu as an ancestor of Sri Krishna and at the same time, we see him as the graha, that can be observed at dawn and dusk.

When it comes to the Veda Mantras, they have also been interpreted variously, from a fire, nature, ocean point of view to a spiritual perspective and an energy, light sun perspective.

But think of Veda and Deva as One not as just about each other but as the same thing. And see where that thought takes you.

Devas can be summoned by Veda Mantras.

My Veda Guru says that Devas can be summoned by Veda Mantras… such is the power of the mantras.However, whether we get what we ask for depends on our s’raddhA, bhakti, niyama etc.They need to be feel pleased enough to grant us the boon we pray for. 

Density Variations in Divine Presence

Observations :

  1. I felt a great sense of inner security in Udipi
  2. I felt Siva’s powerful presence at Rishikesh
  3. I felt a frightening divine presence in DevaPrayag
  4. I don’t feel so much in Bangalore
  5. I felt absolutely no divine presence in USA

Question for my Veda Guru:

  1. Since Vishnu means Omnipresent, and God is everywhere, is it possible that some places are more divine than others or is this a delusion?

Answer :

  1. Insensitive people do not notice variations of divine presence.
  2. Sensitive Beginners (Sadhaks) do notice geographical variations in divine presence as well as in people.
  3. Siddhas condition their environment any place they stay or have stayed becomes divine.
  4. Moolasthanas (eg Tirupathi for Sri Venkateswara Swamy) have a stronger divine presence than minor pratishthas.
  5. Any place where many people are engaged in spiritual sadhana shines brighter with divine presence. Any place where the Agama Sastras are practiced shine brighter with divine presence.
  6. There are density variations in divine presence., but any place can be made more divine.
Beings with Higher levels of consciousness and Advaita

Adi Sankaracharya in his Tat Tvam Asi, teaches us that there IS only one consciousness and that is the Jeevatma, and the Paramatma.

In the Aurobindo/Kashyap school of thought the Devas are unmanifest beings with a higher level of consciousness than us.

My thoughts :  Maybe, each of us has a varying level of consciousness from,

Zero = unconscious   TO

Infinity = Aham Brahmasmi Consciousness;

Perhaps the Deva – level of consciousness – wrought into us by the Veda Mantras as per Aurobindo/Kashyap is intermediary to this? And that is why the Devas take birth within us when we invoke the mantras.

External Links :

Index Page : Ancient Beings, People, Tribes, Races

Theists, Atheists and God.

Recovered from : http://ancientindians.in/ancient-beings-people-tribes-races/who-were-the-devas/

The Parent Site : Learn Sanskrit Chants from a Guru

Interactive Practice On Your Own : samskṛtābhyāsam

Travel, Resources, History & Legends : Ancient Indians – Satya Samhita

Telegram Broadcast and Group Chat : https://t.me/SanskritChants

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