Daughters of Daksha Prajapati
Daksha Prajapati had 13 daughters who were wedded to Sage Kashyapa. The names of the 13 daughters are as follows:
1) Aditi Devi: mother of 33 Devatas, or 33 devatas representing the levels or grades (koti). She was the mother of 8-Vasus, 11-Rudras, 12-Adityas and 2-Ashwini Kumaras
She was also the mother of Lord Vamana, who was also known as Upendra (younger brother of Indra) one of the 10 main incarnations of Sri Vishnu. But, He is not included under the Devata category.
2) Diti: mother of Daityas and Asuras.
3) Venata: mother of Garuda Bhagawan, the divine vehicle of Sri Narayana. For this reason he is called Venata Suta (Son of Venata). On the other hand, she bore another son by the name Aruna who became the celestial vehicle of Surya Bhagawan.
4) Kadru: mother of serpents and other reptiles. She is dignified for she bore Ananta Shesha, who serves as a bed-rest of Lord Narayana in Vaikuntha.
5) Danu: mother of Danavas
6) Arishtha 7) Surasa, 8) Surabhi, 9) Muni, 10)Tamra, 11) Krodhavasha, 12) Ira, 13) Vishva
Almost all the creatures on planet earth are offspring of Kashyapa Rishi.
12 Adityas- Sons of Aditi and Kashyapa
There are 12 Adityas or Sun Gods who ride one at a time, alternating every month. One Aditya rides on his chariot for a month and in the succeeding month another Aditya takes the position. These 12 Adityas who approach once a year, represent the 12 months of the year. As they are 12 in number they are also called Dvadash Aditya.
Each Aditya travels through the 27 Nakshatras (Stars) and is also accompanied by one Rashi (Signs). Each Rashi changes with the changing Adityas as both Rashi and Adityas are 12 in number. Both Rashi and Aditya, together travel through 2*¼ Nakshatras. Thus, the 27 Nakshatrams get covered over 12 adityas by each of them covering 2*¼ Nakshatras.
However this is one way of understanding the motion of the Adityas. Another way is to divide the route into east, centre and west wherein 3 nakshatras get covered in each phase. Therefore, in one cycle, 9 nakshatras get covered in East, Center and West altogether. Three such cycles end up covering all the 27 nakshatras. However, the calculation of rashis in this alternate method involves the planetary positions of Grahas. So we’ll not be discussing that in this blogpost.
Each Surya has their own personal chariot, charioteer, form, Rishi and Devata. Therefore, the sun has different attributes that change after every passing month.
How did the 12 Adityas come into existence?
There is an interesting story behind how Surya splits into his 12 forms. Surya’s wife Devi Sajñā had meditated on Sri Vishnu for granting her husband a beautiful form which she could behold and adore. At that time, Surya was the only one presiding deity and possessed extreme heat and vibrance, due to which Sajñā could not even stand close to Him. After her penance, it is Sri Vishnu who split into the 12 Adityas as a fruit of her severe penance. Therefore, Surya is also called Surya Narayana.
Names of the 12 Adityas
The names of the 12 Adityas are: 1) Vishnu 2) Aryaman 3) Śakra 4) Tvaṣṭṛ 5) Varuṇa 6) Dhūti 7) Bhaga 8) Savitṛ 9) Vivasvat 10) Aṃśa 11) Mitra 12) Pūṣan
In the Bhagavad Gita Sri Krishna says: in the 11 Rudras I reside in the form of Shankara and in the 12 Adityas I reside in the form of Vishnu. The names and attributes of each Aditya is elaborately explained in the Vishnupuran
Family tree of Diti and Kashyapa
*In a nutshell- Diti-Hiranyakashipu-Prahalada-Virochana-Bali-Banasura-Usha
The two great Demon kings, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu were the sons of Diti and Kashyapa Rishi. Harinyaksha was slain by Varaha deva, (the 3rd incarnation of Sri vishnu in the Dashavatar), while Hiranyakashipu was killed by Sri Narsimha deva, (the 4th incarnation of Sri Vishnu). Along with her two sons, Diti birthed a girl child known by the name Sinhika. Sinhika gave birth to Rahu.
Story of Rahu
When Sri Vishnu appeared as Mohini Devi to grant the Devatas immortality Rahu assumed the form of a Devata. As Mohini served the celestial elixir of immortality, Surya and Chandra alerted Mohini Devi that Rahu, in the guise of a Devata, was sitting in the middle of the two. In rage, Sri Vishnu split Rahu’s body into 2 halves, before the nectar could pass down his throat. The two parts later came to be known as Rahu (head) – Ketu (body). His head however remained immortal due to the effect of the elixir. Even today, he engulfs the Sun and Moon to avenge his insult, for they were the root cause of his misfortune. Thus, the Solar and Lunar eclipse came into existence.
Generations of Demon King Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu and his wife Kayadu had 4 sons out of which one is widely known for his devotion towards Lord Narayana. The 4 sons of Hiranyakshipu are Prahalada, Ahalada, Sahalad, Vaashkal. Prahalada is one of the dearest devotees of Lord Narayana. The son of Prahalada is King Virochana. Virochana’s son was Maharaja Bali, grandson of Prahalada. Later, Banasura succeeded King Bali.
Promise made to Prahalada by Narsimha Deva
In Narsimha avatar, The Lord killed Prahalada Maharaj’s father Hiranyakashipu in front of his eyes. Narsimha dev was moved by Prahalada’s devotion for him. He did not budge from his faith, inspite of witnessing the slaying of his father. Therefore, Narsimha Deva blessed Prahalada with the boon that He will never kill any succeeding generations of his clan and also promised to liberate not only his father but his 21 generations.
In Vamana avatara
Sri Vishnu kept up his word by assuming His Trivikrama form and transferring King Bali to the lower world rather than slaying him. He did not kill King Bali as he made a promise to his dear devotee Prahalada.
In Krishna Avatara
Banasur, son of King Bali, had a daughter by the name Usha. Usha and the grandson of Krishna, Anirudha had a love affair. (The family tree of Krsna in brief- Krishna- Pradyumna-Anirudha). Once, Rukmini found that Anirudha had gone missing from the palace and approached Krishna. Then Krishna with His mighty Narayani Sena-Army, attacked Banasura. A fierce battle ensued between the two armies, where Krishna ripped the opponents. But, he left two, powerless army troops of Banasura alive for two reasons.
1) Usha, the daughter of Banasura desired to garland Anirudha. In this respect, Banasura would be related to Krishna in the near future. Krishna could not accept Usha’s hand for Aniruddha after having her father killed in the battle.
2) Krishna is none other than Lord Narayana. He could not falsify his promise made to his dear devotee Prahalada at the time of Narsimha Avatar.