Who are the 10 Dikpalas? | Story of the Marut Gods

Who are the 10 Dikpalas? | Story of the Marut Gods

Hamare Avatar Evam Devi Devta- Part 16

What are the 10 directions?

There are 10 directions. 1) East 2) South-East 3) South 4) South-West 5) West 6) North-West 7) North 8) North-East 9) Upward 10) Downward. The master of a direction is called Digpala. They are 10 in number.

Description of the 10 Dikpalas

1) East- Indra governs the eastern direction. He has already been described in the Lokpal section. He has a thousand eyes. In one kalpa, he was born as the son of Aditi. He stayed in his mother’s womb for a thousand years. In this Kalpa, Indra became the son of Sage Kashyapa and Aditi. Shachi, the daughter of the great demon, Pulama is his wedded wife. Indra has killed innumerable demons like Vrutrasura and Namuchi. Every Manvantara (Time cycle) has a different Indra.

2) South-East- Agni dev (Fire god) guards the south-eastern direction. He was born as the son of Dharma and his wife Vasu. Lord Agni has three legs, seven hands, and two faces. He has a subtle body, a big tummy, and is red in complexion. He has yellow-colored hair. He wears a Rudraksha and Shakti mala. He sits on a goat. Earlier, Agni dev was worshipped in all parts of the globe. The Parsis are staunch devotees of Agni devi. Agni dev is said to have 28 forms, each invoked for a specific purpose and carry a special significance-

Types of Agni

1) For house inauguration- Pavaka (पावक) 2) Purification ceremony on conceiving a child- (मारुत) 3) Ceremony on the third month (For the attainment of a son)- Chandramasa (चंद्रमस) 4) Activities of Beautification- Shobhana (शोभन) 5) For married women- Mangala (मङ्गल) 6) For Caste related activates- Pragalbha (प्रगल्भ) 7) Naming Ceremony- Parthiva (पार्थिव) 8) Child feeding ceremony- Shuchi (शुचि) 9) Child head-shaving ceremony- Satya (सत्य) 10) For fasts- Samudbhava (समुद्भव) 11) Donation of cows- Surya (सूर्य) 12) Graduation ceremony- Agni (अग्नि) 13) While concluding an activity- Vaishvanara (वैश्वानर) 14) During Marriage- Yojaka (योजक) 15) During the Chaturthi yajna- Shikhi (शिखी) 16) During eclipse rituals- Agnisoma (अग्निसोम) 17) During repentance- Vighra (विघ्र) 18) Activities to redeem the dead (making hand marks on a bull)- Sahasa (साहस) 19) Yajnas done for a specific objective- Vahni (वह्नि) 20) For a crore Yajnas- Hutashana (हुताशन) 21) For the final oblation- Bhruda (भृड) 22) For Peace loving activities- Varada (वरद) 23) For progressive activities- Valada (वलद) 24) For black magic- Krodha (क्रोध) 25) For mesmerism- Shamana (शमन) 26) For attainment of boons- Atidooshaka (अतिदूषक) 27) Fire in the stomach- Jathara (जठर) 28) In the funeral pyre- Kravyaada (क्रव्याद)

3) South- Lord Yama governs the southern direction. He has 14 names. They are 1) Yama (यम) 2) Dharmaraja (धर्मराज) 3) Mrutyu (मृत्यु) 4) Antaka (अन्तक) 5) Vaivasvata (वैवस्वत) 6) Kala (काल) 7) Sarvabhootakshaya (सर्वभूतक्षय) 8) Audumbara (औडुम्बर) 9) Daghna (दघ्न) 10) Neela (नील) 11) Parameshti (परमेष्ठी) 12) Vrukodara (वृकोदर) 13) Chitra (चित्र) 14) Chitragupta (चित्रगुप्त)

Before Noble souls, Lord Yama displays his 4 handed, swarthy form, similar to Lord Vishnu holding a conch, disk, mace and lotus and seated majestically on his vehicle Garuda. He scares the evil souls with his terrifying form. He sits on a buffalo and his complexion resembles smoke, his hair seething in fire and scary teeth showing through. He is clad in animal skin and holds the most dreaded weapon Danda. He lives in Yamaloka, also called Vaivasvata Puri.

4) South-West- Niruti is the Lord of the South-western direction. A human being serves as his vehicle. He travels by sitting on the shoulders of a human.

5) West- lord Varuna is the lord of the western direction. He is the king of the water element. He is the son of Prajapati Kashyapa and Aditi. He is two-handed, sits on a swan, one hands shows the Abhaya mudra while the other holds a snake personified noose. He is known as the greatest of emperors and the punisher of kings.

6) North-West- The Maruts (Wind god) govern the North western direction. The story of their birth is as follows-

Story of Marut Gods

Diti was greatly saddened at the loss of her two sons Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakahipu at the hands Varaha and Narasimha. So she pleased her husband Kashyapa by her services. When Kashyapa rishi insisted on Diti asking a boon- She said- “Grant me a son who shall kill Indra.” Maharishi Kashyapa explained a year-long ritual to her and said- “Follow this ritual strictly, you shall have a son who shall kill Indra. But, by chance if you commit a single error in the process, your son shall befriend the Devas. Diti carefully followed the ritual and performed her worship. Indra grew worried on getting the news of Diti’s plans. So he reached his father’s hermitage and spent his time serving his step-mother Diti. He looked for the opportune moment for Diti to commit a mistake and thus get a chance to kill the child in her womb. The year was coming to an end. In the evening, overcome by fatigue Diti fell asleep. She had forgotten to wash her mouth. Due to this impurity, Indra entered into her womb and divided her fetus into 7 parts.

Still the fragments survived. So he further broke each part into 7 more parts. This resulted in the birth of 49 infants. The children said- “Brother Indra, Don’t kill us. We are your younger brothers.” Indra said- “Don’t cry. I won’t kill you now. You are all my brothers.” Diti delivered the 49 children along with Indra from her womb. “On seeing the 49 children, Diti was confused. She asked Indra- “Son, I had prayed for one son who would terrorize the Devas. But how come there are 49. Tell me the truth.” Indra confessed and asked forgiveness. He said “Mother, I am selfish. Please forgive me. Your sons are all alive. This is the result of your devotion to Bhagavan. Now they shall all become devas and stay with me.” Diti said- “Since you have entered my womb, you have become my own son. Be loving with your brothers.” Indra had earlier addressed the sons of Diti as “मा रोदीः” So they are known as Maruts and by Indra’s grace, they became Devatas.

There are 5 ordinary airs in the body known as 1) Prana (प्राण) 2) Apana (अपान) 3) Udana (उदान) 4) Vyana (व्यान) 5) Samana (समान) and 5 subtle airs known as 6) Naga (नाग) 7) Kuma (कूम) 8) Krukala (कृकल) 9) Devadutta (देवदत्त) 10) Dhananjaya (धनञ्जय)

The 8 forms of Marut (Wind god) in outer space are- 1) Aavaha (आवह) 2) Pravaha (प्रवह) 3) Uddhaha (उद्धह) 4) Samvaha (संवह) 5) Subaha (सुबह) 6) Parivaha (परिवह) 7) Parabaha (पराबह) 8) Ativaha (अतिवह).

Apart from these 18, the remaining Maruts are 1) Shvasana (श्वसन) 2) Sparshana (स्पर्शन) 3) Matarishva (मातरिश्वा) 4) Sadagati (सदागति) 5) Prushadashva पृषदश्व 6) Gandhavaha (गन्धवह) 7) Svakampana (स्वकम्पन) 8) Anila (अनिल) 9) Aashuga (आशुग) 10) Sameera (समीर) 11) Marut (मरुत्) 12) Vaata (वात) 13) Pavana (पवन) 14) Pavamaana (पवमान) 15) Prabhanjana (प्रभञ्जन) 16) Nabhasvaana (नभस्वान) 17) Ajagat Prana (अजगत् प्राण) 18) Khashvaasa (खश्वास) 19) Vaha (वाह) 20) Dhoolidhvaja (धूलिधवज) 21) Fanipriya (फणिप्रिय) 22) Nabhapraata (नभप्रात) 23) Akshati (अक्षति) 24) Kaampalakshama (काम्पलक्षमा) 25) Shasini (शसीनि) 26) Avaka (आवक) 27) Hari (हरि) 28) Sukhasha (सुखाश) 29) Mrugavaahana (मृगवाहन) 30) Prakampana (प्रकम्पन) 31) Vihaga (विहग)

7) North- Kubera guards the northern direction. He is the son of the great rishi Vishrava and is the brother of Ravana. His mother is Ilvila, the daughter of Maharishi Bharadvaja. By the power of Lord Brahma’s boon he is the wealthiest.

8) North-East- Lord Shiva protects the north eastern direction.

9) Upward- Lord Brahma is the master of the top-facing direction.

10) Downward- Lord Ananta Shesha is the master of the down-facing direction. He is a replica of Bhagavan. He is known as Sankarshana and Ananta. He is white in complexion and has a thousand hoods. During dissolution when Bhagavan sleeps peacefully on his bed of serpents, Lord Shesha covers Bhagavan’s navel with one hood. One hood covers the head of Bhagavan while the other provides shade to his tender feet. With one hood he fans Bhagavan. In his other hoods he carries the paraphernalia of Bhagavan which include conch, disk, mace, lotus, bow, sword and quiver. At that time even Garuda sits under the shade of his hood. During dissolution, Sankarshana emits fire and destroys the three worlds. The 11 Rudras appear from him alone.

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