Maruts – The Gods of Storm and Thunder
Maruts, also popularly known as Marutas or Marutagana, are the Hindu deities of storm, lightning and thunder. They are identified with Rudra, an aspect of Shiva, and are considered to be the attendants of Indra in his court. They also accompany Indra during his battles and struggles. Their number is believed to be somewhere between twenty seven and one hundred and eighty as mentioned by various religious texts and scriptures; usually, they are believed to be forty nine in number. The name Marut is derived from the Sanskrit words “ma rudah” which translate to “weep not”; however, it may also sometimes mean “dazzling”. Vayu, the god of wind, is regarded as the leader of the Maruts. MarutsMaruts
Maruts, also popularly known as Marutas or Marutagana, are the Hindu deities of storm, lightning and thunder. They are identified with Rudra, an aspect of Shiva, and are considered to be the attendants of Indra in his court. are revered by devotees and worshippers all over the world.
Maruts are depicted as fierce young warriors with extraordinary vigor and might. They carry various weapons made with gold like thunderbolt, lightning rod, trident, axe etc. and have iron teeth. Each of them wears a mighty golden armor consisting of a helmet, a breastplate and a protective shield. They are generally portrayed to be roaring like lions in a very aggressive and violent manner, riding on their golden chariot which is driven by crimson colored horses.
Legends state that once Diti was sitting in her home alone and recollecting the thoughts of how her sons, the Daityas, were slain by Indra, the king of gods, by unfair means. She got so consumed by such thoughts that she decided to take revenge against Indra. When her husband, the great sage Kashyapa, returned to home in evening, he saw her in a very angry and disturbed temperament. When he asked her as to what happened she suddenly burst out with emotions. She asked him as to why her sons were killed by Indra even if her sons were mightier than him. To this Kashyapa replied that Indra was very dear to VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and he always helped him in his struggles. DitiDiti
Diti is the daughter of Daksha who is one of the sons of Lord Brahma, the creator... replied that the power of penance is greater than anything else. She asked him to grant her a boon that she would have a son so mighty and powerful that he would kill Indra and avenge her fallen sons. Kashyapa was in a very difficult situation. He knew that if Indra was killed the balance of the world would be completely shattered and also that his wife would become very furious if he does not grant her the boon. He then proceeded to grant her the boon by saying that she would have the mighty son she desires only if she followed some stringent rituals and instructions for penance. He told her that she should not harm any living being, not curse anyone, not tell a lie, not cut her nails and hair, not touch anything unclean, not talk to unworthy persons, not bathe by completely immersing herself in water, not drink water by taking it in her palms, not eat non vegetarian food. He also added that she should keep her anger under complete control, always wear clean clothes, eat a food item only after it has been eaten by someone else, worship the household cow, the Brahmins, Lakshmi, women whose husbands are alive and Kashyapa before eating anything in the morning. Moreover, he told her not to sleep during dusk or dawn, not to sleep without washing her feet, not to sleep with wet legs, and not to sleep with her head in north or west direction. Kashyapa told her that if she followed the aforementioned rituals known as Pumsavana Vrata properly and carefully, she would have a son who will be the slayer of Indra.
The rituals to be performed by Diti were very harsh and stringent but she followed the instructions very carefully with full sincerity and devotion. Her feeling of revenge drove her to follow the instructions and perform the rituals daily with great dedication. Her determination to kill Indra was unflappable and with time her devotion started to bloom. She conceived a child and continued to perform the rituals. However, before the time period of one year was over, Indra got to know about the whole situation. He disguised himself as a Brahmin The conventional Hindu caste system divided society into four sects and Brahmin was known as the learned class who gained the knowledge of sacred texts written on Hinduismand became a servant in Kashyapa’s house. Indra patiently waited for an opportunity to disrupt Diti’s penance. One day, due to the tiresome daily rituals, Diti became exhausted and fell asleep during dusk. Realizing the possible opportunity Indra assumed a very tiny form and entered Diti’s womb. There he found a golden hued embryo that was being nourished by the mother. With his mighty weapon Vajra, It is a Sanskrit word which means thunderbolt as well as diamond. Hence, it is the name given to a ritual weapon which is both indestructible and strong like a diamond, and irresistible like a thunderbolt Indra started slicing the embryo and cut it into seven pieces. The pieces of the embryo started crying in pain to which Indra said “ma rodih” which means “do not cry”. He then further cut each piece into seven more pieces, thus, creating forty nine pieces in total. However, Vishnu prevented the embryo from dying and, eventually, Diti gave birth to forty nine sons. As Diti did not follow the rituals of the Pumsavana Vrata properly, her sons did not kill Indra and much to Diti’s chagrin, they became disciples of Indra. Since then they always accompanied and fought alongside Indra in his battles.
Beliefs and Significance
There are various statues and temples of each Marut all over India. The texts, scriptures and sculptures associated with Maruts are found in almost all parts of the world; one such specimen is found in Paris, France. It is believed that the Maruts slice the clouds with their golden axes which result in rainfall. Maruts symbolize devotion, faith, power, command and control.