Definitions

dyaus-pitar

Dyaus Pita

In the Vedic religion    is the Sky Father, husband of Prithvi and father of Agni and Indra (RV 4.17.4).

His origins can be traced to the Proto-Indo-European sky god *Dyeus, who appears in Greek as Zeus patēr (accusative Día, genitive Diós), in Latin as Jupiter (from archaic Latin Iove pater, "Sky father"), in Slavic mythology as Div, and Germanic and Norse mythology as Tyr or Ziu.

In the Rig Veda, Dyaus Pitar appears in hymns 1.89, 1.90, 1.164, 1.191 and 4.1 in simple invocations.

In RV 1.89.4b, Pitar Dyaus "Father Sky" appears alongside Mata Prithvi "Mother Earth".

In the Purusha Suktam, Dyaus is said to have been created from the head of the primaeval being Purusha.

Details of the myth are sketchy, but Indra seems to have killed his father (RV 4.18.12). Thomas Oberlies tentatively identifies Dyaus with an Asura in pre-vedic religion (both appear to have been killed by Indra).

In art, he appears in two different forms: as a red bull who bellows thunder, or as a black horse adorned with pearls, symbolizing the stars.

Literature

  • Thomas Oberlies, Die Religion des Rgveda, Wien 1998.

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