Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Aruna - The Charioteer of Surya


Aruna was the son of the great sage Kashyapa and Vinata, a daughter of Daksha. His mother had obtained a boon from her husband that she would have two offspring who surpassed the thousand sons (the serpents) of her sister (and co-wife) Kadru in glory. She gave birth to two eggs, which did not hatch for a long time. In her impatience, she broke open one of them and found Aruna inside it, but he had an undeveloped lower body. He cursed his mother to bondage for her impatience. He then took to the skies and achieved great glory by becoming the charioteer of Surya, the sun.

The story of how he became Surya's charioteer is mentioned in [Maha:1.24]. When Surya was swallowed and then regurgitated by Rahu, in revenge for the incident of the nectar, he grew exceedingly angry with the other immortals, for they had suffered him to undergo this indignity. He thought, 'Since no one came to my aid, what is the use of their existence? Let me destroy all creation with my great heat.' Then he started multiplying his radiance, and the generated heat threatened to burn the world. The Devas beseeched Lord Brahma to save the world.

Lord Brahma said, "I shall place Aruna, the son of Kashyapa and Vinata in front of Surya. He is of large body and has divine radiance. He will become the charioteer of Surya and shield the world from his anger."

From that day, Aruna precedes Surya in the heavens and is worshiped along with the sun.

Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu is his brother. He emerged from the other egg, which Vinata had left undisturbed for a thousand years. The story of the birth of Garuda and Aruna is told in greater detail here.

Last Modified At: Tue Nov 2 19:09:42 2004