Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Tvashta - The Divine Artificer


Tvashta, also called Bhaumana is the divine carpenter. He is the father of Saranyu (the wife of Vivasvant) and the grand-father of the primeval twins Yama and Yami. The Rig Veda calls him the 'artificer' of the Gods. He does not have a whole hymn dedicated to him in the Rig Veda, but is mentioned in conjunction with other deities in [R.V.1.13], [R.V.2.1] etc. He is said to be the most skillful of workmen, having fashioned the bolt of Indra and a drinking-cup for the Gods. He is the guardian of Soma (Amrit), which is called the food of Tvashta. Indra drinks Soma at Tvashta's house.

Tvashta is also thought to be the same as Vishwakarma. (who is the divine architect, and who has a daughter who married the sun god Surya)

There is a story in the Taitriya Samhita (2.4.12) about Tvashta, that illustrates the importance of chanting the Mantras (incantations) with the correct enunciation. Indra had killed Vishwarupa, the son of Tvashta, because Vishwarupa had been aiding the Asuras by giving them a portion of the sacrificial offerings. Tvashta wanted revenge on Indra for his son's death, and conducted a sacrifice to obtain a son who could slay the chief of Gods. He wished to chant the incantation "Indrashatrur Vardhasva...", but mispronounced it. He had intended the Mantra to say "May Tvashta's son grow to be the slayer of Indra." Instead, by stressing the wrong syllables, the incantation turned out to be "May Indra grow to be the killer of this son (of mine)."

The son born as a result of this sacrifice was the Asura Vritra. Due to the mispronounced incantations of Tvashta, he was slain by Indra's thunderbolt. This story is also narrated in the Srimad Bhagavatham (6.9.4-6.12.32).

Last Modified At: Sat Feb 12 03:50:30 2005