Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Pushan - The Protector


Pushan is the guardian deity of roads, who removes dangers out of the way. He is also called the 'guardian of travelers' and the 'son of deliverance'. He follows and protects cattle, and brings them home safely. His name means 'prosperer'. His favorite food is gruel. He wears braided hair and a beard. He carries a golden spear, an awl and a goad. His is a great charioteer, and his car is drawn by goats. With his golden aerial ships, Pushan is the messenger of Surya. He is the guardian of all creatures. He is also often appealed to for granting bounty. Among his other duties, he conducts the dead on the far-off path of their fathers.

He is mentioned in connection with the marriage ceremony in the wedding hymn [R.V.10.85]. It is unclear if he is merely the deity that bestows the hand of the bride (the sun-maiden Surya, different from Surya), or if he is the husband. In other hymns, he is called the brother of Indra. He is also praised in the YajurVeda Yajur Veda, with various offerings being apportioned to him in different rituals. In particular, in the Ashwamedha Yagna (horse-sacrifice), the rectum of the horse is offered to him.

In one story involving Pushan, he loses his teeth while battling Shiva, who becomes angry when the celestials conduct a sacrifice without allocating a portion of Havis to him. After Shiva is pacified, he restores the broken teeth of Pushan.

Last Modified At: Sun Mar 20 20:19:03 2005