Visadevas, Gods Hinduism

Hinduism Concepts

by Jayaram V

Visvadevas are universal gods of heavenly sphere. Etymologically visva means the entire universe and deva means god. Visvadevas means universal gods or gods of the universe. In the Vedic hymns they are usually addressed collectively and never individually.

Indeed, if we read the hymns carefully, we find that all the divinities of heaven are reckoned by the Vedas as Visvadevas (universal gods). These gods are universal because they have the power of universality, omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. They have power over the elements and the ability to fulfill the wishes and prayers of their worshippers. They reside in the three lucid realms of heaven and descend to the earth to accept our offerings.

There are specific hymns, usually associated with Soma sacrifices, addressed to these universal gods in the Vedas. They are not usually addressed to a particular deity but almost every prominent Vedic deity figures in them. The hymns invoke them as Indra, Agni, Vayu, Brihaspati, Mitra, Pusan, Bhaga, Varuna, Angirasas, Surya, Soma, Adityas, Maruts, and even Rudra, and Vishnu.

They also extol tthem as the righteous guardians of the celestial sphere with auspicious powers. Most of them were identified later as dikpalas or guardians of the directions. However in the Bhagavadgita, the Visvadevas are addressed separately as a group of divinities in themselves along with Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, Asvins, Maruts, Usampahs, Gandharvas, Yaksas and Asura Siddhas (Chapter 11.22).

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