Basic Description: One
of the six Major Sovereign Principles, or the 12 Adityas - offspring of Aditi,
the mother of the gods. They are emblems of the sun for each month of the
year, and are themselves called suns. Mitra is the divinity
of contracts, of pledges. He represents Friendship, or Solidarity. Considered
to be comforting, benevolent, protecting. He is opposed to quarreling,
violence and encourages right action. His main influence is to make men abide by their promises
and associate together. Mitra is the complement of Varuna, the favor of
the gods. Mitra and Varuna work together to rule the earth and sky. They
both encourage virtue and piety. Mitra-Varuna is basically the cosmic
law, relation of man with man and man with gods.
Alternate Names: Friendship,
or solidarity, was the most important divinized virtue of the early Aryans. Only one of the hymns of the Rig Veda is addressed
to Mitra. In the celestial hierarchy, the Adityas and Mitra-Varuna are
the embodiments of the priestly function, the Brahma.
(Owner-of-Wealth) and Agasti (Mover-of-Mountains) were his sons with the celestial
nymph Urvasi. Three other sons born by his wife, Revati (Prosperity):
Impulse, Ill-Omen, and Pleasure. Mitra is referred to in one of many descriptions
of the Cosmic Being.
Danielou, Alain. The
Myths and Gods of India. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International,
Moor, Edward. The Hindu
Pantheon. Los Angeles: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1976.
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