Trayastrimsas
The Heaven of the Thirty-Three Gods

 

The Heaven of the 33 Gods (S. Trayastrimsas) is the heaven that rules over the secular world we live in. It is the realm of the gods that watches over the affairs of humanity. Its lord is Sakra Devendra, wielder of the thunderbolt (vajra) who personifies the will and power of heaven and mastery over the self. As lord of the secular world, he resides in his palace in the City of Beautiful Vision (Sudarsana) atop Mt. Sumeru, the highest point as well as the center of the world. His name means Almighty (Sakra) Divine (Deva) Conqueror (Indra). The name probably originated from the leader of the Aryans who led them in conquering the peoples of southerm Asia in the period prior to the appearance of the Vedas (c. 1000 BCE).

There are 32 Gods who report to him on the good & evil done in the world. These 32 Gods are the rulers of our higher natures as gods of this world. These 32 are divided into:

1. An agent of creation - Prajapati

2. Agents of preservation and stability - the Twelve Adityas, or Sovereign Principles

3. Agents of destruction and transformation - the Eleven Rudras, the Wailers or Screamers

4. The spheres of their activity - the Eight Vasus, or elements

 

1. Prajapati is the lord & master of creation, the creator and producer of all things; He is divine providence; In nature, he is the the one who brings all things into existence in this world. In man, he personifies the boundless creativity of the human spirit.

 

2. The Twelve Adityas: The Twelve Sovereign Principles that lead to stability and order in the world

#

Sanskrit

Principle

Realm

Importance

1

Mitra

Friendship; The social contract, the sacred bond between people

Of
This World

Major
Principles

2

Aryaman

Honor; Nobility, honesty, trust, good faith, truth to principles

3

Bhaga

One's share; The giving, doing & accepting of one’s fair share

4

Varuna

Fate; The relation between god & man, the favor of the gods

Beyond
This World

5

Daksa

Ritual efficacy; The proper rules of ritual skill, of making sacrifices

6

Amsa

The share of the gods; That which is sacrificed

7

Tvastri

The shaper; Industry, craftsmanship, workmanship

Of
This World

Minor
Principles

8

Pusan

The nourisher; Agriculture, abundance, that which offers inner security

9

Visvavat

The righteous; Morality, justice, the laws of man

10

Savitra

The Vitalizer; The power of words as magic weapons

Beyond
This World

11

Sakra

The Potent; Courage, heroism, valor, that which offers outer security

12

Vishnu

The Pervader; Knowledge, wisdom, perception of reality

       

     3. The Eleven Rudras: The agents of destruction, transformation and change.

             A. #1 - #5 represent the manifestation of speech from the mind.
             B. #6 - #10 represent the rulers of space
             C. #11 represents the soul

            A. The Manifestation of speech from the mind:

#

Sanskrit

Meaning

Descrption

Personificaton

1

Ananda

Bliss

The calm, silenced mind beyond thought; The motionless ocean of bliss The Conqueror of Death (Mrityum Jaya) who is beyond desire.

2

Vijnana

Knowledge

Beginning of an idea, the power of intellect, the inner vision the mind tries to express; the first blurring of the waters The Southern Image (Daksina Murti);
The south being the manifestation & the north being the source

3

Manas

Thought

Reduction of idea into word form, into code for the five senses 

The Lord of Lust-Sensory Desire (Kamesvara); Growth and development of the seed of thought

4

Prana

Breath

The word brought forth by vital breath, becoming alive & reined to the five senses and manifested The Herdsman (Pasupati), who reins and guides the flock of the five senses

5

Vac

Voice

Food (Anna) is the fodder of the body & speech (Vac) is the fodder of the mind. The Lord of the Elements (Bhutesvara)
Food is the substance of vital energy & speech is outward projection of the mind

 

          B. The rulers of space, the controllers of destiny.

#

 Sanskrit

 English

 Meaning

 Sense

 Organs

 Element

 Other

6

 Isana

 The Ruler

 Enjoyer of nature, the
learner

 Touch

 Hands

 Wind

 Clarity
Upwards

7

 Tat-Purusa

 Supreme Person

 Nature, that which is
enjoyed and learned

 Smell

 Oral & Anal

 Earth

 Yellow
 East

8

 Aghara

 Fearless

 Intellect, granting benefits
& removing fear

 Hearing

 Organs
of Speech

 Ether

 Blue
 South

9

 Vama-Deva

 The Left Handed
God

Self-consciousness, the ego

 Sight

 The Feet, led
by the Eyes

 Fire

 Red
 West

10

 Satyojata

 Suddenly Born

Soma, the sacrificial elixir

 Taste

 The Organs
 of Sex

 Water

 White
 North

 

          C. The Soul; the higher self

#

Sanskrit

English

Meaning

11

Atma

The Soul

The higher self, the conscience with its aspect of free will

 

 

4. The Eight Vasus:  The Realms of the Gods

#

Sanskrit

English

Meaning

Element

1

Prithivi

Mother Earth

The body and the food of life & source of abundance, in which dwells:

Earth

2

Agni

Fire

The mouth of the gods, which consumes & digests the earth

Fire

3

Antariksa

The Atmosphere
& Oceans

The waters; Sphere between heaven & earth, in which dwells:

Water

4

Vayu

The Wind &
the Currents

The breath of the gods, the powerful & often destructive flows of energy & life

Wind

5

Dyaus

The Sky

Father of sun, moon & stars, fertilizing mother earth with rain, in which dwells:

The Day

The Ether
Space

6

Surya

The Sun

Source of warmth, light, and life
 

7

Naksatra

The Stars &
the Planets

Realm beyond humanity where universe was born, in which dwells:

The Night

8

Soma

The Moon

Vessel of soma elixir, ruling over tides, plants, animals & sexual energy

 

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