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By Swami Harshananda

Apām-napāt literally means ‘offspring of waters’.

Tradition accords Rgveda Samhitā, its basic scripture, the most venerated place. Out of the several deities mentioned and supplicated in its hymns, Apām-napāt is a comparatively minor deity.

  • He is a form of Agni, the god of fire though sometimes he is also described as separate from him.
  • He is perhaps the presiding deity of lightning.
  • He is said to reside even inside water.
  • He is pictured as the child of three goddesses of water.
  • Wearing a coat of lightning he shines like gold.

Sometimes, as is the general trend in the Rgveda, he is identified with Supreme God and the whole world is said to have been manifested out of him. He is the personification of all powers and the repository of all blessed qualities. He is to be praised through laudatory hymns and pleased through sacrificial rites.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore