Vāyu

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Significance of Vāyu[edit]

Vāyu or air is one of the pañcabhutas or five basic elements of the world. Vāyu is also the presiding deity over it and is said to be dikpālaka[1] ruling in the direction of north-west. Hanumān and Bhīma were born due to his grace. Vāyu as vital air acts inside the body as five major prāṇas and five subsidiary prāṇas.[2]

Vāyu

Iconographic Representation of Vāyu[edit]

Iconographical works describe him as white or ash-grey in complexion. He has two hands carrying a bow and an arrow. He rides on a deer. Some works describe him as having four arms holding a banner[3] with two and a water-pot in the third, the last hand showing varadamudrā.[4] Sometimes the four hands are shown as holding:

  1. Pāśa - noose
  2. Añkuśa - goad
  3. Kamala - lotus
  4. Daṇḍa - cudgel

Vāyu’s palace is called Gandhavatī.


References[edit]

  1. Dikpālaka means the lord of the quarters.
  2. Prāṇas means upaprāṇas.
  3. Banner means dhvaja.
  4. Varadamudrā means gesture of giving boons.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Explore Other Articles