By Swami Harshananda
Classification of Viśvedevas
Viśvedevas are the Vedic gods. Literally the word means ‘all the gods’. Perhaps, all the gods leftover without being specifically mentioned in prayers, are meant to be included under this word. But they gradually seem to evolve as a specific group like the Ādityas or the Maruts. These deities are the protectors of ṛta, the moral law. They destroy the enemies of their devotees, protect the good, give auspicious abodes and control like the kings. They are ever young and handsome. They are easily pleased by the devoted obeisance.
Later mythology describes them usually as ten in number:
- Vasu - dwelling place
- Satya - truth
- Kratu - will
- Dakṣa - skill
- Kāla - time
- Kama - desire
- Dhṛti - forbearance
- Kuru - the ancestor of the Kurus
- Pururavas - a being dwelling in the atmosphere
- Mādravas - cry of joy
These deities are said to be fond of funeral offerings.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore