Aditi: Mother of all Gods

Goddess Aditi is considered as the personification of the infinite in Hinduism. She is the goddess of the earth, sky, unconsciousness, the past, the future and fertility. She is believed to be the mother of the celestial deities the Adityas and is referred to as the mother of many gods. Her name is mentioned in holy Vedas as the mother of Surya (Sun) and other celestial bodies or god Âdityas (“sons of Aditi”). She is primaeval mentioned in the Rigveda.

Aditi means free and unbounded. In the Rig Veda, she is described as Devamatri or the mother of the Gods. Aditi is independent and unrestrained like the infinite span of the sky. Her elusive nature finds its expression in the ever-changing hues of the sky, as she reigns supreme as the divine mother. According to the Yajur Veda, she has been called the ‘supporter of the sky, sustainer of the earth and sovereign of this world, which naturally makes her the eternal upholder of the cosmic order.

The Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranas consider her to be the mother of Vishnu. According to the Vishnu Purana, she is the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kashyapa and mother of Bhagwan Vishnu and Indra! Aditi is a protective and forgiving goddess. Because of her free and unfettered nature, she is worshiped for release from restraints of any kind. Childless people worship her for children and farmers pray to her for the safety of their cattle.

Goddess Aditi is sometimes associated with or identified as a cow. As such she provides nourishment and as the cosmic cow, her milk is identified with the redemptive, invigorating drink Soma.

Maa Aditi challenges the modern idea that the Vedic people were patriarchal. She was regarded as both the sky goddess, and earth goddess, which is very rare for a prehistoric civilization. Most prehistoric civilizations venerated a dual principle, Sky Father and Earth Mother, which appears to be borrowed from the concept of Prithivi and Dyaus Pita. Aditi was attributed to the status of the first deity by the Vedic culture in the Vedas. She is addressed, in the Rigveda as “Mighty”.