Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Diti at Wikipedia

DITI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A goddess or personification in the Vedas who is associated with Aditi, and seems to be intended as an antithesis or as a complement to her.

In the Ramayana and in the Puranas she is daughter of Daksha, wife of Kasyapa, and mother of the Daityas. The Vishnu Purana relates that having lost her children, she begged of Kasyapa a son of irrestible prowess, who should destroy Indra. The boon was granted, but with this condition: "If, with thoughts wholly pious and person entirely pure, you carefully carry the babe in your womb for a hundred years." She assiduously observed the condition; but Indra knew what was preparing for him. So he went to Diti and attended upon her with the utmost humility, watching his opportunity. In the last year of the century, Diti retired one night to rest without washing her feet. Indra then with this thunderbolt divided the embryo in her womb into seven portions. Thus mutilated, the child cried bitterly, and Indra being unable to pacify it, became angry, and divided each of the seven portions into seven, thus forming the swift-moving deities called Maruts, from the words, `Marodih,' `Weep not,' which Indra used to quiet them.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM