33 Crore Devatas or 33 Koti Devatas?.

Sanatana Dharma is as old as time and even beyond. Each and every yagya practiced is offered as obeciances to a particular deity, so we can honor the symbolism behind it. We perform yagya to invoke[Avahan] the gods and goddesses so they can share their power and strength with us, and then we can use that strength to perform our karmayoga.

Vedic literature was extensively studied and translated by many scholars of the past in their respective languages. Scholars from far off lands of middle east, europe and west translated these texts and took them back to share with there people. Many concept written in vedic literature were incorrectly translated by scholars due to discrepencies in translation and dfficulty of the sanskrit language.

One such concept is the concept of many gods practiced in Hinduism or Polytheism.Dharma practices every ascept of nature, whether it is as simple as a plant or entire cosmic creation. Vedic literature mentions the term "33 Koti Devatas" or "33 types of gods". This is incorrectly translated by many scholars as 33 crore[loose translation of koti] or 330 million gods.

The 33 devatas can be understood by a mantra from aitriya brahmana as:


त्रयस्त्रिंशद्वै देवाः सोमपास्त्रयस्त्रिंशदसोमपाः
अष्टौ वसव एकादश रुद्रा द्वादशादित्याः प्रजापतिश्च वषट्कारश्चैते देवाः सोमपाः;
एकादश प्रयाजा एकादशानुयाजा एकादशोपयाजा एतेऽसोमपाः”

The group of devatas is classified into two as , The first class consists of the Somapas, drinkers of Soma, and the other who are to be propitiated by oblations of Ghrita, not by libations of Soma. The eight Vasus, the Eleven Rudras, and the twelve Adityas, these are thirty one, Indra and Prajapati make up thirty-three devatas.


The word Vasu is derived from the root “vas” which means to live or to dwell. The 8 Vayus are classified as:
Fire, earth, air, sky, sun, heaven [abode of light], moon, stars: These are the Vasus for in them all this is personified, therefore, they are called Vasus.

1. Prithvi/Earth
2. Agni/Fire
3. Jala/Water
4. Vayu/Air
5. Akasha/Space
6. Surya/Sun
7. Chandrama/Moon
8. Nakshatra/Constellations of stars
The can be remembered by a shloka as:

कतमे वसव इत्यग्निश्च पृथिवी च वायुश्चान्तरिक्षं चादित्यश्च द्यौश्च चन्द्रमाश्च नक्षत्राणि चैते वसव एतेषु हीदं सर्वं हितमिति तस्माद्वसव इति


The 11 Rudras stand for the 5 Jnanendriyas, 5 Karmendriyas and the mind. Jnanendriyas are our laghu-prana and Karmendriyas are our Maha-Puranas.

1. Kapali
2. Pingal
3. Bheem
4. Virupakasha
5. Vilohit
6. Shastra
7. Ajapaad
8. Ahirbudhnya
9. Shambhu
10. Chand
11. Bhav

These 11 rudras also symbolize of Prana,Apaan, Udaan, Vyaana,Samaan,Naag,Kurma, Dhananjaya, Krikal and Devdutt [prana] of the human body and 11 is the mind. They can be remembered by a shloks as

कतमे रुद्रा इति दशेमे पुरुषे प्राणा आत्मैकादशस्ते यदास्माच्छरीरान्मर्त्यादुत्क्रामन्त्यथ रोदयन्ति तद्यद्रोदयन्ति तस्माद्रुद्रा इति॥


The twelve months of the year, these are the Adityas, for they move carrying along all this. Since they move carrying along all this, therefore they are called Adityas.

1. Indra
2. Amsa
3. Aryaman
4. Bhaga
5. Dhatri
6. Tvastha
7. Mitra
8. Pushan
9. Savitra
10. Vivasvan
11. Varuna
12. Vishnu

They can be remembered by a shloka as:

कतम आदित्या इति द्वादश वै मासाः संवत्सरस्यैत आदित्या एते हीदं सर्वमाददाना यन्ति ते यदिदं सर्वमाददाना यन्ति तस्मादादित्या इति

In conclusion, the 8 Vasus are related to the space dimension of the universal Samashti/Virat Purusha [Collective being], the 12 Adityas are related to time dimension of the Universal Samashti/Virat Purusha[Universal being], and the 11 Rudras are related to the Vyashti Purusha [Individual being]. Indra is explained as “thunderbolt” and Prajapati is explained as “animals.

namo namaḥ!

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