(Last Updated on : 18/03/2010)
In the Puranas
, Maruts or Marutgana are the storm deities and sons of Rudra and Diti. They were the attendants of Lord Indra
. The Maruts are said to be very violent and aggressive. They are equipped with golden weapons lightning and thunderbolts. They are imagined to have iron teeth and roaring like lions, residing in the north in golden chariots drawn by ruddy horses.
There is a mythological story relating to the life of Maruts in the Ramayana
. Maruts' mother, Diti wished to give birth to a son who would be more powerful than Indra. The Muni Kashyapa granted his wife the great boon she requested but with one condition; that she should be pregnant a hundred years, and maintain a rigid observance of all religious rites during the whole period.
Indra was looking for an opportunity of annoying her intentions, and in the last year of the century, a chance occurred. Diti retired one night to rest without performing the prescribed ablution of her feet, and fell asleep. Indra appeared and separated the embryo in her womb into seven portions. The injured child inside the womb cried bitterly. Indra failing to silence it again divided each of the seven portions into seven, and accordingly formed the swift-moving deities called Maruts, the winds.
They derived this designation from the words with which Indra had addressed them and they became forty-nine subordinate divinities of the thunderbolt.
In another story in the Vishnu Purana
it is said that Maruts, the winds were the children of Marutwati. The Maruts are said to have given Bharata
a son named Bharadwaja. The Maruts, on the contrary, are frequently addressed as the attendants and allies of Indra, confederated with him in the battle with Vritra, and aiding and encouraging his exertions. They are called the sons of Prithvi, or the earth, and also Rudras, or sons of Rudra. They are also associated, on some occasions, with Agni. It is also intimated that Maruts were, originally, mortal, and became immortal in consequence of worshipping Agni.