(Last Updated on : 03-02-2009)
Ushas is the dawn and is considered as the Aurora in Hindu mythology. The Hindu mythologists have continually described Ushas, as the daughter of the Sky. She is also ailed by the sister of Bhaga, and the kinswoman of Varuna. Apart from that, the mythologists describe her, as the sister of Night, who is also the daughter of the Sky. She has also frequently been brought into connection with the Sun and the Sun is depicted as her lover and is said to follow her track. Ushas is represented as leading on the beautiful white horse the Sun, as well.
The Hindu mythologists have declared Ushas to be the mistress of the world and also the wife of the Sun. They frequently bring Ushas and Agni (fire) into conjunction and Agni is always kindled for sacrificial purposes at dawn. Agni is also called her lover and is said to appear with or before the dawn. The Hindu mythologists often connect Ushas with the Asvins, the time of whose manifestation is regarded by Yaska, as being between midnight and sunrise. The Asvins are said to be associated with Ushas and she is described as their friend.
In one place of the Hindu mythology, the moon is said to be born again and again, ever new, and it is also described to go before Ushas as the herald of the day. The king of Deities, Indra is said to have created, or lighted up, Ushas. However, he is also sometimes represented as taking a hostile attitude towards Ushas and he is also said to have crushed her chariot with his thunderbolt. In the Hindu mythology, the Nighantu has given a number of sixteen names to Ushas that seem to be almost entirely epithets. Some of the names are the 'resplendent', the beautiful, the shining, the flowing, the possessor of brilliant riches, the white, the giver of joy, the bright, the fair-coloured, the ruddy, the utterer of pleasant voices etc. The mythologists have also frequently used some of these epithets in the hymns, and many others are also to be found there, like the magnificent, the righteous, the immortal, the gold-hued etc.
According to the Hindu mythology, the Ushas is borne onward on a shining chariot and of massive construction that is richly decorated and spontaneously yoked. The construction is dragged by ruddy horses, or by cows or bulls of the same colour, spanning rapidly a distance of thirty yojanas. She is also described as a beautiful young woman dressed by her mother, a richly decked dancing girl, a gaily-attired wife, who is appearing before her husband. She is depicted as a female rising resplendent out of the bath, smiling and confiding in the irresistible power of her attractions and she unveils her bosom to the gaze of the beholder. The mythology says that she dispels the darkness by disclosing the treasures it had concealed and she also illuminates the world by revealing its most distant extremities.
The Hindu mythology describes Ushas as the life and breath of all things, causing the birds to fly forth from their nests, visiting every house and she is also depicted as an active housewife arousing her household, awakening the five races of men, as if from death, and sending men forth to the pursuit of their several occupations. She is said to be rendering service to the gods by causing all worshippers to awake, and the sacrificial fires to be kindled. However, Ushas is entreated to arouse only the devout and liberal worshipper, and to leave the ungodly niggard to sleep on in sheer unconsciousness. The mythology also says that Ushas is young, as she is born anew every day, and yet she is old, immortal and she wears out the lives of successive generations that disappear one after another, while she continues to be un decaying.