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Pushan – Vedic Deity in Hindu Tradition

Pushan is a Vedic deity and was of great importance in the Vedic period. Pushan is described in the Vedas as the lord of all things, the guardian of all and the lord of the roads. It is also believed that He is the deity who shows light to the dead in their journey to the next world – this is mentioned in the Atharva Veda.

The term Pushan means to prosper, grow and thrive. He was also given the title – Pashupa, protector of or animals. He is also known as Vimucho napat and Vimochana.

It is mentioned in the Rig Veda that the deity protects cattle, horses, and other domestic animals. He blesses in easy weaving and smoothening the wool of sheep. He also helps in locating hidden and lost things. He guards the roads and is prayed for protection while traveling. In both Grihya and Shrauta sutras, prayers are offered to Pushan before any journey.

Pushan married daughter of Surya, the sun god. He is also a messenger of Surya and helper of Savitrs.

Pushan has a braided hair and a beard. He carries golden spear along with a goad. He has a chariot drawn by goats. He also has golden ships that move in air.

Pushan is also the name of one of the Adityas in the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

Like all Vedic deities, Pushan too lost prominence in later years.