Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Devas - The Lesser Gods


The Devas are immortal beings, the inhabitants of Swargaloka or the heavens. They are the sons of the sage Kashyapa and his wife Diti. They are in a state of eternal warfare with their step-brothers, the Asuras, who are the sons of their father and Aditi, the sister of their mother.

Originally, the Devas were mortal and where dying in large numbers in their perennial war with the Asuras. The Asuras were suffering no casualities as their preceptor Shukra knew the secret of the MrithaSanjivini Mantra(spell), which was capable of bringing the dead back to life. They sent Kacha, son of their guru (preceptor) Brihaspati to learn the secret of this spell from Shukra. He succeeded after many trials, the story of which is told here.

Later, both the Asuras and Devas formed an alliance to obtain nectar from the sea of milk. They obtained the nectar, but with the help of Vishnu they succeeded in cheating the Asuras of their share of the nectar. That story is told here. After this point, they could be defeated only when the Asuras managed to obtain a strong boon from the trinity.

The king of the Devas is Indra. Their commander-in-chief is Skanda. They are 330 million in number, but the principal ones are Surya, Chandra, Agni, Vayu, Varuna and Kama.

Last Modified At: Tue Nov 2 19:13:20 2004