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Vasu / वसु

  • In Hinduism, the Vasus are attendant deities of Indra, and later Vishnu.
  • They are eight elemental gods representing aspects of nature, representing cosmic natural phenomenon.
  • The name Vasu means 'Dweller' or 'Dwelling'.
  • They are eight in number, viz. Dhar, Dhruv, Som, Aha, Anil, Anal, Pratyush and Prabhas.
  • Once, the Vasus arrived at the hermitage of sage Vasishth. Seeing the sage's cow Nandini, the wife of the Vasu Aha insisted on her husband obtaining it for her in the interest of her companion Jitvati.
  • Knowing that Vasishth would not part with it, Aha stole Nandini. Vasishth returned to see that his cow was missing and learnt with his spiritual powers what had happened. He cursed all the Vasus to be born on earth as men.
  • The Vasus were terrified and approached the sage, begging for pardon. Vasishth relented and said that they would live a short life, but Aha, who had stolen Nandini, would live a full life on earth as a man.
  • The eight Vasus then approached Ganga and asked her to bear them as sons of Shantanu and drown them in the river as soon as they were born.
  • Ganga did as they said, and seven of them were released from the curse as soon as they were born, but just as she was about to throw her eighth son in the water, she was stopped by Shantanu. This was the Vasu Aha, reborn as Bhishma.