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Aruna is one of the sons of Kasyapa by Vinata.

Kasyapa, son of Brahma, married Vinata and Kadru, and being so much pleased by their services he gave them boons. Kadru got the boon to have 1000 naga (serpent) sons, and Vinata to have two sons more powerful and vital than the sons of Kadru. After this Kasyapa went into the forest again for Tapas. After a period, Kadru gave birth to 1000 eggs and Vinata to two. Both the mothers kept their eggs in pots so that they were in the right temperature. After 500 years the pot broke up and Kadru had her 1000 sons. Vinata felt pained at this and opened one of her pots. A child only half-developed emerged from the egg and he was Aruna.

(Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 16, Verses 5-7) .

After another 500 years the other egg of Vinata hatched itself and a glowing son emerged. He was Garuda.


2) Genealogy. While Rama and Laksmana wandered in the forest searching for Sita they saw the wounded and disabled Jatayu. Jatayu described his genealogy as follows :

“Kasyapa, son of Brahma, married the daughters of Daksa. Of the two wives, Vinata delivered two sons, Garuda and Aruna. Sampati was Aruna’s elder son and he (Jatayu) the younger.

(Valmiki Rarnayana, Aranyakanda, Canto 14) .

Agni Purana, Chapter 19 also refers to Garuda and Aruna as the sons of Vinata.


3) Aruna curses his mother.

The fact of Vinata forcing open one of her eggs prematurely and Aruna emerging out of it with only a half-developed body has been mentioned above. Aruna got angry at the haste of his mother and cursed her to live as slave of Kadru for 500 years, and then Garuda would redeem her from slavery. He also asked her to wait for 500 years so that the birth of another physically deficient son like himself might be avoided. After pronouncing this curse Aruna rose to the sky. This curse was the reason for Vinata’s becoming a slave of Kadru.

(Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 16, Verses 18-23).


4) Aruna became charioteer of Sun.

The Sun and the Moon betrayed to the Devas #Rahu, who waited at the entrance of Devaloka to snatch off the Nectar (Amrtam) got at the churning of the sea of milk (Ksirabdhi). Thenceforth Rahu does often swallow the Sun and the Moon. That phenomenon is called the eclipse (of the Sun or Moon. Surya-grahana and Candra-grahana).

Enraged by these frequent attacks of Rahu, the Sun-God began once to burn like anything. Murmuring that everyone would cooperate when there was something to be achieved, but would go on their own way when the object was achieved, the Sun-God began burning so virulently as to destroy all living forms, and the Devas were frightened by this and took refuge in Brahma. Brahma called Aruna and asked him to stand as charioteer in front of the Sun-God everyday so that the Sun’s intensity might be reduced. From that day onwards #Aruna has been functioning as the charioteer of the Sun.

(Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 24, Verses 15-20).


5) Birth of sons. Syeni, wife of Aruna delivered two sons, Sampati and Jatayu.

(Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 68, Verse 71) .


6) Aruna assumed female form.

Silavati, the chaste woman, once did naked Tapas to redeem her husband, Ugratapas from the consequences of a curse. The object of her tapas was to prevent the next dawn (Sunrise). Owing to the intensity of her tapas the Sun ceased to rise, and this gave his charioteer Aruna some rest. Then it was that Aruna came to know of a programme of naked dance by the women in Devaloka. Women alone were admitted to the dance hall. Aruna, therefore, assumed female form and sat among the Deva women, and the beautiful `female’ kindled erotic sentiments in Indra and he enjoyed a night with `her’. Also, a son was born to them.

And, before the day dawned Aruna, at the instance of Indra entrusted the child to #Ahalya devi and returned to join duty as the Sun-God’s charioteer.

(Aruna, while he acted as Indra’s wife was called Arunidevi).

Aruna was a bit late to report for duty, and when questioned by Sun he detailed the happenings during the last night. This evoked the desire in the Sun to see Aruna in female form. Aruna did so, and the Sun enjoyed her. This also resulted in the birth of a son, who too was, at the instance of the Sun, entrusted to Ahalyadevi. Ahalyadevi brought both the children with tender love, which Gautama muni, her husband did not like. He cursed them and turned them into monkeys. After some time Indra went to Ahalya to see his child and he was told the story of Gautama’s curse. Indra searched out both the monkeys. In view of the elder one having a long tail he was called #Bali (#Vali) and the neck of the second one being very beautiful, he was named #Sugriva. At that time, #Riksaraja, the monkey King of Kiskindha was very unhappy because he had no sons. He came to know of Bali and Sugriva, and requested Indra to give both the monkeys to him as sons. Indra gladly obligee him. Indra blessed Bali to the effect that half the strength of anybody who attacked him would be addec to his own natural power. Indra then sent him and Sugriva to Kiskindha.


7) Synonyms. Surasuta, Aniaru, Aruna, Ka4yapi, Garu dagraja.







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