Why is Bruhaspati called deity of intellect?


1. Main deities concerned with creation of living beings: Kamadev (deity of sensual desire)

1.1 Some other Names

A. ‘Madan (मदन): When desire develops in a woman or man they become vain [mad (मद)].

B. Manmath: He is so named because since birth He churned (manthan) the minds of Lord Brahma and sages like Marichi.

C. Anang: As Shiva was performing austerities Kama, the deity of sensual desire shot Him with an arrow. When the former realised this He opened His third eye and released flames of fire which reduced Kama to ashes. Consequently when Rati, His wife began to lament, Shankar was full of compassion for Her and blessed Her that “Her husband would dwell without a body (anang) in the mind of man”. Since then Kama became all pervading in the form of an attitude or a spiritual emotion (bhav).

D. Panchaban (the five arrows): Sugarcane sticks (ikshudand) make up deity Kama’s bow. His five arrows have been described in the Amarkosh as follows –

अरविन्‍दमशोकं च चूतं च नवमल्‍लिका ।
नीलोत्‍पलं च पञ्‍चैते पञ्चबाणस्‍य सायका: ।।

Meaning: The white lotus, the ashok flower, the mango blossom, the white jasmine and the blue lotus are the five arrows of deity Kama. The varying imaginary forms of Kama’s five arrows are gross, subtle, composed of the Great Illusion and spiritual emotion. Intoxication (unmadan), excitement (tapan), paralysis (shoshan), suppression (stambhan) and enticement (sammohan) are the respective emotional forms of the five arrows.

E. Pradyumna: Madan (Kamadev) who was reduced to ashes with Shiva’s fiery eye was later born in Dvarka as Shrikrushna’s son and was named Pradyumna.

F. Makardhvaj: Kamadev’s flag (dhvaj) adorns the picture of a crocodile (makar) on it.

G. Manasij (मनसिज): Desire manifests in the minds (मन) of living beings. They experience desire within themselves. When man becomes obsessed with desire he forgets the faculty of discriminating between right and wrong (vivek) and becomes arrogant. A quote says that one lured by desire is neither afraid nor ashamed (कामातुराणां न भयं न लज्‍जा). The Purans narrate several stories about deities, sages and men who were seduced by women. In addition He is also referred to as Mar, Minketan, Kandarp, Darpak, Smar, Pushpadhanva, Ratipati and Atmabhu.

1.2 Mission

A. “Generation of feelings of sensual desire in the minds of women and men for each other.

B. He is considered the presiding deity of celestial beauties (apsaras) and seasons (rutus)” (Brahmand Puran 3.8.15).

C. Ability and manifest energy
     Energy: Creation 65%, sustenance 30% and dissolution 5%
     Manifest energy: 10%

1.3 Science behind the idol

The idol should be created so that it is the most handsome in the whole world. It should have eight arms and should hold a conch, a lotus, a bow and arrow in its hands. Its eyes should be enticing. Rati, Priti, Shakti and Madashakti, the four consorts of Kama should be beside the idol. They should be beautiful and lustrous. Kama’s four hands should be placed on the breasts of the four women. His flag should depict a large crocodile with a face constituted by five arrows.

1.4 Spiritual practice

Hemadri says that since Kamadev is the deity of worship of prostitutes and courtesans they should ritualistically worship Him and offer Him their bodies.’(1)

2. Deities concerned with sustenance of living beings

2.1 Bestower of intellect: Bruhaspati

A. Origin, meaning and definition: The word Bruhaspati (बृहस्‍पति) is formed from two words, bruhat (बृहत्‌) meaning vast and pati (पति) meaning nurturer. Bruhaspati is the one who nurtures the entire intellect, spiritual knowledge and progress; the one who decides the code of conduct. The complete potent form of Prajapati which is worthy of spiritual experience and the conjoint state of reproduction, that is the conjoint state of Brahman and Prajapati is Bruhaspati.

B. Another Name: Brahmanaspati. Variation: ‘In the period when the Hindu religion was blossoming they began to call Bruhaspati, Ganapati (the master of attendants) because He is the presiding deity of attendants (gans) of deities.’(2)

C. Mission and special features

  • The deity of intellect: When the subtle embodied soul advances towards spiritual knowledge to a greater extent it means progress. Decision regarding conduct (karma) on the basis of knowledge (dnyan) and transforming action into behaviour is facilitated by Bruhaspati. Thus framing of rules and their compilation with regard to knowledge and action is done by Bruhaspati. Bruhaspati augments knowledge and action.
  • The main advisor and preceptor in the assembly of deities.
  • The officiating family priest of deities: His presence is essential for performing a sacrificial fire (yadnya) appropriately.
  • The presiding deity of mantras or prayers: ‘Brahman means a prayer or a mantra. Thus Brahmanspati is the presiding deity of mantras or prayers. He creates all mantras and recites them.’(3)
  • The presiding deity of birth through the birth passage and out of a resolve: Bruhaspati is born through both the routes – the physical union of Prajapati and His twenty-seven daughters and out of a resolve, that is through the spiritual experience at that moment. That is why He became the presiding deity of both these forms of birth.
  • He corrects defects in thought and in spiritual experience.
  • Ability and manifest energy
    Ability: Creation 2%, sustenance 85% and dissolution 13%
    Manifest energy: 10%
    He is a deity who bestows alertness. He also teaches how to magnify or reduce the size of an object.

D. Idols: His idols are not found anywhere.

E. Spiritual practice: Bruhaspati is not worshipped. At a satsang (spiritual meeting) when Bruhaspati was chanted for two minutes out of the 31 people present 3 felt pleasant, 2 felt distressed and the remaining 26 felt nothing.

2.2 Nurturer and protector: Indra

A. Origin and meaning: Yaska has given the origin of the word Indra (इंद्र) in different ways as ‘इंद्र: इरां दृणातीति वा । इरां ददातीति वा ।
इरां दधातीति वा । इरां दारयत इति वा । इरां धारयत इति वा । इन्‍द्रवे द्रवतीति वा ।
इन्‍दौ रमत इति वा ।’ – निरुक्त १०.८

     Meaning: Indra extracts grain by breaking open the seed or He is the one who provides food or the one who nurtures food or creates furrows in the earth or sustains the earth. Indra enjoys divine wine (somras) – (Nirukta 10.8).

     According to Aitareyopanishad (3.13.14) the name Idandra (इदंद्र) was derived from ‘idam darsham (इदम्‌ दर्शम्‌)’ meaning ‘I saw this’ and later became popular as Indra. Indra is great but not the oldest. He is called great because He is the chief of the celestial deities. The oldest is the one born first and He is Prajapati (ज्‍येष्‍ठ: श्रेष्‍ठ: प्रजापति: ।).

B. Other Names: Devendra [the greatest among deities (देवानाम्‌ इंद्र: इति देवेंद्र: ।)], Shambarari (enemy of Shambar), Pushan (the one who nurtures), Somapa (the one who has intense desire for divine wine), Marutvan (the one associated with attendants of the marut class), Shatakratu (the one who performs a hundred sacrificial fires), etc.

C. Abode: Heaven (svargalok). Other deities reside in the dyu region (dyulok).

D. Energy

  • Indrani: Indra’s consort
  • Indrayani: The river Indrayani is the one created by Indra by the release of water after performing austerities.

E. Mission and special features

  • Chief of the celestial deities: The deities in Indra’s court are at the level of the Anahat and Vishuddha chakras.
  • Controller of the eastern direction, heaven and the cosmos (antariksha)
  • Nurturer: Vishnu is called the deity of nourishment (annarasadevata) because He is the one who creates food. Indra carries out the function of delivering this food to all living beings. As soon as a baby is born Indra creates milk in its mother’s breasts. This stream of milk is connected to the birth passage. Indra nurtures in the following three ways (tripushti).

    1. Bhukti – mukti: Indra is the deity who bestows bhukti and mukti. Bhukti refers to acquiring food when hungry or medicine when sick (the root word is ‘ओषधम्‌ – अन्‍नम्‌’ meaning medicine and food). Mukti means clean, pure, sacred, unblemished, untainted or liberation from the concept of birth and death.

    2. Srushti – pushti: Srushti means creating and pushti means growth.

    3. Individual – collective: He bestows both the individual and the masses with nourishment and the Final Liberation, as well as birth and the opportunity to grow.

  • The king of organs: Radiance in the body of a living organism exists in the form of a subtle flame. Such flames are evenly distributed in human beings (living organisms). ‘ज्‍योतिरिति नक्षत्रेषु इति मानुषी समाहिता ।’ means just as the sun, moon and stars possess radiance (tej) so does every living organism possess the fire (radiance) named Vaishvanar. Every living being possesses this moon principle, sun principle (arka) and Vaishvanar. All the three, the moon principle, the sun principle and Vaishvanar perform the function of imparting radiance. The radiance of these three is not derived from Indra as they are born before Him and hence are referred to as those who know the Vedas since birth (jataveda). The moon principle, the sun principle and Vaishvanar have been created according to the rules of the five Creators Prajapati, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and Minakshi and are referred to as the Samabhukti. Indra gets work done through Them. They acquire radiance using Indra as the medium and transmit it to creation.Lord Indra is the deity of organs, that is He is present everywhere in the body. So He is not worshipped.
  • Imparting strength to living organisms: Here strength refers to the ultimate goal of life or vidyuti (बलमिति विद्युति). Vidyuti (विद्युति) is derived from vi (वि) and dyuti (द्युति) and means special radiance.
  • Ability and manifest energy
    Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 80% and dissolution 10%
    Manifest energy: 10%

F. Weapon: The vajra (divine thunderbolt)


  • Shape: It is said that it either has four or hundred angles and a thousand spikes (Rugveda 4.22.2, 4.17.10, 8.6.6).
  • It is made of mercury. After being struck by the vajra the mercury from it penetrates the body. If it enters through the head then it is emitted through the feet and leads to death.
  • It can travel at any speed.

G. Science behind the idol: ‘In His book Chaturvarga Chintamani, Hemadri describes how an idol of Indra is to be sculpted. Indra’s idol should have four arms and Shachi (His consort) should have two. His left and right hands should hold a lotus and a goad respectively. Indra’s other left hand should lean on Shachi’s back and His other right hand should wield the vajra. Shachi should be holding a bunch of blooming flowers of the tulsi plant (manjari) in Her left hand and Her right arm should be resting on Indra’s back.’(4)

2.3 Those curing physical and psychological illnesses: Ashvinikumars

A. Twin brothers: They being twins Their pair is inseparable (Rugveda 3.39.3).

B. Mission and special features

  • They are the physicians of deities. They treat physical and psychological illnesses whereas Bruhaspati alleviates doubts about Spirituality and creates awareness about false spiritual experiences.
  • They control the pran and apan vital energies.
  • Ability and manifest energy
    Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 90%, dissolution 0%
    Manifest energy: 10%

C. Science behind the idol: Idols of these deities are not found anywhere. ‘Their idols should be sculpted as given in the Vishnudharmottar Puran with a complexion as lustrous as a lotus leaf, two arms, beautiful eyes and garments and should be embellished with ornaments. They should hold a book in Their right hands. Two women should be created in the background.’ (5)

D. Dhanvantari: Founder of the Ayurveda, Dhanvantari was taught the science of Ayurveda by the Ashvinikumars (physicians of deities).

Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 70% and dissolution 20%
Manifest energy: 10%

2.4 The one associated with wealth: Kuber

A. Other Names: Tryambakasakh, Yaksharaj (king of demigods), Gruhyakeshvar, Manushyadharma, Dhanad, Rajraj, Dhanadhip, Kinnaresh, Vaishravan, Pailastya, Naravahan, Yaksha, Ekapinga, Ailvil, Shrid, Punyajaneshvar

B. Abode: The city of Alka

C. Energy: Kouberi (His consort)

D. Mission and special features

  • Presiding deity of the northern direction.
  • Presiding deity of the confidants (guhyak), demigods (yakshas) and celestial singers (kinnars).
  • The Lord of wealth: Kuber is also called Navanidhi (the nine types of wealth). Wealth is measured in terms of 1. Mahapadma, 2. Padma, 3. Shankha, 4. Makar, 5. Kachchap, 6. Mukund, 7. Kund, 8. Nil and 9. Kharva.
  • Ability and manifest energy
    Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 80% and dissolution 10%
    Manifest energy: 10%

E. Science behind the idol: The idol of Kuber is always depicted as obese with its right leg dangling and a lotus situated below it. Its eyes are depicted as pebbles from the ocean. This signifies that despite having eyes He is blind, that is although He sees poverty everywhere He does not part with His wealth.

F. Spiritual practice: In the holy verse, the mantrapushpanjali which is chanted after ritualistic worship (puja), obeisance is offered to Kuber chanting His names Rajadhiraj, Maharaj, Kameshvar, etc.

3. Main deities associated with dissolution of living beings

3.1 The one who maintains records of all transactions: Chitragupta

A. Origin and meaning: The word Chitragupta (चित्रगुप्‍त) has been derived from two words chitra (चित्र) and gupta (गुप्‍त). The one who secretly (gupta) maintains an account of all transactions and merits and demerits of living beings is Chitragupta. The language of living beings is that of sound (nadabhasha) while that of deities is that of light (prakashbhasha). That is why deities maintain accounts in the language of light as a pictorial (chitra) record.

B. Birth: According to a legend He was born of Lord Brahma’s body (kaya). Hence He is also called Kayastha. He accepted this task of maintaining a record of merits and demerits upon the directives of Lord Brahma. According to another legend He is born from the body (kayastha) of a man named Mitra. He worshipped the Sun deity and acquired spiritual knowledge. Impressed by His spiritual knowledge Yama appointed Him to keep an account of merits and demerits.

C. Mission

  • The one who keeps an account of merits and demerits: He functions as an officer who maintains records of all transactions and the accounts of merits and demerits of all living beings in the court of Lord Yama (deity of death).
  • Ability and manifest energy
    Ability: Creation 10%, sustenance 40% and dissolution 50%
    Manifest energy: 10%.

C. Science behind the idol: One of His hands adorns a pen made of reeds and the other an inkwell. They symbolise His task of maintaining records.

D. His sons: He has nine sons namely Ambashtha, Mathur, Goud, etc.

E. Ritualistic worship (puja): On the second day (dvitiya) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik (i.e. Yamadvitiya of Divali), He is worshipped along with Yama. People of the Kayastha community worship Him with the belief that He is their ancestor. It was Chitragupta who bestowed Bhishmacharya with a boon of a wishful death.

3.2 The one who takes away life and accords one the appropriate status after death: Yama

A. Other Names: Dharmaraj (king of Righteousness), Pitrupati (nurturer of ancestors), Samavarti, Pretaraj (king of corpses), Krutanta, Yamunabhrata (brother of Yamuna), Shaman, Kal, Dandadhar (the one who metes out punishment), Shraddhadev (deity of the ritual of shraddha offered to ancestors), Vaivasvat, Antak, Yamaraj, Yamadharma and Oudumbar.

B. Family: Vivasvan (the Sun deity) is Yama’s father and Saranyu, the daughter of Tvashta (or Sandnya according to the Purans) is His mother. Yami is His twin sister. She was the first one to perform the ritual of waving lit lamps (ovalani) for Yama on the second day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik. Since then that day is referred to as Yamadvitiya or Bhaubij (bhau means brother).

C. Abode: Yama’s region (Yamalok).

D. Mission and special features

According to the Vedas

  • He is the first dead man to tread the path which is taken by subtle bodies after death.
  • The one who unites human beings, guides them and is the path finder.
  • The monarch of ancestors.

According to the post-Vedic period

  • Lord Brahma has endowed Him with the task of monitoring merits and demerits in the world.
  • He is the Guru who rules the righteous and the king who punishes evildoers. However the ones who secretly commit sins are punished only by Yama, the son of Vivasvan – (Mahabharat 5.35.71).
  • Taking away life
  • He does not display His fearsome form to souls coming from the three directions other than the south. To the souls coming from the south He shows His terrifying form with thirty-six arms wielding various weapons. The remaining souls from the three directions are treated based on His code of Righteousness according to their actions (karma).
  • Yama being the master of hell sends sinners to the mild or harsh parts of hell (narak) where they experience sorrow in accordance with their sins.

Ability and manifest energy
Ability: Creation 0%, sustenance 20% and dissolution 80%
Manifest energy: 70%

Yama frequencies: Yamai attracts yama frequencies. Information on them is given in ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 20 – Holy festivals, point Gudhipadva’.

The seven immortal souls (saptachiranjivas) also possess the same amount of manifest energy. Hence they are immortal.

E. Science behind the idol inclusive of His family and instruments

  • According to the holy text ‘Devatamurtiprakaranam’: He rides a huge male buffalo, is coal black in complexion and holds a pen of reeds, a book, a rooster and a staff, one in each of His four hands.
  • According to the Vishnudharmottar Puran: He is seated on a huge male buffalo, along with His wife Dhumrorna seated on His left lap, wielding a staff with a face emitting fire on its tip and a sword respectively in both His right hands and a burning trident and a rosary (japamala) in His left hands, a crippled leg, Chitragupta standing on His right hand side with a reed pen and a birch bark and Kal (time) fearful in appearance, standing to His left with a noose in His hand.

F. Temples: They are located at Mathura (that of Yama and Yami), Pahadpur, Chidambaram, etc. in India.

G. Family

  • Chitragupta.
  • Kal
  • Messengers of Yama (Yamadut): They appear very ferocious, are dark in complexion, have red eyes, wield a trident, a staff and several nooses in their hands. When the life of a sinner ends, messengers of Lord Yama take him to hell. However they cannot take away meritorious souls which are escorted by messengers of Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu instead.
  • Messengers: Owls, pigeons and crows
  • Dogs: The four-eyed dogs named Shabal and Shyam
  • Cavaliers: Hiranyaksha and Ayasakhur


Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. Publisher: Pandit Mahadevshastri Joshi, Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410 Shanivar Peth, Pune 411 030.
First edition: Vol. 3 to 10, Second edition: Vol. 1 and 2
[1]. Vol. 2, Pg. 256, 257           [2]. Vol. 6, Pg. 216
[3]. Vol. 6, Pg. 216                   [4]. Vol. 1, Pg. 536
[5]. Vol. 1, Pg. 327



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