The Visvedevas (Sanskrit: विश्वेदेवाः) ( viśve-devāḥ "all-gods") are the various Vedic gods taken together as a whole. In the Rigveda a number of hymns are addressed to them, including (according to Griffith) 1.89, 3.54-56, 4.55, 5.41-51, 6.49-52, 7.34-37, 39, 40, 42, 43, 8.27-30, 58, 83 10.31, 35, 36, 56, 57, 61-66, 92, 93, 100, 101, 109, 114, 126, 128, 137, 141, 157, 165, 181.
RV 3.54.17 addresses them as headed by Indra,
- This is, ye Wise, your great and glorious title, that all ye Deities abide in Indra. (trans. Griffith)
Though a large number of devas are named in the Rig Veda only 33 devas are counted, eleven each of earth, space and heaven. In later Hinduism, they form one of the nine ganadevatas (along with the Adityas, Vasus, Tushitas, Abhasvaras, Anilas, Maharajikas, Sadhyas, and Rudras). According to the Vishnu Purana, they were the sons of Vishvā, a daughter of Daksha, enumerated as follows: 1. Vasu 2. Satya 3. Kratu 4. Daksha, 5. Kala 6. Kama 7. Dhrti 8. Kuru 9. Pururavas 10. Madravas, with two others added by some, 11. Rocaka or Locana, 12. Dhvani Dhuri
Sometimes it is unclear whether a reference to vishve-devas refers to all Devas collectively, as in the Rigveda, or to the specific group as enumerated in the Puranas.
According to Manu (iii, 90, 121), offerings should be made daily to the Visvedevas. These privileges were bestowed on them by Brahma and the Pitri as a reward for severe austerities they had performed on the Himalaya.
The Visvedevas are the most comprehensive gathering of gods. They answer to the concern that no divinity should be omitted from praise.
- Singhal, K. C; Gupta, Roshan. The Ancient History of India, Vedic Period: A New Interpretation. Atlantic Publishers and Distributors. ISBN 8126902868. P. 150.
- Monier Monier-Williams. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p.993, Bay Foreign Language Books, Ashford, Kent. 1899, reprinted 2003. ISBN 1-873722-09-5.
- Renou, Louis. L'Inde Classique, vol. 1, p. 328, Librairie d'Ameriqe et d'Orient. Paris 1947, reprinted 1985. ISBN 2-7200-1035-9.
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