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Aruṇa (centre) as charioteer of Surya (right)

In Hindu mythology and scriptures, Aruṇá or Aruṇ (अरुण) is a personification of the reddish glow of the rising Sun,[1] which is believed to have spiritual powers. The presence of Aruṇá, the coming of day, is invoked in Brahmin prayers to Surya.


Vinata was one of the wives of rishi Kashyapa, and she bore him two sons, Aruṇá and Garuda, bringing them out as eggs. Vinata was promised that her sons would be powerful if she waited for them to hatch from their eggs. However, her impatience to hatch them took root, and she broke one of them. From the broken egg a flash of light, Aruṇá, sprang forth. He was as radiant and reddish as the morning sun. But, due to the premature breaking of the egg, Aruṇá was not as bright as the noon sun as he was promised to be. Aruṇá's brother, Garuda, was born regularly, and eventually became the main vehicle of Vishnu.

Aruṇá is sometimes considered a part of Surya, as he is the vision and driving force behind its path through the sky. In some stories, Aruṇá drives the chariot of Surya, while in others, he is a manifestation of Surya, serving as a sign of the coming of the Sun God. He is also referred to as Anoora in some contexts.

Aruṇa is also believed to be the father of Jatayu and Sampati (King of the Vultures), who are both mentioned in the Ramayana.

Comparative mythology

According to Monier-Williams's dictionary, one of the meanings of aruṇa is 'the red-and-black berry of the retti-plant' : this would resemble the berry "which changed its colour ... from red to black" (Greek Myths 90.c) as described by Polyeidos, who discovered "a swarm of bees" (Greek Myths, 90.d), just as a swarm of bees assailed Aruṇa (according to the Devī-Bhāgavata Purāna 10:13:109-116).

See also


  1. अरुण aruṇá: reddish-brown, tawny, red, ruddy (the colour of the morning as opposed to the darkness of night). Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, © 1899


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