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Aditi, is called the free one, because in Sanskrit her name means "boundless," and is considered an archaic Mother Goddess, depicted in Hindu, Vedic literature. She represents unlimited space and consciousness, hence infinity or eternity. According to the Rg Veda Aditi is said to be the wife of Kasyapa or of Brahma, and the mother of the Aditya, under whose constraint the universe is made possible; and she also personifies death because she consumes everything. Aditi, therefore, represents a caution already present in the Vedas about contributing the origin of the universe to a personal agent, such as a god. No other consort is mentioned in literature. She is also considered to be the mother of Hari, and other legends have her the mother of Indra. No human physical features of her are drawn, though she is sometimes identified in the guise of a cow. Aditi was believed to be a guardian goddess of prosperity and could free her devotees of problems and clear away obstacles. She does not appear in later Hindu traditions. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 3
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 20

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