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Mitra, friend, was a minor Hindu Vedic sun god mentioned in the Puranic texts. As an aditya, one of six descendants of Aditi, he was originally associated with Varuna (Vedic), ruling the day while Varuna ruled the night. Both deities were thought to be handsome, shining, and young, especially Varuna. They were appointed kings by devas, and soma is processed for them. It was from the above model that the first Mitra (Persian) and then the Mithras (Roman) were derived. He is also the god of intimate friendship. His attributes are two lotus, trident, and the sacrificial drink or soma. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 648
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 167

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