Vasyu (or Vayu) literally means “air, wind.” In the Rig Veda this god is usually linked to Indra, whose chariot he shares. Hindu exegesis states: “Agni dwells on earth, Vasyu and Indra reside in the air, and the place of Surya is in the heavens.” Later scriptures involve Vasyu in conflict with Vishnu. When the sage Narada incited the wind to break down the summit of Mount Meru, Vishnu’s bird, Garuda, shielded the mountain with his wings and blunted the force of the mighty blasts. But when Garuda was absence Narada’s scheme was successful. The top of the mountain was torn off and cast into the sea, where it became the island of Sri Lanka. A.G.H.


Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology, New York, G. P. Putman’s Sons, 1980, p. 84