Vāyu (Sanskrit: वायु, IAST: Vāyu; Malay: Bayu, Thai: Phra Pai) is a primary Hindu deity, the Lord of the winds, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman. He is also known as Vāta (वात), Pavana (पवन, the Purifier), and sometimes Prāna (प्राण, the breath).
Connotations of Vayu
As the word for air, (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) is one of the Panchamahābhuta or five great elements. The Sanskrit word 'Vāta' literally means "blown", 'Vāyu' "blower", and 'Prāna' "breathing" (viz. the breath of life, cf. the *an- in 'animate'). Hence, the primary referent of the word is the "deity of Life", who is sometimes for clarity referred to as "Mukhya-Vāyu" (the chief Vāyu) or "Mukhya Prāna" (the chief of Life).
Sometimes the word "vayu," which is more generally used in the sense of the physical air or wind, is used as a synonym for "prāna". There is however a separate set of five deities of Prāna (vital breath), Mukhya-Prāna being chief among them, so that, in Hindi and other Indian languages, someone's death is stated as "his lives departed" (uske prān nikal gaye) rather than "his life departed." These five Vāyu deities, Prāna, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna, and Samāna, control life (and the vital breath), the wind, touch/sensation, digestion, and excretion.
Vāta, an additional name for Vāyu, is the root of the Sanskrit and Hindi term for "atmosphere", vātāvaran (वातावरण).
Pavan is also a fairly common Hindu name. Pavan had played an important role in Anjana's begetting Hanuman as her child. Hence Hanuman is also called Pavan-Putra (son of Pavana) and Vāyu-Putra.
In the Mahabharata, Bheema was the son of Pavan and played a major role in the great Dharam yudhha Kurukshetra. He utilised his huge power and Gada yudhha art for supporting Dharama.
In Hindu texts and philosophy
Hinduism (Tattva) and
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