By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Usas, USas, Ushas
Uṣas literally means ‘one who shines’.
In the Ṛgveda dawn has been deified as the goddess Uṣas. There are twenty suktas devoted to her. These suktas are highly poetical descriptions of the goddess. A few of these may be given here as a sample:
- She is eternal since she comes everyday in the same form.
- She destroys darkness that has enveloped the world.
- She wakes up all beings and engages them in their work.
- She comes in a brilliant golden chariot.
- Surya, the Sun, is her husband.
- Only after her arrival, fires begin to burn and sacrifices are undertaken.
- The Vedic sage prays to her to give him wealth and long life.
- Ṛgveda 1.92.10
- Ṛgveda 1.92.4
- Ṛgveda 4.51.5
- Ṛgveda 1.48.7
- Ṛgveda 7.75.5
- Ṛgveda 7.80.1
- Ṛgveda 7.82.6
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore