The Ashvins in Hindu mythology
Hindu mythology
Hindu religious literature is the large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism, notably as contained in Sanskrit literature, such as the Sanskrit epics and the Puranas. As such, it is a subset of Nepali and Indian culture...

, are divine twin horsemen
Horsemen may refer to:*Equestrianism, including cavalry*Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse*Four Horsemen *Royal Canadian Mounted Police*Horsemen , starring Dennis Quaid*The Horsemen , starring Omar Sharif...

 in the Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

, sons of Saranya (daughter of vishwakarma), a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

 in his form as Vivasvat. The Ashvins are Vedic gods
Rigvedic deities
There are 1028 hymns in the Rigveda, most of them dedicated to specific deities.Indra, a heroic god, slayer of Vrtra and destroyer of the Vala, liberator of the cows and the rivers; Agni the sacrificial fire and messenger of the gods; and Soma the ritual drink dedicated to Indra are the most...

 symbolising the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness. They can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 and Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai
Ašvieniai are divine twins in the Lithuanian mythology identical to Latvian Dieva deli and direct counterparts of Vedic Ashvins. The both names derive from the same Proto-Indo-European root for the horse - *ek'w-. Old Lithuanian ašva and Sanskrit ashva mean "horse". Ašvieniai are represented as...

 of the ancient Baltic religion.

They are the doctors of gods and are deva
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

s of Ayurvedic medicine. They are called Nasatya (dual "kind, helpful") in the Rigveda; later, Nasatya is the name of one twin, while the other is called Dasra ("enlightened giving"). By popular etymology, the name was analysed as na+asatya "not untrue"="true".

In the epic Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, King Pandu's
In the Mahābhārata epic, King Pandu is the son of Ambalika and Rishi Ved Vyasa. He is more popularly known as the father of the Pandavas and ruled Hastinapur.-Birth:...

 wife Madri
In the Mahābhārata epic, Madri was a princess of the Madra kingdom and the second wife of Pandu.On his way to Hastinapur, King Pandu encountered the army of Shalya, King of Madra. Very soon, Pandu and Shalya became friends and Shalya gave his only sister, Madri to Pandu, as a gift of their...

 is granted a son by each Ashvin God and bears the twins Nakula
Nakula, also spelt "Nakul" was one of the five Pandava brothers according to the epic Mahābhārata. Nakula and Sahadeva were fraternal twins born to Madri, who had invoked the Ashvins using a mantra for a son, the mantra shared by Kunti...

 and Sahadeva
Sahadeva was one of the five Pandava brothers according to the epic Mahābhārata. He was one of the twin sons of Madri, who invoked Ashvins using a mantra shared by Kunti for a son. His twin brother was named Nakula...

 who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas.

To each one of them is assigned the number 7 and to the pair the number 14
14 (number)
14 is the natural number following 13 and preceding 15.In speech, the numbers 14 and 40 are often confused. When carefully enunciated, they differ in which syllable is stressed: 14 vs 40...


Asvini is the first nakshatra in Hindu astrology, corresponding to the head of Aries, including the stars β and γ Arietis.The name aśvinī is used by Varahamihira...

 is the name of an asterism
Asterism (astronomy)
In astronomy, an asterism is a pattern of stars recognized on Earth's night sky. It may form part of an official constellation, or be composed of stars from more than one. Like constellations, asterisms are in most cases composed of stars which, while they are visible in the same general direction,...

 in Indian astronomy, later identified with the mother of the Ashvins. This asterism forms the first of the 27 asterisms that form the zodiac in Indian astronomy. This star is identified as Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation of Aries (Alpha Arietis)

The Ashvins are mentioned 376 times in the Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

, with 57 hymns specifically dedicated to them: 1.3, 1.22, 1.34, 1.46-47, 1.112, 1.116-120 (c.f. Vishpala
Vishpala is a woman mentioned in the Rigveda . The name is likely from "settlement, village" and "strong", meaning something like "protecting the settlement"....

), 1.157-158, 1.180-184, 2.20, 3.58, 4.43-45, 5.73-78, 6.62-63, 7.67-74, 8.5, 8.8-10, 8.22, 8.26, 8.35, 8.57, 8.73, 8.85-87, 10.24, 10.39-41, 10.143.
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