The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...
, most of them dedicated to specific deities
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...
, a heroic god, slayer of Vrtra and destroyer of the Vala
Vala , meaning "enclosure" in Vedic Sanskrit, is an Asura of the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda, the brother of Vrtra.Historically, it has the same origin as the Vrtra myth, being derived from the same root, and from the same root also as Varuna, *val-/var- "to cover, to enclose" .Parallel to Vrtra...
, liberator of the cows and the rivers; Agni
Agni is a Hindu deity, one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods...
the sacrificial fire and messenger of the gods; and Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...
the ritual drink dedicated to Indra are the most prominent deities.
Invoked in groups are the Vishvedevas (the "all-gods"), the Maruts
In Hinduism the Marutas , also known as the Marutagana and sometimes identified with Rudras, are storm deities and sons of Rudra and Diti and attendants of Indra. The number of Maruts varies from two to sixty . They are very violent and aggressive, described as armed with golden weapons i.e...
, violent storm gods in Indra's train and the Ashvins
The Ashvins , in Hindu mythology, are divine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranya , a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvat. The Ashvins are Vedic gods symbolising the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot,...
, the twin horsemen.
There are two major groups of gods, the Devas
' 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...
and the Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...