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Encyclopedia > Ushas

Ushas (उषः ṣas-), Sanskrit for "dawn", is the chief goddess (sometimes imagined as several goddesses, Dawns) exalted in the Rigveda. She is portrayed as a beautifully adorned, sexually attractive young woman riding in a chariot.

The worship of Dawn a goddess *Hausos among the Proto-Indo-Europeans is also reflected by the Greek goddess Eos and by Roman Aurora.

Twenty out of 1028 hymns in the Rigveda are dedicated to Dawn: Book 7 has seven hymns, books 4–6 have two hymns each, and the younger books 1 and 10 have six and one respectively.

E. g. RV 6.64.1-2 (trans. Griffiths):

1. The radiant Dawns have risen up for glory, in their white splendour like the waves of waters.
She maketh paths all easy, fair to travel, and, rich, hath shown herself benign and friendly.
2. We see that thou art good: far shines thy lustre; thy beams, thy splendours have flown up to heaven.
Decking thyself, thou makest bare thy bosom, shining in majesty, thou Goddess Morning.

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Ushas is a Rig Vedic deity who is the most beautiful maiden personifying the charm of dawn.
Ushas is portrayed as a shy maiden, conscious of her beauty but modest and entering society under the protection of her mother.
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