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Hindu goddess of dawn; daughter of the sky and sister of the night
Vedic and Hindu female deity, personifying the dawn, usually mentioned in plural. She is portrayed as welcoming birds and warding off evil spirits, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky.
Ushas, Sanskrit for "dawn", is a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. Sanskrit uṣas is an s-stem, i.e. the genitive case is uṣásas. It is from PIE *h₂ausos-, cognate to Greek Eos and Latin Aurora. Ushas is an exalted goddess in the Rig Veda but less prominent in post-Rgvedic texts. She is often spoken of in the plural, "the Dawns." She is portrayed as warding off evil spirits of the night, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky. Due to her color she is often identified with the reddish cows, and both are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time. Twenty of the 1028 hymns of the Rig Veda are dedicated to the 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. In RV 6.64.1-2 Ushas is invoked as follows: ⁕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. ⁕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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