Pushan is the name of a sun-god to whom some hymns are exclusively addressed, and whose praise at other times is sung in connection with that of Indra and other gods. In these hymns his character is not very clearly defined. He is said to behold the entire universe; is addressed as the guide of travellers, and the protector of cattle. He is called upon to protect his servants in battle, and to defend them as of old. He is invoked in the marriage ceremonial, and asked to take the bride’s hand, to lead her away, and to bless her in her conjugal relations. He is said also to conduct the spirits of the departed from this world to the next. In one text he is called “the nourisher,” as Vishnu in later times was called “the preserver.” By far the greater number of prayers addressed to him seem to regard him as the guide and protector of travellers, both along the ordinary journeys of life and in the longer journey to the other world; and as he is supposed to be constantly travelling about, he is said to know the road by which they have to goThe following is a specimen of the hymns addressed to Pushan in the Rig-Veda:— “Conduct us, Pushan, over our road; remove distress, son of the deliverer; go on before us. Smite away from before us the destructive and injurious wolf which seeks after us. Drive away from our path the waylayer, the thief and the robber. Tread with thy foot upon the burning weapons of that deceitful wretch, whoever he be. O wonder-working and wise Pushan, we desire that help of thine wherewith thou didst favour our fathers! O god, who bringest all blessings, and art distinguished by the golden spear, make wealth easy of acquisition! Convey us past our opponents; make our paths easy to travel; gain strength for us here. Lead us over a country of rich pastures; let no new trouble (beset our) path. Bestow, satiate, grant, stimulate us; fill our belly. We do not reproach Pushan, we praise him with hymns; and we seek riches from the wonder-working god.” “May we, O Pushan! meet with a wise man who will straightway direct us and say, ‘It is this.’ May Pushan follow our kine; may he protect our horses; may he give us food. . . . Come hither, glowing god, the deliverer, may we meet.” In the Purānas Pushan occupies a far less exalted position. It seems almost like a burlesque to see him, who in the Vedas is reverently approached as the giver of good to his worshippers, described as being obliged to feed upon gruel, because his teeth have been knocked out of his mouth. The earliest form of the legend describing this event is found in the Taittiriya Sanhita. Rudra, the name by which Siva was then known, not being invited to a great sacrifice that Daksha, his father-in-law, was celebrating, in his anger shot an arrow which pierced the sacrificial victim. Pushan ate his share, and in doing so broke his teeth. In describing Daksha, an account of this sacrifice will be given. In the “Vishnu Purāna” Pushan appears as one of the Ādityas.