Brahma, the cosmic mind, is the creator of the universe. Devas are a part of this collective mind and are therefore Brahma’s helpers. Being a part of the collective mind, Devas are not different from any other being. Their only distinction is they maintain their self-awareness at all times. On the other hand, humans must make an effort to steadily maintain self awareness. There is an interesting story related to the Devas losing their self knowledge.

Long ago, Devas had offspring. In their excessive attachment to their offspring, Devas once became lax in their primary responsibility. Certainly, their primary role is to help Brahma. Brahma excused this laxity. However, he noticed this lax attitude more frequently. Brahma wanted to teach Devas a lesson. Therefore, he created a veil which hid self knowledge from the Devas. Devas immediately realized their loss. They prayed for self knowledge. Brahma asked the Devas to seek it from their own offspring. His Veil had not affected the offspring of the Devas. The offspring taught the ways of Self awareness to their own parents. They then blessed the Devas while addressing them as “Putrakas”.

The word Putrakas refers to the little ones and the corresponding word Pitru refers to the elders. Devas willingly acknowledged their skilled teachers as the Pitṛu. These offspring of Devas gained the status of Pitru Devas. Pitru devas, a class of devas, receive honors in ancestral worship rituals.

Villagers pain this image at the entrance to their houses to seek protection from ancestors.
Simple Symbol of three generations of Pitru or ancestors
The female Yogi, the mother of the sage Vyasa

There are seven groups of Pitṛu, namely, Vairajas, Agnishvattas, Barhishada, Somapas, Havishmanas, Ajyapas, and Sukalins. Each represents a slightly different category of beings. Seven great female Yogis emerged as the mind born daughters in each of these seven categories of Pitru-Devas. They played significant roles in the early development of the human race. The Harivamsa text, a supplement to the Mahabharata text, describes their influences. The seven female Yogis took birth on the planet at critical junctures. Their stories are fascinating. Acchoda, one among them, took birth as the mother of sage Veda Vyasa. Interestingly, Veda Vyasa wrote the stories in the Harivamsa text.

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