Aryaman symbolises the Sun’s dharma and His dutiful nature in controlling time and also of impartiality. Surya being the creator of day and night, Aryaman controls the movement of Kala-time. This eternal duty is has never been faulted. It does not wait for anyone or any instructions. Thus Surya is an example of being objective. It is for this reason that Aryaman is invoked to witness Hindu marriage oaths. It is in his name the marriage oath is administered. Aryaman is also said to be the chief of the manes. The milky way is supposed to be the path of Aryaman.
VARUNA: Varuna started off by being the guardian of cosmic laws. But few hymns have been addressed to him. He is the prime mover of the universe. He uses his creative will or maya and used the Sun as his instrument to measure and give form to the three worlds: the heavens, the earth and the intermittent space. Varuna causes rain and rivers to flow to the oceans thus starting a water cycle essential to life. The Sun had its impartial role in this. Varuna’s breath is the wind and that caused movements. So he claimed that he has the Sun as his eye while he was an embodiment of creation.
Varuna was seated majestically in his golden palace. But he was surrounded by watchful spies. It was no surprise that the Sun had to report to Varuna its daily rises and report what it saw. Varuna’s function function was thus moral and that is more than being creative. His maya was also equally the principle of truth or justice. He evaluated his actions against rta, laws which was unknowable to mortals. Varuna’s dharmic laws were inscrutable and he had a rope symbolically to rope in sinners. So human fell back on fear of Varuna and hoped for his forgiveness.
But Varuna was not able to keep his office for long. His elevated position was fragmented. The duties of universal encompasser was passed to other Gods. There were two distinct developments. One was the development of the Vedic Triads. It is in the divine triad that Aryaman emerges first as Varuna, Mitra and Aryaman. So Varuna’s realm was split. Mitra became the guardian of the day and Varuna was pushed to the night slot. Mitra also shared
Varuna’s powers bind humans for their sins and forgive.
Aryaman’s functions are ill-defined but he must also have been agod of the heavens, for the triad was known as Adityas. The second change that watered down Varuna’s powers was when the Adityas were joined by three or nine gods of whom Indra, not Varuna, was the leader. It was then that the Adityas represented the Sun and twelve annual phases. So Aryaman, being representative of the Sun, now had a direct role.
ADITYAS: Aditi was the Mother of Gods. Adityas means free and boundless. Aditi is said to represent the boundless heavens and she is the supporter of the sky, sustainer of the earth and sovereign of the world. Vedic writings carry a confusion of Mahavishnu is Aditi’s husband or son. There is equal confusion over the names of Aditi’s children and who was the chief among them. The chief was named Varuna to represent a group of celestial bodies rather than those bodies themselves.
Originally they were a group of seven but later became twelve representing twelve months. Here each had a position of power equal to Varuna. They were Aryaman, Indra, Mitra, Savitri, Bhaga and Ansa. Bhaga and Ansa did not rise to prominence. Savitri was worshiped as the personification of the setting sun and an eight son, Martanda or commonly called Visvasat personified the rising sun.
In all this Aryaman represented the Sun’s dharma. He shone without a direction and was fair to all. There was no impartiality to his rising and setting. So Savtri and Visvasat were absorbed by Surya while he moved according to fixed laws. By implication, Aryman was the balance between Savtri and Visvasat. Himself moving according to Surya’s fixed laws, he gave permanency and stability to earth and heavens by fixing them with bonds.
Aryaman is the third of the four great solar godheads. No separate hymn is addressed to him and, if his name occurs not frequently, it is in scattered verses. Most often he is invoked by his bare name along with Mitra and Varuna or in the larger group of other kindred deities. Still, his one chief and characteristic action emerges accompanied by the epithets of the Lords of the Truth, expressive of Knowledge, Joy, Infinity, Power.
Krishna in the Gita, enumerating the chief powers or manifestations of the eternal Godhead in things and beings, speaks of himself as Ushanas among the seers, Bhrigu among the Rishis, Vyasa among the sages, Vishnu among the children of Aditi, Aryaman among the Fathers. Now the Fathers are the ancient illumined ones who discovered the Knowledge, created and followed the Path, reached the Truth, conquered Immortality; Aryaman is the God of the Path who he is hymned.
Aryaman is the Force of sacrifice, aspiration, battle, journey towards perfection and light and celestial bliss by which the path is created, travelled, pursued beyond all resistance and obscuration to its luminous and happy goal. In consequence, the action of Aryaman takes up the attributes of Mitra and Varuna as leaders of the Path. This Force fulfils the happy impulsions of that Light and Harmony and the movement of infinite knowledge and power of that pure Vastness. One who seeks the straightness of Mitra's and Varuna's workings and by the force of the word and the affirmation embraces their law with all his being, is guarded in his progress by Aryaman.
Here is the most distinctive Rik which describes the function of Aryaman: "Aryaman of the unbroken path, of the many chariots, dwells as the sevenfold offerer of sacrifice in births of diverse forms." He is the deity of the human journey who carries it forward in its irresistible progress. The journey is effected through a manifold movement of our evolution, the many chariots of Aryaman. It is the journey of the human sacrifice which has a sevenfold energy of its action because there is a sevenfold principle in our being which has to be fulfilled in its integral perfection; Aryaman is the master of the sacrificial action who offers this sevenfold working to the godheads of the Divine Birth. Aryaman within us develops our various forms of birth in the ascending planes of our existence by which the Fathers climbed, travellers on his path, and by which it must be the aspiration of the Aryan soul to climb to the highest summit of Immortality.
Aryaman sums up in himself the whole aspiration and movement of man in a continual self-enlargement and self-transcendence to his divine perfection. By his continuous movement on the unbroken path the great gods fulfil themselves in the human birth.
SRI AUROBINDO: In The Guardians of the Light, Sri Aurobindo reveals the greatness of these four luminous and mighty Lords which is freely paraphrased and rendered in the following to get a general idea about the cosmic-transcendental working. Of Aryaman, Sri Aurobindo writes, The Lord of pure Wideness, luminous Harmony, divine Enjoyment, exalted Power.”
VEDIC ASTROLOGY: As one of the Adityas, Lord Aryman is the ruler of Uttara Phalguni Nakshatra, This is indeed another name of the Sun. The Nakshatra is representative of Surya’s dharmic nature of unfailing duty while it constantly adheres to dharma. He oversees contracts, contractual obligations and wedding oaths. Friendship is represented by the Aryaman-Mitra association. Generally Aryaman means true friendship, trust and dependence.
Aryaman and Bhaga are two auspicious vedic deities. They are said to bestow riches, affluence, and material prosperity. Vedic reference to them assure that 'whom they protect are victorious over their adversaries.'" Aryaman is "renowned for his fights and leadership." Uttara Phalguni nakṣatra also represents "the courage and endurance that descend on seasoned fighters who are confident of their strength, the righteousness of their mission, and the final victorious outcome of their efforts."
MAHA NARAYANA UPANISHAD:
Hari Om ! May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Indra, Brihaspati
And all-pervading Vishnu be propitious to us
And grant us welfare and bliss.
I bow down to Brahman in reverence.
O Vayu, I bow down to Thee in adoration.
Thou verily art perceptible Brahman.
I shall declare: Thou art right.
Thou art the true and the good.
May that – the Supreme Being adored as Vayu – preserve me.
May He preserve the teacher.
Me, may He protect; My teacher, may He protect.
Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !
Om Aryamayai namah - I bow to Aryama.
(draft Gods, Goddesses, Minor Deities and Sages)