Devatā Aṣṭadikpālaka and Devatā Nava Saṅga

According to Ṛgveda X, 36, 14, there are eight particular gods (Sanskrit: devā; Indonesian: dewa-dewa) whom are said to be the rulers of the eight cardinal directions of the Universe. These particular gods are refered to as Devatā Aṣṭadikpālaka, and can be listed as follows:

Devatā Aṣṭadikpālaka and Devatā Nava Saṅga

1. North: Kuvera
2. Northeast: Īśana
3. East: Indra
4. Southeast: Agni
5. South: Yama
6. Southwest: Sūrya
7. West: Varuna
8. Northwest: Vāyu

In Bali, however, the Guardian Kings of the Universe are called the Devatā Nava Saṅga (also ‘Nawa Dewata’ or ‘Nawa Sanga’ [which can also mean ‘nine colors’]), as is also in accordance with the Balinese Tattva scriptures which were written on lontar (palm) leaves. As the name already suggests, these are nine (nava) instead of eight (aṣṭa) deities (devatā); the nineth being Śiva (often in the form of the liṅga) in the center of the Universe.

Devata Nava Sanga
1. North: Viṣṇu
2. Northeast: Sambhu
3. East: Īśvara
4. Southeast: Maheśvara
5. South: Brahma
6. Southwest: Rudra
7. West: Mahādeva
8. Northwest: Saṁkara
9. Center: Śiva

Viṣṇu, Īśvara, Brahma, Mahādeva and Śiva are also called the Pañca Devatā – the Five Gods. It is believed that each of these five (and eight) gods actually is a different manifestation of Śiva.

 Devata Nava Sanga


Ratnaesih, Maulana, 1997: ‘Ikonografi Hindu’. Jakarta: Fakultas Sastra Universitas Indonesia; 105.

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