By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Aruna, AruNa, Aruna
Aruṇa literally means ‘the red one’.
Aruṇa, the charioteer of Surya, the Sun-god, was the first son of the sage Kaśyapa and Vinatā. Since her pregnancy lasted too long, Vinatā impatiently pressed her womb, resulting in the deformity of limbs to the unborn child. So, Aruṇa was born without thighs. (Hence the name anuru, one without thighs.) He was appointed by the gods as the charioteer of Surya. He is red in color and imparts his hue to the sky as he drives in the chariot.
Aruṇa is also the name of a demon killed by the goddess Durgā, in her aspect as Bhramarāmbā.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore