I'm wondering if the rud portion of Rudra is etymologically connected to the rut portion of Marut. My understanding is that rudra literally means "howl" or "roar" and marút means "wind," "air," or "breath." So, can these words be broken into etymological parts?

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    it should be "Marudgana" and not "Marutagana"..
    – YDS
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:10
  • Thank you. Feel free to edit it. I wrote "Marutagana" because of Wikipedia. You may also want to correct the Wikipedia page. Many Hinduism pages on there need a proper Indian perspective. Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 8:04
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    Your follow up question is already answered hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/20128/5212 I think it can be removed. Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


As per The Origin of Marudganas chapter of Padma Purana,

One day, Diti was very tired and fell down asleep. Her hair was untied and her head had stooped down while she was sleeping, just opposite to the instructions Kashyapa had given to her. Finding the moment opportune, Indra entered into Diti's womb and cut the foetus into seven pieces with his Vajra. The seven fragments of foetus instantaneously got transformed into seven infants and started wailing. Indra became furious and once again he attacked them with his vajra and severed them into seven pieces each. But to Indra's sheer amazement, there were 49 infants, all wailing loudly. He tried to stop them from crying by shouting 'Marud' (don't cry), but to no avail.

Indra realized that the infants had attained immortality on account of the 'Pournamasi Vrata', which Diti had devoutly observed during the course of her penance. Indra named the infants as Marudganas and blessed them. He then begged for Diti's forgiveness and took her along with the Marudganas to heaven. The Marudganas, despite being born in the clans of demons, never associated with them and hence were revered even by the deities.

As per the The Creation of Rudras chapter of Markandeya Purana,

One of the eight sons of Brahma started wailing after being created from his (Brahma) body. Brahma asked him as to why he was crying. The crying child requested Brahma to give him a name. Brahma named him as Rudra since he was wailing at the time of his birth.

Note: Here it's Rudra and NOT Shiva. ( See the difference in Are Lord Shiva and Lord Shankar two different deities? ).

So root verb for both the words is रुद् (rud) means cry.

Ma + rud means don't cry.

Indra means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu) meaning "a drop" and र (ra) meaning "acquiring, possessing".

  • Excellent answer as you gave me both the emic and etic perspective. This is what I expect from this site, but usually only find one or the other. I do have a followup question... actually a few. 1. Is there any other possible meaning for "Ma" even if it doesn't fit with the story? 2. Do you happen to know the etymology of Indra, I ask here because the Maruts serve him. If the answer is long, let me know and I'll ask separately. 3. What do you mean Rudra is not Shiva? I thought Rudra is always a form of Shiva. Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 8:08
  • Also, you have a typo at "Markandeya Ppurana," Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 8:10
  • @RubelliteYakṣī 1. probabally no.. 2. i believe this should be clear from the above answer why Maruts serve Indra.. 3. Shiva gave Brahma a boon that he will born as his son..then Shiva took birth as Rudra (son of Brahma)..
    – YDS
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 8:18
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    @RubelliteYakṣī The word Indra is not originated from रुद् (rud)... Indra means "possessing drops of rain" from Sanskrit इन्दु (indu) meaning "a drop" and र (ra) meaning "acquiring, possessing"...The Question hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/2278/12304 might be helpful to understand the difference between Shiva and Rudra..
    – YDS
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 9:52
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    @Archit not sure about that..bdw, for Indra there is a diff Q: What is the meaning of Indra?
    – YDS
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 5:51

It is like this in Sanskrit --
रुद् means cry/weep.
मरुत् means वायु.

There is a story in 'Shrimat Bhagwat Mahapurana'.
When Diti, the mother of the daityas (demons), was pregnant and expecting a very powerful son as per the blessing of her husband Kaśyapa, that time Indra, the king of gods, stealthily broken the foetus into 49 parts. These ‘babies’ started weeping. At the request of their mother Diti, Indra granted them protection and godhood. He told them not to weep (मा रुद ). Hence it is मरुद्.

He made them the controllers of wind. Hence comes मरुत्.

Marudgaṇa is a group of Maruts.

  • I like this story, but it is not a proper etymology. Moreover, I read that Rudra was father of the Maruts. In this story they are children of Diti & Kaśyapa. What is the source of each story? Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:02
  • "Marudgaṇa is a group of Maruts." Yes, I understand the meaning of "gaṇa," but aren't Maruts always plural? That is, can you see a single Marut? Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:03
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    Regarding the story of Diti & Kaśyapa, it is in 'Shrimat Bhagwat Mahapurana'. Will try to update regarding the 'skandha' (chapter) subsequently.
    – Vineet
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:06
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    Yes. Single maruts are described. Navanathas (9) which are avatars of nava narayanas, are said to be originating from Marud ganas and took avatars in different ways.
    – Vineet
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:19
  • Regardless, it does seem that the रुत् in both means, cry/howl, correct? Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:27

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