There are said to be a lot of demigods (about 33 crores). Is this number constant? Are new demigods created by the supreme being?

What do scriptures say about this?

  • 2
    you are refering devas as demigod. No this number is constant. As they were cursed by parvati that they will not be able to reproduce
    – Panther
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


Devas or demigods, as we know them, are basically positions and powers which are taken up by suitable jivas. For example, the position of Indra is taken up by different personalities. So just like in the parliament the number of seats is fixed, the number of devas are also fixed. Some say the number is 33 crore, some say its 33 koti meaning 33 types and so on. In the Vedas there is a conversation in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad where the rishi Yajnyavalkya says it's the number is 33 and other known gods numbering to 3306 are just their powers:

कतमेतेत्रयश्च त्रीच शतात्रयश्च त्रीच सहस्रेति
Which are the three hundred three and three thousand three gods?

सहोवाच महिमान एवइषामेते,त्रयस्त्रिंशत्त्वेवदेवाइति
He (Yajnavalkya) said, "Those are their powers, but gods are only thirty three."

Which are the thirty three?

अष्टउवसव ,एकादश रुद्रा ,द्वादशादित्यास् , तएकत्रिंशद् , इन्द्रश्चैवप्रजापतिश्च त्रयस्त्रिंशाविति
Eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas. These are thirty one, Indra and Prajapati make it thirty three.

At some other places like the Satapatha Brahmana even Heaven and Earth are considered as the devas and Prajapati as a separate deva numbering 34. So the number of such positions is constant. And even though the demigods may have off springs like many mentioned in the puranas, they are not given the status of a deva.

  • I thought Prajapati was a title. It is used for Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Agni, Indra, Vishvakarma, Bharata, and Kapila Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 1:17

In a celestial hierarchy, devas gets created only once in a manvantara.During beginning of each manvantara, Samudra manthan do happen , devas drink nector to become deathless(for a manvatara).

Devas though procreates, another deva will not be born. You can see illustrations of numerous human or non-human descendents of devas in the history. For example pandavas are descendent of devas, but they didnt become devas.

Once manvatara is up, new devas would be chosen, based on different merits. Some devas , who is not satisfied of being deva for such a long time, tries various ways to become deva again even in next manvatara.

Vishnupurana(Chap 15) has an interesting story about devas of past manvantara, who were trying to become deva in this current manvantara.

There were twelve celebrated deities in a former Manwantara, called Tushitas , who, upon the approach of the present period, or in the reign of the last Manu, Chákshusha, assembled, and said to one another, "Come, let us quickly enter into the womb of Adití, that we may be born in the next Manwantara, for thereby we shall again enjoy the rank of devas" and accordingly they were born the sons of Kaśyapa, the son of Maríchi, by Adití, the daughter of Daksha; thence named the twelve Ádityas[.]

Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp050.htm

  • What is manvatara? Is it one yuga cycle (1 time cycle of 4 yugas)?
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 5:43
  • @user12458 Manvantara is equal to 71 Mahayugas. 284 yugas. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 17:13

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