Ṛg Veda 1.164.46.:

इन्द्रं॑ मि॒त्रं वरु॑णम॒ग्निमा॑हु॒रथो॑ दि॒व्यः स सु॑प॒र्णो ग॒रुत्मा॑न् । एकं॒ सद्विप्रा॑ बहु॒धा व॑दन्त्य॒ग्निं य॒मं मा॑त॒रिश्वा॑नमाहुः ॥४६॥

Sat is grammatically neuter.:

सत् n. that which really is, entity or existence, essence, the true being or really existent (in the Vedânta, ‘the self-existent or Universal Spirit, Brahma’).

Is the verse, saying what is ultimately real is impersonal, and personal Devas or deities like Indra, Mitra, Varuna et al. spoken of by sages are manifestations of the impersonal truth.?

  • The Interpretation would depend on the school. Vaishnavas interpret the sat as referring to Vishnu and all names such as 'Indra' , ' Mitra' 'Varuna' etc originally belonging to him and worship of all deities culminating in him. Shaivas interpret it similarly but with respect to Shiva. Smartas interpret it in the way you mention
    – user30521
    Jul 3 at 2:10

2 Answers 2


[ Disclaimer - Answer From A Saiva Perspective ]

The Saiva-para Upabrahmana of the Above verses of the Rig veda occur in the Kurma Purana, Siva Rahasya Mahetihasa and the Brahma Purana(Which another answer has already cited). Which points out that it is verily Siva alone who is known through all these names and forms. He Alone takes on All those attributes through Maya to reward all those who adore him through those names and forms.

Siva-Rahasya Mahetihasa, 1st Amsha, Chapter 3

एष ब्रह्मैष विष्णुश्च एष देवो विराजते । एष भूतपतिर्देवो(व) एष सेतुर्विधारणः । एकमेव महादेवमिन्द्रमित्रादिभिः सुरैः । नामरूपगुणैश्चैव मायया मन्यते जनः ।

Mahadeva alone is known by the names of Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Mitra, etc. by the gods. He alone is known thus with names and forms due to maayaa by people.

Kurma Purana II.46.34-36

गीयते सर्वशक्त्यात्मा शूलपाणिर्महेश्वरः । एनमेके वदन्त्यग्निं नारायणमथापरे ।४६.३४ इन्द्रमेके परे प्राणं ब्रह्माणमपरे जगुः । ब्रह्मविष्णवग्निवरुणाः सर्वे देवास्तथर्षयः ।४६.३५ एकस्यैवाथ रुद्रस्य भेदास्ते परिकीर्त्तिताः । यं यं भेदं समाश्रित्य यजन्ति परमेश्वरम् ।४६.३६ तत् तद् रूपं समास्थाय प्रददाति फलं शिवः ।

Some call Agni as Isvara, others calls Narayana as such, Some call It Indra, Some call it Prana and others call it Brahma. Really Speaking, Brahma, Visnu, Agni, Varuna, all Devas as well as sages are glorified as variants of one same entity- Rudra.

In whatever forma devotee adores Paramesvara, Lord Siva Appears before him in the same form to bestow rewards on him.


Nope, here sat is the Nirguna Brahman who takes the Saguna forms.

It's same as the worship of all deities culminates in the worship of the Brahman. And the vice versa is also true that all the worship goes to the Brahman only.

According to Nirvana Upanishad, how a yogi achieves Nirvana aka Moksha is given.:

विष्णुविद्यादिशताभिधानलक्ष्यम् । .

The (worship of) gods named Vishnu, Brahma and a hundred others culminates (in Brahman). (Verse 29).

And Who is that Brahman after oneness with whom a yogi gets nirvana.:

परापवादमुक्तो जीवन्मुक्तः | शिवयोगनिद्रा च ।

Liberated while alive, as they are freed from denial of the highest (Brahman). The oneness with Siva is their sleep. (Verse 24-25).

So, Rig Veda 1.164.46.:

इन्द्रं॑ मि॒त्रं वरु॑णम॒ग्निमा॑हु॒रथो॑ दि॒व्यः स सु॑प॒र्णो ग॒रुत्मा॑न् । एकं॒ सद्विप्रा॑ बहु॒धा व॑दन्त्य॒ग्निं य॒मं मा॑त॒रिश्वा॑नमाहुः ॥

They have styled Him as Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is the celestial, well-winged Garutmat, for learned priests call the One by many names as they speak of Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan.


Shambhu alone is known by the names of Indra, Mitra, and Agni. For the sake of those who are confused , Brahmanas speak of them in different ways.

~ Brahma Purana 2 (88) Bibek Debroy.

I hope this clarifies your queries. Prd..

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