TAPA – A god with five fathers

Tapa was a deva (god) who was born of the tapas (austerities) of five sages: Kasyapa, Vasishtha, Pranaka, Cyavana, and Trivarcas. Hence, he was also known by the name Panca-janya (one born of five). He can be said to be the per­sonification of tapas. However, the Mahabharata added that Tapa had his own sons: Purandara, Ushman, Prajapati Manu, Shambhu, and Avasathya—all obscure enough. To these sons were added the five urjaskaras, five sons of sac­rifice, and the his final son—Parishranta, the exhausted sun. Tapa’s mother was not mentioned.

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