VAYU is the great Vedic personification of wind, and is generally associated and often identified with Indra. His other names are PAVANA – the Purifier, GANDHA-VAHA – bearer of perfumes and SATATA-GA – ever moving.
God of wind or air is a fierce god. He drives his horses furiously, sometimes a thousand of them. He is thought of as the god of rapid motion and therefore the father of the fleet-footed.
As such he is the father of Hanuman, who could move with the speed of air, and of Bhima, brother of Arjuna, who was called the swift. The storm-gods, the MARUTS, are his children, born from a daughter of TWASHTRI the divine carpenter. Many hymns have been written to him.
As with the other gods Vayu can be prayed to for help. One legend says that Narada the sage asked him to blow strongly enough to break off the top of Mount MERU, the holy mountain. Vayu blew and blew, but in vain, for GARUDA, the vehicle of Vishnu, spread his wings over the summit to shelter it and even the most terrific storm failed to move it, Then Narada told him to watch GARUDA, and if for a moment the great bird lifted his wings, he could try again to break the summit away. Such a moment came, and Vayu blew the top of the mountain off, and it landed in the ocean where it now rests, as Lanka, or Ceylon.