This is Vayu, the God of the Winds, who rules over
the atmosphere. After Indra, he is perhaps the most
prominent of the storm gods of the Vedas and is
often associated with him. He is presented as riding
the golden chariot of Indra, pulled by anything from
99 to a 1000 horses, red or purple in colour. Since
he is supposed to have been born from the breath of Purusa, the
Supreme Being, he is God of the Wind.
He is supposed to infuse the Universe with life, and to purify the
atmosphere as Pavan (the pure) and it is said that his sounds have
been heard but his form has never been seen.
Praises have been sung of his swiftness and agility, and later, in the
Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he is said to be the father of two of
the strongest and bravest heroes, Hanuman and Bheema respectively.
Hanuman is often referred to as Pavanputra, the son of Pavan (Wind)
by a monkey mother. Kunti, the mother of Bheema, was permitted to
bear a child by any of the gods, since her husband could not become
a father due to a curse. The fact that she chose Vayu, points to the fact
that his position among the gods must have been significant.
Being associated with purification, he is dressed in white and even
carries a white flag. He is often referred to as Maruti, the air necessary
for life, or Anila, breath of life.