One of the Adityas. Mitra (Sanskrit Mitrá) is a divinity of Indic culture, whose function changed with time. In the Mitanni inscription, Mitra is invoked as one of the protectors of treaties. In the Rigveda, Mitra appears primarily in the dvandva compound Mitra-Varuna, which has essentially the same attributes as Varuna alone, e.g. as the principal guardian of ṛtá "Truth, Order", breaches of which are punished. In the late Vedic texts and the Brahmanas, Mitra is increasingly associated with the light of dawn and the morning sun (while Varuna becomes associated with the evening, and ultimately the night). In the post-Vedic texts – in which Mitra practically disappears – Mitra evolved into the patron divinity of friendship, and because he is "friend", abhors all violence, even when sacred.
Indic Mitra should not be confused with the Zoroastrian divinity Mithra (Miθra). Although their names both derive from the Proto-Indo-Iranian noun *mitra, "(that which) causes binding", a shared etymology through which the two also share some properties, Indic Mitra and Iranian Mithra developed differently, and the two figures are not identical. Indic Mitra should also not be confused with Roman Mithras.