Aruṇa, the charioteer of Sūrya, the Sun-god, was the first son of the sage Kaśyapa and Vinatā. Since her pregnancy lasted too long, Vinatā impatiently pressed her womb, resulting in the deformity of limbs to the unborn child. So, Aruṇa was born without thighs. (Hence the name anūru, one without thighs.) He was appointed by the gods as the charioteer of Sūrya. He is red in colour and imparts his hue to the sky as he drives in the chariot.
Garuḍa, the famous mount of Viṣṇu, is his younger brother. Sampāti and Jaṭāyu the two giant birds mentioned in the Rāmāyaṇa are his sons.
Aruṇa is also the name of a demon killed by the goddess Durgā, in her aspect as Bhramarāmbā.