In the Ramayana the story is told of their birth. Their mother, the goddess Diti, wanted to give birth to a son who would rival Indra in power, so she planned to remain pregnant for an entire century to accomplish this. Indra learned of this and was worried about it. To upset her plan, he hurled his thunderbolt at her womb while she was still pregnant, shattering it. The Maruts were born from the single, splintered fetus.
The Maruts were minor storm deities who in Vedic times were the sons of Rudra and the attendants of Indra. There number is variously given as two, twenty-seven, or sixty. They were aggressive and violent in character. They were the drivers of the clouds, the bringers of wind, the fellers of trees, and the crushers of mountains. They sometimes accompanied Indra into battle, and attended him at his court.