Aruṇa is born of the womb of Vinatā, the eighth daughter of Dakṣa (Daksha), and sired by the great sage Kaśyapa (Kasyapa). He is the elder brother of Garūḍa (Garuda). He pleased Mahādeva (Mahadeva) with great tapasyā (tapasya; ascetic practices), and was appointed the charioteer of the Sun-god, by grace of Mahādeva.

Aruṇa’s wife’s name was Śyenī (Syeni). Two great and valiant sons, named Sampāti (Sampati) and Jaṭāyu (Jatayu)were born as children of Aruṇa and Śyenī.