The name literally means horsemen (not riders, but charioteers). They are inseparable twins, associated with light and appear between the dawn and sunrise. It is the deity Ushas (dawn) that awakens them. They follow her in their chariot and drive away the evil spirits. They are sons of Dyou (heaven).
They are young in age (kumaras), handsome and have got a golden luster. They adorn lotus garlands and their path is golden in color. Being the divine healers possessing magical power, they rescue men from disease and distress. They are also associated with restoration of youth and eyesight.
A Suktam addressed to them goes like this :
Night, the sister of dawn hastens far away from her and prepares a pathway for the crimson colored God. We invoke you, Ashvins abundant in kine and horses.
We are the pious ones. come to us in your speeding chariots, give us riches and relieve us from disease and weakness.
Protect us during day and night as you approach us in the dawn.
With your three seated chariot, you approach us and nurture us.
You both released Chyavana from old age, rescued Atri from distress and darkness and placed Jahusha in freedom
To you is offered this praise, bless us ever more with your protection.