View Full Version : "Varuna" - A Vedic Hymn

Thursday, August 1st, 2002, 03:38 PM
1. I AM the royal Ruler, mine is empire, as mine who sway all life are all Immortals.
Varuna's will the Gods obey and follow. I am the King of men's most lofty cover.
2 I am King Varuna. To me were given these first existinghigh celestial powers.
Varuna's will the Gods obey and follow. I am the King of men's most lofty cover.
3 I Varuna am Indra: in their greatness, these the two wide deep fairly-fashioned regions,
These the two world-halves have I, even as Tvastar knowing all beings, joined and held together.
4 I made to flow the moisture-shedding waters, and set the heaven firm in the seat of Order.
By Law the Son of Aditi, Law Observer, hath spread abroad the world in threefold measure.
5 Heroes with noble horses, fain for battle, selected warriors, call on me in combat.
I Indra Maghavan, excite the conflict; I stir the dust, Lord of surpassing vigour.
6 All this I did. The Gods' own conquering power never impedeth me whom none opposeth.
When lauds and Soma juice have made me joyful, both the unbounded regions are affrighted.
7 All beings know these deeds of thine thou tellest this unto Varuna, thou great Disposer!
Thou art renowned as having slain the Vrtras. Thou madest flow the floods that were obstructed.
8 Our fathers then were these, the Seven his, what time the son of Durgaha was captive.
For her they gained by sacrifice Trasadasyu, a demi-god, like Indra, conquering foemen.
9 The spouse of Purukutsa gave oblations to you, O Indra-Varuna, with homage.
Then unto her ye gave King Trasadasyu, the demi-god, the slayer of the foeman.
10 May we, possessing much, delight in riches, Gods in oblations and the kine in pasture;
And that Milch-cow who drinks not from the milking, O Indra-Varuna, give to us daily.

-Translated by RTH Griffith

Not that the translation is accurate, here are a few questions I wish to ask.

Who is Tuisto in the Germanic traditions?

The verses in the beginning tend to talk in a way which we have seen in Odin's in the Skandinavian traditions.

This sukta from the Rik Veda can be learnt and understood and then, I am certain, it will provide us an insight into the commonality of the Vedic and the Skandinavian on the tradition of the "King God".

Tuesday, August 6th, 2002, 02:16 PM
Dumezil suggested a parallel of Odin and Varun, as the representative head priest.

Here, something else is to be found.

5 Heroes with noble horses, fain for battle, selected warriors, call on me in combat.
I Indra Maghavan, excite the conflict; I stir the dust, Lord of surpassing vigour.

How the lord of vastness and knowledge manages to inspire the Berserker or the Einherjer in the Vedic Aryan, is a matter of great joy and proof of the Aryan unity at the core thought.

The Gandharvas are the warriors of Varuna. Akin to the Slain "Einherjers" or the Germanic "Berserkers".

That puts in place what Triad describes, in one of the other threads, as the core charater of the Aryan as the Warrior.

Saturday, August 10th, 2002, 10:41 AM
That's probably as close a match as can be expected given 2000 years of separation. At that's only the textual separation. The tribal split must have occur well before 2000 BCE.

Varuna is called a King repeatedly. He is also a "Sage".

3 Praise those Twain Gods for powers that merit worship, Indra and Varuna, for bliss, the joyous.
One with his might and thunderbolt slays Vrtra; the other as a Sage stands near in troubles. 6:67

He had a fearsome side as punisher of sins. 1:25, 2:28:7, 7:89

And there is a tangible worry over angering him:

7 Slavelike may I do service to the Bounteous, serve, free from sin, the God inclined to anger 7:86

Like Odin, he enjoys battle for battle's sake even if invoked by both sides:

9 In battle after battle, Indra-Varuna, be ye our Champions, ye who are the peoples' strength,
When both opposing bands invoke you for the fight, and men that they may gain offspring and progeny. 7:82

Varuna's association with battle and warriors is mentioned numerous times. Here is all of RV 7:83

1. LOOKING to you and your alliance, O ye Men, armed with broad axes they went forward, fain for spoil.
Ye smote and slew his Dasa and his Aryan enemies, and helped Sudas with favour, Indra-Varuna.
2 Where heroes come together with their banners raised, in the encounter where is naught for us to love,
Where all things that behold the light are terrified, there did ye comfort us, O Indra-Varuna.
3 The boundaries of earth were seen all dark with dust: O Indra-Varuna, the shout went up to heaven.
The enmities of the people compassed me about. Ye heard my calling and ye came to me with help.
4 With your resistless weapons, Indra-Varuna, ye conquered Bheda and ye gave Sudas your aid.
Ye heard the prayers of these amid the cries of war: effectual was the service of the Trtsus' priest.
5 O Indra-Varuna, the wickedness of foes and mine assailants' hatred sorely trouble me.
Ye Twain are Lords of riches both of earth and heaven: so grant to us your aid on the decisive day.
6 The men of both the hosts invoked you in the fight, Indra and Varuna, that they might win the wealth,
What time ye helped Sudas, with all the Trtsu folk, when the Ten Kings had pressed him down in their attack.
7 Ten Kings who worshipped not, O Indra-Varuna, confederate, in war prevailed not o'er Sudas.
True was the boast of heroes sitting at the feast: so at their invocations Gods were on their side.
8 O Indra-Varuna, ye gave Sudas your aid when the Ten Kings in battle compassed him about,
There where the white-robed Trtsus with their braided hair, skilled in song worshipped you with homage and with hymn.
9 One of you Twain destroys the Vrtras in the fight, the Other evermore maintains his holy Laws.
We call on you, ye Mighty, with our hymns of praise. Vouchsafe us your protection, Indra-Varuna.
10 May Indra, Varuna, Mitra, and Aryaman vouchsafe us glory and great shelter spreading far.
We think of the beneficent light of Aditi, and Savitar's song of praise, the God who strengthens Law.

In 8:41 he has 'magic' like Odin and in another (can't recall which) he knows 'secrets'.

Thursday, August 15th, 2002, 11:21 PM
Some aspects of Varuna-Odin worship might seem strange to Europeans because we tend to have Norse tunnel-vision. That is, with the popularity of Asatru, the the Norse model is most familiar.

There is no strong priesthood among the Norse and possibly the early Germans. Seeresses played an important role for the Germans and some of that remains by the Norse period, but on the whole, the Germanic priesthood was weak.

But this seems to be exception rather than rule for Aryans. The Indo-Aryans, of course, had a strong priesthood which perhaps ultimately became too strong. The early Romans are known to have had an established priesthood. Its posts were later usurped by emperors. Breaking the priests' powers and priviledges by assuming the role is common and is repeated in the King of England as head of the Church of England to break Catholic power.

The Greeks and Persians also had a priesthood and, of course, the Keltic Druids are famous.

Friday, August 16th, 2002, 04:23 PM
There is something quite interesting which I realised and came to know in a way which enthralled me so greatly, I feel great about that.

On reading a great German scholar of the Vedic heritage, he had some interesting comparisons of the Teutons and the Baltic, I came to know something else.

He often talked about the vedic God Parjanya and related him to Dyaus. How much do we really have in common for them?

Then, he compares the Lithuanian God Perkuna with Fjorgyn, and Frigga and reckons that she is the wife of the Sky God Dyaus.

Rita can very well be seen in the Germanic langauges as the 'Right' or the straight.


There still is no answer as to what the Thule or the Godhis were among the ancient Norseman.

Any given day, I feel that the priest is a terrible rendering of the IE wise.

Saturday, August 17th, 2002, 05:35 AM
The Mother/Father, Earth/Sky (or Heaven) paradigm with IE is a pretty confusing situation. In the latter mythologies of western IE's there is a parental assignment to the King/Queen of the pantheons (Father Zeus, Odin AllFather). But the Earth often has its own deity by this time (Gaia, Nerthus).

Dyaus is presumably closer to the original IE since it is an older source and Dyaus/Prthivi (Heaven/Earth) are more abstract and still solidly connected to Earth/Sky.

In the west the functions shift around, change names and become muddled (possibly through mixing with chthonic elements). Zeus, Jupiter, Tuisto share a common name origin with Dyaus.

An example of this shifting around can be seen in the Greek where Dyaus/Zeus becomes King of the pantheon while Varuna/Ouranos becomes the original sky god.

Parjanya is complicated in that not much is said of him and what is said overlaps with Indra - he almost seems an aspect of Indra. But there is one interesting mention that creates turmoil in trying understand Parjanya. In Atharva Veda XII:I:42 he is called husband of Earth which makes him overlap with Dyaus.

IF...in the original IE Mother/Father, Earth/Sky, King/Queen were all combined THEN Parjanya would be one and the same with Dyaus later splitting off with the atmospheric functions and then usurped by Indra. By contrast Zeus retained the atmosperic, kingly and fatherly functions but lost the linkage to original and abstract heaven/sky.