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Varuna

Varuna

One of the oldest gods in Hindu mythology, Varuna was originally a creator and the ruler of the sky. In the Vedasthe sacred texts of ancient Indiahe was a supreme, all-knowing deity who enforced the laws of the universe and human morality. He ruled the gods known as the Adityas. In later Hindu belief, Varuna became the god of water and was associated with oceans and rivers.

According to the Vedas, Varuna created the heavens, the earth, and the air. He was responsible for causing rain to fall, rivers to flow, and winds to blow. The god watched over his creations from a golden palace in the sky.

Varuna was the source of all truth and justice. He judged the actions of humans and punished those who broke the laws of the gods by tying them up in a rope that he carried with him at all times. This all-knowing deity also controlled the fate of humans and had the power to grant or deny immortality to some beings. In addition, Varuna guarded the kingdom of the dead, along with Yama, the god of the dead.

deity god or goddess

morality ideas about what is right and wrong in human conduct

immortality ability to live forever

In later Hindu belief, Varuna lost his supreme authority to the god Indra. Other gods took over many of Varuna's roles. Considered guardian of the west and ruler of the oceans and rivers, he became a minor deity. In Hindu art, Varuna is usually shown riding the Makara, a fantastic sea monster with the head of a deer and the legs of an antelope.

See also Hinduism and Mythology; Indra; Vedas.

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Varuṇa

Varuṇa. Early Hindu god, prominent in the Vedic period. Possibly connected with vṛ (‘veil’), he was associated with the all-covering sky, but in the Vedas his activities resemble those of Indra and Agni. He was connected with oceans and rivers, though in later mythology Indra has taken precedence over him, and he has been reduced to the god of death.

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Varuna

Varuna in Hinduism, one of the gods in the Rig Veda. Originally the sovereign lord of the universe and guardian of cosmic law, he is known in later Hinduism as god of the waters.

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Varuna

Varuna In ancient Hindu mythology, the supreme ruler and possessor of universal power. He is worshipped as the upholder of moral order, and is closely identified with the Moon.

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Varuna

Varuna (vûr´ŏŏnə): see Veda.

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