Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Varuna
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Varuna

This article is about the god. See 20000 Varuna for the trans-Neptunian object.


In Vedic religion, Varuna ("he who covers", referring to the sky) is one of the most important gods in the pantheon, and chief of the asuras. In pre-Vedic era, he was probably the most supreme god and keeper of order, a god of rain and law who keeps the sun moving. He was omniscient and omnipotent. In the post-Vedic era, his role as sovereign is increasingly taken on by Indra, a process already apparent in the Rig-Veda itself.

Historical analysis of Indo-European linguistics suggests that his name is cognate with that of Uranos, the sky god in Greek mythology: both derive from a root meaning "to cover"

Varuna is the master of rta, which is the energy that keeps the universe running on time and as it should. Varuna became a lunar deity, depicted in art as a white man wearing golden armor and holding a noose or lasso made from a snake. He rides a sea monster (Makara). He is one of the Ashta-Dikpalas, representing the west.

Varuna is a god of the dead, and can grant immortality. He is perhaps most strongly associated with rain; after Indra took his former position as overlord of the universe, Varuna became the god of oceans and rivers and keeper of the souls of the drowned. He is attended by the nagas.

See also