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VÁRUṆA - Misc (Rigveda), A Vedic Reader for Students 
A Vedic Reader for Students, by Arthur Anthony MacDonnell. Containing Thirty Hymns of the Rigveda in the original Samhita and Pada Texts, with Transliteration, Translation, Explanatory Notes, Introduction, Vocabulary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917).
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Beside Indra (ii. 12) Varuṇa is the greatest of the gods of the RV., though the number of the hymns in which he is celebrated alone (apart from Mitra) is small, numbering hardly a dozen.
His face, eye, arms, hands, and feet are mentioned. He moves his arms, walks, drives, sits, eats, and drinks. His eye with which he observes mankind is the sun. He is far-sighted and thousand-eyed. He treads down wiles with shining foot. He sits on the strewn grass at the sacrifice. He wears a golden mantle and puts on a shining robe. His car, which is often mentioned, shines like the sun, and is drawn by well-yoked steeds. Varuṇa sits in his mansions looking on all deeds. The Fathers behold him in the highest heaven. The spies of Varuṇa are sometimes referred to: they sit down around him; they observe the two worlds; they stimulate prayer. By the golden-winged messenger of Varuṇa the sun is meant. Varuṇa is often called a king, but especially a universal monarch (samrá̄j). The attribute of sovereignty (kṣatrá) and the term ásura are predominantly applicable to him. His divine dominion is often alluded to by the word māyá̄ occult power; the epithet māyín crafty is accordingly used chiefly of him.
Varuṇa is mainly lauded as upholder of physical and moral order. He is a great lord of the laws of nature. He established heaven and earth, and by his law heaven and earth are held apart. He made the golden swing (the sun) to shine in heaven; he has made a wide path for the sun; he placed fire in the waters, the sun in the sky, Soma on the rock. The wind which resounds through the air is Varuṇa’s breath. By his ordinances the moon shining brightly moves at night, and the stars placed up on high are seen at night, but disappear by day. Thus Varuṇa is lord of light both by day and by night. He is also a regulator of the waters. He caused the rivers to flow; by his occult power they pour swiftly into the ocean without filling it. It is, however, with the aerial waters that he is usually connected. Thus he makes the inverted cask (the cloud) to pour its waters on heaven, earth, and air, and to moisten the ground.
Varuṇa’s ordinances being constantly said to be fixed, he is pre-eminently called dhṛtávrata whose laws are established. The gods themselves follow his ordinances. His power is so great that neither the birds as they fly nor the rivers as they flow can reach the limits of his dominion. He embraces the universe, and the abodes of all beings. He is all-knowing, and his omniscience is typical. He knows the flight of the birds in the sky, the path of the ships in the ocean, the course of the far-travelling wind, beholding all the secret things that have been or shall be done, he witnesses men’s truth and falsehood. No creature can even wink without his knowledge.
As a moral governor Varuṇa stands far above any other deity. His wrath is aroused by sin, the infringement of his ordinances, which he severely punishes. The fetters (pá̄śās) with which he binds sinners are often mentioned, and are characteristic of him. On the other hand, Varuṇa is gracious to the penitent. He removes sin as if untying a rope. He releases even from the sin committed by men’s fathers. He spares him who daily transgresses his laws when a suppliant, and is gracious to those who have broken his laws by thoughtlessness. There is in fact no hymn to Varuṇa in which the prayer for forgiveness of guilt does not occur. Varuṇa is on a footing of friendship with his worshipper, who communes with him in his celestial abode, and sometimes sees him with the mental eye. The righteous hope to behold in the next world Varuṇa and Yama, the two kings who reign in bliss.
The original conception of Varuṇa seems to have been the encompassing sky. It has, however, become obscured, because it dates from an earlier age. For it goes back to the Indo-Iranian period at least, since the Ahura Mazda (the wise spirit) of the Avesta agrees with the Asura Varuṇa in character, though not in name. It may even be older still; for the name Varuṇa is perhaps identical with the Greek οὐρανός sky. In any case, the word appears to be derived from the root vṛ cover or encompass.
vii. 86. Metre: Triṣṭubh.
See Page Number 135, Hymn Number 1 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Intelligent indeed are the generations by the might of him who has propped asunder even the two wideworlds. He has pushed away the high, lofty firmament and the day-star as well; and he spread out the earth.
dhí̄rā: cp. 7 c, ácetayad acítaḥ; and vii. 60, 6, acetásaṃ cic citayanti dákṣaiḥ they with their skill make even the unthinking think. asya = Váruṇasya. mahiná̄ = mahimná̄ (see 90, 2, p. 69). Varuṇa (as well as other gods) is several times said to hold apart heaven and earth (e. g. vi. 70, 1), which were supposed to have originally been united. prá nunude: pushed away from the earth; cp. vii. 99, 2 of Viṣṇu: úd astabhnā ná̄kam ṛṣváṃ bṛhántam thou didst prop up the high lofty firmament. ná̄kam: means the vault of heaven; there is nothing te show that it ever has the sense of sun which Sāyaṇa gives it here. Sāyaṇa also makes the verb nunude, though unaccented, depend on the relative in b; c is, however, equivalent to a relative clause (cp. ii. 12, 5 b. 8 d). nákṣatram: in the sing. this word regularly refers to the sun, in the pl. to the stars. Varuṇa and other gods are often said to have raised the sun to, or to have placed it in, heaven. dvitá̄: doubly to be taken with nunude; that is, he raised up from the earth both the vault of heaven and the sun. papráthat: ppf. of prath (140, 6); accented because it begins a new sentence. bhú̄ma: note the difference between bhú̄man n. earth and bhūmán m. multitude(p. 259).
See Page Number 136, Hymn Number 2 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
And I converse thus with myself: ‘when, pray, shall I be in communion with Varuṇa? What oblation of mine would he, free from wrath, enjoy? When shall I, of good cheer, perceive his mercy?’
sváyā tanvà̄: with my own body = with myself(cp. p. 450, 2 b). nv àntár; loc. cit. Note that when a final original r appears in the Saṃhitā text, it is represented by Visarjanīya only in the Pada text; on the other hand, antáḥ in vii. 71, 5 appears as antár íti; within Varuṇa = united with Varuṇa. bhuvāni: 1. s. sb. root ao. of bhū be. khyam: 1. s. inj. a ao. of khyā.
See Page Number 137, Hymn Number 3 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
I ask about that sin, O Varuṇa, with a desire to find out; I approach the wise in order to ask; the sages say one and the same thing to me: ‘this Varuṇa is wroth with thee.’
pṛché: 1. s. pr. ind. Ā. of prach ask. didṛ́kṣu is a difficulty: it has been explained as L. pl. of a supposed word didṛ́ś, a very improbable formation = among those who see; also as N. s. of a ds. adj. didṛ́kṣu, with wrong accent (p. 461 f) and wrong Sandhi, for didṛ́kṣur (úpo) = desirous of seeing (i. e. finding out). It is probably best, following the Padapāṭha, to take the word as n. of the ds. adj. used adverbially (with adv. shift of accent) = with a desire to see, i. e. find out. úpo = úpa u (24). cikitúṣas: A. pl. of the pf. pt. of cit perceive. vi-pṛ́cham acc. inf. (167, 2 a). hṛṇīte: 3. s. pr. Ā. of hṛ be angry; w. dat. (200 l).
See Page Number 137, Hymn Number 4 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
What has been that chief sin, O Varuṇa, that thou desirest to slay thy praiser, a friend? Proclaim that to me, thou that art hard to deceive, self-dependent one: thee would I, free from sin, eagerly appease with adoration.
jyéṣṭham = jyǎiṣṭham, to be pronounced as a trisyllable (15, 1 f). yát: that as a cj. (p. 242). jíghāṃsasi: ds. of han slay. prá vocas: inj. ao. of vac say. dūḷabha: 49 c. turáᴗiyām = turáḥ iyām (op. of i go), to be pronounced, with irr. secondary contraction (cp. 22 a; 48 a), as turéyām. áva to be taken with iyām (cp. 5 a-c).
See Page Number 137, Hymn Number 5 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Set us free from the misdeeds of our fathers, from those that we have committed by ourselves. Release Vasiṣṣha, O King, like a cattle-stealing thief, like a calf from a rope.
áva sṛjā (metrically lengthened final, also in d): note the different construction in a: acc. of object and dat. of prs.; and in c d: acc. of prs. and abl. of that from which V. is set free. drugdhá̄ni: pp. of druh. cakṛmá̄: metrical lengthening of final vowel. tanú̄bhis: in the sense of a ref. prn. avá sṛjā: i. e. from sin. tāyúm: as one releases (after he has expiated his crime) a thief who has been bound; cp. viii. 67, 14: té ná, Á̄dityāso, mumócata stenáṃ baddhám iva as such set us free, O Ādityas, like a thief who is bound. dá̄mnas: distinguish dá̄man n. bond and dá̄man n. act of giving from dāmán m. giver and gift.
See Page Number 139, Hymn Number 6 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
It was not my own intent, O Varuṇa, it was seduction: liquor, anger, dice, thoughtlessness; the elder is in the offence of the younger; not even sleep is the warder off of wrong.
The general meaning of this stanza is clear: the sin with which Varuṇa is angry has not been due to Vasiṣṭha’s intention, but to seduction of one kind or another. The exact sense of three important words is, however, somewhat doubtful, because none of them occurs in any other passage. It can therefore be made out from the etymology and the context only. dhrútis: from the root dhru = dhvṛ (cp. 167 b, 9; 171, 2), which occurs at the end of one or two cds., as Varuṇa-dhrú-t deceiving Varuṇa; cp. also v. 12, 5: ádhūrṣata svayám eté vácobhir ṛjūyaté vṛjiná̄ni bruvántaḥ these have deceived themselves with their own words, uttering crooked things to the straightforward man. Thus the meaning of dhrúti appears to be deception, seduction. The meaning of c depends on the interpretation of upāré. This word is naturally to be derived (in accordance with the analysis of the Pada text) from upa + ara (ṛ go). The cd. vb. úpa ṛ occurs two or three times, e. g. AV. vii. 106, 1: yád ásmṛti cakṛmá kíṃ cid, upārimá cáraṇe if through forgetfulness we havedone anything, have offended in our conduct. The sense of the noun would therefore be offence, the whole Pāda meaning: the elder is (involved) in the (= is the cause of the) offence of the younger, that is, an elder has led me, the younger, astray. The use of the loc. here is illustrated by vi. 71, 2: yáḥ . . . prasavé . . . ási bhú̄manaḥ who (Savitṛ) art in the stimulation of the world, i. e. art the cause of the stimulation of the world. prayotá̄: this word might be derived from pra+yu join or pra+yu separate; the latter occurs in the RV. in the sense of drive away, while the former does not occur in the RV., and later means stir, mingle. The probability is therefore in favour of the sense warder off. caná then would have the original sense of not even(pp. 229-30). svápnas: i. e. by producing evil dreams.
See Page Number 140, Hymn Number 7 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
I will, like a slave, do service sinless to the bounteous angry god. The noble god made the thoughtless think; he, the wiser, speeds the experienced man to wealth.
mīḷhúṣe: dat. s. of mīḍhvá̄ṃs. karāṇi: 1. s. sb. root ao. of kṛ do; to be taken with the adv. áram (p. 313, 4). ácetayat: see cit. gṛ́tsam: even the thoughtful man Varuṇa with his greater wisdom urges on. rāyé: final dat. (of rái), p. 314, 2. junāti: 3. s. pr. of jū speed.
See Page Number 140, Hymn Number 8 in PDF for Sanskrit Version
Let this praise be well impressed on thy heart, O self-dependent Varuṇa. Let us have prosperity in possession, prosperity also in acquisition. Do ye protect us evermore with blessings.
túbhyam: dat. of advantage (p. 314, B 1). astu naḥ: p. 320 f. On d see note on vii. 61, 6.
[P. 139, line 14,]for vibhí̄dako read vibhí̄dakǒ.