आ नो भद्राः करतवो कष्यन्तु विश्वतो.अदब्धासो अपरीतास उद्भिदः |
देवा नो यथा सदमिद वर्धे असन्नप्रायुवो रक्षितारो दिवे-दिवे ||
………. Rig Ved 1.89.1
May noble wisdom come to us from all sides, undeceived, unhindered, overflowing, so that the devas may always help us onward, unceasing in their care, our Guardians day by day.
देवानां भद्रा सुमतिर्र्जूयतां देवानां रातिरभि नोनि वर्तताम |
देवानां सख्यमुप सेदिमा वयं देवा न आयुः पर तिरन्तु जीवसे ||
………. Rig Ved 1.89.2
May be the blissful love of devas be ours, who desire straight life; about us may the grace of devas lie. We have approached the devas for friendship; may they prolong our life to the full, so that we may live.
भद्रं कर्णेभिः शर्णुयाम देवा भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः |
सथिरैरङगैस्तुष्टुवांसस्तनूभिर्व्यशेमदेवहितं यदायुः ||
………. Rig Ved 1.89.8
O learned people, may we with our ears listen to what is beneficial, may we see with our eyes what is beneficial. May we, engaged in your praises, enjoy with firm limbs and sound bodies, a full term of life dedicated to God.
यो विश्वान्यभि वरता सोमस्य मदे अन्धसः |
इन्द्रो देवेषु चेतति ||
………. Rig Ved 8.32.28
O Indra! The resplendent Self, through the ecstacy of spiritual joy, inspires all virtuous thoughts among men of divine nature.
महो अर्णः सरस्वती पर चेतयति केतुना |
धियो विश्वा वि राजति ||
……….. Rig Ved 1.3.12
Sarasvatī, the mighty river ,— she with her light illuminates everyone’s mind , She brightens every pious thought.
युवाकु हि शचीनां युवाकु सुमतीनाम |
भूयाम वाजदाव्नाम ||
………… Rig Ved 1.17.4
May we achieve the energies and benevolence of you who gives strength generously.
अस्मान सु तत्र चोदयेन्द्र राये रभस्वतः |
तुविद्युम्न यशस्वतः ||
………… Rig Ved 1.9.6
O Indra! impel towards us your varied and superb wealth which is very pervasive and intense.
(Varuna , The Omnipresent, Omniscient King And The Releaser Of Bonds)
Atharva Ved 4.16 describes the omniscient and omnipresent nature of God.
Varuna is an omniscient and omnipotent Lord or Creator, Master of the oceans and the sky, whose strength and speed cannot be matched by anyone else. He maintains all the laws in the Earth, mid-region and the heavens, punishing the transgressors. But a closer look reveals the esoteric meaning of the hymns just as with the other hymns of Rig Ved.
Varuna is the Godhead who creates pathways for the Sun in our being which is full of darkness so that the Sun can pour his knowledge into all the dark corners of the being. The oceans, of which Varuna is the master, symbolize the waters of the Truth and Varuna pours these Waters on our three bodies, viz. physical, vital and mental, and removes all sin, evil and falsehood from our lives. The seer Shunahshepa explicitly requests Varuna to release or loosen the three knots or bonds which represent the bonds of the three planes, namely physical, vital and mental. These knots restrict the flow of the universal psychic energies in our body. Varuna is prayed to release these knots. These knots are the celebrated knots associated with the names Brahma,Vishnu and Rudra in the tantric literature of a later date.
ATHARVA VED (4.16 )
THE DIVINE OBSERVER
The great Ruler of all these worlds, beholds as if from near at hand the man who thinks he acts by stealth, The devas know all this of him. (1)
When one stands or walks or moves in secret, or goes to his lying down or uprising, when two sitting together take secret counsel, King Varuna knows, being there the Third. (2)
This earth belongs to Varuna, the King, and the skies, whose ends are far apart. Both the oceans are the loins of Varuna, and he is merged within the small water -drop. (3)
If one will go away beyond the skies, still he cannot escape King Varuna; his envoys move about here from the heavens,and, thousand-eyed, they look upon the earth. (4)
King Varuna observes all that which lies between sky and earth and beyond them; the twinklings of men’s eyes have been counted by him; as a dicer the dice, he measures everything. (5)
These fatal snares of thine, O Varuna, that stand stretched seven by seven and threefold, let all these catch up the man who tells a lie, but pass by one who speaks the truth. (6)
With a hundred nooses bind him, Varuna, let him not who lies escape you, Looker on men ! Let the mean fellow sit stretching his belly like a cask of which the bands have been cut. (7)
Varuna is that which exists alongside, Varuna is that which exists crosswise, Varuna is of our own land, he is of foreign land Varuna is divine, he is human. ( 8 )
Here is the description of Varuna given by seer Nabhaka of the family Kanva from Rig Ved 8.41 :
स कषपः परि षस्वजे नयुस्रो मायया दधे स विश्वं परि दर्शतः |
तस्य वेनीरनु वरतमुषस्तिस्रो अवर्धयन्नभन्तामन्यके समे ||
“Luminous Varuna has embraced the nights; He holds the Dawns within him by his creative knowledge; Visioned, he is around every object.”
(Rig Ved 8.41.3 )
यो धर्ता भुवनानां य उस्राणामपीच्या वेद नामानिगुह्या |
स कविः काव्या पुरु रूपं दयौरिव पुष्यति नभन्तामन्यके समे ||
“He who supports the worlds of life, he who well knows the hidden names of the rays of the dawns, He cherishes much wisdom.”
(Rig Ved 8.41.5).
यस्मिन विश्वानि काव्या चक्रे नाभिरिव शरिता |
“In whom all wisdom centers as the nave is set within the wheel. ”
(Rig Ved 8.41.6)
य आस्वत्क आशये विश्वा जातान्येषाम |
परि धामानि मर्म्र्शद वरुणस्य पुरो गये विश्वे देवा अनु वरतं नभन्तामन्यके समे ||
“He wraps these regions as a robe; He contemplates the hosts of Gods and all the works of mortals; In the home of Varuna all the Gods follow his decree. ”
(Rig Ved 8.41.7)
स समुद्रो अपीच्यस्तुरो दयामिव रोहति नि यदासु यजुर्दधे |
स माया अर्चिना पदास्त्र्णान नाकमारुहन नभन्तामन्यके समे ||
“He is the hidden ocean and he climbs passing beyond heaven; when he has placed the sacrificial word in these dawns, then with his luminous feet he tramples illusions and ascends to the skies.”
(Rig Ved 8.41.8 )
यस्य शवेता विचक्षणा तिस्रो भूमीरधिक्षितः |
तरिरुत्तराणि पप्रतुर्वरुणस्य धरुवं सदः स सप्तानामिरज्यति नभन्तामन्यके समे ||
“Three delightful dawns increase according to the law of his workings. He of the all- seeing wisdom dwells in three white shining earths; Three are the higher worlds of Varuna whence he rules over the harmonies of seven and seven. ”
(Rig Ved 8.41.9)
The three dawns mentioned here are the illuminations of the three bodies in man, the physical, the vital and the mental.He harmonizes all the activities both in the macrocosm and in the microcosm, in every individual human being.
Varuna, The Releaser Of Bonds :
A common descriptor used for Varuna is uru, which means always ‘wide’ in the Rig Ved. Varuna is the lord of all infinities, master of all the oceans and ether. Varuna’s dwelling is in the vast,urukshaya (Rig Ved 1.2.9), Varuna has wide vision “uru chakshasam”(Rig Ved 1.25.16). He is hymned as “urushamsa” in (Rig Ved 1.24.11) and (Rig Ved 2.28.3). “shamsa” in the Ved always stands for the perfect expression or speech. Recall that different formations are brought out by the power of speech or Vak in the Ved. “uru shamsa” means “wide expression” the bringing out of our being (or sat) that which is latent in it and manifesting it in our action. Thus Varuna grants us a broader vision, removes the narrowness of our outlook so that we can express our aspiration for the attainment of infinities. Consequently, he is also hymned as “Swarat” (Rig Ved 2.28.1), the self-ruler and samrat the emperor (Rig Ved 8.25.3, 8.42.1). samrat means one who has complete kingship or control over both subjective and objective existence. Among the people of the vedic age, the emperor is also a sage; he is both a thinker and a hero. He has a plenitude of both wisdom and will, thought and action. Varuna is the king of all the dominions (Rig Ved 8.42.1 and 8.42.2.). Hence Varuna is pictured as self-knowing, self-mastering, moving freely with the laws because he is perfectly aware of the laws. Recall that satya is the Truth-Absolute in the Ved. rta is the Truth in manifestation everywhere and at any time. It is the Truth of Divine Being regulating the right activity of both body and mind. Varuna is said to be touching with the Truth rtasparsha (Rig Ved 1.2.8 ). Varuna is also called rtavrdha, increaser of Truth, because he along with Mitra increase the Truth in the human being, the yajamana who performs the yajna, the harmonious arrangement of actions.
Varuna is endowed with a vast will-power, “brahantam kratum” (Rig Ved 1.2.8 ). He increases the will-power in man so that the human can perform all actions consistent with the Truth in manifestation (rta). He is hymned as ‘superbly laudable among the laudable’ (Rig Ved 1.17.5). Laud or praise in the Ved is not simply a casual utterance, but has the power to bring out the intentions expressed in speech.
The three oceans :
In the Rig Ved, three different oceans are mentioned. The Vedic mystics saw below them “an unfathomable night and surging obscurity, darkness hidden within darkness…”; Above them, they beheld “a remote ocean of light and sweetness, a highest either, the supreme step of Vishnu to which their being should ascend”; between these two oceans they saw “a third sea of ever developing conscious being, a sort of boundless wave…” (Sri Aurobindo).
We have to navigate through this ocean to reach the superconscient blissful ocean above.
Sin and Shortcomings :
Varuna prepares the great pathways in the human being so that the illumination of the Sun, Surya, can enter all the unlit regions of the human. The heart is the dwelling place of the inner self of man. Afflictions of the heart are indicative of the effects of the forces of ignorance on our inner being. The Vedic seers did not compartmentalize the physical and psychological ailments as the moderns do. Only the Light brought in by the Sun can dislodge the forces of ignorance which cause the afflictions as declared in (Rig Ved 1.25.7) :
वेदा यो वीनां पदमन्तरिक्षेण पतताम |
वेद नावः समुद्रियः ||
In the hymns of the Seer Shunahshepa there is repeated mention of the words sin, enah, disregard, hela, etc., which need special attention. Varuna is the upholder of the Laws, vratani, upholder of rtam which is the Truth of Divine being regulating the right activity in both mind and body. The Rig Vedic seers were very much aware of the human frailties. They saw around them persons steeped in selfishness and prayed that they may not be in the same
सतेनो वा यो दिप्सति नो वर्को वा तवं तस्माद वरुणपाह्यस्मान ||
माहं मघोनो … ||
“May I not live, O Varuna, to witness my wealthy, liberal dear friend’s destitution.” (Rig Ved 2.28.10)
Both types of sin are held up before God Varuna, the Lord of Purity, so that he may first loosen these impurities from the being of the seeker and then cut them asunder, as the following quotation from the Seer Atri indicates :
इमाम ऊ षव रसुरस्य शरुतस्य महीम मायां वरुणस्य पर वोचम |
मानेनेव तस्थिवां अन्तरिक्षे वि यो ममे पर्थिवीं सूर्येण ||
‘Our sin against Truth and our sin by ignorance, All these clear away like loosened things.’ (Rig Ved 5.85.8 )
Note that premature death itself is a transgression of the Law. Sacred is the life consecrated to the God. If it is not robbed, but well-protected, it fulfils itself. For Varuna, the master of infinities, the establishment of the forces of harmony in human bodies is not difficult as declared in (Rig Ved 1.24.14).
Three Methods :
In (Rig Ved 1.25.3 ), the seer prays :
वि मर्ळीकाय ते मनो रथीरश्वं न सन्दितम |
गीर्भिर्वरुण सीमहि ||
“O Varuna , we bind your mind excellently with our praises like the charioteer the ready horse. ”
There are three ingredients in the attempt of the seer to bind Varuna namely namas (homage), yajna and havis (offerings). The first step is to have faith and express it by the homage or adoration. The next step is to try to perform all actions in a spirit of harmony.
We may recall that yajna is not merely a ritual. It is an orderly arrangement of all actions and their offerings to the cosmic powers to whom they rightly belong. The ritual of yajna is one such orderly arrangement. The next is the offering to the Gods of the delight or rasa released from our actions. This is the threefold way. Then the bonds of sins will be loosened as will be explained below.The three bonds The force of ignorance or the falsehood in our being signified by the deity, nirriti, causes in us the triple cord or bond of obscure physical animality, inefficient life often dominated by the lower vital impulses and limited mind which revels in doubts. These are the three bonds or ropes which bind every one of us. The result is an inert poverty of being; it is the origin of the sheer inability of the mortal to come in touch with the universal Bliss or Delight which pervades this universe. It makes him march towards decay and death at every step. When the mighty Varuna comes and cuts this threefold bondage we are freed to move towards Delight and Riches.Thus we have a threefold liberation of being hymned by the Seer Shunahshepah in the three mantras, (Rig Ved 1.24.13-1.24.15).
Quotes From Ved :
Atharva Ved 10.8 deals with speculations on the Supreme Being and cosmogonical and theological subjects. The mantras are deep esoteric in nature and the poetic description is beautiful too.
ATHARVA VED 10.8 :
Homage to the Supreme Brahman who presides over all things, that which already exists and that which is yet to be and to whom alone belongs the space.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.1 ]
It is because of the Skambha (The supreme being who supports the universe) that space and earth remain separate and fixed in place. In Him dwells everything that lives and breathes, all that open and close the eye.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.2]
One is the wheel (year), the tires (months) are twelve in number, the naves are three (three seasons : Summer, Monsoon and Winter) What man has understood it ? Three hundred spokes have thereupon been hammered, and sixty pins set firmly in their places (three hundred and sixty days).
[Atharva Ved 10.8.4]
You perceive this, O Savitar. Six are the twins (five organs of perception and mind), one singly born (Jiva, born according to Karma). They claim relationship in that among them which is born alone.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.5]
Though manifest, it is hidden and secret. Its name is “Ancient”. It is a great way of being. On Skambha is formed this whole universe : On it is established all that moves and breathes.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.6]
Up, eastward, downward, in the west , it rolls, with countless elements, one-wheeled, single-fellied (with one rule). With half it has begotten all creation. Where has the other half (the cause or Karan Brahman) become unnoticed ?
[Atharva Ved 10.8.7]
In front of these the five-horsed car (Five great elements) moves onward: side-horses (secondary elements), harnessed with the others draw it. No one has seen its hither course untravelled; the wise sees it more near, the ignorant more distant.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.8]
Whatever moves, whatever flies, whatever stands still ; whatever breathes, whatever does not breathe, whatever blinks the eye: it is that which, though multiform, in its deep essence is a single whole. It sustains the world.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.11]
The infinite stretches in all directions. The infinite and the finite share a common boundary. The protector of the space can alone separate the two : He who knows what is, and what is to become.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.12]
Within the womb Prajāpati is moving: he, though unseen, is manifested in all places. He with one half engendered all creation. What sign is there to tell us of the other (the cause) ?
[Atharva Ved 10.8.13]
All men behold him with the eye (through the gross world), but with the mind they know not him, like holding aloft the water as a water-bearer in her jar.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.14]
With full vase He dwells afar, but is left far off for the ignorant, A mighty Being is there in the creation’s centre: to him the rulers of the realms bring tribute.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.15]
That, from which the Sun arises (during creation), that to which he goes to take his rest (during Pralaya), That verily I hold supreme: no one is greater than Him.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.16]
Who, the knower of Veda of recent times, midmost, or ancient explains from all directions; One and all, verily discuss Āditya, the second Agni, and the threefold Hamsa (the omniscient who is the witness of the three —Karma, Gyaan and Upasana).
[Atharva Ved 10.8.17]
By means of truth he blazes aloft ; by sacred word he watches over what is near ; by living breath he breathes across [the world] : the One on whom rests the Supreme.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.19]
The sage who knows the two kindling-sticks (the Karya Jagat and Karan Brahma) from where by attrition fire is drawn, Will comprehend what is most high, will know the mighty Brāhman.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.20]
Footless at first was He produced, footless He brought celestial light. Four-footed grown (i.e. four directions), and meeting for use, He encompassed each thing enjoyable.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.21]
Useful will he become, and then will he consume great store of food (i.e. he will enjoy great wealth). The man who humbly worships the eternal and victorious God.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.22]
Him too they call eternal; He still becomes new again today. Day and Night reproduce themselves, each from the form the other wears.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.23]
A hundred, a thousand, tens of thousands, a hundred million : countless are the forms of his own entered into him. They die; he looks on. Thus shines this God, thus is he.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.24]
The One (i.e. the soul) is even subtler than hair; the One is invisible. And yet this Deity : she who is so dear to me, is vaster than the whole expansive universe !
[Atharva Ved 10.8.25]
This auspicious one (soul) is not affected by age; an immortal in the home of a mortal (i.e. inside the body). For whom she was made, he sleeps (at the time of death). He who made her manifest, has grown old.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.26]
You are woman, You are man. You are boy, and young girl, too. When old, you lean on a staff as you totter. When born, you reveal your face in all directions.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.27]
He is father, and also their son. He is the largest and the smallest of them. He is the one God, who has entered into the mind : the firstborn and yet even within the womb.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.28]
From fullness He spreads forth the full; the full is poured with the full. We would also want to know today from whence that [fullness] is poured forth.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.29]
Brought forth in olden time, the everlasting, high over all that is was she, the Ancient. The mighty Goddess of the Dawn, refulgent, looks around in each wink of an eye.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.30]
The Deity whose name is “Helpful”, sits enveloped by Rita (the cosmic order). It is because of Her from that these trees are green, and green the garland of flowers.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.31]
See! the marvelous wisdom of God ! Near though He is one cannot leave Him ! Near though He is one cannot see Him ! He neither dies nor grows old !
[Atharva Ved 10.8.32]
Words sent forth by the pre-existent One tell things as they truly are. That place to which they travel, speaking, is called the great Brahman.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.33]
I ask you where the flower of the primeval waters of creation (“Apah”) by wondrous magic art was placed, Thereon the Deities and men are set as spokes are fastened in the nave.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.34]
Who gave command unto the wind that blows ! Who ranged the five united regions (made of five tattvas) ? Who were the Gods who never cared for oblations ! Which of them brought the sacrificial waters ?
[Atharva Ved 10.8.35]
One God inhabits the earth we live on; another has encompassed air’s mid-region (the atmosphere). One, the Supporter, takes the space and bears it: some keeping watch guard all the quarters safely.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.36]
He who knows the finely drawn thread on which the creatures are woven; who knows the thread of that very thread : that person also knows the great Brahman.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.37]
I know the finely drawn thread on which the creatures are woven; I know the thread of that very thread : therefore I know the great Brahman.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.38]
There is the nine-portalled lotus (body with nine Chakras)covered under three bands (gunebih: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), in which lives the Spirit with the atman within, that the Veda-knowers know.
[Atharva Ved 10.8.43]
Desireless, serene, immortal, Self-existent, contented with the essence, lacking nothing, is He. One has no fear of death who has known Him, the atman—serene, ageless, youthful.”
[Atharva Ved 10.8.44]