Biographies | Devtaa
Varun Dev is the Devtaa of all kinds of waters and rivers and oceans. Varun is the keeper of the celestial waters also, those which flow from the openings in the sky in the form of rain. He was worshiped with veneration and a healthy amount of fear, for as an Asur Varun did have his sinister aspects and was known to punish mortals who did not keep their word. He was the cosmic hangman and his usual method of punishment was to capture the offender with his noose. He was also a Lord of the dead, a position he shared with Yam, and could confer immortality if he so chose.
His name means "he who covers", and this probably refers to the sky. Varun is the keeper of the cosmic order, a force called Rit. It is Rit which keeps everything working as it should, and Varun's role as the one who governs Rit makes him very important indeed. He is very closely linked to the god Mitra (friendship being personified) and the master of Rit, is the Chief keeper of order and god of the law. Varun and Mitra are the gods of societal affairs, including the oath. Normally Mitra and Varun are together as Mtraavarun. Varun is also associated with Indra in the Rig Ved, as Indra-Varun, when both cooperate on New Year to re-establish the order.
Varun being Chief of Aaditya - there are 12 Aaditya (sons of Aditi), but he is considered to be an Asur, when those beings were still god-like and had not yet degenerated into demons. He is also associated with the Moon and Som, in Som's incarnation as the drink of the gods. Varun is seen as a white man in golden armor riding a Makar (crocodile), holding a noose or lasso made from a snake.
Mahaabhaarat, G-0-Prolog/14 says that Varun was married to Shukraachaary's daughrer Devee and had one son and Daughter - Bal and Suraa (or Vaarunee, or liquor). In fact she was the one who went to entertain Balaraam Jee when he went to Gokul.
Varun in Ved
In Vaidik times, the worship of Varun fell off as he was supplanted by Indra as king of the gods. One possible reason for this may go back to Indra's most famous exploit. When Vritraasur stole all the waters of the universe, the waters which Varun was in charge of, it was Indra who had to fight the demons and get those wafers back. It may have been because of this that Indra was able to supplant the overlordship of Varun and become Lord of the gods himself. Varun then became god of the oceans and rivers; still important, but with hardly the grandeur he once had. The souls of those who drowned went to him, and he was attended by the Naag. Varun's importance faded away with the ascendancy of Shiv and Vishnu. As the Chief of His lofty position may have lived on, however, for he may be the same as the Zoroastrian supreme god Ahura Mazda.
Varun in Maanas and Raamaayan
In Vaalmeeki Raamaayan, 6/9, also, Raam worships Samudra, not Varun, but in real it is varun Dev as all waters' Devtaa is Varun Dev.
Varun in Mahaabhaarat
Varun and Raavan
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 06/15/13