Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen":
VARUNA AND INDRA


1 I am the royal ruler, mine is empire, as mine who
sway all life are all the immortals.
Varuna's will the gods obey and follow. I am the
king o'er folk of sphere sublimest.
2. I am King Varuna. To me was given these first
existing high celestial powers. 1
Varuna's will the gods obey and follow. I am the
king o'er the folk of the sphere sublimest.
3. I Varuna am Indra: in their greatness, these the
two wide deep fairly-fashioned regions,
These the two world-halves have I, even as Tvashtar 2
knowing all beings, joined and held together.
4. I made to flow the moisture-shedding waters, and set
the heaven firm in the seat of Order3
By Law, the son of Aditi,4 Law-observer, hath spread
abroad the world in three fold measure.
5. Heroes with noble horses, fain for battle, selected
warriors,call on me in combat.
I , Indra Maghavan,5 excite the conflict; I stir the
dust, lord of surpassing vigor.
6. All this I did. The gods' own conquering power
never impedeth me to whom none opposeth.
When lauds and Soma-juice have made me joyful,
both the unbounded regions are affrighted.

7. All beings know these deeds of thine: thou tellest
this unto Varuna, thou great disposer!
Thou art renowned as having slain the Vritras. Thou
madest flow the floods that were obstructed. . . .
10. May we, possessing much, delight in riches, gods in
oblations and the kine in pasture;
And that milch-cow6 who shrinks away not from the milking
O Indra Varuna, give to us daily.

1 Varuna speaks in stanzas 1 to 4, stressing that celestial sovereignty which is rightfully his as
creator of the universe and maintainer of the cosmic order (rita).
2 Varuna, master of maya, here identifies himself with the divine artificer, Tvashtar, who is significantly, the father of Indra and of Vritrain the later Samhitas.
3 Rita
4 Varuna, son of Aditi
5 Indra, the 'Bountiful One,' now replies in stanzas 5 and 6. His boasts of physical power, of his exploits in battle and of the 'surpassing vigor' of his generative strength, illustrate how 'might makes right' for this warrior god. He is king by force and in the following stanza (7) the poet is dully impressed with the fact that Indra has successfully challenged the sovereign lordship of Varuna.
6. i.e. Wealth.

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith, in his The Hymns of the Rigveda, II (Benares, 1890) pp.163-5

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