Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": KING VARUNA IS THERE


('Atharva Veda,' IV, 16, 1-6)

1. The great guardian among these (gods) sees as if from anear. He that thinketh he is moving stealthily- all this the gods know.

2. If a man stands, walks, or sneaks about, if he goes slinking away, if he goes into his hiding-place; if two persons sit together and scheme, King Varuna is there as a third, and knows it.

3. Both this earth here belongs to King Varuna, and also yonder broad sky whose bounderies are far away. Moreover these two oceans are the loins of Varuna; yea, he is hidden in this small (drop of) water.

4. He that should flee beyond the heaven far away would not be free from King Varuna. His spies come hither (to the earth) from heaven, with a thousand eyes do they watch over the earth.

5. King Varuna sees through all that is between heaven and earth, and all that is beyond. He has counted the winking of men's eyes. As a (winning) gamester puts down his dice, thus does he establish these (laws).

6. May all thy faithful toils which seven by seven, threefold, lie spread out, ensnare him that speaks falsehood; him that speaks the truth they shall let go!


Translation by Maurice Bloomfield, Hymns of the Atharva-Veda, in Sacred Books of the East, XLII (Oxford, 1897) pp.88-9

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