VARUNA – Early Vedic God (Deva)

Varuna was one of the oldest of the Vedic deities. Varuna may have been part of the first triad of gods known in the Vedic period—along with Mitra and Aryaman. A little later but still within the early Vedic period, they were replaced by Agni, Indra, and Sûrya. Varuna was both an asura (demon) and … Read more

VARÂHA – Third of the Ten Incarnations of Vishnu

In the Padma Purâna the world order had again been disrupted. The fierce asura (demon) Hiranyâksha had gained a boon (vara) of invincibility. With his provisional immortality, he stormed around the three regions of the universe wanting to fight and kill the gods. He became bored when he could do no more evil, so he … Read more

VÂMANA – Fifth of the Ten Incarnations of Vishnu

Vâmana was the dwarf incarnation (avatâra) of Vishnu. The myth utilized the device of deceit, or outwitting the opponent, even though the struggle was between the supreme god Vishnu and a demon (asura) named Bali. Although an avatâra was required to restore the proper order and return righteousness to the world, Bali exhibited such high … Read more

VÂLMÎKI – The Author of the Râmâyana

There are no authentic records about Vâlmîki’s parentage. The popular version considered him to be the tenth son of Varuna, god of the sea. Vâlmîki was considered to be the first poet. There is an interesting story about the earlier part of Vâlmîki’s life. He began this life as a hunter named Ratnâkra who looked … Read more

VAIVASVATA MANU – The Manu of the Current Age

Vaivasvata Manu is the “first man” of the current manvantara (age or era). In the Rigveda there were references to Father Manu, implying that he was either a creator or a progenitor of the human race, but this reference seemed to refer to the sun god Sûrya. In the Satapatha Brahmana Manu was known as … Read more

VÂC – Vedic Goddess of Speech Consciousness

Vâc means “word” and “song,” as well as being the name of an early Vedic goddess. Vâc refers to both speech and speech-consciousness. Vâc enters into the seers (rishis). A Rigvedic hymn to Vâc stated that all actions and powers were grounded in speech. It was the primordial energy out of which all existence originated … Read more

USHAS – The Vedic Goddess of Dawn

In Vedic mythology Ushas was the goddess of dawn and the herald of all that was connected with the advent of the sun, Sûrya, supreme ruler of the heavens. She announced Sûrya, who brought along with her, light to make the pastures fertile, horses, chariots, wealth, and plenitude. The mighty sun god seemed unapproachable to … Read more

URVASÎ – Famous Apsara (Celestial Nymph)

Urvasî’s story is unusual. She was an apsara, but instead of being born or created in heaven she was born from the thigh of a mortal. She resulted from a conflict between Indra and her father, the sage Nârâyana. It happened in this way. Nârâyana and Nara, sons of Dharma and grandsons of Brahmâ, were … Read more

UPANISHAD – Scripture from Last Four Parts of Vedas

The meaning of upanishad is “to sit near attentively.” They usually consisted of a metaphysical discussion between the sage and a disciple. There are 108 Upanishads traditionally, although only a dozen, the so-called major Upanishads, are in every list. Minor Upanishads are still being written. In the early Vedic period, before the Upanishads were recognized … Read more