Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Varun Mean?

Varun (also spelled Varuna) was the ancient Vedic god who was first associated with the sky, then later with rain and bodies of water, particularly the oceans and often the celestial ocean that surrounds Earth. He was also nicknamed “the god of natural and moral law” who harshly judged and punished evildoers.

Varun, which means “he who covers,” is also a common male name in India and is sometimes defined as the purest water from heaven.


Yogapedia Explains Varun

Varun was one of a class of gods called the Adityas, or sons of Aditi (the mother of gods), who numbered seven or 12, depending on the source. In Vedic times, he was considered the king of gods but eventually was replaced in that role by Indra. In the post-Vedic era with the rise of Vishnu and Shiva, Varun was relegated to just a minor role, usually as a demigod and lord of the oceans and rivers, as well as a god of the dead (drowned).

Varun personified cosmic order and divine authority. The law and order that he upheld later developed into the concept of dharma, a key principle throughout the many traditions of Hinduism. It represents individual duty or behavior in harmony with the cosmic order.

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