One of the oldest gods in Hindu mythology, Varuna was originally a creator and the ruler of the sky. In the Vedas—the sacred texts of ancient India—he was a supreme, all-knowing deity who enforced the laws of the universe and human morality. He ruled the gods known as the Adityas. In later Hindu belief, Varuna became the god of water and was associated with oceans and rivers.
According to the Vedas, Varuna created the heavens, the earth, and the air. He was responsible for causing rain to fall, rivers to flow, and winds to blow. The god watched over his creations from a golden palace in the sky.
Varuna was the source of all truth and justice. He judged the actions of humans and punished those who broke the laws of the gods by tying them up in a rope that he carried with him at all times. This all-knowing deity also controlled the fate of humans and had the power to grant or deny immortality to some beings. In addition, Varuna guarded the kingdom of the dead, along with Yama, the god of the dead.
deity god or goddess
morality ideas about what is right and wrong in human conduct
immortality ability to live forever
In later Hindu belief, Varuna lost his supreme authority to the god Indra. Other gods took over many of Varuna's roles. Considered guardian of the west and ruler of the oceans and rivers, he became a minor deity. In Hindu art, Varuna is usually shown riding the Makara, a fantastic sea monster with the head of a deer and the legs of an antelope.