The world’s egg divided itself into two parts, the one of silver, the other of gold. The silver part became the earth, the golden part the sky. The outer cover of the egg became the mountains, the inner cover, the clouds and the snow; the inside veins became the rivers and the liquid in the egg became the ocean. When the sun appeared there was a great cry from which all cries and songs are heard; all beings and desires rise towards it.
Varuna presides over the relationship of man with the gods. He is the ruler of the invisible world. Rig Veda says, “He is the owner of maya, the magic –power” through which forms have come into existence. He is the embodiment of the inner reality of things, the higher truth. His absolute power is felt during the night. He is the uncontested ruler of the Adityas. Rig Veda further says, “He bound together the hours of the day and established the morning with magic art. He is seen beyond all things.” Varuna is omniscient as well.
Varuna made the sun to shine in the sky. The wind is his breath. Varuna initiated Sage Vashsitha unto his mysteries. From the time of Mahabharata, Varuna is hailed as the lord of the waters, the ruler of the sea or the subterranean waters. He is the regent of the western direction. Varuna has four faces and wears a splendid golden mantle. In his right hand, he holds nagapasha, a noose to punish the guilty. Manu Smriti hails Varuna as the justice giver. He rides upon makara, a crocodile, and sometimes stands on the back of a swan.
The wind God is the cosmic life-breath as the Mahabharata puts it. It calls him the universal spirit, the impeller of life and of the living. In the Mahabharata, Vayu begets Bhima; while in the Ramayana, Vayu begets Hanuman. He dwells in the north-west quarter of the sky. At times he rides a deer carrying a white flag or he may be upon a chariot pulled by any number of horses. All his attributes are white. He is depicted a strong and powerful God holding bow and arrows.
The sun is identified with the cosmic creation and cosmic sacrifice. So, the sun is often called Aja-ekapada, the one-legged-goat representing the three qualities of nature. The sun God has a golden beard and golden hair. He has two arms or four short arms. Interestingly, he often wears high boot and a belt. His chariot with a single wheel is drawn by seven horses and he sits therein upon a lotus. Aruna, the elder brother of Garuda is the charioteer. As the lord of the procreation, he is also represented in the form of a bull. Surya has four wives. Manu, Yama and Yamuna are all his children. He is also the father of the monkey chief Sugriva.
An anecdote says, one of his wives could not endure the searing radiance of her husband, the Sun. So, Vishwakarma placed the Sun on his lathe and cut away one eighth of his rays. The fragments fell upon the earth, which was thereupon crafted into the discus of Vishnu, the trident of Shiva, the mace of Kubera and the lance of Kartikeya.
She is a sinister Goddess embodying misery, disease and health. She appeared during the Samudramunthan episode. Her abode is the sacred pipal, fig tree. Lakshmi rigorously visits it every Saturday. She as well as the Sun dwells in the south-west direction of the sky.
In the Puranas, the epics and the Manu Smriti, the Digpals are eight. However, two additional regents mentioned in the tantras are – Brahma, the immense being and the giver of knowledge in the zenith and Vishnu who is ananta that is boundless is the nadir.
(To be concluded)