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The God Varuna in the Rig-Veda (1910)

The God Varuna in the Rig-Veda (1910)

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Published by Siddharth Sriram
An analysis of Varuna's evolution as a deity in the rig veda by H.D. Griswold
An analysis of Varuna's evolution as a deity in the rig veda by H.D. Griswold

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Published by: Siddharth Sriram on Jun 19, 2012
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08/17/2013

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BULLETIN
NO.
1
OF
THE
SOCIETY
OF
COMPARATIVE
THEOLOGY
AND
PHILOSOPHY
The
God
Varuna
in
the
Rig-
Veda
BY
H.
D.
GRISWOLD,
Ph.
D.
A
PAPER
READ
BEFORE
THE
SOCIETY
OF
COMPARATIVE
THEOLOGY
AND
PHILOSOPHY
CORNELL
UNIVERSITY,
JANUARY
22nd,
1910
PUBLISHED
ON
APRIL
12.
1910
TAYLOR
&
CARPENTER
ITHACA.
N.
Y.
 
THE
GOD
VARUNA
IN
THE
RIG-VEDA
I.
INTRODUCTORY:
The
Rig-
Veda
in
Relation
to
the
Present
Awakening
in
India.
The
Rig-Vedahas
the
honour
of
being
the
oldest
book
in
Indian
literature
and
one
of
the
oldest
books
in
the
literature
of
theworld.
It
is
at
least
as
old,
i.e.,
the
hymns
of
which
it
is
composed,
as
the
Homeric
cycle
of
poems,
and
it
may
possibly
be
much
older.
Scholarsagree
thatthe
1028
hymns
which
constitute
the
Rig-Veda
Sanhita
orCollection
were
edited
about
B.
C.600.
That
date
then
represents
the
final
limit
as
regards
authorship.
How
many
centuries
were
covered
by
the
composition
of
the
hymns
is
a
matter
of
uncertainty.
In
fact,
as
yet
the
chronology
of
the
Rig-Veda
is
a
chaos
of
conflicting
opinions.
The
orthodox
opinion
in
India
is
that
the
Vedas
are
eternal.
Critical
scholarsare
divided
into
two
camps,
those
favoring
an
early
date
and
those
favoring
a
late
date.
Professor
Hopkins
of
Yale,
perhaps
thegreatest
authority
in
the
world
on
the
Epic
literature
of
India,
and
Professor
Jackson
of
Columbia,
well
known
as
a
Zoroastrian
scholar,
both
agree
in
holding
that
the
bulk
of
the
Rig-Vedic
hymns
were
composed
during
the
two
centuries
800-600
B.
C.
As
Professor
Hopkins
puts
it,
"One
thousand
B.
C.
is
not
the
lowest
but
thehighest
limit
that
we
can
reasonably
setto
the
Rig-Veda,
and
800
B.
C.
is
probablynearer
the
mark,
as
far
as
the
bulk
of
the
Rig-Veda
is
con-
cerned."
*
According
tothis
view
the
earliest
Vedic
literature
is
contem-
poraneous
with
the
earliest
Hebrew
literature.
Briefly
stated,
their
grounds
for
such
a
late
date
are
as
follows:
(1)
The
date
of
Zoroaster
is
now
generally
fixed
at
660-583
B.
C;
and,
since
there
is
onlya
dialectic
difference
between
the
language
of
the
Rig-Veda
and
that
of
the
Avesta
r
there
can
be
no
great
interval
in
time
between
the
two
works,
the
date
of
Zoroaster
of
course
determining
thedate
of
the
oldest
part
of
the
Avesta.
(2)
The
change
in
language
between
the
Rig-Veda
and
the
Upanisads
is
notgreater
than
that
between
Chaucerand
Milton,
and
hence
it
is
fairto
suppose
that
about
200
years
would
suffice
in
the
one
case
as
wellas
in
the
other.
(3)
The
Rishis
who
composed
the
hymns
may
very
well
have
been
in
large
measure
contemporary
one
with
another,
and
certain
differences
may
be
accounted
for
simplyby
variety
ol
authorship.
At
the
opposite
pole
from
Hopkins
and
Jackson
standTilak
and
Jaeobi,
who
on
the
basis
of
astronomical
calculations
would
carry
the
period
of
the
composition
of
the
Vedic
hymns
back
beyond
B.
C.
8600as
far
at
least
as
to
3500
and
according
to
Tilak
even
to
4500.
The
Tilak-.laeobi
thesis
has
not
met
with
favour
at
the
hands
of
scholars,
such
as
Weber.
Whitney.
Oldenberg,
Thibaut,
Hopkins
and
Maedonell.
Apart
from
the
assumed
astronomical
data,
however,
Jaeobi
urges
that
the
norm
of
European
progress
cannot
beapplied
to
India
onaccount
of
its
isolated
position
and
1
India
Old
and
New,
p.
;?0.

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