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Rigveda - Hymn 24 - To Varuna and Others - God's Sovereignty and Power, The Forgiver of Sins

The Believer's Daily Prayer

We meditate on the lovely light of God: [a]

May it stimulate our thoughts!

To Varuna and Others

6 None has attained to Your sovereignty and power,

None to Your undaunted spirit, —[none,—]

Nor swift-winged bird, nor restless-moving water,

Nor [mountain] curbing wind's impulsive might.

7 In the bottomless [abyss] the King [b]

By the power of His pure will, upholds aloft

The [cosmic] tree's high crown. There stand below

[The branches], and above the roots. Within us

May the banners of His light be firmly set!

8 For God has prepared with the sun

A broad path that He may roam along it:

For the footless He made feet that He might move:

And it is He who the stricken of heart absolves.

9 You have a hundred thousand men of healing

O God: how wide, profound is Your goodness! [c]

Ward off and drive away unjust decay: [d]

Deliver [e] us from the sin [f] we have incurred.

10 The stars of the Bear at night are set on high

[For all] to see; by day where do they go?

Of the laws of God there's no deceiving:

At night the moon rides forth, displaying.

11 Praising You with the word of God [g], I beg,—

The sacrificer by his oblation begs You

O God, be not enraged, —Your words

Are widely heard, so rob us not of life.

12 By night and day they tell me,

this longing in my heart

Tells me too: 'Whom the sage [h]

Called upon, bound [and captive as he was],

O God, the King, may He release us!'

13 For the Sage, captive, chained [i]

To three stakes, he called upon the son of God [j],

Your son, the King [of all], that He might free him:

May the wise one, undeceived, make all chains loose!

14 With adoration, sacrifice, and obedience we

Would pray away Your anger, God:

Wise spirited [k], King, make loose our sins,—

For You have power,— [over all sins] we have incurred.

15 Make loose our [prisoner] chains, [loose] the uppermost,

[Loose] the nethermost, and [loose] the midmost:

Then, Your children [firm] in the faith [l]

Will stand sinless before You! [m]


a. The Sun, Savitri. Sanskrit. A ray of light, name of God's partner in creation

b. The Ocean, Varuna. Sanskrit. Also: a tree, the sun, and being chosen by God for the work of creation

c. sumati, Sanskrit. Good mind or disposition, benevolence, kindness, favor.

d. nirrti, Sanskrit. Destruction, evil, dissolution, termination.

e. pramuc- Sanskrit. To set free, untie, unbind, banish, liberate.

f. enas, Sanskrit. Mischief, crime, unhappiness, fault.

g. Brahman, Sanskrit. The Supreme Being, the Creator.

h. Shunahsepa is a legendary sage mentioned in the Indian epics and mythology. A number of passages in the Rigveda are attributed to him.

i. manacled; to handcuff; fetter. to hamper; to restrain with an object

j. son of Aditi, Aditi. Sanskrit. The Boundless. personification of the infinite, Creator, Mother of angels, [but also] Devourer, poverty.

k. asura. Sanskrit. Supreme Spirit, Holy Spirit, divine, spirit, ghost.

l. vrata. Sanskrit. A religious act of devotion, a vow or promise, covenant.

m. Aditi, our Father (or interchangeably, Mother)

Hindu Scriptures

Hindu Scriptures / translated from Sanskrit by R. C. Zaehner, copyright © 1966 J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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