Within the realms of Indo-European mytho-theology, there are some areas wherein the paths of connectivity grow dark, occluded, hidden amidst the mists of time and conceptual space. This does not mean that they are not there – only that we aren’t sure what the precise course of their path may be. And in the absence of such surety of foot, there is all too often an eager risk of stepping off the winding roadway entirely – thence to fall headlong into the abyss of Headcanon and Just Plain Making Stuff Up.
Now, in these areas wherein things have gotten a bit foggy, we can utilize a wide variety and array of tools and techniques to attempt to reconstruct just what those linkages might actually happen to be. Some of these are well-known and uncontroversial – linguistics, comparative mythographic analysis, archaeology, that sort of thing. And I have recently been pioneering our own brand of “Mytholinguistics” to add to the quiver, which seeks to bring together insights from both linguistics and mythology to produce something that is more than the sum of its parts. Not simply via reading informational inputs from both in constellation, but by noting that some of the same patterns of derivation, of change and shift which are observable in linguistics … are also present within mythology.
That is to say – just as certain sounds shift in regular patterns within Indo-European linguistics, so too do certain mythological elements undergo regular patterns of change within our mythologies.
The observation which provided the spark of inspirational impetus for this, is one we’re about to get into. And, in so doing, illustrate not only one of these MythoLinguistic Derivationary ‘rules’ in action, but also help to settle one of the prominent questions within our field that caused consternation and difficulty for great men such as Dumezil.
So with that introduction out of the way … let’s meet our Dramatis Personae. In the manner rather akin to certain ancient dramateurgy, it is a case of many masks for but one performer.
At the core of this piece and its contentions is Kind Varuna – a Lord of the Heavens and of the Sea, closely identified with the Law and with Knowing; hailed for his Dominion of the Divine; and also, intriguingly, given position alongside Yama (indeed, some might suggest *as* Yama) as a Lord of the Departed Ancestors in the Loka of that name amidst the Sea of Stars at the trailing end of the River of Souls that is the Milky Way.
Varuna, however, is mostly mentioned in modern-day post-Puranic Hinduism as a Sea God; much of His former Lustre and dare I say Ishvaran-Imperial Grandeur, fallen by the wayside over the past few thousand years. Although interestingly, preserved in part via Lord Shiva – With Whom Lord Varuna is somewhat identified (via the Rudras) in Vedic source-material.
To this august and mighty, misty figure we shall add Ouranos / Uranus – the Prime Sky of both Greek and Roman mythological thought; and also identified by Dumezil as a logical equivalent to Varuna within the annals of those corpuses.
However, an integral basis of Dumezil’s identification – an alleged etymological overlap featuring the “Uer” particle of Proto-Indo-European (meaning to ‘bind’), I consider to be if not totally inaccurate, then at least only a very partial portion of the story. It certainly can be seen how this relates to Varuna (although I would suggest that it is the “Law” linkage, rather than the simple noose-ing that is the strong point of resonancy here, for reasons we shall shortly consider); yet it has never really caught on as a likely etymological explanation for “Ouranos”, with instead PIE “Uers” (which refers to an act of moistening, of rain) providing the prospective and presumptive underpinning for the Classical figure.
Personally, and this is where the ability to take a step back (which we have in MythoLinguistics if not necessarily Linguistics as an academic discipline herself) is quite useful, I consider that *both* are likely true, and pointedly simultaneously. Certainly, it is not at all hard to see how Varuna On High, where the Water comes from in Streams and Rivers and Rain(fall) would be linked with the notion of Rain and Moistening and Mist.
And as applies why both Varuna and Ouranos would be in possession of a “Binding” notion … I take a somewhat different approach to that commonly cited (wherein it is simply a notion of both deities “binding” foes; and which is also linked by these academic inclinations to Tyr playing His role in the binding of Fenrir). Rather, I look to something else. Namely, what we might perhaps term ‘Mythopolitics’.
What is Varuna in various RigVedic sources? King of the Gods, King of the Heavens and Earth, a Supreme Ruler of the DevaRajya, and thence of the Realm(s) of Men, as well [and it is a grand thing indeed the way in which some of the Varuna prayerful entreaties enjoin Him as our “Kinsman” to come take His place amidst His Chosen Folk – where such sacrificial, votive offerings are being made to Him].
What is He, as Sovereign? He is “Ours” [the ultimate root for this, back through Nordic “Varr”, is PIE ‘Wey’, which develops into a succession of “Va-” terms in Indo-Iranian languages for the first person plural pronoun]; and He is also, as Law, an effective linchpin of the Divine Realm, the Cosmos, and the Kingdom(s) of Mortal Man. This being expressed through the concept of the “Word” – not merely in the linguistic sense (although also, the incredibly important functional role of the Divine Speech, Vak and also Brihaspati veer-y much in mind, that too), but in the sense that “Word” *used*to carry far more often within the bounds of our own language. That of an Oath, an Affirmation, a Declaration, a *Binding*. To give somebody your Word meant your sacred and solemn Vow. Which turns up in Old Norse as “Var”, a term referring not only to this concept itself, but also to the Deific guardian and sanctifier thereof; and, intriguingly, in its Proto-Germanic predecessor, Weraz, as the Truth, and as a term for the liberality of giving and for Friendship. All of which are strongly associated qualities of the RigVedic Varuna; Who is also invoked, as I have written about previously, in the context of international treaty making via the Mitanni.
The idea is that what makes up a Kingdom is both the Words that are the Law (and, for that matter, the Lore – a great thing to be Knowing, not least as a communicator and enshriner for the Law, but also on its own terms and for art and artistry’s sake), and also the Words that are the conscious forms of Fealty by the Citizenry (particularly the Armed Men) wherein we affirm our strong bonds of loyalty to the Sovereign. In that way, the Binding of the “Word” is both ‘Top-Down’ but also ‘Bottom-Up’.
Of course, there is much which could be said about this notion of Words making up not only Reality, but also the Sacro-Polity located (conveniently for us) therein. But suffice to say that whether we are going with the above derivation-chain back to PIE ‘Weh’ [‘True’], or the other one underpinning Sanskrit ‘Vrata’ [‘Oath’] and English ‘Word’ (PIE: ‘Werh’ – ‘Speak/Say’; through PIE ‘Werdhom’ – ‘Word’], the concepts retain a strong degree of coterminity. And both link inexorably back to *another* pair of Masked Manyu, Odin and Shiva (and also Vayu / Vata, particularly as pertains to Breath) … but that is another set of stories for another time. [Interested parties should perhaps consult the relevant portion of GHOST DIVISION ]
Now, those who have been following this piece closely shall note that I have done something which may seem at first rather curious. I have made an identification of Ouranos with Varuna – and said something about the Divine King which seemingly pertains, applies to *both*.
But isn’t Zeus the King of the Gods?
Well yes, but there is also a bit more going on there within the annals of Greek mythology which we must first explicate. You see, the Greeks appear to have applied some considerable ‘license’ to their own understanding of Indo-European mythology – most prominently, for our purposes, in bringing together two figures. Dyaus Pitar [‘Sky Father’; visible also in “Jupiter”, “Zeus Pater”, etc.], and what we refer to as the Striker/Thunderer [Thor, Hercules, Indra, Hanuman etc. … the PIE ‘Per’ particle is relevant here – as seen in Perseus, in Perkwunos; ]. They have also quite likely engaged in their habitual ‘game of doubles’ in much the similar manner to how *two* ‘War of the Gods’ motifs occur – the Titanomachy and the Gigantomachy – to provide two figures prior to their understanding of Zeus bearing similar title, and in one case, a similar ‘uprising against Father’ mytheme. Namely, Ouranos, being ‘doubled’ as Kronos and Saturn [the linkage of these latter Classical figures with the passage of time and the flight of Ravens also being quite strongly Varuna-resonant; not least through Varuna’s regulation of the cycle of the Sun through the Sky (and therefore our prime demarkator of Time – the flow of Days … “Days”, too, having a “Shining” etymology parallel to that for “Dyaus” in reference to the Radiance in the Above that is identified directly as Varuna’s One Eye)][The relatively close coterminity of Cronus/Saturn and Shaani (as well as Shani and Yama, Shiva) is considered in my piece focused upon the latter; and there may be further resonancy between Cronus’ ‘carving’ of the Sky, and the carving out of the pathway for the Sun or the pathway for the Rain/River by Varuna in RigVedic sources; all of which has some potential relevancy to Tvastr … but again, another story for another time].
Or, to briefly surmise, Greek mythology has *three* ‘Sky Father’ figures, one descending from the other, descending from the first; *two* ‘uprising against predecessor God-King’ occurrences; and two Thunderer/Striker figures within the same direct line of descent.
However, Greek mythology *also* engages in a triple-God separation of that last Sky Father figure, out into two others presented and portrayed as Brothers of the Zeus Pater – Hades/Pluto (Bident), and Poseidon/Neptune (Trident).
I have already elsewhere addressed some of the supporting material for the above (because it is often a somewhat controversial assertion to directly make, no matter how well evidentiarily supported); so for the purposes of this piece, we shall simply note that Hades/Pluto *also* has incredibly strong coterminity with Varuna in key areas, as we are presently engaged in exploring in the Indo-European Guide-Book of the Dead series (including Lordship of the Realm of the Noble Dead, an association with Wealth (such as that of Stars), Darkness, and with Oaths, Law, and Judging, especially when invoking or involving Terrific Visage).
And further, that Neptune is a shining example of the Mytho-Linguistic derivation principle this piece is intended to discuss, in action. For what is Neptune? Like Varuna, He is Lord of the Sea. Yet how does this link back to the concept of “Sky Father”, of “Sky”, other than what I have just briefly mentioned around the line of derivation and of ‘refraction’.
Simple. One of my favourite Proto-Indo-European particles is Neb(h), which refers to cloud and moisture. You may be more familiar with it in the modern English “Nebula”, or German “Nebel”. Interestingly, Old Norse “Nifl” appears to derive from the same source (as does “Njola” – Darkness/Night), and in an upcoming portion of the Indo-European Guide-Book of the Dead series, we intend to explore this linkage in closer detail. I personally believe, for reasons that shall become rather patently obvious, that this particle also underpins the Nordic “Njordr”. Njord, of course, being God of the Sea among the Norse; Whose Realm is a ship-holding located per Gylfaginning amongst the Heavens, and so forth. Interestingly for our purposes, I am informed by my comrade Tristan Powers that the supposition is that Njord is more closely correlated with the intersection of Sea and Shore than with the Deeps … a position of getting one’s feet wet, and of “Moist” rather than “Immersed”, we might perhaps say. But back to Neptune.
There are several not-necessarily-exclusive etymologies for “Neptune” in present circulation. The more generally accepted one arcens back to the same root as “Nephew”, or as “Nepotism” – and suggests a Descendant, a Relative, a Grand-child or even a Nephew directly. There are some possible, plausible explanations for how this might have become affixed as a theonymic for Neptune; and also for its potentially not-unrelated utilization amidst the theonym of the mysterious Apam Napat Who turns up in occasional reference in the Vedas and much more frequent citation amidst the Iranian milieu. More on Him later.
Yet I have never held it to be nearly as convincing as this other, surely most obvious interpolation. That the “Nep” in “Neptune” is indeed the “Neb” of “Nebula” or “Nabhas” or “Nebel” or “Nifl”. That is to say, the Clouds … but more pointedly (and there are three of them on His Spear-of-the-Sky[Father]), the Waters that are in the Sky, in vaporous form or otherwise. There is a longstanding conceptual linkage here, also – built around the location of the Realm of the Blessed Dead across this sky-ocean (and later, simply, ocean – the Isles of the Blessed; even the Undying Acre [‘Odainsakr’] mentioned in at least one Icelandic Saga as lying out beyond India may be relevant here; as is the “Ship” referred to in RV 10 135 4 as means of passage up thence to YamaLoka); which further serves to underpin and to double-buttress the linkage of the Sea God not only with the Sky and thence the Sky Father – but also with the Sky Father, via His derived role as the Lord of the Ancestors/Dead/The Undying One.
However, what is intriguing for our MythoLinguistic exposition is not simply these facts – but the potential ‘double’ meaning of “Neptune” therefore as containing within the theonym *both* the “Neb” particle, as in the Water of the Sky especially in vapour form … and *also* the “Nepots” relevant particle indicating descent. For this congeals within it, perhaps, the ‘derivation’ of Neptune from the Sky Father deific complex. The ‘descent’ of the Waters from amidst the Heavens, too, via Rainfall (which is what Ouranos is most directly definitionally linkaged with), to thence flow via Rivers and other such means and mechanisms of damp, dewy conveyancy to the Sea.
This brings us nicely to the aforementioned mist-erious figure of Apam Napat. A direct translation of which is often given as “Child of the Waters”, following the common and ordinary meaning of “Napat” in the Indo-Iranian languages. However, I am once again suspecting that there is somewhat of an intentional double, or even triple meaning to this otherwise unassuming theonym. For contained within it is not just what we would expect to see as a ‘descriptive’ theonym, wherein the Waters in question are those which are around and a-priori to the inhabited material universe (Consider/Compare RV X 125 7, wherein it is Devi as Vak Who emerges from The Waters to bring Creation into being, including as some of the initial steps the AlFather (an occurrence also potentially evident in RV I 164 8; and which is directly equivalent to the genesis of Uranus / Ouranos – particularly when the likely Vedic cosmological equivalencies of “Nyx” and “Aether” are taken into consideration … again, another set of (creation) stories for another time) and what may perhaps be translated as the Realm of the Ancestors, up above in the Sky); but also a ‘functional’ theonym, wherein the major RigVedic Hymnal dedicated to Apam Napat [RV 2 35], identifies the figure known as Apam Napat as proceeding with and as and facilitating the Floods therefrom. Perhaps in the manner of RV 10 75 2, wherein it is Varuna Who sets and “cuts the channels” for the great Celestial River(s) to make Their way here to us on Earth.
Interestingly, the term used for this “Lord and Leader of these moving floods” [RV 10 75 2], Sindhu, while it *can* refer to the Indus river in particular [wherein it is one of the only Capital R Rivers often accorded masculine gender], and also to the notion of Rivers and even large bodies of water like an Ocean or a Sea in general – is also an attested theonym of Varuna Himself.
This should be entirely unsurprising considering the language employed elsewhere in the Hymn to describe the Sindhu in question – the Bull is well-linked to the Sky Father (either as Dyaus Pitar, wherein the Red Bull Bellowing Thunder is a Form/Kenning of Him, alongside the Cow as the Earth Mother; or as Shiva – wherein He to this day has the Bull as His Emblem, and Nandi is His Seneschal as well as Vahana) [There is also clear linkage of the Bull to Poseidon – as seen, for instance, through the parentage of the Minotaur and the legends around *that* circumstance … often in academia ascribed to the Bull-cult of the Minoans, although as we can quite plainly see here, there is a strongly viable entirely, endogenously Indo-European explanation for this linkage of the Sea God and the Bull], especially given the Hymnal’s description in line 3 of this Bull as “Like floods of rain that fall in thunder from the cloud”; with a Roar that “is lifted up to heaven above the earth” and Who “puts forth endless vigour with a flash of light”; Who else would “leadest as a warrior king thine army’s wings”, in the “Van”guard of said army, mounted in a chariot and poised to “win booty in this fight” (not that this Deific is in any way impoverished beforehand – “Rich in good steeds is Sindhu, rich in cars and robes, rich in gold, nobly-fashioned, rich in ample wealth.” ‘Pluto’, we might perhaps say in one of the Classical languages). Who else could be said in the position of the Sun (Vivasvan) to possess “power, mighty and unrestrained”, “independent glory”, and come Roaring across the Mountains with “grandeur […] that is beyond compare”.
A strongly coterminous set of linkages for Varuna is to be found in various further RigVedic Hymnals – for instance RV 08 41, wherein He is described “dwelling at the rivers’ source, surrounded by His Sisters Seven”, Himself referred to as an “Ocean far removed” that “wraps these regions as a robe” (like, you might say, an upper atmosphere), Decreeing Law unto the Realms of the Universe and bringing Order(s) to the Cosmos, to be found in the East amidst the Heavens High. [Interestingly, in the same hymnal, it is the verses of Nabhaka with which Varuna is praised .. Nabhaka of course being yet another “Neb” derivation; this is not the only “Neb” child in the hymnal – every line finishes with a variation upon “nabhantāmanyake same”. Broadly translatable as Destroying (‘Bursting’) All that are Alien; and with “Nabhas” performing an interesting semantic shift from its otherwise attested “Sky”, “Darkness”, “Cloud” sense to this act of “Killing”, “Sundering”, “Bursting”. Perhaps indicating that, in concert with various other archaic Indo-European and more specifically Hindu concepts, the Sky is Death – c.f. “Kaal” as Night Sky, as well as Death. Cloud-bursting, as the thunderous destruction of enemies and provision of life is, therefore, a constant refrain].
In addition to this, both Varuna and Apam Napat are described as providing a ‘stablishing and ‘stabilizing role for the Cosmos. In this, there is close resonancy with Aja Ekapad, identified as a form of Shiva, the World-Pillar/Tree/Axle-Mundi (which, from my personal Shakta-Shaiva perspective, I would identify as both Shiva and Devi *Together*), and hailed in a particular RigVedic Verse [RV 7 35 13] immediately before the set of male-female pairings represented by the Dragon of the Deep [a Rudra] and the Ocean, Apam Napat and Prisni [‘Earth’, inter alia – also a Cow, and the Starry Sky … perhaps as is Kaal(i)] (there are also a literal litany of other such instances as applies Varuna, and depictions of a Deva bearing the close hallmarks of the later portrayals of Lord Shiva; but we shall perhaps consider those ‘pon some other occasion; the Dragon of the Deep I have not yet examined in great detail, but in a generative sense and capacity may be closely connected to some of the material parsed in the NagaPanchami ‘Celebration of Serpents’ article from mid-2019).
The AllFather expression continues to have meritorious validity in describing both the Zoroastrian and the Vedic depictions of Apam Napat – the former Yasht source stating He is author of Men, the latter RigVedic materials going somewhat broader and declaring Him to be the Asura, the “Sire” of all beings; which fit also with the other Vedic materials hailing Varuna as “Kinsman” and ultimate “One origin” of the sacrificer [AV 5 11], and of course, similar line-age pertaining to Dyaus as Pitar [RV 1 164 33]. [Consider/compare also Ouranos / Uranus’ foundational Father role giving rise to various clades of early sentient beings, including the Cyclopes … identified not at all coincidentally in various Greek sources as being the Sons of Poseidon]
The identity of Apam Napat, therefore, is a matter of you might say “Relativity”. Both to the Waters (and thence Devi as AdiParaShakti, and vice versa) and Law which is to be found therein (recall also the well-renowned theology of Sayana around Devi Shakti, Brahman, and Rta outside of and a-priori to Universe), and also to the Rivers and the Raindrops and the Maruts (and the like), and thence also to Man Himself. This is also partially why Varuna is appealed to as the Judge o’er His Folk [for example, RV 5 85 7-8], for what is the role of a Father in about a Family if not to settle and arbitrate disputes between Sons – with the stated and express purpose of bringing Them back together all under one mighty, Sky-cladding Roof.
To return to Nabhas but briefly, that notion of “Death From Above” as being Veer-y Indo-European, yet bound up intricately with the Life From The Skies, is expressed quite clearly within one of the Parjanya [Rain, Rain-Cloud, Husband of Prithvi the Earth-Mother (Cow)] Hymnals of the RigVeda: Quoth RV 5 83:
“1. SING with these songs thy welcome to the Mighty, with adoration praise and call Parjanya.
The Bull, loud roaring, swift to send his bounty, lays in the plants the seed. for germination.
2 He smites the trees apart, he slays the demons: all life fears him who wields the mighty weapon.
From him exceeding strong fices e’en the guiltless, when thundering Parjanya smites the wicked.
3 Like a car-driver whipping on his horses, he makes the messengers of rain spring forward.
Far off resounds the roaring of the lion, what time Parjanya fills the sky with rain-cloud.
4 Forth burst the winds, down come the lightning-flashes: the plants shoot up, the realm of light is streaming.
Food springs abundant for all living creatures, what time Parjanya quickens earth with moisture.
5 Thou at whose bidding earth bows low before thee, at whose command hoofed cattle fly in terror,
At whose behest the plants assume all colours, even thou Parjanya, yield us great protection.
6 Send down for us the rain of heaven, ye Maruts, and let the Stallion’s flood descend in torrents.
Come hither with this thunder while thou pourest the waters down, our heavenly Lord and Father.
7 Thunder and roar: the germ of life deposit. Fly round us on thy chariot waterladen.
Thine opened water-skin draw with thee downward, and let the hollows and the heights be level.
8 Lift up the mighty vessel, pour down water, and let the liberated streams rush forward.
Saturate both the earth and heaven with fatness, and for the cows let there be drink abundant.
9 When thou, with thunder and with roar, Parjanya, smitest sinners down,
This universe exults thereat, yea, all that is upon the earth.
10 Thou hast poured down the rain-flood now withhold it. Thou hast made desert places fit for travel.
Thou hast made herbs to grow for our enjoyment: yea, thou hast won thee praise from living creatures.”
As we can see, the language utilized here in the relevant descriptive terms and kennings is so strongly reminiscent of those utilized in reference to the River/Sea God of RV 10 72 and various Varuna Hymnals aforementioned, and via associations as well matches up so directly with those we have come to understand of Dyaus (Pitar), Rudra-Shiva in manifold of His Other Forms, that there can be no doubt.
The Identity of Parjanya is as Dyaus, Shiva, Rudra. Is nearly-identical equivalent linguistic meaning to what is understood by Ouranos in the Ancient Greek and subsequently inherited within that legendarium by His Grandson [gosh, ‘Nepots’, as it were, all the way down], Zeus Pater. Above the (Mid) Sky, He – Parjanya – is Varuna, Apam Napat. Lord of the Celestial Ocean, the Sea of Sky and Sky of Sea. Whence having transversed through the Atmosphere down via Rain and River to Ocean All Surrounding this wide habitable above-sea-level Earth, He is again Varuna, the All-Encompassing.
The “Neb”- particles aforementioned have traced the Trident’s flighting arc of lightning thought and insight – and shown to us that He Who Is “Clothed In Lightning” [RV 02 35 9] is this same God in different robes, different masks, different guises, all the way up and thence all the way back down again.
Now as for “why” there is such a pervasive pattern of this ‘derivation’ visible in the Indo-European mythologies – we have parsed instances from the Vedic/Hindu, Eddic/Norse, and Greco-Roman corpuses (with an intriguing line of further inquiry around the restlessly moving Hittite Sea-God “Aruna” that I may chase-up in further] – there are a number of possibilities. One is simply that over time the differentiation-of-functions of a singular deity but carried out under different titles lead to an occlusion of the archaic and underlying fundamental unity of the figure in question. This is not uncommon, and we seem to spend a substantial amount of our research-time placing back together *exactly* these sorts of ‘refractions’ – whether they have occurred all the way over the various migratory paths from the Urheimat (as with “Odin” and “Rudra”), or whether they are less-immediately-prominent diffusions *within* a single corpus (as with Rudra-Shiva and Vayu-Vata). This would in some ways also explain what has happened with Varuna – as the notion of the Sea of Stars has fallen from common favour, so too has the remembrance of Varuna as presiding over and out of/from *that* Sea, in favour of Varuna as being more clearly associated with the *physical and literal* [rather than metaphysical and/or mytho-phoric, methalogical) Ocean which became much more prominent in the mind’s eye and relevant religious sociology the closer that the Indo-Aryans got to it geographically with their Southward migration from Central Asia into India proper.
Another possibility, as applies what has happened with Ouranos in particular, is that it may have been considered helpful to distinguish between the frightening, terrific, oft-life destroying and downright *severe* elements of the deific, and the more benificiently Kingly and Fatherly functions which later found themselves attached to the emergent Zeus. This makes a certain narrative sense – safely parcelling away the destructive and baelful actions against His Children with their semi-literally world-shattering consequences as being something undertaken by another figure of another age. A comfortable and convenient ‘falsehood’ that the Past had, indeed, Passed, rather than being with them into the then-present era, albeit often in veiled or muffled form (hence why the Age of Saturn was regarded as a Golden Age via comparison to the Current yuga). There is also some echo for this in the figure of Shiva-Rudra, wherein the earlier Vedic portrayals of a quite literally terrifying [‘Ghora’] Howling of the Storm Wind, Lord of the Universe and Mightiest of the Gods, Whose Attentions are oft-cited as being what the offering-rite is endeavouring to *direct elsewhere* at somebody deserving of ruin and desolation. Yet Who is *also* regarded as “Shiva” [‘Auspicious’] in these veer-y same texts, as a wise and noble patron of His People, capable not only of death and decimation but of healing and the extension of health and life even everlasting.
In later Hindu development, the “Shiva” adjective became a theonym, and thence *the* major theonym for the Deity, the MahaDeva, the Ishvara. Rudra was, while most definitely not “forgotten”, certainly much *much* less prominent than He had earlier been (and the Manyu – the Aspect of Rudra Whom even all the other Gods Fear, and Who brings Doom to Dasa and Arya alike (where necessary), is rarely if ever directly cited at all; although I would contend that two ‘Avenger’ Aspects of Shiva still bear the role and function and form of this most mighty of Emanations of Mahadev). We are still, however, generally aware of the fact that Shiva and Rudra are One, albeit with the Terrific Visage being the chronologically far earlier figure Who is regarded as being something of a symbol of a bygone (perhaps “Bronze”) age ( … and its Solutions).
Perhaps some combination of all of the above trends took place within the Classical world. The “Sky” and the “Sea” being separated out as portfolio areas, and administered under different Names which thence became thought of as representing different Beings; the (relatively more) Baelful and (relatively more) Beneficent ‘facings’ of the God, too, becoming separated out (and thence ‘duplicated’ because for the Greeks, it seems, if it’s worth having one of, it’s often worth having more); until it had become all but forgotten within the Mists, the Clouds, the *Nebula* of ever-more archaic memory that the facings at either end of the ‘descending’ flows (of ‘time’ / heredity, from Ouranos via Kronos to Zeus; and of Water, from Ouranos via the atmosphere, to Poseidon/Neptune) had ever been but one.
In any case, in closing let us quote one of His Sacred Hymns, even if in Translation [Griffith’s]. RigVeda Mandala 1 Hymnal 25:
“1 WHATEVER law of thine, O God, O Varuṇa, as we are men,
Day after day we violate.
2 give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by Thee in wrath,
To Thy fierce anger when displeased.
3 To gain Thy mercy, Varuṇa, with hymns we bind Thy heart, as binds
The charioteer his tethered horse.
4 They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealth,
As to their nests the birds of air.
5 When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might,
Him, the far-seeing Varuṇa?
6 This, this with joy They both accept in common: never do They fail
The ever-faithful worshipper.
7 He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,
He knows the ships that are thereon.
8 True to His holy law, He knows the twelve moons with their progeny:
He knows the Moon of later birth.
9 He knows the pathway of the Wind, the spreading, high, and mighty wind:
He knows the Gods who dwell above.
10 Varuṇa, true to holy law, sits down among His people; He,
Most wise, sits there to govern all.
11 From thence perceiving He beholds all wondrous things, both what hath been,
And what hereafter will be done.
12 May that Āditya, very wise, make fair paths for us all our days:
May He prolong our lives for us.
13 Varuṇa, wearing golden mail, hath clad Him in a shining robe.
His spies are seated found about.
14 The God whom enemies threaten not, nor those who tyrannize o’er men,
Nor those whose minds are bent on wrong.
15 He who gives glory to mankind, not glory that is incomplete,
To our own bodies giving it.
16 Yearning for the wide-seeing One, my thoughts move onward unto Him,
As kine unto their pastures move.
17 Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like
Thou eatest what is dear to Thee.
18 Now saw I Him whom all may see, I saw His car above the Earth:
He hath accepted these my songs.
19 Varuṇa, hear this call of mine: be gracious unto us this day
Longing for help I cried to Thee.
20 Thou, O wise God, art Lord of All, Thou art the King of Earth and Heaven
Hear, as Thou goest on thy way.
21 Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose
The bonds below, that I may live.”