Written by Sulaiman Razvi
In the Rig Veda, Varuna is described as an Asura,
अस्तभ्नाद दयामसुरो विश्ववेदा अमिमीत वरिमाणं पर्थिव्याः |
आसीदद विश्वा भुवनानि सम्राड विश्वेत तानि वरुणस्य वरतानि ||
Rig Veda 8.42.1. LORD of all wealth, the Asura propped the heavens, and measured out the broad earth’s wide expanses. He, King supreme, approached all living creatures. All these are Varuṇa’s holy operations.
Varuna here is considered an Asura. Rig Veda 1.174.1 calls Indra as Asura, in many verses of Rig Veda, Vedic gods like Mitra, Varuna, Savitr, Agni, Pushan etc. are considered Asuras. It will require a lengthy explanation to understand this better, But it’s not possible to explain it in this article as the explanation will divert the readers to other topic, hence I will not indulge in deep analysis, It is better to have a separate article on this topic. But I will analyse this verse from Arya Samaj point of view. The belief of Arya Samaj is that Varuna, Indra, Agni etc., are all names of one and only god, where the attribute Varuna denotes ‘holiest of all’. But Varuna in the above verse is considered an Asura, Arya Samaji scholars has wrongfully translated the word Asura here as omnipotent. Below is Pundit Javdev Sharma’s Hindi translation,
Below Hindi translation is taken from Arya Samaj website,
The meaning given by Arya Samaji scholars is contrary to the meaning given by Arya Samaj founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati who translated the word Asura as,
“The good and learned were also called Devaas, while the ignorant and wicked, such as dacoits (robbers), were called Asura.” Satyarth Prakash, by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, ch 8, page 264, Tr. Chiranjiva Bhardwaja
So it’s the Veda which calls their god a dacoit, robber. Dayanand contradicted his own meanings in several places as it is normal for Arya Samajis to give their own meanings to suit their interests. In another verse the Vedic god is commanded to steal wealth of infidels like a thief,
Rig Veda 1.103.6 “To him, who is the performer of all deeds, the possessor and giver of strength, the truly powerful Lord, we offer devotional prayers. He a highwayman, snatches wealth from the godless exploiters and gives it to honest devotees.” Tr. SatyaPrakash Saraswati
Rig Veda 1.103.6 “…The Hero, watching like a thief in ambush, goes parting the possessions of the godless.” Tr. Ralph T.H. Griffith
Hindu god Vishnu is said to practice deception. It is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana,
Brahmanda Purana 126.96.36.199 Lord Vishnu the most excellent among all persons is reputed to be a Mayavi.
Maya, Mayinam, Mayavi means fraud, deception, illusion.
Narada Purana II.52.55 “…Mayavin one who has Maya (deception).” Tr. G.V. Tagare
[The Practical Sanskrit English Dictionary, page 861, by V.S. Apte, Printed at the Arya Vijaya Press, 150 Budhwar Peth, 1890]
[Rig Veda Samhita, page 439, Vol II, by Svami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar, Published by Veda Pratishthana 1977, New Delhi]
So Hindu god Vishnu is ‘reputed’ of being a Mayavi (fraud).
This kind of deception was practised by Asuras also,
Brahmanda Purana 188.8.131.52b-212a “It is heard that the Earth was once again milked by the Asuras with an iron vessel and the all round yield was the power of Maya (deception, illusion). Virocana, the extremely famous son of Prahlada, was the calf unto them. Rtvikdvimurdha (?) the son of Diti was their milkman. With the (different types of) Maya for their milky yield all the Asuras became Mayavins (experts in making use of Maya). Those persons of great virility sustain themselves by means of Maya. That is their great source of strength.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
It is mentioned in Shiva Purana that Shiva used deception to behead his innocent son Ganesh who was only obeying his mother Parvati’s command. Shiva was helped by Mayavi Vishnu,
Shiva Purana Rudra Samhita 4, Kumarakhanda IV, 16.7-8 O sage, after fighting for a long time along with the army and seeing him terrific, even Siva was greatly surprised. Thinking within himself ”He has to be killed only by deception and not otherwise” he stayed in the midst of the army. [11-12] Then Ganesa the heroic son of Sakti following the course of heroes, at first worshipped (i.e., struck) Visnu with his staff, Visnu who confers happiness to all. ”I shall cause him delusion. Then let him be killed by you, O lord. Without deception he cannot be killed. He is of Tamasika nature and inaccessible.”
In the Rig Veda, Vedic gods are said to use deceit (Maya). Ashvina is said to use deceit in Rig Veda 5.78.5. In Rig Veda 5.63.4 Mitr-Varun used Maya. In many verses Indra is also said to use deceit (Maya), it is mentioned in Rig Veda,
Rig Veda 1.11.7 “Indra, thou didst kill by stratagem, the wily Sushna; the intelligent know thy (greatness); multiply their food.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Shri Ram Sharma’s Hindi translation
Pundit Ram Govind Trivedi’s Hindi translation
Indra calls himself the master of Maya (fraud) in Bhagavad Purana,
Srimad Bhagavatam 8.11.3-4 “…Indra the wielder of Vajra, spoke to him as follows: Just as a roguish conjuror makes gullible persons as if blind folded by his conjuring tricks (and incantations) and robs them of their money, you desire to conquer us, the masters of such Mayas (black magic and illusory tricks) with your Maya, Oh fool.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
It is mentioned in Devi Bhagavatam,
Devi Bhagavatam 6.7.18-40 …O King! Everywhere then there was this gossip in the assemblages of the gods, in their gardens, at the meetings of the Gandharbas that Indra had deceived Vritra who had relied on him, on the words of the Munis and then killed him by pretext, and so had done, indeed, a horrible crime…
It is mentioned in Bhagavad Purana,
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.18 “This venerable Lord is veritable Narayana the Primeval Man who deluding the world with his power called Maya (illusion) moves incognito among the Vrsnis.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
Varaha Purana says that god will create a scripture to delude people in Kali Yuga,
Varaha Purana 71.54-55 This Samhita was named Nissvasa, and Babhravya and Sandila were absorbed in it. Deluded by me, people out of selfish motives, will promulgate their own sastras in Kaliyuga.
Many verses of Bhagvad Purana praises Krishna of using Maya (deception, fraud, illusion). Not just that Hinduism also says that gods reincarnated themselves as Buddha to deceive people into following the wrong way called Buddhism, If time permits me I will give you more detail but let me show you a glimpse,
Padma Purana 6.236.7 O goddess, in the age of Kali, I will appear in the form of a brahmana to preach the false doctrine of Mayavada which is simply covered Buddhism.
Agni Puran chapter 16 shows Buddha’s followers as Daityas (Demons) who will make people leave Vedic religion. Also read Lying in Hinduism.