up from the
ocean were at first thin and light; ah! a hostile demon was in them,
carrying off the healing waters and not permitting them to fall; but the
thunder-bolt of Indra flashed; the demon was driven away howling, and
the emancipated streams refreshed the thirsty earth. Varuna was not
indeed dethroned, but he was obscured, by the achievements of the
warlike Indra; and the supersensuous, moral conceptions that were
connected with the former gradually faded from the minds of the people,
and Varuna erelong became quite a subordinate figure in the Pantheon.
[Sidenote: Number and relations of deities uncertain.]
The deities are generally said in the Veda to be "thrice eleven" in
number. We also hear of three thousand three hundred and thirty-nine.
There is no system, no fixed order in the hierarchy; a deity who in
one hymn is quite subordinate becomes in another supreme; almost every
god becomes supreme in turn; in one hymn he is the son of some deity and
in another that deity's father, and so (