The great guardian among these gods sees as if from anear. He that thinketh he is moving stealthily — all this the gods know. If a man stands, walks, or sneaks about, if he goes slinking away, if he goes into his hiding place; if two persons sit together and sachem, King Varuna is there as a third, and knows it. Both this earth here belongs to King Varuna, and also yonder broad sky whose boundaries are far away…. King Varuna sees through all that is between heaven and earth, and all that is beyond. He has counted the winkings of men’s eyes. As a winning gamester puts down his dice, thus does he establish these laws.

The Atharva-veda is a sacred Hindu anthology of prayer-poems and hymns composed and compiled about 2000 BC. While Hindu scholars do not question the text’s claim as part of the core Vedic corpus, its focus on healing and magic precludes it from being used in solemn rituals and so remains an ambiguous text in Hindu practice and belief.

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