5 Life Lessons from Varuna, the Deity of Water


Vedic wisdom has always emphasised that the human body is a microcosm of the universe — 'Yat pinde tat brahmande (you are the universe within the universe)'. No wonder then that just as about 70% of the human body is composed of water so is 70% of earth's surface. Accordingly, the deity of water, Varuna, is respected and honored with great humility, and it to her we can look for how to learn from this element that resides within everything. 

Like Varuna water is an incredible teacher, showing us how to move with grace, ease and determination. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what's familiar. It does not waste energy resisting, but flows onward with resolve. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance.


1. Fluidity: Life, just like water, is fluid. We are in constant flow on a continuum of time, experience to experience. Stagnant water becomes murky over a period of time. So too life must flow to keep the essence of it alive.

2. It finds a way, always: It doesn't matter if the solution is immediately visible to you or not, life will find a way just like water does — it may cut through, circumvent, overflow, percolate, but it does find a way. It is one of the softest elements but the most persistent. You only have to look around or stay at it long enough before the way presents itself.

3. Form and adaptability: Water takes the shape of the vessel it's poured into and gets coloured by hues mixed but essentially remains the same; It does not get enmeshed with the temporary form. Similarly, the Vedas teach us that we are not our container — our physical body – but the spirit or energy that resides within. And just as water flow by remaining true to its essence, life thrives when we are true to our divine inner nature. 

4. There is nothing that it can't wash away: The magnificent sight of an ocean, a cool shower after a scorching summer day, the wave breaking against a rocky shore, a warm cup of tea after long day... There's nothing that water can't wash away — infusing freshness and reviving life.

5. Silent waters run deep: The teachings call for us to sit in silence, for the depths of active mind can only be explored in stillness. This mind is a vast ocean of emotion and our own truth, and the golden pearl lies awaiting in its oyster for us to find.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.