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Many sun gods and goddesses are humanoid and ride or drive a vessel of some sort across the sky. It may be a boat, a chariot, or a cup. The sun god of the Greeks and Romans, for example, rode in a four-horse (Pyrios, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon) chariot.
In Hindu traditions, the sun god Surya travels across the sky in a chariot pulled by either seven horses or a single seven-headed horse. The chariot driver is Aruna, the personification of dawn. In Hindu mythology, they fight the demons of darkness.
There may be more than one god of the sun. The Egyptians differentiated among the aspects of the sun and had several gods associated with it: Khepri for the rising sun, Atum for the setting sun, and Re for the noontime sun, who rode across the sky in a solar bark. The Greeks and Romans also had more than one sun god.
Surya Ayurveda: The Healing Science of the Sun
The healing science of the Sun is one of the oldest sciences and medicines on this planet. This article teaches Surya Ayurveda – the healing science of the Sun. Read quotes from India’s oldest spiritual, health, medicine and religious books: the Vedas and learn how you can use the Sun (Surya) for your healing.
SURYA AYURVEDA: THE HEALING SCIENCE OF THE SUN
History and Mechanics of a Lost Science
“Seven regions have their several Suns the ministering priests are Seven Seven are the Aditya Deities,-with these, O Soma, guard thou us.” (RV.IX.114. 3)
The Sun (Savitar or Surya), also known as Hiranyagarbha or the “Golden Seed” is the first teacher of Yoga and Vedanta in India, and also represents the inner self or atman.
The great Hindu mantra, the Gayatri (“song of deliverance”) is also a solar mantra, revealed first to the great Vedic Rishi, Vishwamitra (Universal friend) in the Rig Veda, and has many great powers.
Thus, the sun is connected to our inner selves, and also is an important figure in Yoga. The older gods, such as Yama (the god of death and karma), Manu (the first man) and the Ashwins (divine physicians and twins) are all solar deities.
Even the seer Yajnavalkya, composer of the Shukla (white) Yajur Veda, and also Sukracharya, the Seer of the Jyotish or “Science of light” (astrology and astronomy), learnt their sciences from the Sun-God, Surya.
In ancient India, the Sun was also an important healer, and most importantly, we learn of the temple at Konorak healing Sri Krishna’s son, Samba, of leprosy.
There are many aspects to Surya Ayurveda, but a few will be dealt with here, and include the following methods:
- Solar mantras (such as Om, Hrim and Gayatri)
- Yogic postures (asanas), such as the twelve-cycle ‘Surya Namaskaram’
- Surya-dhyanam (solar meditation), including activation of the chakras
- Ashwini and Surya puja (worship of the Solar twins and Sun God)
Surya-jala or solar-water is also an ancient method. Waters can heal, and provided such liquids as water and milk are natural, contain many minerals that can heal our bodies, especially when blessed with various solar mantras, such as Gayatri.
Mantras alone, when chanted internally, along with Solar postures, such as those of Surya Namaskar practice, and meditation on the awakening of the Sapta Adityas or Seven Suns (Seven Chakras or Pranic centres) in the body, are all also helpful practices, and part of the ancient solar-yoga and ayurveda.
One practice is to empower the body with Gayatri mantra, seeing a great Sun encompassing the body.
By chanting the full Gayatri, and meditating on awakening the Sun of each chakra:
- Om Bhurh (Muladhara)
- Om Bhuvah (Svadhishthana)
- Om Svaha (Manipura)
- Om Mahah (Hridaya)
- Om Janah (Vishuddha)
- Om Tapa (Ajna)
- Om Satyam (Sahasrara Padma)
Then with “AUM”, seeing all suns unite, as a channel of light in the Sushumna or Central Current, and Soma flowing from “Satya Loka” or Sahasrara Chakra, the “inner sun” radiates and permeates all 72,000 nadis or subtle channels in the body, thereby aiding in the healing process, and driving off of negative forces.
This process of the chakras is described by the Rishi Yajnavalkya, in his “Briahadanyaka Upanishad”:
“When the person goes away from this world, he comes to the wind. Then the wind makes room for him, like the hole of a carriage wheel, and through it he mounts higher. He comes to the sun. Then the sun makes room for him, like the hole of a Lambara, and through it he mounts higher. He comes to the moon. Then the moon makes room for him, like the hole of a drum, and through it he mounts higher, and arrives at the world where there is no sorrow, no snow. There he dwells eternal years.” (BU.V.10.1)
The Wind is the Vishuddha-Chakra, the Sun is the Ajna Chakra and the Moon is the Sahasrarapadma Chakra. What Yajnavalkya describes here, is the movement of Consciousness up from the Hridaya (seat of the self) through the Three Higher Spheres – Vishuddha (or Janarloka), Ajna (or Tapaloka) and Sahasrara (or Satyaloka) – and beyond that immersed in Bliss, he becomes one with Nirguna Parambrahman (The Being without qualities, the Supreme Self).
He dwells eternal years, as he also awakens the “inner Soma” and hence is able to flood the body with the inner amrita (ambrosia, immortal elixir).
The Ashwins also relate to this practice, as in the Vedas, they are taught the science of Soma, and are hence associated with it. As healing gods, they are especially associated with healing the Seer Chyavana, and granting him his youth.
The Ashwins are the Ida and Pingala (Lunar and Solar) nadis in the subtle body, which grant a balance of both sides. Ida grants the balance of kapha-dosha, while Pingala is of the pitta, relating to the sun. Vata is represented by the Sushumna or central nadi, where both are balanced and merged.
The balancing of the Ashwin currents as Ida and Pingala, and also ther dualities, such as Udanavayu (up moving breath) and Apanavayu (downmoving breath) into Samanavayu (still breath) for complete health are hence important. It calms the mind, steadies the body and balances all nadis or subtle channels, chakras and pranas, hence the doshas.
It is only then, that we can release the potent powers inherit in the “Ashwins”, the great solar gods, which then, by balancing our body, grant us these inner powers to be able to heal ourselves, and improve our lifestyles:
“Bring into creation, my tireless meditations that ask for wealth, Shining Ashwins.
“Grant us high spirits in battle, and with your Shaktis, Lords of Shakti, assist us.”
As Rishi Yajnavalkya again states, in his Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, pertaining to the reference of the chakras as Solar and Lunar channels, but as representatives or forms of the Sun or Aditya:
“Now what is the true, that is the Aditya, the person that dwells in yonder orb, and the person in the Right Eye”. (BU.V.5.2)
Hence The Sun (Surya) is the Right Eye, the Pingala Nadi. Moon is the Left Eye, the Ida Nadi. The Sun being the Right Eye is what is True or Truth (Sat, Satya), as the left or Moon represents Maya (Illusion) as the Goddess – often expressed in Vedanta as Avidya (Ignorance) or Asatya (Not True). Yajnavalkya thus leaves an obvious assumption to be made here. In this regard we also note Yajnavalkya’s explanation of Indra as Right Eye and Viraj (IndranI) as Left Eye, and the 1000 Nadis arising from the heart and thus ascending to Sahasrara above (BU.IV.2.2-3).
It is these two as Shiva-Shakti that give birth to Prana or Indra (BU.I.5.12), being Vata or wind.
We read many mystic passages and tales in Veda. One is that Indra slays his father Vritra (Obstruction), and also his Mother, Danu in some places. We read from the BU of Yajnavalkya that the Father is the Mind and Mother is Speech (I.V.7), their “child” is Breath (Prana, or, as above, Indra).
Thus, Indra the son of Vritra and Danu, who slays his parents, means he has killed Speech and Mind, the two Obstructions in the way of Self-Realisation. Thus by slaying them and going beyond speech (vishuddha chakra or janarloka) and mind (ajna chakra or tapaloka), he becomes one with Sadashiva in Sahasrarapadma Chakra or Satyaloka, as Prana or Somasundara. Hence how we see Yogic secrets in Yajnavalkya’s teachings.
What is also interesting is not only were the Chakras well-known in Vedic texts, but also their bijas. The Heart Chakra (also called Hridaya or Anahata), is described in syllables in BU (V.3), where “Yam” is the sacred syllable (of the heart) – later used in Tantric Yoga to open this specific Chakra. Yam means “Control” and refers to the Inner-Controller (of death or Prana, breath of life).
Interestingly also, “Ram” is mentioned (BU.V.12) by Yajnavalkya as the syllable for Prana, relating to Food. Now, the Manipura Chakra has Ram (Rang, the bija-mantric form) as it’s mantra, and relates to the Digestive system, thus food. Manipura is also the City of Gemstones chakra, relating to Delight or Bliss, which comes from Ram (pleasure, bliss).
These are also important in the Surya-Ayurveda tradition, as each chakra is also an “Aditya” or “Surya” (Sun), and can hence be awakened by these respective powers.
More specifically, the Hridaya Chakra or Heart, with mantra “Yam” (Control) relates to the seat of Prana (breath) and hence Vata dosha, whereas the Manipura chakra relates to Fire, and hence Pitta Dosha. Vishuddha, the water chakra, relates to kapha dosha.
The importance of these Adityas or Suns, and in relation to Surya Ayurveda is hence important and understood. All of the respective gods of these chakras are also Adityas.
Varuna relates to Svadhisthana as the Water-God – Kapha
Mitra relates to Agni (Fire) as the Manipura Chakra or Solar Fire – Pitta
Indra orSurya relates to the Inner-Prana and is hence Vata
The Vasus (Fire-gods), another class of beings also have their own Yoga and Ayurveda, known as “Agni” types, but are related to the Aditya type, and can be used to stimulate the chakras they represent, as an example.
These practices however, require the mind in the state of sattva (purity), and an ayurvedic lifestyle, and diet, sraddha (faith), dhyana (meditation) and mantra-shakti (power of mantra) for them to be effective, as well as manasashakti (mental or will power).
The great meditation of Surya is described in the Taitiriya Samhita (Krishna Yajur Veda), I.2.13:
“They control their minds, and control their thoughts
The priests of the mighty wise priest
He alone, who knows the way, heads their priestly functions
Great is the praise of the Solar God!”
By controlling their minds and thoughts, the great Seers hence meditate on the great Surya, who permeates their body. He is hence also known as Vishnu (the cosmic pervader).
They hence come to understand the subtle body of the Seven Chakras, known as the Solar Body:
“Seven to to the Chariot (ie. Body) with One Chakra (ie. Soul) yoke the Courser bearing Seven Names the single Courser draws it.The Chakra has Three naves, sound and undecaying, on which all worlds of being lie. The Seven who are mounted on the Chariot (Body) with Seven Chakras have horses (ie. Pranas), Seven in tale, who draw them onward. Seven Sisters utter songs of praise together, in whom the names of the Seven Cows (Shaktis of the chakras) are treasured.” [Rig-Veda.I.164.2-3]
“The rich new Chariot has been equipped at the morning – it has Four Controls, Three Whips and Seven reins which guide it: – Ten-sided and friendly to mortals, the winner of the Self, that must be urged to speed with hymns and wishes.” – Rig Veda Samhita, II.19.6
Great asanas or yogic postures, as noted before, used along with mantra and such meditations also help us, as they outwardly help balance and awaken certain pranic centres, and nadis in the body. Various asanas also act as techniques to block, awaken etc. certain channels, not unlike acupuncture, massage etc. as we find in ancient arts such as Dhanurveda (martial arts), with it’s “pressure points” or power centres.
Most importantly however, is devotion or love for the deity, and being able to connect with it, in order for the healing process to begin to work.
What has been described here is a mere history and overview, of the more Siddha aspect of Solar Ayurveda, and it should be remembered again, that the power of the mind, self, devotion and most of all, inner purity (sattvas) is required in order for such processes to work.
Reverence for the Ashwins, through Vedic mantras, and most of all, reverence of seers such as Vishwamitra, the great Solar Seer, are also integral parts to this ancient science and process.
May the solar power illuminate, guide and heal!
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STORY OF LORD SURYA
is the light god. Lord Surya symbolizes the Sun God. Lord Surya is regarded as the visible type of dev. It could be seen every day. The Sun god is considered as an aspect of Vishnu and Shiva by Vaishnavas and Shaivites. Lord Surya is also known as Surya Narayana. Surya is also recognized as one of the 8 types of Lord Mahadeva, named the Astamurti. He is the wisdom and excellence devata.
Surya makes day and night, offer energy to all living beings and rids them for ailments and lethargy. He symbolizes during the day of Lord Brahma, noon at Lord Shiva and in the evening of Lord Vishnu. The Sun god is also symbolized by a golden wheel or still the open flower of a lotus. The most common symbolization is in the type of Swastika.
Lord Surya helps one gain his eyesight and second gain his surya namaskar will strengthen one's bones, wealth, long life, progeny, cure illness and good-health. Lord Surya is the reason for rain-fall advantaging the world and is the lord of Leo in the Zodiac. In zodiac, Sun occupies the most famous place in the middle. Lord Surya stays in each Rasi one month and takes twelve months to complete a circular of twelve Rasis.
Surya Deva - The Sun God - The Sun God is worshipped by people from many parts of the world .In hinduism Surya Deva , the Sun God worship is considered as very sacred. . Theres a precise form of Bowing method known as "Surya Namaskaram" . I have not provided "Surya Namaskaram"here as people ignore Surya Deva devotion just because "Surya Namaskaram" is like a Yoga. SunGodSurya.com is to help every single Sai devote and Hindus realize the importance of being devoted ( thankful ) to Surya Deva.
Beauty of Surya Lokha
In Sanatana Dharma ( Hinduism ) , theres a seperate Kingdom for each God, These are called "Lokha". For Sun god , his Kingdom is known as "Surya Lokha". Many think that Surya Lokha is in same place where the Sun is. No. Surya Lokha, the place where the Sun God "Suryanar " resides is several Billion miles away from the Sun we see.
Religious role and relationships
Vivasvata (Surya) had three queens Saranyu (also called Saraniya, Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya), Ragyi, and Prabha. Saranyu was the mother of Vaivasvata Manu or Sraddhadeva Manu (the seventh, i.e. present Manu) and the twins Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yami. She also bore him the twins known as the Ashvins, divine horsemen and physicians to the Devas. Saranyu, being unable to bear the extreme radiance of Surya, created a superficial entity from her shadow called Chhaya and instructed her to act as Surya's wife in her absence. Chhaya mothered two sons – Savarni Manu (the eighth, i.e. next Manu) and Shani (the planet Saturn), and two daughters – Tapti and Vishti. He also has a son, Revanta, or Raivata, by Ragyi.
Interestingly, Surya's two sons Shani and Yama are responsible for the judgment of human life. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards while Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.
In Ramayana, Surya is described as father of the King Sugriva, who helped Rama and Lakshmana in defeating the demon king Ravana. He also trains Hanuman as his guru. The Suryavanshi / Suryavansha dynasty of kings, Rama being one of them, also claims descent from Surya.
In the Mahabharata, Princess Kunti receives instruction for a mantra from the sage Durvasa by reciting which, she would be able to summon any god and bear a child by him. Incredulous of the power of this mantra, Kunti unwittingly tests it on Surya, but when Surya appears, she gets scared and requests him to go back. However, Surya has an obligation to fulfil the mantra before returning. Surya miraculously causes Kunti to bear the child immediately whilst retaining her virginity so that she, as an unmarried princess, need not face any embarrassment or be subjected to questions from society. Kunti feels compelled to abandon the child, Karna, who grows up to become one of the central characters in the great battle of Kurukshetra.
Surya, in Hinduism, both the sun and the sun god. Although in the Vedic period (2nd millenniumth century bce) several other deities also possessed solar characteristics, most of these were merged into a single god in later Hinduism. Surya was once ranked along with Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, and Ganesha, and many temples dedicated to him are found throughout India. These five deities are worshipped by a very important group of Brahmans (priests), the Smartas, but Surya is worshipped as the supreme deity by only a small group, the Saura sect. He is, however, invoked by most Hindus, and the Gayatri mantra, uttered daily at dawn by many Hindus, is addressed to the sun.
Surya is the mythological father of many notable sons, including Manu (progenitor of the human race), Yama (lord of death),the Ashvins (twin physicians to the gods), Karna (a great warrior of the sacred epic the Mahabharata), and Sugriva (king of the monkeys).The Puranas (collections of myths and legends) record that the weapons of the gods were forged from pieces trimmed from Surya, whose full emanation was too bright to bear. His power was conceived of as dispelling darkness, curing disease, and heating and illuminating the world. His wife, Usas—in some accounts, his mother or mistress—is the personification of dawn.
Sculptures of Surya often show him in “northern” or Scythian dress—close-fitting coat and high boots—suggesting an influence from Iranian sun cults. He is commonly represented in a chariot drawn by seven horses or by a single horse with seven heads, holding full-blown lotuses, his head surrounded by a nimbus or by rays. One of the most splendid temples dedicated to Surya is the 13th-century Surya Deul (“Sun Temple”), once called the Black Pagoda, at Konarak, in Orissa. There the whole structure is conceived as a chariot on wheels in which the sun god rides across the heavens pulled by prancing horses.
Salutation to Sun God
Surya Namaskaram on Pongal :
To be born in india to parents who follow the religious traditions has been a blessing in my
The Sun-God Surya - History
SURAJA (SURYA) The sun-god and moon-god are in Thy Fear, O Lord ! There is no end to the distances of million of miles traversed by them. (Var Asa, M. l, p. 464) There are many Indras, sun-gods and moon-gods….. (Japu, p. 7) The sun-god, (whose charioteer is Aruna), is the light of the world….. (Dhanasari Trilochan, p. 695) Why should they fear the son of sun-god i.e. Dharmaraja, who meditate on the Feet of the Guru ? (Swayye Mahle Chauthe Ke, p. 1404) Comments : The sun-god is the great source of light and heat.
According to a legend, he is the son of Kashyapa and Aditi. In another, he is referred to as the son of Brahma. His wife was Sanjana, who was the daughter of Vishwakarma. Because of his over-powering effulgence, Vishwakarma cut away the eighth part of his effulgence. Out of the fragments of the cut-away pieces, discus of Vishnu, trident of Shiva and some weapons of other gods were made. In various descriptions, he is said to be the father of Ashvini Kumars, Dharmaraja, Shani, Sugriva etc.
His chariot is driven by seven horses and his charioteer is Aruna. He is known by several names, as Biswa ka Deepak, Ravi Sut or Sut Bhan, Martand, Savitri, Vivaswat etc.
1. Kohli,Surindar Singh ed,Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib 1993
The cosmic being
The ascended masters teach that God Surya is the hierarch of the God Star, Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star in the heavens and is the seat of God-government for this sector of the galaxy. Sirius (known to the outer world as the “Dog Star”) is known by astronomers to be a binary star of the constellation Canis Major. Sirius A, the brighter of the two stars, is a blue-white star that is twenty-three times as bright as our sun. Sirius B is a white dwarf star that is not visible to the naked eye. In the revolving of the lesser sun around the greater, we see the devotion of chela Cuzco to the guru Surya.
In a spiritual sense, all have come from Sirius. It is our point of origin and our home at the deepest level of our being. As Jesus said “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you,” Ώ] so we understand that there is indeed a mansion, a castle of light on Sirius, our original home that we left so long ago. Surya says: “Any number of you hail from the God Star and count it as your home base, as you have volunteered to serve with angels from Sirius and to enter these octaves of maya.” ΐ]
Sanat Kumara spoke of the God Star in 1979:
When we speak of the God Star, we speak of a plane of consciousness where life has accelerated to etheric perfection and to the octaves of light beyond the highest frequencies yet within the range of what is called Matter. The planes of heaven beyond the planes of time and space are exalted in the God Star through the God consciousness of the vast being known as Surya. Surya, the Great Guru, and his chela, the ascended master Cuzco, are the ensouling divinities of these two points of light that move as one—as Alpha and Omega in a positive/negative polarity. Α]
Surya the sun god
Meet Surya, sun god of India. Surya has been worshipped by Indians for at least 3,000 years, appearing in the ancient text the Rig Veda and many other writings since then. The name “Syria” derives from the same word and means “sun.” Related Indian words for “sun” include sura and surja, from the radical sr, which in turn is associated with sl, sm and sn, as in sol, shemesh/shamash, Summi, summer, Sunne/Sonne and sun. The word is also related to the Persian h û r and Greek ἥλιος or Helios, the name of the sun god.
In the imagery of Surya and other solar deities, the god is depicted as riding in a chariot, driven by seven or four horses, representing respectively the days of the week and four seasons or cardinal points. One can see the god’s solar nature in the golden sun disc and rays surrounding him.
Prior to the era in which deities were depicted anthropomorphically or as humans, the sun god would be portrayed as a circle with rays coming off of it, frequently a specific number based on various natural cycles, such as the seasons, months and so on. The image on the right has 24 visible rays, which would be equivalent to two years of 12 months each, among other possible connotations.
Father of the Virgin-Born Hero
In the Indian text the Mahabharata, composed between around the fifth century BCE to the fifth century AD/CE, according to conservative dating, Surya is depicted as the father of the virgin-born hero Karna. Karna’s mother, Kunti, is kanya, a virgin, before magically being impregnated by Surya, and the text explicitly states she remains a virgin afterwards:
“…The Mahabharata here mentions clearly that Soorya [Surya] did not have sex with her, but impregnated her through his yogic power so that her maidenhood remained undamaged….”
Thus, in the story of Surya the sun god we have a tale of a divine hero born of a virgin mother and a god as father.
Surya is not the only sun god in India, as many other deities are solar in nature or possess solar attributes. Other Indian solar deities include Vishnu, Mitra and their avatars. Like these other gods, Surya continues to be worshipped to this day in India, as the god of the sun, to whom beautiful temples have been erected in numerous places, such as at Konark.
Ancient Solar Deities
Dating back thousands of years, many sun gods and goddess or deities/heroes with significant solar attributes can be found in cultures around the world, including:
Asclepius, Adonis, Amaterasu, Amun, Apollo, Ares/Mars, Arinna, Attis, Baal/Bel, Bacchus/Dionysus, Balder, Brahma, Buddha, Dumuzi, El/Il, Hades, Hathor, Helios, Hephaistos/Vulcan, Hercules, Hermes, Horus, Hu, Iao/Yahweh, Indra, Inti, Isis, Janus, Jason, Jesus, Krishna, Mithra, Molech, Moses, Neith, Odin, Orion, Orpheus, Osiris, Pan, Perseus, Quetzalcoatl, Ra, Samson, Saturn, Serapis, Shamash, Shapash, Shiva, Sol, Surya, Tammuz, Thor, Thoth, Viracocha, Vishnu, Zeus/Jupiter, Zoroaster and many more gods, goddesses, godmen, heroes and prophets.
These deities are symbolic, allegorical and mythical, not actual people, whether human or aliens. The misapprehension of symbolic divine figures as literal beings is at the root of religious fanaticism and many problems globally. The comprehension of these entities as solar or astrotheological, reflecting our shared world and common heritage, will go a long way in fostering peace and understanding globally.
6) BRAHMA PURANA – The Sun and the Solar Dynasty
You have probably forgotten by now that Kashyapa and Aditi had a son named Vivasvana. This was the sun god, also known as Surya or Martanda.
Surya was married to Samjna, Vishvakarma’s daughter. They had two sons. The fist son was Vaivasvata Manu and the second son was Yama or Shradhadeva, the god of death. Yama had a twin sister named Yamuna. The sun’s energy was so strong that Samjna could not bear to look at her husband. Through her powers, she created an image from her own body that looked exactly like her. This image was called Chhaya (shadow).
Samjna told Chhaya, “I cannot bear the energy of my husband, I am going off to my father’s house. Stay here, pretend to be Samjna and look after my children. Under no circumstances tell anyone, certainly not my husband, that your are not Samjna.”
“I will do as you have asked me to,” replied Chhaya. “But the moment someone curses me or pulls me by the hair, I shall be forced to reveal the truth.”
Samjna went to her father Vishvakarma kept asking her to return to her husband. But this Samjna refused to do. Instead, she went to the land known as Uttara Kuru and started to live there as a mare.
Meanwhile, Surya, who had not realized that Samjna had been replaced by Chhaya, had two sons through Chhaya. They were named Savarni Manu and Shani (Saturn). As soon as her own children were born, Chhaya no longer displayed as much of love for Samjna’s children as she used to do. Vaivasvata Manu was a quiet sort of person and he ignored the implied neglect. But Yama was not the tolerant. Besides, he was also younger. He raised his leg to kick Chhaya. At this, Chhaya cursed Yama that his legs would fall off.
Yama went and complained to Surya. ” I have not really kicked her,” he said. “I only threatened to. And does a mother ever curse her children?”
“I can’t undo the curse, ” replied Surya. “At best, I can reduce its severity. Your legs will not actually fall off. Some of the flesh from your legs will fall off onto the earth and create worms. Thereby, you will be freed of your curse.”
But nevertheless, Surya felt that there was some truth in Yama’s asking whether a mother would ever curse her children. He taxed Chhaya with the truth, but Chhaya would not reveal anything Surya then grasped her by the hair and threatened to curse her. Since her conditions were now violated, Chhaya blurted out the truth.
In an extremely angry mood, Surya dashed off to Vishvakarma’s house. Vishvakarma tried to cool him down. “it is all because of your exercises energy that this has happened, exclaimed Vishvakarma. “If you permit, I will shave off some of the extra energy. Then Samjna will be able to look at you.”
Surya agreed to this proposition. With the shaved off energy, Vishvakarma manufactured Vishnu’s chakra (a weapon like a bladed discus).
Surya found out that Samjna was in Uttara Kuru in the form of a mare. He joined her there in the form of a horse. As horse, they had two sons named Nasatya and Dasra. Since ashva means horse, the sons were also known as the two Ashvinish and became the physicians of the gods.
Surya and Samjna then gave up their equine forms and lived happily ever after.
Surya- The Sun
Hinduism regards God as both personal and impersonal. The Vedas declare that in the beginning God manifested Himself as the Creator of the universe, the collective totality encompassing all things. He is said to be beyond the perception of the mind and senses which can only visualise and conceive objects and identifies this Atman as the Supreme Brahman. To simplify the understanding of this concept, the Bhakti tradition where God is considered in various forms as the object of love came into existence. The knowledge and practice of worship of the various Gods awakens in the devotee a spirit of reverence and understanding wherein he attains self-realisation and the deep mysteries of creation are unfolded to him. Surya or Sun God occupies a prime place in the pantheon of Gods as he is the chief solar deity in Hinduism. Sauram or the worship of the sun is one of the Shanmathas or six schools of Hindu religion.
Forms of Surya
Surya is worshipped in many forms though the two most common forms are Arka and Mitra. The Arka form is worshipped in Northern and Eastern India and temples dedicated to this form are the Konark temple in Orissa, Balarka in Rajasthan, Lolarka and Uttararka in Uttar Pradesh, Modhera in Gujarat and many others in India. The Mitra form of Sun temples is worshipped mostly in Gujarat where the name Mitra has originated from a clan of Suryawanshi kings known as Mitrawanshi Kshatriyas.
Brahma once recounted to the sages the one hundred and eight sacred names of Surya. The Brahma Purana lists these names and it is reproduced in nine groups of twelve names each below.
The 108 Names of Surya
2) Dhata, Prabhakara, Prithivi, Jala, Teja, Akasha, Vayu, Parayana, Soma, Brihaspati, Shukra, Budha.
3) Angaraka, Indra, Vivasvana, Diptamshu, Shuchi, Shouri,Shanaishvara, Brahma, Vishu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaishravana.
4) Yama, Vaidyuta, Jathara, Agni, Aindhana, Tejohapti, Dharmadhvaja, Vedakarta, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta.
5) Dvapara, Kali, Sarvasurashraya, Kala, Kashtha, Muhurta, Kshapa, Yama, Kshana, Samvatsara, Ashvattha, Kalachakra.
6) Vibhavasu, Shashvata, Purusha, Yogi, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Vishvakarma, Tamonuda, Varuna, Sagara.
7) Amsha, Jimuta, Jivana, Ariha, Bhutashraya, Bhutapati, Sarvalokanamaskrita, Shrashta, Samvartaka, Vahni, Sarvadi, Alolupa.
8) Anata, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvotamukha, Jaya, Vishala, Varada, Sarvabhutasevita, Mana, Suparna, Bhutadi.
From pre historic times, man has realised the significance of the sun in the preservation of life and has been worshipping the Sun God. The Vedas extol Surya as the primal cause of the whole universe. He is the God who incorporates the effulgence and power of the Vedas. He is said to be the eye of Agni, Varuna and Mitra in the Vedas. He is said to be the conqueror of diseases and the bestower of good health. The Rig Veda mentions the image of Surya where he is said to sit on a lotus in his chariot of seven golden horses. The chariot is sometimes depicted with only one horse with seven heads surrounded by rays. Aruna, the deity of dawn is his charioteer who is the elder brother of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Aruna’s strong and vast body is said to shelter the world from Surya’s blaze as he stands in front of Surya. There are a number of hymns extolling Surya as the destroyer of darkness and the harbinger of good. He is adored by the Rig Veda in the morning, by Yajur Veda at mid day and in the evening by Sama Veda. The Vedic Rishis believed in the mystic unity of the whole creation with the view that the Sun’s light and the inner divine light were in reality not different. Rituals and sacrifices were coordinated with seasons with Surya as the dominant God and as the controller of all animate and inanimate objects. He was said to move around in his golden chariot across the sky watching the good and bad deeds done by all with his wheel said to be the Kaalchakra or the wheel of time and the seven horses as the days of the week. Sage Narada is said to have propitiated the Sun God to reach the fulfilment of his desires.
The most important Mantra dedicated to the Sun God Savita is the Gayatri Mantra from the Rig Veda.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
“Let us meditate on the Supreme Glory of the Divine Lord who illumines all the three worlds, May He awaken spiritual intuition in us”
One of the oldest ever books written more than two million years ago is the Surya Siddhanta of the Vedic era. This book covers day and night pertaining to Lord Brahma, period elapsed since creation, rotation, revolution, length of the year pertaining to Gods and demons, the earth’s circumference, diameter, eclipses, aspects of the sun and moon and other doctrines pertaining to astronomy quoted by famous astronomers Aryabhatta and Varahamihira later in their expositions. It also formed the basis of modern Trigonometry.
In Vedic Astrology
Surya is one of the most important planets in Vedic astrology. He is associated with success, fame, authority and will power. Vedic astrology dedicates a complete chapter to Surya. The palm of the hand containing the Sun line is the indicator of Surya. A strong sun line indicates success in life. The presence of Surya in the tenth house is said to be the strongest. The three stars or Nakshatras which come under the sun is Uttara Phalguni, Krithika and Uttara Ashadha. Those with a weak sun line are recommended the gem stone rubyas Surya is associated with the colours red and copper. Wheat is the food grain associated with him.
In the Upanishads and Puranas
The Sun God is elaborately worshipped in the Upanishads as the creator of day and night, the giver of light and heat and the God of Vegetation and fertility. The Suryopanishad states that any worshipper of the sun will become intelligent, all powerful and will enjoy a long life. According to the Brahma Sutras the Word Sun (or light) implies Brahman. The Puranas have instances where the Surya mantra was chanted to remove various afflictions. The Sun’s glory and greatness has been eulogised in practically all the Shrutis, Agamas and epics in Hindu scriptures.
One of the most famous Mantras of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad venerates the Sun god while praying for illumination of the inner Divine light.
Mrityormah Amritam Gamaya
Lead me from Untruth to Truth
From Death to Immortality
There are many references to the Sun in the epic Ramayana. Lord Rama belonged to the Suryavanshi dynasty and he learnt the Sun mantra Aditya Hridaya Stotra from Sage Agasthya. Surya is the father of Sugreeva and the celestial teacher of Hanuman.
Karna was said to be born of Surya whom Kunti Devi invoked to try out her boon. Yudhishtira is said to have worshipped the Sun God with the Surya mantra taught by Sage Dhaumya and pleased with him, Surya bestowed on him the Akshaya Patra which ensured a never ending supply of food during their exile in the forest.
The sun is the centre of the universe with planets orbiting around it. The Sun is the nearest star to the Earth and the reason for life on earth. It kills harmful bacteria and its rays provide vitamins, vitality and energy to mankind. The day-night cycle, respiration, photosynthesis, rainfall and almost all processes are governed by the sun. Ultra violet rays in the right proportion like sunbathing, chromo therapy and phototherapy causes healing of a number of skin ailments and it is also used to sanitise tools and water. Solar energy and solar power is being harnessed in recent times as it is an important source of renewable energy which would reduce pollution, global warming and dependence on other exhaustible sources of energy and power.
In Tantric tradition
Surya Vidya is a whole branch of tantric science in which the tantric yogis use Surya Namaskar along with breathing and energization exercises to absorb solar energy into their bodies. An advanced form of Surya Namaskar in tantric tradition is direct experience of the sun
In other Religions
In ancient Egypt, the most dominant figure among the Gods was the sun God Re. In Greek mythology, Helios was the personification of the Sun though he was later closely identified with Apollo the God of light. In Roman history, nearly all Gods were said to have solar qualities leading to ‘solar monotheism’. The Meso- American, Egyptian and Indo-European cultures had developed solar religions. Sun worship was a prominent feature in the pre Columbian civilisations of Peru and Mexico. In Aztec civilisation, there were human sacrifices for the Sun Gods. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu in Japan was considered the supreme ruler of the world and the titular deity of the imperial clan. To this day Japan is represented by sun symbols. The Sun Dance of the Indians of North America was the most famous type of solar cult. In Sumerian and Akkadian religion, the Sun God occupied central position. In Zorastrianism, the Sun is described as the ‘eye of Ahura Mazda’ and the religion is based on the worship of fire. The Zunbil dynasty of Afghanistan worshipped the Sun God Zun who was said to be synonymous with Surya.
Story of Surya in mythology
Aditi was one of the thirteen daughters of Daksha who was married to Sage Kashyapa. She bore him twelve sons who were known as the Adityas (Gods). The creator Brahma bestowed the rulership of heavens to the Gods and allowed them to accept a share of the offerings bestowed in the Yagnas. The demons were enraged and fought a fierce battle against the Gods gaining victory after a thousand cosmic years. The Gods then had to give up their supremacy. Aditi was pained and decided to propitiate the Sun God with rigorous penances. She wished to beget a son who could destroy the demons and restore the rightful glory of the Gods. Pleased with her devotion, the Sun God appeared before her and granted Aditi’s wish to be born to her as a son. Since the Sun God was too effulgent and powerful for her he assumed a thousandth part of his being. He then entered her womb with his ray called Sushmna. Aditi was overjoyed and began undertaking rigorous disciplines to keep her mind and body pure. Sage Kashyapa asked her if she wished to kill the foetus with her stringent disciplines. This annoyed Aditi who delivered the glowing foetus to show Kashyapa its divinity. He worshipped it with the hymns of the Rig Veda and it transformed into a baby who came to be known as Surya and Marthanda (Sun God). Surya burnt the demons in battle by his scorching looks. Pleased with him, Vishwakarma gave him his daughter Sanjana in marriage. As days passed by, Sanjana found the heat and brightness of Surya difficult to withstand and created her duplicate Chhaya from her own shadow. She then instructed Chhaya to take care of her two sons Vaivasvata Manu and Yama and daughter Yamuna and left for her father’s place, taking a promise from Chhaya never to disclose the truth to anyone including Surya. When Sanjana reached her father’s house and informed him, he was dismayed and asked her to return to her husband’s house. Sanjana was upset and changed into a mare proceeding to live northward on grass and vegetation. Meanwhile Chhaya lived happily with Surya who was unaware of the reality and she bore two sons Saavarni Manu and Shani. She began to shower greater love on her own children. Yama was upset and complained to his father. Surya then questioned Chhaya as to her difference in behaviour among her children. Chhaya could not give any satisfactory answer. Then Surya with his yogic powers divined the truth and confronted her. She begged for forgiveness explaining all that had occurred. Furious he rushed to Vishwakarma who calmed him down and explained to him that it was his brilliance that Sanjana could not withstand. Remorseful, Surya then set out in search of Sanjana and found her as a mare. He then reduced his intensity and lived happily with her bearing the Ashvini twins, the divine physicians. According to legends, Surya is said to have had two more wives, Ragyi and Prabha and had two more sons, Revanta and Prabhata from both of them respectively. Thus his sons Yama and Shani are said to be responsible for judging human beings, one by results of deeds after death while the other by results of deeds during one’s lifetime.
The Surya Namaskar or ‘Salutations to the Sun’ were incorporated into the daily obligatory routine followed by Hindus from Vedic times. These physical prostrations to the Sun were a form of indicating complete surrender of oneself to the Almighty God. Surya Namaskar is practised in many forms which vary from school to school and region to region, the most popular practices being Aditya Prasna and Trucha Kalpa Namaskarah. The water offered to the Sun with the Surya Namaskar performed daily is said to ensure longevity, good health and freedom from diseases.
Aditya Prasna is popularly practised in South India and uses verses which are taken from the first chapter of Yajur Veda, the Taittiriya Aranyakam. This chapter contains 132 Anuvakas (hymns) and after recitation of each Anuvaka, Sun salutations with prostrations are done.
Trucha Kalpa Namaskarah is taken from the Rig Veda. Trucha means a group of three mantras (Rucha). In this, Surya Namaskara is performed using three Ruchas from the Veda. They were originally composed by Rishi Kanva who divined that the Sun God would be pleased if the Surya Namaskar was accompanied by the chanting of 12 sacred mantras arranged in a specific way and taken from the Rig Veda. One complete Surya Namaskar consists of twelve postures for each of the twelve mantras. 108 Namaskars or 9 full rounds in a day was the ancient practice.
The 12 Names of Surya ( the Sun God )
1. Om Mitraya namah (The friend of all)
2. Om Ravaye namah (Praised by all)
3. Om Suryaya namah (The guide of all)
4. Om Bhanave namah (The bestower of beauty)
5. Om Khagaya namah (Stimulator of the senses)
6. Om Pushne namah (The nourisher of all)
7. Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah (The creator)
8. Om Marichaye namah (Destroyer of disease)
9. Om Adityaya namah (The inspirer)
10. Om Savitre namah (The purifier)
11. Om Arkaya namah (The radiant)
12. Om Bhaskaraya namah (The illuminator)
Aditya Hridaya Stotra
This famous shloka of propitiating the Sun God is described in the Section (Canto) 107 of the Yudha Khanda of the Valmiki Ramayana. This procedure of saluting the sun was taught by Sage Agasthya to Lord Rama before his fight with Ravana.
Aditya Hrudayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinashanam
Jayaavaham Jape Nityam Akshayam Paramam Shivam
This sacred hymn dedicated to the Sun deity will destroy all enemies, chanting it daily will bring victory and never ending bliss.
There are temples dedicated to Surya all over India. There are sun temples in Orissa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and in most of the states in India though the most famous among them is the Konark Sun temple of Orissa.
Legend of Konark Sun temple
Lord Krishna had a son named Samba. There are various versions regarding the story of Samba. It is said that Samba was mischievous and notorious and caused many problems to Krishna. Another version says that he was proud of his form and one day ridiculed Sage Narada who decided to teach him a lesson. He tricked him to bathing in a pool where unknown to him the wives of Krishna (his stepmothers) were bathing. Krishna was furious at this and cursed him with leprosy. When he learnt that Samba had been tricked by Narada, he advised him to pray to the Sun God who was said to be the healer of all diseases. Samba is said to have performed twelve years of arduous penance and Surya appeared before him pleased with his devotion. According to the Skanda Purana he asked him to bathe in the sea and Samba was cured. In gratitude, he decided to build a Sun temple for the Sun God and it was called Konark with ‘Kona’ meaning angle and ‘Arka’ meaning sun. This temple can be seen to this day with further additions being made later by King Narsimhadeva in the 13 th century.
The temple was built in the form of a giant chariot of the Sun God and follows the traditional Kalinga style of architecture. It has been oriented in such a way towards the East that the principal entrance is struck by the first rays of sunrise. The wheels of the temple are sundials which are said to calculate time accurately to a minute in the day and night.
This auspicious festival is the most important harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God and marks the Sun’s Northward journey from the tropic of cancer to the tropic of Capricorn marking Uttarayana. It is celebrated all over India as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Maghi in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana and Bihu in Assam.
This is a thanksgiving festival to the Sun God celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Kartik (Nov/Dec) as the presence of the Sun ensures prosperity, progress and longevity of life through its healing powers and effulgence. It is celebrated for a period of four days which include fasting, holy bathing and prayer offerings to the rising and setting sun.
This festival is generally celebrated in Odisha on the 10 th day of the bright half of the Paush (Dec/Jan) month in which the women offer special food items to the Sun God before sunrise. Samba was the son of Krishna who was afflicted by leprosy and later cured by Surya after twelve years of penance. This festival is celebrated to pray for the health and well being of the family. They then return and prepare special cake like dishes called Pitha which they then take along with a bowl of turmeric water with betel in it to a small temple like structure with a Tulsi plant overhead. The Sun God is then viewed through the bowl and offered the dishes. They read the ‘Samba Dasami Bratha Katha’ and pray for the prosperity and well being of their family members. In the evening, the Mahakala Puja is observed to propitiate Lord Yama, the son of Surya.
This festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of Magha (Jan/Feb). It is celebrated as Surya Jayanti as it marks the birth of the Sun God Surya. It follows the sun’s northerly movement of vernal equinox from Capricorn (Makara). In many temples Lord Vishnu is propitiated in his form as Surya. Holy bathing, chanting of the important prayers offered to the Sun God like Gayatri Mantra, Aditya Hridaya Stotra, Suryashtakam and other prayers are done generally an hour after sunrise. Ceremonial processions are carried out in many places of the icon of Surya, the Surya Mandala. Arka leaves are held on the head while bathing. It is celebrated in all Surya temples across the country with great fervour. Rangolis of coloured rice powder depicting Surya’s chariot drawn with seven horses is found in front of the houses of devout Hindus on this day. On this holy day, a one day Brahmotsavam is held at Tirupati.
This Vrata is observed to propitiate the Sun God on any Sunday associated with the Hasta star in the month of Shravan especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Sashti and Saptami days in Shravan are also dedicated to the worship of the Sun God. The sun is worshipped with the fuel sticks (28 or 108) of the Arka plant with ghee and honey which are offered in the homa (fire sacrifice).
All Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism are revered as objects of worship to help the devotee understand the mysteries of creation, transcend suffering and one pointedly worship the deity of his choice. This helps in developing concentration, faith and devotion which slowly deepens to pure and unsullied love for the Lord. Lord Surya is revered as the source of heat, light and energy in the universe. He is the deity of all sustenance and the dispeller of darkness. Chanting his name is said to increase purity of mind and mitigate all sorrows. He is the pivot over which the universe functions and bears great significance in Hinduism in freeing the mind from miseries and leading the devotee to happiness and peace.
Deepening the Practice
The sequence itself is fairly straightforward, but beginning students often stumble in two parts of it. The first of these is Chaturanga Dandasana: Lowering from Plank, students who lack sufficient strength in the arms, legs, and lower belly commonly wind up in a heap on the floor. The short-term solution is simply to bend the knees to the floor just after Plank, then lower the torso down so that the chest and chin (but not the belly) lightly rest on the floor.
The second sticky part is in stepping the foot forward from Downward-Facing Dog back into Lunge. Many beginners are unable to take the full step smoothly and lightly typically, they thump their foot heavily on the floor about halfway to the hands, then struggle to wriggle it the rest of the way forward. This is a consequence both of tight groins and a weak belly. The short-term solution is to bend the knees to the floor right after Downward Dog, step the foot forward between the hands, then straighten the back knee into Lunge.
Success with Sun Salutation, as with all aspects of yoga practice, depends on commitment and regularity. An everyday practice would be best, but you might at first aim for four times a week. If possible, don’t skip more than a couple of days in a row, or you might end up back at square one.
Traditionally, Sun Salutation is best performed outdoors, facing east-the location of the rising sun, a symbol of the dawn of consciousness and jnana. This might be a perfect wake-up routine in India, where it’s usually warm outside, but it’s probably not feasible in Michigan in late December. Nowadays, Sun Salutation is used mostly as a preliminary warm-up for an asana session. I do 10 to 12 rounds at the start of every practice—or after a few hip and groin openers—and a few more on each equinox and solstice to acknowledge the change in the light. On days when only a quickie practice is possible, an intense 10-minute Sun Salutation and five minutes spent in Savasana (Corpse Pose) will do you just fine.
Launch your practice slowly with three to five rounds, gradually building up to 10 or 15. If this seems like a lot, remember that the traditional number of rounds is 108, which may take you more than a few weeks to work up to. You can pace the sequence briskly to generate heat and cleanse the body-mind, or more moderately to create a moving meditation.
If you’re looking for a more vigorous Sun Salutation, consider the approach of the vinyasa traditions such as K. Pattabhi Jois-style Ashtanga Yoga, which uses a jumping version of Sun Salutation to link the individual poses in their fixed series.
Variations of Sun Salutation are legion, and because of the sequence’s malleability, it’s easy enough to cook up a few of your own. For instance, you can make things more challenging by adding one or more poses: Insert Utkatasana (Chair Pose) after Urdhva Hastasana, or from Lunge, keeping your hands on the floor, straighten the forward leg to a modified Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose). Let your imagination run wild and have fun.