Surya Namaskara
Salutations to the Sun

Surya - the Sun God

The 12 Names of Surya  { the Sun God }
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Om
Mitraya namah       (The friend of all)
Ravaye namah   
      (Praised by all)
Suryaya namah   
    (The guide of all)
Bhanave namah      
(The bestower of beauty)
Khagaya namah    
 (Stimulator of the senses)
Pushne namah        
(The nourisher of all)
Hiranyagarbhaya namah   
(The creator)
Marichaye namah   
(Destroyer of disease)
Adityaya namah      
(The inspirer)
Savitre namah          
(The purifier)
Arkaya namah         
(The radiant)
Bhaskaraya namah   
(The illuminator)

   
     

- Surya Namaskar -
Obeisances to Surya, the Sun God

Surya Namaskara

Surya namaskara

Surya Namaskara is an ancient system of yoga exercise.
Practicing sun salutations regularly can produce longevity,
efficiency, strength and improve overall health.

 
om mitraya namaha
om mitraya namaha
Prostration to Him who is affectionate to all.
om ravaye namaha
om ravaye namaha
Prostration to Him who is the cause for change.
om suryaya namaha
om suryaya namaha
Prostration to Him who induces activity.
om bhanave namaha
om bhanave namaha
Prostration to Him who diffuses Light.
om khagaya namaha
om khagaya namaha
Prostration to Him who moves in the sky.
om pushne namaha
om pushne namaha
Prostration to Him who nourishes all.
om hiranyagarbhaya namaha
om hiranyagarbhaya namaha
Prostration to Him who contains everything.
om maricaye namaha
om maricaye namaha
Prostration to Him who possesses rays.
om adityaya namaha
om adityaya namaha
Prostration to Him who is God of gods.
om savitre namaha
om savitre namaha
Prostration to Him who produces everything.
om arkaya namaha
om arkaya namaha
Prostration to Him who is fit to be worshipped.
m bhaskaraya namaha  
om bhaskaraya namaha
Prostration to Him who is the cause of lustre.

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The 108 Names of Surya

Brahma once recounted to the sages the one hundred and eight sacred names of Surya. The Brahma Purana lists these names and we reproduce them in nine groups of twelve names each.

(1) Surya, Archana, Bhagavana, Tvashta, Pusha, Arka, Savita, Ravi, Gabhastimana, Aja, Kala, Mrityu.

(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.

(9) Shighraga, Pranadharana, Dhanvantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditinandana, Dvadashatma, Ravi, Daksha, Pita, Mata, Pitamaha.

 

Surya on seven horse chariot

The hundred and eight names (112) of Surya
From the Mahabharata Vana parva, Sec. III (10)

The Sun, which is the representation of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, is known by 108 names

These are the hundred and eight names of Surya of immeasurable energy, as told by the self-create (Brahma). These names where disclosed of old by Lord Brahma, the self created, to the illustrious Sakra, and from Sakra to Narada, and from Narada to Dhaumya, and from Dhaumya to the sons of Pritha, the Pandavas.

For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down to thee, O Bhaskara, blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshipped of the gods and the Pitris and the Yakshas, and who is adored by Asuras, Nisacharas, and Siddhas.

Dhaumya said to Yudhistira:

Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka, Savitri, Ravi, Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara, Prithibi, Apa, Teja, Kha, Vayu, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra, Budha, Angaraka, Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni, Jatharagni, Aindhna, Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta, Dwapara, Kali, Kala, Kastha, Muhurtta, Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha, Kalachakra, Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu, Jimuta, Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka, Vanhi, Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvatomukha, Jaya, Visala, Varada, Manas, Suparna, Bhutadi, Sighraga, Prandharana, Dhanwantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditisuta, Dwadasatman, Aravindaksha, Pitri, Matri, Pitamaha, Swarga-dwara, Prajadwara, Mokshadwara, Tripistapa, Dehakarti, Prasantatman, Viswatman, Viswatomukha, Characharatman, Sukhsmatman, Maitreya.

'Whoever with fixed attention recited this hymn at sunrise, obtaineth wife and offspring and riches and the memory of his former existence, and by reciting this hymn a person attaineth patience and memory. Let a man concentrating his mind, recite this hymn. By doing so, he shall be proofed against grief and forest-fire and ocean and every object of desire shall be his.'

'And a person, male or female, that recited this hymn every day in the two twilights (sunrise and sunset) hin mind concentrated with ascetic abstraction, obtained every boon he desired, however difficult it may be, that he ask for. If he is overtaken by danger, he is delivered from it; and if bound, he is freed from the bounds.'

The hundred and eight names (112) of Surya - Alphabetically

 Adideva  Diptanshu  Prabhakara  Surya
 Aditisuta  Dwadasatman  Prajadhyaksha  Swarga-dwara
 Aindhna  Dwapara  Prajadwara  Tamounda
 Aja  Gabhastimat  Prandharana  Teja
 Alolupa  Indra  Prasantatman  Tejasampati
 Ananta  Jatharagni  Prithibi  Treta
 Angaraka  Jaya  Purusha  Tripistapa
 Ansu  Jimuta  Pusha  Twastri
 Apa  Jivana  Ravi  Vaidyutagni
 Aravindaksha  Kala  Rudra  Vaisravana
 Arihan  Kala  Sagara  Vanhi
 Arka  Kalachakra  Samvartaka  Varada
 Aryaman  Kaladhyaksha  Samvatsara-kara  Varuna
 Aswattha  Kali  Sanaichara  Vayu
 Bhaga  Kamada  Sanatana  Veda-karttri
 Bhanu  Kapila  Sarvadi  Vedanga
 Bhutadi  Kastha  Sarvatomukha  Vedavahana
 Bhutapati  Kha  Saswata  Visala
 Bhutasraya  Krita  Sauri  Vishnu
 Bibhavasu  Kshapa  Savitri  Viswakarma
 Brahma  Maitreya.  Sighraga  Viswatman
 Budha  Manas  Skanda  Viswatomukha
 Characharatman  Matri  Soma  Vivaswat
 Dehakarti  Mokshadwara  Srastri  Vrihaspati
 Dhanwantari  Mrityu  Suchi  Vyaktavyakta
 Dharmadhwaja  Muhurtta  Sukhsmatman  Yama
 Dhatri  Pitamaha  Sukra  Kshana
 Dhumaketu  Pitri  Suparna  Yogin

 

Prayers to the Sungod

"O Lord Surya! O Sun of suns, the eye of the world, the eye of the Virat-Purusha.
Thou art All-energy, All-strength, All-powerfu, please give me health, strength, vigour and vitality.
"

Repeat the above Mantras and Names of the Sun at sunrise. He who repeats these before sunrise, early in the morning, will possess wonderful health, vigour and vitality. He will be free from every kind of disease of the eye. He will have wonderful eye-sight. Offer Arghya to the sun during the three Sandhyas morning, noon and evening. Offer prostrations to the sun, with these Mantras and Names.


hiranmayena patrena / satyasyapihitam mukham
tat tvam pushann apavrinu / satya-dharmaya drishtaye

O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee. O Pushan, nourisher of all, please remove your glaring effulgence. (Isopanishad, Verse 15)

pushann ekarshe yama surya prajapatya
vyuha rasmin samuha
tejo yat te rupam kalyana-tamam
tat te pasyami yo 'sav asau purushah so 'ham asmi

"O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss. You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I." (Isopanishad, Verse 16)

Om Suryam Sundar Loka Natham / Amritam Vedanta Saram Sivam
Jnanam Brahmamayam Suresham / Amalam Lokaika Cittam Swayam
Indraditya Naradhipam Sura Gurum / Trailokya Chudamanim
Brahma Vishnu Siva Swarupa Hridayam / Vande Sada Bhaskaram

"I eternally adore Surya, the sun, the beautiful Lord of the world, the immortal, the quintessence of the Vedanta, the auspicious, the absolute knowledge, of the form of Brahman, the Lord of the gods, ever-pure, the one true consciousness of the world himself, the Lord of Indra, the gods and men, the preceptor of the gods, the crest-jewel of the three worlds, the very heart of the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the giver of light."

"I eternally salute the Maker of Light, the beautiful Lord of all the world Surya who energizes all, who lives forever, the very essence of Vedanta He is truly auspicious, the embodiment of knowledge His nature is Brahman and He is absolute purity Lord and Master of the Gods, the consciousness of this world Ruler even over Indra, the King of the Gods and all men and sun deities He is the crowning jewel of the three worlds The Heart of the Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva."


PURPORT Sri Isopanishad, Verse15: In the Bhagavad-gita (14.27), the Lord explains His personal rays (brahmajyoti), the dazzling effulgence of His personal form, in this way:

brahmano hi pratishthaham / amritasyavyayasya ca
sasvatasya ca dharmasya / sukhasyaikantikasya ca

"I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness." Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan are three aspects of the same Absolute Truth. Brahman is the aspect most easily perceived by the beginner; Paramatma, the Supersoul, is realized by those who have further progressed; and Bhagavan realization is the ultimate realization of the Absolute Truth. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.7), where Lord Krishna says that He is the ultimate concept of the Absolute Truth: mattah parataram nanyat. Therefore Krishna is the source of the brahmajyoti as well as the all-pervading Paramatma. Later in the Bhagavad-gita (10.42) Krishna further explains:

atha va bahunaitena / kim jnatena tavarjuna
vishtabhyaham idam kritsnam / ekamsena sthito jagat

"But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe." Thus by His one plenary expansion, the all-pervading Paramatma, the Lord maintains the complete material cosmic creation. He also maintains all manifestations in the spiritual world. Therefore in this sruti-mantra of Sri Isopanishad, the Lord is addressed as pushan, the ultimate maintainer.

The Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, is always filled with transcendental bliss (ananda-mayo 'bhyasat). When He was present at Vrindavana in India five thousand years ago, He always remained in transcendental bliss, even from the beginning of His childhood pastimes. The killings of various demons -- such as Agha, Baka, Putana and Pralamba -- were but pleasure excursions for Him. In His village of Vrindavana He enjoyed Himself with His mother, brother and friends, and when He played the role of a naughty butter thief, all His associates enjoyed celestial bliss by His stealing. The Lord's fame as a butter thief is not reproachable, for by stealing butter the Lord gave pleasure to His pure devotees. Everything the Lord did in Vrindavana was for the pleasure of His associates there. The Lord created these pastimes to attract the dry speculators and the acrobats of the so-called hatha-yoga system who wish to find the Absolute Truth.

Of the childhood play between the Lord and His playmates, the cowherd boys, Sukadeva Gosvami says in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11):

ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya / dasyam gatanam para-daivatena
mayasritanam nara-darakena / sakam vijahruh krita-punya-punjah

"The Personality of Godhead, who is perceived as the impersonal, blissful Brahman by the jnanis, who is worshiped as the Supreme Lord by devotees in the mood of servitorship, and who is considered an ordinary human being by mundane people, played with the cowherd boys, who had attained their position after accumulating many pious activities."

Thus the Lord is always engaged in transcendental loving activities with His spiritual associates in the various relationships of santa (neutrality), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental affection) and madhurya (conjugal love).

Since it is said that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindavana-dhama, one may ask how He manages the affairs of the creation. This is answered in the Bhagavad-gita (13.14-18): The Lord pervades the entire material creation by His plenary part known as the Paramatma, or Supersoul. Although the Lord personally has nothing to do with material creation, maintenance and destruction, He causes all these things to be done by His plenary expansion, the Paramatma. Every living entity is known as atma, soul, and the principal atma who controls them all is Paramatma, the Supersoul.

This system of God realization is a great science. The materialistic sankhya-yogis can only analyze and meditate on the twenty-four factors of the material creation, for they have very little information of the purusha, the Lord. And the impersonal transcendentalists are simply bewildered by the glaring effulgence of the brahmajyoti. If one wants to see the Absolute Truth in full, one has to penetrate beyond the twenty-four material elements and the glaring effulgence as well. Sri Isopanishad points toward this direction, praying for the removal of the hiranmaya-patra, the dazzling covering of the Lord. Unless this covering is removed so one can perceive the real face of the Personality of Godhead, factual realization of the Absolute Truth can never be achieved.

The Paramatma feature of the Personality of Godhead is one of three plenary expansions, or vishnu-tattvas, collectively known as the purusha-avataras. One of these vishnu-tattvas who is within the universe is known as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. He is the Vishnu among the three principal deities -- Brahma, Vishnu and Siva -- and He is the all-pervading Paramatma in each and every individual living entity. The second vishnu-tattva within the universe is Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, the collective Supersoul of all living entities. Beyond these two is Karanodakasayi Vishnu, who lies in the Causal Ocean. He is the creator of all universes. The yoga system teaches the serious student to meet the vishnu-tattvas after going beyond the twenty-four material elements of the cosmic creation. The culture of empiric philosophy helps one realize the impersonal brahmajyoti, which is the glaring effulgence of the transcendental body of Lord Sri Krishna. That the brahmajyoti is Krishna's effulgence is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (14.27) as well as the Brahma-samhita (5.40):

yasya prabha-prabhavato jagad-anda-koti- / kotishv asesha-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma nishkalam anantam asesha-bhutam / govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

"In the millions and millions of universes there are innumerable planets, and each and every one of them is different from the others by its cosmic constitution. All of these planets are situated in a corner of the brahmajyoti. This brahmajyoti is but the personal rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whom I worship." This mantra from the Brahma-samhita is spoken from the platform of factual realization of the Absolute Truth, and the sruti-mantra of Sri Isopanishad under discussion confirms this mantra as a process of realization. The Isopanishad mantra is a simple prayer to the Lord to remove the brahmajyoti so that one can see His real face. This brahmajyoti effulgence is described in detail in several mantras of the Mundaka Upanishad (2.2.10-12):

hiranmaye pare kose / virajam brahma nishkalam
tac chubhram jyotisham jyotis / tad yad atma-vido viduh
na tatra suryo bhati na candra-tarakam / nema vidyuto bhanti kuto 'yam agnih
tam eva bhantam anu bhati sarvam / tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati
brahmaivedam amritam purastad brahma / pascad brahma dakshinatas cottarena
adhas cordhvam ca prasritam brahmai- / vedam visvam idam varishtham

"In the spiritual realm, beyond the material covering, is the unlimited Brahman effulgence, which is free from material contamination. That effulgent white light is understood by transcendentalists to be the light of all lights. In that realm there is no need of sunshine, moonshine, fire or electricity for illumination. Indeed, whatever illumination appears in the material world is only a reflection of that supreme illumination. That Brahman is in front and in back, in the north, south, east and west, and also overhead and below. In other words, that supreme Brahman effulgence spreads throughout both the material and spiritual skies."

Perfect knowledge means knowing Krishna as the root of this Brahman effulgence. This knowledge can be gained from such scriptures as Srimad-Bhagavatam, which perfectly elaborates the science of Krishna. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, the author, Srila Vyasadeva, has established that one will describe the Supreme Truth as Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan according to one's realization of Him. Srila Vyasadeva never states that the Supreme Truth is a jiva, an ordinary living entity. The living entity should never be considered the all-powerful Supreme Truth. If he were the Supreme, he would not need to pray to the Lord to remove His dazzling cover so that the living entity could see His real face.

The conclusion is that one who has no knowledge of the potencies of the Supreme Truth will realize the impersonal Brahman. Similarly, when one realizes the material potencies of the Lord but has little or no information of the spiritual potencies, he attains Paramatma realization. Thus both Brahman and Paramatma realization of the Absolute Truth are partial realizations. However, when one realizes

the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, in full potency after the removal of the hiranmaya-patra, one realizes vasudevah sarvam iti: [Bg. 7.19] Lord Sri Krishna, who is known as Vasudeva, is everything -- Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. He is Bhagavan, the root, and Brahman and Paramatma are His branches.

In the Bhagavad-gita (6.46-47) there is a comparative analysis of the three types of transcendentalists -- the worshipers of the impersonal Brahman (jnanis), the worshipers of the Paramatma feature (yogis) and the devotees of Lord Sri Krishna (bhaktas). It is stated there that the jnanis, those who have cultivated Vedic knowledge, are better than ordinary fruitive workers, that the yogis are still greater than the jnanis, and that among all yogis, those who constantly serve the Lord with all their energies are the topmost. In summary, a philosopher is better than a laboring man, a mystic is superior to a philosopher, and of all the mystic yogis, he who follows bhakti-yoga, constantly engaging in the service of the Lord, is the highest. Sri Isopanishad directs us toward this perfection.

 

PURPORT Sri Isopanishad, Verse16: The sun and its rays are one and the same qualitatively. Similarly, the Lord and the living entities are one and the same in quality. The sun is one, but the molecules of the sun's rays are innumerable. The sun's rays constitute part of the sun, and the sun and its rays conjointly constitute the complete sun. Within the sun itself resides the sun-god, and similarly within the supreme spiritual planet, Goloka Vrindavana, from which the brahmajyoti effulgence is emanating, the Lord enjoys His eternal pastimes, as verified in the Brahma-samhita (5.29):

cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vriksha-
lakshavriteshu surabhir abhipalayantam
lakshmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor, who is tending the cows fulfilling all desires in abodes filled with spiritual gems and surrounded by millions of wish-fulfilling trees. He is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of Lakshmis, or goddesses of fortune."

The brahmajyoti is described in the Brahma-samhita as the rays emanating from that supreme spiritual planet, Goloka Vrindavana, just as the sun's rays emanate from the sun globe. Until one surpasses the glare of the brahmajyoti, one cannot receive information of the land of the Lord. The impersonalist philosophers, blinded as they are by the dazzling brahmajyoti, can realize neither the factual abode of the Lord nor His transcendental form. Limited by their poor fund of knowledge, such impersonalist thinkers cannot understand the all-blissful transcendental form of Lord Krishna. In this prayer, therefore, Sri Isopanishad petitions the Lord to remove the effulgent rays of the brahmajyoti so that the pure devotee can see His all-blissful transcendental form.

By realizing the impersonal brahmajyoti, one experiences the auspicious aspect of the Supreme, and by realizing the Paramatma, or all-pervading feature of the Supreme, one experiences an even more auspicious enlightenment. But by meeting the Personality of Godhead Himself face to face, the devotee experiences the most auspicious feature of the Supreme. Since He is addressed as the primeval philosopher and maintainer and well-wisher of the universe, the Supreme Truth cannot be impersonal. This is the verdict of Sri Isopanishad. The word pushan ("maintainer") is especially significant, for although the Lord maintains all beings, He specifically maintains His devotees. After surpassing the impersonal brahmajyoti and seeing the personal aspect of the Lord and His most auspicious eternal form, the devotee realizes the Absolute Truth in full.

In his Bhagavat-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Gosvami states: "The complete conception of the Absolute Truth is realized in the Personality of Godhead because He is almighty and possesses full transcendental potencies. The full potency of the Absolute Truth is not realized in the brahmajyoti; therefore Brahman realization is only partial realization of the Personality of Godhead. O learned sages, the first syllable of the word bhagavan (bha) has two meanings: the first is 'one who fully maintains,' and the second is 'guardian.' The second syllable (ga) means 'guide,' 'leader' or 'creator.' The syllable van indicates that every being lives in Him and that He also lives in every being. In other words, the transcendental sound bhagavan represents infinite knowledge, potency, energy, opulence, strength and influence -- all without a tinge of material inebriety."

The Lord fully maintains His unalloyed devotees, and He guides them progressively on the path toward devotional perfection. As the leader of His devotees, He ultimately awards the desired results of devotional service by giving Himself to them. The devotees of the Lord see the Lord eye to eye by His causeless mercy; thus the Lord helps His devotees reach the supermost spiritual planet, Goloka Vrindavana. Being the creator, He can bestow all necessary qualifications upon His devotees so that they can ultimately reach Him. The Lord is the cause of all causes. In other words, since there is nothing that caused Him, He is the original cause. Consequently He enjoys His own Self by manifesting His own internal potency. The external potency is not exactly manifested by Him, for He expands Himself as the purushas, and it is in these forms that He maintains the features of the material manifestation. By such expansions, He creates, maintains and annihilates the cosmic manifestation.

The living entities are also differentiated expansions of the Lord's Self, and because some of them desire to be lords and imitate the Supreme Lord, He allows them to enter into the cosmic creation with the option to fully utilize their propensity to lord it over nature. Because of the presence of His parts and parcels, the living entities, the entire phenomenal world is stirred into action and reaction. Thus the living entities are given full facilities to lord it over material nature, but the ultimate controller is the Lord Himself in His plenary feature as Paramatma, the Supersoul, who is one of the purushas.

Thus there is a gulf of difference between the living entity (atma) and the controlling Lord (Paramatma), the soul and the Supersoul. Paramatma is the controller, and the atma is the controlled; therefore they are in different categories. Because the Paramatma fully cooperates with the atma, He is known as the constant companion of the living being.

The all-pervading feature of the Lord -- which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the jiva-sakti (living force) is generated as both conditioned and liberated souls -- is known as Brahman. Since the Lord is the origin of both Paramatma and Brahman, He is the origin of all living entities and all else that exists. One who knows this engages himself at once in the devotional service of the Lord. Such a pure and fully cognizant devotee of the Lord is fully attached to Him in heart and soul, and whenever such a devotee assembles with similar devotees, they have no engagement but the glorification of the Lord's transcendental activities. Those who are not as perfect as the pure devotees -- namely, those who have realized only the Brahman or Paramatma features of the Lord -- cannot appreciate the activities of the perfect devotees. The Lord always helps the pure devotees by imparting necessary knowledge within their hearts, and thus out of His special favor He dissipates all the darkness of ignorance. The speculative philosophers and yogis cannot imagine this, because they more or less depend on their own strength. As stated in the Katha Upanishad (1.2.23), the Lord can be known only by those whom He favors, and not by anyone else. Such special favors are bestowed upon His pure devotees only. Sri Isopanishad thus points to the favor of the Lord, which is beyond the purview of the brahmajyoti.

 


The Sun is also called Surya-Narayana, the Supreme Lord of the Universe.

He is the Self of all the gods and most effulgent. He is the abode of all the glorious rays of purity and knowledge. It is he who rules and protects the whole universe through his unfailing and penetrating beams. He is the Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, that is Parameshwara or the Supreme Lord who assumes the creation, preservation and dissolution of the world. He is the formless and nameless Godhead who has taken the forms of Skanda, Prajapati, Mahendra, Kubera, Kala, Yama, Soma and Varuna. He is the Pitrus, the Vasus, the Sadhyas, the two Aswins, the Maruts and the lawgiver Manu. He is also Vayu, Agni, all beings, Hiranyagarbha or the Cosmic Prana, the maker of seasons and the light-maker.

His celebrated names are Aditya, Savitar and Surya, the son of Aditi, the impeller and the creator. He is seen dwelling in the sky outside, and he should be realized as the inner Self seated in the space of the heart inside. For, it is said in the Taittireeya Upanishad, “He who is here in the human being, and he, who is there in the sun, are one and the same.” (sa yas-cayam purushe, yas-chasavaditye, sa ekah). Nourishing all beings, he is Pushan, the nourisher, Possessed of sparkling rays, he shines like gold. Being ever effulgent and golden by nature, it is always daytime for him. He is far away from the darkness of ignorance

Seven coloured Ray horses draw his chariot, and he is possessed of thousands of fire tongues. His splendor is outshining, and he dispels all darkness. He bestows happiness on his devotees, and he withdraws all beings into himself at the time of cosmic dissolution. Though possessed of parching heat, he is like the cool season for the worshippers who are scorched by sufferings. And as couched in poetical terms by Kalidasa, the Sun God Ravi absorbs water to pour it back a thousand fold (sahasragunam-utsrashtum-adat te hi rasam ravih). He looks like a shell, and he removes all frost from the mind.

Being the Lord of the sky and the knower of the three vedas, he scatters away the darkness of ignorance. He showers the rain- clouds of virtue and divine grace, as the friend of waters. And he jumps over the skyline easily. He gives heat by his powerful rays. His form is that of an orb. In due time, he is even death for the mortals. Yet his golden luminousness pervades one and all, since he is omniscient, omnipresent and supremely radiant. In fact he is the origin for the existence of all, and the Lord of all planets, constellations and stars. The Light even of lights, he is the creator of all, and the Self of the twelve solar deities presiding over the year. He is both the eastern and the western skylines. He is the ruler of all heavenly bodies and of the day.

Being most powerful, he is victorious over all beings and highly auspicious. He is a source of fear for the ignorant, and the gold jewel of the wise. By his radiance, the lotus is made to blossom. The Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, he is the wisest. Most brightful, he is the supreme glory of the solar deities. Having an impetuous bodily form, he consumes everything. He destroys all darkness and makes the snow melt. He defeats evil forces, and his nature is boundless. He inspires gratefulness as the divine ruler of all luminaries. His divine nature is such that he sports in creation, he wishes to conquer the enemies of gods, he functions in all beings, he shines as the Self, he is praised by the most praiseworthy and he resides everywhere.

His brilliance is like that of refined gold warding off the recurring circle of birth and death along with its cause ignorance, as well as all sins, he is one with the Lord Hari. As the agent of all acts, as the world creator possessed of wonderful powers of creation, and as the celestial architect, he is known as Viswakarma. Unlike the individual soul who becomes self-identified with worldly and other - worldly objects, he is free from all kinds of nescience, and he is the glorious witness of the worlds. That means he cognizes everything directly by his own awareness without help of any sense organs. Yet, due to the limiting adjuncts body, senses and mind, and as their indwelling Self, it seems as if he were the agent of acts, but truly speaking he is mere onlooker, not being involved in actions.

This is taught in Mundaka Upanishad through the simile of two birds, viz. The jivatma and paramatma : “Two birds that are ever associated and have similar names, cling to the same tree (the body). Of these, one eats the fruit of divergent tastes, and the other looks on without eating. On the same tree, the individual soul remains drowned as it were, and so it moans, being worried by its impotence. When it sees thus the other, the adored Lord, and his glory, then it becomes liberated from sorrow. When the enlightened seer sees the Purusha, the golden-hued, creator, lord and the source of the inferior Brahman, then that sage completely shakes off both virtue and vice, becomes taintless and attains supreme equality.” So the eyewitness of the worlds is the immutable consciousness permeating the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, which are ever changeful. The Sun God who is unchanging is known as “the fourth” (caturtha) in the Mandukya Upanishad, and as “the witness” (sakshin) or “the onlooker” (upadrashta) in the Bhagavadgita. His glory is eternal.

As the supreme Lord, being both the efficient and material cause of the universe, he first creates the world, then he protects it, and at last he withdraws everything into himself. By some powerful rays he gives heat during eight months, and by some other rays he showers water during the rainy season. As the everlasting witness even of deep sleep state, he keeps awake in beings asleep, as taught to Janaka by the sage Yajnavalkya: “That it does not know in that state is because, though knowing then, it does not know; for the knower’s function of knowing can never be lost, because it is imperishable. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can know.” To summarize, all the sacrifices along with their fruits, as will as all the gods, and also all the religious duties of people, are nothing but the Sun God.

Remembering and praising him in difficult or painful situations, and in the midst of wilderness or in times of danger, one does not sink in disheartenment. With concentration and devotion, one should worship the God of gods who is the great Lord of the universe. Reciting this hymn known as the Holy Heart of Aditya, and enshrining the Sun God in one’s heart, one will become victorious in the battlefield of life. Just as Sri Rama vanquished the ten- headed Ravana, one can conquer the ten sensory and motor organs by worshipping the glorious Sun of wisdom. Regaining one’s innate strength and dispelling the clouds of sorrow, one becomes self-controlled and very happy. That is being so, the Sun of Self- knowledge shines forth in the heart, spreading its warm rays of pure bliss.

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Please also see:
Surya Namaskara, the great exercise
The Chariot of the Sun