Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य Sūrya, “the Supreme Light”) Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism. The term Surya also refers to theSun, in general.
Surya is the chief of the Navagraha, Indian “Classical planets” and important elements of Hindu astrology. He is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by seven horses or one horse with seven heads, which represent the seven colours of the rainbow or the seven chakras. He also presides over Sunday. Surya is regarded as the Supreme Deity by Saura sect, which is now a very small following. Smartas worship him as the five primary forms of God.
Surya as the Sun is worshipped at dawn by most Hindus and has many temples dedicated to him across India. He also enjoys worship as a part of the Navagraha. He is especially worshipped in the Hindu festivals of Ratha Saptami, Makar Sankranti, Chhath and Samba Dashami.
Sometimes, Surya is depicted with two hands holding a lotus in both; sometimes he has four hands holding a lotus, chakra, a conch, and a mace.
Surya is worshiped in various forms throughout India. One of the most important epithet (form) of ‘Surya’ is ‘Arka’. The “Arka” form is worshiped mostly in North India and Eastern parts of India. The temples dedicated to ‘Arka’ form of Surya are Konarka Temple in Orissa, Uttararka and Lolarka in Uttar Pradesh, Balarka in Rajasthan. There was an old sun-temple in (Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh) named Balarka Surya Mandir, built by King Tilokchand Arkawanshi in early 10th century AD. The temple was destroyed in the 14th century during Turkish invasions.
The grandest Surya temple is Konark surya temples built by Ganga Vamsi king Narasimha Dev of Orissa.
The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty.
Mitra’ form of Surya
‘Surya’ is also known as ‘Mitra’ (meaning friend) for his life nourishing properties. Mitra form of ‘Surya’ had been worshiped mostly in Gujarat, where a clan of Suryawanshi kings was known as Mitrawanshi kshatriyas, also known by its distorted name Maitrakas (मैत्रक)
Religious role and relationships
Surya with consorts Saranyu and Chhaya
Vivasvata (Surya, Osiris, Sirius, Sothis) had three queens; Saranyu (also called Saraniya, Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya) (the Orion Belt), Ragyi, andPrabha. 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 (Pollux and Castor) 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 trainsHanuman 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.
In the Vedas, Surya is frequently referred to as “the eye of Mitra, Varuna, and Agni” (RV 1.115.1, RV 6.51.1, RV 7.63.1, WYV 4.35, WYV 7.42, WYV 13.46, AV 13.2.35). This bears striking similarities to Zoroastrian scriptures, where the Sun is described as “the eye of Ahura Mazda”.
In Vedic astrology Surya is considered a mild malefic on account of his hot, dry nature. Surya represents soul, will-power, fame, the eyes, general vitality, courage, kingship, father, highly placed persons and authority. He is exalted in the sign Mesha(Aries) and is in decline in the sign Tula (Libra). The strongest placement for Surya is directly overhead in the 10th house, and on the angles (the 1st, 5th and 9th houses). Surya is lord of threenakshatras or lunar mansions: Krittika, Uttara Phalguni and Uttara Ashadha. Surya has the following associations: the colors – copper or red, the metals – gold or brass, the gemstone – ruby, the direction – east and the season of summer. The food grain associated with him (one of Nava Dhanyas) is wheat.
See also: Konark Sun Temple, Buguda Biranchinarayan Temple, Martand Sun Temple, Multan Sun Temple, and Sun Temple, Modhera
Sun Temple, Modhera
There are Surya temples all across India. The most famous is the World Heritage Site of the Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa. Besides Konark, there are another two sun temples in Orissa called Biranchi Narayan Sun Temple in Buguda, Ganjam District and Biranchinarayan Temple, Palia, Bhadrak.
There are sun temples in Modhera, Gujarat, created by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty, in Arasavalli, Andhra Pradesh, Kanakaditya Temple in Kasheli (Dist. Sindhudurg) – Maharashtra, near the famous Galtaji’s temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan and in clusters of Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu andAssam. The Sun Temple at Martand in Jammu and Kashmir and Sun Temple of Multan are temples which were destroyed. The only and the famous Surya temple in northern India is Kattarmal surya mandir in Almora District, Uttarakhand created by King Kattarmal in the 12th century.
The Gurjars were essentially sun worshipers and some of the sun temples were erected by them during the medieval period. The sun temple known as Jayaditya was constructed by Gurjar king of Nandipuri, Jayabhatta II.This temple is situated at Kotipura near Kapika in the Bharukachha district. The Surya temple of Bhinmal known as Jagaswami Surya temple was also erected during this period.
There are Various Festivals dedicated to Sun God Surya in India.
Makara Sankaranti is most Widely celebrated Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God. It is celebrated as Makara Sankranti throughout India and asPongal by Tamils all over the world. People thank the Sun God for ensuring a good harvest and dedicate the first grain to him.
Chhath is another Hindu Festival dedicated to Surya. It is believed to started by Karna, the son of Surya, who became a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War. Chhath is unique to Bihar, Jharkhand and the some Parts of Uttar Pradesh, Nepal & Mauritius.
Samba Dashami is another festival celebrated in the eastern coastal state of Orissa, India in the honour of Samba, the son of Krishna who got cured from leprosy by praying to Surya.
Ratha Saptami is a Hindu festival that falls on the Seventh day (Saptami) of the bright half of the Hindu month Maagha. This day is also known asSurya Jayanti because it celebrates the power of the Sun God who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his form as Surya is usually worshiped on this day. Usually, Rathasapthami begins in households with a purification bath by holding a few calotropis leaves on one’s head and shoulders while bathing and chanting a verse which is supposed to invoke the benevolence of the Lord in all that one takes up the rest of the year. It also involves doing a puja with the ritual ‘Naivedyam’, flowers and fruits. On this day at Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh), Lord Venkateshwara (Balaji) is mounted on Seven Vahanas (Celestial Vehicles) one after the other starting from Suryaprabha Vahana and ending with Chandraprabha Vahana. Other Vahanas are Hanumad vahana, Garuda Vahana, Peddashesha Vahana, Kalpavruksha vahana and Sarvabhupala vahana. Also chakrasnanam is performed on the same day. A devotee enjoys watching the Lord mounted on different vahanas in one day which is popularly known as Okka roju Brahmotsavam (Single day celebrations).
Surya is not mentioned as one of the Adityas in the first book of the epic Mahabarata, but may be regarded as the compound of the twelve solar deities mentioned there, to be understood in connection to the Jyotisha vedic astrology: Dhatri, Mitra, Aryaman, Sakra, Varuna, Amsa, Vaga, Vivaswat, Usha, Savitri, Tvashtri, Vishnu.
In Mahabharata, Surya is referred to as father of Karna, as he begot the latter on Kunti when she was virgin. With his grace and in order that Kunti is not spoken of badly in the world, Kunti could retain virginhood even after delivering a child.
The Kathi Darbar, Shri Amra Patgir developed the temple of Shri Surynarayan in Thangadh village of Surendranagar district in Gujarat. The kathis were come in Saurashtra in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Surya namaskara, or the “Sun salutation”
Sculpture depicting 12 asana’s of Surya Namaskara A in Terminal T3 at IGIA Airport,New Delhi, India, created by Nikhil Bhandari.
A well-known Hindu mode of worship of the devotional movements of Surya is done at the rising of the Sun, known as Sūrya namaskāra (sun salutation). Ten yogic postures are assumed in successive flowing movements to complete one namaskar. Twelve sacred Hindu mantras uttered and for each mantra one complete namaskar is done. Ancient practice is to do 108 namaskaras a day. It is considered most auspicious by Hindus to do this.
The 12 mantras for surya namaskara:
1. ॐ मित्राय नमः aum mitrāya namah
2. ॐ रवये नमः aum ravayé namah
3. ॐ सूर्याय नमः aum sūryāya namah
4. ॐ भानवे नमः aum bhānavé namah
5. ॐ खगाय नमः aum khagāya namah
6. ॐ पुष्णे नमः aum pushné namah
7. ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः aum hiranyagarbhāya namah
8. ॐ मारिचाये नमः aum mārichāyé namah
9. ॐ आदित्याय नमः aum ādityāya namah
10. ॐ सावित्रे नमः aum sāvitré namah
11. ॐ अर्काय नमः aum ārkāya namah
12. ॐ भास्कराय नमः aum bhāskarāya namah
आ कृष्णेन् रजसा वर्तमानो निवेशयन्न अमृतं मर्त्यं च ।
हिरण्ययेन सविता रथेना देवो याति भुवनानि पश्यन ॥
Throughout the dusky firmament advancing, laying to rest the immortal and the mortal,
Borne in his golden chariot he cometh, Savitar, God who looks on every creature.
The Gayatri Mantra is also associated with Surya. Another hymn associated with Surya is the Aditya Hridayam, recited by the great sage Agastya to Rama on the warfield before the fight withRavana.
Ādityahṛdayam (आदित्यहृदयम्, Sanskrit pronunciation: [ad̪ɪt̪jəhɾd̪əjʌm]), is a hymn associated with Āditya or the Sun God and was recited by the sage Agastya to Rāma on the battlefield before fighting with Rāvaṇa. This historic hymn starts at the beginning of the duel between Rāma and Rāvaṇa. Agastya teaches Rāma, who is fatigued after the long battle with various warriors of Laṅkā, the procedure of worshiping the Sun God for strength to defeat the enemy. These verses belong to Yuddha Kāṇḍa (Book 6) Canto 107, in the Rāmāyaṇa as composed by Vālmīki.
Aditya (Sanskrit: आदित्य, Lit. Son of Aditi) refers to the Sun. Hridayam (Sanskrit: हृदयम्) is the Sanskrit word for heart.
Significance of slokas
In Ādityahṛdayam there are thirty slokas in total. The significance of the verses is as follows:
1,2 : Approach of Agastya to Rama.
3, 4, 5 : Greatness of the Aditya Hridayam and advantages of reciting it.
6 – 15 : Surya as a means of self-evident consciousness, conveying that the One pervading outside and inside is the same.
16 – 20 : Mantra Japa.
21 – 24 : Mantra slokas extolling the Sun God.
25 – 30 : The fruits of this prayer, the method of recital and the procedure followed by Shri Rama, invoking God to bless him with the requisite strength for the victory in the battle field.
॥ आदित्यहृदयम्॥ .. ādityahṛdayam ..
ततो युद्धपरिश्रान्तं समरे चिन्तया स्थितम्। tato yuddhapariśrāntaṃ samare chintayā sthitam
रावणं चाग्रतो दृष्ट्वा युद्धाय समुपस्थितम्॥ १॥ rāvaṇaṃ cāgrato dṛṣṭvā yuddhāya samupasthitam .. 1 ..
दैवतैश्च समागम्य द्रष्टुमभ्यागतो रणम्। daivataiśca samāgamya draṣṭumabhyāgato raṇam
उपागम्याब्रवीद्राममगस्त्यो भगवान् ऋषिः॥ २॥ upāgamyābravīdrāmamagastyo bhagavān ṛṣiḥ .. 2 ..
राम राम महाबाहो शृणु गुह्यं सनातनम्। rāma rāma mahābāho śṛṇu guhyaṃ sanātanam
येन सर्वानरीन् वत्स समरे विजयिष्यसि॥ ३॥ yena sarvānarīn vatsa samare vijayiṣyasi .. 3 ..
आदित्यहृदयं पुण्यं सर्वशत्रुविनाशनम्। ādityahṛdayaṃ puṇyaṃ sarvaśatruvināśanam
जयावहं जपेन्नित्यम् अक्षय्यं परमं शिवम्॥ ४॥ jayāvahaṃ japennityam akṣayyaṃ paramaṃ śivam .. 4 ..
सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्यं सर्वपापप्रणाशनम्। sarvamaṅgalamāṅgalyaṃ sarvapāpapraṇāśanam
चिन्ताशोकप्रशमनम् आयुर्वर्धनमुत्तमम्॥ ५॥ cintāśokapraśamanam āyurvardhanamuttamam .. 5 ..
रश्मिमंतं समुद्यन्तं देवासुरनमस्कृतम्। raśmimaṃtaṃ samudyantaṃ devāsuranamaskṛtam
पूजयस्व विवस्वन्तं भास्करं भुवनेश्वरम्॥ ६॥ pūjayasva vivasvantaṃ bhāskaraṃ bhuvaneśvaram .. 6 ..
सर्वदेवात्मको ह्येष तेजस्वी रश्मिभावनः। sarvadevātmako hyeṣa tejasvī raśmibhāvanaḥ
एष देवासुरगणाँल्लोकान् पाति गभस्तिभिः॥ ७॥ eṣa devāsuragaṇām̐llokān pāti gabhastibhiḥ .. 7 ..
एष ब्रह्मा च विष्णुश्च शिवः स्कन्दः प्रजापतिः। eṣa brahmā ca viṣṇuśca śivaḥ skandaḥ prajāpatiḥ
महेन्द्रो धनदः कालो यमः सोमो ह्यपां पतिः॥ ८॥ mahendro dhanadaḥ kālo yamaḥ somo hyapāṃ patiḥ .. 8 ..
पितरो वसवः साध्या ह्यश्विनौ मरुतो मनुः। pitaro vasavaḥ sādhyā hyaśvinau maruto manuḥ
वायुर्वह्निः प्रजाप्राण ऋतुकर्ता प्रभाकरः॥ ९॥ vāyurvahniḥ prajāprāṇa ṛtukartā prabhākaraḥ .. 9 ..
आदित्यः सविता सूर्यः खगः पूषा गभस्तिमान्। ādityaḥ savitā sūryaḥ khagaḥ pūṣā gabhastimān
सुवर्णसदृशो भानुर्हिरण्यरेता दिवाकरः॥ १०॥ suvarṇasadṛśo bhānurhiraṇyaretā divākaraḥ .. 10 ..
हरिदश्वः सहस्रार्चिः सप्तसप्तिर्मरीचिमान्। haridaśvaḥ sahasrārciḥ saptasaptirmarīcimān
तिमिरोन्मथनः शम्भुस्त्वष्टा मार्ताण्ड अंशुमान्॥ ११॥ timironmathanaḥ śambhustvaṣṭā mārtāṇḍa aṃśumān .. 11 ..
हिरण्यगर्भः शिशिरस्तपनो भास्करो रविः। hiraṇyagarbhaḥ śiśirastapano bhāskaro raviḥ
अग्निगर्भोऽदितेः पुत्रः शङ्खः शिशिरनाशनः॥ १२॥ agnigarbho’diteḥ putraḥ śaṅkhaḥ śiśiranāśanaḥ .. 12 ..
व्योमनाथस्तमोभेदी ऋग्यजुःसामपारगः। vyomanāthastamobhedī ṛgyajuḥsāmapāragaḥ
घनवृष्टिरपां मित्रो विन्ध्यवीथीप्लवङ्गमः॥ १३॥ ghanavṛṣṭirapāṃ mitro vindhyavīthīplavaṅgamaḥ .. 13 ..
आतपी मण्डली मृत्युः पिङ्गलः सर्वतापनः। ātapī maṇḍalī mṛtyuḥ piṅgalaḥ sarvatāpanaḥ
कविर्विश्वो महातेजाः रक्तः सर्वभवोद्भवः॥ १४॥ kavirviśvo mahātejāḥ raktaḥ sarvabhavodbhavaḥ .. 14 ..
नक्षत्रग्रहताराणामधिपो विश्वभावनः। nakṣatragrahatārāṇāmadhipo viśvabhāvanaḥ
तेजसामपि तेजस्वी द्वादशात्मन् नमोऽस्तु ते॥ १५॥ tejasāmapi tejasvī dvādaśātman namo’stu te .. 15 ..
नमः पूर्वाय गिरये पश्चिमायाद्रये नमः। namaḥ pūrvāya giraye paścimāyādraye namaḥ
ज्योतिर्गणानां पतये दिनाधिपतये नमः॥ १६॥ jyotirgaṇānāṃ pataye dinādhipataye namaḥ .. 16 ..
जयाय जयभद्राय हर्यश्वाय नमो नमः। jayāya jayabhadrāya haryaśvāya namo namaḥ
नमो नमः सहस्रांशो आदित्याय नमो नमः॥ १७॥ namo namaḥ sahasrāṃśo ādityāya namo namaḥ .. 17 ..
नम उग्राय वीराय सारङ्गाय नमो नमः। nama ugrāya vīrāya sāraṅgāya namo namaḥ
नमः पद्मप्रबोधाय मार्ताण्डाय नमो नमः॥ १८॥ namaḥ padmaprabodhāya mārtāṇḍāya namo namaḥ .. 18 ..
ब्रह्मेशानाच्युतेशाय सूर्यायादित्यवर्चसे। brahmeśānācyuteśāya sūryāyādityavarcase
भास्वते सर्वभक्षाय रौद्राय वपुषे नमः॥ १९॥ bhāsvate sarvabhakṣāya raudrāya vapuṣe namaḥ .. 19 ..
तमोघ्नाय हिमघ्नाय शत्रुघ्नायामितात्मने। tamoghnāya himaghnāya śatrughnāyāmitātmane
कृतघ्नघ्नाय देवाय ज्योतिषां पतये नमः॥ २०॥ kṛtaghnaghnāya devāya jyotiṣāṃ pataye namaḥ .. 20 ..
तप्तचामीकराभाय वह्नये विश्वकर्मणे। taptacāmīkarābhāya vahnaye viśvakarmaṇe
नमस्तमोऽभिनिघ्नाय रुचये लोकसाक्षिणे॥ २१॥ namastamo’bhinighnāya rucaye lokasākṣiṇe .. 21 ..
नाशयत्येष वै भूतं तदेव सृजति प्रभुः। nāśayatyeṣa vai bhūtaṃ tadeva sṛjati prabhuḥ
पायत्येष तपत्येष वर्षत्येष गभस्तिभिः॥ २२॥ pāyatyeṣa tapatyeṣa varṣatyeṣa gabhastibhiḥ .. 22 ..
एष सुप्तेषु जागर्ति भूतेषु परिनिष्ठितः। eṣa supteṣu jāgarti bhūteṣu pariniṣṭhitaḥ
एष एवाग्निहोत्रं च फलं चैवाग्निहोत्रिणाम्॥ २३॥ eṣa evāgnihotraṃ ca phalaṃ caivāgnihotriṇām .. 23 ..
वेदाश्च क्रतवश्चैव क्रतूनां फलमेव च। vedāśca kratavaścaiva kratūnāṃ phalameva ca
यानि कृत्यानि लोकेषु सर्व एष रविः प्रभुः॥ २४॥ yāni kṛtyāni lokeṣu sarva eṣa raviḥ prabhuḥ .. 24 ..
एनमापत्सु कृच्छ्रेषु कान्तारेषु भयेषु च। enamāpatsu kṛcchreṣu kāntāreṣu bhayeṣu ca
कीर्तयन् पुरुषः कश्चिन्नावसीदति राघव॥ २५॥ kīrtayan puruṣaḥ kaścinnāvasīdati rāghava .. 25 ..
पूजयस्वैनमेकाग्रो देवदेवं जगत्पतिम्। pūjayasvainamekāgro devadevaṃ jagatpatim
एतत् त्रिगुणितं जप्त्वा युद्धेषु विजयिष्यसि॥ २६॥ etat triguṇitaṃ japtvā yuddheṣu vijayiṣyasi .. 26 ..
अस्मिन् क्षणे महाबाहो रावणं त्वं वधिष्यसि। asmin kṣaṇe mahābāho rāvaṇaṃ tvaṃ vadhiṣyasi
एवमुक्त्वा तदागस्त्यो जगाम च यथागतम्॥ २७॥ evamuktvā tadāgastyo jagāma ca yathāgatam .. 27 ..
एतच्छ्रुत्वा महातेजा नष्टशोकोऽभवत्तदा। etacchrutvā mahātejā naṣṭaśoko’bhavattadā
धारयामास सुप्रीतो राघवः प्रयतात्मवान्॥ २८॥ dhārayāmāsa suprīto rāghavaḥ prayatātmavān .. 28 ..
आदित्यं प्रेक्ष्य जप्त्वा तु परं हर्षमवाप्तवान्। ādityaṃ prekṣya japtvā tu paraṃ harṣamavāptavān
त्रिराचम्य शुचिर्भूत्वा धनुरादाय वीर्यवान्॥ २९॥ trirācamya śucirbhūtvā dhanurādāya vīryavān .. 29 ..
रावणं प्रेक्ष्य हृष्टात्मा युद्धाय समुपागमत्। rāvaṇaṃ prekṣya hṛṣṭātmā yuddhāya samupāgamat
सर्वयत्नेन महता वधे तस्य धृतोऽभवत्॥ ३०॥ sarvayatnena mahatā vadhe tasya dhṛto’bhavat .. 30 ..
अथ रविरवदन्निरीक्ष्य रामं atha raviravadannirīkṣya rāmaṃ
मुदितमनाः परमं प्रहृष्यमाणः। muditamanāḥ paramaṃ prahṛṣyamāṇaḥ
निशिचरपतिसंक्षयं विदित्वा niśicarapatisaṃkṣayaṃ viditvā
सुरगणमध्यगतो वचस्त्वरेति॥ ३१॥ suragaṇamadhyagato vacastvareti .. 31 ..
॥ इति आदित्यहृदयम् मन्त्रस्य॥ .. iti ādityahṛdayam mantrasya ..
Tato yuddhaparishraantam samare chintayaa sthitam.raavanam chaagrato dr.ushtva yuddhaaya samupasthitam.1
Rama, exhausted and about to face Ravana ready for a fresh battle was lost deep in contemplation.
Daivataishcha samaagamya drashhtumabhyaagato ranam upaagamyaa braviidraama magastyo bhagavaan rishhi. 2
The all knowing sage Agastya who had joined the Gods to witness the battle spoke to Rama thus
Raama Raama mahaabaaho shrnu guhyam sanaatanam yena sarvaanariinvatsa samare vijayishhyasi. 3
Oh Rama, mighty-armed Rama, listen to this eternal secret, which will help you destroy all your enemies in battle
Aaditya hrudayam punyam sarva shatru vinaashanam Jayaavaham japennityam akshayyam paramam shivam. 4
This holy hymn dedicated to the Sun deity will result in destroying all enemies and bring you victory and never ending supreme bliss.
Sarvamangalamaangalyam sarvapaapapranaashanam. Chintaashokaprashamanam aayurvardhanamuttama. 5
This hymn is supreme and is a guarantee of complete prosperity and is the destroyer of sin, anxiety, anguish and is the bestower of longevity.
Rashmimantam samudyantam devaasuranamaskrutam. Puujayasva vivasvantam bhaaskaram bhuvaneshvaram. 6
Worship the One, possessed of rays when he has completely risen, held in reverence by the devas and asuras, and who is the Lord of the universe by whose efflugence all else brighten.
Sarvadevaatmako hyeshha tejasvii rashmibhaavanah.Eshha devaasuraganaa.nllokaan paati gabhastibh. 7
He indeed represent the totality of all celestial beings. He is self-luminous and sustains all with his rays. He nourishes and energizes the inhabitants of all the worlds and the race of Devas and Asuras.
Eshhah brahmaa cha vishhnushcha shivah skandah prajaapati. Mahendro dhanadah kaalo yamah somo hyapaam pati. 8
He is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Skanda, Prajapati. He is also Mahendra, kubera, kala, yama, soma and varuna.
Pitaro vasavah saadhyaa hyashvinau maruto manuh.Vaayurvahnih prajaapraana ritukartaa prabhaakarah. 9
He is the pitrs, vasus, sadhyas, aswini devas, maruts, manu, vayu, agni, prana and, being the source of all energy and light, is the maker of all the six seasons.
Aadityah savitaa suuryah khagah puushhaa gabhastimaan. Suvarnasadrsho bhaanu rvishvaretaa divaakarah. 10
He is the son of Aditi, creator of the universe, inspirer of action, transverser of the heavens. He is the sustainer, illumination of all directions, the golden hued brilliance and is the maker of the day.
Haridashvah sahasraarchih saptasaptirmariichimaan. Timironmathanah shambhustvashhtaa maartandam anshumaan. 11
He is the Omnipresent One who pervades all with countless rays. He is the power behind the seven sense organs, the dispeller of darkness, bestower of happiness and prosperity, the remover of misfortunes and is the infuser of life.
Hiranyagarbhah shishirastapano bhaaskaro ravihi Agnigarbhoaditeh putrah shankha shishiranaashanah. 12
He is the primordial being manifesting as the Trinity. He ushers in the Day and is the teacher (of Hiranyagarbha), the fire-wombed, the son of Aditi, and has a vast and supreme felicity. He is the remover of intellectual dull-headedness.
Vyomanaatha stamobhedii rig yajuh saama paaragah. Ghana vrishhti rapaam mitro vindhya viithii plavangama… 13
He is the Lord of the firmament, dispeller of darkness. Master of all the vedas, he is a friend of the waters and causes rain. HE has crossed the vindya range and sports in the Brahma Nadi.
Aatapii mandalii mrityuh pingalah sarvataapanah. Kavirvishvo mahaatejaa raktah ssarva bhavod hbhava. 14
He, whose form is circular and is colored yellow, is intensely absorbed and inflicts death. He is the destroyer of all and is the Omniscient one being exceedingly energetic sustains the universe and all action.
Nakshatra grahataaraanaam adhipo vishva bhaavanah. Tejasaamapi tejasvii dvaadashaatman namostute 15
He is the lord of stars, planets and all constellations. He is the origin of everything in the universe and is the cause of the lustre of even the brilliant ones. Salutations to Thee who is the One being manifest in the twelve forms of the Sun.
Namah puurvaaya giraye pashchimaayaadraye namah. Jyotirganaanaam pataye dinadhipataye nama. 16
Salutations to the Eastern and western mountain, Salutations to the Lord of the stellar bodies and the Lord of the Day.
Jayaaya jayabhadraaya haryashvaaya namo namah. Namo namah sahasraansha aadityaaya namo nama. 17
Salutations to the One who ordains victory and the prosperity that follows. Salutations to the one possessed of yellow steeds and to the thousand rayed Lord, and to Aditya.
Namah ugraaya viiraaya saarangaaya namo namah. Namah padma prabodhaaya maartandaaya namo nama. 18Salutations to the Terrible one, the hero, the one that travels fast. Salutations to the one whose emergence makes the lotus blossom and to the fierce and omnipotent one.
Brahmeshaana achyuteshaaya suuryaayaadityavarchase. Bhaasvate sarvabhakshaaya raudraaya vapushhe nama. 19
Salutations to the Lord of Brahma, shiva and Achyuta, salutations to the powerful and to the effulgence in the Sun that is both the illuminator and devourer of all and is of a form that is fierce like Rudra.
Tamoghnaaya himagnaaya shatrughnaaya amitaatmane. Kritaghnahanaaya devaaya jyotishhaam pataye nama. 20
Salutations to he transcendental atman that dispels darkness, drives away all fear, and destroys all foes. Salutations also to the annihilator of the ungrateful and to the Lord of all the stellar bodies.
Tapta chaamiika raabhaaya haraye vishvakarmane. Namastamo.abhinighnaaya ruchaye lokasaakshine 21
Salutations to the Lord shining like molten gold, to the transcendental fire, the fire of supreme knowledge, the architect of the universe, destroyer of darkness and salutations again to the effulgence that is the Cosmic witness.
Naashayatyeshha vai bhuutam tadeva srijati prabhuuH. Paayatyeshha tapatyeshha varshhatyeshha gabhastibhi. 22
Salutations to the Lord who destroys everything and creates them again. Salutations to Him who by His rays consumes the waters, heats them up and sends them down as rain.
Eshha supteshhu jaagarti bhuuteshhu parinishhthitah. Eshha evaagnihotramcha phalam chaivaagnihotrinaam. 23
Salutations to the Lord who abides in the heart of all beings keeping awake when they are asleep. He is both the sacrificial fire and the fruit enjoyed by the worshippers.
Vedaashcha kratavashchaiva kratuunaam phalameva cha. Yaani krityaani lokeshhu sarva eshha ravih prabhu. 24
The Sun is verily the Lord of all action in this universe. He is verily the vedas, the sacrifices mentioned in them and the fruits obtained by performing the sacrifices.
Enamaapatsu krichchhreshhu kaantaareshhu bhayeshhu cha.kiirttayanh purushhah kashchin naavasiidati raaghav. 25
Raghava, one who recites this hymn in times of danger, during an affliction or when lost in the wilderness and having fear, he will not lose heart (and become brave).
Puujayasvainamekaagro devadevam jagathpatimh. Etat.h trigunitam japtvaa yuddheshhu vijayishhyas. 26
Raghava, worship this Lord of all Gods and the Universe with one-pointed devotion. Recite this hymn thrice and you will win this battle.
Asminkshane mahaabaaho raavanam tvam vadhishhyasi. Evamuktavaa tadaa.agastyo jagaama cha yathaagatam. 27
O mighty armed one, you shall truimph over Ravana this very moment. Having spoken this, Agastya returned his original place. Raghava became free from worry after hearing this.
Etachchhritvaa mahaatejaa nashhtashoko abhavattadaa. Dhaarayaamaasa supriito raaghavah prayataatmavaan. 28
He was greatly pleased and became brave and energetic.
Aaadityam prekshya japtvaa tu param harshhamavaaptavaanh. Triraachamya shuchirbhuutvaa dhanuraadaaya viiryavaan. 29
Gazing at the sun with devotion, He recited this hymn thrice and experienced bliss.
Rraavanam prekshya hrushhtaatmaa yuddhaaya samupaagamath. Sarva yatnena mahataa vadhe tasya dhritoabhavat. 30
Purifying Himself by sipping water thrice, He took up His bow with His mighty arms. Seeing Ravana coming to fight, He put forth all his effort with a determination to destroy Ravana.
Atha ravi ravadanam nirikshyam raama Muditamanaah paramam prahrishhyamaanah. Nishicharapatisa nkshayam viditvaa Suragan amadhyagato vachastvaret.
Then knowing that the destruction of the lord of prowlers at night (Ravana) was near, Aditya, who was at the center of the assembly of the Gods, looked at Rama and exclaimed ‘Hurry up’ with great delight.
Related to Worship of Sun god Surya
Ratha Saptami or Rathasapthami (Sanskrit: रथसप्तमी or Magha Saptami) is a Hindu festival that falls on the seventh day (Saptami) in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month Maagha. It marks the seventh day following the Sun’s northerly movement (Uttarayana) of vernal equinox starting from Capricorn (Makara). It is symbolically represented in the form of the Sun God Surya turning his Ratha (Chariot) drawn by seven horses (representing seven colours) towards the northern hemisphere, in a north-easterly direction. It also marks the birth of Surya and hence celebrated as Surya Jayanti (the Sun-god’s birthday).
Ratha Saptami is symbolic of the change of season to spring and the start of the harvesting season. For most Indian farmers, it is an auspicious beginning of the New Year. The festival is observed by all Hindus in their houses and in innumerable temples dedicated to Surya, across India.
Sun worship is deep rooted in the Vedas of the Hindu religion and its antiquity also relates to several mythologies of the world such as that of China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Gayatri Mantra jap – the sacred Vedic chants to Savitr (Sun god) – is recited by the Hindus every day with great reverence. As the puranic Hinduism evolved around the early Christian era, the worship of Sun, linked to the equinoxes, was established.
In the Rig Veda Mandala 10/Hymn 85, the sun god’s bride seated on a chariot pulled by two steeds is mentioned. This symbolism is therefore common to both Norse mythology and Vedic history.
The relevant verses (translated from Sanskrit by Ralph Griffith) are as follows:
10. Her spirit was the bridal car; the covering thereof was heaven: Bright were both Steeds that drew it when Surya approached her husband’s, home.
11. Thy Steeds were steady, kept in place by holy verse and Sama-hymn: All cars were thy two chariot wheels: thy path was tremulous in the sky,
12. Clean, as thou wentest, were thy wheels wind, was the axle fastened there. Surya, proceeding to his Lord, mounted a spirit-fashionied car.
See also: Historical Vedic religion
Ratha Saptami marks the seventh day following the Sun’s northerly movement (Uttarayana) of vernal equinox starting from Capricorn (Makara). It is symbolically represented in the form of the Sun God Surya turning his Ratha (Chariot) drawn by seven horses, with Aruna as the charioteer, towards the northern hemisphere, in a north-easterly direction. The symbolic significance of the ratha and the seven horses reigned to it is that it represents the seven colours of the rainbow. The seven horses are also said to represent the seven days of a week starting with Sunday, the day of Sun god Surya. The chariot has 12 wheels, which represents the 12 signs (each of 30 degrees) of the Zodiac (360 degrees) and constituting a full year, named Samvatsara. The Sun’s own house is Leo (Simha) and he moves from one house to the next every month and the total cycle takes 365 days to complete. The Ratha Saptami festival seeks the benevolent cosmic spread of energy and light from the Sun God.
Ratha Saptami also marks the gradual increase in temperature across South India and awaits the arrival of spring, which is later heralded by the festival of Ugadi or the Hindu lunar New Year day in the month of Chaitra.
Ratha Saptami also marks the birth of Surya to sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi and hence celebrated as Surya Jayanti (the Sun-god’s birthday). A legend is narrated by the Kamboj empire’s King Yashovarma, a noble king who had no heir to rule his kingdom. On his special prayers to God, he was blessed with a son. The king’s vows did not end with this, as his son was terminally ill. A saint who visited the king advised that his son should perform the Ratha Saptami pooja (worship) with reverence to rid of his past sins. Once the King’s son performed this, his health was restored and he ruled his kingdom well. It is also said that sage Bhisma breathed his last breath a day after the Rathasaptahmi day.
There are Surya temples all across India where Ratha Sapthami is fervently celebrated. However, the most famous one is the World Heritage Site of the Konarak Sun Temple, in Konark, Orissa. Besides Konark, there is another sun temple in Orissa, the Biranchi Narayan Temple (Biranchi khetra) in Buguda, Ganjam District. There are sun temples in Modhera, Gujarat, created by king Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty, in Arasavalli, Andhra Pradesh and in clusters of Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu and Assam. The Sun Temple atMartand (Jammu and Kashmir) and Sun Temple of Multan are temples, which were destroyed during Muslim conflicts in the past. Details of few temples are elaborated.
Konark Sun Temple
The Konark Sun Temple is a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of India, as compiled by the Times of India in 2007. It takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the Sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. It was constructed from oxidizing and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I (1236–1264) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. At the entrance of the temple is the Nata mandir, where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun god. All around the temple, there are various floral and geometric patterns and human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensual poses.
Ratha Saptami is celebrated with a holy dip on Chandrabhaga beach at Konark, though this rite has nothing to do with the temple, which is abandoned and has no religious significance in present-day Hinduism.
Sun Temple, Modhera
This Sun Temple was built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki Dynasty in 1026 and is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God of Hinduism. This was the time when Somnath and the adjoining area was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and reeled under the effects of his invasion. The Solankis, however, regained much of their lost power and splendour. Anahilvad Patan, the Solanki capital, was restored to glory. Royalty and traders jointly contributed to build grand temples.
Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshis, or descendants of Sun god and they ruled as Rajputs of Marwar. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the Sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time of equinoxes.
This temple in Tamil Nadu, called the Suryanar koil, is located 22 kilometres from Kumbakonam. This temple pre-dates even the great Sun God temple in Konarak. It was built by Kulottungan I. The temple has a fifty feet gopuram (tower) and at the entrance the image of horses and the chariot of Surya appear. Around the Sun’s main sanctum, which is central to the temple, there are shrines for all the other planets in the galaxy of nine planets. It is noted for its Navagraha kshetra (Nine plants place). People visit this temple daily in large numbers to propitiate the Sun God (considered as the chief of the planets in Indian astrology). Ratha Sapthami is celebrated as a festival day here. It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that it was built in the reign of Kulottunga Choladeva (AD 1060-1118) and was then called Kulottungachola-Marttandalaya.
God Vishnu in his form as Surya (the Sun-God) is usually worshipped on this day. Usually, Rathasapthami begins in households with a purification bath (bathing is also done in a river or sea) by holding several Ekka (Calotropis Gigantea) leaves on their head while bathing and chanting a verse which is supposed to invoke the benevolence of the Lord in all that one indulges in during the rest of the year. Argyam or (Tharpanam) (water held in the palms) is offered to the Sun God on this day while chanting hymns are performed to the Sun God. It also involves doing a puja with the ritual Naivedhya (food offering to God), and offering of flowers and fruits. Important prayers offered to the Sun god on this occasion are the Adityahridayam, Gayathri,Suryashtakam, Surya Sahasram namam. The preferred time for the pooja is within one hour after sunrise. In places like Mysore and Melkote, ceremonial processions carry the Surya Mandala – the icon of Surya.
Ekka leaves (in Kannada), are also known as Arka (in Sanskrit, meaning a ray or flash of lightning) leaves, Jilledu in Telugu, Erukku in Tamil andCalotropis Gigantea (bowstring hemp) in English. Arka is also a synonym for Surya or Sun. Its significance to Sun God could be compared to the significance of Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) leaves to Vishnu. Arka leaves are also used for worship of god Ganesha known by the name Arka Ganesha and also for Hanuman worship. Its stems, called samidha (sacrificial offerings of wood) are used for the Yagna ritual as a sacrificial offering to a ritual fire. Its shape is said to represent the shoulders and chariot of Sun God. Its use during the ritualistic ceremonious bath involves placement of seven leaves – one on the head, two on the shoulders, two on the knees and two on the feet. On this day, in South India, Rangoli is drawn with coloured rice powder depicting a chariot and seven horses as symbolic of the Ratha Saptami. Cowdung cake is also burnt at the centre of this depiction and milk boiled on the fire is offered to the Sun God. In some of the important Vaishnavite temples such as the Tirumala, Srirangam and Melukote, Ratha Saptami is one of the important festivals of the year.
On Ratha sapthami a one-day Brahmotsavam is held in Tirumala.On this day, the presiding deity of Lord Malayappa Swamy along with his divine consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken to a procession in Thiru Mada streets in Tirumala. The deities carried out in a jubilant procession around the Thiru mada streets encircling the holy Shrine of Balaji on seven different vahanams(sapthami=seven) .Due to this reason the day of RathaSapthami is called as “Mini-Brahmotsavam” in Tirumala.The day starts with ‘Surya prabha vahanam’ at early morning followed by Sesha, Garuda, Hanumantha, Kalpavriksha, sarvabhoopala vahanams respectively.The day is ended with the Chandra prabha vahanam.
Other Sun festivals
There are other festivals dedicated to Sun God Surya in India. Makara Sankaranti is the most widely celebrated Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God. It is celebrated as Makara Sankranti throughout India and as Pongal also known as Thai Pongal by Tamils all over the world. People thank the Sun God for ensuring a good harvest and dedicate the first grain to him. Chhath is another Hindu Festival dedicated to Surya. It is believed to have been started by Karna, the son of Surya, who became a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War. Chhath is unique to Bihar, Jharkhand and the some parts of Uttar Pradesh.