SURYA - The Vedic Sun(GOD)
- THE VEDIC SUN-GOD
In ancient India during Vedic age and even
afterwards SURYA has played a very significant role in Hindu
mythology and amongst Hindu gods.
SURYA is one of the three chief gods
of the Vedas. As one of the spheres, the physical sun
is the celestial form of fire, Agni, and source of all life.
SURYA is at the center of the spheres. Above it are the esoteric
spheres of the Supreme Ruler and below it are the manifest
spheres of the moon and the earth.
The other name of SURYA is SAVITRI, which means brilliance.
In the later ages, like other many Vedic gods, this god became
more or less a mythical figure superseded by Vishnu, who came
to be regarded by Hindus as the supreme manifestation of the
self-Existent the Supreme God. Still the
most celebrated mantra (hymn), known as GAYATRI Mantra, is
the incantation addressed to SURYA. Also many of the
forms of meditation, prayers and rituals used in the daily
ceremonies of Hindu Brahmins are addressed to this god. Daily
in the morning one can see hundreds of Hindus offering water
to the rising sun, accompanied with incantations. Women can
be seen frequently taking a pledge that in case SURYA bestows
them with a son, they would be regularly performing ceremony
to worship this god.
A legend states that about three hundred years ago a learned
Hindu, who was suffering from leprosy, prayed to SURYA for
cure. He was inspired to write eight verses in Sanskrit, known
as SURYASHTAK, to please the god, and by the time he had finished
the last verse he was restored to health. Worship of the god
SURYA is performed standing in the sun with clasped hands
and closed eyes. The origin of this method of obtaining relief
from sickness is ascribed to SHAMBU, the son of Krishna, who
was directed in a dream to repeat twice a day the twenty-one
names of SURYA standing in this manner.
|SURYA AND SANJANA
SURYA has two wives, SANJANA and CHHAYA. The first one
is the daughter of VISHWAKARMA. After her marriage she found
that she could not bear the power of this god's rays. She, therefore,
made an image of her own, imparted life to it and left it with
SURYA. Later on she was turned into a mare and was adopted by
The abode of this god is called as
SURYALOKA. A powerful race of Hindu kings has always
taken pride in calling itself as the direct descendant of Surya.
In this dynasty of SURYAVANSHIS (the descendants of SURYA) the
first King had been IKSHWAKOO while god RAMA was the sixty-sixth
king in this lineage. Even till medieval ages and thereafter
so many RAJPUT kings connected their family with Surya.
Surya has several sons. The lawgiver, MANU, the lord of death, YAMA and the river YAMUNA were born of SANJANA. According to Mahabharata,
the great warrior KARNAwas this god's illegitimate
son by KUNTI, the mother of PANDAVAS. Surya is also the father
of the monkey chief, SUGRIVA, who
was the ally of Lord Rama.