The Solar Tradition
Surya Namaskara is a practice whose
origins date far back to the earliest epochs of history, when man first
became aware of a spiritual power within himself, reflected in the material
universe. This awareness is the foundation of yoga. Surya Namaskara, meaning
'salutation to the sun', can be seen as a form of worship of the sun,
and all that it represents on the micro and macrocosmic levels. In yogic
terms this indicates that the practice of Surya Namaskara awakens the
solar aspects of man's nature and releases this vital energy for the development
of higher awareness. This can be realized by the practice of Surya Namaskara
each morning as well as being a fine way to pay tribute to the source
of creation and life, thereby carrying on the solar tradition.
Sun worship in the vedic tradition
Adoration and worship of the sun was one of man's first and most natural
forms of inner expression. Most of the ancient traditions included some
form of sun worship, incorporating various solar symbols and deities,
but nowhere have these traditions been as well preserved as they are in
the vedic culture. In fact, sun worship is still practised as a daily
ritual in many parts of India today.
In ancient India the great avatar Rama became
the king of the solar race in the Ramayana. The roots of the present Hindu
culture lie in the ancient vedic scriptures, which contain numerous slokas
referring to the sun. The Rig Veda itself has many such references, a
few of which have been given below:
Aloft this all wise shining God,
His beams of light are bearing now
That everyone the Sun may see.
Thou goes across the sky's broad place
Meeting the days with rays, O Sun,
And watching generations pass.
The steeds are seven that at they car
Bear up the God whose hair is flame
O, shining God, O Sun far seen,