Hdeity infobox|

Caption = Surya
Name = Surya
Devanagari = सूर्य
Sanskrit_Transliteration ="sūrya"
Pali_Transliteration =
Tamil_script =
Script_name =
Script =

Affiliation = Graha
God_of = the sun
Abode =
Mantra =
Weapon =
Consort = Saranyu, Ragyi, Prabha and Chhaya
Mount = Chariot drawn by seven white horses
/ by seven headed horse
(Charioteer:Aruna) [The Book of Hindu Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning By Eva Rudy Jansen p. 65 ]
Planet = Sun

In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, "sūrya", lit "the Supreme Light" [Graha Sutras By Ernst Wilhelm , Published by Kala Occult Publishers ISBN 0970963645 p.49] ; Malay: "Suria"; Thai: "Phra Athit") is the chief solar deity, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives Aditi [ [ Translation of Mahabharata of Vyasa by Kisari Mohan Ganguli , Stories and Characters from Mahabharata, Mahabharatam in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi ] ] , of Indra, or of Dyaus Pitar (depending by the versions). The term "Surya" also refers to the Sun, in general. God Surya has hair and arms of gold. Surya drives through the heaven in his triumphal chariot harnessed by seven horses or one horse with seven heads [The Book of Hindu Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning By Eva Rudy Jansen p. 65 ] , which represent the seven colours of the rainbow or the seven chakras. He presides over "Ravi-waar" or Sunday.

In Hindu religious literature, Surya is notably mentioned as the visible form of God that one can see every day. Furthermore, Shaivites and Vaishnavas often regard Surya as an aspect of Shiva and Vishnu, respectively. For example, the sun is called "Surya Narayana" by Vaishnavas. In Shaivite theology, Surya is said to be one of eight forms of Shiva, named the "Astamurti".

His other names include Vivasvat (Sanskrit: वैवस्वत) (also Visvakarma or Vivasvan), "Ravi" (lit. "the Fire Bird" [Graha Sutras By Ernst Wilhelm , Published by Kala Occult Publishers ISBN 0970963645 p.49] ), "Aditya" (lit. the son of Aditi) [Graha Sutras By Ernst Wilhelm , Published by Kala Occult Publishers ISBN 0970963645 p.50] , "Pusha" (the best Purifier), "Divakar" (the maker of the day), "Savita" (the vivifier), "Arka" (the ray), "Mitra" (friend) [Graha Sutras By Ernst Wilhelm , Published by Kala Occult Publishers ISBN 0970963645 p.50] , "Bhanu" (light), "Bhaskar" (maker of Light) and "Grahapati" (the Lord of Grahas) [Graha Sutras By Ernst Wilhelm , Published by Kala Occult Publishers ISBN 0970963645 p.51] .


Sometimes Surya has two hands with a lotus in both; sometimes four with a lotus, chakra, a conch and the fourth hand makes the gesture of protection. [The Book of Hindu Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning By Eva Rudy Jansen p. 65 ]

Surya Namaskara, or the "Sun salutation"

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:
#ॐ मित्राय नमः "aum mitrāya namah"
#ॐ रवये नमः "aum ravayé namah"
#ॐ सूर्याय नमः "aum sūryāya namah"
#ॐ भानवे नमः "aum bhānavé namah"
#ॐ खगय नमः "aum khagāya namah"
#ॐ पुष्णे नमः "aum pushné namah"
#ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः "aum hiranyagarbhāya namah"
#ॐ मारिचाये नमः "aum mārichāyé namah"
#ॐ आदित्याय नमः "aum ādityāya namah"
#ॐ सावित्रे नमः "aum sāvitré namah"
#ॐ आर्काय नमः "aum ārkāya namah"
#ॐ भास्कराय नमः "aum bhāskarāya namah"

The mantra frequently recited to praise the Surya comes from the Rig Veda, Book 1 Hymn 35:

: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."Fact|date=August 2007

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 with Ravana.

Surya's religious role and mythic relationships

Vivasvat (Surya) had three queens - "Saranya" (also called Sanjna or Sangya), "Ragyi" and "Prabha". Ragyi had a son named Revanta or Raivata while Sangya was the mother of Vaivasvata Manu or Sraddhadeva Manu (the seventh, i.e. present Manu), the twins Yama Dev (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yami (associated with the river Yamuna). Surya is the father of the twins known as the Ashwins, divine horsemen and physicians to the Devas, from Sanranya. Once, Sangya, 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 Dev (the planet Saturn), and two daughters - Tapti (goddess of river Tapti) and Vishti. [Padma Purana - Chap Srishtikhand, section 8]

In Ramayana, Surya is described as father of the Monkey King Sugriva, who helped Rama and Lakshmana defeat the demon king Ravana. He also trains Hanuman as his guru. The Suryavanshi dynasty of kings, Rama being one of them, also claims descent from him.

In the Mahabharata, princess Kunti receives instruction for a mantra from the sage Durvasa; by reciting the mantra, she is able to summon any god and bear a child with him. Unable to believe the power of this mantra, Kunti tries to summon Surya. When Surya appears, she is overawed and requests him to go back, but Surya is compelled to fulfil the mantra before returning. Surya magically causes Kunti to bear a child immediately so that she, an unmarried princess, would not be subject to questions from the king or his court. Kunti discards this child, Karna, who grows up to become one of the central characters in the great battle of Kurukshetra.

In astrology

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, 4th and 7th houses). Surya is lord of three nakshatras 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.


There are Surya temples all across India. The most famous is the World Heritage Site of the Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa. Besides Konark, there is another sun temple in Orissa called Biranchi khetra (Biranchi Narayan Temple) 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.

See also

*Hindu deities
*Solar Deity
*Surya Namaskara


External links

* [ An ancient hymn to Surya ] - from the Rig Veda
* [ Weekly podcast on Vedic Chanting and Vedic Mythology with stories from the Puranas]
* [सूर्य_उपनिषद् Surya Upanishad (Wikisource)]

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