Prayers to the Lord Surya - Sungod

Lord Surya
"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
                                  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.

See also:


 Salutations to the Sun - Surya Namaskar

108 Names of Lord Surya

Lord Surya Ashtothram - 108 Divine names of Lord Surya

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