Many of us know Aditya Hrudayam as a song to propitiate the Sun (Sun salutations). Who shared it, with whom & how did this become important?
When we have a dilemma and are stuck on what is the next-right-thing to do, where do we get our guidance from? Who provides us that guidance?
In Ramayana, when Sri Rama is fighting the war with Ravana, on the day he was supposed to face him, he stands in the battlefield, tensed, fatigued and in deep thought. He knew the right thing to do, but the feeling of exhaustion was taking over. The Gods had assembled in the sky to witness the battle between good and evil, Sri Rama and Ravana, and see good win over evil.
That dilemma, that thought, that feeling of exhaustion, seeking guidance and waiting for a sign is instantly recognized by a Guru (teacher). Sage Agasthya recognizes this and comes to Sri Rama and advices him thus.
“Sri Rama! Listen to this eternal secret, with which you can win over all your enemies. It destroys all your enemies. Victory comes to those who recite it. By reciting this, you will receive in abundance, the greatest level of auspiciousness, to destroy all sins & wrongful deeds, pacifying sorrowful thoughts & enhancing life. Arise with the golden rays of the Sun that are revered by Gods and demons. Worship Him (Sun) who is the Lord of the Light and ruler of the world, who magnifies the radiance of all Gods. He, who is the King of all the planets, whom we see as the Creator, Sustainer and the one who re-generates, He is Nature in itself, He is the yard stick (time) for Yama (God of Death), and who leads the swaying Moon. He is the one who heals & strengthens all beings. He is the permanent source of Light to all living beings, and the source of vital energy to all. He is the son of Dithi, he is the soaring strength in the heavens. Salute the flaming Sun in his golden chariot. His horses with their golden rays, illuminate our minds seven-fold (seven horses). His restoring rays delightfully destroys the source of darkness (in the world and in us). Our world is heated and cooled by this giver of Light. Born from Fire, He destroys the chill. His seat is in a higher plane. He helps conquer the essence of the Vedas. His shower of knowledge illuminates the directions of the vedic scriptures. He, with the other planets help us evolve to a higher level.
The first amongst stars, planets and constellations, he is universal consciousness, Bow down to the Halo of the Sun God. Bow to the mountains in the east, rivers in the west, Lord of the divine light, victory to the sustainer – the Sun. Bow to the one with a thousand names, the son of Dithi. Bow to the one who is multi-hued, powerful and gallant, Bow to the awakened Lotus, the powerful Sun. Bow to the Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara (as the Sun naturally holds the creative, sustaining, destructive powers in the universe).
Bow to the dispeller of darkness, remover of frost, remover of enemies, Bow to the Immortal one. Bow to the God-given divine knowledge and light. One whose fearless golden chariot is the power of the world, Bow to the brightness that destroys the darkness, the one who witnesses it all. He is the one that destroys all elements by his own crowning light. He is the Lord who protects all, liberates all, the one who makes it rain. He resides hidden in all elements. His is the sacrificial offering and the fruit of its result. He is the Vedas, result of all sacrifices, and the fruit of all duties. He is the doer of all actions in the world.
Those facing misfortunes, obstacles in the pursuit of their goals, having fear, have never come to grief singing his praises! Worship Him Sri Rama. Chant his hymn thrice. Victory will be yours in the battle. In this moment, you will have victory over Ravana.”
Saying this Sage Agasthya left.
What Sage Agasthya explained above is Aditya Hrudayam 🙏🏻
Hearing this, Sri Rama was filled with clarity & joy within, freed from distress. He gazes at the Sun & chants the Aditya Hrudayam hymn three times, feeling & experiencing supreme joy. With a renowned confidence & determination, Sri Rama turns towards Ravana facing him in the battlefield to put an end to evil. Anticipating the win of good over evil, Sun God surrounded by all the Gods in heaven was supremely pleased and wished him to complete his task soon and successfully!
I am humbled & mesmerized by the beautiful explanation of Sage Agasthya. As a Guru (teacher), he understands the dilemma & comes to help, creates a focal point setting the context, creates a yard stick, uses the yard stick to elevate his mind and thought process, brings him back to the present and connects the dots by asking him to pray to such a divine visible & omni-present one. When we follow the words spoken and let our minds understand and imagine it, our hearts fill with joy as well.
Tomorrow being Ratha Sapthami (February 7th 2022), a Hindu festival dedicated to Sun God on the 7th day of the waxing moon during Maagha month. On the day of Ratha Saptami, devotees get up before sunrise and take a holy bath. It is believed that taking a sacred bath during this time, will free a person from all illnesses and ailments and bestow good health. Therefore, the festival is also popularly known as ‘Arogya Saptami’.
On days when you are feeling exhausted, tired, unable to feel the energy within, looking to get rid of your doubts, fears and illnesses, seeking guidance, look up at the Sun and read the words that Sage Agasthya told Sri Rama 🙏🏻 It will fill your hearts with joy as well 🙏🏻 🙏🏻 🙏🏻