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Request of members to complete the Translation of Aditya Hrudhayam.

From: V. Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Dec 07 1995 - 05:10:23 PST

I have now  received  mail asking me to complete the translation of the verses
22 to 32. I am unable
 to say no to such kind requests. Hence I will make a compromise. I will
translate them and add
the comments on the Vedic significance of this Stotram.Sage Agasthya was a
Tapasvi of
 the highest order and considered an authority on the Veda Samhitas and
Upanishads. He was
 also an authority on Tamil  grammar. 

The praise he records for Aditya in the Aditya Hrudhayam is the distillation of
the thoughts 
housed in Surya Namaskara Prasnam (SNP) found in the first chapter of the
Taittiriya Aranyakam 
dealing with the Vedic method of worship of the Sun God. This Prasnam( Vedic
 is a tribute to the Svayam Jyothi or the Tejas aspect and other Kalyana gunas
of  of the Brahman or supreme being.
  .The number of Panchasats (individual mantras)found in SNP is 130. Those, who
the Surya Namaskaram through the recitation of SNP prostrate on ground at the
end of each
 Panchasat and salute the Lord at  the center of the Orb of the Sun as " Sri
Suvarchalaambha Sameta Sri Surya NARAYANA Swamineh Nama:, Om Namo Narayanaya".
 Thus,  We get  a Clue about  the Identity of the Para Brahman at the epicenter
of the Orb of Sun, who acts as the Witnes of all deeds (Karma Saakshin) from
this mode of

 A portion of the Sandhya Vandana Mantra taken from the Vedas states
"Asaavadityo Brahma". 
Here, Lord Aditya is equated to the Supreme Brahman. Sage Agastya explained this
truth to
 Rama on the battle field. He also included in his praise the message of
Taittiriya Brahman ,
 which points out that  anyone , who worships the rising and setting Sun as the
Supreme Brahman 
would be blessed with all auspiciousness on this earth. .In verses 8 and 9 ,
Sage Agastya
summarizes the Brahman aspect of Aditya and His Soverignity over all beings
Devas, Asuras and other Gods. He describes this Parabrhamam as the seed of the
(Verse 10), the source of Auspiciousness (Verse 11), the source of all
evolutes(Verse 14), the 
one denoted by the mystic syllable OM (Verse 18), the architect of  the Universe
, the uprooter of 
darkness/Avidya (Verse 21).

            The second to the sixth Anuvakas of SNP meditate upon Surya as the
embodiment of Time
 and witness of all human deeds.The passage of Time is compared to the flow of a
majestic river.
 The seasons are seen as beautiful entities populating the banks of that
river.Aditya Hrudhyam
salutes the Sun God as the Rtukartha(verse 9). The specific beauty of the
individual seasons
 and their  relationship with Aditya are described in various mantras 
known for their piety and poetic imagery. The references in the Aditya Hrudayam
about time
punctuated events such as the birth of the species, its existence and its death.
These references 
 are directly correlatable to the Kalaswaroopam and the  functions of the
Trimurthys . The Rise
 of the Sun, the coursing thru the heavens and the setting again are time
related functions alluded
 to in the Stotram.

    As Surya travels in His celestial orbit, He is recognized by the Vedas as
Urucakshas (far seeing)
and Visvacakshas (all seeing). The Seventh Anuvakam begins with the majestic
words "Chitram
Devanaam Udagadhinekam". It says that Lord Aditya of myriad forms ,embodying all
Gods ,travels
 high on His celestial orbit.His Universal presence and energization of all
living entities , from plants to animals to humans are saluted in this Mantra.
We see an echo of these Vedic   passages
in  verses 7,8, 9, 12 and 13 of the Aditya Hrudhayam. 

 In the 22nd verse, Agastya explains to Rama that Aditya as the supreme Brahman
is responsible
for the creation, sustenance and the destruction of all chetanas and  Achetanas.
He also points 
out that This Supreme Brahman is the one  who through his rays scorches the
universe and 
produces  life giving water through dense showers. The connection between the
force behind 
heat (Agni) and Water(Vadavaagni) is a concept, which finds its origin in the
Anuvakams of SNP. 
One of the Anuvakas describe Surya as being present in the eight forms of
Agnis. the homes of the 8 Agnis are as follows: Agni (East), Jatavedas (South
East), Sahojas (South), Ajiraprabhavan
(South West),Vaiswanaranan (West), Naryapas (Northwest), Panktiratas (North)
 and Visarpi (North East , the direction of Isaana). Aditya"s  Omnipresence  is
saluted here.

After recognizing Aditya  as the Life giving warmth (Agni), the 22nd Anuvakam
deals with
 the frequently used Vedic text known as Mantra Pushpam that starts with the
Yopaam pushpam Veda.The Mantra Pushpam  recognizes and pays homage to "water" as
the most fundamental of "elements" (verse  13: Ganavrishti, Apaam Mitro).. The
relationship between 
water, Moon, Agni,  Vayu, starsand Surya  is described and saluted here. A t the
end of the
 22nd Anuvaka, the Veda mantram visualizes the entire world as floating in the
immensity of "water".
 The Matra Pushpam  riks are linked with Aruna Ketuka  Saayanam, which is
important for Surya Namaskaram to gain  the boons of longevity (verse
5),,disease free life and other blessings.

>From the 23rd to 26th Anuvakas ,various prayers to Surya are offered to attain
happy , healthy life and to realize union with the supreme being (Surya
Sayujyam)  after departing from this world. In the final 
32nd Anuvaka,the methodology is revealed for observing  the ritual known as
Samvatsara Vrata.
Surya is known as the embodimentof time,punctuated by the Samvatsaras or years.
The observance
of this Vrata is therefore recommended as the essential route to attain the full
blessings of 
Aditya Bhagavan , who is Samvatsara Swarupi.The recitation of Surya Namaskara
Prasnam concludes
with the  salutations to the Navagrahas, the head of which is none other than
Surya. From
 verses 25 to 27, Agastya reveals the recitation of this stotram as a way for
the sure  removal of all impediments to Rama and to gain  victory in hte battle
to come.

Verses  28 to 30 describe the exhilaration that Rama attained thru the
recitation of the Aditya Hrudhya Stotram taught by Sage Agastya and His mighty
resolve to destroy the evil Ravana.
 In the final  31st verse of this stotram, we see Sun God, the object of praise
of this stotram , standing among the other Gods exclaiming  " O Rama, Hasten and
conclude the mission of your Incarnation"
 and blesses Rama . 

The Upanishads and Aditya
   The Upanishads that came at the end of the Vedic Period hail Aditya in number
of places. 
The CHANDOGYA  Upanishad pays homage to Surya as self-born (Svayambhu) and
supreme ruler (Parameshtin). It states that Surya represents the supreme
principle first in the nonmanifest and 
next in the manifest form.The Madhu Vidya preached in this Upanishad describes
the Surya"s rays
 as embodying the mantras of the four Vedas and spreading them in the four
The holy mantra  of Gayatri is related to this Vidya centering on Savita
worship. This Vidya also 
identifies Surya as being  present in the 5 centers of human heart.

The  BRIHADARARANYAKA  Upanishad describes Surya as the "honey" or the most
(life giving) principle for all beings. This Upanishad further identifies the
radiant Supreme Being 
inside the Sun as the Same one resident in the eye of the man. He is none other
than the immortal,
eternal Brahman enveloping all things in this Universe and residing in as
Antaryami Brahman..

Among the other Upanishads , PRASNA Upanishad salutes Surya as "the ever present
one giving life
 to all creatures as He  rises." MANDALA BRAHMANOPANISHAD  focusses on the
method of Surya
 upasana revealed by the Sage Yajnavalkya ,who was initiated into the study of
Vedas by Aditya
Bhagavan Himself.  SURYA Upanishad contains several mantras for  use by Aditya
to gain material and spiritual benefits.

AKSHI Upanishad expounds the worship of Surya through CHAKSHUMATI VIDYA ,which
confers the
benefit of unimpaired eye sight . SAVITRI Upanishad expatiates on the GAYATRI
Upasana as an 
important aspect of the worship of Aditya. It also refers to the Bala and
Atibala mantras taught
by Sage Viswamitra to Rama and Lakshmana to ward off hunger and thirst.

SURYA TAPINI Upanishad invokes Surya as the supreme of all deities. The
methodology of
worshipping Surya as Dwaadasa (12) Adityas  namely  Mitra, Ravi, Surya, BHaga,
Khaga, Pushan ,
Hiranyagarbha, Marichi, Aditya,  Savitar, Arka  and Bhaskara are described here.
In another list of 12 Adityas, names such as Dhatru, Aryaman,Rudra, Varuna,
Tvashtar and Vishnu are mentioned 
according to Vedic tradition. Several Surya Mantras are also revealed in the
Upanishad. Sage Agastya salutes Aditya as "DWadasaaatma" and "Tejasaamapi
Tejasvi " in 
the 15th verse and alludes to the different names of  the 12 Aditya elsewhere in
Aditya Hrudhayam. 

NILA RUDRA Upanishad describes the image of Surya as Copper -Colored  as
referred to in the
verse 14 of Aditya Hrudhayam. This Upanishad describes Surya as auspicious,
fearless  and 
surrounded by the 1,000 powers of life -the Rudras- who shelter Him in all


During the time of the Epics, the Rg  Vedic Trinity --Indra, Agni and Surya--
have been replaced by the Trinity (Vishnu,Rudra and Brahma). Vishnu of  the
Vedic lore celebrated as the measurer of the Worlds 
with three steps(Trivikrama aspect), and  as one of the 12  Sun Gods is
transformed into all
powerful NARAYANA. Inspite of these changes in the position of Surya in the
Hindu pantheon of Gods, He is still given an important place in the time of
epics as revealed by the Aditya Hrudhaya Upadesam
by Agastya  to the Supreme one , who incarnated as the  human son of
Dasaratha.Even today ,we
recite the Gayatri mantram and offer Arkyam to Him three times a day during the
Sandhya Vandanam.

Besides Valmiki"s describtion of  Rama Chanting Aditya Hrudhayam in Ramayana,
the poet also 
points out in his composition that Vaivasvata Manu , the law giver ,was one of
the sons of Surya.
 This Manu is the progenitor of the Solar race of Kings (Surya Vamsa). Hence ,
it is appropriate
 for Rama to salute the Aadi Karanam of his family at the most important moment
 of His mission on Earth.

The Mahabharata  extols Surya in many of its Parvas(Chapters). It describes the
physical form of Surya;envisages Him as perpetually creating ,supporting  and
destroying life (Verses 7,10,11 , 14 , 19
and 20 of Aditya Hrudhayam) and pleasing all by His multifold brilliance( Verses
6,7,9,10,12 and 14).
The Mahabharata also states that Surya moves in His orbit  in a one wheeled
Chair, while sitting on a Lotus flower .His Chariot drawn by the Seven horses is
driven by Aruna (the Red One) ,who is the wise
elder brother of Garuda. 

The Stotram is about the Parabrahman , Sriman Narayana who is the one praised
through the
Surya(Aditya) Gayatri of the Maha Naraynopanishad:




Oppiliappan koil Varadachari Sadagopan