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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
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 lesson) 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 perform 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 Chaya 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 salutation.. 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 including Devas, Asuras and other Gods. He describes this Parabrhamam as the seed of the Universe (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 words, 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 directions. 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 delectable (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 Worshippers 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 SURYA TAPNI 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 the 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 directions. ADITYA AND THE EPICS (ITHIHAASAS) ***************************************** 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. Summary *********** The Stotram is about the Parabrahman , Sriman Narayana who is the one praised through the Surya(Aditya) Gayatri of the Maha Naraynopanishad: BHAASKARAAYA VIDMAHE MAHAT DHYUTIKARAAYA DHEEMAHI TANNOH ADITYA: PRACHODHAYAAT SRI RAMA, WHO TOOK THE INCARNBATION OF A HUMAN BEING AND AS THE SON OF DASARATHA HAD TO OBSERVE THE DHARMA AND ANUSHTANAM TAUGHT BY AGASTHYA IN HIS ROLE AS A MERE MANUSHA AS HE HIMSELF STATES TO MINIMIZE HIS SARVA SWAMITVAM.HIS WORSHIP OF RANGANATHA AS THE ISHVAKU KULA DAIVATAM ALSO COMES UNDER THIS CATEGORY OF THOUGHT. SRI RAMACHANDRA PARABRAHMANEH NAMA: Oppiliappan koil Varadachari Sadagopan .