aditya hrdayam

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1 ĀDITYA HRDAYAM Śrīmad Vālmīki Rāmāyaa in Yuddhakāṇḍa (Chapter VI: Canto 105) r eveals Ādi tya Hṛ daya, a powerful prayer to Sun god. Lord Rāma was thinking about the ongoing battle with Rāvaa. As an incarnation, Rāma  known for meticulously upholding dharma śāstra -s, seems visibly upset about large scale killings in the war. He wanted to end the war at the earliest to save the lives of the remaining warriors. At that time, sage Agastya had come along with several gods to meet Rāma. Agastya knew what was going on in Rāma’s mind , and in order to find a solution, he told Rāma to recite a hymn known as Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram. Why Agastya had chosen to impart Āditya Hdaya to Rāma is an intriguing question. Āditya Hṛ daya comprises of various hymns to propitiate Brahmā, the god o f creation and was placed in the heart (hdaya) of sun’s orbit. Since this mantra was placed in the heart of sun, which is also known as Āditya, this hymn is known as Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram. There are thirty one couplets (all the verses in Rāmāyaa are in couplets only; there are 24,000 verses in all) in this Canto out of which Āditya Hṛ daya is revealed from verse four till verse 26. Many texts contain additions at the end of the main part comprising of 23 couplets. First three verses of this Canto speak about Agastya’s rendezvous with Rāma and his address to Him. What is the importance of sun and why Agastya had chosen to impart mantras praising the sun? Chāndogya Upaniad ( answers this question that lingers in our minds. It says, “There is a deity in within the orbit of the sun, who is seen by the yogī -s. His whole body glitters like gold. He has a bright golden beard and golden hair.” Here, the inexplicable Brahman is conveyed and hence the Upani ad says that the deity in the sun can be seen only  by the yogī -s. Yogī means a person who is able to unite his individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness. This means that the one who is rid of māyā and able to realize the every illuminating Self is adored as a Yogī. Agastya says to Rāma to worship the Prakāśa  aspect of Brahman, as His full Grandeur cannot be seen at all. This Prakāśa aspect of Brahman is personified as sun god. Typically speaking, Agastya advises Rāma to worship Brahman to conquer and slay Rāvaa. This aspect is explicitly explained in three verses which say that sun god represents Brahmā, Viṣṇ u, Śiva, Skanda, Prajāpati, Kubera, Kāla, Yama, Soma, Varua, Aśvin-s, Marut-s, Manu, Vāyu and Agni. Most of these gods are referred in Vedas. The list is not exhaustive; but surely encompasses almost every aspect of creation, sustenance and death. This goes to prove that the sun god referred here, in fact refers to ever y illuminating Brahman or the Self. There are verses in Vedas comparing sun to Brahman. K ṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Sahitā (III.iv.11.6-8) adores sun and these verses form part of Navagraha Sūkta. These verses go like this: सयन जसा वत मानः नव शयनम   मय  च। ययन सवा दवो या भ   वना वपयन   

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Śrīmad Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa in Yuddhakāṇḍa (Chapter VI: Canto 105) reveals Āditya Hṛ daya,a powerful prayer to Sun god. Lord Rāma was thinking about the ongoing battle with Rāvaṇa.As an incarnation, Rāma known for meticulously upholding dharma śāstra-s, seems visiblyupset about large scale killings in the war. He wanted to end the war at the earliest to save thelives of the remaining warriors. At that time, sage Agastya had come along with several godsto meet Rāma. Agastya knew what was going on in Rāma’s mind, and in order to find asolution, he told Rāma torecite a hymn known as Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram.

Why Agastya had chosen to impart Āditya Hṛdaya to Rāma is an intriguing question. ĀdityaHṛ daya comprises of various hymns to propitiate Brahmā, the god of creation and was placedin the heart (h ṛdaya) of sun’s orbit. Since this mantra was placed in the heart of sun, which isalso known as Āditya, this hymn is known as Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram. There are thirty onecouplets (all the verses in Rāmāyaṇa are in couplets only; there are 24,000 verses in all) inthis Canto out of which Āditya Hṛ daya is revealed from verse four till verse 26. Many textscontain additions at the end of the main part comprising of 23 couplets. First three verses ofthis Canto speak about Agastya’s rendezvous with Rāma and his address to Him.

What is the importance of sun and why Agastya had chosen to impart mantras praising thesun? Chāndogya Upaniṣad ( answers this question that lingers in our minds. It says,

“There is a deity in within the orbit of the sun, who is seen by the yogī -s. His whole body

glitters like gold. He has a bright golden beard and golden hair.” Here, the inexplicableBrahman is conveyed and hence the Upani ṣad says that the deity in the sun can be seen only by the yogī -s. Yogī means a person who is able to unite his individual consciousness with theSupreme Consciousness. This means that the one who is rid of māyā and able to realize theevery illuminating Self is adored as a Yo gī. Agastya says to Rāma to worship the Prakāśa aspect of Brahman, as His full Grandeur cannot be seen at all. This Prakāśa aspect ofBrahman is personified as sun god. Typically speaking, Agastya advises Rāma to worshipBrahman to conquer and slay Rāvaṇa. This aspect is explicitly explained in three verseswhich say that sun god represents Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Skanda, Prajāpati, Kubera, Kāla,Yama, Soma, Varu ṇa, Aśvin-s, Marut- s, Manu, Vāyu and Agni. Most of these gods arereferred in Vedas. The list is not exhaustive; but surely encompasses almost every aspect ofcreation, sustenance and death. This goes to prove that the sun god referred here, in factrefers to every illuminating Brahman or the Self.

There are verses in Vedas comparing sun to Brahman. K ṛṣṇa Yajur Veda Taittirīya Saṁhitā(III.iv.11.6- 8) adores sun and these verses form part of Navagraha Sūkta. These verses go likethis:

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ā satyena rajasā vartamānaḥ niveśayannamṛ taṁ martya ṁ ca |hiraṇyayena savitā rathena ā devo yāti bhuvanā vipaśyan ||

This verse can be interpreted as follows. All Vedic verses have dual conveyances – gross andsubtle. Gross is connected to rituals and subtle is connected to realization of the Self.

“He shines with the illumination of the Self within as well as illumination visible to our biological eyes. He pervades both earth plane and higher plane where gods and goddesseslive. He moves around all these worlds in his gold chari ot.”

Ṛg Veda (I.50.8) also says, “O! Self – radiant, through your divine spectrum of sevenharnessed to your chariot, you guide all men.” Seven mentioned in this verse not only meansVIBGYOR (seven colours associated with seven psychic chakras), but also seven upperworlds referred in Brahma G āyatrī mantra ( saptavyāhṛti sahita gāyatrī mantraḥ).

om bhūḥ om bhuva ḥ om suva ḥ om maha ḥ om jana ḥ om tapa ḥ om satya ṁ omtatsaviturvare ṇyaṁ bhargo devasya dhīmahi || dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt || om āpo jyotiraso'm ṛ taṁ brahma bhūrbhuvaḥsvarom ||

The verse says all the seven worlds are only . In other words, these seven worlds represent

seven higher spiritual planes, where the Light of Brahman prevails. This establishes the factthat Prakāśa of Brahman is omnipresent and this Brahman is described in the form of sun, toenable us to contemplate Brahman in His illuminating form. How the sun can be compared toBrahman? Brahman has three main acts, creation, sustenance and destruction. Sun alsocreates, sustains and destroys. Sun is the cause for prāṇa, light, water, etc which takes care ofall the three aspects of Brahman.

Therefore, Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram should not be construed merely as a praise of sun god. Thehymn in fact praises the Prakāśaform of Brahman as discussed above. In this short series, wewill discuss Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram.

There are two couplets which do not form part of Śrīmad Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa are used asdhyāna verses.



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jayatu jayatu sūryaṁ saptalokaikadīpaṁ kiraṇaśamitapāpa kleśa dḥkhasya nāśam | (i)

aruṇakira ṇa gamya ṁ ādiṁ ādityamūrtiṁ

sakala bhuvanavandya ṁ bhāskaraṁ taṁ namāmi || (ii) This is a prayer to sun god. “I pray to the sun god who is capable of destroying our sins, pain,anguish, disease and distress”. Word ‘kleśa’ is used in this verse with greatdiligence.Patañjali in his Yoga S ūtra (II.3) says:

avidyā asmitā rāga dveṣa abhiniveśāh kleśaḥ |

Meaning: Spiritual ignorance is the major pain bearing obstacle which leads to other fourafflictions such as ego, attachment, aversion and attachment to the physical body.

Māyā is the cause for avidyā. Unless one is able to shed the influence of māyā, realisation ofthe Self is not possible. This is the prayer to sun god to remove the effects of māyā. Whenmāyā is shed, kleśa discussed above is also removed.

K ṛṣṇa also spoke about kleśa in Bhagavad Gītā (XVIII.8). He says, “Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome or out of fear of bodily discomfort ( kleśa) can never be atrue renouncer and he can never reach any elevated spiritual state .” He says that one should

meticulously follow the path of spiritual practices at any cost.

The above two dhyāna verses say the following:

Let the sun shine in all the seven worlds (seven worlds were discussed in the introduction tothis series). He is capable of destroying kleśa by his sheer radiance. I pray to him to removespiritual darkness by imparting knowledge about the Self. The verse says that he is the

beginning of the universe, which subtly conveys that the prayer is offered to Brahman, asBrahman alone exists from the beginning. This is conveyed through ādiṁ in the verse.

Āditya Hṛ dayam

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tato yuddhapariśrāntaṁ samare cintayā sthitam | rāvaṇaṁ cāgrato dṛṣṭvā yuddhāya samupasthitam || (1)

daivataiśca samāgamya drṣṭumabhyāgato raṇam ||upāgamyābravīd rāmam agastyo bhagavān riṣiḥ || (2)

rāma rāma mahābāho śruṇu guhya ṁ sanātanam | yena sarvānarīn vatsa samare vijayiṣyasi || (3)


1. tata ḥ - the place where the war takes place; yuddhapariśrāntaṁ - exhausted due to the war;samare – war; cintayā sthitam – constantly thinking (about the war); rāvaṇaṁ - Rāvaṇa;

cāgrato dṛṣṭvā – having seen in front; yuddhāya samupasthitam – well disposed for the battle.

2. daivataiśca samāgamya – all gods coming together; dr ṣṭumabhyāgato raṇam – reached thewar zone to enjoy the battle; upāgamyābravīd rāmam – on noticing Rāma; agastyo bhagavānriṣiḥ - the great sage Agastya.

3. rāma rāma – O! Rāma! Rāma! mahābāho – long armed (Lord Vi ṣṇu is also known asMahābāhu because of His long arms); śruṇu – listen; guhya ṁ sanātanam – eternal and ancientsecret; y ena sarvānarīn – with which all enemies; vatsa – O! Child; samare vijayi ṣyasi – can

be won over in the war.

Summary 1 -3:

Sage Agastya had come to the battlefield along with other gods and goddesses to witness the battle between Rāma and Rāvaṇa. The war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa signifies the war between good and evil thoughts. Rāmāyaṇa explains how persons with evil thoughts areultimately annihilated. Though Rāvaṇa was a great worshiper of Śiva, he was not spared forhis wicked acts. This also explains that those who are embodiments of evil thoughts would beannihilated in the same birth. Bountiful evil karmas do not wait for the next birth, but

manifest in the same birth. What is sown has to be reaped in a short span of time. Goodthoughts manifest in the form of spiritual evolution and bad thoughts lead to mental and

physical sufferings. As this is the war between good and bad, all gods and goddessaccompanied Sage Agastya to witness the battle of good vs bad. Similarly, when Vi ṣṇu tookthe form of N ṛ siṁha (man-lion) and killed Hira ṇyakaśipu, all gods and goddesses were present to witness the latter’s annihilation.

Agastya called Rāma twice; the first one addressed to Rāma as the warrior, as the king andabove all, God. The second one addressed to Rāma out of love and affection for Him treatinghim as a child. In Guru-disciple relationship, even today this attitude exists, though very

rarely. The first Rāma in the third verse is connected to mahābāho which means mightyarmed. His hands are called mighty because, He has long hands. Vi ṣṇu sustains the universe

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by upholding dharma and annihilating those who cause imbalance between dharma and a-dharma. The second usage of Rāma is connected to vatsa (child) in the second line of thethird verse. In the third ve rse, Agastya reminds Rāma about the eternal existence of asecretive mantra to destroy all enemies. Rāma as an incarnation will never have enemies, as

Brahman does not discriminate. Enemies here refer to evil acts and Rāvaṇa representsembodiment of all evil acts and in particular, disrespecting women. As per dharma śāstra-s,disesteeming women is considered as one of the greatest sins for which there is no remedy.Rāvaṇa had gone to the extent of abducting Rāma’s Consort Sītā Devi.

Rāma does not need any help and He knows what is going to happen to Rāvaṇa. But, thesecrecy of Āditya Hṛ dayam was made to reveal to the world through Agastya. This expressesthe respect Rāma had for great sages and saints. All through His incarnated life, He respectedall His teachers.

The above three verses do not form part of Āditya Hṛ daya Stotram. These verses introduceAgastya in order to reveal Āditya Hṛdayam to everyone. From the next verse onwards, ĀdityaHṛ daya Stotram is revealed.

Āditya Hṛ daya storam begins from verse 4. The stotra begins differently from commonlyknown forms. Generally, benefits of reciting hymns are given at the end as phalaśruti. But, inĀditya Hṛ daya storam, benefit of reciting this stotra is revealed in the first verse itself. Thisis done with a specific purpose, as at the end of recitation sun god appears before Śrī Rāmaand wishes Him for his victory in the battle. We may wonder why Lord Rāma needs sungod’s wishes. Rāma is an incarnation and by leading His life as an incarnation, He sets an

example for us to follow. Brahman incarnates at different times, when adharma weighs overdharma. During incarnations, He not only annihilates adharma, but also imparts severalspiritual teachings to enable us to pursue the path of dharma.

There is also another reason for declaring the benefits of reciting this mantra at the beginning.When Agastya told Śrī Rāma to recite Āditya Hṛ dayam three times, He did so with a lot ofdevotion and as a result, sun god decided to grant the wishes of Śrī Rāma to win the battleand communicated to Him. When prayers are answered due to devotion, where is the time totalk about benefits? When god appears before us, will we ever think about anything else?

This was the situation when sun god appeared before Śrī Rāma in person (with greatreverence) and wished Him success in the battle.

Possibly we can think of one more reason for this. There was fierce battle going on. Agastyamade sudden appearance in the battle field to reveal the secret of Āditya Hṛ dayam. Thissecret was revealed in the midst of the battlefield. Hence Agastya in the beginning itself toldRāma about the purpose of his revealing Āditya Hṛ dayam to Him. The time was short and the

battle was to be won immediately, as nobody wants further deaths in the battlefield. HadRāma thought, He could have killed Rāvaṇa in no time. But, as already discussed, Rāma is anincarnation and had set the righteous path for us to follow. Now let us study the intricacies ofthis great hymn.

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ādityahṛ dayaṁ puṇyaṁ sarvaśatru vināśanam |

jayāvahaṁ japen nitya ṁ ak ṣayaṁ parama ṁ śivam || (4)

sarvama ṅgala māṅgalya ṁ sarvapāpa praṇāśanam | cintāśoka praśamanaṁ āyurvardhanamuttamam || (5)


4. ādityahṛ dayaṁ puṇyaṁ - This hymn known as Āditya Hṛ dayam is full of auspiciousnessand virtuousness (this is explained further in the summary below); sarvaśatru vināśanam – capable of eliminating all types of enemies; jayāvahaṁ - it is capable of conferring victory;

japen nitya ṁ - if recited daily; ak ṣayaṁ - every nourishing or un-decaying; parama ṁ śivam – highest degree of auspiciousness (which also includes emancipation).

5. sarvama ṅgala māṅgalyaṁ - conferring and exhibiting eternal auspiciousness; sarvapāpa – all types of sins; pra ṇāśanam – annihilation; cintāśoka praśamanaṁ - healing all types ofmental afflictions (worries); āyurvardhana uttamam – gives a long life.

Summary 4 and 5:

Agastya introduces Āditya Hṛdayam to Śrī Rāma by saying, “ādityahṛ dayaṁ puṇyaṁ”.Agastya has very carefully chosen his opening words. He speaks about auspiciousness andvirtuousness. The form of Śrī Rāma itself is full ofauspiciousness and all His deeds arehighly virtuous in nature. As Rāma has liking for this quality and attribute, Agastyaintroduces this by saying that the hymn he is going to declare is full of “ puṇyaṁ”.

Agastya begins the next introductory verse by saying “sarvama ṅgala māṅgalya ṁ” whichmeans eternal auspiciousness, the stage of Ānanda, perpetual Bliss. Rāma means pleasing andcharming. When one is happy within, enjoying Bliss, the state of happiness is reflected in hisface. Agastya knows very well that Rāma is the source of happiness and Bliss. Agastya,having known that the form of Śrī Rāma radiates auspiciousness, chooses his words verycarefully in the second verse. Agastya did not say that this mantra is auspicious. Agastyatakes into account two factors. One, he is going to advise the eternal and all knowingBrahman who has incarnated in the form of Śrī Rāma. That is why Agastya has chosen to use“sarvama ṅgala māṅgalyaṁ”. When a word is repeated twice, its importance is highlystressed. What made Agastya t o open this with “sarvama ṅgala māṅgalya ṁ”, was, when Śrī

Rāma was engulfed in deep thought of annihilating Rāvaṇa the next day, Rāma has toseriously listen to him, and the importance of this mantra is to be properly conveyed. (This is

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Supreme Consciousness, no further karmas are accrued. By reciting Āditya Hṛ dayam daily,mind gets fixed on Brahman and the aspirant is elevated in his spiritual level to ultimately

become one with the Self. He moves up in the spiritual ladder by reaching the stage ofsthitaprajña (firm in judgment and wisdom, calm, contented). Once the stage of sthitaprajña is

reached, further progress in spiritual path will happen automatically. He is now freed of allhis mental disturba nces, which is conveyed by “cintāśoka praśamanaṁ”. When mind is purified and body is nourished, one gets a longer and healthier life, which is meant by“āyurvardhana uttamam” at the end of the fifth verse.

Thus, Āditya Hṛ dayam has both gross and subtler meanings. In fact, it is a revelation tohumanity, as Śrī Rāma does not need a hymn to annihilate Rāvaṇa. As already discussed,having born as a human being, and as an incarnation, he lays down the ethical principles ofliving. Contextually, He listens to Agastya and by reciting Āditya Hṛ dayam thrice, He killsRāvaṇa.

( )

raśmimantaṁ samudyanta ṁ devāsura namaskṛ tam |

pūjayasva vivasvantaṁ bhāskaraṁ bhuvaneśvaram || (6)


raśmi – rays of light; manta ṁ - reflecting (reflecting the rays of Light); samudyanta ṁ -gloriously rising destroying all the boundaries and limitations; deva asura namask ṛ tam – worshiped and adored both by gods and demons (asura also means incorporeal); pūjayasva – worshiped with earnestness; vivasvanta ṁ - the Brilliant one (diffusing Light); bhāskaraṁ -illuminating, shining, glittering, bright ; bhuvaneśvaram – lord of three worlds (bhuvana -three worlds; īśvara also means Supreme Brahman or the Self).


This verse can be interpreted both from gross and subtle angles.

Gross interpretation:

This verse says that the sun rises everyday to illuminate the three worlds. Sun god is adored by all gods and all demons alike. He is the lord of the worlds. The verse also praises the raysof the sun.

Subtle interpretation:

The verse says that sun reflects the rays of Light. But does not say sun is the cause of theLight; it only reflects the light. This leads to the conclusion that there is something else that is

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the source of original Light. What is this original Light? This is explained in variousUpani ṣad-s.

A number of Upani ṣad-s talk about this Light.

Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upani ṣad (IV.iv.6) says “upon that immortal Light of all lights the godsmeditate as longevity.” This means that gods meditate on this Supreme Light for theirimmortality.

Kaṭha Upani ṣad (II.ii.15) explains this further. “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does notshine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahmanshines, everything follows. By Its light, all these are lighted.” This is the famous dīpaārādhana mantra:

na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ

tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti |

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) says, param joyti ḥ upasampadyate which means attainingthe highest light. The Upani ṣad says “Then, this person, who is the embodiment ofhappiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature.This is the Self.”

If we go with the interpretations of the above Upani ṣad-s, it is clear that the sun draws itslight from Brahman, who alone is Self-illuminating. He is also known as Prakāśa, the Light

by which everything else is illuminated. This argument is supported by two other words ofthe verse vivasvanta ṁ and bhāskaraṁ. Vivasva t means both Prakāśa andVimarśa. It is notonly the original source of Light, but also diffuses the Light. It can be recalled that Śiva is theoriginal source of Light or Prakāśa. Śakti diffuses the Light of Śiva and hence She is knownas V imarśa. But according to this verse, both Prakāśa andVimarśa are subtly conveyed andtheir unified form is known as Paramaśiva. In Paramaśiva both Light and reflection of Lightare inherent. Therefore, this verse subtly reveals Brahman, who is often explained asParamaśiva. It is not only Śiva, but also Śakti. Their unified form is known as Paramaśiva.

Further, gods and demons are not going to worship sun, as sun is considered only as a planet.It is said in Rāmāyaṇa that Rāvaṇa apprehended all the nine planets which includes the sun

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and kept them under his custody. Hence it is obvious that what is referred here is not the sungod, but Brahman. Only Brahman is worshiped by both gods and demons alike. This isfollowed by another word pūjayasva, which means worshiping with earnestness. It is not justworship, but it is worship with earnestness. It says that unless Brahman is earnestly

worshiped (contemplated), the darkness of māyā cannot be removed. If He is worshiped withearnestness, He removes the darkness of māyā by His Light. This means through earnestmeditation, Light (the Self or Brahman) can be realized within, which will remove thedarkness and boundaries of māyā.

The other word that is very important in this verse is bhāskaraṁ, which refers to the Self-illuminating aspect of Brahman. Bhāskara not only refers to the sun, but also means ‘makingof Light’, obviously referring to Brahman. This is explained in Yajur Veda (TaittrīyaSaṁhitā) III.iv.11.17 which says,

pra sa mitra marto astu prayasvān yasta āditya śikṣati vratena |

na hanyate na jīyate tvotaḥ nainamaho aśnoti anito na dūrāt ||

The above Veda couplet says, “O! Mitra, may the mortal have the pleasant and abundantoffering who Āditya seeks to follow your law. Aided by you, he is not slain or oppressed. Sinor any other afflictions does not come to him, either from near or from afa r.” The above verseforms part of sandhyāvandana mantras-s. Seeks to follow your law refers to law of Brahman(Law of Karma also known as Law of the Lord). Aid by you means having obtained HisGrace, in the form of appearance of Light within or realisation of the Self within ( Ātman).The next part of the verse says that if He is realized, he will not face oppression, accruefurther sin, will not be affected by anything either near or far away. Accrual of sins ceaseonly if the Self within is realized. In other words, unless one surrenders to Brahman, accrualof sins cannot be stopped. This truth revealed in all Upani ṣad-s. This devotee transforms intoa Yogī .

Destroying boundaries and limitations on the grosser side mean dawn. On the subtler side, ittalks about māyā, which always limits spiritual knowledge. It is only due to māyā, we feelthat our body, which is bound both by organs of perception and action coupled withantaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect, consciousness and ego). Destroying conveys the destruction ofmāyā, which is always compared to darkness and illusion. When māyā is destroyed, senseorgans anta ḥkaraṇa are subjugated.

Verse six above also says bhuvaneśvaram. Bhuvana means three words referred in Gāyatrīmantra - bhūḥ bhuva ḥ and suva ḥ. If we go by grosser interpretation, it means that the sun

pervades all the three worlds. But in reality, sun does not shine in all the three worlds. Threeloka-s or worlds mean the thre e stages of consciousness. Bhūr means the lower level ofconsciousness and lower planes. Bhuvar means the ordinary or normal level of consciousness

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that is associated with our day to day activities. Svar means higher level of consciousness.Thus, the three vyāhṛ ti-s in fact mean the modifications in the level of consciousness. Threeloka-s are also commonly enumerated, viz. heaven, earth, and the atmosphere or lowerregions. Bhūr -loka, the earth; Bhuvar-loka the space between the earth and sun inhabited by

sages and saints; Svar-loka, Indra's Heaven above the sun or between it and the polar star.But sun is restricted only our galaxy known as Milky Way. Sun of our solar system does notshine in two other worlds described in Gāyatrī mantra. Bhuvana in the verse is followed byIśvara, the Supreme Lord or Brahman. Sun is not called Iśvara.

Therefore, it is obvious that the verse refers only to Brahman. Agastya advices Rāma toremember His original Brahman form. If Brahman is nirgu ṇa, Rāma is an incarnation orsaguṇa form of Brahman. Brahman incarnated in the form of Rāma to uphold dharma anddestroy adharma in order to maintain the balance between the two.

The verse subtly conveys that we should meditate on the Self-effulgent Brahman to go pastmāyā and realize Him to stop accumulation of further sins. Unless all our karmas areexhausted, we are bound to undergo the pains of transmigration.

sarvadevātmako hyeṣaḥ tejasvī raśmibhāvanaḥ |

eṣa devāsuragaṇān lokān pāti gabhastibhiḥ || (7)

eṣa brahmā ca viṣṇuśca śivaḥ skanda ḥ prajāpatiḥ |mahendro dhanada ḥ kālo yamaḥ somo hyapāṁ patiḥ || (8)

pitaro vasava ḥ sādhyā hyaśvinau maruto manu ḥ |

vāyuvahniḥ prajāḥ prāṇaḥ ṛtukarto prabhākaraḥ || (9)


7. sarvadev ātmakaḥ - comprising of all gods; hye ṣaḥ - that sun god (on account of this sungod); tejasvi – effulgent; ( raśmibhāvanaḥ) -> raśmi – rays of light; bhāvanaḥ - displaying or

manifesting; e ṣa – the sun god; ( devāsuragaṇān) -> deva asura ga ṇāḥ - gods, demons andtheir troops; lokān – the worlds they live; pāti – lord; gabhastibhi ḥ - rays of sun god.

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8. eṣaḥ - the sun god; brahmā – Brahmā, the god of creation; Vi ṣṇu - Vi ṣṇu, the protector;śivaḥ - Śiva, the destroyer;skanda ḥ - Kārttikeya (leader of Śiva's troop against the enemies ofthe gods and also the sun of Śiva; prajāpatiḥ - divinity presiding over procreation, protector oflife and is different from ; mahendro – Indra, chief of gods; dhanada ḥ - Kubera, god for

wealth; kālo (kālaḥ) -> time ( kāla has several meaning); yama ḥ (Yama) - god of death; somo(soma ḥ) – moon god; apāṁ patiḥ - Varu ṇa, god presiding over water.

9. pitaro (pitara ḥ) – forefathers (they represent lineage or kula); vasava ḥ - eight benevolentgods, generally known as a ṣṭa vasu- s; sādhya- belonging to the ga ṇa-devatā-s (they need to

bur propitiated, but occasionally referred in Vedas); aśvinau – aśvin-s (they are two innumber); maruto – maruts (they are considered as storm gods and Indra’s companions);manu ḥ - Manu, considered as the father of human race; vāyuvahniḥ (vāyu + vahniḥ) – air andfire; prajāḥ prāṇaḥ - procreative prāṇa or the vital force; ṛ tukarto – six seasons (each ṛ tuconsists of two solar months); prabhākaraḥ - this sun god.

Summary of 7, 8 and 9:

These three verses go farther from the previous verse (6). Previous verse said that sun is thelord of three worlds. It was also discussed that sun derives its light from Nirgu ṇa Brahman orPrakāśa, the ever illuminating Light of Brahman. Omnipresence and omnipotence ofBrahman begins from verse 7. These verses say that sun god in an embodiment of all gods.Having given an introduction in verse 7 that sun god represents all gods, verses 8 and 9describe individual gods. The names of gods clearly indicate that Āditya Hṛ dayam is not ahymn to sun god, but a hymn on Brahman, as the verse refers and encompasses all gods, who

are described in Vedas.

Verse 8 says that sun god is also B rahmā, the creator (the creative aspect of Brahman), Vi ṣṇu,the protector of the universe and Śiva, the destroyer of the universe. Śiva referred here is notthe Śiva, whose Consort is Lalitāmbikā. Śiva and Viṣṇu have different roles at different

points of time. By referring to these three God heads, it is clearly established that what isreferred in Āditya Hṛ dayam is Brahman. As we know, Sagu ṇa Brahman has three gu ṇa-s,sattva, rajas and tamas. Before creation, all these gu ṇa-s were in equilibrium. When this stateof equilibrium was disturbed, creation began to unfold and B rahmā (tamas), Vi ṣṇu (sattva)and Śiva (rajas) became chiefs of three gu ṇa-s. From them originated pañcabhūta-s or five

principle elements and multitude of gods and goddesses to take care of multiple aspects ofcreation, sustenance and destruction. B rahmā, Vi ṣṇu and Śiva are together known asTrimūrti. Interestingly as per Sanskrit dictionary, trimūrti also refers to the sun. Apart fromTrimūrti, there are other gods and god heads referred in verse 8.

Now the question arises as to the need of mentioning so many gods who function underTrimūrti. Possibly, this could have been necessitated to prove beyond ambiguity thatBrahman is referred in Āditya Hṛ dayam. That is why, even after having mentioned T rimūrti,these gods and god heads are also referred. Most of these gods are also referred in Vedas.

Vedas, though grossly describe various gods, yet they always convey Brahman in a subtlemanner. Upani ṣad-s which are considered as the essence of Vedas, describe Brahman as

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formless, flawless and without attributes. Further, Upani ṣad-s also reveal Brahman in theform of Light, which we have discussed in the previous part.

As Vedas frequently talk about these gods and god heads, let us understand more about them.Brahmā, Vi ṣṇu, Śiva, Indra, Kubera, Yama, Soma ḥ, Varu ṇa, Pitara ḥ, Aśvin-s, Marut-s,Manu, Prāṇaḥ, Vāyu, Vahni ḥ, Ṛ tu and Prabhākaraḥ are some of the gods referred in Vedas.

In the whole of Vedas, Agni (Vahni ḥ) is referred more often than any other gods, as Agni isthe carrier of oblations to higher realms. Rig Vedas (I.i.5) says, “May Agni, the pr esenter ofoblation, the attainer of knowledge, he who is true, renowned and divine come here with thegods.”

Vāyu is different form Prāṇa and hence, both of them are separately mentioned. Veda says,“namaste vāyu”, which means “I worship you vāyu”. Similarly, Mahānārāyaṇa Upani ṣad (65)

worships five types of p rāṇa-s. This verse forms part of virajā homa mantra-s (performed atthe time attaining sa ṁnyāsa and also during Śri Cakra navāvaraṇa pūjā). The verse says that by this oblation, let my five p rāṇa-s be purified. Hence, it can be observed that vāyu, which isone of the pañcabhūta-s and p rāṇa is the life force.

Yajur Veda classifies Pit ṛ -s as one among the several deities. In III.iv.5.3, the Veda says,“pitaraḥ pitāmahāḥ pare'vare tatāstatāmahā iha mā'vata”. The meaning of this verse is – O!You fathers, grandfathers, you are near and far, O! Great ancestors protect me.” In this verseancestors are invoked and prayed to protect the invoker.

Indra is yet another god who is worshiped through number of Vedic hymns. Rig Veda(I.30.13) says, “When Indra rejoices with us, may the Divine Powers give strength to us andmay we rejoice endowed with plentiful felicities” (please recall our discussions about descentof Divine Grace, known as śaktipāta).

Aśvin-s are two in number and they are known as A śvinau (dual number) in Sanskrit. Someof the texts describe them as two sons of the sun, begotten during sun’s metamorphosis as ahorse ( aśva). They are endowed with perpetual youth and handsomeness. They are alsoconsidered as divine physicians and surgeons. They descend from the truth-consciousness(sat-cit) and ṛ taṁ (ṛ taṁ means enlightened and luminous, probably referring to Bliss or

Ānanda. If this is construed as ānanda, then they refer to the state of saccidānanda. Aśvin-s play vital role in purifying our mind before the descent of Divine Grace. (We can discussmore about Vedic gods, if possible in a separate series).

Varu ṇa, according to Vedic interpretations represent dedication. He chooses those who arehighly advanced in their spiritual pursuits and take them to higher virtuous and spiritual

process. He is one of the Vedic gods who impart Truth in the minds of spiritual seekers.

Maruts are invoked with Indra, the chief of gods. Maruts always come in troops and whenthey come, they give splendour, courage, valour, etc. Though Varu ṇa presides over all water

bodies, it is only Maruts who cause rain bearing clouds (probably working as the medium

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between Sun and Varu ṇa). They are said to be sons of Rudras. They play supportive role inwars between gods and demons (war refers to war between good and evil thought processes).

Kubera is the chief of yak ṣa-s. He is referred in Vedas (mostly in Atharvaveda) asVaiśravaṇa. He is referred as Dhanādhyakṣā in Lalitā Sahasranāma 885. Further gods are notdiscussed here due to limitation factor.

The above three verses of Āditya Hṛ dayam say that sun god represents all these gods. Thisgoes to prove that sun god is nothing but a minuscule of Prakāśa form of Brahman andAgastya reminds Śrī Rāma to worship Prakāśa aspect of Brahman. This interpretation isexplained in detail in the previous part.

ādityaḥ savitā sūryaḥ khaga ḥ pūṣā gabhastimān |

suvar ṇasad ṛśo bhānuhiraṇyareto divākaraḥ || (10)

haridaśvaḥ sahasrārciḥ saptasaptirmarīcimān |

timironmathana ḥ śambhustvaṣṭā mārtāṇḍa aṁśumān || (11)

hiraṇyagarbha ḥ śiśirastapano bhāskaro raviḥ |agnigarbho'dite ḥ putra ḥ śaṅkhaḥ śiśiranāśanaḥ || (12)


10) ādityaḥ - son of Aditi (Rig Veda X.88.11 says sūryamāditeyam); savitā sūryaḥ - savit ṛ means sun and sūrya also means the sun; Vedas are also identified with sūrya;sometimes personified as the divine influence and vivifying power of the sun, while Sūrya isthe more concrete conception (further discussed in the summary section); khaga ḥ - seat of thesun; pūṣā - a Vedic deity, originally connected with the sun; gabhast imān – garlandcomprising rays of the sun; suvar ṇasad ṛśaḥ - appearing like gold; bhānuḥ - splendorous

luster; hira ṇyareta ḥ - having the shining seed (shining like gold); divākaraḥ - the maker of theday (due to light);

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11) haridaśvaḥ - green colored horses (hari refers to different colours such as red, yellow andgreen); ssahasrārciḥ - thousands of rays; sapta sapti ḥ - seven horses; marīcimān – radiant

because of the rays; timironmathana ḥ - dispelling darkness; śambhu – causing happiness;tvaṣṭā – creator of beings and the one who builds higher cosmic planes (a Vedic deity);

mārtāṇḍa – the sun (literally it means ‘apparentlysprung from a lifeless egg'); a ṁśumān – thehalo of the sun.

12) hira ṇyagarbha ḥ - the golden egg, splendiferous as the sun (also mean the first ofcreation); śiśira - cool, chilly, cold; tapana – warming, burning; bhāskara - making light;raviḥ - the sun god (sometimes interpreted as the Creator); agnigarbha – pregnant with fire orAgni (subtly conveys that fire originated from the sun); aditi putra ḥ - son of Aditi; śaṅkhaḥ -śaṅkha refers to conch; but contextually refers to fear due to spiritual ignorance; śiśira nāśanaḥ - destruction through mythical weapon (may be referring to the dawn of spiritualknowledge).

Summary of verses 10, 11 and 12:

After having established the supremacy of the sun and having compared him to the minisculePrakāśaaspect of Brahman, Agastya now proceeds to discuss the idiosyncratic resplendenceof the sun.

Verse 10 says that sun god is the son of Aditi, a Vedic goddess. Who is this Aditi? YajurVeda (I.5.3.1) says, “O Aditi, you pervade the entire earth, supreme in heave and vast in themid world. O Goddess Aditi, I place in your lap Agni, the giver of food.” Again in I.5.11.17says, “May Aditi protect us, may Aditi give us peace and bliss. Let Aditi guard us from sin.”Seed for Vedānta was sown in Yajur Veda (I.7.7.4) like this. “By impelling the plentitude ofthe mother M ahī (Goddess of vastness; sometimes referred to as Mother Earth), I proclaimthe birth of word, Aditi by name, who has entered and pervaded this entire world (threeworlds mentioned in Gāyatri mantra – three vyāhṛ ti-s).” Thus the verse 10 does not simplyrefer Aditi as a mother, but implies the source of the entire creation. Who else can be sourceof creation other than Brahman? Therefore, it clearly proves that sun does not merelyrepresent the source of light for the worlds, but also represents a miniscule portion ofBrahman’s Self -effulgent Light. Since sun is visible to our biological eyes and sun physically

exhibits all the aspects of invisible and eternal Brahman, worshiping sun is considered assupreme. It amounts to ‘worshiping’ Brahman.

In the same verse, two other names of sun god savitā and sūryā are used to refer sun god.Savitā is derived from the word savitṛ , a Vedic god. Similarly Sūryā is also a Vedic God. Infact, these two names refer to the same sun. Sun at the time of dawn is known as Savitā andsun after the dawn till it sets is known as Sūryā. This goes to prove that Brahman alone isworshiped in different shapes and forms, which is in total agreement with AdvaitaPhilosophy. There are number of verses about dawn in Rig Veda. Dawn is described as adeity on her chariot, sometimes drawn by cows and other times by horses. There is difference

between dawn and sunrise. Dawn is the first light of the day, whereas sunrise is the first

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vyomanāthastamobhedi ṛgyajussāmapāragaḥ |

ghanav ṛṣṭirapāṁ mitro vindhyavīthī plavaṅgama ḥ || (13)

ātapīmaṇḍalīmṛ tyuḥ piṅgalaḥ sarvatāpanaḥ |kavirviśvo mahātejā raktaḥ sarva bhavodbhava ḥ || (14)

nak ṣatra graha tārāṇā madhipo viśvabhāvanaḥ |tejasāmapi tejasvi dvādaśatman namostu te || (15)


(13) vyomanātha – chief of principle elements, such as air, water and ether; also called chiefof Cosmos; technically P rajāpati, lord of beings, explained earlier); tamo (tamas) – darkness;

bhedi – removing (removing darkness refers to dawn); ṛg yajus sāma pāragaḥ - the one whohas mastered Rig, Yajur and Sāma (Vedas); ghanavṛṣṭiḥ - heavy rain; apāṁ mitra ḥ - friend ofwater; vindhyavīthī – vindya mountain range (a projection that connects East and West; thereare P urāṇic references too); plava ṅgama ḥ - one who travels (plav means jumping andleaping);

14) ātapī – radiating heat; ma ṇḍalī (maṇḍala) – circular or round, referring to the disc of thesun; m ṛ tyuḥ - death or referring to god of death Yama; pi ṅgalaḥ - gold-coloured;sarvatāpanaḥ - burning (or illuminating) everything; kavi ḥ - one who composes poems(lyrist ); subtly this can be explained as an enlightened personality; viśvaḥ - universal;

mahātejaḥ - extremely brilliant; rakta ḥ - crimson coloured; sarva – everything; bhavodbhava ḥ - original creation or the Creator of all creations (bhava means coming into existence);

15) nak ṣatra – constellations; graha - planets; tārāṇa – stars (group of stars make aconstellation and there are many constellations); adhipa ḥ - ruler or king or chief;viśvabhāvanaḥ - the mind to create (or will, generally known as Divine Will to create);tejasāmapi – lord of luminaries (sun); tejasvi - brilliant, splendid, bright (referring to the sun);dvādaśatman – twelve Ādityas (twelve forms or aspects of sun); namostute – salutation toyou.

Summary of verses 13, 14 and 15:

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Further discussion about Brahman in the form of sun is being continued. Verse 13 describesHim as P rajāpati (vyomanātha), the chief of all beings and often compared to lord of creation,Brahmā. The world P rajāpati is carefully chosen here to mean the Vimarśa aspect ofBrahman or initiation of worldly process through the svabhāva of Brahman, which is known

as inherent disposition to create. When Brahman decides to create (this terminology is thecombination of Trika and Advaita), He (Upani ṣad-s do not attribute any gender to Him.Brahman is referred in Upani ṣad-s as IT or THAT) manifests. What is the difference betweenBrahman and a manifested being? Brahman is the Ultimate Reality, beyond which there isnothing. In other words, He is both complete ( pūrṇa) and nothingness ( śūnya)*. HowBrahman manifests Himself? He manifests in the form of the Self. Brahman is oftencompared to a tiny seed of a huge banyan tree. From a diminutive seed, a huge tree grows.Similar is the case with Brahman. The only difference is that in the case of banyan tree weknow the cause; but in the case of worldly process, though we acknowledge (thisacknowledgement comes through reading Upani ṣad-s, Brahma Sūtra and Bhagavad Gītā) thatBrahman is the cause, yet we are not aware of Him (due to lack of sādhana). In order to makeus understand that Grandeur of Brahman, sun is compared to the Self-effulgent Brahman. Inthe initial stages of spiritual life, mind by default gets associated with a particular form ofgod. Spiritual evolution happens over a period of time, which is presided over by kālapuruṣa(different from Yama, god handling death). Darkness in the verse refers to darkness of māyā,which is the crux of dualism. When Brahman is realized in His Grandeur, which is the eternalLight, darkness of māyā is removed and leading to the direct experience of That Light.

The same verse further says that He is the one who has mastered all the four Vedas. Here, it

is not just about Vedas, but complete mastery over all of them. Further, Vedas here do notascribe only to the four Vedas, but also the essence of Vedas viz. Upani ṣad-s. Vedasoriginated from the breath of Brahman. Ancient sages established their awareness in thehigher cosmic realms and decoded subtle sound from the cosmos. These sounds originate inthe higher planes of cosmos due to the interaction of five basic elements causing frictions,also known as cosmic vibrations or śabda tanmātra from which sound originates in the formof parā ( parāvāc in the form of ku ṇḍalinī in human body).Rig Veda (I.164.45) also discussesthis modification and it says,

catvāri vāk parimitā padāni tāni vidurbrāhmaṇā ye manīṣiṇaḥ |

guhā triṇi nihitā neṅgayanti turiya ṃ vāco manuṣyā vadanti | |


| |

“Four are the definite grades of speech; those learned who wise know them; three depositedin secret, indicate no meaning; men speak the fourth grade of speech. Four grades of speech

are – , Bhūḥ Bhuva ḥ Suva ḥ and these are known as Parā, paśyantī, madhyamā and

vaikharī. Parā is the innermost at the origin; paśyantī pertains to heart, madhyamā to intellectand vaikharī the phonetically expressed through organs of speech.”

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The verse also refers to water in the form heavy rain and the sun as a good friend of water.This also refers to the five basic elements of creation which causes the stage of pañcamahābhūtamaya (consisting of five basic elements). All the five elements containsubstantial traces of other elements. For example, water contains traces of air, fire, space and

earth (the fifth one is water). While referring to friend of water, it not only refers to the process of water vaporising due to the heat of the sun, forming clouds to cause rain, but alsorefers to the process of creation itself by subtly conveying the presence of pañcamahābhūta-s.

The verse also refers to the movement of the sun from the East to the West. This referencesubtly conveys the time factor, the duration of individual existence from birth to death, therole of kālapuruṣa. East represents our birth and West represents our death. The intervening

period is full of Light, which removes the darkness of māyā enabling us to realize the Self-effulgent Brahman. In other words, this verse categorically says that we should attainliberation in this birth itself. My making reference to leaping, it is conveyed that the time

moves at a faster pace and kālapuruṣa will never wait for us catch up with him. Time willcontinue to move and in our own interest, we have to catch up with him to get liberated at theearliest, in this birth itself (the state of jīvanmukta). Sage Agastya beautifully reminds theGrandeur of Brahman to Lord Śrī Rāma; technically it is not an explanation, but only areminder to Śrī Rāma about His stature as Brahman.

Verse 14 dwells on physical description of the sun, such as its heat, its shape, its colour at thetime of dawn, day and dusk, its attribute of showing up all the objects throughout the universeand not just the planet earth (this is known as V imarśa aspect of Brahman). By making

reference to poets, impartation of knowledge is conveyed. Knowledge contextually refers tospiritual knowledge (different from material knowledge), which is important to remove theveil of māyā. In other words, by its rays, sun can cause one’s kuṇḍalinī energy to ascend. Sunmakes this possible by activating pi ṅgala nāḍi and balancing it with i ḍa nāḍi. When these twonāḍi-s are perfectly balanced and sealed, ku ṇḍalinī enters through suṣumna to reachsahasrāra, where Śiva and Śakti unite and Self-realization takes place. The usage of the word

bhavodbhava ḥ clearly establishes that Agastya is talking about Brahman and not the planetsun. Bhavodbhava means as a single word refers to Śiva andsarva bhavodbhava meansBrahman or P aramaśiva, where both Śiva and Śakti coexist. Brahman and His power are notseparate in this stage and this is the stage of P aramaśiva. Even if any doubt exists in our mindthat Agastya is talking about the planet sun, it is now proved beyond doubt that he refers onlyBrahman.

Verse 15 talks about omnipresence of Brahman. As the Chief of creation (Prakāśa), He willedto create and as a result of this Divine Will, He manifests in the form of sun and presides overconstellations, planets, pañcamahābhūta-s, etc and thus entire creation came into existence.K ṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (Kṛṣṇa speaks as Brahman and not as a god head) that He is themind among the organs of perception. Mind is considered as supreme as the mind is nothing

but the power of the Brahman. Knowing that mind is His Power is realisation. Mind is the

cause for both bondage and liberation and is the seat of faculty reasoning. Hence K ṛṣṇa saysthat He is the mind among the organs of perception. Both mind and consciousness are the two

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in the sky); paścima- Western cardinal; ādraye – mountains or mass of clouds; nama ḥ -salutations to you; jyotirga ṇānāṁ pataye – chief of all heavenly bodies put together (sun isreferred here as the chief of all luminaries); dinādhi pataye – chief of calendar days (timetaken by Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis – 24 hour period); nama ḥ - salutations

to you.

17) jayāya – the one who gives victory; jaya bhadrāya – the one who gives fortunes, blessingsand joy arising out of victory; h aryaśvāya – horses of Indra (this is generally known as bayhorses, which are shining brown in colour; it is also said that sun god has a chariot pulled byseven horses, each horse representing VIBGYOR; according to Rig Veda, Indra is said to bethe controller of all horses; many texts explain this as green coloured horses); namo nama ḥ -salutations to you again and again (this is the state where the worshiper is not able todisconnect his thoughts from the object of worship, the state of a yogi); namo nama ḥ -salutations to you again and again (beginning of the next line of the same verse; last line

ended with this); sahasrāṁśo – infinite rays (referring to omnipresence); ādityāya – son ofAditi (Aditi is not just a name and it subtle meaning (Rig Veda.IX.114.3) is explained in thesummary section; namo nama ḥ - salutations to you again and again (namo nama ḥ is repeatedthree times in this verse).

18) nama – salutations to you; ugrāya – the one who is ferocious; vīrāya – the one who iscourageous; sāraṅgāya – unconquerable king (sāraṅga has many meanings and is differentfrom śāraṅga, which is the name of Vi ṣṇu’s bow) namo nama ḥ - salutations to you again andagain; nama ḥ - salutations to you; padma – lotus flower prabodhāya – blossoming;

mārtāṇḍāya – sun god (mārtāṇḍa is one of 64 Bhairava-s); namo nama ḥ - salutations to youagain and again.

Summary of verses 16, 17 and 18:

Glory of Nirgu ṇa Brahman is continued in these three verses. Sun as a planet rises in the eastand sets in the west. It can often be observed during dawn and dusk that mass of clouds forma mountain shape and make the sun appear as if it is setting behind those illusionarymountains. The period between the dawn and dusk of the sun is full of light andauspiciousness. When the sun rises from the east, creative activities begin. This way, sun

nurtures the world and brings happiness and prosperity. Why should sun should rise and setevery day? Apart from astronomical aspect, the other aspect is the mind. Mind is the most

precious and the subtest of all the organs of human body. In fact, the subtle aspect of the brain is mind. Mind is made as the subtlest because, only in the mind, realisation of the Selftakes place. At the time of creation, human body is provided with two subtle nāḍi-s, iḍa and

piṅgala representing the moon and the sun. Pi ṅgala nāḍi is active during the presence of thesun in the sky and becomes subdued in the night. I ḍa nāḍi becomes active between dusk anddawn and these two nāḍi-s work on the mind by making it active and passive alternatively.During the passive state, mind is rested to become active the next day. Thus Brahman acts

through kālapuruṣa and kālapuruṣa acts through sun and moon. Every planet represents aminiscule of Brahman. Puru ṣa Sūktaṁ (II.6) explains this. It says, “ahorātre pārśve (

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)” which means day and night are His feet; ahorātr a means day and night continuously. In

the next verse it is said, “nak ṣatrāni rūpaṁ ( )” which means He is in the form ofvarious constellations (group of stars). This verse worships sun as the infinitesimal part ofBrahman by saying ‘dinādhi pataye’, where dina means a calendar day and Br ahman isexplained here as the Chief of day and night.

The next verse (17) hails Brahman for the victory and joy arising out of victory and fortunes.Brahman in His full Glory is beyond comprehension. Therefore, now the question arises as tohow Brahman can be hailed in the first place, as He is beyond comprehension. Only in orderto pay our obeisance to Him and thank Him, His miniscule forms such as sun, moon, stars,etc are worshiped. In fact, 24 hour period is divided into two parts, based on the shine of sunand moon. When sun shines during day, Śiva is worshiped and when the moon shines duringnight, Śakti is worshiped and when both sun and moon are in the same axis, which is known

as new moon day, it is said to be the day of liberation. This verse makes a reference to thehorses of sun representing seven basic colours VIBGYOR. Rig Veda (IX.114.3) says thatthere are seven parameters of the world corresponding to the seven divine sons of the motherEternity, which is referred in the Vedic verse as Āditya; the verse says, “devā ādityā ye saptatebhiḥ ” These seven is explained as ‘six of space and one of time’.Rig Veda (X.73.8 & 9) explains sun in a different way. “Eight are the sons of MotherInfinity, who are born from her body; out of these she approaches the divine powers alongwith the seven. The eighth one is M ārtāṇḍa, the sun. With seven sons, the Mother Infinitygoes to meet the earlier age, but she bears the sun in that direction for the life and death of

mortal beings.” Subtle interpretations of Vedas are extremely difficult and it requires a lot ofexpertise and scholarliness. However, we can understand from the last part of the Vedic textabove, that the sun is the cause of life and death of all mortals. How this can be interpreted tomean the miniscule form of Brahman? This interpretation is based on the fact that the Vedicverse says that the sun overseas both life and death and does not refer to B rahmā, the god incharge of creation and Yama who is in charge of death. This goes to prove that sun is not justa planet, but a tiny form of Brahman’s Grandeur and Agastya is referring only to Brahmanand not sun, a planet. The victory that is referred in this verse is conquering our senses andconsequent destruction of māyā, leading to liberation. The joy mentioned in this verse is theinexplicable joy known as Bliss, prelude to liberation.

Verse 18 speaks about further attributes of Nirgu ṇa Brahman. It says that Brahman isferocious and courageous. These two qualities can be explained through two Upani ṣad-s.

Kaṭha Upani ṣad (II.iii.2) says, “mahadbhayaṁ vajramudyata ṁ ” which isused to mean that Brahman is like a thunderbolt about to strike. The next verse of theabove Upani ṣad (II.iii.3) says, “Fearing Brahman, fire gives heat, the sun shines, Indra andother gods perform their allotted duties.” Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upani ṣad (III.viii.9) says, “UnderHis mighty rule sun and moon, and heaven and earth, maintain their positions. Time period,flow of rivers, mighty mountains exist under His mighty rule.” There is a force, which wecall as cosmic force is His Power, with which He rules. Nobody else can excise this mighty

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rule, simply because, they do not have that might. Fearing for Him, sun, moon, pañcabhūta-scarry out their duties. Kaṭha Upani ṣad(II.iii.3) says, “From fear of It (Brahman), fire givesheat; out of terror, the sun shines; afraid of It, Indra, Vāyu, Yama (god of death) rush to perform their respective duties.” (Though He is mighty, why His might should be

understood? He is a terror for all those who fail to protect all of us properly. Why He wants to protect us? It is purely out of compassion for us. Because Brahman is referred here, the wordSāraṅga is used. This word is to be read in the context of the two attributes ferociousness andcourageousness. Because He is ferocious and courageous, He cannot be conquered byanyone, as He is omnipotent and hence He is called Almighty. Finally, it is said that He lookslike a blossoming lotus flower. After having said about His omnipotence, why He iscompared to a lotus flower? This expresses His compassion and tenderness. Brahman has allthe qualities and tenderness, compassion, inclemency and bravery. Hence Brahman isrepeatedly adored and worshiped. Since His original Grandeur cannot be seen or experienced,His miniscule form is worshiped and this is what Agastya says to Śrī Rāma.

brahmaśānācyuteśāya sūryādityavarcase |

bhāsvate sarvabhak ṣāya raudrāya vapuṣe nama ḥ || (19)

tamoghnāya himaghnāya śatrughnāyamitātmane |

k ṛtaghnaghnāya devāya jyotiṣāṁ pātaye namaḥ || (20)

taptacāmīkarābhāya vahnaye viśvakarmaṇe |

namastamo'bhinighnāya rucaye lokasākṣiṇe || (21)


19) brahmaśānācyuteśāya (brahmā + īśāna + acyutāya) – abiding in B rahmā, Śiva and Vi ṣṇu;sūrya āditya varcase – the splendour of the sun and 12 Āditya-s (the illuminating power offire or the sun) ; bhāsvate – light of the sun; sarvabhak ṣāya – annihilation or devouring;raudrāya – originating from Rudra or like Rudra in terms of violence, impetuousness andanger; vapu ṣe – wonderful to look at; nama ḥ - salutations to you.

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20) tamoghnāya- destruction of darkness; himaghnāya – destruction of snow (possibilityreferring to m elting of snow); śatrughnāya – destroying enemies; amitātmane –

boundlessness; k ṛtaghnaghnāya - destroying past services or benefits (k ṛ taghna) ordestruction (aghnat) of enemies; devāya – God, conveying Brahman; jyoti ṣāṁ pātaye- Lord

of Light; nama ḥ - salutation to you.

21) tapta cāmīkarābhāya – appearing like a molten gold mountain; vahnaye – fire god;viśvakarmaṇe – divine architect; nama ḥ - salutation to you; tamo abhinighnāya – destroyer ofgloom and darkness; rucaye – beautifully lustrous; lokasākṣiṇe – witness to the universe.

Summary of verses 19, 20 and 21:

These verses further goes to prove that what is referred by Sage Agastya is not planet sun, butBrahman. Verse 19 refers to three gods who are in-charge of three primary acts of Brahman –

creation, sustenance and dissolution. These three acts are presided over by Brahmā, Viṣṇuand Śiva respectively. This verse adores Brahman as a single entity comprising of all thesethree gods. Every act of the universe is controlled by a particular energy and each of theseenergies is presided over by a god or goddess. There are major and minor energy sources.Major energy sources are said to be creation, sustenance and destruction and these energysources are considered as three primary acts of Brahman. Annihilation and recreation is

beyond human comprehension and annihilation is discussed separately in this verse. Brahmanis saluted in this verse for these three primary qualities. The question that logically arises atthis point is whether Brahman here refers to Sagu ṇa Brahman or Nirgu ṇa Brahman. Thereference made here is only to Sagu ṇa Brahman, who is with attributes. After havingworshiped Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva, the verse proceeds to salute the planet sun, whichnourishes the universe though light and heat energy. Twelve Āditya-s referred in this verserefer to twelve solar months making one year. There are twelve zodiacal signs in astrology.Sun takes twelve calendar months to travel through all these zodiacal signs making onecalendar year and each month is presided over by a god and these gods are referred as twelveĀditya-s. Sometimes, the twelve Āditya-s are called as twelve sons of Aditi, daughter ofDak ṣa and wife of Kaśyapa. Interestingly, the verse differentiates between destruction andannihilation, by making a reference to fierce Rudra. Rudra contextually can be explained indifferent ways. Rudra also means certain gods, who control different aspects of creation and

sustenance such as Aśvins, Agni, Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, etc and each of them preside overdifferent energy centres. Rudra also means driving away negative and evil energies. {WhenŚrī Rudram and Camakam (also known as vasordhāra meaning follow of felicities), are

played daily at homes, negative energies if any, will go away}. Finally, the verse says thatGrandeur of the miniscule form of Brahman (planet sun) is wonderful to look at. Accordingto Trika Philosophy, Śiva is described as Prakāśa(visible, shining, bright, manifest). Selfilluminating nature of Brahman is also discussed in all the Upani ṣad-s.

In verse 20, Sage Agastya reminds Śrī Rāma about the benefits of worshipping Him as

Brahman. Through Āditya Hṛ dayam, Agastya conveys the benefits of contemplatingBrahman, in His miniscule form, the sun. He says that Brahman is be contemplated in the

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form of Light. Why? When we meditate intently, we will be able to see light in our ājñācakra.When this light appears in meditation, it will remove our spiritual ignorance, also known asmāyā. When māyā is removed, one begins the final lap of his/her spiritual journey. This final

journey goes through Bliss and ends at liberation. Here dawn of spiritual wisdom or

knowledge is compared to Lord of Light and spiritual ignorance is compared to snow. Whensun shines bright, snow melts away. Māyā discussed here is considered as an enemy to Self-realization. The underlying concept of this verse is that unless the darkness of māyā isremoved, Self-illuminating Brahman cannot be realized. Brahman is saluted for Hiscompassion in removing māyā for those who seek Him, within. As far as Śrī Rāma isconcerned, all the enemies in the battle field who stood before Him were His Power known asmāyā. A person like R āvaṇa, who was an embodiment of all evil deeds, was liberated in thehands of Śrī Rāma. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā that māyā is His own yogic power.

Verse 21 says that the nature of Brahman’s Light is in the form gold. Unable to draw anappropriate comparison to the radiance of Brahman, the verse attempts to explain theradiance of Brahman to that of a golden mountain melting. Agastya is a Self-realized Sageand when a person of his stature was not able to explain His Grandeur, there is no need to talkabout those who are bound by avidyā (spiritual ignorance), which are compared to gloom anddarkness. Further, the verse also makes a reference to fire god and by saying so, the versetotally obliterates the difference between the sun and fire. It is said that the sun at the time ofsetting, hands over the life sustaining force to fire (Agni) till the dawn next day. There is alsoa reference to V iśvakarma, the divine architect, which refers to the intricacies of creation in asubtle way. As per epics, V iśvak arma is the one who builds palaces of gods like Indra. The

verse ends by saying that Brahman merely remains as a witness to the happenings in theworld.

nāśatyeṣa vai bhūtaṁ tadeva s ṛ jati prabhu ḥ |

pāyatyeṣa tapatye ṣa var ṣtyeṣa gabhastibhi ḥ || (22)

eṣa supte ṣu jāgarti bhūteṣu parini ṣṭhitaḥ |

eṣa evāgnihotraṁ ca phala ṁ caivāgnihotriṇām || (23)

vedāśca kratavaścaiva krtūnāṁ phlameva ca |

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Verse 23 explains about the Self, which (Brahman typically speaking is beyond gender;hence all the Upani ṣad-s address Brahman as “That”) prevails in all the three stages ofnormal consciousness such as awake, dream and deep sleep. Brahman as the Self within

prevails within the body (body is the temple and the Self within is the sanctum sanctorum).

This verse speaks both about the Self within and the universal Self. Self-realization does notstop with realizing the Self within. After realization, one has to look at the entire creationthrough the “eyes” of Brahman (Puruṣasūktaṁ says that Brahman has infinite number ofeyes). Without Universal realization, Self-realization is not complete, though the latter

precedes the former.

The above verse also dwells on fire (Agni) that is invoked during fire rituals, where oblationsare offered into the fire. If the intention of Agastya were to reveal about the planet sun, thereis no need for him to discuss about Agni here. Agni is the carrier of all the oblations to therespective gods, who preside over different aspects of creation and other four acts of

Brahman. . Oblations are offered to fire, which is known as agnihotra. As explained earlier,there are two types of agnihotra rituals. Every day, grains are offered into the domestic fireand this is known as nitya agnihotra. The other one is kāmya or optional agnihotra, which isused while performing certain homa rituals, which are not of daily nature. {Further reading:Darśapūrṇamāsa is one of the śrauta rituals. There are three main categories. The first iscalled i ṣṭi or haviryajñā in which the oblations are of rice or barley. The second is animalsacrifice and the third is soma ritual. In the first category there are five types of rituals andthey are areagnyādheya, punarādheya, agnihotra, darśapūrṇamāsa and cāturmāsya.Darśapūrṇamāsa is full and new moon ceremonies incorporate recitations from two Veda-

s, Rig and Yajur and require the services of four priests. The full and new moon sacrifice(darśapūrṇamāsa) is the paradigm of all the i ṣṭi-s.}Ritual oblations are different fromSpiritual oblations. Spiritual oblations are made into the fire of Kuṇḍalinī, which remains inour body right from birth to death. Impressions of indriya-s are offered as oblations into thefire of Ku ṇḍalinī. For every fire ritual, there is pūrṇāhutī , which signifies the end of alloblations. In internal oblations, pūrṇāhutī is the mind and ego and they are offered to the fireof Ku ṇḍalinī.This type of internal homa is known as nitya agnihotra.

Verse 24 also dwells on oblations. Apart from referring to various fire rituals as prescribed inkarma khāṇḍa of Vedas, the verse subtly conveys that Brahman remains as a witness to allour actions. There are two types of yajña-s – one is for universal prosperity and happinessand another is self centric and is performed for personal upliftment. This verse says thatBrahman stands as a witness to both these types of rituals. This also goes to prove thatBrahman is described here and not sun as a planet. Sun is drawn as an example. Upani ṣadsoften refer to misconceiving a rope for a snake. What is the cause of this misconception?Obviously, it is our mind. Similarly, in Āditya Hṛ dayam, though Brahman is the focal pointof this sacred verse, we misconstrue it for the planet sun. The verse also says that He is thecause of everything; in other words, He is the cause of creation. Obviously, sun cannot be thecause of creation. If the sun is the cause of creation, Ka ṭha Upani ṣad would not have said “In

the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor doeslightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything follows. By Its light, all

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these are lighted.” Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) also says, “Then, this person, who is theembodiment of happiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest Light, assumeshis real nature. This is the Self.” Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upani ṣad (III.ix.10) also says, “Light is themind” and again in(IV.iv.6) it says “upon that immortal Light of all lights the gods meditate

as longevity.” This means that gods meditate on this Supreme Light for their immortality.Thus, to sum up these three verses, it is said that Brahman, who is in the form of blindingLight is the cause of this universe and is Omnipresent. He remains as a witness to all ouractions. All other luminaries, including the sun draw their illuminating capacity only from thePrakāśa of Brahman, which alone is Self -illuminating and is also the cause of this universe.Having created the universe, Brahman stands alone only as a witness to all the actions and Heneither directly nor indirectly causes any action in anyone. The universal existence is due toLaw of Karma, which is called as “Law of the Lord”.

enamāpatsu kṛ cchr ṣu kāntāreṣu bhaye ṣu ca |

kīrtayan puruṣaḥ kaścinnāvasīdati rāghava |||| (25)

pūjayasvainamekāgro devadevaṁ jagatpatim |

etattrigu ṇitaṁ japtvā yuddheśu vijayiṣyasi || (26)

asmin k ṣaṇe mahābāho rāvaṇaṁ tvaṁ vadhi ṣyasi |

evamuktvātato 'gastyo jagāma ca tathāgatam || (27)

etacchrutvā mahātejā naṣṭaśoko'bhavat tadā |

dhārayāmāsa suprīto rāghavaḥ prayatātmavān || (28)


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25) enam – this (according to Sanskrit literature, this is seldom used and instead idam or etamis used); āpatsu – to assail; k ṛ cchr ṣu – miserable and painful; bhaye ṣu ca – and also fromdismay, danger and peril ; kīrtayan – repetitions; puru ṣaḥ - embodied soul (irrespective of thegender); kaścinnāvasīdati – no one will be punished; rāghava - a descendant of Raghu

dynasty to which R āma belongs.

26) pūjayasvai – worshiping; enam – this; ekāgra – one pointed attention (absorption); devadevaṁ - chief of gods; jagatpatim – the one who rules the universe; etat trigu ṇitaṁ - thishymn ( Āditya Hṛ dayam) to be repeated three times; japtvā – muttering (meaning that itshould not be recited loudly); yuddheśu – in the battle; vijayi ṣyasi – assured of victory.

27) asmin k ṣaṇe – at this very moment; mahābāho – long armed (mighty shoulders);rāvaṇaṁ - Rāvaṇa; tva ṁ - You ( Śrī Rāma); vadhi ṣyasi – killing; evam uktvā – having saidso; tato'gastyo (tat Agastya) – then Agastya; jagāma ca tathāgatam – went back in the same

way as he had come.

28) etacchrutvā (etat śrutvā) – having thus listened to this hymn ( Āditya Hṛ dayam); mahātejā – great splendour; na ṣṭaśoko'bhavat tadā – then his sadness disappeared; dhārayāmāsa – prayed to sun god with great attention; suprīto- extremely delighted and pleased; rāghavaḥ -Śrī Rāma; prayatātmavān – being in the state of devotion.

Summary of verses 25, 26, 27 and 28:

Verses 25 and 26 are phala śruti of Āditya Hṛ dayam. Agastya reveals to the world the benefits of reciting Āditya Hṛ dayam.

In verse 3, Agastya addressed Rāma, “O! Rāma! Rāma! My child!” But in verse 25 Agastyaaddresses Rāma asR āghava, not even by his name, but by referring to his dynasty. By doingso, Agastya also conveys to the world, how teacher – student relationship should be reveredand preserved. In the initial stages, Agastya treated Rāma as his student. By carefullylistening to Agastya, Rāma could realize His own Self by getting rid of māyā. As far as Rāmais concerned, His Power alone is known as māyā. This subtly conveys that only an evolvedteacher alone can lead others towards the path of realization. Mantra sādhana is only an

infantile stage. Supreme form of sādhana is becoming a sthitaprajña and then a yogi. This isnot the end of Self-realization. The state of being a yogi is only the initial stage of realization.In order to attain liberation, we have to enter into the fifth stage of consciousness, turyātīta,which is also known as Universal realization. Even then, we come back to remain in the bodyand this state is known as jīvanmukta. We merge unto Brahman only if all our karmas areexhausted through experience. This is what we learn from a realized Teacher.

Ver se 25 says that when one is in difficulty he or she has to pray to the sun god with ĀdityaHṛ dayam and his or her pains, unfounded fears, miseries, dismay, etc will be annihilated.This means that the main part of Āditya Hṛ dayam was over with verse 24. If this is repeatedregularly (devotion is implied), he will never be afflicted with any types of miseries, some of

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which are referred above. This verse subtly conveys mahāvākya. ChāndogyaUpani ṣad(VI.viii.7) beautifully explains the role of a teacher. The t eacher said to his student, “Thatwhich is the subtest of all is the Self of all this. It is the Truth. You are That (tatvamasi ).” Thestudent is not able to understand the meaning of “You are That” at one go. He raises several

doubts to his teacher. Teacher patiently clears every doubt of his student and the student in allearnestness analyses the teachings by meditating on the words of his teacher. One finemorning the student realizes and affirms that he is in fact Brahman. This is explained inBṛhadāraṇyaka Upani ṣad (I.iv.10), which says, “ahaṁ brahmāsī” (I am Brahman). Thestudent would not have come to this conclusion (realization) had his teacher not told him thathe is Brahman. This is exactly what Agastya told Rāma in the previous verses. Hence,Agastya’s sayings were interpreted by comparing the planet sun as the miniscule aspect Self -effulgent Brahman. When Agastya told Rāma about His own nature, Rāma realized HisBrahman stature and annihilated Rāvaṇa to uphold dharma to make the universe exist.

Verse 26 explains the path to Self-realization. The gross meaning of the verse is that oneshould mentally recite Āditya Hṛ dayam three times. The verse says that it should be recitedmentally. To emphasise this point, Agastya uses the word ‘japtvā’ (japameans muttering,which means low and continuous indistinct sound ). Therefore Āditya Hṛ dayam is a japamantra and should not be recited aloud. In order to win over enemies, Āditya Hṛ dayamshould be recited mentally or muttered with mild tone three times with single pointed focuson the sun. If this is muttered as directed by Agastya, victory in the battle is assured. Theverse subtly conveys spiritual advancement. The verse says that if we are able to meditatewith intent concentration on the Supreme Self within, all our internal enemies such as ego,

pride, anger, hatred, attachment, desire, etc will be annihilated. The verse clearly says that wehave to meditate on Jagatpatim, Brahman, not the planet sun. If we meditate with one pointedattention on the Brahman, our internal enemies are destructed and ultimately we transcendmāyā to realize the Self within.

In verse 27 Agastya says that Rāma should kill Rāvaṇa at that very moment and having saidthat, Agastya walked away. Subtly, the verse says that once we decide to seek the spiritual

path, we have to start sādhana immediately. K ālapuruṣa (time) will not wait for us and if wewant to realize the Self within, we have to begin the practice right at this moment. Agastya asŚrī Rāma’s Guru came in search of Him and not Śrī Rāma approached Agastya. This alsoreminds us the saying that one will get a realized person as Guru, provided his or her karmicaccount is good. Agastya approached Śrī Rāma, revealed to Him His essential Self andwalked back leaving the rest t o Śrī Rāma to complete the task. Similarly, a Guru initiatessomeone, should stay with him and after making him or her perfect in sādhana, he initiatesanother disciple and works with him or her towards the path of realization. This verse alsoemphasises the importance of one to one contact between Guru and disciple. If there is noone to one contact, the efforts of the Teacher as well as his or her students go futile.

Verse 28 says that after having known about Āditya Hṛdayam, Śrī Rāma became His original

Self. This means that Śrī Rāma realized His Brahman stature, became splendorous, got rid ofall the afflictions and entered His own state of Bliss, which is His perpetual state. The verse

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sūr yaṁ sundaralokanāthamamṛ taṁ vedāntasāraṁ śivam

jñānabrahmamayaṁ sureśamamalaṁ lokaikacittsvayam |

indrādityanarādhipaṁ suraguru ṁ trailokyacūḍāmaṇiṁ

brahmāviṣṇuśivasvarūpahṛ daya ṁ vande sadā bhāskaram || (32)

bhāno bhāskara mārtāṇḍa caṇḍaraśme divākara | āyrātogyamaiśvaryaṁ śriyaṁ putrāṁśca dehi me || (33)


29) ādityaṁ - Sun, the miniscule form of Brahman; prek ṣya – worth seeing or regarded; possibly referring to contemplation; japtvā tu – meditating silently; para ṁ - supreme; har ṣa - pleasure or happiness or bliss (along with goose bumps) mavāptavān – attaining; trirācamya – doing ācamana (sipping drops of water straight from the right palm) three times;śucirbhūtvā – (thus) becoming pure; dhanurādāya – taking his bow; v īryavān – the valorous(Śrī Rāma).

30) rāvaṇam prek ṣya – having noticed Rāvaṇa; hṛṣṭātmā – experiencing bliss within;yuddhāya – for waging a war; samupāgamat – approaching very closely; sarva yatnena – allkinds of efforts; mahatā – mightiness ; vadhe tasya – Rāvaṇa’s death;dhṛ to'bhavat – present(in the battle field) with great resoluteness.

31) atha – after that; ravi – the sun; avadan – spoke (or conveyed through facial expressionswithout uttering any words); nirīkṣya rāmaṁ - on seeing Śrī Rāma; mudita – delighted,

joyful, glad, rejoicing; manāḥ - mind; parama ṁ - extremely; prah ṛṣyamāṇaḥ - glad, cheerful;niśicarapatisaṁk ṣayaṁ - annihilating demons ( Rāvaṇa and his warriors); anhi viditvāsuraga ṇa madhyagato – in the middle of various gods; vacastvaret i – hurry up.

Summary of verses 29, 30 and 31:

Verse 29 talks about how seriously Śrī Rāma took sage Agastya’s advise and acted on thatimmediately. He performed ācamana (taking water in the right palm and sipping it withoutestablishing contact with the lips; this is done to purify the inner body; external body is

purified through bath) three times (three times refers to reciting three names of Vi ṣṇu;

(acyutāya namaḥ | anantāya namaḥ | govindāy namaḥ ||

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). After doing ācamana, he looked at the sun, His miniscule form. Having seen

the sun, He became highly energised and determined to annihilate Rāvaṇa and other demons.(In the morning sun, if one exposes his/her back head (medulla oblongata) to the sun, a lot ofenergy will flow into the body and keeps the body not only disease free but energises the

whole body of the practitioner.) Having thus energized (realising His true nature), He took his bow and arrows and proceeded to the battle field. This can also be explained that R āmarealized His true nature (Brahman). This is subtly conveyed as looking at the sun.

Verse 30 says that Śrī Rāma became happy on seeing Rāvaṇa. On the grosser side, Rāmaknew that He is going to kill Rāvaṇa in the battle field. As far as Rāma is concerned, He alsoknew that He is going to liberate Rāvaṇa and in fact this would make Rāma happier thanmerely killing him. Rāvaṇa was engrossed in penance for years and got several boons. Thereare several citations about Rāvaṇa’s penance. Though Rāvaṇa asked several boons to satiatehis ego, still he had spent several years in deep trance, which made him on par with bestyogis. He was killed in the battle field only because he had arrogance and ego. As he hadalready surrendered to Brahman, his further actions never affected his karmic account and heis all set to get liberated, by passing the state of jīvanmukta. Why Rāma should haveexperienced Bliss on seeing Rāvaṇa so closely? This explains Rāma’s love and compassionfor Rāvaṇa. Rāma killed Rāvaṇa only in the state of Bliss and not in the state of anger.

It is important to know what Śrī Rāma spoke to Vibhīṣaṇa, Rāvaṇa’s brother after Rāvaṇa’sdeath (Canto 109 of yuddhakāṇḍa – verses 14 to 19). “Rāvaṇa has not met his death becausehe lacked in energy......He has fallen in combat for the food of the world even though he was

endowed with terrible prowess and exhibited extraordinary enthusiasm of a very exalted typeand always remained undaunted. Warriors who fall on the battlefield while remainingsteadfast in the duty of warriors and winning in battles need not be mourned for. There is nooccasion to grieve for his having been thought under the sway of death by whom, intelligenthe was in all the three worlds........A warrior killed in action does not deserve to be mourned,say śāstra-s.” There are many such references about Rāvaṇa in Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa.

Verse 31 says that sun god encouraged Śrī Rāma tospifflicate (means killing, which seems to be a crude word contextually and I personally do not want to use the word for the simplereason that Rāvaṇa is liberated at the hands of Śrī Rāma) Rāvaṇa immediately. Not only sungod, but all gods and goddesses also were eagerly awaiting Rāvaṇa’s last breath. They wereunder constant fear that Rāvaṇa could hurt and humiliate them. Rāvaṇa had all the qualities ofa supreme king. He longed for power, wealth and pleasure and never hesitated to do anythingto satiate his ego. That is why sun god told Śrī Rāma to finish Rāvaṇa immediately. Subtlythe verse says that the time has come for Rāvaṇa to get liberated and the sun god here refersto Brahman. Śrī Rāma’s inner conscience told Him that Rāvaṇa’s is over and that He has toensure liberation of Rāvaṇa at the appointed time. This also goes to prove that Brahmanalways ensures the perfect balance between good and bad in order to sustain the universe.Unless evil forces are eliminated, positive forces cannot successfully discharge their duties.

Positive forces contextually refers to gods and goddesses, as each one of them has a prescribed duty, such as Agni who is in charge of fire, Varu ṇa in charge of water, V āyu in

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charge of water, etc. It is said that Vi ṣṇu incarnates when adharma prevails over dharma.K ṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (IV. 7 – 9) “Arjuna! Whenever virtues (dharma) decline andimmorality (adharma) looms, I embody as an avatar. To sustain the pious, to eliminate thesinners and to protect dharma I incarnate in every yug. Arjuna! My avatar and actions are

divine. The one who understands this principle is not born again and reaches me when hedies.”

It is important to note the usage of word “avadan ” in this verse, which means not expressedthrough words. When Rāma looked at the sun, which we are arguing as a minuscule form ofSelf-effulgent Brahman, Brahman expressed His ascent to spifflicate Rāvaṇa. If we read theabove verses of Bhagavad Gītā read along with various Upani ṣad-s, we can easily infer thatwhat is referred in Āditya Hṛ dayam is not the planet sun, but a tiny portion of Self-effulgentBrahman. There is no need for Rāma to look at the sun to get his blessings to destroy Rāvaṇa.Thus Āditya Hṛ dayam is a hymn in praise of Self-effulgent Brahman, as described in various

Upani ṣad-s, probably the only hymn that praises Brahman as Light, though almost allUpani ṣad-s make references to this aspect.


Summary of verses 32 and 33

These two verses are in the form of praise of sun god and Āditya Hṛ dayam ends with a prayer. These two verses are not found in the original text. These two verses explicitly, notsubtly, refer to Brahman.

“I worship sun god, who is handsome, like nectar to the universe (indicating immortality) ,essence of Upani ṣad-s (all Upani ṣad-s reveal Brahman in different ways), endower of

auspiciousness, the Supreme Knowledge ( Taittirīya Upaniṣad II.i says , satya ṁ jñānaṁ ananta ṁ brahma , which means that Truth, Knowledge and Infinity is

Brahman), head of all gods and goddesses (contextually does not refer to Indra*, who is thechief of all gods and goddesses), who sustains the universe, chief of *Indra, Āditya-shuman

beings, Guru of gods and goddesses (deva Guru, mentioned in the text as sura-guru, where

sura means gods, sages and saints, cūḍāmaṇi (contextually refers to the best or mostexcellent) of the universe, who holds trimūrti-s in His heart ( trimūrti refers to Brahmā, Vi ṣṇuand Śiva; the text refers to them individually), illuminating eternally and infinitely (onlyBrahman is Self illuminating; Ka ṭha Upani ṣad (II.ii.15) explains this further. “In the presenceof Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alonethis fire. When Brahman shines, everything follows. By Its light, all these are lighted ” andChāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) says, param joyti ḥ upasampadyate which means attainingthe highest light. The Upani ṣad says “Then, this person, who is the embodiment ofhappiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature.This is the Self.”).


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