Surya – The Solar Deity is one of the primary Rig Vedic deities, and his following is widespread. As the central Graha in the Navagraha Mandala, or group of nine planets, Surya is present in most Hindu temples. Surya is also the main deity of the Souram sect, which is one of six main denominations of Hinduism.
In the Navagraha Stotram of Vyasa, Surya is described as follows:
I pray to the creator of days, the destroyer of all sins, the enemy of darkness, the greatly lustered, the descendant of Kashyapa, and the one who shines like a red hibiscus.
Surya is also known as Aditya, as he is the son of Aditi and Kashyapa. When Surya married one of his consorts, Samjna, she could not bear his extraordinary radiance. Thus her father, Tvashtr, who was the artisan of the Gods, divided Surya into 12 parts of which Samjna spent one month of the year with each. Thus the 12 Adityas were born and represent a month each.
Surya’s chariot is balanced on a singular wheel, which represents time. Each revolution of the wheel marks the passing of one year. The chariot is driven by Aruna, the red one, and is drawn by seven horses. Each of these horses represents a day of the week as well as a Vedic meter and is restrained by a rein that represents a season.
Iconographically, Surya is red in complexion, youthful, and golden-haired. He faces east with two, four, or eight arms and one or three heads respectively. His three faces represent the three Sandhyas – dawn, noon, and dusk. When Surya is depicted with two hands, he holds two fully blossomed, red lotuses.
There is a close connection between Surya and lotuses. The Lotus is one flower that blooms upon the morning’s first rays of sunlight. Similarly, the Hindu concept expounded through the symbolism of Surya is that God is the sun that triggers man, a lotus, to blossom.
As per Hindu mythology, a person’s life is decided by the horoscope, and the basics that help the astrologers to predict it is based on these 9 planets known as navagrahas. It is believed that as the planets change their position, person’s life also change and some changes may cause good effects whereas some casts bad effects. However, it is believed that invoking the Navagraha mantra can bring changes to the hardships. Also, chanting the mantra, wearing gemstones or rudrakshas can bring in good fortune to peoples’ life. Ved Vyas has written the navagraha mantra to please the planets (the presiding deities) and it is scientifically proven that chanting mantras will bring down the negativity in you and the surroundings.
The planets, their representations and favorable days to chant
Sun (Surya) – soul, king, highly placed persons, father. — Monday Moon (Chandra) – Mind, queen, mother. — Tuesday Mars (Mangal) – energy, confidence and ego. — Wednesday Mercury (Budha) – communication. — Thursday Jupiter (Brihaspati) – the great teacher. — Friday Venus (Sukra) – wealth, pleasure and reproduction. Saturn (Shani) – learning and Career. — Saturday Rahu – an Asura who does his best to plunge any area of one’s life he controls into chaos. Ketu – supernatural influences. Based on timings, the mantras for Rahu and Ketu can be chanted every day.
The Mantras and meanings
Japaa Kusuma Sankasham Kaashya Peyam Maha Dyutim Tamo Arim Sarva Paapagh Nam Pranatosmi Divaa Karam
Meaning: I salute Sun, who is red like a Hibiscus, the descendent of Kaashyapa, Foe of darkness and the one who dispels all sins and has splendid radiance. Gemstone is Ruby.
Dadhi Shankha Tusha Raabham
Kshiiro Dhaarnava Sambhavam
Namaami Shashinam Somam
Shambor Mukuta Bhushanam
Meaning: The one who has the hue of curd and icebergs, who rose from Ksheasagar and who adorns the head of Lord Siva. I prostrate to the Moon, the ruling deity of the soma juice. Gemstone is Pearl.
Dharani Garbha Sambhuutam
Vidyut Kanti Samaprabham
Kumaram Shakti Hastam Cha
Mangalam Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning: I pray to Mars, born of Earth (son of Bhooma Devi), His effulgence is like that of lightning. He is called Kumara, n who holds in his hand weapon called Shakti. Gemstone is coral.
Priyangu Kalikaa Shyamam Rupenaa Pratimam Budham Sowmyam Sowmya Guno Petam Tam Budham Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning: I pray to Mercury, who has a dark blue complexion and whose beauty is incomparable. He possesses gentle, charming qualities. Gemstone is emerald.
Devanaam Cha Rishii Namcha Gurum Kanchana Sannibham Buddhi Bhuutam Trilo Kesham Tam Namami Bruha Spatim
Meaning: I pray to Jupiter, the preceptor of gods and rishis, intellect incarnate, lord of the three worlds. Gemstone is Pukhraj (yellow sapphire).
Hima Kunda Mruna Labham Daityanam Paramam Gurum Sarva Shastra Pravak Taram Bhar Gavam Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning: I pray to Venus, the son of Bhagu. He is the spiritual master of demons, promulgator of all learning, he who shines like the fiber of snow-white jasmine. Gemstone is diamond.
Neelaan Jana Sama Bhasam Ravi Putram Yama Grajam Chhaya Martanda Sambhutam Tam Namaami Shanaish Charam
Meaning: The one who is dark blue in complexion, who is son of Surya and his wife Chaya, who is elder brother of Yama. The slow moving, I prostrate that Shaneeswara. Gemstone is blue Sapphire.
Ardha Kaayam Mahaa Viiryan Chandraa Ditya Vimar Dhanam Sinhi Kaa Garbha Sambhutam Tam Rahum Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning: I pray to Rahu, the son of Simhika, having half a body, of extraordinary strength, the eclipser of the Moon and the Sun. It is chanted every day, after sunset to get success in career, frame & occultism. Gemstone is Gomed (Hessonite).
Palasha Pushpa Sankaasham Taarakaa Graha Mastakam Rowdram Rowdraat Makam Ghoram Tam Ketum Prana Maa Myaham
Meaning: I pray to Ketu, who has the appearance of Palaasha flower, the head of stars and planets. He is violent and fearsome. It is chanted every day, after sunset for success in love, marriage & prosperity Gemstone is Lasniya (Cat’s Eye).
There is a salutation mantra for the navagraha and it is as follows:
Namah Sooryaya Chandraya Mangalaya Budhayacha Guru Shukra Shani Bruhas Cha Raahave Ketave Namaha
In this busy world, everyone is having some sort of mental stress, and chanting these mantras is sure to relax your mind, bring good fortune and prosperity to your life.
“Agni I laud, the high priest, god, minister of sacrifice, the invoker, lavishest of wealth.” Rigveda
Agni, Hindu God of Fire, is one of the most renowned Hindu deities within the Rigveda. Fire is a central component of all Vedic rituals. According to Vedic myth he is second in importance to only his twin brother Indra, Lord of the Heavens, and is distinguished as the supreme director of religious ceremonies serving as a middleman delivering Gods word to man. Agni is said to be a divine model for all priests, mediating between the Gods and humans. Priests should aspire to mirror his image in practice and devotion as he projects a patient and dignified reflection. No Vedic sacrificial ritual is complete without his presence. Angi is often depicted as having either two or seven hands, two heads, three legs, and seven fiery tongues as he rides atop a ram or fiery chariot.
As oldest son of Brahma, Agni joins with Indra and Surya, the Lord of the Skies, in the first Hindu holy trinity. He is said to embody ten forms, the first five of which are physical forms, and the last five ritual forms: ordinary fire, lightening, the sun, digestive fire, destructive fire, fire lit by sticks for ceremony, fire for home worship, fire given to initiate students, funeral fire, and fire of the ancestors. Although mostly seen as religious teacher, Agni is also sometimes feared for his destructive capacities. He is priest of Hindu Gods and God of priests. Among certain Vedic hymns, Agni can even be portrayed as that as a Supreme God:
‘Commingling, restless, he ascends the sky, unveiling nights and all that stands or moves, as he the sole God is preeminent in greatness among all these other Gods.’
Agni is one of the only Vedic deities to be so highly regarded still into present day. All life’s journeys are presided over by Agni and end with Agni as funeral fire marks our eventual end.
Agni is rarely depicted in sculpture as a stand alone figure. However, he is included in one of the most recognizable poses in all of Hinduism; Shiva as the Lord of Dance Nataraja. Shiva holds the a burning flame in the palm of his left hand. The flame represents the Hindu god Agni.
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