– Details of Surya Narayan from Shrimad Bhāgavat

Lord Surya Narayan is considered the Soul of this Universe; that highest reality (Brahma) manifests as Ishvara and then as Bhagavan. The very same Omnipresent Lord has manifested in the form of the Svaroop in the Mandir, explains Pujya Bhaishri Rameshbhai Oza.

The Upanishads explain how a soul has accepted a seat within the chariot of this body to make the journey of this lifetime and reach the goal of direct experience of one-ness with the Supreme. The intellect is its driver and the mind is the rein, the senses are the horses.

So too does the Sun God accept his seat upon a divine chariot and begins his continuous journey for all of existence on the auspicious day of Rath Saptami.

☀️ Did-You-Know-

• Lord Surya Narayan’s charioteer is called Anūru, or Aruṇa and is none other than the real brother of Garuḍa, Lord Vishnu’s mount! They are both the sons of Rishi Kashyap and his wife Vinatā.
•The seven horses yoked to the sun-god’s chariot are named after various Vedic meters – Gāyatrī, Bṛhati, Uṣṇik, Jagatī, Triṣṭup, Anuṣṭup and Paṅkti.
•All of existence is born within the week of seven days. Hence ‘Saptami is the seventh day of the lunar calendar.

☀️ The Sun’s Chariot in the Shrimad Bhāgavat Mahapuran

The Fifth Canto, Twenty-first Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled, “The Movements of the Sun” details the Sun, its journey and the chariot upon which Lord Surya Narayan travels in nineteen verses.
[SB 5.21| 1-19]

☀️The Sun’s Supremacy

yan-madhya-gato bhagavāṁs tapatāṁ patis tapana ātapena tri-lokīṁ pratapaty avabhāsayaty ātma-bhāsā sa eṣa udagayana-dakṣiṇāyana-vaiṣuvata-saṁjñābhir māndya-śaighrya-samānābhir gatibhir ārohaṇāvarohaṇa-samāna-sthāneṣu yathā-savanam abhipadyamāno makarādiṣu rāśiṣv aho-rātrāṇi dīrgha-hrasva-samānāni vidhatte

☀️In the midst of that region of outer space [antarikṣa] is the most opulent sun, the king of all the planets that emanate heat, such as the moon.

☀️By the influence of its radiation, the sun heats the universe and maintains its proper order.

☀️It also gives light to help all living entities see.

☀️While passing toward the north, toward the south or through the equator, in accordance with the order of the Lord, it is said to move slowly, swiftly or moderately.

According to its movements in rising above, going beneath or passing through the equator — and correspondingly coming in touch with various signs of the zodiac, headed by Makara [Capricorn] — days and nights are short, long or equal to one another.

☀️The Sun’s Travel Route
Sb 5.21.12

The chariot of the sun-god, which is trayīmaya, or worshiped by the words ‘oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ’, travels through the four residences (of Indra, Yama, Varuna, Chandrama) at a speed of 3,400,800 yojanas [27,206,400 miles] in a muhūrta.

☀️The Sun’s Chariot

The chariot of the sun-god has only one wheel, which is known as Saṁvatsara.

The twelve months are calculated to be its twelve spokes, the six seasons are the sections of its rim, and the three cātur-māsya periods are its three-sectioned hub.

One side of the axle carrying the wheel rests upon the summit of Mount Sumeru, and the other rests upon Mānasottara Mountain.

Affixed to the outer end of the axle, the wheel continuously rotates on Mānasottara Mountain like the wheel of an oil-pressing machine.

As in an oil-pressing machine, this first axle is attached to a second axle, which is one-fourth as long [3,937,500 yojanas, or 31,500,000 miles].

The upper end of this second axle is attached to Dhruvaloka by a rope of wind.

The carriage of the sun-god’s chariot is estimated to be 3,600,000 yojanas [28,800,000 miles] long and one-fourth as wide [900,000 yojanas, or 7,200,000 miles].

☀️The Sun’s Seven Horses-as white light is made of seven Colors of the Rainbow

The chariot’s horses, which are named after Gāyatrī and other Vedic meters, are harnessed by Aruṇadeva to a yoke that is also 900,000 yojanas wide. This chariot continuously carries the sun-god.

In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is stated:
gāyatrī ca bṛhaty uṣṇig
jagatī triṣṭup eva ca
anuṣṭup paṅktir ity uktāś
chandāṁsi harayo raveḥ

The seven horses yoked to the sun-god’s chariot are named Gāyatrī, Bṛhati, Uṣṇik, Jagatī, Triṣṭup, Anuṣṭup and Paṅkti. These names of various Vedic meters designate the seven horses that carry the sun-god’s chariot.

☀️The Sun’s Charioteer

Although Aruṇadeva sits in front of the sun-god and is engaged in driving the chariot and controlling the horses, he looks backward toward the sun-god.

In the Vāyu Purāṇa the position of the horses is described:
vahante vāmato ravim
cakre vākṣaḥ samāhitaḥ

Although Aruṇadeva is in the front seat, controlling the horses, he looks back toward the sun-god from his left side.

[Rishi Kasyapa’s wife Vinatā [Suparṇā] gave birth to Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, and to Anūru, or Aruṇa, the chariot driver of the sun-god. ]

☀️The Procession that precedes the Sun

▪️There are sixty thousand saintly persons named Vālikhilyas, each the size of a thumb, who are located in front of the sun-god and who offer him eloquent prayers of glorification.

▪️Similarly, fourteen other saints, Gandharvas, Apsarās, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and demigods, who are divided into groups of two, assume different names every month and continuously perform different ritualistic ceremonies to worship the Supreme Lord as the most powerful demigod Sūryadeva, who holds many names.

In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is said:
stuvanti munayaḥ sūryaṁ
gandharvair gīyate puraḥ
nṛtyanto ‘psaraso yānti
sūryasyānu niśācarāḥ
vahanti pannagā yakṣaiḥ
kriyate ‘bhiṣusaṅgrahaḥ
vālikhilyās tathaivainaṁ
parivārya samāsate
so ‘yaṁ sapta-gaṇaḥ sūrya-
maṇḍale muni-sattama
himoṣṇa vāri-vṛṣṭīṇāṁ
hetutve samayaṁ gataḥ

Worshiping the most powerful demigod Sūrya, the Gandharvas sing in front of him, the Apsarās dance before the chariot, the Niśācaras follow the chariot, the Pannagas decorate the chariot, the Yakṣas guard the chariot, and the saints called the Vālikhilyas surround the sun-god and offer prayers. The seven groups of fourteen associates arrange the proper times for regular snow, heat and rain throughout the universe.

ratha-nīḍas tu ṣaṭ-triṁśal-lakṣa-yojanāyatas tat-turīya-bhāga-viśālas tāvān ravi-ratha-yugo yatra hayāś chando-nāmānaḥ saptāruṇa-yojitā vahanti devam ādityam
SB 5.21.15

☀️ Magh Shukla Saptami also marks the day when the Lord manifested within the Archa Vigrahas in all seven darbaar of ShriHari Mandir (Porbandar) at the heartfelt invocation by Pujya Bhaishri Rameshbhai Oza.

The Temple is a seat of learning for the Rishikumars of Sandipani Vidyaniketan and a divine place of worship for visitors from around the world, resting between the Temples of Dwarikadheesh and Somnath.

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