From time immemorial, the worship of the Sun has been an integral part of the lives of devotees of many civilisations. In the Hindu pantheon of ‘Devtas’ or forms of God, Soorya Bhagavan or God in the Sun is one of the ‘Paanch Mahaa-Devtas’, that is, one of the five forms that should be worshipped on a daily basis.
From a scientific viewpoint the sun is one of the chief sources of energy from which all living beings obtain daily sustenance. Life processes of birth, growth, existence, maturity and reproduction can progress normally with the important factor of the rays of the sun, the real life-giving force on earth. Hence, praise and gratitude are in order. Symbolically represented, the sun signifies the intellect, wisdom and true enlightenment.
Worshippers of Soorya Bhagavan offer their expressions of adoration in many ways. Some of them include: Daily jal-offering, recitation of the Gaayatri Mantra, Soorya Pooja, engaging themselves in the practice of Soorya Namaskaar, performing special Soorya- vrat for twelve Sundays, chanting of Aditya Hridayam Stotra and observance of auspicious days such as Makar Sankraanti, which falls on January 14th every year.
Devotees who become fully absorbed in these forms of ‘saadhan’ or spiritual discipline are blessed with improved eyesight, intellect, health and prosperity. Individuals who offer jal at sunrise attract pure praanic energy from the atmosphere. Such energy keeps them at a high state of vitality throughout the day so much so that they exude confidence, courage, strength, independence and power and do not fall victims of fatigue, tiredness and stress.
The practice of Soorya namaskaar consists of twelve different physical postures which are done while twelve mantras are chanted. These mantras praise the twelve different names attributed to Soorya. Such a practice provides full exercise for the entire body. They also activate the seven main chakras in the human body that results in re-energising the entire body.
Without a doubt, the worship of the Sun not only offers each of us an opportunity to express gratitude for our sustenance, but it also rejuvenates and revitalises every aspect of our lives.