Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My Interpretation of Surya Mantra (RV 1.35.2)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: Jun 16, 2007 7:36 AM
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] My Interpretation of Surya Mantra (RV 1.35.2)
To: srinivas bhattiprolu <>
Cc: ,

Dear Sreenu,

Hoping that you will not mind, I am cc'ing my reply to the "vedic-wisdom"
and "sivacharya" yahoogroups. I was actually thinking of picking some
RigVedic hymn and sharing my interpretation with others this weekend. Now
that I got this mail from you, I will take up the Surya mantra.

* * *

This mantra is a very popular mantra for worshipping Surya (Sun god). It is
used in Navagraha homam and navagraha pooja as a part of Satya Narayana
vratam. Parasara Maharshi (father of Veda Vyasa Maharshi) specified this
mantra as a remedy for any problems related to Sun in the horoscope (see
"Brihat Paaraasara Horaa Saastram").

My interpretation may be different from what Sayana, Max Muller etc gave.
Especially when it comes to the second line, most scholars have interpreted
"ratha" as chariot and alluded to Sun going around earth on a chariot. I
have a different Vedantic take on it. I know some Sanskrit, but it is the
inner inspiration given by Mother Mahalakshmi that enables to interpret.

May erudite scholars ignore me if they find my interpretation faulty!

* * *

RigVeda 1.35.2

AkR^iShNena rajasA vartamAno niveshayannamR^itaM martyaM ca |
hiraNyayena savitA rathenAdevo yAti bhuvanAni pashyan ||

vartamAnaH = existing (present)
rajasA = with the light [though rajas is one of the three gunas, it also
means light and energy]
AkR^iShNa = extending till (including) darkness
niveshayan = inhabiting/dwelling in/filling
amR^itaM = the imperishable [Brahman, the unmanifested potentiality]
martyaM ca = and the perishable too [all the manifestations of Brahman in
this universe perish]
savitA = the god Savita
hiraNyayena = with the pure/golden essence of Brahman
rathena = with desire/attachment [though ratha normally means a
chariot/vehicle, it also means a desire. The word "manoratha" (manah+ratha)
comes from it. It means the desires and wishes of the heart. I prefer this
meaning here and not the normally taken "chariot".]
yAti = moves into
AdevaH = all beings including gods
pashyan = experiencing [though pashyan basically means "watching", it also
means considering, perceiving and experiencing]
bhuvanAni = all the worlds and the beings dwelling in it

Meaning in Brief:

Existing with all the light and the darkness, dwelling in the imperishable
Brahman as well as the perishable creation, Savita, with the pure essence of
Brahman and with the desire that causes movement in it (and results in
creation), moves into all beings including the gods and experiences through
them all the worlds and the beings of this diverse creation.

Detailed Commentary:

If you study carefully, this verse gives the essence of Vedic philosophy. It
contains the essence of great scriptures such as "Yoga Vaasishtham" and
"BhagavadGita", sooktas such as Purusha Sooktam and Narayana Sooktam and
hymns such as Ganapathi Atharva Seersham. It is a very important hymn.

Savita is the highest form of Surya. He is basically the supreme cosmic
being. He is Atman, the pure spirit that fills the entire universe - the
creation as well as the uncreated. He is the pure light behind all the light
and darkness that we see. Good and bad, gods and demons, pleasure and pain,
all such dualities are but different manifestations of the same Brahman. The
ONE Brahman manifests as the duality and diverse beings.

The one Atman, which is but pure light, manifests as duality - as light and
darkness - and fills the entire universe. Savita dwells in Brahman as well
as the entire perishable creation. Everything that has manifested has to
perish. Savita dwells in all - in the imperishable Brahman as well as the
perishable manifestations of Brahman (various worlds, gods, demons and other

The ONE pure light of Savita manifests as DIVERSE objects ranging all the
way from pure light to darkness and fills all beings. With the pure and
untaintable essence of Brahman and the movement caused in Brahman due to
desire, Savita enters all the beings including gods. In other words, all the
beings are created from Brahman and the desire/movement in Brahman.

Vedanta teaches that Brahman is unmanifested pure consciousness. A part of
Brahman causes movement in Brahman, which becomes a desire and gets
fulfilled immediately. This results in the creation of various beings. The
word "ratha" refers to this. The pure essence of Brahman (hiraNyaya) as well
as the desire that caused a movement of thought in Brahman (ratha) enter all
beings. Savita enters all being as Shiva as well as Shakti!

When all the desires come to a halt and the movement of mind stops, all
beings can experience the pure essence of Brahman that has entered them
(i.e. sat-chid-ananda). When the desire is there, there are thoughts and
movement of mind and the beings do not experience the pure essence of
Brahman that has entered them.

The hymn says that the pure essence of Brahman (Shiva) and the desire that
causes movement of thought (Shakti) are both aspects of ONE Savita only.

Savita enters all the beings with the pure essence and the desire/thought
and experiences the worlds and beings through them. If a person called
"Narasimha Rao" exists, it is actually Savita who exists through him. If a
person called "Narasimha Rao" experiences the entire world - various worlds
and beings in those worlds - it is actually Savita who has entered him that
experiences the entire world through him!! All his thoughts, experiences and
actions are actually those of Savita - the in-dwelling spirit.

This is the same as what Ganapathi Atharva Seersham means by "tvameva
kevalam kartAsi...". This is the same as what Krishna means when he tells
Arjuna in BhagavadGita that it is Krishna who acts through various beings
and that the beings should not be deluded to think that they are doing

Savita in this hymn is represented as the same supreme cosmic being that is
referred in various other Vedic scriptures!

Most authorities have interpreted the second line to mean that Sun goes on a
chariot and watches the entire world. That is a gross interpretation and
misses the subtle and deeper meaning.

In fact, when Atman goes on the chariot (ratha) of desire (ratha), it moves
and sees the diverse creation. When the chariot (ratha) stops, then the
desire (ratha) stops and there is no movement of thought. No longer a
diverse creation is perceived and there is only bliss of true being
(sat-chid-ananda). Thus, even the gross chaiot interpretation is a metaphor
for the subtle interpretation given above!

This hymn is very important as it covers several important Vedantic

(1) The supreme cosmic being is one, but assumes duality.
(2) The supreme cosmic being enters all the beings with the duality.
(3) The supreme cosmic being experiences through all the beings.
(4) The pure essence of supreme cosmic being enters all the beings and helps
them experience sat-chid-ananda.
(5) The desire (movement of thought) in the supreme cosmic being enters all
the beings and results in movement of thought within them and diverse world

* * *

You asked about the counts, rules etc. Unfortunately, I am not an expert on
those. But I will say what I know.

You can chant this mantra as many times as you want. Parasara also mentions
offering this mantra in fire (homam).

Imagine Sun god. Offer a mental obeisance to Hiranyasthoopa Angirasa
Maharshi. Then, thinking of Sun god, whose effulgence fills the entire
universe, read the mantra mentally with the correct intonation as many times
as you can.

The goal of sadhana with any Vedic mantra is to become one with the mantra.
The goal is to lose one's self-consciousness so completely that the mantra
can fill one's entire existence. One can feel and "experience" the sound and
meaning of the mantra then.

Forget "I", "my body", "my name", "my senses", "my experience" completely
and create a vacuum within, so that the mantra can fill the vacuum.

* * *

I now use the version from RigVeda. The audio on my website is quite old. It
not only has text errors, but pronunciation errors too. I will have to
update all the planetary mantra mp3's on my website someday.

Best regards,
Narasimha (PVR)
Homam manual and audio:
Free Jyotish lessons (MP3):
Free Jyotish software (Windows):
Sri Jagannath Centre (SJC) website:

----- Original Message -----
> Hi PVR,
> ...
> The information below is from a site that belongs to
> Sri Aurobindo followers. I went there to get the
> sandhya mantras. My question was about the surya
> mantra below, which I remember from your Vratham,
> about which I am having some keen interest recently.
> From the site as well the Yajurveda Samhita(except
> that in the book with me, it is or 7), the
> mantra is as follows:
> ***
> â satyena rajasâ vartamâno niveshayannamºtam martyam
> cha
> hiraòyayena savitâ rathenâdevo yâti bhuvanâ vipashyan
> [RV (1.35.2), KYV (, SYV (33.43); (34.31)]
> Moving along the worlds of Truth duly establishing the
> immortal and the mortal,
> God Savitr comes in his golden car beholding the
> worlds.
> ***
> However, looking at the reference provided above of
> Rig Veda Samhita-1.35.2 the mantra has two
> differences.
> 1. It was 'a krishnena'(RV) for 'a satyena'(KYV)
> 2. In line 2 it was 'bhunanani pashyan'(RV) for
> 'bhuvana vipashyan'(KYV)
> 3. Your site audio sounded -'a satyena'(as in
> KYV)...'bhunanani pashyan'(as in RV)
> Hence wanted to talk to you about this. I would be
> delighted to know the primary importance of this
> mantra also the rules and numbers?
> You can call me anytime. Talk to you later.
> Sreenu

Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6