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Surya, aka: Sūryā, Sūrya; 12 Definition(s)


Surya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism


1a) Sūrya (सूर्य).—Is Mārtāṇḍa as he occupies the inanimate globe; is Hiraṇyagarbha being born of the Golden Egg. By his course are divided all the worlds: the Lord of all, animate and inanimate: His movement among the rāśīs in the sky. Traversing the signs of Meṣa and Tulā (the Goat and Balance) he makes days and nights of equal length: traversing the five signs commencing with Vṛṣabha (Bull) he makes days longer and nights shorter in a month by 24 minutes: traversing the five signs commencing with Vṛścika, he reverses the process. Rides in a chariot of one wheel with Aruṇa as charioteer. Sixtythousand Vālakhilyas go in front of him singing the Vedas: is also served by other sages, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Yātudhānas, and Gods;1 the sun moves with Meru and Dhruva on his right and marches towards the signs of the Zodiac. The twelve signs are the twelve months of a year. If he traverses one-sixth of the orbit, it is Ṛtu, and if he completes one-half of his heavenly path it is ayana. Sometimes the velocity is slow, sometimes rapid and moderate: the name of the year differs accordingly.2 also known as Divaspati and Divākara; 100 thousand yojanas from the earth, and the same distance from moon;3 does not shine in Ilāvṛtam;4 protects the earth and hence Ravi;5 cosmology of; sunrise at Samyamana, midday at Amarāvatī; evening for Vibhā and midnight for Sukhā. His rays enter fire during nights and come back during mornings; hence waters are warm during nights and cool during days; in a muhūrta Sūrya spreads over a lakh and 81,000 yojanas;6 chariot of one wheel with vedic metres as horses; colour of the sun in six seasons different; parent of the worlds, all birth and devastation due to him.7 Twelve-fold ātma; instructed Yājñavalkya in the form of a horse the yajus;8 father of the Yuvati class of Apsaras; a friend of king Satrājit.9 Relative size of sun, moon, etc.; relative splendours, motions and qualities; different classes of rays named;10 survives antara pralaya; came after Brahmā in the order of creation;11 Śrāddha deva;12 Sunday sacred to:13 fight with Kālanemi.14

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 20. 43-6; 21 (whole).
  • 2) Ib. 22. 1-7.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 2. 20, 29.
  • 4) Ib. II. 17. 10.
  • 5) Ib. II. 20. 58; Ch. 21.
  • 6) Ib. II. Ch. 22-3; Matsya-purāṇa Ch. 128.
  • 7) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. Ch. 24.
  • 8) Ib. II. 35. 23-5.
  • 9) Ib. III. 7. 21, 215; 71. 21, 29.
  • 10) Matsya-purāṇa Ch. 128. 13-74.
  • 11) Ib. 2. 12 and 31.
  • 12) Ib. 13. 1.
  • 13) Ib. 70. 33.
  • 14) Ib. 150. 151-179; 268. 11.

1b) A son of Kaśyapa and Aditi; wives Samjñā and Chāyā; father of Manu, Śrāddhadeva and Yama and Yami; see Vivasvan.1 Presented Pṛthu with arrows from h{??} rays; worship of: in Plakṣadvīpa,2 begot a son on Pṛthā, still a maiden;3 presented his friend Satrājita with Syamantaka (s.v.);4 propitiated by Yājñavalkya, imparted to him vājasamyaṣṭa yajus in the form of a horse.5 Pointed out with Soma, Rāhu in deva's disguise. Hence Rāhu chases him in parvas. Fought with Bāṇa in Devāsura war;6 Baḍavā was another wife, and Tapati daughter;7 is Vibhāvasu ten Kalas of;8 gives life to Agni.9 (Āditya): came to Kārtavīrya Arjuna in Brahman's disguise and asked for a gift of all sthāvara for his food and offered in turn bows ever effulgent to help in burning down all sthāvaras;10 māhātmya of, in the Bhaviṣya;11 the day sacred to the sun is the one when Hastam and Saptami fall on the same day;12 is Rāhu's abode;13 knows what Śiva did to Pūṣa and Bhaga;14 through Sarasvatī, got his two sons (not named);15 worship of, by Brahmans.16

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 39-41; IX. 1. 10-11.
  • 2) Ib. V. 15. 18; 20. 4-5.
  • 3) Ib. IX. 24. 32. 5.
  • 4) Ib. X. 56. 3.
  • 5) Ib. XII. 6. 66-74.
  • 6) Ib. VIII. 9; 24-6; 10 30.
  • 7) Ib. VIII. 13. 8-10; IX. 22. 4.
  • 8) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 21. 83.
  • 9) Ib. IV. 35. 81-3.
  • 10) Matsya-purāṇa 2. 31; 44. 3-11.
  • 11) Ib. 53. 31.
  • 12) Ib. 5. 4.
  • 13) Ib. 127. 10.
  • 14) Ib. 155. 7.
  • 15) Ib. 171. 57-8.
  • 16) Ib. 184. 31.

1c) A son of Bali; a Dānava.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 6. 11; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 8.

1d) See Ādityas.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 1. 58.

2) Sūryā (सूर्या).—A daughter of Kālindī.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 58. 20.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Sūrya (सूर्य).—Sūrya, as is known, is a member of Śiva-pañcāyatana group of sculptures. Therefore, all the Śiva temples of the region invariably possess a sculpture of Sūrya. Earliest depiction of Sūrya is noticed in the Śeṣaśāyi cave at Namakkal. It is not an independent sculpture but relief of Sūrya. Sūrya is shown as standing as an attendant deity for Śeṣaśāyiviṣṇu. The reliefs of Sūrya and Candra carved in this cave are quite big and impressive in their form.

Sculptures depict Sūrya as standing in samabhaṅga. He is always two handed and holds in each of his hands a lotus. He is often attended on by his two associates Uṣā and Pratyuṣā, depicted through the figures of ladies standing by his side. Most of these sculptures are simple in their execution and their forms are also quite elegant.

Source: Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD

about this context:

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Jyotiṣa (astronomy and astrology)

Sūrya (सूर्य) refers to the sun, which is also known as ravi, bhānu or āditya, amonst others. The corresponding day of the week is sunday (bhānuvāra). The term is used throughout Jyotiṣa literature.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jyotiṣa

about this context:

Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or ‘astrology’. It is one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Sūryā (सूर्या) is another name for Indravāruṇī, which is a Sanskrit word referring to the Citrullus colocynthis (wild gourd), from the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. The synonym was identified in the Rājanighaṇṭu (verses 3.69-71), which is a  13th-century medicinal thesaurus.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

about this context:

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Sūrya (सूर्य) is the Sanskrit name for a deity to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (eg., to Sūrya).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Nava-graha (Hands that indicate the Nine Planets).—Sūrya: Solapadma and Kapittha hands held on the shoulders.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

General definition (in Hinduism)

Sūrya (सूर्य, “the sun”):—One of the five natural forms of Agni (Vedic god of Divine illumination). This form, known as Sūrya, represents the fire of the heavenly sphere which illumines the world, is known as the celestial-fire (divya-agni).

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Sūrya Nārāyaṇa is the personification of the Sun which is daily worshipped by all Hindus. The Sun is the direct manifestation of the Absolute or Brahman. The physical Sun shares some characteristics posited of Brahman (the Absolute Reality). For example: We speak of the Sun rising, setting being hidden by the clouds etc. In fact he neither raises not sets nor is covered by anything. All of these perceptions of the Sun are conditioned by our time and space bound existence upon earth.

The Sun rides a chariot drawn by 7 horses which are the 7 colours of the spectrum.

Sūrya has four wives:—

  1. Suvarcala —the Resplendent, illumination or knowledge
  2. Chāyā — Shade
  3. Jyoti — Light
  4. Aiśvarya — Sovereignty
Source: Red Zambala: The Navagrahas — Planetary Deities

Sūrya (सूर्य): A solar deity who is one of the three main Vedic Gods.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Surya is the sun. (He is also referred to as Vivasvant) and Martanda. Like Chandra he is both a Deva and a Navagraha. According to the PurushaSuktam[R.V.10.90], he was formed from the eyes of Purusha, the primeaval man, who was sacrificed as an offering to himself. He has two wives Sangya (who is the daughter of Vishwakarma) and Chaaya Devi. He has many children, the most famous of whom is Shani (saturn), who is also one of the Navagrahas. Some sources also say that Yama is a son of Surya.

Among the planets, his enemies are Rahu and Ketu, whose became his enemies in the incident of the churning of the ocean of milk.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Sūrya (सूर्य) is the shorter name of Sūryadvīpa, one of the continents (dvīpa) of the middle-world (madhyaloka) which is encircled by the ocean named Sūryasamudra (or simply Sūrya), according to Jain cosmology. The middle-world contains innumerable concentric dvīpas and, as opposed to the upper-world (adhaloka) and the lower-world (ūrdhvaloka), is the only world where humans can be born.

Sūrya is recorded in ancient Jaina canonical texts dealing with cosmology and geography of the universe. Examples of such texts are the Saṃgrahaṇīratna in the Śvetāmbara tradition or the Tiloyapannatti and the Trilokasāra in the Digambara tradition.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Sūrya (सूर्य, “sun”).—The seventh of “fourteen dreams” of Triśalā.—Subsequently Triśalā saw the dazzlingly red Sun, red like kesuda and parrot beak, resembling a lamp in the sphere, the chief of planets, one whom we can only see at the time of its rising and setting, rotating around Meru mountain.

Source: Shodhganga: A cultural study on the jain western Indian illustrated manuscripts

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