The Brahma Purana

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 243,464 words

This is the Brahma Purana in English (translation from Sanskrit), which is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas. The contents of this ancient Indian encyclopedic treatise include cosmology, genealogy (solar dynasty etc.), mythology, geology and Dharma (universal law of nature). The Brahma Purana is notable for its extenstive geological survey includin...

Chapter 29 - Name of Sun-god

Brahmā said:

1. O excellent sages, the three worlds have the sun as their source of origin. The entire universe including Devas, Asuras and human beings originates from him.

2-3. The brilliance of the deities viz—Rudra, Upendra and Mahendra, the splendour of the leading brahmins and heaven-dwellers of great refulgence, nay the refulgence of all the worlds is lord Sun—the soul of all, the lord of all—Devas as well as human beings. The sun alone is the root cause of three worlds. He alone is the greatest deity.

4. The ghee offerings duly consigned to the fire produce clouds which in turn generate rain. Rain originates food-grain, whereby the subjects are nourished.

5. Everything is born of him; everything is dissolved in him. He is the cause of origin and destruction of the universe.

6. The meditation of those who meditate, the liberation of those who are liberated centre round Sun-god. They are absorbed in him but are reborn of him. This happens frequently.

7-8. The following units of time have their origin in the Sun-god—moments, Muhūrta (units of 48 nets), days, nights, fortnights, months, years, seasons and Yugas. These cannot be reckoned without him; without calculation of time there is no holy observance, there is no holy rite in the sacrificial fire.

9-10. Without sun-god who steals water and then showers it, how can the seasons be classified? How can fruits and flowers occur? How can vegetation be produced? How can grasses and medicinal herbs grow? It is due to his power that these occur in the universe. Otherwise, there will be an absence of all dealings among the creatures here and hereafter.

11. The sun does not blaze if there be no rain; the sun is not happy if there be no rain; the sun has no halo if there is no Tain; the sun blazes due to water.

12-13. The sun is tawny in spring; during summer he resembles gold, he is white during rainy season; he is pale, grey during autumn; he is copper-coloured in early winter; he is red during late winter. Thus the colours of sun-god caused by the seasons have been recounted.

14-18. With colour naturally belonging to the season, the sun causes welfare and prosperity. There are twelve general names of Sun-god and there are twelve other names severally. I shall mention all of them.

The following are the twelve general names:—Āditya, Savitā, Sūrya, Mihira, Arka, Prabhākara, Mārtaṇḍa, Bhāskara, Bhānu, Citrabhānu, Divākara and Ravi. The Sun-god is known by these twelve general names.

The following are the twelve Ādityas reckoned separately:—

Viṣṇu, Dhātṛ, Bhaga, Pūṣan, Mitra, Indra, Varuṇa, Aryamā, Vivasvān, Aṃśumān, Tvaṣṭṛ and Parjanya. They are separate forms rising in twelve months respectively

19. Viṣṇu blazes in the month of Caitra. Aryamā in Vaiśākha; Vivasvān in Jyeṣṭha and Aṃśumān in Āṣāḍha.

20. Parjanya blazes in the month of Śrāvaṇa, Varuṇa in Prauṣṭhapada, Indra in Āśvayuja and Dhātṛ in Kārttika.

21. Mitra blazes in the month of Mārgaśīrṣa; Puṣā, Bhaga in Māgha and Tvaṣṭr in Phālguna.

22. Viṣṇu blazes with one thousand two hundred rays. Aryamā with one thousand three hundred rays.

23-26. Vivasvān with one thousand four hundred rays; Aṃśumān with one thousand five hundred rays; Parjanya and Varuṇa like Vivasvān; Bhaga is like Mitra one thousand and four hundred rays; lord Tvaṣṭṛ with one thousand and one hundred rays; Indra with one thousand and two hundred rays; Dhātṛ with one thousand and one hundred rays; Mitra with a thousand rays and Pūṣan with nine hundred rays.

During the northern transit of the sun, the rays increase; during the southern transit the rays decrease. Thus, sun-god sustains worlds by thousands of rays.

27. The means of protection in different seasons is manifold. The sun has a set of twenty-four names. They have been mentioned already. The sun has another set of one thousand names. They have been glorified in detail.

The sages said:

28. O Prajāpati, O great lord, what is the merit and the goal of those who eulogise the sun-god with those thousand names?

Brahmā said:

29-30. O leading sages, listen to the eternal truth. Enough of those thousand names, should one recite the following auspicious prayer. Listen, I shall relate to you those secret, sacred and splendid names of the Sun-god.

31-33. The Prayer of Twenty-one names.

The twenty-one names of Lord sun are Vikartana, Vivasvan, Mārtaṇḍa, Bhāskara, Ravi, Lokaprakāśaka, Śrīman, Lokacakṣuṣ, Maheśvara, Lokasākṣi, Trilokeśa Kartā, Hartā, Tamisrahā, Tapana, Tāpana, Śuci, Saptāśvavāhana, Gabhastihasta, Brahmaṇya and Sarvadevanamaskṛta. These are twenty-one names of the Sun-god. This prayer is always liked by Sun-god.

34. This prayer is called ‘Royal’. It is well known in the three worlds. It is conducive to the health of body. It causes increase in riches and enhances glory.

35. O excellent brahmins, he who remains pure and eulogises the Sun-god with this hymn at the two junctions viz sunrise and sunset, is liberated from all sins.

36. By repeating this hymn but once in the presence of the sun all sins perish whether they are mental, physical or verbal or caused by other activities.

37. Repetition of this hymn for once is the Mantra for Homa, and worship during the twilight, it is the mantra for incense, for Arghya and for oblations too.

38. If this great Mantra is accompanied by the gift of cooked rice, or obeisance or circumambulation it dispels all sins. It is splendid.

39. Hence, you all should eulogise the lord, the bestower of boons, one who grants all cherished desires, assiduously, by reciting this hymn, O brahmins.

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