The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter LVIII - Positions and dimensions of the sun and other planets

Hari said:—Hear, I will now describe the position and the dimension of the sun and other planets. The sun has nine cars, each a thousand yojanas in dimension. Twice this number is the dimension of its plough, O bull-emblemed deity. Half a Koti and seven Niyuta of yojanas is the dimension of its Aksha (part of wheel), where the wheel is placed. It has three naves and six Nemis (circumference). This wheel goes one round within one full year. The second Aksha of the car of Vivashvan is forty thousand yojanas in dimension. The five others have each half the same dimension, O bull-emblemed deity. The extent of each of the two Akshas is half a yuga (cycle); the smaller Aksha, of the car, with half the cycle is stationed in the polar star. And the second wheel is stationed in the mount Manasa.

Gayatri, Samvrihati, Ushnic, Jagati, Tristuv, Anustup, and Pankti—these metres are the the horses of the sun. Dhata, Kratusthala, Pulastya, Vasuki, Rathakrit, Agramani, Heti and Tamvaru reside in the solar disc in the month of Chaitra, Aryama, Pulaha, Rathonjas, Punjikasthala, Praheti, Kachcha, Nira and Narada in the month of Vaishaka. Mitra, Atri, Takshaka, Raksa, Pourusheya, Menaka, Haha, Rathaswana reside on the car of the sun in the month of Jaistha. Varuna, Vasistha, Rambha, Sajanya, Kuhu, Budha, Rathachitra and Sukra live in the month of Ashada. Indra, Vishvavasu, Srota, Elapatra, Angira, Plamocha and Nabha—these serpents live in the month of Sravana. Vivasvan, Ugrasena, Bhrigu, Apurana, Anumlocha, Shangkapala and Vyagra live in the month of Bhadrapada. Pusha, Suruchi, Dhata, Gautama, Dhananjaya, Sushena, Ghritachi live in the sun in the month of Ashvin. Vishvavasu, Bharadvaja, Parjanya, Airavata, Vishvachi, Senajit, and Apa—these are entitled to live in the month of Kartika. Angsu, Kashyapa, Tarkshya, Mahapadma, Urvashi, Chitrasena, and Midyut live in the month of Agrahayana. Kratu, Bharga, Urnayu, Sphurja, Bharga, Urnayu, Karkot, Aristhanemi, Purvachitti, and the most excellent Apsaras live in the solar disc in the month of Paush. Tvastha, Jamadagni, Kamvala, Tilottama, Brahmapeta, Ritajit and Dhritarastra live in the solar disc in the month of Magha. Vishnu, Ashvatara, Rambha, Suryavarchcha, Satyajit, Vishvamitra, Raksha and Yajnapela live in the month of Phalguna.[1]

O Brahman, the solar disc is pervaded by the energies of Vishnu. The ascetics laud the sun and the Gandharvas sing before. The Apsaras dance and the night-rangers follow the sun. The Pannagas carry (the vehicle) and the Yakshas collect the bridles. The Valikhilya Rishis sit encircling him.

The car of the moon has three wheels and the horses are white as Kunda flowers. It runs, drawn by ten horses, on the right and left. The car of the son of the moon (Budha) is made of [the essence of] air and fire. It is drawn by eight yellow-coloured steeds fleet as the wind. The great chariot of Shukra has a Varutha,[2] Anukarsha,[3] is drawn by horses born of earth and adorned with flags. The huge chariot of Bhumi’s (earth) son (Mars) is of the colour of molten gold and is drawn by eight steeds, of the colour of the filaments of a lotus and born of fire. Jupiter resides for one year at every sign of a Zodiac sitting on his golden car drawn by eight yellowish-white horses. Riding a car drawn by horses of variegated colour and born of ether Saturn moves slowly on; Svarbhanu[4] has eight horses of the colour of the earth and his car is grey-hued. O lord of goblins, yoked to his car they carry him, day and night. Rahu’s car has eight horses, fleet as the wind and smoky-coloured and which have their tongues coated with saliva. On it he roams over the earth consisting of islands, rivers and mountains.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The following is the list of English months corresponding with Hindu ones:—

Hindu. English.
Vaishak March, April.
Jaista April, May.
Ashara May, June.
Shravan June, July.
Bhadra July, August.
Ashvin August, September.
Kartik September, October.
Agrahayan October, November.
Paush November, December.
Magh December, January.
Phalgūn January, February.
Chaitra February, March.

 

2.

A sort of wooden frame or fender with which a chariot is provided as a defence against collision.

3.

The axle-tree or bottom of a carriage.

4.

Rahu; the personified ascending node.

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