Vedic influence on the Sun-worship in the Puranas

by Goswami Mitali | 2018 | 68,171 words

This page relates ‘Vratas Observed and the Sun-worship’ of the study on the Vedic influence of Sun-worship in the Puranas, conducted by Goswami Mitali in 2018. The tradition of observing Agnihotra sacrifice and the Sandhya, etc., is frequently observed among the Hindus. Another important innovation of the Sun-worship in the Puranas is the installation of the images of the Sun in the temples.—This section belongs to the series “Rituals Related to the Sun-Worship in the Puranas”.

Part 4 - The Vratas Observed and the Sun-worship

The fasting, resorting to severe penances, etc., in honour of respective gods was not observed in an organized scale in the days of the Vedas and the Epics. They have developed on an organized scale as a part of a religious faith, indeed in the Purāṇas. The references to sacrificial oblations towards the Sun-god are occasionally met with in the earlier Purāṇas, like the Matsyapurāṇa,[1] the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, [2] etc. Again, the rituals like, the japa, the arghya, the ācamana, etc., have Vedic survivals. Besides these, the later Vedic elements, like bhakti, pūjā, etc., are also found here and there in the Purāṇic Sun-worship.

Several times, in the Purāṇas, the deity is worshipped in the form of Lotus which indeed is the continuation of the Vedic tradition of worshipping the Sun. The worship of the Sun in general is prescribed on Sunday by drawing a twelve-petalled Lotus with red Sandal in the forepart of which the horses of Sūrya should be inscribed.[3] It is said that one who observes these rituals and keeps up this vrata for a year, becomes free from all sins and goes to the solar region fanned by the cāmara.[4]

The solar vows, discussed in detail in the Matsyapurāṇa are, Kalyānasaptamī, Viśokasaptamī, Phalasaptamī, Śarkarasaptamī, Kamalasaptamī, Mandārasaptamī and Śubhasaptamī.[5] The Bhaviṣyapurāṇa also mentions of forty-two solar vratas, of which Śakasaptamī, Rathasaptamī, Sarṣapasaptamī, Vijayasaptamī, Nandākhyasaptamī, Saptasaptamī, Mārīcisaptamī, etc., are very famous. Besides these, the different Purāṇas mention the vratas called Ārogyasaptamī,[6] Dvādaśādityavrata,[7] etc.

A brief note on some of the vratas related to the Sun-worship in the Purāṇas along with their procedures is presented below—

Footnotes and references:


cf., kīrtayetsūryadevatyaṃ saptarcaṃ ca ghṛtāhutīḥ/ Matsyapurāṇa, 68.17


cf., Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, 106.61


Ibid., 97.5,8


cf., ityanena vidhinā samācaredabdamekamiha yastu mānavaḥ/ soʹdhirohati vinaṣṭakalmaṣaḥ sūryadhāma dhutacāmarāvaliḥ// Matsyapurāṇa, 97.17


Ibid., 74-80


Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, 3.182

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