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Surya (; sa, सूर्य, ) the sun and the
solar deity A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity The sky The sky (also sometimes called celestial dome) is everything that lies above the surface of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only a ...
in
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
, particularly in the
Saura Saura is a term found in Indian religions, and it connotes "sun" (Surya Surya (; sa, सूर्य, ) is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun. Synonyms of Surya in ancient Indian literature include Aditya, Arka, Bhanu, Savitr, Pushan, Ravi, ...
tradition found in Indian states such as
Rajasthan Rajasthan (; ; lit. 'Land of Kings') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspa ...

Rajasthan
,
Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Gujarat
,
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh (, ; meaning ''Central Province'') is a state in central India. Its capital city, capital is Bhopal, and the largest city is Indore, with Jabalpur, Ujjain, Gwalior, Satna being the other major cities. Madhya Pradesh is the List o ...

Madhya Pradesh
,
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
,
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
,
Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh (; , 'Northern Province') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

Uttar Pradesh
,
Jharkhand Jharkhand (; ; meaning 'the land of forests') is a States and union territories of India, state in East India, eastern India. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh to the northwest, Chhattisgarh to the ...

Jharkhand
and
Odisha Odisha (English: , ), formerly Orissa (), is an States and union territories of India, Indian state located in East India, Eastern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, 8th largest state by area, and the Li ...

Odisha
. Surya is one of the major five deities in Hinduism, considered as equivalent deities in
Panchayatana puja Panchayatana puja (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic languages. It ...
and means to realizing
Brahman ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन् , hi, ब्रह्म) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality Ultimate reality is "something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality". This heav ...

Brahman
in the
Smarta Tradition ''Smarta'' Tradition (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in S ...
. Synonyms of Surya in ancient
Indian literature Indian literature refers to the literature produced on the Indian subcontinent until 1947 and in the Republic of India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most po ...
include Aditya, Arka, Bhanu, Savitr, Pushan, Ravi, Martanda, Mitra, Bhaskara, Prabhakara, Kathiravan, and Vivasvan. The iconography of Surya is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by horses, often seven in number which represent the seven colours of visible light, and seven days in a week. In medieval Hinduism, Surya was considered to be a manifestation of the Hindu Major Gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. In some ancient texts and arts, Surya is presented syncretically with Indra, Ganesha or others. Surya as a deity is also found in the arts and literature of
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
and
Jainism Jainism (), traditionally known as ''Jain Dharma'', is an ancient Indian religion. It is one of the oldest Indian religions. The three main pillars of Jainism are ''Ahimsa in Jainism, ahiṃsā'' (non-violence), ''anekāntavāda'' (non-absolut ...

Jainism
. Surya is depicted with a ''Chakra,'' also interpreted as ''
Dharmachakra The dharmachakra (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South A ...

Dharmachakra
''. Surya is the lord of Simha (Leo), one of the twelve
constellations A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, ...

constellations
in the
zodiac The zodiac is a belt-shaped region of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic The ecliptic is the plane (geometry), plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. From the perspecti ...

zodiac
system of
Hindu astrology Jyotisha or Jyotishya (from Sanskrit ', from ' "light, heavenly body") is the traditional Hindu system of astrology, also known as Hindu astrology, Indian astrology and more recently Vedic astrology. The term ''Hindu astrology'' has been in us ...
. Surya or Ravi is the basis of ''Ravivara'', or
Sunday Sunday is the day of the week between Saturday and Monday. In most Western countries, Sunday is a day of rest and a part of the Workweek and weekend, weekend, whereas in much of the rest of the world, it is considered the first day of the week. ...

Sunday
, in the Hindu calendar. Major festivals and pilgrimages in reverence for Surya include
Makar Sankranti Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti, also known in Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the so ...

Makar Sankranti
,
Pongal Pongal may refer to: * Pongal (festival) Pongal (, , ''also spelled'' Poṅkal), is also referred to as Thai Pongal (, also spelled Tai Pongal), is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamils, Tamil communi ...
, ,
Ratha Sapthami ''Ratha Sapthami'' is a 1986 Indian Kannada-language romance film, romantic musical film directed by M. S. Rajashekar and produced by S. A. Govindaraj. It stars Shivarajkumar in his second venture after ''Anand (1986 film), Anand''. Debutant ac ...
,
Chath puja Chhath is an ancient Hinduism, Hindu festival historically native to the Indian subcontinent, more specifically, the States and union territories of India, Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and the southern parts of Nepal. It h ...
and
Kumbh Mela Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela () is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism. It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years, to celebrate every revolution Brihaspati (Jupiter) completes, at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Allahab ...
., Quote: "Makar Sankranti is a festival held across India, under a variety of names, to honour the god of the sun, Surya." Having survived as a primary deity in Hinduism arguably better and longer than any other of the original Vedic deities, the worship of Surya declined greatly around the 13th century, perhaps as a result of the Muslim conquest of north India. New Surya temples virtually ceased to be built, and some were later converted to a different dedication. A number of important Surya temples remain, but many are no longer in worship. In certain aspects, Surya has tended to be merged into
Vishnu Vishnu (; ; , ), also known as Narayana and Hari, is one of the principal deities Principal may refer to: Title or rank * Principal (academia), the chief executive of a university ** Principal (education), the head teacher of a primary or s ...

Vishnu
or
Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions wit ...

Shiva
, or seen as subsidiary to them.


Texts and history


Vedic

The oldest surviving Vedic hymns, such as the hymn 1.115 of the
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
, mention ''Sūrya'' with particular reverence for the "rising sun" and its symbolism as dispeller of darkness, one who empowers knowledge, the good and all life. However, the usage is context specific. In some hymns, the word Surya simply means sun as an inanimate object, a stone or a gem in the sky (Rigvedic hymns 5.47, 6.51 and 7.63); while in others it refers to a
personified Personification occurs when a thing or abstraction is represented as a person, in literature or art, as an anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread s ...
deity. Surya is prominently associated with the dawn goddess
Ushas Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languag ...
and sometimes, he is mentioned as her son or her husband. Surya's origin differs heavily in the Rigveda, with him being stated to been born, risen, or established by a number of deities, including the
Ādityas In Hinduism, Ādityás ( sa, आदित्य, Ādityá, ), meaning "of Aditi", refers to the offspring of the goddess Aditi and her husband the sage Kashyapa. The name ''Ādityá'', in the singular, is taken to refer to the solar deity, sun god ...
,
Aditi Aditi (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after ...
,
Dyaush Dyaus ( ), or Dyauspitar (Devanagari द्यौष्पितृ, ), is the Ṛgvedic sky deity. His consort is Prithvi Prithvi or Prithvi Mata (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch ...
,
Mitra ''Mitra'' (Proto-Indo-Iranian Proto-Indo-Iranian or Proto-Indo-Iranic is the reconstructed proto-language of the Indo-Iranian/Indo-Iranic branch of Indo-European. Its speakers, the hypothetical Proto-Indo-Iranians, are assumed to have lived ...
-
Varuna Varuna (; sa, वरुण, , Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay lan ...

Varuna
,
Agni Agni (English: , sa, अग्नि, translit=Agní) is a Sanskrit word meaning fire and connotes the fire god of Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the glo ...

Agni
,
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia afte ...

Indra
,
Soma South of Market (SoMa) is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and fi ...
, Indra-Soma, Indra-Varuna, Indra-
Vishnu Vishnu (; ; , ), also known as Narayana and Hari, is one of the principal deities Principal may refer to: Title or rank * Principal (academia), the chief executive of a university ** Principal (education), the head teacher of a primary or s ...

Vishnu
,
Purusha ''Purusha'' (' or ) is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the ''Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating ...
,
Dhatri In Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jai ...
, the Angirases, and the
gods A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...
in general. The Atharvaveda also mentions that Surya originated from
Vritra Vritra (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after i ...
. The Vedas assert Sun (Surya) to be the creator of the material universe ( Prakriti). In the layers of
Vedic upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the ''Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the ol ...

Vedic
texts, Surya is one of the several trinities along with
Agni Agni (English: , sa, अग्नि, translit=Agní) is a Sanskrit word meaning fire and connotes the fire god of Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the glo ...

Agni
and either
Vayu Vayu (, sa, वायु, ) is a primary Hindu deity Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest r ...

Vayu
or
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia afte ...

Indra
, which are presented as an equivalent icon and aspect of the Hindu metaphysical concept called the
Brahman ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन् , hi, ब्रह्म) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality Ultimate reality is "something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality". This heav ...

Brahman
. In the
Brahmana The Brahmanas (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South As ...
s layer of Vedic literature, Surya appears with
Agni Agni (English: , sa, अग्नि, translit=Agní) is a Sanskrit word meaning fire and connotes the fire god of Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the glo ...

Agni
(fire god) in the same hymns. Surya is revered for the day, while Agni for its role during the night. The idea evolves, states Kapila Vatsyayan, where Surya is stated to be Agni as the first principle and the seed of the universe. It is in the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas,Henk Bodewitz (1997), ''Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa I, 1–65: Translation and Commentary'', Brill Academic, , pp. 328–329, 254-258JC Heesterman (1985), ''The Inner Conflict of Tradition: Essays in Indian Ritual, Kinship, and Society'', University of Chicago Press, , pp. 93–94, and the
Upanishad The Upanishads (; sa, उपनिषद् ) are late Vedic Sanskrit texts of religious teachings which form the foundations of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is the Major religious g ...
s that Surya is explicitly linked to the power of sight, to visual perception and knowledge. He is then interiorized to be the eye as ancient Hindu sages suggested abandonment of external rituals to gods in favor of internal reflections and meditation of gods within, in one's journey to realize the Atman (soul, self) within, in texts such as the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad The ''Brihadaranyaka Upanishad'' ( sa, बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद्, ) is one of the Principal Upanishads and one of the first Upanishadic scriptures of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', ...
,
Chandogya Upanishad The Chandogya Upanishad (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in ...
,
Kaushitaki Upanishad The ''Kaushitaki Upanishad'' ( sa, कौषीतकि उपनिषद्, ) is an ancient Sanskrit text contained inside the Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian colle ...
and others.Patrick Olivelle (1992), ''The Samnyasa Upanisads: Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation'', Oxford University Press, , pp. 147–151


Conflation with other solar deities

Surya in Indian literature is referred to by various names, which typically represent different aspects or phenomenological characteristics of the Sun. The figure of Surya as we know him today is an amalgamation of various different Rigvedic deities. Thus,
Savitr Savitṛ (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after ...
refers to one that rises and sets, Aditya means one with splendor,
Mitra ''Mitra'' (Proto-Indo-Iranian Proto-Indo-Iranian or Proto-Indo-Iranic is the reconstructed proto-language of the Indo-Iranian/Indo-Iranic branch of Indo-European. Its speakers, the hypothetical Proto-Indo-Iranians, are assumed to have lived ...
refers to Sun as "the great luminous friend of all mankind", while
Pushan Pushan ( sa, पूषन्, Pūṣan) is a Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian rel ...
refers to Sun as illuminator that helped the Devas win over Asuras who use darkness. Arka, Mitra, Vivasvat, Aditya, Tapan, Ravi and Surya have different characteristics in early mythologies, but by the time of the epics they are synonymous. The term "Arka" is found more commonly in temple names of north India and in the eastern parts of India. The 11th century
Konark Temple Konark Sun Temple is a (year 1250) Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, ...

Konark Temple
in
Odisha Odisha (English: , ), formerly Orissa (), is an States and union territories of India, Indian state located in East India, Eastern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, 8th largest state by area, and the Li ...

Odisha
is named after a composite word "Kona and Arka", or "Arka in the corner". Other Surya temples named after Arka include Devarka (Deva teertha) and Ularka (Ulaar) in Bihar, Uttararka and Lolarka in
Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh (; , 'Northern Province') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

Uttar Pradesh
, and Balarka in
Rajasthan Rajasthan (; ; lit. 'Land of Kings') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspa ...

Rajasthan
. Another 10th-century sun temple ruin is in
Bahraich Bahraich is a city and a municipal board in Bahraich district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the Saryu River, a tributary of the Ghaghara river, Bahraich is north-east of Lucknow, the state capital. The districts of Bara ...
, Uttar Pradesh named Balarka Surya Mandir, which was destroyed in the 14th century during the Turkish invasions. Vivasvat, also known as Vivasvant, is also one such of these deities. His wife is
Saranyu Sanjna or Samjna (Sanskrit: संज्ञा, IAST: ''Samjñā''), also known as Saranyu ( sa, सरन्यू, IAST: ''Saraṇyū'') and Sandhya (Sanskrit: सन्ध्या), is a Hindu goddess Devī (Sanskrit: देवी) i ...
, daughter of
Tvashtar Tvashtr ( sa, त्वष्टृ, Tvaṣṭṛ) is a Vedic upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the ''Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancie ...
. His sons include the
Ashvins The Ashvins ( sa, अश्विन्, Aśvin, horse possessors), also known as Ashwini Kumara and Asvinau,, §1.42. are two twin gods associated with medicine, health, dawn and sciences in Hindu mythology. In the ''Rigveda'', they are describe ...
,
Yama Yama(यम) (the last a is silent,in hindi)or Yamarāja(यमराज) is a deity of death, dharma, the south direction, and the underworld who predominantly features in deva (Hinduism), Hindu and deva (Buddhism), Buddhist mythology, belongi ...

Yama
, and
Manu Manu may refer to: Geography *Manú Province, a province of Peru, in the Madre de Dios Region **Manú National Park, Peru **Manú River, in southeastern Peru *Manu River (Tripura), which originates in India and flows into Bangladesh *Manu Temple, ...
. Through Manu, Vivasvat is considered an ancestor of humanity. Vivasvat is affiliated with
Agni Agni (English: , sa, अग्नि, translit=Agní) is a Sanskrit word meaning fire and connotes the fire god of Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the glo ...

Agni
and Matarishvan, with Agni being stated to have been first revealed to those two. Vivasvat is also variously related to
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia afte ...

Indra
,
Soma South of Market (SoMa) is a neighborhood in San Francisco, California San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and fi ...
, and
Varuna Varuna (; sa, वरुण, , Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay lan ...

Varuna
. Vivasvant is also used as an adjective of Agni and
Ushas Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languag ...
to mean "brilliant". Already by the time of his earliest appearance (the Rigveda), Vivasvat had declined in importance. He was likely a solar deity, but scholars debate his specific role as one. In the Rigveda, Indra drinks Soma alongside Manu Vivasvat and
Trita Trita ("the Third") is a minor deity of the Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an ac ...
. In post-Vedic literature, Vivasvat further declines in importance, and is merely another name for the sun. He is cognate to the
Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian ...

Avestan
Vivanhvant, who is the father of (cognate to Yama) and Manu.


Epics

As per the
Ramayana ''Rāmāyana'' (; sa, रामायणम्, ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism, the other being the ''Mahabharata, Mahābhārata''. The epi ...

Ramayana
's Yuddha Kanda,
Lord Rama Rama (; , ; ), Ram, Raman or Ramar, also known as Ramachandra (; , ), is a major deity in Hinduism. He is the seventh and one of the most popular ''avatars'' of Vishnu. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Be ...

Lord Rama
was taught the Ādityahṛdayam stotra before his war against
Ravana Ravana (;, , ) was a king of the island Lanka Lanka (, ) is the name given in Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is a ...

Ravana
, the king of the rakshasas. The stotra was composed in Anushtup Chanda in praise of Lord Surya, who is described as the embodiment of all gods and the origin of everything in the universe. The Mahabharata epic opens its chapter on Surya that reverentially calls him as the "eye of the universe, soul of all existence, origin of all life, goal of the
Samkhya ''Samkhya'' ( sa, साङ्ख्य, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and re ...
s and
Yogi A yogi is a practitioner of Yoga Yoga (; sa, योग, lit=yoke' or 'union ) is a group of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album) ...
s, and symbolism for freedom and spiritual emancipation. In the
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
,
Karna Karna (Sanskrit: कर्ण, IAST: ''Karṇa''), also known as Vasusena, Anga-raja, and Radheya, is one of the major characters of the Hindu epic ''Mahābhārata''. He is the son of the sun god Surya and princess Kunti (mother of the Pandava ...

Karna
is the son of Surya and unmarried princess
Kunti Kunti ( sa, कुन्ती, ), also known as Pritha ( sa, पृथा, ), is one of the female protagonists of the epic, ''Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskri ...
. The epic describes Kunti's trauma as an unmarried mother, then abandonment of Karna, followed by her lifelong grief. Baby
Karna Karna (Sanskrit: कर्ण, IAST: ''Karṇa''), also known as Vasusena, Anga-raja, and Radheya, is one of the major characters of the Hindu epic ''Mahābhārata''. He is the son of the sun god Surya and princess Kunti (mother of the Pandava ...

Karna
is found and adopted by a charioteer but he grows up to become a great warrior and one of the main characters in the great battle of
Kurukshetra Kurukshetra (, ) is a city in the Indian state of Haryana Haryana (; ) is a in India located in the northern-part of the country. It was carved out of the former state of on 1 November 1966 on a basis. It is ranked 21st in terms of ar ...

Kurukshetra
where he fights his half brothers during the war.


Iconography

Earliest representations of Surya riding a chariot occur in the Buddhist railings of the
Mahabodhi The Mahabodhi Temple (literally: "Great Awakening Temple") or the Mahabodhi Mahavihar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO ...

Mahabodhi
temple in
Bodhgaya Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian States and union territories of India, state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said ...

Bodhgaya
(2nd cent.), in the
Bhaja Caves Bhaja Caves is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC located in the city of Pune, India. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja, on an important ancient trade route running from the Arabian Sea The Arabian ...

Bhaja Caves
(1st cent.), and the Ananta Gumpha at the
Khandagiri Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, formerly called Kattaka Caves or Cuttack caves, are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. The caves are ...
caves (1st cent.). The iconography of Surya in Hinduism varies with its texts. He is typically shown as a resplendent standing person holding a sunflower in both hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses typically seven. The seven horses are named after the seven meters of
Sanskrit prosody Sanskrit prosody or Chandas refers to one of the six Vedanga The Vedanga ( sa, वेदाङ्ग ', "limbs of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines of Hinduism Hinduism () is an and ', or way of life. It is the , with over ...
: Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnih, Jagati, Trishtubha, Anushtubha and Pankti. The Brihat Samhita of
Varaha Mihira Varaha ( sa, वराह, , "boar") is the avatar An avatar (Sanskrit: अवतार, IAST: ; ), a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", is the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. The relative verb to "alight, ...
(), a Hindu text that describes architecture, iconography and design guidelines, states that Surya should be shown with two hands and wearing a crown. It specifically describes his dress to be Northern (i.e. Central Asian, with boots). In contrast, the Vishnudharmottara, another Hindu text on architecture, states Surya iconography should show him with four hands, with flowers in two hands, a staff in third, and in fourth he should be shown to be holding writing equipment (Kundi palm leaf and pen symbolizing knowledge). His chariot driver in both books is stated to be
Aruṇa Aruna (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stu ...
who is seated. Two females typically flank him, who represent the dawn goddesses named Usha and Pratyusha. The goddesses are shown to be shooting arrows, a symbolism for their initiative to challenge darkness. In other representations, these goddesses are Surya's two wives,
Samjna ''Saṃjñā'' (Sanskrit; Pali: ''sañña'') is a Buddhism, Buddhist term that is typically translated as "perception" or "cognition." It can be defined as grasping at the distinguishing features or characteristics. ''Samjñā'' has multiple me ...
and
Chhaya Chhaya or Chaya ( sa, छाया, Chāyā, shadow' or 'shade) is the Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion an ...
. The iconography of Surya has also varied over time. In some ancient arts, particularly from the early centuries of the common era, his iconography is similar to those found in Persia and Greece suggesting likely adoption of Greek, Iranian and Scythian influences. After the Greek and Kushan influences arrived in ancient India, some Surya icons of the period that followed show him wearing a cloak and high boots. In some Buddhist artwork, his chariot is shown as being pulled by four horses. The doors of Buddhist monasteries of Nepal show him, along with the ''Chandra'' (moon god), symbolically with Surya depicted as a red circle with rays. Aniconic symbols of Surya include the Swastika and the ring-stone.


Astronomy

Surya as an important heavenly body appears in various Indian astronomical texts in
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
, such as the 5th century ''Aryabhatiya'' by
Aryabhata Aryabhata (, ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repe ...
, the 6th century ''Romaka'' by Latadeva and ''Panca Siddhantika'' by Varahamihira, the 7th century ''Khandakhadyaka'' by Brahmagupta and the 8th century ''Sisyadhivrddida'' by Lalla. These texts present Surya and various planets and estimate the characteristics of the respective planetary motion. Other texts such as ''Surya Siddhanta'' dated to have been complete sometime between the 5th century and 10th century present their chapters on various planets with deity mythologies. The manuscripts of these texts exist in slightly different versions, present Surya- and planets-based calculation and its relative motion to earth. These vary in their data, suggesting that the text were open and revised over their lives. For example, the 10th century  Hindu scholars had estimated the sidereal length of a year as follows, from their astronomical studies, with slightly different results: The oldest of these is likely to be the ''Surya Siddhanta'', while the most accurate is the ''Siddhanta Shiromani''.


Zodiac and astrology

Surya's synonym Ravi is the root of the word 'Ravivara' or
Sunday Sunday is the day of the week between Saturday and Monday. In most Western countries, Sunday is a day of rest and a part of the Workweek and weekend, weekend, whereas in much of the rest of the world, it is considered the first day of the week. ...

Sunday
in the Hindu calendar. In both Indian and Greek-Roman nomenclature for days of the week, the Sunday is dedicated to the Sun. Surya is a part of the
Navagraha Navagraha are nine heavenly bodies and deities that influence human life on Earth according to Hinduism and Hindu astrology. The term is derived from ''nava'' ( sa, नव "nine") and ''graha'' ( sa, ग्रह "planet, seizing, laying hold of, ...

Navagraha
in Hindu zodiac system. The role and importance of the Navagraha developed over time with various influences. Deifying the sun and its astrological significance occurred as early as the Vedic period and was recorded in the
Vedas upright=1.2, The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the '' Atharvaveda''. The Vedas (, , ) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the o ...

Vedas
. The earliest work of astrology recorded in India is the
Vedanga Jyotisha Vedanga Jyotisha (), or Jyotishavedanga (), is one of earliest known Indian texts on astrology Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divination, divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the mov ...
which began to be compiled in the 14th century . It was possibly based on works from the Indus Valley Civilization as well as various foreign influences.
Babylonian astrology Babylonian astrology was the first known organized system of astrology, arising in the second millennium BC. In Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָ ...
which was the first to develop astrology and the calendar, and was adopted by multiple civilizations including India. The Navagraha developed from early works of astrology over time. The Sun and various
classical planet In classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related t ...
s were referenced in the
Atharvaveda The Atharva The Atharva Veda (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of t ...
around 1000 . The Navagraha was furthered by additional contributions from
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
, including
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōr ...
and
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...
influences. The
Yavanajataka The Yavanajātaka (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South As ...
, or 'Science of the
Yavana The word Yona in Pali and the Prakrits, and the analogue "Yavana" in Sanskrit, are words used in Ancient India to designate Greek language, Greek speakers. "Yona" and "Yavana" are transliterations of the Greek word for "Ionians" ( grc, Ἴω ...
s', was written by the
Indo-Greek The Indo-Greek Kingdom, or Graeco-Indian Kingdom, also known historically as the Yavana Kingdom (Yavanarajya), was a Hellenistic-era Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
named " Yavanesvara" ("Lord of the Greeks") under the rule of the
Western Kshatrapa The Western Satraps, or Western Kshatrapas (Brahmi:, ''Mahakṣatrapa'', "Great Satraps") were Indo-Scythian (Saka) rulers of the western and central part of India (Saurashtra (region), Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan ...
king
Rudrakarman I Rudradāman I (r. 130–150) was a Śaka ruler from the Western Kshatrapas The Western Satraps, or Western Kshatrapas (Brahmi:, ''Mahakṣatrapa'', "Great Satrap Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median ...
. The Yavanajataka written in 120  is often attributed to standardizing Indian astrology. The Navagraha would further develop and culminate in the
Shaka era:''This is about the historical calendar era. For the "Śaka calendar" of 1957, see Indian national calendar.'' 250px, Mohar of Gorkhali king Prithvi Narayan Shah dated Shaka era 1685 (AD 1763) The Shaka era (IAST: Śaka, Śāka) or ''Shalivahana ...
with the
Saka The Saka, Śaka, Shaka, Śāka or Sacae ( ; Kharosthi: ; Brahmi script, Brahmi: , ; sa, wiktionary:शक#Sanskrit, शक , ; grc, Σάκαι ; la, Sacae; , Old Chinese, old , Pinyin, mod. , ; egy, wiktionary:sk#Etymology 2, 𓋴𓎝 ...

Saka
, or Scythian, people. Additionally the contributions by the Saka people would be the basis of the
Indian national calendar The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Saka calendar, is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods o ...

Indian national calendar
, which is also called the Saka calendar. The
Hindu calendar The Hindu calendar, Panchanga (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo- ...

Hindu calendar
is a
Lunisolar calendar A lunisolar calendar is a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day ...
which records both lunar and solar cycles. Like the Navagraha, it was developed with the successive contributions of various works.


Temples and worship

Surya temples are found in many parts of India. More common than Surya temples are artwork related to Surya, which are found in all types of temples of various traditions within Hinduism, such as the
Hindu temple A Mandir or Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Ind ...

Hindu temple
s related to Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha and Shakti. Reliefs on temple walls, forts and artwork above doorways of many Hindu monasteries feature Surya. Many of the temples that contain Surya icons and artwork are dated to the second half of the 1st millennium  and early centuries of the 2nd millennium. The 11th-century Vaishnava temple at Kadwaha in Madhya Pradesh, for example, features a Surya artwork along with many other gods and goddesses at its doorway. The 8th and 9th century goddess (Shaktism) temples of central India, similarly engrave Surya along with other Hindu gods within the temple. The six century Shiva temple at Gangadhar in Rajasthan includes Surya. Similar mentions are found in stone inscriptions found near Hindu temples, such as the 5th century Mandasor inscription. These temples, states Michael Meister, do not glorify one god or goddess over the other, but present them independently and with equal emphasis in a complex iconography. Cave temples of India, similarly, dedicated to different gods and goddesses feature Surya. For example, the 6th century carvings in the
Ellora Caves Ellora (\e-ˈlȯr-ə\, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scien ...

Ellora Caves
in Maharashtra as well as the 8th and 9th century artworks there, such as Cave 25, the (Cave 16) and others feature complete iconography of Surya. Hindu temples predominantly have their primary entrance facing east, and their square principle based architecture is reverentially aligned the direction of the rising Surya. This alignment towards the sunrise is also found in most Buddhist and Jaina temples in and outside of India.


Dedicated temples

A prominent temple dedicated to Surya can be found in Arasavalli, which is in the
Srikakulam district Srikakulam district is one of the nine districts in the Coastal Andhra Coastal Andhra (') is a region in the state of Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh (English: Telugu: ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the sout ...
of
Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh (English: Telugu: ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the south-eastern Coastal India, coastal region of India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, seventh-largest state by area c ...

Andhra Pradesh
, India. The coastal district temple is peculiar with its latitude aligned to the minor lunar standstill. Also the transition from
lunar calendar A lunar calendar is a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day with ...
of north India to
solar calendar A solar calendar is a calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A calendar date, date is the designation of a single, specific day within ...

solar calendar
of south India can be seen in the local culture. This is probably the eastern most coastal sun temple in the peninsular India, where prayers are offered till date. The place,
Chicacole Srikakulam is a city and the headquarters of Srikakulam district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Census of India, 2011, census,. it has a population of 165,735. There are many other places of Buddhist Tourism such as Salihundam, Caling ...
, has a significance in the
Kalinga (historical region) Kalinga is a historical region of India. It is generally defined as the eastern coastal region between the Mahanadi The Mahanadi is a major river in East Central India. It drains an area of around and has a total length of . Mahanadi is a ...
kingdom with their port at Kalingapatnam, making it to
Megasthenes Megasthenes ( ; grc, Μεγασθένης, c. 350BCE– c. 290 BCE) was an ancient Greek historian, diplomat and Indian ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history b ...
dairy ( Calingae). The diaspora is spread in the present day south east Asia at historical
Kalinga (province) ; tl, Lalawigan ng Kalinga) , native_name = , other_name = , settlement_type = , image_skyline = , image_caption = , image_flag = PH-KAL Flag.png , flag_size ...
,
Kalingga Kingdom Kalingga ( jv, Karajan Kalingga; 訶陵 ''Hēlíng'' or 闍婆 ''Dūpó'' in Chinese sources) was a 6th-century Greater India#Indianized kingdoms, Indianized kingdom on the north coast of Central Java, Indonesia. It was the earliest Hindu-Bud ...
etc. Other most worshiped Surya temple is the Deo Surya Mandir. Sun Temple of Deo is one of the most remarkable, major crowd-puller and notable temple and religious place in Deo
Bihar Bihar (; ) is a states and union territories of India, state in eastern India. It is the list of states and union territories of India by population, third-largest state by population and list of states and union territories of India by area ...

Bihar
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
for chhath puja. Deo Sun Temple Built in during the 8th century. In
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Tamil Nadu
,
Navagraha temples Navagraha (Pron: nævəˈgrɑ:ə) temples are temples devoted to Navagraha—the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These temples are made of stones. These celestial bodies are named Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Manga ...
are world famous. Suryanar kovil situated in
Tanjore Thanjavur (), formerly Tanjore,PletcherPletcher is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * David M. Pletcher (1920–2004), American historian * Todd Pletcher (born 1967), American thoroughbred trainer {{Short pages monitor
Tanjore
district of
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Tamil Nadu
is one among the
Navagraha temples Navagraha (Pron: nævəˈgrɑ:ə) temples are temples devoted to Navagraha—the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These temples are made of stones. These celestial bodies are named Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Manga ...
and it is dedicated to Surya. Here lord Surya is called as Sivasurya Perumal. It is the first among the Navagraha temples of Tamil Nadu. The most famous Surya temple is the
Konark Sun Temple Konark Sun Temple is a (year 1250) Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, ...

Konark Sun Temple
, a World Heritage Site in
Orissa Odisha (English: , ), formerly Orissa (), is an States and union territories of India, Indian state located in East India, Eastern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, 8th largest state by area, and the Li ...
. Constructed in the 13th century by the Eastern Ganga dynasty, on a pre-existing pilgrimage site for Surya god, the temple architecture mimics a grand chariot with twelve wheels pulled by seven horses. The temple features Surya in three representations, with the main large Surya destroyed and the temple damaged over the course of repeated Muslim invasions. Besides Konark, there are two other sun temples in Orissa called
Biranchi Narayan Sun Temple The Biranchi Narayan Sun Temple, also known as the ''Abode of Viranchinarayana'' or the ''Wooden Konark'', is a Hindu Temple A Mandir or Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus Hindus (; ) are pers ...
. There are sun temples in many parts of India, such as
Modhera Modhera is a village in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India. The town is well known for the Sun Temple, Modhera, Sun Temple of Chaulukya dynasty, Chaulukya era. The town is located on the bank of Pushpavati river. History The town was known as D ...

Modhera
, Gujarat. It was sponsored by King Bhimdev of the
Chaulukya dynasty The Chaulukya dynasty () was a dynasty that ruled parts of what are now Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. De ...
. Other major Surya temples are found in Kanakaditya Temple in Kasheli (Dist ratnagiri) –
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
, near the famous Galtaji's temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan and
Assam Assam (, ) is a state in Northeast India, northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra Valley, Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of . The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to ...

Assam
. Adithyapuram Sun Temple is a
Hindu temple A Mandir or Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Ind ...

Hindu temple
located in Iravimangalam near Kaduthuruthy in Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala dedicated to Surya. It is noted as the only Surya shrine in the Kerala state. The Martand Sun Temple in Jammu and Kashmir (union territory), Jammu and Kashmir was destroyed by Islamic armies. A surviving Surya temple in northern India is Kattarmal Surya mandir in Almora District, Uttarakhand created by King Kattarmal in the 12th century. The Gurjars were essentially sun worshipers and some of the sun temples were erected by them during the medieval period. The sun temple known as ''Jayaditya'' was constructed by Gurjar king of Rajpipla, Nandipuri, Jayabhatta II. This temple is situated at Kotipura near Kapika in the Bharukachha district. The Surya temple of Bhinmal known as ''Jagaswami Surya temple'' was also erected during this period.


Surya temples outside India

The Sun Temple of Multan (in modern-day Pakistan) contained a revered statue of Surya. It was one of the focal points of Hindu-Muslim religious conflicts. After 871 , Multan (Panjab) was under the rule by Arab princes, who kept the Surya temple hostage and desecrated it, in order to threaten its destruction if the Hindu Gurjara attacked them. The early Muslim rulers taxed Hindu pilgrims for the privilege to visit the Surya temple, and this provided these rulers an important source of revenue. The Surya temple was destroyed by Ismaili Shia rulers in the late 10th century, who built a mosque atop the site, abandoning the Sunni Jama Masjid, congregational mosque in Multan. This Ismaili Shia mosque atop the Sun Temple's ruins was then destroyed by the Sunni ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, the Surya temple was not rebuilt and an empty space left in place, actions that helped re-establish the importance of the Sunni mosque in Multan. While Shiva and Vishnu are more common in 1st millennium southeast Asian artwork such as those found in Cambodia and Thailand, archaeological evidence suggest god Surya were among the pantheon of ideas adopted early in these regions and retained after Buddhism became the dominant tradition. In Kabul Khair Khāna, there is a Hindu temple dedicated to Surya, of two distinct periods. The first period consisted of a mud-brick temple with possible human sacrifice remains dedicating it. This was then superseded by three distinct sanctuaries built of schist slabs, surrounded by subsidiary buildings of diaper masonry construction and an open-air altar in a semi-circular enclosure. The most important finds were two marble statues of Surya, the first example found during the original excavations (1934, Delegation Archaeologique Française Afghanistan), the second example found by accident in 1980. In Nepal, many Surya temples and artworks trace to the medieval era, such as the 11th-century Thapahiti and Saugal-tol, and 12th century Naksal stone sculptures. Artifacts discovered at the Sanxingdui culture founded , about 40 km from present day Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan province China reveal an ancient worship of sun-deity, similar to Surya. The artifacts include a gold sheet with design of four birds flying around the sun deity, and a bronze sculpture of the surya-chakra. Tan Chung, Chung Tan (2015) ''Himalaya Calling - The origins of China and India'' pp. 13-15
Source link
(accessed: Wed 7 Sept. 2016)


In cultures, arts and other religions


Festivals

Various festivals mark deity Surya and these vary regionally in India.
Pongal Pongal may refer to: * Pongal (festival) Pongal (, , ''also spelled'' Poṅkal), is also referred to as Thai Pongal (, also spelled Tai Pongal), is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamils, Tamil communi ...
or Makara Sankaranti is the most widely celebrated Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God. These celebrate a good harvest. Other festivals that focus on Surya include Chhath of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and the neighboring regions, and Ratha Saptami are also major festivals celebrated in honour of Surya; Chhath is celebrated immediately after Diwali with fasting for three days followed by bathing in river or tank with remembrance of Sun. Similarly Aytar Puja is celebrated in Goa. The latter is known as ''Aditya Ranubai'' in
Maharashtra Maharashtra (; , abbr. MH or Maha, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...

Maharashtra
. The second day of the
Pongal Pongal may refer to: * Pongal (festival) Pongal (, , ''also spelled'' Poṅkal), is also referred to as Thai Pongal (, also spelled Tai Pongal), is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamils, Tamil communi ...
harvest festival is dedicated to Surya in Tamil Nadu, and is called the "Surya Pongal". Another festival named Kartik Puja marks Surya, along with Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Radha, Krishna and Tulsi. It is observed by Hindu women, typically with visit to rivers such as the Ganges, socialization and group singing.


Dances

The repertoire of classical Indian dances such as the Bharatanatyam include poses that signify rays of light beaming towards all of the universe, as a form of homage to Surya.


Yoga

Surya Namaskara, Sūrya namaskāra literally means sun salutation. It is a Yoga warm up routine based on a sequence of gracefully linked asanas. The nomenclature refers to the symbolism of Sun as the soul and the source of all life. It is relatively a modern practice that developed in the 20th century. A yogi may develop a personalized yoga warm up routine as ''surya-namaskar'' to precede his or her asana practice. The Gayatri Mantra is associated with Surya (Savitr). The mantra's earliest appearance is in the hymn 3.62.10 of the
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
. :Might we make our own that desirable effulgence :of god Savitar, who will rouse forth our insights. :::Gayatri mantra (translated by S. Jamison)


Buddhism

Surya is celebrated as a deity in Buddhist works of art, such as the ancient works attributed to Emperor Ashoka, Ashoka. He appears in a relief at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, riding in a chariot pulled by four horses, with Usha and Prattyusha on his sides. Such artwork suggests that the Surya as symbolism for the victory of good over evil is a concept adopted in Buddhism from an earlier Indic tradition. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute vol. 91, pp. 87-89 In Chinese Buddhism, Surya (日天, Rìtiān) is regarded as one of the :zh:二十四诸天, Twenty-Four Devas (二十四諸天, Èrshísì zhūtiān) who are guardian protective deities of Buddhism. His statue is usually enshrined in the Mahavira Hall of Chinese Buddhist temples, along with the other devas. In Buddhism in Japan, Japanese Buddhism, Surya is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist shrines (十二天, :ja:十二天, Jūni-ten). In Japan, he has been called "Nit-ten". S. Biswas (2000) Art of Japan, Northern page 184 On the Mount Meru buddhist cosmological system, Surya is considered a female deity, contrasting a male lunar god.


Outside Indian subcontinent


Indonesia

In Indonesia. Surya (Indonesian language, Indonesian: ''Batara Surya'') was adapted into Indonesian culture as the god who rules the sun, and was given the title "Batara". ''Batara Surya'' is famous for giving his heirlooms or gifts to the people he chooses. This god is famous for having many children from various women, among them from ''Dewi Kunti'' in the ''
Mahabharata The ''Mahābhārata'' (; sa, महाभारतम्, ', ) is one of the two major Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan langua ...

Mahabharata
'' who gave birth to ''Adipati Karna''. Batara Surya was hit when Anoman blamed Batara Surya for what happened to his mother, Dewi Anjani and her grandmother, who had been cursed by her husband. Anoman feels Batara Surya must be responsible so Anoman with his magic collects clouds from all over the world to cover the natural world so that the rays of the sun cannot reach the earth. Fortunately, this incident can be resolved amicably so that Anoman voluntarily removes the clouds again so that the natural world is exposed to the sun again. Surya has three queens namely Saranyu (also called Saraniya, Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya), Ragyi, and Prabha. Saranyu is the mother of Vaiwaswata Manu (seventh Manu, the present day), and twins
Yama Yama(यम) (the last a is silent,in hindi)or Yamarāja(यमराज) is a deity of death, dharma, the south direction, and the underworld who predominantly features in deva (Hinduism), Hindu and deva (Buddhism), Buddhist mythology, belongi ...

Yama
(god of death) and his sister Yami. She also bore him the twins known as Asvins, Aswin, and the gods. Saranyu, unable to witness the bright light from Surya, created a clone of herself named Chaya, and orders her to act as Surya's wife during her absence. Chaya had two sons by ''Surya-Sawarni Manu'' (the eighth Manu, the next) and Sani (the god of the Saturn (planet), planet Saturn), and two daughters-Tapti and Vishti. Batara Surya also had a son, Rewanta, or Raiwata, from Ragyi. Interestingly, Surya's two sons – Sani and Yama – are responsible for judging humans' lives, after death. Sani gives the results of one's actions through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards, while Yama gives the results of one's actions after death. In the
Ramayana ''Rāmāyana'' (; sa, रामायणम्, ) is one of the two major Sanskrit literature, Sanskrit Indian epic poetry, epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism, the other being the ''Mahabharata, Mahābhārata''. The epi ...

Ramayana
, Surya is mentioned as the father of King Sugriva, who helped Rama and Lakshmana in defeating King Ravana. He also trains Hanoman as his teacher. In the Mahabharata, Kunti receives a mantra from a sage, Durvasa; if spoken, he will be able to summon every god and bear children by him. Believing in the power of this spell, Kunti unwittingly has summoned Surya, but when Surya appears, she gets scared and demands him to return. However, Surya has an obligation to fulfill the spell before returning. Surya miraculously made Dewi Kunti to give birth to a child, while maintaining her virginity so that she, as an unmarried princess, would not have to face any shame or be the target of questions from society. Kunti feels compelled to leave behind her son, Karna, who grows up to be one of the central characters in the great war of Kurukshetra.


Worshiping Shiva ''Raditya'' in Bali

In the Puranas in Bali, ''Batara Surya'' is the most intelligent student of Lord
Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions wit ...

Shiva
, so that Lord Surya was given the title ''Surya Raditya'' and used as an example to find out the intelligence or supernatural power of Lord Shiva, and as a thank you from ''Bhatara Surya'', Lord Shiva was given an honorary title by the name of ''Bhatara Guru'', because he is the teacher of the Gods. There are others who argue, however, that in the transformation of the Puranas which is the interpretation of the ''maharsi'' on the Vedic chess book, it was ''Dewa Surya'' who later turned into Ludra, who was finally called
Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions wit ...

Shiva
, so that in worship chants it is often called the term ''Shiva Aditya''. In the concept of ''Gama Bali'' there is a ''Pelinggih'' named ''Pelinggih Surya'' or ''Padmasana'', which is a place to worship Lord
Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions wit ...

Shiva
who manifests as ''Shiva Raditya'' or the sun god. In the ''Yayur Veda'' there are several special rituals for the Sulinggih who worship God in the morning in its manifestation as the ''Surya Batara'', namely those that come from ''Surya Sewana'' or ''Surya Namaskar'' which means worshiping the ''Surya Batara''. In the Panca Sembah mantra, there is also a special mantra aimed at ''Shiva Raditya''. According to the general view, Batara Surya is worshiped because he is a witness to life and he is the best student of Lord Shiva, so he was given the title ''Hyang Siwa Raditya'' ("Surya student of Lord Shiva"). The importance of ''Dewa Surya'' in Bali can be seen from the existence of ''Sanggah Surya'', which must always be present at every ''Yadnya'' ceremony in Bali. and this is poured in several Balinese literary manuscripts, one of which is the ''Bhama Kertih Lontar''.


Gallery

File:8th century Surya on chariot in ceiling at Virupaksha Shaivism temple, Pattadakal Hindu monuments Karnataka 1.jpg, 8th century ceiling carving of Surya at Pattadakal Virupaksha Hindu temple. File:WLANL - 23dingenvoormusea - Suryabeeldje.jpg, Surya statue from India File:Surya Hindu Sun god, with seven horses, Jakarka National Museum Indonesia.jpg, Surya statue in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia File:Suryadeva.jpg, Surya with consorts Sanjna and Chhaya File:Office Pongal celebration.jpg,
Pongal Pongal may refer to: * Pongal (festival) Pongal (, , ''also spelled'' Poṅkal), is also referred to as Thai Pongal (, also spelled Tai Pongal), is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamils, Tamil communi ...
in
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Tamil Nadu
File:6 images Makar Sankranti collage.jpg, Surya festival
Makar Sankranti Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti, also known in Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, বাংলাদেশ, ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia South Asia is the so ...

Makar Sankranti
File:Surya Narayana.jpg, Surya Narayana


See also

*Hindu deities *List of solar deities


Notes


References


Further reading

* * *


External links

* * * {{Authority control Surya, Adityas Navagraha Hindu gods Rigvedic deities Solar gods Names of God in Hinduism Characters in the Mahabharata