Surya by Sri Chinmoy (part 3)

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This article by Sri Chinmoy shares the Hindu teachings on Surya, the sun god, found in the Vedas and Upanishads of India.  Part 3 discusses the famous Gayatri Mantra – a prayer to Surya, the sun god, for spiritual purification and enlightenment.


The Yoga of Sri Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy, a poet, artist, composer, author and international emissary for peace, conducted twice-weekly peace meditations at the United Nations for more than 35 years. He originated the World Harmony Run — a global Olympic-style torch relay that crosses every continent — and established some 100 meditation centres worldwide.

Surya – The Sun God

Excerpt from The Dance of the Cosmic Gods by Sri Chinmoy  

In the Vedas there are thousands of mantras. ‘Mantra’ is a Sanskrit word that means incantation. A mantra can be a syllable, a word, a name or a sentence or two. When we utter the mantra soulfully, we are transported into the seventh heaven of celestial delight. There are thousands of mantras, but there is one mantra that stands out as most significant and that mantra is the Gayatri Mantra. This mantra we find in three Vedas: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. This mantra is also a most sublime raga. I am offering you this particular mantra right now. Why? There is a special reason. First I would like to chant it, then I will tell you its significance.

Aum bhur bhuvah svah

Tat savitur varenyam

Bhargo devasya dhimahi  

Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

This is the Gayatri Mantra. Many composers have set tune to it. Its meaning is: “We contemplate on the most brilliant light of the Creator-deity, the sun god, to achieve inner understanding, to illumine our intelligence to stimulate our understanding, to transform our earthbound consciousness into the boundless Light of the inner Sun, the sun god.”

In India, in the small hours of the morning, the Brahmins and the seekers of the highest Truth, with folded hands, look up into the sky as the sun comes up over the horizon, and offer this prayer to the sun god. They chant this mantra hundreds of times most soulfully for inner illumination. You can imagine how it looks if you walk along the Ganges and see the Indian Brahmins and the seekers of the infinite praying to the sun with folded hands, for inner illumination. By repeating this mantra, hundreds and hundreds of seekers have attained to spiritual perfection. If you can repeat it soulfully thousands of times at a stretch, you are bound to get at least an iota of inner illumination. But it has to be done most soulfully and not like a child learning something by rote.

The sun is the soul of the universe. The soul has neither birth nor death.

Na jayate mriyate va kadacin…

“The soul is never born and it never dies. It has no beginning, it has no end, no past, no present, no future.”

This is the soul.

Vasangsi jirnani yatha vihaya …

“Fire cannot burn it, water cannot drench it, wind cannot dry it, weapons cannot cleave it…”

This is the soul.

The sun god gives us knowledge and wisdom. The sun god frees us from teeming ignorance and impenetrable darkness. Therefore we have to invoke the sun god. Avidya means ignorance. Vidya means knowledge. Vidya and Avidya go together. Let us take ignorance as a thorn. One thorn has entered into our foot. Now let us take another thorn, knowledge, to remove the first thorn. When we take out the first thorn with the help of the second thorn, we can say that we enter into the realm of death and conquer it. Once we have taken out the thorn, we do not need the thorn that has entered into our foot and we do not need the thorn that we used to remove it. At that time we go beyond both knowledge and ignorance and enter into the domain of Wisdom’s ecstasy.

There are two types of knowledge; outer knowledge and inner knowledge. Outer knowledge can tell us about spiritual life, inner life. But this outer knowledge is not the same as inner knowledge. Outer knowledge tells us that there is a God, that if we follow the spiritual life we will realise Him and that if we meditate on God we will have Peace, Bliss, Power, Delight and so forth. But outer knowledge can go no further. But if we enter into the inmost recesses of our heart the inner knowledge dawns. When inner knowledge dawns, automatically and spontaneously we taste the divine nectar, Amrita, and this divine nectar is Immortality.

The sunlight and the sun god cannot be separated. As God the Creator and God the creation cannot be separated, so the sun god and sunlight cannot be separated. Thus, in the Vedas it said:

Surya jyotir jyotir Surya

“The sun god is Light, Light is the sun god.”

Surya here is not the Vedic god Surya; here Surya means the Supreme God. Similarly, our aspiration and our realisation cannot be separated. Today we are aspiring, tomorrow we shall be realised. When we are all realised, we shall see that our aspiration and our realisation are absolutely inseparable.  





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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024 at 7:58 am and is filed under Articles.

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