34 Facts About Surya


Surya is traditionally one of the major five deities in the Smarta tradition, all of whom are considered as equivalent deities in the Panchayatana puja and a means to realise Brahman.

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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 the seven days of the week.

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In some ancient texts and art, Surya is presented syncretically with Indra, Ganesha, or others.

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Surya is the lord of Simha, one of the twelve constellations in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology.

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Major festivals and pilgrimages in reverence for Surya include Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Samba Dashami, Ratha Sapthami, Chath puja and Kumbh Mela.

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Surya is particularly venerated in the Saura tradition found in Indian states such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

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In certain aspects, Surya has tended to be merged with the prominent deities of Vishnu or Shiva, or seen as subsidiary to them.

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Surya is prominently associated with the dawn goddess Ushas and sometimes, he is mentioned as her son or her husband.

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Surya's origin differs heavily in the Rigveda, with him being stated to have been born, risen, or established by a number of deities, including the Adityas, Aditi, Dyaush, Mitra-Varuna, Agni, Indra, Soma, Indra-Soma, Indra-Varuna, Indra-Vishnu, Purusha, Dhatri, the Angirases, and the gods in general.

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Surya is revered for the day, while Agni for its role during the night.

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The idea evolves, states Kapila Vatsyayan, where Surya is stated to be Agni as the first principle and the seed of the universe.

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Surya 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 within, in texts such as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Kaushitaki Upanishad and others.

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The figure of Surya as we know him today is an amalgamation of various different Rigvedic deities.

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Arka, Mitra, Vivasvat, Aditya, Tapan, Ravi and Surya have different characteristics in early mythologies, but by the time of the epics they are synonymous.

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Surya was likely a solar deity, but scholars debate his specific role as one.

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Surya is cognate to the Avestan Vivanhvant, who is the father of Yima and Manu.

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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.

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Surya is typically shown as a resplendent standing person holding a lotus flower in both hands, riding a chariot pulled by one or more horses typically seven.

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Surya is a part of the Navagraha in Hindu zodiac system.

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Prominent temple dedicated to Surya can be found in Arasavalli, which is in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, India.

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The Surya temple was destroyed by Ismaili Shia rulers in the late 10th century, who built a mosque atop the site, abandoning the Sunni congregational mosque in Multan.

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Surya is celebrated as a deity in Buddhist works of art, such as the ancient works attributed to Ashoka.

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Surya 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.

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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.

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In Chinese Buddhism, Surya is regarded as one of the Twenty-Four Devas who are guardian protective deities of Buddhism.

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Surya's statue is usually enshrined in the Mahavira Hall of Chinese Buddhist temples, along with the other devas.

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In Japanese Buddhism, Surya is one of the twelve Devas, as guardian deities, who are found in or around Buddhist shrines .

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Surya was adapted into Indonesian culture as the god who rules the sun, and was given the title "Batara".

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Batara Surya is famous for giving his heirlooms or gifts to the people he chooses.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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However, Surya has an obligation to fulfill the spell before returning.

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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.

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