The answers of Agastya Muni to the generic questions posted by devotees can be found here.
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[From the 206th & 207th episode of the Tamil series]
When Agastya Maha Muni appears in Nadi to guide people, he frequently mentions about Navagrahas, with pride. The best part in all the information is that all the grahas are performing their duties given by God without a glitch. Yes! It’s not good enough that one has taken birth as human, but they have to think right, act as per dharma, the Navagrahas only bless them and never troubles them, He says!
Let us see a few things about such grahas where obviously it’s Surya the first in this post.
In this wonderful earth, Surya appears as the pratyaksha God (the God one can see with their naked eye) and eradicates grief. The Veda-Purana-Ithihasa sing Surya’s praise in many ways. The foremost of the Vedas, The Rig Veda says that there are three different types of Agni and Surya is the foremost form of Agni.
Surya has 7 names, which represents something.
1. As He destroys darkness, “Savita”
2. As He makes the light rays fall throughout the world, “Bhaga”
3. Also through the light, He bestows energy and life to earth, hence “Bhusha”
4. As He measures the sky, earth and Pataala loka with this rays, “Vishnu”
5. As His rays spread like a long hair, “Keshi”
6. As He appears as the Pratyaksha God in front of everyone, who is praised by everyone, “Vaishvanara”
7. As the reddish flames of rays spread through which gives a very active morning, “Vrushakapi”
The belief is that Surya’s wives are Usha, before the sunrise, Suryaa Devi during the day and during evening or Sandhya, it’s Vrushaak bayi respectively.
1. The Rig Veda clearly affirms that the only God who can be seen with the naked eye is Surya Himself. One may forget anyone but should never forget worshipping Surya Deva. If one forgets this, he doesn’t attain Moksha.
2. The Yajur Veda says, “You are the one who illumines the world. There is no defeat for you. You are a Mahan, Aditya, There is no one who is equal to you in this world”
3. The Sama Veda says, “You have the power (Maha Shakthi) to cure diseases. May you drive away grief! May you drive away enmity! O, you may save us!” – similar verses are repeated many times.
Every mantra has a Moola Mantra. The Mother of all Moola Mantra is Gayatri Devi. The Lord of Gayatri Devi’s mantra is none other than Surya (hence it is also called as Surya Gayatri, the most common form of Gayatri mantra recited everywhere). One may know the supremacy of Surya Deva thus.
Surya was born to Kashyapa Muni and Aditi Devi. The Vedic Bharath puts the womanhood as primary and hence the Surya Deva, son of Aditi is called Aditya.
There is a saying that there were 12 different sons for Aditi and Kashyapa Muni and they appeared in 12 different forms. They owned each Rashi and hence there are 12 Aditya’s who bless us. The eldest Aditya is Surya Deva.
It was Surya and Chandra who notified Mohini when Rahu and Kethu were trying to get the Amruth. Rahu wanted to take revenge on Surya, caught him at the right time and swallowed him, resulting in the world plunging in darkness.
Surya felt sad that none of the Devas came for his help when he was only trying to help them. Eventually when Rahu left Surya, He was frustrated and said that His heat will destroy the world and no devas can do anything about it. The world wasn’t able to bear the heat when He was disappeared. Now when He appears with His full might, the Devas worried. They surrendered to Brahma Deva who said, “Do not worry. It’s night. When Surya appears with His full might, there will be a son, a flower like one, who will bear all the heat of Surya. His name is Aruna, born to Kashyapa Muni and Aditi, who is also called Vinata. He is very powerful, He has the Amsa of Lord Shiva Himself!”
When Surya appeared, Aruna sat right in front of Surya and absorbed all the heat, disappeared. Some think that Aruna from that day appears as Surya and protects the world.
The Markandeya Purana when mentioning about Surya says that when Lord Brahma held the dark universe, the sound ‘Om’ came out, which eventually turned as a reddish ray of light and from that ray, the circular shaped Surya appeared.
The Brahma Purana says that it is Lord Shiva whose light radiates as the Surya Mandala and hence Surya is referred to be His right eye.
Surya has two famous temples. The Konark temple in Orissa and one in Tamil Nadu, Aduthurai. There are many other exclusive Surya temples in Thirukandiyur Veerattam, Thirupuravaar, Panangaatoor etc.
Surya can be worshipped by looking straight at Him, can be invoked in to a Yantra, can be drawn as a picture in the land, they also worship Him as one of the Parivara Devata of Lord Shiva’s temples. He is most commonly worshipped as the center of the other planets. In Tamil Nadu, they worship Surya during Makara Sankranti (Thai Matham) by writing on the bare land. The harvesting festival in many parts of the world is actually a ‘Thanksgiving’ ritual to Lord Surya.
The Jyotish Shashtra attributes Surya to the following. It says that Surya looks like the hibiscus flower, son of Kashyapa, the one with a very bright radiance, the enemy of darkness, who destroys every other sins, the representative of the holy trinity Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara. The one who moves all the time, the lord of the Navagrahas, He is the Gayatri in Veda mantras, He is the reason for self-control, self-consciousness, influence, prestige, power, bravery, performance, bodily pleasures, good conduct, eyes, heat, light, help from those in power etc. He is the Pithru-Karaka, he is of the Satvic nature, darkish red is His color. A male graha!
The own house of Surya is Simmam (the lion). The peak house is Mesha. The lower house is Thulam. Rishaba, Makara and Kumba are enemy-houses. Surya’s friends are Chandra, Sevvai and Guru.
He is the Lord of the stars Krithika, Utharam and Utharadam. Surya travels in a chariot of single wheel, with 7 horses, which are the 7 Sandhaa’s of the Vedas.
The flower for Surya is – red lotus
The Samithu for Surya is – Erukku
The grain for Surya – wheat
The vehicle of Surya – chariot, peacock
The Athi-devata of Surya – Lord Shiva
The gemstone of Surya – Ruby
The metal for Surya – Tambac, a kind of copper and zinc alloy
The color of Surya – red
The Avatara of Surya – Sri Rama
Agastya Muni created Aditya Hrudayam and did Upadesha to Sri Rama to obtain power from Surya Deva to win the battle.
The one who recites Aditya Hrudayam in the mornings during sunrise, his face will glow with Tejas. Evil influence (affliction) disappears. Destitution (or poverty) goes away, they get what they want. Their parents will live happily. There won’t be any tension. Auspiciousness happens.
When a person came for Nadi reading, Agastya Muni recommended him to recite Aditya Hrudayam at all times. He asked if he can recite it at any times since he has been told that Adiya Hrudayam needs to be recited only in the mornings and not after sunset or after noon.
Agastya said, “You are asking myself! One can recite this at any time, when walking, traveling, while sitting, any time!”
One may find it a little difficult to by-heart it initially. But it is not true. If one prays to Agastya and tries, it gets in to your heart very easily. Then whenever you visit any temple, sit on the Esana corner (north-east), north or east direction and when recited at least thrice, one can find that their prayers are becoming fruitful faster. Above all, it protects the one who chants it, wherever they go.
How Aditya Hrudayam was formed?
Agastya Muni began to worry about the world. He thought, “even now when unrighteousness dances so much, how will the future be?” and he thought of finding a way out. It is the feminine force who takes action when there is unrighteousness and He naturally approached the Maha Shakthi Parashakthi and expressed his worries.
The divine Mother said that Aditya Hrudayam will provide a good heart, strong mind, power and energy. Agastya was waiting for the sloka to be given to the right person for a long time.
When Sri Ramachandra was fighting Ravana, He was exhausted since Ravana wasn’t getting defeated. Though the Lord Almighty, He played by the rules of the humans, felt tired and exhausted but He knew that a guru might help a way out, so He prayed to Agastya. Agastya Muni appeared before Sri Rama and said, “Parashakthi did the upadesha of Aditya Hrudaya to me for the welfare of the world. Let me give you the upadesha of Aditya Hrudaya. When you recite this mantra, you will be bestowed with all the auspiciousness and the power to destroy any evil!”
Agastya says, “O the heir of Ragu Kula! When one praises Lord Surya with Aditya Hrudaya, he is saved when in trouble, when he is afraid, and is not troubled at any difficult times. When one focuses his mind and recites this slokha, which is of Surya Deva who is praised by even the Gods, at least three times with sincerity, he gets victory in any battlefield. Then the one with perfect control over his senses, the one with broad shoulders and heart, the one with unmatched valour Sri Rama, chanted the Aditya Hrudaya and got refreshed, re-energized and defeated Ravana. When one recites the Aditya Hrudaya of Surya, one can become the most powerful, says the Divine Mother Parvathi.
~ to be continued…!