Names of the Sun (quoted from Graha Sutras by Ernst Wilhelm):

NAMES OF THE SUN

The Sun has more names than any other of the Grahas, which is no surprise since the Sun is the most obvious object in the sky and a daily object of worship of the ancient Vedic culture. The most common name of the Sun is Surya “the Supreme Light,” though the Sun is also commonly referred to as Ravi “the Fire Bird,” as the hot object soaring through the sky. Another very commonly used name of the Sun is Arka, “the ray,” as the prime illuminating ray of light and heat.

The Sun is also known as Aditya “the Son of Aditi,” Aditi being the mother of the gods whose name refers to the ideals of freedom, boundlessness, perfection and infinity. Thus the Sun represents these qualities to the greatest capacity that they can be achieved.

The role of the Sun as the cause of the day is emphasized by his names Dinakrit, Dinakarta and Divakara, all which mean “the maker of the day.” As the producer of day, the Sun banishes the darkness of night as well as the darkness of the ignorance of the self. The Sun as Dinesha “the lord of the day,” repeats this idea and as Tamohanta, “darkness killing,” confirms the idea.

Sunlight is known to purify and thus the Sun is known as Pusha and Pushan, both of which mean “the best purifier.” The Sun does this in the horoscope by representing the purifying fire of the body as well as representing the inexorable self that brings about the eventual purification of all our actions and desires.

The Sun is Savita, “the vivifier,” as that which energizes and propels everything; as Ina, “the powerful,” as that which holds the greatest power over the Earth as the cause of the seasons, weather and even the course of the Earth, and as that which holds the greatest power in the horoscope.

The Sun, being the soul, is also Hamsa, “swan.” Swans are a symbol for the soul. The whiteness of the swan represents the purity of the soul, while the migratory nature of the swan represents the soul’s migration.

The Sun is Mitra, a child of Aditi and the ruler of the Saura (solar) month of Sagittarius. Mitra means friend, and this name of the Sun symbolizes that the only true friend is the soul. As one discoverers their soul nature, they thus become a friend to all – those who have reached the goal of self-discovery are the true friends of mankind. The Sun is also Shura, “hero,” giving the capacity to rise above oneself in order to fulfill great deeds.

Obvious names of the Sun are Tikshnamsha, “hot rayed,” Tapana, “the burning,” Prabhakara, “radiance maker,” Bhanu, “light” and Bhaskara, “the light maker.” A more colorful name of the Sun is Aruna, which is the reddish color in the sky at dawn that the Sun is responsible for. Divamani, “the day jewel,” and Dyumani, “the sky jewel,” reveal the esteem value of the Sun and all that it represents. Finally, of especial interest to astrologers, the Sun is known as Graharajna and Grahapati, the king and lord of the Grahas, which, of course, all circle the Sun.

A surprising name of the Sun mentioned in the medieval Vedic Astrological texts is Heli, a Greek name for the Sun. Though the Sun is not referred to this name in the Sutras giving astrological techniques and Yogas, it is often mentioned by this name, along with other names, in the lists of planetary names given in several  texts, most notably Brihat Jataka. The fact that this name of the Sun is found in the Indian astrological texts gives a hint of the interchange that took place between the learned men of the Greeks and the learned men living on the Indian subcontinent during the centuries following Alexander the Great.”

Permission to quote this passage generously granted by Ernst Wilhelm.

Sun ~ Surya

 

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