Surya - The Soul or the Swaroopa!

Hello all,

Namaste! Hope all of you had a great weekend and were able to do things that bring value to your life. Today let us discuss some Philosophy / Mythology and a bit of Astrology. Hoping to integrate all these into one post and see how it proceeds. Last week we discussed how we can go with the flow of life with awareness as if we are a water droplet. Now to another question, what is the thing that brings awareness to us? Are we just the body we represent or do we have more to that? How can we know that in the morning when we wake up we understand that we are the same person we went to sleep the previous night? Is it just our brain and memory or is there a consciousness or an awareness behind it that realizes this fact, for example, I am Swaroopa (my blog name :-) ), in the morning?

Just another simple question. When we are alive, we are called by our names and when we become dead, we are just called the body. What is the thing that makes us alive and without it we are just a body? It should be something that gives us life, spirit, and awareness isn't it? So why don't we call that our Soul or the thing that gives us awareness of our form as a being that is more than the body or our Swaroopa? (Swa - Self, Roopa -form). So today let us discuss our Soul / Swaroopa from an Astrological /Mythological perspective.

In Astrology, every one of us is born with a chart that gives a rough roadmap of how our life can unfold, if we use our given potentials and talents. Astrology is never set in stone (as per my awareness) but can be used as a tool to bring out the best version of ourselves while choosing things for us wisely and with awareness. This awareness or the consciousness we encompass is represented by Surya (Sun) in the horoscope (We never discussed what a horoscope is, maybe in a later post).

Let us look at the Sun, shining outside. Does it need our help, does it need our approval to shine or does it need anything from us? But on the other hand, do we need it? Do we need Sun and sunlight to make life possible on earth; do as humans we need Sun to make day and night so that our biological rhythm or the biological clock that makes us function as humans is working properly? Yes, that is the truth. Sun does not need us, but we humans, as well as plants and animals very much need Sun. Let us take this to the Philosophy of our life.

Surya with his charioteer Aruna
By bazaar arts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 
Now consider the Sun as our Soul, then according to the previous premise we discussed, the Soul does not really need the body, it can always choose another body if this does not work out. But the body very much needs the Soul, otherwise, it becomes just a body. So this shows that when we are in this physical experience we are supposed to live truly by our Soul purpose or our Swaroopa, otherwise, the Soul will be forced to choose another body to do the purpose it is supposed to do. Then this present physical reality at present we have will be a waste of time, energy, and purpose for the Soul. So why not realize what is truly our purpose for this present life and use our time, energy and spirit itself towards putting that purpose to work? That being said, let us tackle the mythological and astrological aspects of Surya.

Mythology: In Vedic mythology, Sun is represented as Surya, who is riding a chariot pulled by seven or five horses, all of which are very white in color and the charioteer, Aruna. Aruna in Sanskrit is also the light orangish-pink sky we see during the early morning Sunrise as well. The white color of the horses can be considered the purity of purpose each soul encompasses. White is represented as purity in Symbolism (In the above picture, there are other colored horses as well, the black we can assume as the Shadow self (discussed later in the post), brown is the color of Shani (actually both black and brown are represented as colors of Shani), so maybe we can take it as Shani coming into the picture. So this can be considered the whole spectrum of Soul, ego, shadow self and Shani, maybe).

Surya, due to his bright and shining light, is considered the dispeller of darkness. The darkness in Mythology is many times the darkness of the mind or the ignorance, true ignorance that forgets that we are indeed the Soul or pure Swaroopa, that is a small but very important part of the Universal Soul or the Brahman. That is why the very famous Gayatri Mantra is chanted to the 'Savithr', a particular form of Surya or Aditya (another name for Surya) to remove our darkness of mind and give us the wisdom to move towards the pure light of knowledge. According to Wikipedia, Savitr is the Sun just before Sunrise. 


Surya on Chariot, Virupaksha temple, Pattadakal, India
By Ms. Sarah Welch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0

Now to the mythological story of Surya. Surya's wife in mythology is Samjhna (सम्झ्ना). They used to be a loving couple. But because of the bright light, Surya used to encompass, many times Samjhna was not able to look directly at the Sun. This made Surya angry and he became very egotistical and this again made the Sun very bright. This made Samjhna even more upset and she decided to send her shadow 'Chaya', next time to see her husband, Surya. That is how Shani was born to Surya with the mother being the shadow. Now, this is the story.

But what is the underlying wisdom? Surya is our Soul, but in astrology at the lower vibrations, Surya can also be our ego. What is really Samjhna? It is actually our awareness, consciousness or clear understanding. When we are having a lower vibration of the Surya, our awareness gets masked or imprisoned by our ego (Samjhna not able to see Surya in the eye), and we lose our clear understanding and we start to do things that are not true to our nature, represented by 'Chaya' or our Shadow self  (In each of us there is a Self, which is our true nature and a shadow self, or the nature that is not true to our Self or opposite to our Self and nowadays we can see a lot of shadow self, operating everywhere).

Now remember the story of Shani, we discussed before. Shani though was first born as an ordinary person, later did penance and got a status among the nine Grahas including Surya and became a God or Shanaiswara. He is the true judge who gives blessing/punishment according to a person's actions in his/her physical existence. Once the shadow self operates, after sometime Shani comes into the picture and the person gets the result according to his actions. The Universal law/ Spiritual law is very cause-effect oriented. We always and every single time gets the results according to our actions. So if Shani, who is the ultimate judge has to bless us, we should take action accordingly, very proper to our Surya/ Soul or our authentic Self (Swaroopa).

Another story related to Surya comes in Mahabharatha, where the mother of Pandavas, Kunthi before marriage prayed to Surya (of course chanting a special mantra given to her by sage Durvasa) and she begot a son, Karna. Karna was blessed by Surya and he was born with Kavacha (chest armor) and Kundala (earrings), had the brightness like the rising Sun, was a brave archer and was known as the most charitable person. This is how a person becomes when she/ he lives a life according to their Soul or Surya. Of course, Karna had to go through a life of hardships due to the senseless actions of Kunthi, his mother before he was born.

In India, there is a temple dedicated to Surya itself called Konark. Also in South India in Tamilnadu, there is another temple dedicated to Sun called Suryanar kovil.

Famous time wheel at Konark Sun temple, India
By Mohamed A. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0


Astrology: Now to Astrology. Surya is the brightest Graha among the nine Grahas in Vedic/Indian astrology. It is the Graha which has its own light. Kuja (Mars) and  Budh (Mercury) are considered its friends and Shani is considered its enemy ( One thing to keep in mind, all these astrological properties are only from a pure body/physical perspective. For a Self- realized person, every Graha becomes a mentor, who teaches them something about themselves and she/he takes actions according to their true Swaroopa). Also, Surya becomes exalted in Aries (Mesh-house of Kuja) and debilitated in Libra (Thula-house of Venus) and Leo (Simha) becomes his own house.

So Surya becomes our ego or our Self, Kuja is the leadership/willpower to take actions and Budha is the knowledge or information we need to take action. So a supportive Kuja and Budha are needed for Surya to function well. Surya in bad placement can become ego, arrogance, or meek (low Self-esteem), Kuja as anger and Budha can give bad information or not wise. Now Shani in its lower vibration is pure fear while in higher vibration is organization, structure, and discipline. So Shani being the enemy, at a lower vibration we are fearful to take action whether it is towards our dream, project or goal. But if we can overcome the fear and take action, then the same Shani provides us the discipline to get up in the morning, take charge of our life and gives time management skills to tackle our projects or problems ( Remember Shani is also the time in Astrology and only Shanaiswara can give us the blessings to have the discipline to tackle our time properly).

Now about Surya becoming exalted in Aries, Aries is the first sign in Astrology and it deals with leadership and individuality. Now think about Surya, isn't from an earthly perspective, Surya one of a kind with a bright and shiny personality? So in Aries, Surya is able to put on his leadership or C-suite attire and shine with an individual brightness. So he loves it there. But in Libra, it is the house of Venus, which is represented by a balance. Now think who uses a balance a lot? A merchant or a trader. The trader has to deal with people, barter her/ his product/ service accordingly to get his remuneration. Now, will a C-suite executive with an MBA or a higher degree be comfortable in a market or a bazaar negotiating with a lady about the price of potatoes? No! He/She will be more comfortable in the C-suite or the glass covered corner office (again Aries) where she/he can deal with a load of potatoes coming by ship or truck the next day. Hence this is how Surya loses his power in Libra.

But the same Surya, if it happens to be in Libra of a Self- realized person, she/he realizes that she/he has been placed in that particular spot in life to learn something valuable towards their life and take the best action they can take to capture the marketplace. So see how becoming authentic, is really about changing ourselves than changing our situations and finding the situations change according to our inner reality.

Now Leo becomes Surya's own house. Here Surya is at home. Think of a Lion being in its own lair having its own way with its kids, lioness and other animals or a King who is in his palace having his own way with his ministers, servants, and people. Here the Lion or the King, get their wish and their way. So Surya is totally comfortable and his own big bright self here. But remember in each of the three scenarios discussed here, the essence or flavor of the personality becomes different according to many other things including houses, nakshatras, and aspects. So Astrology is always a finely tuned ballet with every element having its proper place in a map called horoscope. So hope through this post we have a better understanding of Surya or Soul in our horoscope.

Finally, the placement of the Sun in the horoscope gives us a hint/glimpse into what our Soul wants us to do for this life and how we can actually find our sacred path or way to get to our highest Self in this lifetime. But then that knowledge whether to use for ourselves or not is always our choice and free will and as we discussed before we, the body needs our Soul and the Soul always has the choice of choosing another body. So let us become wise and be our authentic Self and start working towards our true purpose for this life!

Finishing with a Sloka to Surya:  

Japa Kusuma Sankasam                             
Kashyapeyam Mahadhyutim

Tamorim Sarvapapaghnam
Pranatosmi Divakaram.

Meaning:  Someone who is as bright as the Japa flower (Red Hibiscus), who is the son of Kashyapa (a sage), who is resplendent, who destroys ignorance, who kills all sins, to such a Divakara (Surya) I give my Pranamams (bows).

I wish you a good weekend and I'll see you next Friday! 😉

Next week: Brahman - The Infinite!

Note: Images taken from Wikimedia Commons.


Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance ; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried".  


 
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