Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Kathaa-1
|1-Glory of Soorya (The Sun)|
Soorya Dev (The Sun)
The representative of Sun spoke in his modestly arrogant voice - "The Sun is the most superior planet among all the planets. He is pleased with anybody who reveres him consistently. He is God himself incarnated in solar form. Those who regularly worship him, they become free from their worries, diseases and poverty and he fulfills their all desires. He loves red flowers and saffron-colored clothes. His metal is gold or copper and his gem is ruby. In the body he rules the bones. He is the king of the planets. Everything originates from him. He is Lord of the East, he rules both Ravi Vaar (Sunday), and the constellation Sinh (Leo). When he rises, he causes the day, and when he sets, he causes the night. His chariot is drawn by 7 horses of 7 solar rays named Haritaas, they are the 7 Vaidik meters - Gaayatree, Trishtup, Anushtup, Jagatee, Pankti, Brihatee, and Ushnik.  There is no time scale without the Sun, and without time there can be no poetic meters, no seasons, no rhythm, no life in this world.
The year is the wheel of the Sun's chariot. The wheel has 12 spokes -12 months, and each month a new set of his own Devtaa, Apsaraa, Raakshas, Serpents, Yaksh, Rishi and Gandharv serves him. For example in Chaitra Maas these are the seven companions of the Sun - Dhaataa Soorya, Pulastya Rishi, Rathkrit Yaksh, Heti Raakshas, Vaasuki Naag, Kritsthalee Apsaraa, and Tumburu Gandharv. Devtaa, Rishi Gandharv, and Apsaraa are from heavenly regions and Raakshas, Serpent and Yaksh are from lower levels.
Among these 7 companions, Devtaas increase Sun's own splendor by their own splendor; Rishis (seers) compose hymns in the praise of the Sun; Gandharvas (celestial musicians) and Apsaraas (celestial dancers) serve him by their dance and music; Yakshas (demigods) worship his rays; the serpents carry the Sun and the Raakshas (protectors) follow him to protect him. The 60,000 thumb-sized Rishi, Baalkhilyaas, surrounding the Sun lead him from the sunrise to sunset.
The 12 Soorya, or commonly known as 12 Aaditya, are the sons of Maharshi Kashyap and Aditi (one of the 60 daughters of Daksh Prajaapati). The Supreme produced Brahmaa Jee, and Brahmaa Jee had 10 Maanas Putra (sons).  One of them was Mareechi. Mareechi's son was Kashyap Jee. Daksh had 60 daughters, out of them he married 13 daughters to Kashyap Jee, and one of them was Aditi. She gave birth to these 12 Aadityas - (1) Vivaswaan - Soorya, (2) Aryamaa, (3) Pooshaa, (4) Twashtaa, (5) Savitaa, (6) Bhag, (7) Dhaataa, (8) Vidhaataa, (9) Varun, (10) Mitra, (11) Indra and (12) Trivikram (Vaaman).
Soorya's Marriage and His Children
From among 12 Aadityas, Vivaswaan married Sangyaa, the daughter of the celestial architect Vishwakarmaa. He begot three children from her - Vaivaswat Manu, and one twins - one son Yam and one daughter Yamee. After these children she could not bear Soorya's powers so she kept her shadow, Chhaayaa, with Soorya and went away. Soorya could not know this and he begot three children from her - Shanaishchar or Shani (Saturn), Saavarni Manu, and Tapatee. Sangyaa went away from there and took the form of a mare on Earth.
Chhaayaa used to love her own children more than Sangyaa's children. Yam had noticed that and found out that she was not his mother, so he complained to his father. Soorya did not believe him so he did not take any action. Once when Chhaayaa misbehaved with him he also raised his legs as if to kick her. Chhaayaa lost her temper and she cursed him that his both legs should fall from his body. At this Yam ran to Soorya crying "Save me, Save me" and Soorya managed to change the curse into that "worms would eat only some of the flesh of his legs and then these worms would then fall on Prithvi. After this Soorya got convinced that Chhaayaa was not his wife. He called Chhaayaa and asked her about this, and she accepted that she was not his wife
Now the question was "where was Sangyaa?" He went to his father-in-law Vishwakarmaa and asked him about Sangyaa. He told him that she could not bear the intensity of his powers so she placed her shadow in her place, took the form of a mare and went to Earth to do Tapasyaa. Soorya asked him to cut a portion of his rays so that he could get his wife back. Vishwakarmaa did that. Out of those rays he built Vishnu's Sudarshan Chakra, Shiv's Trishool, Kaartikeya's spear, Pushpak Vimaan (aerial car) of Kuber etc. Soorya immediately went in search of Sangyaa. He found her on Prithvi in the form a mare. So he also assumed the form of a horse and approached her. He wanted to mate with her, but she was a Pativrataa so she refused. But Soorya's desire to have her was great, so he discharged his semen into her mouth. Fearing that he was not her husband, she threw it out from her nose which produced a twins - Ashwinee Kumaar who later became Devtaa's doctors.
Vaivaswat Manu was appointed as Manu of the 7th Manvantar (Epoch), the present one. Yam was appointed as the Dikpaal (Lord of the direction) of South, the Lord of the manes, and the ruler of departed souls. Yamee became the river Yamunaa. Saavarni will be Manu of the next Manvantar, the 8th one. Shanaishchar (Saturn) was given the status of a planet, and Tapatee also became river named Taaptee.
Yam Raaj once assumed the form of a crow with the fear of Raavan, so all crows are revered as his servants. Boys Nachiketaa and Maarkandeya gained victory over death. Saavitree also brought her dead husband Satyavaan back from Yam's hands through her devotion to Yam. Karn, the eldest son of Kuntee and Sugreev were also the sons of Soorya Dev. Karn was born with protective Kavach and Kundal (earrings) but he was such a great donor that he donated them to Indra, knowingly fully well that he was losing his life by giving those things to him. There are two people very famous as the great donors - one is Daitya King Bali who donated Tri-Lok to Vishnu when he came to him asking for three feet land assuming Vaaman (dwarf) form, and the other is Karn who donated his life to Indra.
Soorya, His Vansh and His Grace on People
Now the present Manu Vaivaswat (Soorya's son) has 10 children. He has one son more who was born from his sneeze - his name is Ikshwaaku and he is the founder of the Soorya Vansh in which many honorable kings have taken birth - Maandhaataa, Trishanku, Harishchandra, Sagar, Dileep, Bhageerath, Raghu, Dasharath, Raam etc. The last king of this race was Brihadbal who died in Mahaabhaarat war.
Like Karn, his father Soorya is also a great giver. Once Arjun and his brothers were roaming in the forest with nothing much to live with. Yudhishthir did Tap and received an Akshaya Paatra (never to be empty pot) from him. This Akshaya Paatra fulfilled their all desires whatever they asked for. Hanumaan, who helped Raam in search of His wife Seetaa and to fight with Raavan, wanted to have good education. First he approached Dev Guru Brihaspati Jee, but he was not prepared to teach a monkey who jumped continually from spot to spot; so he went to Soorya Dev and requested him to educate him. Soorya Dev said - "I would have loved to teach you, but I am ever moving, how can I teach you?" Hanumaan Jee said - "I will also move ceaselessly, just in front of you, but please accept me as your disciple and teach me." Then Soorya Bhagavaan taught him Ved etc.
Even Rishi Yaagyavalkya Jee got Krishn Yajur Ved from the Sun. When the great sage Ved Vyaas Jee divided Ved in four parts and taught them to his various disciples, he taught Yajur Ved to Rishi Vaishampaayan Jee. Rishi Vaishampaayan Jee, in turn, taught that Ved to his disciple Yaagyavalkya Jee. On one occasion Vaishampaayan Jee got angry with Yaagyavalkya Jee, so he asked him to leave everything whatever he learnt from him. Yaagyavalkya immediately vomited all the Yajur Ved's Mantras and departed. Seeing the Ved Mantra lying on the ground, many other Rishi assumed the form of partridges (Teetar) and ate them up. When they taught these Ved Mantras to their disciples, this branch was called Taittireeya (descended from partridges) branch of Yajur Ved.
Yaagyavalkya was now in search of better knowledge, so he did Tap for Soorya Dev and Soorya Dev pleased from his Tap appeared before him in the form of a horse (Vaaji) and imparted him Yajur Ved Mantras which were unknown to anyone else. He then divided those hymns into 15 rescensions, known as Vaajsaneya (descended from a horse's mane) branch of the Yajur Ved.
Affliction to the Sun in the horoscope can lead to many sorts of maladies - such as skin disease (especially white leprosy). Then worship of Sun cures them. One day Rishi Durvaasaa came to Dwaarakaa to see Bhagavaan Krishn. Krishn welcomed him and entertained him properly; but His son Saamb mocked that hot-tempered Rishi. First Rishi ignored him but when he teased him again, he cursed him to suffer with leprosy. Hearing this Krishn asked the sage's pardon and the way to cure him. Durvaasaa Jee told Krishn that the boy should follow the vow on Sunday and worship the Sun. Saamb did so and he got all right. Then he built a great temple in the honor of Soorya Dev.
His Mantra is Gaayatree Mantra which clearly distinguishes a Braahman from others. Those who daily recite Aaditya Hridaya Stotra, conquer their enemies. Who daily meditate on Soorya Dev their all sins are washed away - such is the glory of our Soorya Bhagavaan. I salute such a deity everyday as he rises in the morning."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/09/11