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Soorya Dev

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Soorya Dev
See also   Soorya

Soorya Dev is the only Devtaa visible to people. He is the son of Maharshi Kashyap and Aditi. Aditi had 12 Aaditya, he is one of them with the name of Vivaswaan. Bhavishya Puraan, 1/19 gives an interesting story of his birth (I have not read this story anywhere else). Whatever sons were born to Aditi used to die after they were born. So she requested Kashyap Jee to look into the matter. Kashyap Jee went to Brahmaa Jee and told him everything. He suggested that "we should go to Soorya Dev and request him." So both Brahmaa Jee and Kashyap Jee went to Soorya Dev and prayed him. Brahmaa Jee said to him - "Prabhu, Take birth in Kashyap's house for the welfare of the world." Soorya said - "So be it. You may send Kashyap home." When he was born to Aditi, Brahmaa Jee himself came there and said - "As he is seeing all Devtaa here, he will see the whole world also and will be known as Vivaswaan." Soorya said to Maharshi - "Your sons used to die that is why I am born in your house."

Once Soorya defeated Vidyunmaalee Daitya, a devotee of Shiv, so he ran towards Soorya carrying his Trishool (trident). Running from him, Soorya fell in Kaashee Nagaree, since then he was called as Lolaark.

Soorya's Family
According to Bhavishya Puraan, 1/10, Soorya was born on Saptamee, with his egg and grew in his egg only. When he was still in the egg, Daksh Prajaapati gave him his daughter Roopaa to him. By the permission of Daksh, Vishwakarmaa performed his Sanskaar which increased his powers. Soorya had two children, one son Yam and one daughter Yamunaa while living in the egg only. Roopaa couldn't tolerate his powers, she thought, "I cannot see him properly because of his powers, even my fair complexion is also getting dark because of his powers." so she created a woman from her shadow and said to her - "You be with Soorya in place of me, but be careful of this secret." She handed over her children to her and went to Uttar Kuru area and started doing Tapasyaa assuming the form of a mare. Bhavishya Puraan, 1/15  says that his wives names are Sangyaa (also called Raagyee, Dyau, Twaashtree, Prabhaa, and Surenu) and Nikshubhaa (Prithvi). He had several children from Sangyaa and her shadow Chhaayaa - three children from Sangyaa - Saavarni Manu, Yam, and Yamunaa; two children from Chhaayaa - Shanaishchar and Tapatee; then Ashwinee Kumaar and Revant from Sangyaa again.

Agni Puraan, 26 says that Soorya had three wives - Sangyaa, Raagyee, and Prabhaa. Raagyee was the daughter of Raivat
[Raivat had a daughter named Revatee whom he married to Balaraam. Did he have another daughter? No mention is made of of his two daughters anywhere, Raivat's wife gave birth to Raivant named son. Soorya's another wife Prabhaa gave birth to Prabhaat named son. Sangyaa is Vishwakarmaa's daughter, and she gave birth to Vaivaswat Manu and a twins Yam and Yamunaa. When Sangyaa could not tolerate Soorya's powers she left her shadow who was in woman form, and is called "Chhaayaa-Sangyaa". Chhaayaa-Sangyaa gave birth to Saavarni Manu and Shanaishchar named 2 sons and Tapatee and Vishti named two daughters. Later Sangyaa (in mare form) gave birth to another twins Ashwinee Kumaar.

Bhaagvat Puraan, 10/u7 says that Arjun met Kaalindee doing Tapasyaa to get Vishnu as her husband when he went to a forest with Krishn. On asking who she was, she told him that she was Bhagavaan Soorya's daughter Kaalindee and was doing Tapasyaa to get Vishnu as her husband.

According to Bhaagvat Puraan, 8/5  Soorya was married to Sangyaa and Chaayaa, both being the daughters of Vishwakarmaa. Some say that he had a third wife also named Badavaa. Sangyaa also had three children - Yam, Shraaddh Dev and a daughter Yamee; and Chhaayaa also had three children - Saavarni, Shanaishchar and a daughter Tapatee (married to Samvaran).

After a while Sangyaa could not tolerate Soorya's Tej so she kept her shadow (Chhaayaa) with Soorya secretly, took the form of a mare went to Uttar Kuru Pradesh to do Tap. Then --
Chhaayaa also had four children from Soorya - two sons - Saavarni Manu and Shanaishchar and two daughters Tapatee and Vishti.

Bhavishya Puraan, 1/15 clearly writes that "Thus Soorya has Saavarni Manu, Yam, and Yamunaa (from Sangyaa), Shanaishchar, Vaivaswat Manu and Tapatee (from Chhaayaa); and two Ashwinee Kumaar and Revant (from Sangyaa again) as his children."

Bhavishya Puraan, 4/37 says that Soorya had a daughter named Bhadraa who is known as Vishti also. She was very terrible, so Brahmaa Jee gave her some time (Vava, Balav and Kaulav Karan and some other times) to live in.

MBH, 5-Udyog Parv, 119 (MBH, Stories-Gaalav-1) says that a Rishi named Chakradhanu was born from Soorya.
[it does not mention from which wife and this name is not mentioned anywhere in Raamaayan, Mahaabhaarat or Puraan].

Once an argument broke between Yamee (or Yamunaa) and Tapatee so they both turned into the rivers named Yamunaa and Taaptee because of one another's curse.

Birth of Ashwinee Kumaar
When Soorya came to know that Chhaayaa was not his real wife he went to Vishwakarmaa (in Bhavishya Puraan, 1/10 Soorya goes to Daksh as he was the father of Roopaa) and asked about Sangyaa. He said to him - "Because of your Tej she had gone to  Uttar Kuru Pradesh to do Tapasyaa in mare form. Now you ask Vishwakarmaa to trim your rays." So Soorya asked Vishwakarmaa to trim his rays and when Soorya felt pain, Vishwakarmaa suggested him to apply red sandalwood paste and Karaveer flowers. Then Soorya Dev went to Uttar Kuru there and found Sangyaa there. He wanted to have children from her, so he changed himself in a horse form and tried to mate with her. But Sangyaa was a Pativrataa woman so she refused to mate with another horse. Soorya forced himself into her mouth, but considering Soorya as another horse she spat his semen out and thus were born the twins Ashwinee Kumaar. Later Sangyaa came to know that the other horse was not any other horse but her own husband Soorya.

Shanaishchar as a Planet
When Chhaayaa replaced Sangyaa, Soorya could not know that she was not his wife Sangyaa because she was just the copy of Sangyaa. But Shanishchar had been noticing some strange behavior of his mother Chhaayaa towards him, but was not sure about it. Once Chhaayaa scolded Shanishchar and behave in the way she should not have behaved with her own children. This confirmed Shanaishchar that Chhaayaa was not her own mother, so he went to his father Soorya and complained about her that she was not their mother, but Soorya did not believe him and ignore him.

Once again when Chhaayaa misbehaved with Shanaishchar, he hit her with his foot. At this Chhaayaa cursed him - "O fool, You have kicked me with your foot, you will be doing this killing act till these Soorya and Chandra will exist in this world. If you will keep this foot on the ground, insects will eat it." At the same time Soorya came there. Yam said to him - "Father, She cannot be our mother. She is somebody else. She behaves differently with us and does not treat all children alike." Yam said - "She cannot be our mother, that is why she has given me Shaap." and told him the whole incident. Soorya said - "You don't worry, all insects will go to Prithvi, that is why your foot will not be destroyed and will be all right. You will be appointed as Lokpaal by Brahmaa Jee. Your sister Yamunaa's water will be holy like Gangaa's water, and Tapatee's water will be like Narmadaa's water. From today, this Chhaayaa will live with everybody."

Soorya's Two Sons as Manu
His two sons, Shraaddh Dev (Vaivaswat Manu of the present Manvantar - the 7th one) and Shrutshravaa (Saavarni  Manu for the 8th Manvantar - the next one) were appointed as the Manu of Manvantar.

His Earthly Sons
He has two earthly sons also -
(1) Sugreev was born from Brahmaa's son Riksh Raaj in Tretaa Yug to help Raam in killing Raavan. Because of him Raam killed Indra's son Baali. He was Soorya's son.
(2) His second son was Karn who was born to Kuntee in her maidenhood, that is why she flowed him in a river. Later Krishn planned to kill him to save Indra's son Arjun and Arjun killed him in the Kuru Kshetra war.

Soorya's Disciples
Soorya Dev has two main disciples. He taught to two people - Yaagyavalkya Jee and Hanumaan. Mayaasur is also said to be his disciple.
To know how Yaagyavalkya Jee became Soorya's disciple read "Yaagyavalkya and Vaajsaneyee Sanhitaa"
To know how Hanumaan became the disciple of Soorya Dev, read "Hanumaan and His Education..."
Mayaasur learnt astronomical knowledge from Soorya Dev and wrote the book Soorya Siddhaant, although its original version is believed to be written by an unknown author.

Soorya As a Healer
Soorya Dev has worked as a healer too. A few people have been cured by him -
(1) Saamb - Saamb was the son of Krisn and Jaaambvatee. This story comes in Bhavishya Puraan, 1/18. Saamb was suffering from Leprosy. On his father Krishn's advice he worshipped Soorya and he got cured of that disease.
(2) Mayoor Bhatt - Mayoor, a Sanskrit poet of 7th century was also cured for his leprosy.

Soorya's Worship
When Soorya worship started in India, it is difficult to say but a few instances may be found in Indian scriptures and literature.

(1) The first mention of Soorya's worship is found in Vaalmeeki Raamaayan, 6/41/105, where Agastya Muni taught Raam Aaditya Hridayam to kill Raavan. This was in Tretaa Yug.

(2) Another mention of Soorya worship is by Yaagyavalkya Jee, who after he had vomited his Ved Gyaa on the order of his Guru Vaishampaayan Jee, worshipped Soorya and got Krishn Yajur Ved from him.

(3) Another mention of Soorya is mentioned in Mahaabhaarat, 4/2, when Yudhishthir wants to feed Braahman dependent on him and he has  no means to do it. Then Dhaumya Rishi suggests him to worship Soorya. he recites 108 names of Soorya and gets a copper vessel (Akshya Paatra) from which four types of food does not finish until Draupadee has eaten.

(4) Another mention of Soorya worship is made in Mahaabhaarat where Karn is a regular worshipper of Soorya Dev. It was in Dwaapar Yug.

(5) Another mention of Soorya worship is mentioned in Bhaagvat Puraan, 10/u6, where Satraajit worships Soorya Dev and gets Syaamantak Mani from him. It creates lots of havoc. Krishn was blamed for its stealing for which He had to prove Himself innocent.

(6) Another mention is in Bhavishya Puraan, 1/18, where Krishn's son Saamb (from Jaambvatee) is leprosy-stricken and Krishn suggests him to worship Soorya to be cured from that leprosy. Saamb did 12 years of penance for him.

(7) Another incident we find in Kali Yug, in 7th century. It is about Mayoor who also got leprosy-stricken and got cured by Soorya worship.

(8) Inscriptions about Harsh Vardhan (7th century king) mention that his father and some of his ancestors were Soorya worshippers. Baan Bhatt's "Harsh Charit" mentions about it - "Day by day at sunrise he bathed, arrayed himself in white silk, wrapping his head in white cloth and kneeling eastward upon the ground in a circle smeared with a saffron paste, presented for an offering a bunch of red lotuses set in a pure vessel of ruby and tinged with the Sun's hue. Solemnly at dawn, midday, and at eve he muttered a prayer for offspring..."

(9) Later Chol kings built Soorya Temples during 12th and 13th centuries. Two temples are very famous among them - The Konaark Temple, near Puree, Orissa; and another one is Soorya Naarkovil Temple, Kumbaakonam, Tamil Naadu; though there are some other Sun Temples also throughout India.

Some places of Soorya worship in India and elsewhere in the world with their time zones or local references are
Kala-priya (Kalapi on UP-MP border),
Sthaaneshwar (Thaaneshwar or Thaanesar - capital of Harsh Vardhan),
Multaan (Mool Sthaan) in Sindh - 15 minute West of Ujjain,
Pushkar (Bukhaaraa) in Uzbekistaan (12 degree West),
Kyoto (42 deg East),
Stonehenge, UK (78 deg West),
Kaalaahastee (6 deg East of Mahaakaal in Ujjain),
Konaark, Udeesaa, (12 deg East) etc.

Soorya Siddhaant
There is an astronomy book on Soorya's name - " Soorya Siddhaant". It is believed that this book has been written by Mayaasur after getting this knowledge from Soorya Dev. A significant coverage appears in this book on kinds of time, length of the year of gods and demons, day and night of Brahmaa Jee, the elapsed period since creation, how planets move eastwards and sidereal revolution. The lengths of the Earth's diameter, circumference are also given. Eclipses and color of the eclipsed portion of the moon is mentioned. This explains the astronomical basis for the sequence of days of the week named after the Sun, Moon, etc. Musings that there is no above and below and that movement of the starry sphere is left to right for Asur makes interesting reading.

Varaah Mihir in his Panch Saiddhantikaa contrasts it with four other treatises, besides the Paitaamaha Siddhaant (which is more similar to the "classical" Vedaang Jyotish), the Paulish and Romak Siddhaant (directly based on Hellenistic astronomy) and the Vashishth Siddhaant. Citation of the Soorya Siddhaant is also found in the works of Aaryabhat. The present version was modified by Bhaaskaraachaarya during the Middle Ages. The present Soorya Siddhaant may nevertheless be considered a direct descendant of the text available to Varaah Mihir.

Some Tidbits About Soorya
MBH, G-4-Van, 52, calls Soorya as the "enemy of Swarbhaanu". It is because Swarbhaanu was Raahu, and Soorya complained about him to Mohinee that he hid among Devtaa to drink Amrit.

Soorya's Names
Soorya is known by several names --
Aaditya,  Ark,  Bhaanu,  Bhaaskar,  Divaakar, 
Rashmi-rathee,  Ravi



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 06/15/13