Navaratri 2011: Make your Life Shine! Worship Surya through Gayatri
Sun worship is not primitive
Sun worship is as old as time. From the very origins of mankind, people realised that the Sun is the controlling and sustaining principal on planet Earth.
Worshipping the Sun is by no means a primitive technology. The Sun emits a multitude of rays; some seen, but the majority of which lie well beyond the visual spectrum of humans – beyond infrared and ultraviolet.
More than light
Beyond these still are the spiritual rays of illumination emitted by the being powering the sun itself. Although this is a crude metaphor, the point is the Sun embodies the very spirit of the Paramatma (The Supreme Soul).
How so? To understand this, we must ask – what is Godliness? Giving and never taking back, unconditionally nourishing and lighting the path for all of us perhaps? Is that not exactly what the Sun does daily for us?
Let us give thanks
The deity behind the Solar disc has many levels of interaction with humans. We have already covered the physical attributes (warms our bodies and the earth plane, lights our path during the day, illuminates our night by reflection off the moon etc) and the highest level (Paramatma) , but there are many gradients in between.
In puranic lore, and indeed the Mahabharata, the Sun appears as one of the Devas. In the Ramayana interestingly, He is worshipped as so much more! One can search the term ‘Aditya Hrudayam’ to read about, hear and understand the prayer that Rishi Agastya initiated Rama into to help him bring the battle with Ravana to a gripping finalé. I would recommend this site: http://www.agasthiar.org/a/ah.htm (click here to access).
Drink in the attributes of the Sun!
The Gayatri Maha Mantra is the supreme salutation of the Sun. It is said that one who fully understands the 24 syllables of the Gayatri mantra is on par with the Brahmarishis (The highest classification of Rishi, or holy person, in Hindu cosmology).
One such attribute is the ability to shine. Not just in physical terms (although this is also possible as one of the siddhis of the Gayatri Maha Mantra is to control prana and cause a physical glow or tejas to appear around oneself), but also in terms of your speech, actions and thought.
Navaratri is the ideal time to start chanting the Gayatri
The essence, embodiment and energy or shakti (power) behind the Gayatri Maha Mantra is the Goddess Gayatri. Worshipping the Divine Feminine over Navaratri is conducive to multiples of mantra japa over any other part of the year.
Give yourself this gift and start chanting today!