Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 4
This is the fourth and final part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the prior parts of this series, we explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya, and the benefits of recitation.
The method to chanting the Aditya Hridayam
Given the practical benefits and the philosophical undertones to the Aditya Hridayam, it is suitable for any dedicated aspirant to chant or hear the stotra daily.
It is auspicious to start chanting from a Sunday.
It is ideal to chant the stotra 3x in one sitting. Once a routine has been developed, one may chant the stotra once on Monday-Saturday, then three times on Sunday.
The reverence placed on the Sun by Agastya Rishi should not be taken lightly. Remember that one should be freshly showered wearing freshly washed clothes before one sits down to commence chanting. It is not be recited absent mindedly on the way to work if at all avoidable.
Use the full focus on your concentration to derive the greatest benefit. As you chant, you will notice your worries disappear, a great confidence will be instilled in your mind and you will gain the admiration and respect of others through decisive action throughout your life.
Text and audio
The text of the stotra is available in basic form here.
Click here to listen to the audio of the stotra.
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 3
This is the third part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first and second parts of this series, we briefly explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya.
A stotra of incredible power
As outlined by Agastya Rishi himself in the prelude to the stotra, the Aditya Hridayam has immense power.
Just look at the results – Rama himself used it to not only repel Ravana’s attacks but finally and decisively win the battle over insumountable odds and against a semi-divine opponent (Ravana was partly Gandharva, Deva, Brahmin and Rakshasa).
The stotra not only cleared Rama’s mind of doubt but also drove him to action! This is the power of the stotra.
Listening to Agastya’s reverence for the Sun in his introduction helps us understand why – the Sun is adored as the Parambrahman itself.
Given these points – when the stotra has been tried and tested by Sri Ramachandra himself, what is not possible when one recites the Aditya Hridayam?
Benefits of the Aditya Hridayam
Having extolled the Sun as the very Supreme Being that all aspirants, Devas, Asuras and Rishis strive to know, Maharishi Agastya provides a long list of benefits:
- Destruction of your sins
- Victory in battle/destruction of enemies
- Alleviate worry, anciety and self-doubt
- Instils determination and confidence
- Long life
The Sun is effectively the universal illuminator. When chanted, the Aditya Hridayam illuminates one’s soul (destroys sins), one’s mind (instils clarity of thought), one’s heart (determination and confidence), and one’s body (a long disease free life).
In the next part, the method behind the mantra will be discussed.
Coming soon: Part 4
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 2
This is the second part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first part of this series, the circumstances under which the Aditya Hridayam was imparted to Rama were explored.
Rama was confused and depressed as nothing was going his way on the battle front. Ravana remained alive and elusive to his tactics and weapons.
In the midst of this, Maharishi Agastya appears and begins to initiate Rama into the Aditya Hridayam.
More than the Solar Orb
Agastya’s introduction to the AH is key to understanding the stotra’s main themes. He mentions that the Sun is:
- The Ruler of the worlds and Lord of the universe
- That which is revered by the Devas and Asuras alike
- The embodiment of all the Gods
- The nourisher and energiser
- The embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other key deities
By the end of the description the Sun is effectively extolled as the Parambrahman; there is nothing that the Sun cannot or doesn’t do to regulate the universe.
The point that is conveyed is that when pray to the Sun with the AH, you are in fact praying to the greatest deity.
In the next part we will look at the benefits of chanting the Aditya Hridayam.
Coming soon: Part 3
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 1
This is the first part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
You’re on your knees…
There are moments in everyone’s lives where disaster has struck you or your loved ones with such incredible force that nothing is right, your confidence is lost, the odds appear insurmountable and the battle unwinnable.
It is rare to find people who thrive under such conditions. For most of us, the pressure can cause enthusiasm to wane and all hope to fade.
…but all is not lost
One of the most famous incidents in our scripture is the final battle of the Ramayana. Rama had begun the battle with Ravana but after ceaseless combat was unable to even come close to killing him.
At this point, with his physical energy drained, Ramachandra’s thoughts began to wander and the spectre of doubt began to creep into his conscious mind. Doubt is the greatest enemy of any warrior without a second. Once you begin to second-guess your strategies and actions in combat, you are as good as dead.
The Devas noticed. Congregating in the sky above the battle ground they decided to dispatch Maharishi Agastya to his aid – one of the greatest, most pioneering and accomplished of the Saptarishis. The intervention of Agastya was the ‘Game-Changing’ event of the battle.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Rishi Agastya initiated Rama into the profound secrets of Sun worship: he taught Rama the Aditya Hridayam Stotra (the Heart of the Sun Hymn).
In the second part we will further explore the hymn’s secrets and benefits.
Coming soon: Part 2
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!