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
The demands of Youth!
The idea that any boy of age would want the perfect bride is nothing new. It has persisted since the ancient times.
Whilst then, the fad was to pray for a girl like Sita (of the Ramayana Epic) or a boy like Rama, now the youth of today want the Shahrukhs and the Aishwaryas.
We were young once!
I can recall that a humourous retort from the elders in my community to the demands of such perfection is: “Remember who Sita married! Can you claim you are Rama?”. The answer was invariably a humble: “no!”. Who can compare themselves to the great Ramachandra of the epic? The perfect King?
The point of course is that one deserves that (or someone, in this case) which is fitting of one’s own character. One who is perfect, noble and valourous most times has the right to demand similar qualities in the one they marry.
We can but try
So let’s cut to the chase! How does one develop your character to match the demands and ideals of what you want your husband or wife to be? The solution lies in mantra!
Although fashions and indeed “IT girls” change over time, the concept is identical, and so is the solution – writing or chanting Rama Nama. The name of Rama is a powerful combination of the essence of Narayana and Shiva Themselves – click here to read my prior post on the subject.
Invoke a powerful transformation through your own Sankalpa!
The power of Rama is in his perfection – and it can be manifest in anyone! Just write or chant the name of Rama to slowly condition the mind with the ideals of Rama.
I would also suggest an accompanying English mantra that one can say (or think) over and over to help with this transformation:
“Rama, please help me become more like you and build my character;
Rama, please find me my Sita!”
You can use your own words – in whatever language you prefer – to focus your thoughts and sentiment. This, in effect, is what is known as the Sankalpa (intent of your prayer).
Please do feel free to comment and provide your own experiences and feedback below on writing and chanting Rama Nama.
** This article was published on a Tuesday **
Tuesdays are the most auspicious time to worship Hanuman. The great Hanuman is of course Rama’s fearless, faithful and unbelievably powerful companion, who had mastered both himself and the power of the Ashta Siddhis.
There is nothing that Hanuman would not do (and cannot do) for Rama and his Bhaktas (devotees) ; I would also greatly encourage anyone writing Rama Nama to also listen to or recite the Hanuman Chalisa or any mantra to him as a perfect complement – click here for details.
“Om AanjanEyAya vid-mahE,
Tanno hanumath prachodayaat”
We know the son of Goddess Anjani
We meditate on the son of the “Wind”
May Lord Hanuman enlighten us.
- Success in difficult endeavours
- Improves your bhakti (devotion)
- Increases your courage and bravery in the face of adversity
- Curbs the malefic effects of Mars (Angarak/Bauma)
- Curbs the malefic effects of Saturn (Shani) – this is an extremely popular reason for worshipping Hanuman
- Negates the effects of black magic
A powerful force against Black Magic
Hanuman is an excellent deity to worship for all for daily protection, character development, inner strength, bhakti and spirutual advancement. A true Bhakta of Rama, he is the embodiment of the devotee striving toward all of physical, mental and spiritual perfection.
He is also known to be the saviour of those experiencing the negative astrological effects – particularly from a malign Saturn and Mars – and of black magic.
It is said that the worship of Hanuman will gain one access to the ashta siddhis.
Oftentimes in our lives we find ourselves faced lacking confidence. Confidence in ourselves, confidence in our predicament, confidence in the future, not to mention in others! Each person’s situation is unique and usually complex.
Like Einstein, I too believe in presenting a simple solution (albeit with a complex proof ;)) – and preferably through mantras – so let’s simplify this problem. One may argue that a lack of confidence is a lack of faith. If you are lacking in faith (known as Bhakti in the East) then what better way to seek guidance than through Hanuman, the ultimate Bhakta, or devotee.
As well known from his exploits in the Ramayana, a Hindu epic centered on Rama (an Avatar of Vishnu), Hanuman’s faith was simple, pure, unwavering and for these reasons – legendary. But he was no foolish starry eyed follower of Rama. A brief post cannot remotely capture his greatness but he is a highly complex and learned character whose accomplishments include intimidating and eventually learning all scripture from the deity of the Sun Himself, mastery of the 8 Siddhis (Ashta Siddhis) and eventually becoming one of an elite set of immortals (Chiranjeevi). Imagine then the greatness of Rama, in comparison, to render Hanuman tongue-tied and transfixed on their first meeting!
I have found this simple shloka (below) to have immense power. It increases one’s confidence, sense of certainty and eventually, owns on faith in a greater guiding force which in conjunction with our own choices, shapes our lives.
Buddhir balam yasO dhairyam
Ajaadyam vaak patuthvam cha
HanUmath smaranaath bhavEth
May intelligence, strength, total daring, a lack of fear and excellent speech be available to me through Hanuman’s grace.
A great edge in corporate life:
Note that this is also an ideal mantra for corporate success! It is especially useful when in critical conversations to impress one’s superiors, clients and perhaps even help to attract the opposite sex! Remember however, if things do not go well, it is entirely the work of the guiding force above placing you on the right path toward your own happiness. How easily we forget that everything happens for a reason and that the Lord works in mysterious ways.
- A key complement to this is chanting the name of Rama (just say the name over an over like a Bija mantra). It is said that Hanuman appears wherever Rama’s name is spoken with faith. I will elaborate in later posts.
- A video on YouTube accessible here has a transliteration and allows you to chant along with the speaker.
- I also find Rattan Mohan Sharma’s pronunciation to be impeccable and would recommend hearing his Hanuman MP3s through Raaga.com.