‘Surya Mahatmya’-An illustration of Rajyavardhana (Surya ‘Stuti’ included)

Mahatma Markandeya narrated to Brahmana Kroushti illustrating the example of King Rajyavardhana, while highlighting the importance of Surya Deva. The King ruled his Kingdom so ideally that there were no robberies, diseases, and poverty. He married a Princess named Manini and his family life was ideal too. Having ruled the Kingdom for seven thousand years of contented life, the King found his wife’s disposition rather sad one day and sought the reason for it; she noticed a white hair on his head. He said that it was time for him to take to ‘Vanaprasthashrama’ or retirement to forest life. None in the Royal Court approved of his proposal including the Ministers, Army, Brahmanas, the entire Administration and the normal citizens and in fact they all vehemently protested, despite the King’s argument saying ‘Jaatasya maranam dhruvam’ and none could defy the laws of Nature. But every body in the Kingdom performed Vratas, Pujas, Yagnas, and all kinds of sacrifices to let the life of the King extend his life.Brahmanas performed Tapasyas, Homas, Veda Pathanas, Surya Namaskaras in deep waters of Holy Rivers. In fact, a group of them worshipped a Popular Gandharva Deva named Sudama; he appeared in person and advised that the wish of longevity for Rajyavardhana was surely fulfilled of groups of the Subjects of the Kingdom should pray to a Temple of Bhaskara Deva Temple at ‘Guha Vishala Vana’ on the Kamarupa Mountain. As such groups were formed and collective worship gathered momentum in the Temple by turns by way of Nithya Pujas along with ‘Shodasopacharas’ of Pushpas, Gandha, Dhupa, Deepa, Japa, Homa, Naivedya and Stutis as follows:

Deva Danava Yakshaanaam grahaanaam Jyotishaamapi,
tejasaathyaadhikam Devam Vrajaam sharanam Ravim/
Divim sthitaam cha Deveshaam dyotayantam samantatah,
Vasuhaamantarikshim cha vyapyuyantam Mareechibhih/
Adityam Bhaskaram BhaanumSavitaaram Divaakaram,
Pushaanamaryamaanam cha Swarbhaanum Deepta deedhitam/
Chaturyugaanta kaalaagnidyushprakshyam pralayaantagam,
yogeeswara maanantham cha raktampeetam sitaasitham/
Rusheenaamagnihotrushu Yagna deveshavaasthitam,
vrajaam sharanam Devam tejoraashim thamachyutam/
Aksharam Paramam guhyam mokshadwaraamanuttamam,
Chandobhiraswarupaischa sakrudyukthair vihangamam/
Udayaasthamaneyuktam sadaa Meroh Pradakshiney,
Anrutam charitam chaiva punya teertham pruthagvidham/
Vishwa sthitimachintyam cha prapannah sma Prabhaakaram,
Yo Brahma yo Mahadevo Yo Vishnuryam Prajaapatih/
Vayurakaashamaapascha Prithivi girisa girah,
Graham Chandradya Vanaspatyam drumashadham/
Vyaktaavyakshetu Bhuteshu Dharmaadharma pravartakah,
Braahmi Maheswari chaiva Vaishnavi chaiva the tanuh/
Tridha yasya Swarupam tu Bhaanor-bhaaswan praseedatu,
asya sarva mayesyedamangam bhutam Jatprabhoh/
sa nah praseedakaam bhasangkitaam yascha jeevanam,
Yasaikamaksharam rupam Prabhaa mandaladrusham/
Dviteeyamaindavam soumyam sa no Bhaaswavan praseedatu,
tabhyam cha tasya rupaabhyamidam Vishvam vinirvitam/
Agnishomayam baaswaamsa no Devah praseedatu/

(We take refuge from Surya Deva who is far more lustrous than all other Devas, Danavas, Yakshas and Jyotishka Grahas. We pray to that Deveshwara who stays on the Sky and illuminates all the Directions; that Bhaskara, Savita, Diwakara, Pusha, Aryama, Swabhanu, Diptadidhiti and Yogeswara whose rays are spread out all over Vasudha (Earth) and ‘Antariksha’(Sky); that Kaalaagni Swarupa who could never be possibly visioned with his fiery form in multi colours of blood red, yellow, white and black; that Deva who experiences the august presence of Yagna Deva who is Eternal, Indestructible and of ‘Parama Guhya’(highly confidential) Brahma Swarupa; that Parama Deva who is identified with the ‘Saptaashwa Ratha’ (Seven horse drawn chariot) circumambulating the Meru Mountain from dawn to dusk, all over the firmanent; that Prabhakar who took a physical form from ‘Aditi Garbha’; that Ananta (Endless), Achintya (Incomprehensible), Adi Deva who is illusive yet real; that Brahma, Maha Deva, Vishnu, Prajapati, Vayu, Aakaash, Jal, Prithvi, Parvat, Samudra, Graha, Nakshatra, Chandra, Vanaspati, Vriksha and Auoshadhi Swarupa; that Prabhakara who is conceivable yet inconceivable as also the Provocator of Dharma and Adharma among all human beings; and that Parama Devata who is Braahmi, Maheswari and Vaishnavi who appears in three distinct Forms, yet the same Entity. We salute with veneration and unreserved devotion to that Unique Jagat Prabhu who is impossible to look at for long and yet of the Chandra Swarupa who is cool and soothing. We seek protection from that Bhaskara who is of the Swarupas of Agni as well as of Soma; or in other words of contradictory identities and manifestations). The sincere Prayers that the groups of Devotees made to Bhaskara Deva pleased him and appeared in a form that could be visible and granted them the boon of active life of ten thousand years to the King with excellent health and contentment. The King was no doubt happy but desired that all his citizens should have similar benefit of longevity and prosperity. As the King raised this genuine doubt, all concerned including the Queen performed similar pujas and prayers.As a result, those who undertook the worship were able to receive Bhaskara Deva’s blessings and boons. Sage Markandeya thus affirmed that sincere ‘Aradhana’ would always pay to a readily visible God on the Sky, day in and day out, depending on the intensity of faith and devotion.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in