नमः पूर्वाय गिरये पश्चिमायाद्रये नमः।
ज्योतिर्गणानां पतये दिनाधिपतये नमः॥ १६

जयाय जय भद्राय हर्यश्वाय नमो नमः।
नमो नमः सहस्रांशो आदित्याय नमो नमः॥ १७

नम उग्राय वीराय सारङ्गाय नमो नमः।
नमःपद्मप्रबोधाय मार्ताण्डाय नमो नमः॥ १८

namaḥ pūrvāya giraye paścimāyādraye namaḥ |
jyotirgaṇānāṁ pataye dinādhipataye namaḥ || (16)

jayāya jaya bhadrāya haryaśvāya namo namaḥ |
namo namaḥ sahasrāṁśo ādityāya namo namaḥ || (17)

nama ugrāya vīrāya sāraṅgāya namo namaḥ |
namaḥpadmaprabodhāya mārtāṇḍāya namo namaḥ || (18)


16) namaḥ - salutations to you; pūrvāya – Eastern cardinal (aya means fortune and the dawn is subtly conveyed here as fortune – all auspicious things happen only during sun’s presence in the sky); paścima - Western cardinal; ādraye – mountains or mass of clouds; namaḥ - salutations to you; jyotirgaṇānāṁ pataye – chief of all heavenly bodies put together (sun is referred here as the chief of all luminaries); dinādhi pataye – chief of calendar days (time taken by Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis – 24 hour period); namaḥ - salutations to you.

17) jayāya – the one who gives victory; jaya bhadrāya – the one who gives fortunes, blessings and joy arising out of victory; haryaśvāya – horses of Indra (this is generally known as bay horses, which are shining brown in colour; it is also said that sun god has a chariot pulled by seven horses, each horse representing VIBGYOR; according to Rig Veda, Indra is said to be the controller of all horses; many texts explain this as green coloured horses); namo namaḥ - salutations to you again and again (this is the state where the worshiper is not able to disconnect his thoughts from the object of worship, the state of a yogi); namo namaḥ - salutations to you again and again (beginning of the next line of the same verse; last line ended with this); sahasrāṁśo – infinite rays (referring to omnipresence); ādityāya – son of Aditi (Aditi is not just a name and it subtle meaning (Rig Veda.IX.114.3) is explained in the summary section; namo namaḥ - salutations to you again and again (namo namaḥ is repeated three times in this verse).

18) nama – salutations to you; ugrāya – the one who is ferocious; vīrāya – the one who is courageous; sāraṅgāya – unconquerable king (sāraṅga has many meanings and is different from śāraṅga, which is the name of Viṣṇu’s bow) namo namaḥ - salutations to you again and again; namaḥ - salutations to you; padma – lotus flower prabodhāya – blossoming; mārtāṇḍāya – sun god (mārtāṇḍa is one of 64 Bhairava-s); namo namaḥ - salutations to you again and again.

Summary of verses 16, 17 and 18:

Glory of Nirguṇa Brahman is continued in these three verses. Sun as a planet rises in the east and sets in the west. It can often be observed during dawn and dusk that mass of clouds form a mountain shape and make the sun appear as if it is setting behind those illusionary mountains. The period between the dawn and dusk of the sun is full of light and auspiciousness. When the sun rises from the east, creative activities begin. This way, sun nurtures the world and brings happiness and prosperity. Why should sun should rise and set every day? Apart from astronomical aspect, the other aspect is the mind. Mind is the most precious and the subtest of all the organs of human body. In fact, the subtle aspect of the brain is mind. Mind is made as the subtlest because, only in the mind, realisation of the Self takes place. At the time of creation, human body is provided with two subtle nāḍi-s, iḍa and piṅgala representing the moon and the sun. Piṅgala nāḍi is active during the presence of the sun in the sky and becomes subdued in the night. Iḍa nāḍi becomes active between dusk and dawn and these two nāḍi-s work on the mind by making it active and passive alternatively. During the passive state, mind is rested to become active the next day. Thus Brahman acts through kālapuruṣa and kālapuruṣa acts through sun and moon. Every planet represents a miniscule of Brahman. Puruṣa Sūktaṁ (II.6) explains this. It says, “ahorātre pārśve (अहोरात्रे पार्श्वे)” which means day and night are His feet; ahorātra means day and night continuously. In the next verse it is said, “nakṣatrāni rūpaṁ (नक्षत्रानि रूपं)” which means He is in the form of various constellations (group of stars). This verse worships sun as the infinitesimal part of Brahman by saying ‘dinādhi pataye’, where dina means a calendar day and Brahman is explained here as the Chief of day and night.

The next verse (17) hails Brahman for the victory and joy arising out of victory and fortunes. Brahman in His full Glory is beyond comprehension. Therefore, now the question arises as to how Brahman can be hailed in the first place, as He is beyond comprehension. Only in order to pay our obeisance to Him and thank Him, His miniscule forms such as sun, moon, stars, etc are worshiped. In fact, 24 hour period is divided into two parts, based on the shine of sun and moon. When sun shines during day, Śiva is worshiped and when the moon shines during night, Śakti is worshiped and when both sun and moon are in the same axis, which is known as new moon day, it is said to be the day of liberation. This verse makes a reference to the horses of sun representing seven basic colours VIBGYOR. Rig Veda (IX.114.3) says that there are seven parameters of the world corresponding to the seven divine sons of the mother Eternity, which is referred in the Vedic verse as Āditya; the verse says, “devā ādityā ye sapta tebhiḥ देवा आदित्या ये सप्त तेभिः” These seven is explained as ‘six of space and one of time’. Rig Veda (X.73.8 & 9) explains sun in a different way. “Eight are the sons of Mother Infinity, who are born from her body; out of these she approaches the divine powers along with the seven. The eighth one is Mārtāṇḍa, the sun. With seven sons, the Mother Infinity goes to meet the earlier age, but she bears the sun in that direction for the life and death of mortal beings.”  Subtle interpretations of Vedas are extremely difficult and it requires a lot of expertise and scholarliness. However, we can understand from the last part of the Vedic text above, that the sun is the cause of life and death of all mortals. How this can be interpreted to mean the miniscule form of Brahman? This interpretation is based on the fact that the Vedic verse says that the sun overseas both life and death and does not refer to Brahmā, the god in charge of creation and Yama who is in charge of death. This goes to prove that sun is not just a planet, but a tiny form of Brahman’s Grandeur and Agastya is referring only to Brahman and not sun, a planet. The victory that is referred in this verse is conquering our senses and consequent destruction of māyā, leading to liberation. The joy mentioned in this verse is the inexplicable joy known as Bliss, prelude to liberation.

Verse 18 speaks about further attributes of Nirguṇa Brahman. It says that Brahman is ferocious and courageous. These two qualities can be explained through two Upaniṣad-s. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.2) says, “mahadbhayaṁ vajramudyataṁ महद्भयं वज्रमुद्यतं” which is used to mean that Brahman is like a thunderbolt about to strike.  The next verse of the above Upaniṣad (II.iii.3) says, “Fearing Brahman, fire gives heat, the sun shines, Indra and other gods perform their allotted duties.” Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (III.viii.9) says, “Under His mighty rule sun and moon, and heaven and earth, maintain their positions. Time period, flow of rivers, mighty mountains exist under His mighty rule.” There is a force, which we call as cosmic force is His Power, with which He rules. Nobody else can excise this mighty rule, simply because, they do not have that might. Fearing for Him, sun, moon, pañcabhūta-s carry out their duties. Kaṭha Upaniṣad(II.iii.3) says, “From fear of It (Brahman), fire gives heat; out of terror, the sun shines; afraid of It, Indra, Vāyu, Yama (god of death) rush to perform their respective duties.” (Though He is mighty, why His might should be understood? He is a terror for all those who fail to protect all of us properly. Why He wants to protect us? It is purely out of compassion for us. Because Brahman is referred here, the word Sāraṅga is used. This word is to be read in the context of the two attributes ferociousness and courageousness. Because He is ferocious and courageous, He cannot be conquered by anyone, as He is omnipotent and hence He is called Almighty. Finally, it is said that He looks like a blossoming lotus flower. After having said about His omnipotence, why He is compared to a lotus flower? This expresses His compassion and tenderness. Brahman has all the qualities and tenderness, compassion, inclemency and bravery. Hence Brahman is repeatedly adored and worshiped. Since His original Grandeur cannot be seen or experienced, His miniscule form is worshiped and this is what Agastya says to Śrī Rāma.

More articles:

Aditya Hrudayam - Part 6

Aditya Hridayam - Part 8