घनवृष्टिरपां मित्रो विन्ध्यवीथी प्लवङ्गमः॥ १३
vyomanāthastamobhedi ṛgyajussāmapāragaḥ |
ghanavṛṣṭirapāṁ mitro vindhyavīthī plavaṅgamaḥ || (13)
आतपी मण्डली मृत्युः पिङ्गलः सर्वतापनः।
कविर्विश्वो महातेजा रक्तः सर्व भवोद्भवः॥ १४
ātapī maṇḍalī mṛtyuḥ piṅgalaḥ sarvatāpanaḥ |
kavirviśvo mahātejā raktaḥ sarva bhavodbhavaḥ || (14)
नक्षत्र ग्रह ताराणा मधिपो विश्वभावनः।
तेजसामपि तेजस्वि द्वादशात्मन् नमोस्तु ते॥ १५
nakṣatra graha tārāṇā madhipo viśvabhāvanaḥ |
tejasāmapi tejasvi dvādaśātman namostu te || (15)
13) vyomanātha – chief of principle elements, such as air, water and ether; also called chief of Cosmos; technically Prajāpati, lord of beings, explained earlier); tamo (tamas) – darkness; bhedi – removing (removing darkness refers to dawn); ṛg yajus sāma pāragaḥ - the one who has mastered Rig, Yajur and Sāma (Vedas); ghanavṛṣṭiḥ - heavy rain; apāṁ mitraḥ - friend of water; vindhyavīthī – vindya mountain range (a projection that connects East and West; there are Purāṇic references too); plavaṅgamaḥ - one who travels (plav means jumping and leaping);
14) ātapī – radiating heat; maṇḍalī (maṇḍala) – circular or round, referring to the disc of the sun; mṛtyuḥ - death or referring to god of death Yama; piṅgalaḥ - gold-coloured; sarvatāpanaḥ - burning (or illuminating) everything; kaviḥ - one who composes poems (lyrist); subtly this can be explained as an enlightened personality; viśvaḥ - universal; mahātejaḥ - extremely brilliant; raktaḥ - crimson coloured; sarva – everything; bhavodbhavaḥ - original creation or the Creator of all creations (bhava means coming into existence);
15) nakṣatra – constellations; graha - planets; tārāṇa – stars (group of stars make a constellation and there are many constellations); adhipaḥ - ruler or king or chief; viśvabhāvanaḥ - the mind to create (or will, generally known as Divine Will to create); tejasāmapi – lord of luminaries (sun); tejasvi - brilliant, splendid, bright (referring to the sun); dvādaśatman – twelve Ādityas (twelve forms or aspects of sun); namostute – salutation to you.
Summary of verses 13, 14 and 15:
Further discussion about Brahman in the form of sun is being continued. Verse 13 describes Him as Prajāpati (vyomanātha), the chief of all beings and often compared to lord of creation, Brahmā. The world Prajāpati is carefully chosen here to mean the Vimarśa aspect of Brahman or initiation of worldly process through the svabhāva of Brahman, which is known as inherent disposition to create. When Brahman decides to create (this terminology is the combination of Trika and Advaita), He (Upaniṣad-s do not attribute any gender to Him. Brahman is referred in Upaniṣad-s as IT or THAT) manifests. What is the difference between Brahman and a manifested being? Brahman is the Ultimate Reality, beyond which there is nothing. In other words, He is both complete (pūrṇa) and nothingness (śūnya)*. How Brahman manifests Himself? He manifests in the form of the Self. Brahman is often compared to a tiny seed of a huge banyan tree. From a diminutive seed, a huge tree grows. Similar is the case with Brahman. The only difference is that in the case of banyan tree we know the cause; but in the case of worldly process, though we acknowledge (this acknowledgement comes through reading Upaniṣad-s, Brahma Sūtra and Bhagavad Gītā) that Brahman is the cause, yet we are not aware of Him (due to lack of sādhana). In order to make us understand that Grandeur of Brahman, sun is compared to the Self-effulgent Brahman. In the initial stages of spiritual life, mind by default gets associated with a particular form of god. Spiritual evolution happens over a period of time, which is presided over by kālapuruṣa (different from Yama, god handling death). Darkness in the verse refers to darkness of māyā, which is the crux of dualism. When Brahman is realized in His Grandeur, which is the eternal Light, darkness of māyā is removed and leading to the direct experience of That Light.
The same verse further says that He is the one who has mastered all the four Vedas. Here, it is not just about Vedas, but complete mastery over all of them. Further, Vedas here do not ascribe only to the four Vedas, but also the essence of Vedas viz. Upaniṣad-s. Vedas originated from the breath of Brahman. Ancient sages established their awareness in the higher cosmic realms and decoded subtle sound from the cosmos. These sounds originate in the higher planes of cosmos due to the interaction of five basic elements causing frictions, also known as cosmic vibrations or śabda tanmātra from which sound originates in the form of parā (parāvāc in the form of kuṇḍalinī in human body). Rig Veda (I.164.45) also discusses this modification and it says,
catvāri vāk parimitā padāni tāni vidurbrāhmaṇā ye manīṣiṇaḥ |
guhā triṇi nihitā neṅgayanti turiyaṃ vāco manuṣyā vadanti | |
चत्वारि वाक् परिमिता पदानि तानि विदुर्ब्राह्मणा ये मनीषिणः |
गुहा त्रिणि निहिता नेङ्गयन्ति तुरियं वाचो मनुष्या वदन्ति | |
“Four are the definite grades of speech; those learned who wise know them; three deposited in secret, indicate no meaning; men speak the fourth grade of speech. Four grades of speech are – ॐ, Bhūḥ Bhuvaḥ Suvaḥ and these are known as Parā, paśyantī, madhyamā and vaikharī. Parā is the innermost at the origin; paśyantī pertains to heart, madhyamā to intellect and vaikharī the phonetically expressed through organs of speech.”
The verse also refers to water in the form heavy rain and the sun as a good friend of water. This also refers to the five basic elements of creation which causes the stage of pañcamahābhūtamaya (consisting of five basic elements). All the five elements contain substantial traces of other elements. For example, water contains traces of air, fire, space and earth (the fifth one is water). While referring to friend of water, it not only refers to the process of water vaporising due to the heat of the sun, forming clouds to cause rain, but also refers to the process of creation itself by subtly conveying the presence of pañcamahābhūta-s.
The verse also refers to the movement of the sun from the East to the West. This reference subtly conveys the time factor, the duration of individual existence from birth to death, the role of kālapuruṣa. East represents our birth and West represents our death. The intervening period is full of Light, which removes the darkness of māyā enabling us to realize the Self-effulgent Brahman. In other words, this verse categorically says that we should attain liberation in this birth itself. My making reference to leaping, it is conveyed that the time moves at a faster pace and kālapuruṣa will never wait for us catch up with him. Time will continue to move and in our own interest, we have to catch up with him to get liberated at the earliest, in this birth itself (the state of jīvanmukta). Sage Agastya beautifully reminds the Grandeur of Brahman to Lord Śrī Rāma; technically it is not an explanation, but only a reminder to Śrī Rāma about His stature as Brahman.
Verse 14 dwells on physical description of the sun, such as its heat, its shape, its colour at the time of dawn, day and dusk, its attribute of showing up all the objects throughout the universe and not just the planet earth (this is known as Vimarśa aspect of Brahman). By making reference to poets, impartation of knowledge is conveyed. Knowledge contextually refers to spiritual knowledge (different from material knowledge), which is important to remove the veil of māyā. In other words, by its rays, sun can cause one’s kuṇḍalinī energy to ascend. Sun makes this possible by activating piṅgala nāḍi and balancing it with iḍa nāḍi. When these two nāḍi-s are perfectly balanced and sealed, kuṇḍalinī enters through suṣumna to reach sahasrāra, where Śiva and Śakti unite and Self-realization takes place. The usage of the word bhavodbhavaḥ clearly establishes that Agastya is talking about Brahman and not the planet sun. Bhavodbhava means as a single word refers to Śiva and sarva bhavodbhava means Brahman or Paramaśiva, where both Śiva and Śakti coexist. Brahman and His power are not separate in this stage and this is the stage of Paramaśiva. Even if any doubt exists in our mind that Agastya is talking about the planet sun, it is now proved beyond doubt that he refers only Brahman.
Verse 15 talks about omnipresence of Brahman. As the Chief of creation (Prakāśa), He willed to create and as a result of this Divine Will, He manifests in the form of sun and presides over constellations, planets, pañcamahābhūta-s, etc and thus entire creation came into existence. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (Kṛṣṇa speaks as Brahman and not as a god head) that He is the mind among the organs of perception. Mind is considered as supreme as the mind is nothing but the power of the Brahman. Knowing that mind is His Power is realisation. Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation and is the seat of faculty reasoning. Hence Kṛṣṇa says that He is the mind among the organs of perception. Both mind and consciousness are the two important factors in Self-realisation. Consciousness alone has the capacity to manifest and His creation can be known only through the presence of consciousness. According to Dr. David R. Hawkins “from the Un-manifest to the Manifest, the energy of consciousness itself interacted with matter, and as an expression of Divinity, by that interaction life arose.” For academic interest the twelve Āditya-s are Dhātā, Mitra, Aryamā, Indra, Varuṇa, Aṁśa, Bhaga, Vivasvān, Pūṣā, Savitā, Tvaṣṭā and Viṣṇu. They are also known as Dvādaśāditya-s and they represent twelve solar months and kālapuruṣa acts through them from one’s birth to death.
At the end of 15th verse of Āditya Hṛdayam, after having discussed about the various attributes of Saguṇa Brahman, we begin to salute Him and this salutation continues in the next few verses. Why this salutation? Salutations are needed to connect with someone who is superior to us (in spiritual parlance) and who is closer to Brahman and acts on behalf of Brahman (these are the stages of sthitaprajña, yogī and jīvanmukta). As discussed earlier, Brahman does not act on His own. He acts through His Kinetic energy and different energies are presided over by different symbolic representations giving rise various forms of gods and goddesses. When we inquire unto ourselves about Brahman, shapes and forms (depicted as different gods and goddesses) and the sounds (mantras) associated with them would get dissolved either into pūrṇa (full) or śūnya (void)*. Typically both are same; Brahman is both fullness and nothingness.