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Adithya hridayam stotram on the American soil

Got up late this morning and seeing the sunshine through the bed-room window, rushed to my favorite place in this house, the east -facing deck, from where I can watch and smell the flavor of the lush green lawn and oaks and pines, cherry and maple tress. The air was chill but the sunlight was pouring abundantly from the sky, a bliss for which I have been longing from the day I landed here, in my son’s house in Baltimore. It was slightly warm though laced with subtle cool breeze.
In ‘Anantha Jyothi ‘ my East-facing house in Hyderabad house too, the ‘sahasrakshi’ the thousand-eyed glory of heaven peeps through the high doors and ventilators, then enters and flushes my hall with His compassionate embrace and fall at the feet of the idols in my pooja room. The first thing I do in the morning is to come out to the front and admire and do aradhana , worship the celestial celebration , silently mostly, and sometime with vocal vibrations as I did this morning standing on the deck in the Baltimore house. ” Om, Mithraya namaha ” Salutations to you, friend, was the first prayer that came out of my mouth effortlessly . How close we bring the mighty, universal glory towards us, with that single – word appellation, ‘friend’, when you see him first, soon after you get up ! Is there any one else more friendly than the Sun, for the entire living and non living beings in the entire universe? I stood silently for minutes amazed, enjoying His beauty, grace and glorious look and the aptness of the mantram, ‘Om Mitraya namaha ‘ . Before I could say ‘Ravaye namaha’, the next mantram , the Gangetic flow of the Adithya hridaym stothram gushed out of the cavern of my heart.
Adithya hridaym appears in the ‘ Yudda kantam’, the last chapter of Valmiki’s Ramayanam , as a hymn dedicated to the Sun God, dictated by the cosmos sage Agastya to Sri. Rama , for his success in the battle. The pre-Ramayana period poem, full of charm, is a unique prayer for worship, a power capsule for health and prosperity, handed over to us by our forbears. Beholding Sri Rama, standing absorbed in deep thought on the battle-field, facing Ravana, who has come well prepared for the battle, Sage Agastya, who had come in the company of gods to witness the battle, addresses Rama as,’ Raama, Raama mahaabaaho ‘O Rama’, ‘O Mighty armed Rama’. ( What an encouraging appellation to a warrior facing a mighty enemy !) “listen carefully my son, to this ancient, eternal hymn”. That ‘valsa’ of Agastya would have made Sir Rama to raise his head and look for his illustrious father among the gods assembled to watch the battle from the sky above. ” This hymn of highest degree ( awards ) all around auspiciousness and prosperity – Sarvamangalamaangalyam, destroys all sins- sarvapaapapranaashanam , and dispels all doubts, alleviates anxiety and anguish, assures longevity of life Chintaashokaprashamanam aayurvardhanamuttamam ( ‘Sooryacha mamanyucha manyupathayacha manyu krithebhyaha, papeabhyo rakshantham ” comes to mind. Right? ) We see the Sun before us, experience his glory and power, every day and feel his presence, absence as well as his harshness. Here, before me is the ‘lokasakshi’, a witness of the whole universe , who had witnessed the birth, up coming of and dissolution of several dynasties, rivers, forests , ordinary and extra ordinary humans, birds and animals, mountains and meadows ! Here is the one who had witnessed and blessed the birth and living of my ancestors , their movements and their last journey and will continue to watch my progeny and theirs and theirs .That was why the Rishy said : “He is Brahma (the creator), Visnu (the Sustainer), Shiva (the destroyer), Skanda (the son of Siva), Prajapati (progenitor of human race), the mighty Indra (king of heaven), Kubera (the god of wealth and lord of riches), Kala (eternal time), Yama (the Lord of death), Soma (the moon god that nourishes), and Varuna (the lord of sea and ocean). ” Indeed, he is Pitris (ancestors, manes), the eight Vasus, the Sadhyas, the twin Aswins (physicians of Gods), the Maruts, the Manu, Vayu (the wind God), Agni (the fire God), Prana (the Life breath of all beings), the maker of six seasons and the giver of light ” The celestial parade of the thejasam api thejaswi, who creates, sustains and destroys all beings, shining like the molten gold, the lord who abides in the heart of all beings keeping awake when they are asleep, traversing the Vindhya mountains , seated on a chariot yoked to thousand shining yellow steeds , is a marvelous picture drawn with no paint or canvass.. And that ” PADMA PRABODHA’ appellation dazzles as a diamond crown for this hymn. Bramaha is padma sambhava, Vishnu , padmanabha and Sri lakshmi , padmapriya, padmini, padmahastha, padmalya, padmadalayadakshi and all but it is only the Sun god who is padma probadha., who alone can awaken a lotus- bud and make it to blossom. Let a mighty emperor and his learned court spend a whole night on the bank of a pond trying to awaken a lotus bed- no they cannot. It is only the benevolent touch of the sun god that can fulfill the night-long penance of the lotus bud . ‘Open-up our intellect , elevate it from the bud stage to blossom stage , illuminate and inspire it so that we tread on the correct path in our life’s journey – is that not what we seek through our Gayatri mantram too ? ‘Thamoghanya -one who dispels darkness-fine; himaghnaya- destroyer of snow and fog- that too fine, ‘ satrughnaya’ exterminator of foes – timely ; but why krithagnagnaya -annihilator of the ungrateful- hey, this is something new ! I have not come across this appellation for any other gods! What was in the mind of Agastya rishi when he said this and how did the sun god qualify for this name ? Kritagnas, ungrateful definitely deserve punishment and who else other than the sun who creates fire as well as water , is the ideal god to give punishment ? . The Mahakavi’s fantastic finale, down to earth, but from the high sky is , Soorya’s ‘chalo’ signal for the march of Sri Rama to annihilate Ravana.. ‘Atha ravi ravadanam nirikshyam Raamam Muditamanaah paramam prahrishhyamaanah. Nishicharapatisa nkshayam viditvaa Suragana madhyagato vachastvareti’ Meaning : Then knowing that the destruction of the lord of prowlers at night (Ravana) was near, Aditya, who was at the center of the assembly of the Gods, looked at Rama and encouraged, ‘ come on’ , with great delight. Purifying Himself by sipping water thrice, Rama took up His bow with His mighty arms. Seeing Ravana coming to fight, He put forth all his effort with determination to destroy Ravana.
“Appa, how long have you been staying in the open? ” asks my daughter- in- law Meghana, anxiety vibrating in her voice ‘What on the earth are you doing here, alone ?
‘Oh, just enjoying my morning prayers , Megh ‘ I reply calmly. ‘You have not brushed your teeth, no shower, no viboothy, no panchapatram, what prayer is this, appa ?’
‘ When the celestial glory, seated on a golden chariot yoked to thousand golden yellowish or bright greenish steeds, is before me showering delight and divinity what is the need of viboothy on my body or a vessel on my hand ? ‘ I ask her. ‘You were reciting ‘Aaditya hridayam, right?’ she asks, ‘ has the war begun?’ ‘It is about to start, Soorya bagavan has whistled the ‘ go’ signal.
‘Whistled like this?’ My grandson, Nikhll Shivam, picks up his whistle and makes a shrill sound. ‘No, like this ‘ I pick up the whistle from his tiny hand and try to make some sound. The child laughs at my inability to whistle. I too laugh at my inability to whistle.
P.S. 1. A short note on this stotram from a website :
Quote: “Aditya hrudayam contains the innovative hymns with many secrets and hidden meanings. The Jnana, Jnata, and Jneyam is completed as Sage Agastya is the Jnana and the Lord Rama Jnata and the presiding deity Jneyam is Sun in the heart. Hence it has come to be known as Aditya hrudayam. Further Sage Agastya has stated that success is assured for all those who recite these Sloka thrice a day—– It is said that Consciousness in the man and in the cosmos Sun is the same. Absolute consciousness is being understood only with the help of speech. These mystic words are interwoven in these Slokas. The Slokas third to twenty four Synchronizes with the twenty four letters of Gayatri Mantra. In Aditya hrudayam there are thirty Slokas in total. In this the first and second sloka depicts the arrival of sage Agastya to Sri Rama. The third stated the greatness of the Stotra, the fourth sloka explained about happiness, liberation and knowledge. The fifth will remove the related sins and with hold sorrows. From Sixth to fifteenth the description pertains to self effulgence and impresses that one pervading out side and inside is same. From Sixteenth to twentieth slokas are very important for mantra Japa. Here cosmic greatness of Sun God Surya as the internal Chaitanya in us is high lighted. Further the creator is one and not two is impressed. The human body consists Sapta Dhatuā€™s and in this dwells, only paramatma.
The Slokas from Twenty to twenty four are Mantra Slokas extolling Sun God. From twenty fifth to thirtieth the method of recital by Sri Rama and invoking God to bless him with the requisite strength for the victory in the battle field is stated ” – unquote.
Here is the link for the Aadithya hridyam stotram for you to enjoy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsGJlyFcdQM&feature=player_detailpage
And if you know Malayalam and can enjoy poetry in that language her is a unique mystical love poem of Sooryakanthi flower, who turns her face according to the movement of her beloved, the charming Sun, longing for his love and affection .The author is Mahakavi G. Sankara kurup.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZRPfkty-r4
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Baltimore,
April 1, 2011
Sent from my iPad

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