Om ojaskaraya namaha, Salutations to the Sun – the shining one with brilliant effulgence. This effulgence can be drawn within men and women by following dharma, which results in creative imagination. Different forms of the Divine also reveal this effulgence.
ojas n. (-jaḥ)
1 Light, splendour.
2 Manifestation, appearance.
4 Support, stay.
5 Metallic lustre.
6 Vitality, the principle of vital warmth and action diffused throughout the body.
7 Virility, the generative faculty.
8 A form of style, elaborate style, abounding with compounds.
9 (In astrology,) Each alternate sign of the zodiac, first, third, fifth, &c.
ojas San. n. spiritual energy, vital essence (rasa), vitality, vigour, virility; strength, power, might; brilliance, splendour.
ojaswin, ojaswī San. adj. vital, vigorous in expression, energetic, mighty, powerful; lustrous, brilliant, of great splendour
Soul-force can accomplish all the tasks of the world; and since the Gayatri Mantra confers inner strength, to foster that force, it has to be cultivated with care at the right moment, without neglect. For the growth and development of the body pure sathwic food is very necessary, is it not? So also, the effulgence of the Sun has to be drawn, to reinforce the inner effulgence of man in the form of bhaavana, or creative imagination.
When soul-force waxes, the senses too are activated and directed along fruitful lines. When it wanes, the senses fall and fail you. So, if the solar energy is drawn at that very juncture, it will be as seeds planted in season, the harvest is assured. Can darkness hide and confuse when the sun has risen and bathed the Earth in splendour? Can sorrow prevail, when we have infused ourselves with that effulgence? How can we be devoid of strength, the strength derived from the very fountain-head of Brahman?
Since the entire universe exists within (make enquiry, 75% of our time should be spent in self-inquiry) and the entire universe is called the Purusha, man is also this purusha; when men and women follow dharma, they are dharmapurusha: the fullness of the all is present within. It is no sign of masculinity (nor femininity) to bully, to kick sand in people’s faces, to beat up weaklings, to make great noise with the motor vehicle and operate it without regard to the safety of others and the whole community. None of these actions signify manhood nor womanhood. As we see, following right conduct – dharma – brings order to the entire community.
We also understand Ojas to be the one filled with effulgence, since ojas comes from tejas. We note that this brilliance, this shining has a specific nature. One cannot gaze upon the sun – With enough damage to the retina, though, staring at the sun can leave you partially blind. Short-term damage (“solar retinopathy”) occurs when a person stares directly at the sun, and is a result of too much ultraviolet light flooding the retina. In extreme cases this can cause blindness, but is so painful that it is rare for someone to be able to stare at the sun for that long.
We note there is an effulgence, a brilliance, a shining with the forms of Divinity. It the Bible it is said that man cannot gaze on the face of God and live. It is said that Moses hid his face for the effulgence of the divine that had transferred to his face. The Feast of the Transfiguration in Christianity is based on a New Testament report of Jesus showing his self-effulgent form. In these accounts, Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James, John, go to a mountain (the Mount of Transfiguration) to pray. On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.
Many report during their Near Death Experience (NDE) of brilliant light, an effulgent, immortal formless brightness.
Due this, we also see representations of Saints and great mystics and sages with light emerging from their faces, or a halo around them. A halo is frequently portrayed around Jesus and his mother, Mary.
So we understand that the human can have effulgence from following dharma and chanting the Gayatri Mantra at the Sandhya times of the day (sunrise, midday, sunset), and the practice of dharma draws the effulgence of the Sun, to reinforce the inner effulgence of man in the form of bhaavana, or creative imagination. We also note that ojas not only represents the shining of the Sun but also the brilliance and self-effulgent forms of the Divine itself.
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