108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #101



Om aim istarthadaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is the giver of the four purusharthas – the four types of wealth that lead to the goal of life.


 

Glossary:
arth Hin. artha San. m. purpose, motive, aim; meaning; wealth (to be won by righteous means); material well-being, welfare; advantage. God is the one ‘desired by all’. (V. 430)
purushartha San. n. the (four) legitimate goals of man: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. ‘Acquire wealth (artha) by righteous means and use it for righteous ends (dharma); develop desire (kama) for liberation (moksha).’ Vaishnava devotees consider bhakti to be the fifth and highest purushartha.

 

How does the Sun give us the four purusharthas, the four goals of life? These goals are artha (wealth), dharma (right conduct), kama (needs and wants proper to our station in life) and moksha (release from the cycle of birth-death-birth-again). The Sun gives wealth through its functions of giving light, heat and solar energy. These are the main ways we obtain food and water, home and hearth, cold and heat, light and dark. All these things give us the rhythym of life, which is our wealth.

The Sun gives dharma (right conduct) by and of its own dharma: the Sun rises daily, it crosses the skies giving light and heat, magnetism and solar energy. The Sun does not fail in this task; unerringly, the Sun follows dharma each and every day. While clouds may pass, the Sun is ever present before the clouds, during the clouds, and after the clouds pass. The Sun performs its task without murmur nor complaint, without fee nor stipend, and does not divert from its task. In other words, the Sun behaves – engages in action – as a Sun should, and in so doing, is the giver of dharma.

The Sun is the giver of kama (needs and wants proper to our station in life) through giving of sunlight, which plants convert to photosynthesis, which is energy in the plant which is either consumed as food, transported to our cooking area for sustenance of our bodies, and is transformed into materials, goods and services which provide us with our daily needs. Through giving of its energy, the Sun gives us the materials and foodstuffs proper to our station in life, be it childhood, youth, the adulthood or old age.

The Sun gives moksha (release from the cycle of birth-death-birth-again) through self-effulgence, giving of light of its own nature. The Atma, the Soul within, is self-effulgent, this self-effulgence is the oneness of Atma, the oneness of reality and hence, the oneness of Divinity. When one recognises the Oneness of reality, the curtain of illusion falls away and moksha is attained.

Surya

From the Sun arise all beings.
The Sun sustains them all.
Into the Sun they all vanish.
What the Sun is,
that I am.

-Surya Upanishad

 


Om aim istarthadaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is the giver of the four purusharthas – the four types of wealth that lead to the goal of life.

 

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