108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #2

Om Saranaya Namaha, Salutations to the Refuge. The Sun, self-effulgent, radiating light and heat along a perennial, eternal path of righteousness, reflecting the eternal order of the Universe. The Sun is a fragment of the Central Sun of all Universes, and thus, radiates the life-force of all to all, without fear or favour. The Sun God grants refuge to all who seek refuge.


sharanya (sanskrit, adjective) granting protection or help; seeking refuge with, needing protection Hin. m., San. n. one who or that which provides protection, one worthy of being our refuge and on whom we can totally depend. Sharanya is a protector, one who gives refuge. Sharanagatha: supplicant for protection. Places of refuge are called sanctuary, as in religious sanctuary, sacred enclave, sanctum sanctorum, the Holy of Holies. One does not violate nor defile a sacred space.

Sharanya is the giving of refuge; surrender to one who has the faculty, the right of granting refuge is the means to the doorstep. One throws oneself at the feet of mercy, the feet compassion (charana kamala, the lotus feet of the Divine) in order to obtain refuge, relief from that which assails safety, peace of mind, personal integrity. Surrender is the sine-qua-non to obtain refuge.

Surrender must be complete and without reservations

To all of you I say, “Let mountains fall; let the sea overwhelm the land; but, do not give up your sadhana. And, remember, sadhana is a waste, unless you grow at the same time in virtue and uprightness.” If you give up all and surrender to the Lord, He will guard you and guide you.

When you complain, “Oh! He has not guarded me,” I reply, “You have not surrendered.” The Lord has come just for this very task. He is declaring that He will do so, that is the very task that has brought Him!

Of course, you only talk of sharanam (surrender), of placing all at the Feet; but you withhold a great deal. Your minds are wayward like monkeys that skip and jump from bough to branch.

Give them to Me; I can make them steady and harmless. When I say, sit, they will sit; when I say, stand, they stand. That is what Shankaraacharya offered to do, he told Shiva that he will hand over the monkey that was his mind to Him so that it might be tamed and used for His delight. But, it must be a complete handing over; no reservations.

Lord Krishna speaks on taking refuge:

Just as the baby in the womb gets protection and nourishment due to its connection with the mother, humans also get refuge when connected with Me. But this is even greater than the baby-mother relationship because this shelter is for eternity! (Gita 9:21b)

32. “Everyone who takes refuge in Me, whatever their birth, gender, or position in society will attain the supreme goal of merging into Me. This is true even for those whom society may scorn or consider to be ineligible (women in some cultures, for example, or lower classes in others). There is no such thing as a sinful or wicked birth. Where there is a hurricane of love in the mind and heart all human distinctions vanish. (Gita 9:32)

The Eternal Sun

There are numerous galaxies, containing thousands of Suns and solar systems. The Sun that we have for our solar system is one of the many Suns though there has to be one final Sun who is eternal and carries out the functions of the Sun for all the manifest worlds and universes. Our Sun, Surya, as representative of the eternal Sun is no different from that eternal Sun itself. The eternal sun at the macro-cosmic level is the same as the Sol, the Surya within our solar system. The fire, the light within our bodies is but a spark of the eternal sun within, called Suryanarayana, the Sun that dwells within all.

The Sun as giver of refuge (Om Saranaya Namaha) gives from the basis, the foundation of eternal order (ritam) of which the Sun is a storehouse. The Sun, giver of light, heat and energy, gives the same daily from this foundation, this basis of eternal order. Where there is darkness, the Sun gives light; where there is disorder, the Sun gives order; where there is arrhythmic activity, the Sun gives the Cosmic Rhythm, the rhythm of all Universes given from the Central Sun of all Worlds, the Creative Source of the All.


Om Saranaya Namaha – salutations to the Sun, giver of refuge to all

Whatever the source from which a person receives refuge – be it from religious sanctuary, from a benefactor, a country, a refugee camp in the case of refugees fleeing war, or from the Sun, or the Sun within, the proper response and feeling is gratitude.




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