108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #12

Om Ināya Namaha, Salutations to the Mighty One, the Lord. The Sun bestows leadership skills which may be easily mistaken for other qualities. Hence, we expand on leadership qualities, such as those indicated by King Bhisma, and modern military strategists.


Sun in first house, as atmakaraka or in Leo bestows in invincible confidence in self, and power as leadeṛ What, then is a leader? Is one promoted to leadership by way of simony, tenure or sinecure? Are dominating persons natural leaders? What is it that makes people follow another person? What are the characteristics of leaders? These are questions to be answered in order to understand the role of the Sun.

There are many qualities and elements of leadership; it cannot be learned. Governing for a large group of people and eliciting harmony and peace is also a function of leadership. Excellence in leadership is selflessness (that is, activity free from kudos nor aggrandisement) based on an ideal or vision. One has to have knowledge of themselves, appropriate personal boundaries, and satisfies ones needs and desires away from the task. A natural leader has the ability to deal with people: they know their people better than their motherṣ . Leaders also have to know the job, the task at hand, and all dimensions of this tasks, its requirements and demands on staff. There is nothing more appalling than a leader who does not know the ins – and – outs of the tasks their workers have to complete.

Interior dimensions of the leader scope to being a self-starter. One can work without supervision, one can manage self and the tasks at hand. Resilience – springing back from defeats, losses and setbacks is also a characteristic of a leader. A good leader has willpower to persist. A leader also has the courage to decide: that capacity to make decisions not having all the data, all the needful information at hand. Leaders need to make up their mind with the situation, the people and the matter under consideration; adjudication and obtaining outcomes is all selflessness based on a vision, often a vision of the greater good of the All.

Adherence to Truth, control of the senses, equanimity, forbearance and compassion are like five life-breaths for man. If these five life-sustaining qualities are to sanctify man’s life, it is essential to maintain purity in thought, word and deed (Trikarana Suddhi). In addition, one aspiring to be a leader has to possess three types of knowledge: First; self-knowledge (that is, knowledge of his strengths and weaknesses). Two; knowledge relating to his field of work. Three; knowledge of the social environment. A good leader has to possess what may be called individual (or personal) character and national character. Only such persons can become ideal leaders. Giving up selfish interests, eschewing totally ideas of “mine” and “thine”, the true leader should be dedicated to the welfare of all and uphold the reputation of his country. On all occasions he should march in front rather than issue orders from the rear. He should set the example by his actions. The world needs today leaders who will be guides in action.

When one is born to leadership, like the Crown Prince, the heir to the throne, the designated inheritor of the territories, how does such a one get formed, transformed into an appropriate leader? What is the formation needed for a good, national leader? One might think of Machiavelliś The Prince, wherein The Prince obtained and kept power by whatever means available. There is an earlier book on the leadership and governance arts in the history of Bharat (original name of India). Here we look to Kautilya’s Arthashashtra.


 The Raja – and many other Indian Princes – would have learned in the manner indicated in Arthashashtra

Arthashashtra: The Science of Polity

Discipline is of two kinds : artificial or acquired with labour, and natural; for instruction (kriya) can render only a docile being conformable to the rules of discipline, and not an undocile being (adravyam). The study of sciences can tame not only those who are possessed of such mental faculties as obedience, hearing, grasping, retentive memory, discrimination, inference, and deliberation, but not others devoid of such faculties.

Sciences shall be studied and their precepts strictly observed under the authority of specialist teachers. Having undergone the ceremony of tonsure, the student shall learn the alphabet (lipi) and arithmetic. After investiture with sacred thread, he shall study the triple Vedas, the science of Anvikshaki under teachers of acknowledged authority, the science of Vaartaa under government superintendents, and the science of Dandaniti under theoretical and practical politicians.

The Rearing Up of a Prince

He (the Prince) shall observe celibacy till he becomes sixteen years old. Then he shall observe the ceremony of tonsure (godaana) and marry. In view of maintaining efficient discipline, he shall ever invariably keep company with aged professors of sciences in whom alone discipline has its firm root.

He shall spend the forenoon in receiving lessons in military arts concerning elephants, horses, chariots and weapons, and the afternoon in hearing the Itihas which means Puranas, Itivritta (history), Aakhyayika (tales), Uddhanna (illustrative stories), Dharmashastra (the art of dharma for his office),and Arthashastra (material knowledge).

During the rest of the day and night, he shall not only receive new lessons and revise old lessons, but also hear over and again what has not been clearly comprehended. For, from hearing (shruta) ensures knowledge; from knowledge steady application (yoga) is possible; and from application self-possession (aatmavatta) is possible. This is what is meant by efficiency of learning. The king who is well-educated and disciplined in science, devoted to good govemment of his subjects, and bent on doing good to all people will enjoy earth unopposed.


Om Ināya Namaha – salutations to the Mighty One, the Lord


Download 108 Names of Surya, the Sun


Kautilya’s Arthashastra, tr B.K. Chaturvedi, Diamond Pocket Books India, Pvt. Ltd., pp 14-15.


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