108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #22

Om Suvarcase Namaha, Salutations to the One having exceedingly great vigour and brilliance; of beautiful form. Suvarcas indicates vigour that produces valour, strength and energy beyond compare. One shines with splendour, one speaks with eloquence and charm.


suvarcas One of the hundred sons of Dhratarashta. He was killed by Bhima in the great war.
suvarcas A very truthful Sage who lived in ancient India. Dyumatsena father of Satyavan lived in the asrama of this sage. He consoled Dyumatsena when Satyavan and Savitri who had gone out to collect firewood were very late to return. (Vana Parva, Chapter 298, Verse 10).
suvarcas m.: A mythical bird. One of the six sons of Vainateya (Garuda)
suvacas (-ca?-ca?-ca?) Speaking much, and eloquently or well. E. su good, vacas speech.
suvacana Eloquence, speaking well or elegantly. E. su good, vacana speech.
suvana m. (-na?) 1. The sun. 2. Fire. 3. The moon. E. ?u to produce,

Suvarcas frequently appears in Mahabharatha name indexes and Puranic indexes as a name of a virtuous warrior. A warrior of great virtue and strength is called valorous, of heroic nature, valiant, and similar attributes. So we see this element of vigour as one of great strength, outshining all others.

Clearly suvarcas has a foundation of truth, integrity which adds to the eloquence and verity of what is communicated, extended, radiated, transmitted. One receives energy from the Sun, life-force, the light of the Sun is the light of the Vedas, the foundation of the life of the human. The superior quality of brilliance of its own self-effulgence radiates and transmits life of its own calibre and nature. All – as atma in the human form – are sparks of the Paramatma, the adhara, foundation of all life. As this is self-effulgent light, the Sun is suvarcase namaha, having exceedingly great vigour and brilliance.

For fire to increase or decrease fuel is the only cause; there is no other reason. The more the fuel, the more the illumination! In all humanity, every individual has the undisputed right to feed his fire with fuel! Fire has the power to give light, by its very nature. So, too, in the fire of the Buddhi of the aspirant and spiritual practitioner, the fire which produces the light of wisdom, the fuel of renunciation, peacefulness, truth, kindness, forbearance and selfless service has to be constantly placed; the more they do this, the more efficacious and effulgent the spiritual seekers can become. (Sum Show 90)

We hail the Sun as suvarcase, the One having exceedingly great vigour and brilliance; of beautiful form. It is possible for humans to have vigour and brilliance, not unlike radiating the effulgence of the Sun within, the atma. This is called atamabalan, strength of soul (atman); atmabalan and brillance emanating from within is achieved in the following:

  • Chanting of gayatri brings effulgence. The Gayatri Mantra proper addresses the Sun, the source of illumination within;
  • namasmarana brings effulgence: single-pointed chanting the name of the Lord (or ishtadevata) fills one with brilliance;
  • navagrahas (planets) are amsa (part of) kalapurusha (God, divinity, Lord of Time and Space); hence, chanting ashtottara shatanamavali (108 names) of planets brings effulgence as planets radiate light within the human form
  • consulting intellect (viveka, practice of discrimination) brings effulgence (and jnana, wisdom)
  • the effulgence of atma is not visible to the senses
  • everything in this world is light. Maya causes senses to see objects, forms, etc.
  • a person may increase effulgence with nearness, proximity, devotion bhakta to their favoured name and form of divinity
  • this may also be achieved through meditation (see below for example)
  • balance is needed; the four goals of life (purusarthas) (dharma, artha, kama, moksha) are needful or one may get out of balance completely; i.e., one may pursue artha (wealth, acquisition of moneys) to the exclusion of all else, i.e., responsibility to home, family, health, physical and health needs, and the goal of life.

Sathya Sai Baba uses the kerosene lamp as a metaphor for achieving illumination, brilliance from within:

Academic education has its uses. But it is not the summum-bonum (highest good) of life. Adore the light of the Divine within you. Each student is like a petromax light. This light has to be kept burning by pumping kerosene from time to time. The soot has to be cleaned by a pin now and then. It needs kerosene. Only when all the three are present, the light will burn brightly. Your shraddha (earnest devotion) is the kerosene. Your love is the pin. Your spirit of sacrifice is the pump. In addition, a wick is needed. That wick is the Lord’s name. With the aid of the three accessories, when you chant the Lord’s name, your devotion will shine effulgently This effulgence is the light of the Divine within you. You proceed from peacelessness to paramjyothi (the light divine in the heart) through peace and an illumined mind. The heart of everyone is the seat of the Lord. (Brindavan, 9-10-1994)

It was stated earlier that the effulgence of the atma is not visible to the senses, nor the mind’s eye. However, one may employ active meditation to increase the effulgence within. The following meditation is offered.

Growing Effulgence Meditation

When a person finds a guru, a great teacher or a divine incarnation (there are several on Earth at this time), or starts to follow a spiritual path, the gold nugget in his or her heart becomes alive like a glowing ember. However, it must be tended and kept alive just as a fire must be stoked and gently encouraged to burn brightly with the help of a pair of bellows. We all have a built in mechanism which can be used in a similar way to the bellows, namely, our own breathing, and we can take up a breathing exercise use to keep our ‘embers’ glowing.

First, we can simply allow our lungs to fill with air without any effort on our part. The pressure inside and outside of the body will equalise if allowed to do so naturally.

When the lungs are full of air we should gently and slowly exhale the air, but direct the flow in the direction of the glowing ember within the heart to keep it alive. Your head can be inclined slightly down towards the heart to make it easier to visualise.

This exercise can be done at any time and in any place; we can be a passenger in a plane, train or car; at work or at home; alone or with people, and there is no excuse for not doing it. Neither can it be forgotten, for, no one forgets to breathe! He went on to say that no tools are needed but no one can do it for another person, and your guru, your divine, your great teacher cannot do it for you. We must take responsibility for doing it ourselves. Who says it has to be complicated? It is as simple as breathing. You will soon become addicted to it and then it will continue without your constant attention. You will also have more energy. If your fire is glowing everything will be much easier. This tiny little exercise will grow and have far reaching results if you remember to do it. It will expand your capacity to carry more light. Instead of being like a twenty watt electric light bulb you will be able to increase it to forty, sixty watts and on up.

It has been taught in vedanta that the human form can hold up to 80% of light effulgence. When one increases the light within, one feels the divine within. e.g., nicene creed, the divine is “light from light”. Is it worth a try? Of course it is, so give it a try.

“The sons and daughters of India revere the sun. The sun is an immense ball of hydrogen and helium. There is immense scope for harnessing a small fraction of the energy coming to the earth from the Sun. … The Sun is the embodiment of effulgence. Wherefrom does this light come? How does it come? No scientist has yet found how this light reaches us. It comes from a Divine power. The Divine is fully effulgent. He has the splendour of a billion suns. Today you are not able to make use of the energy from a single sun. How can you measure the power of One who has the splendour, of a billion suns? The solar system is like a candle to the effulgence of the Divine. (Brindavan 4-3-1993)


Om Suvarcase Namaha – Salutations to the One having exceedingly great vigour and brilliance; of beautiful form.


Download 108 Names of Surya, the Sun



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