108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #33

Om Viraya Namaha, Salutations to the One who eternally vital, strong and who surges within the heart with subtle illumination!


vira San. n. mighty hero, hailing of a hero
vira San. n. hero, protector, defender of the public good
virya San. n. manliness, virility; tremendous inner strength; deliberately willed courage, heroism.
virata San. n. eternal, continual, uninterrupted
viraja San. n. excellence, majesty, dignity
viraja San. n. clean, pure
virajita San. n. illustrious. illuminated, brilliant, glorious, very splendid

A Glimpse of Power

Om Viraya Namaha suggests one of great strength, vitality and power. This has the mask of the hero, defender, protector and the inner resources the hero has access to. What are these resources? It is indicated that personal resources might be manliness, virility; tremendous inner strength; deliberately willed courage, heroism. These are facets of mind combined with tanu bhava, the first house in the horoscope pertaining to the physical body. While the Sun has a physical body, it emanates illumination, energy and power far beyond its physical form.

This effulgence, illumination, energy and power emanates from the Sun in an eternal, continual, uninterrupted fashion. Although not eternal (the Sun will change in 4 – 5 billion years and become a red dwarf; thereafter destruction is inevitable) the Sun points to the eternal, that which is continual, uninterrupted, omnipresent, omnipotent cosmic person, the viratpurusha.

There is an important consideration about the sense of power within an object. The hidden dimensions of the source of power is that it is not attached to any worldly object;, it is detached, self-reliant and resilient. Passion, affection, infatuation drain power and purpose from the hero, or the one (Sun) who is continual, eternal, uninterrupted in its purpose. One may also consider that the Sun is of pitta nature, fire, and rajasic. Rajas is a guna quality: gunas consist of types of behaviour, groups of qualities and bundles of attributes that are fated to decay and change. The Sun follows its swadharma (inner purpose, righteousness, upholding structure and behaviour) and is not distracted by any guna, which has a beginning and an end.

The attraction conferred on a person by scholarship in matters relating to the objective world has to be given up; only thereafter can the genuine innate Divinity manifest itself. Then alone can the personality of the individual, which is the self, accept the divine. The ego in use is passion and affectation for the status gained by scholarship, and that has to be turned into ashes through the impact of Sun’s effulgence and illumination. The Sun – as viratpurusha, the cosmic person – does not yield Himself to physical charm, worldly authority, muscular or intellectual or financial power.

We speak of the Sun as illustrious, illuminating, brilliant, glorious, very splendid. Illustrious has overtones of extremely distinguished, deservedly famous, as is the meaning of vira, “O Hero” which we examined earlier. While the Sun is the gross form of the subtle powers the Sun has, there is also the subtle form of the Sun on the inner sky (the subtle firmament) of the heart, what is called sukshma hridayaakasa.

The Sun in this subtle sky of the heart is filled with all this splendour, all this light, wisdom and brightness. In this subtle firmament of the heart, the Sun, naturally, is the buddhi or the intellect that illuminates that sky. The effulgence of the buddhi is as bright as the rays of the Sun. So, the subtle sun is buddhi.

There is another power which derives from the buddhi, the power of discrimination. Whilst we engage learning and acquire knowledge of the world which trains for a living – that which is good in itself, it is not the engaging of the subtle powers within. Great men are those who do not abuse others, who search for divinity in the world with good intentions. Spiritual matters cannot be understood by those without the power of discrimination, or who are puffed up with the authority they have. Such are engaging the world with avidyasakti, the power of ignorance.

Yad bhavati, tad bhavatum: as the feeling, so is the result. When the subtle powers of the buddhi (intellect) are engaged and discrimination is applied to the choices we have, then we will be having a sacred result. This is indicative of the light, wisdom and brightness of the subtle Sun within the Heart. True humanness is the unity of thought-word-action, which produces integrity. Integrity is purity of thoughts, words and actions, which are free of passion, affection, infatuation. Hence, integrity honours the powers within the human and indicates the sheer powers of the subtle Sun within.

Power and the Source of Power

For Arjuna sought from Krishna not preyas – the pleasing, worldly glory of power and status and wealth; but sreyas, the lasting glory of full joy. He said, “Preyas is available for human effort; it can be won by human activity or Karma. Why should I crave from you what I can win by my own endeavour? I am not so foolish as all that. Grant me that sreyas that is beyond the reach of my effort. Sreyas is not the fruit of karma (action), it is the fruit of grace!” Thus Arjuna rose to the height of saranagathi, absolute self-surrender, the state called prapaththi.

Much can be said of saranagathi. Man surrenders his dignity and status to other men for various purposes in life – wealth, fame, possessions, pomp, power etc. But rarely does he get the chance to surrender to the Lord for the sake of the Lord! How can he get the urge so long as he craves for the aadheya (object) and not the aadhaara (the base, the foundation)? He longs for the object, but does not long for the base on which the object rests. How long can a baseless object satisfy? He wants the gift, not the giver! – the created not the creator, things from the hand, but not the hand! He is running after a nonexistent thing. Can there be an object without a preexistent cause? No; if there is one, it can only be the uncaused God. It is, therefore, sheer ignorance to surrender individuality for the sake of the transitory products of action, the ’caused’ rather than the cause. Surrender rather to the basis, the cause and the origin of all, the sarveswara (the all-present Divine). That is genuine saranagathi (absolute self-surrender). (GitaVahini)



Om Viraya Namaha, Salutations to the One who eternally vital, strong and Who surges within the heart with subtle illumination.


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