108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #50

Om kanatkanakabhusanaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is shining with golden ornaments. Forms are many, but gold is One.


etymology searches
kanaka-gold SB 4.30.6, SB 5.20.29
kanaka-golden SB 4.25.23
kanaka-of gold SB 6.18.62
kanaka, kanchana San. adj. golden.
bhusana-ornament SB 3.2.12, Adi 14.14
bhusana-decorating. Adi 4.183, Madhya 2.94
bhusana-of ornaments Madhya 21.100, Antya 17.28
bhusana-with ornaments SB 5.3.3
bhusana-the ornaments. Madhya 7.79

The sun or its deity (in the Veda the name Surya is generally distinguished from Savitri, and denotes the most concrete of the solar gods, whose connection with the luminary is always present to the poet’s mind; he is regarded as one of the original Vedic triad, his place being in the sky, while that of Agni is on the earth, and that of Indra is in the atmosphere.

Surya or the Sun with His Rays illumines all beings in the ten regions. Surya is the very Self of Prajapathi, and hence, all beings – both in the regions so illumined – become the very “self” of Prajapathi. The word “Prana” therefore refers to Adithya Itself, for Adithya (the Sun) gives Prana (the Vital Essence). Since all beings are able to live by consumption of food etc., the Sun is also known as Viswanara. The whole Universe is of His Nature and so He is also known as Viswarupa. Samvathsara or the year, is an indicator of Time, according to the position of the Sun. Time is but a series of days and nights, and these are phases caused by the Sun. The rotation of the Moon causes Thithis or stages in fullness. The twin Forces, the Sun and the Moon, are the products of Prajapathi and so, Time, which is marked out by the tropics, the seasons, the months etc., is also of the same essence. Prajapathi has the Northern and the Southern cycles also.

Surya is the Head of Health and Splendour. As head, the Sun is variously ornamented with precious metals and gems, the most important being gold. The ornaments may be many, but gold is one. You shall not lose sight of the gold. Without gold, you cannot make ornaments. Gold is one, jewels are many. When the different ornaments are melted, what remains ultimately is gold only!

The meaning of ornaments also refers to the unique qualities of the human. While it is said Sathyam Moolam Jagat – the universe is based on truth, the human is the repository of the ornament of truth itself. There are other ornaments in the human. The human body is like an iron safe. The Atma residing inside this iron safe is like a precious diamond. You are supposed to give value to the precious diamond-studded ornaments inside, not to the outer iron safe. There are invaluable ornaments like Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence inside the human body. The physical body, which is made up of the five elements, is bound to perish one day or the other.

To be born as human being is the greatest blessing. Janthunam Narajanma Dudabham (out of all the living beings, the human birth is the rarest). It is the result of merits accrued over many previous lives. Such a sacred life should not be misused. Embody the gold within, the golden ornaments of Truth (sathya), Right Conduct (dharma), Love (prema), Peace (santhi) and Non-violence (ahimsa). It is these ornaments which bestow true humanness upon the men, women, children and youth who practice them.

Gold, Ornaments and that alone which is Truth

So many names and forms appear and reappear in this world, rise, grow and get destroyed, but that which is the basic substratum, the eternal, persists in and through all this change and remains eternal. Just as the multiple forms create the illusion and arouse feelings of hatred and love, so too these forms and names delude and create attachment. They make us believe that they are themselves the source of joy. But, do not the scriptures say, the Universe is nothing but Brahmam, the Beginningless, the Endless, the Unblemished, the Ever-pure? They declare that the ornaments are passing phases, that Gold alone is eternal and real and true. Therefore, you must take everything to be Brahmam and Brahmam alone. Convince yourselves that all appearance are the product of Maya, practise always that type of discrimination, evince great interest in knowing the reality and be ever alert to recognise the truth that everything is Brahmam.

Gold is one; ornaments differ.
Religions are many; Divinity is one,
The cows are many in colours; but milk is the same.
Everything is Brahmam



Om kanatkanakabhusanaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is shining with golden brillance.


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