108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #5

Om artaraksakaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is protector of the afflicted and diseased.


ārt Hin. ārta San. adj. afflicted, suffering; distressed; oppressed; sick.
ārta — the sufferer SB 1.17.17
ārta — distressing engagement SB 3.9.10
ārta — of the distressed SB 3.14.15
ārta — aggrieved Madhya 1.274
ārta — distressed Madhya 24.95
ārtā — in a sorry plight SB 1.13.33
ārta-bandho — O friend of the distressed
rakṣa — please protect Madhya 7.96
rakṣa — protect Madhya 9.13
rakṣā — by chanting protective mantras SB 10.13.23
rakṣā — protection Adi 12.23
raksh Hin. m. (from raksh – to save, protect) a guard; protector; protecting; protection.
rakshā Hin., San. f. protecting, guarding; protection, preservation; a guard; deliverance; custody; care; defence.
rakṣaka — watchman Antya 6.170, Antya 6.176
rakṣaka — the superintendent

Affliction and disease are man’s lot on Earth. One is born, grows to teen years and adulthood, and is beset by all kinds of dangers and disease. Heat and cold, penury and pelf, all these can afflict man in the mind (the source of many discomforts and afflictions) and in the body. The chief aim in human life is the upholding of Dharma from those who would tear it down. If that is kept before the mind, there can be no affliction or disease. Dharmo rakshati rakshitha: Whosoever upholds dharma will receive the protection of dharma.

The Sun itself is give of myriad benefits. When natural sunlight hits the skin it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine vitamin.” It is a crucial ingredient for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function and may even protect against cancer.

The Sun radiates light and heat, or solar energy, which makes it possible for life to exist on Earth. Plants need sunlight to grow. Animals, including humans, need plants for food and the oxygen they produce. Without heat from the sun, Earth would freeze.

Effects of Sunlight

Sunlight carries energy, which warms up the Earth and is the driving force behind all our weather and climate. As the ground is heated by sunlight, it begins to radiate, but being too cool to radiate even a dull red, its radiation is in the infra-red range. A hot pot or a hot laundry iron also radiates IR, and your hand can easily sense that radiation (as heat), if held close without touching.

Because the ground is nowhere as hot as the Sun, its emission is also much weaker. However, at any location the ground sends out radiation in all directions in the half-sky that is visible, while receiving radiation only from the small solar disk, covering only a small circle in the sky, 0.5 degrees across. Because of this, the total energy any area receives should be equal to the total energy it returns back to space. (NASA)

Sunlight penetrates deep into the skin to cleanse the blood and blood vessels. Sunlight increases oxygen content in human blood. And, it also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues; very similar to the effects of exercise. The sun has a great effect on stamina, fitness and muscular development. Sunlight also builds the immune system. The white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, are called lymphocytes, and these play a major role in defending the body against infections. Regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and height of children, especially babies. Many cultures throughout history have recognized this fact. Studies have shown the amount of sun exposure in the first few months has an effect on how tall the person grows. It is also known that exposure to sunlight in winter months can cure seasonal depression.



Om artaraksakaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is protector of the afflicted and diseased.


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