108 Names of the Sun: Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali #20

Om suprasannaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is very easy to understand and who is most gracious.


prasann Hin. prasanna San. adj. pleased, delighted, joyful, cheerful; propitiated, favourable, soothed, tranquil, gracious; clear; pure.

prasanna – gracious-minded
prasanna – very joyful
suprasanna – very clear (as water)
suprasanna – very bright or serene (as the face or mind) etc.
suprasanna – very gracious or favourable


Like the Avatar Rama – of the suryavansha dynasty, the sunwood throne – he who had one word, one arrow, one wife, the Sun is of similar nature; the Sun has one purpose, one direction and one face for all.

Upasana means the acquisition of the Presence of the Divine, the achievement of the Bliss of adoration. Vedic tradition sanctions four paths as legitimate and fruitful to win this achievement. They are called Sathyavathi, Angavathi, Anyavathi and Nidaanavathi. We shall consider these in some detail.

Sathyavathi: The scripture defines the Divine thus: “Sarva Vyaapinam Atmaanam, Ksheere sarpith iva arpitham” – The Atma is immanent everywhere, just as ghee interpenetrates every drop of milk. When the seeker pursues the Truth with this conviction urging his endeavour, his sadhana is called Sathyavathi (Truth-based). “Maya thitham idam sarvam, jagadavyaktha moorthinaa,” the Lord declares, “In My latent form, I am in entire Creation, operating the mystery. See in Me all this, see all this as Me”. When one succeeds in this effort the Sathyavathi path will lead to success. “I shall be visible to you as all this and in all this,” the Lord assures. The Lord promises this Vision of Immanence and Transcendence to whomsoever that persists with sincerity on this Sathyavathi path.

Angavathi: The Universal being is the Fire, the Wind, the Sun, the Moon and all else. He is the Breath that sustains life in all beings. He is the Fire that illumines all. He is the Rain that feeds the plants that provide sustenance. So, He can be adored either as Fire (Agni) or as Wind (Vayu) or as Rain (Varuna), as having graciously assumed all those beneficent forms. This approach through the benign manifestation or Angas, is the Angavathi path. Anga means a ‘limb’, a ‘fact’, a ‘feature’.

Anyavathi: Picturing the many-faceted Divine and symbolising, in perceivable ways, the attributes that are evidenced in each facet, the seeker endeavours to acquire the Presence of the Divine. One form of the Divine, the Omnipresent (Vishnu) is pictured as having the Conch (symbol of the Primeval word or Sound), the Wheel (symbol of Time) and the Mace (symbol of Might and Majesty). With the facet to which is ascribed the power and willingness to overcome obstacles (Vighneswara), the single tusk symbolising sharpness and concentration is associated, Iswara or Siva (the facet of disintegration and dissolution) has the Soola or Trident (symbolising in its three prongs, the Past, the Present and the Future). Rama, the form of righteousness or Dharma is always pictured with the Kodanda, the bow which can send the arrow (will) straight to the target. Krishna, the manifestation of Universal love, has on His Crown a peacock feather, symbolising the thousand-eyed glance of Grace. He bears a flute on which He plays enthralling tunes; the flute is the symbol of the ego-less desire-less seeker. The facet of Wisdom pictured as the Goddess Saraswathi, has a Veena in Her hand; the Veena is a stringed musical instrument, symbolic of heart-strings responding with harmony and melody, to the gentle touch of the True, the Good and the Beautiful. Seekers meditate on these pleasing Personifications and the significance of the symbols of their attributes and adore the Divine in the Delight that wells up in their hearts. This is named Anyavathi Path – the Path through symbolised Divinity, Anya meaning the other, the adjunctory, the appurtenance.

Nidaanavathi: This path is slow but progress is always achieved when each step is successfully negotiated. “Sravanam (Listening to the Glory of God), Kirtanam (singing joyously His unique graciousness), Vishnu smaranam (keeping in memory and recapitulating always the Majesty and Mercy of the Lord), Pada sevanam (Aspiring to fall at the Feet of the Lord), Archanam (offering prayers to the image or idol of the Lord), Vandanam (offering gratitude for blessings received), Dasyam (Surrendering to the Will of the Lord), Sakhyam (Confiding completely in Him), Atma Nivedanam (Dedicating thought, word and deed to Him), Thanmaya-aasakthi (Longing to merge in Him) and Parama-viraha-aasakthi (Agony at the slightest separation from Him)” – these are the eleven stages which the seeker has to pass through to win the final Consummation in Bliss. Hence, the name for this path is ‘slow and sure’ (Nidaana).

These four paths (Sathyavathi, Angavathi, Anyavathi and Nidaanavathi) are each one progressively more commendable than the previous ones, as far as simplicity and practicability are concerned. They award, in the end, Oneness with the Universal Will. “Sarvathah paani paadam thath, sarvathokshi Siro mukham” – “Everywhere His Hand and Feet, everywhere Head and Face”. The Lord (Madhava) has His Hands everywhere, for He is in all. He sees through all the eyes. He thinks, plans and resolves in all heads. He eats through all mouths, hears through every ear. Through one Form, you can adore Him as all Forms. This is the highest ideal – He is latent in all beings; He operates unseen in and through all. (Sathya Sai Vahini)



Om suprasannaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is very easy to understand and who is most gracious.


Download 108 Names of Surya, the Sun


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