Om bhaktavasyaya namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is attached to those who are devoted unto the Sun itself. Devotion to divinity in the form of Surya, the Sun, can bind the divinity to His devotees.
bhakt (obl. pl. bhakton) Hin. bhakta San. m. a devotee, a lover of God, one who becomes indifferent to everything except God and depends on him entirely, fully content whatever may happen. ‘The bhakta considers the Lord to be dearer than life itself and the Lord is equally attracted to him. The wise declare that the bhakta is superior to all, for the Lord becomes his servant.’ (SSS) ‘Wherein lies the strength of a devotee? He is a child of God and his devotional tears are his mightiest weapon.’ (RK)
bhaktānukūla (bhakta+anukūla) San. adj. favourable to devotees.
bhaktāya — unto the devotee
bhaktam — a great devotee
bhaktatā f. (-tā) Devotedness, implied faith in and attachment to.
Bhakta is the divine relationship between the devotee and the form of divinity worshipped. The bhakta relationship between the form of the Divine worshipped and the devotee comprises the inner sacrifice within the devotee; a sacrifice which makes space for the divine to exist and be worshipped within; love and devotion make space within the human person; the love and devotion is evidenced and manifest by the actions, the prayers, the recitation of mantras, the stotrams (sacred chants delineating the qualities and actions of the divinity) the havans (ritual fire), the puja (act of making offerings to a Divinity). All these are the external activities. There are also internal, silent devotions.
The internal devotions are the use of the japa (rosary beads) for inner chanting of mantras (japam). Meditation on the form and qualities of the Divinity is another form of internal, silent devotion. Inner repetition of the name of the Divinity (namasmarana) is yet another internal, silent devotion. Silent devotion can also take the form of detachment from the fruit of one’s actions, what is called nishkama-karma in the Bhagavad Gita; one seeks to be free from the fruits of actions and this is achieved by offering both the action and the outcomes of action to the Divinity worshipped.
Single-pointed devotion can bind the Divinity to the devotee. In this instance – bhaktavasyaya – the Sun can be bound to those who are devoted unto Him. This devotion can take the following forms:
- Reading or recitation of Surya Kavacha Stotram (Prayer of armour to Sun God)
- Reading or recitation of Adhithyashtakam (Octet addressed to the Sun God) (Aditya, the son of Aditi is the Sun God)
- Reading or recitation of Aditaya Dwadasa Nama Stotram (Prayer of twelve names of Sun God)
- Reading or recitation of Suryarya Stotram (Sage Yagnavalka’s Prayer to the Most Gracious Sun)
- Reading or recitation of Pratha smarana Surya stotram (morning prayer addressed to the Sun God)
- Reading or recitation of Surya ashtakam (Sun God as the one who is the primeval cause of nature)
- Reading or recitation of Aditya Hrudaya Stotram (A hymn in praise of the Sun god)
- Propitation of the Sun as given in Rig Veda 10, 37, 4
- Recitation of the Surya Ashtottara Shatanamavali (108 Names of the Sun)
- Offering of water to the Sun in the morning (makes for discipline and maintains the body, mind and spirit balance)
- Surya Namaskar: A set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar
Devotion to one’s chosen divinity involves one-pointed contemplation on the name, attributes and form of the deity, resulting in the gradual realisation that the personal deity is none other than the inner ātman – ‘distinction without difference’. It can also bind the divinity to care and protection of the devotee, and if married, the devotee’s spouse and children. This binding is a form of grace and is not earned nor merited by any action of a devotee; rather it is pure gift of divinity to the devotee.
Significations of the Sun in the life of the devotee can also evidence the binding of the Sun to His devotees. So physical strength, influence, valour, royal favours, kingly pursuits, high status, undisguised conduct, mental purity, heat, fire, all these significations of the Sun in the rasi chart can also be fruit of devotion to the Sun.