LORD SURYA DEV- THE SUN GOD-36
Adi Sankaracharya, the exponent nondualism, initiated six sects. One of them is Souram, Sun God. Perhaps the Sun is the most ancient God worshipped. He is the visible God. He can be seen and prayers can be offered right in his presence.
During those days people believed praying to the Sun God was beneficial to the Universal World. He is the King of the Solar System, responsible for the functioning of the entire planetary system. He is supreme among the nine planets. Shani or Saturn is the son of the Sun God.
The Sun is resplendent with the sparkle and the Power.
Hindu mythology depicts the Sun God as having four legs and three eyes. He is described as riding a chariot drawn by seven horses. Without the Sun there can’t be life.
He rides the wheel of time to bring changes in the light. It becomes dark when he sets. Even the seasons of years are formed because of the earth’s rotation around the sun.
The natural colors are his creation and nature springs into activity with the rising of the Sun. Worshipping Sun can be done with the simplest form of rituals.
People fold their hands and recite just OM SURYANAMAHA. That pleases Surya. People while bathing in the holy rivers like Gunga and Godavari or Krishna, are seen offering worship looking up at the Sun, folding their hands.
Many of them recite Gayatri Mantra and they believe that he as an aspect of Shiva and Vishnu. He is reverentially addressed as Surya Narayan. He is recognized as one of the eight forms of Lord Shiva, the lord of excellence and wisdom.
Aditya Hridayam is a hymn chanted during the worship of Lord Surya. People still believe that any symbolic representation of the sun put up at homes would bring good luck to the people living in the house.
In Egyptian history, it is recorded, that they never had a coherent hierarchy of deities. They believed in the worship of the Sun God that helped them to unify the country.
There are two famous temples for the Sun God, in Konarak in Orissa, and another in Arisavilli in Andhra Pradesh, India. Konarak is situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
Sura Dev is not only treated with utmost reverence in India as God supreme but is worshipped in several parts of the world.