About Sun


Search for Light and Truth has been the guiding principle of Vedic Seers of hoary antiquity in their earnest endeavors to solve the eternal problems of creation. “Jyotiranveshayamaha” - ‘Let us search for Light, heavenly Light’ was their motto. It is interesting to note that the Royal Astronomical Society of Britain has the same motto, “quick quid nitil notundum” - means, “whatever shines must be observed”. A Russian sentence goes on, “Rays of light are the emissaries of their master, the source of light, the Sun.

Devotees of every age testify the appearance of God as light. And throughout the world, Light is considered the symbol of all splendor and glory of the Spirit. It stands for Truth, Order, Reality, Goodness, Beauty, Intelligence, Wisdom, Bliss and Immortality or “Amritatwa”. Therefore, the Sun is Light and Life, Love and Law. “Let there be Light! And there was Light”, the Bible faith. The soul of the universe or “Hiranya Garbha” sustains and upholds the entire universe; all animate and inanimate beings live through the Sun.

The Supreme Cosmic Consciousness manifesting through the Divine Showered of light and life has been fully realized by the ancient bards and savants of the East and the West. They propounded the theory of the Sun worship in many ways, among all to be within everybody’s reach. Thus, the worship of the Sun in daily life came into life and existence ages ago but it has became part and parcel of our being even today. May Surya showers Life Force on one and all-from Eskimo to Negro! May the humanity see him everyday !


Yantra is nucleus of the visible and knowable a linked diagram of lines by means of which visualized energies are concentrated. This is one of the ways in which the psycho-cosmic mechanism is worked. The wide-ranging meaning, which is compressed to a high degree of density in this Yantra, is first synthesized and fed into the devotee’s mind. The mystic ‘Chakra’ called the great ‘Surya Yantra’ has been closely associated with the daily Sun-worship for four centuries at Arasavalli . The Yantra means a charging machine, a store house of solar energy in atomic form. Rather it contains itself in a considered form of uncontrollable power of the Sun to channelise into the being. It is a diadem engraved on mental, which is worshipped in the same manner as an image.

The following twelve sacred names of the Sun and seven ‘Bijaaksharaas’ play vital role while doing Surya namaskars.

MITRA : The Supreme Friend of all,
RAVI : Praised by all,
SURYA : The Director,
BHANU : Giving Luster.
KHAGA : Stimulator of the senses,
POOSHA : The nourisher of all beings.

In this ancient Arasavalli Sun God Temple of Srikakulam which is the  District Head-quarters in Andhara Pradesh, with a longitude and latitude of 83 and 18 degrees respectively , on Madras-Howrah National Highway No.5, the Sun is worshiped as Principal Deity along with the Panchayatana type of worship, Aditya-Ambica-Vishnu-Ganesh and Mahesa  as per ‘Aagama Shaastras’.

According to stone inscriptions and copper plates available, it is revealed that this shrine dates back to 672 A.D. Devendra Varma of the Kalinga Dynasty was the ruled. It was said that Arasavalli was the Royal Capital shifted from Kalinga Nagara now known as ‘Sri Mukhalingam’. The inscriptions related to this temple were recognized by the Government in 1896. From about 396 A.D., the land of the ancient kalinga Empire lying between the rivers of Godavari and Mahanadi was being ruled by a long line of kings of Eastern ‘Ganga’ line of Kshatriyas. In the later half of the seventh century AD,to be precise, from 672 to 702, they ruled over this tract.

The available three stone inscriptions in the Sun-Temple premises at Arasavalli are very important records pail graphically and discloses a distinct type of alphabet in Telugu as different from that of the Vengi script in certain aspects. The first inscription help us to understand the mentality of the people and their human and philanthropic views. It was primarily intended to establish a college of learning and hostel for student-residents, apart from providing other minor needs of pupils such as providing of warm atmosphere in winter and supply of cool drinks in summer. The endowment mentions the provisions of a big tank for the bathing facilities not only for students but also for piligrims and general public. It is astonishing to note that this endowment was not instituted by the ruling king, but by an officer under him, in his private capacity as a humble citizen.

The inscription beginning with the mention of the ruling king, Ananta Varma Devara of Ganga dynasty with all his titles, in the 58th regnal year of his rule. It also records the month as per Souramana ‘mesha’ and the day of ‘Akshara Triteeya’ (the third day of Vaisakha month, equalent to saka-era 1035 March-April. The donor of the college and hostel, named ‘Surapotu’, was the son of ‘Vaisama Raaya’. He obtained ten putties of land in Arasavilli from the kind by means of copper-plate inscription and out of that, five putties of land was endowed and was in possession of ‘Madhava Shadanga’, who was person-in-charge of the college, for the maintenance of the above mentioned institutions. This ‘Surapotu’ also held offices of Karanam (Village Officer), ‘Padihattu (Commander of forces) and ‘Puravan’ (the chairman of the Town Council).

This endowment was made to run as long as moon and Sun are there and anybody that obstructs the proper functioning of this college and hostel will be considered a sinner who did injustice to ‘Gaja, Viraja, Mahendrambula adharmambu sese’ meaning of this is to be explained by historians. This stone slate is nearly three by two feet. The whole block is of rough granite. The writing of the text occupies twenty one lines of prose matter and is composed of spoken dialect of the people. The script in the inscription is pure Telugu as spoken by the masses at large. It is not so grammatical and the whole text is composed of one sentence. The second stone inscription also is about three by two feet of rough granite and that text occupies 14 lines of prose matter. This inscription also beginning with the mention of ruling king Anant Varma Devar in 72 regional year of his rule. ‘Cumber’ month, new-moonday, Sunday of SE 1068. The donor ‘Prolana’ son of ‘Veminayaka’ of Dharmavara village given ‘Akhanda Deepa’ everlasting-light, to ‘Arasavilli’ Bhogeeswara Devara. It is to be observed here that instead of Arasavalli ‘Surya Devara’ this endowment made for ‘Bhogeswara Devara’. The third one about two by one feet also is similer to the above, but the deity as 1069 and the purpose of the endowment is the same. The donor was Medapotu Naikudu son of Potayya Naikudu.

This inscription is of thirteen lines of prose matter. On this stone it is correctly written as Surya Devara. The above two endowments were made to run as long as moon and Sun are there and anybody who obstructs this purpose would be considered as a sinner who commits murder to a pious Brahmin.


The inexhaustible and the self-produced gases like helium etc., of the Sun are root-cause for his mysterious energy, which is also called Solarism. And it is suggested and practiced in the west in the name of Heliotherapy. The foremost medical authority in Britain, Dr.J.Stevenson confirms the efficacy of Sunray’s curative and preventive powers. Dr.Hess of America and Dr.Rollier of Switzerland declare the miraculous power of the Sun for health, and also suggested to educate public to understand Sun’s importance and significance, so that entire race will be better healthier and happier.

All life on earth depends on the light and the warmth of the Sun. Sun worship , the modern scientists feel to be the best of all forms of Theism and the one, which may be easily reconciled with modern monism. Today, throughout the world, hysteria, leprosy, neureshesia, paralysis, jaundice consumption, mental, heart, eye, skin and other diseases of corporeal nature are being cured with regularity by the new method called ‘Sun-Cure’. Under the influence of Sun-light and by virtue of its magical energy the plants knit together the lifeless elements oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, Iron, phosphates, etc., into compound substances from which the higher forms of life can build their bodies.

We see that the plant world is a vast electrical accumulator from which the animal world derives its energy and that the energy we expend every movement of our lives, is ultimately derived from the Sun! It is well known that the Sunlight is more nutrient to the human body than any other energetic food available. As a matter of fact, what we eat is but Sun’s radiation, our food is so much full of solar energy. This all-important radiation, which releases electrical currents for the body’s electrical circuit, nerve system, is given by the rays of the Sun. Atoms are solar systems. These are the vehicles that are filled with solar radiance as so many coiled springs.

These countless atomfuls  of energy are taken in as food. Once in the human body, these tense vehicles, the atoms are discharged in the body’s protoplasm, the radiance furnishing new chemical energy, and new electrical currents. To ‘Your muscles, brains, and sensory organs such as the eyes and ears. No doubt that some day, the scientists will discover how man can live directly based on solar energy. Chlorophyll is the only substance known in nature that some how possesses the power to act as ‘Sunlight trap’. It ‘catches’ the energy of Sunlight and stores in the plant. Without this no life could exist. We obtain the energy we need for living from the solar energy stored in the plants, we eat or in the flesh of the animals that eat the plants. The energy we obtain from coal or oil is solar energy trapped by the Chlorophyll in plant life millions of years ago!


The emblem of Swastika in the Solar Orb was adored by the ancient Chinese for auspiciousness and health. The ancient Greeks worshipped the Sun in the name of ‘Apollo’ on a chariot harnessed to FOUR horses. The Romans called it ‘Minerva’ and the Egyptians called it ‘Ra’. Image of the winged Sun of the Egyptians, their most sacred and beloved symbol, is none other than the image of the Sun and its Corona. The Japanese called Japan in their mother tongue as ‘NIHAN’ which means ‘land of the rising Sun’. In the word ‘TOSHIBA’ -HI - stands for Sun at 12 O’clock - ‘HITACHI’ means standing Sun! In India, the Sun worship is very ancient dating back to the Vedic Era, according to Dr.Bhandarkar.


Proceeding from the transcendent Cosmic vision of the Vedas and the sub treatises of philosophical and doctrinal speculations in the Upanishads and Brahmanas, the conception of the Sun-God takes a more, tangible form in the puranas. Here the Sun becomes a personified divinity, divine being with human features, with a history, an ancestry, a family of wives and progeny, and as such he plays a prominent part in all mythos and legends of creation.

The Markandeya Purana describes the birth of Sun God. The beautiful Aditi was born as daughter of Daksha. Kasyapa beget on her the divine Sun. He is identical with Trinity. Here is an interesting episode in ‘Shree Vrata Raja!. Surya was married to ‘Saugna Devi’, the daughter of ‘Viswakarma', the divine architect. She bore Surya three “children -‘Vaivaswata Manu, Yama and Yamuna’. It came to pass that she could no longer bear the brilliance of her husband’s presence. She fled leaving behind ‘Chaya’, her shadow for years, Surya did not notice this change. ‘Chaya’ bore him three children ‘Savarni Manu Sani and Tapati’.

One day in a fit of anger, ‘Chaya’ cursed ‘Yama’, the son of ‘Saugna’. The curse took effect and Surya was stunned. He knew that no mother’s curse could ever effect her offspring. He questioned ‘Chaya’ who blurted out the truth. He searched for his beloved every-where. At last he spotted her frolicking in the forest in the form of a mare. In order to win her back he changes himself into a horse approached her gently and befriended her. In this form she bore Surya twins called ‘Aswini-Kumaras’. Who later became celestial physician and surgeons. Surya and Saugna turned back into their original forms. In order to keep her by his side, Surya allowed his father-in-law to put him lathe and to share away an eighth of his brightness

Thereafter, the couple lived together in great bliss. The brightness shorn out of the Sun God was put to good use. Out of it were produced ‘Sudarsana Chakra’ for Lord Vishnu, Trisul for Siva, the lance to Kartikeya’, ‘Vajrayudha’ for Devendra, sword and arrows for Goddess Durga and so on. There is another story in ‘Sarva Puranasara’, Once the Lord of Heaven visited Siva-Parvati on Mahasivarathri day. After darshan he revealed to Siva that he desired to install a replica of Eswara at a holy place where Siva ordered-Shiva told him that instead of the said proposal, it would be more appropriate to install Surya at Arasavalli, because he represents Trinity. Further Shiva accorded a boon that he would be attending there as Kshetra Palaka. Indra was so pleased with folded hands. Then and there he ordered Viswakarma to construct a huge and beautiful temple for Surya .

It is time to remember some of the great worshippers of the Sun of hoary past and of present. Curiously enough, it is at the instance of ‘Agastya’ that Sri Rama invoked Surya to gain immense strength in the battlefield. ‘Dharma Raja’ worshipped Surya for success in the great epic war. During their exile ‘Pandavas’ received ‘Akshaya Paatra’ by the grace of Surya. ‘Satrajit’, a legendary king, who was a sincere devotee of Surya got a huge quantity of gold daily, it is said.

The sage among great sages, Lord Krishna daily worshipped Surya in early hours of the day, ‘Samba’ the son of Krishna and Jaambavati, got relived from leprosy after received ‘Dwadasarya Stotram’, which was fallen on earth from Surya mandala, chanting regularly for forty days and constructed a Sun-temple on the banks of ‘Chandra Bhaga’. And ‘Anjaneya’ is said to be the disciple of Surya and Surya preached him nine kinds of Sanskrit grammar and also initiated him into ‘Brahma Vidya’. He was and is so qualified on Supreme knowledge that ‘Hanuma’ is to become a ‘Bhavishyad Brahma’. Sage Yagnavalkya learned upanishads and yajurveda from Surya .

The poet laureate in the kingdom of ‘Harsha Vardhana’ of seventh century AD, ‘Mayura’, was relieved from his ailment through his self composed Sanskrit ‘Surya Sataka’, first of its kind in sanskrit literature, on the glory of the Sun-God. During 1899, the Raja of Pachipenta, Raja Pusapati Veerapa Raju, composed poems in praise of the Sun-God with the following ‘Makutam’ - ‘Suryanarayana Swami Supadhagami,’ and dedicated to Arasavalli Sun-God.

The Well known grand-father of Harikathas, Adibhatla Narayanadas of Vizianagram Samsthanam, composed Surya Sataka in Telugu and Dedicated it to Lord Surya of Arasavalli. During 1944 the famous poet-critic of Andhra Patrika, a famous Telugu daily, Yamijala Padmanabhaswamy, worshipped the Sun for 40 days at Arasavalli through his beautifully composed sataka called ‘Arogya Bhaskaram’ and thereby his disease was cured. Even today, thousands of devotees of all several positions, from far and holy visit Arasavalli to Worship Sun God and get their desires fulfilled everyday. This bears outstanding testimony to the place of Sun God in people’s hearts.


Arasavalli is the colloquial form of the Sanskrit word ‘Harashavalli’ - the creeper of Joy. It is well connected with all parts of India. Pilgrims and tourists from far and near including foreigners, who have free entrance without any restrictions, visit the shrine throughout the year, especially on Sundays, because the Sunday is considered the most auspicious harbinger of health and happiness. The idol of Surya at the temple is ‘nulli secundus’ and it is handsomely carved out of in ‘Aruna Sila’ stone about 60 “into 30” facing eastwards.

The Lord is accompanied by the three spouses - Usha, Chaya and Padmini. Two attendants, the ‘Parsva-devatas’, forward on either side are Mathara & Pingala. On the upper side, Sanaka & Sanandana are serving the Lord with Chamaram & Chatram , Anoora, the charioteer a whip in his hand and the one wheeled heavenly chariot ‘Vyjayanti’ yoked with seven horses on hind-legged. Above the Lord’s crown there is a ‘Sarabha Salva’, emblem of his banner, which stands for kingly valour, vigor and majesty. Surya is of ‘Kaashyapa’ Gotra. The gem on the crown of the Sun is called Surya mani. The central figure of the Sun-God is in standing posture holding two lotus flowers in both palms uplifted, as if to denote ‘abhayamudra’. A dagger stuck on right side of the waist, called ‘Surya Churika'!.

There is an esoteric significance in the idol. Three wives represent the three great solar energies, Maha Gayatri, Maha Savitri, Maha Saraswati. Even a highly intelligent man is seized and bound to the threefold pillars - birth, life and death. Through prostration and devotional prayers and virtuous deeds, he implores Surya to loosen the bonds of his sins, and save him from the evils he has committed. This is represented here as three wives of the Sun-God and this gives birth to the well known ‘Adhibuta, Adhidaiva and Adhyatama’ and these three realms are physico-chemical, biological and psychological. The three wives further represent three ‘gunas’ of human nature, ‘sattwa, Rajas and Tamas’ - Rhythm mobility and inertia.

The solid, liquid and vaporous states of matter. White, red and black are their colors; waking, dreaming and deep sleep are their states; sky, space and earth are their seats. Seers says it: “RADHASTHAM BHASKARAM DRISTWA PUNARJANMA NAVIDYATE ” - There will be no rebirth own one who sees the lord on the chariot. Such is His grace. SYSTEM OF WORSHIP Though the Sun-God called maker of the day (Dinakara), Sunday is considered to the most auspicious day for Sun Worship. On that day devotees perform very important Surya Sahasranama and Surya Vrata and etc., for their wishes to be fulfilled.

Most of the devotees are offering milk, called ‘Tapta Ksheera’ generally termed as ‘Amrita gundi’ or ‘Ksheerannam’ - ‘milk-gruel. In good olden days, it is prominently mentioned in ‘Yaatra charitra’ by late Mandapaka Sitarama Sastri, poet-laureate in Bobbili Samstanam of Rangarao Bahaddur, that number of putties of milk gruel was offered to Surya Deva and distributed to the pilgrims freely. Some perform milk-bath, and submitting a paid of silk dhoties to the Lord. Some offer ‘Kalyana Utsavams. The following are the some of the important festivals performed to Sun God at Arasavalli in addition to daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly ‘Aradhanas’.

The spring festival, Surya Jayanti, is celebrated on bright seventh day of Magha month (Jan. - Feb. ), Dola (Holi) festival in Feb. - Mar, annual kalyanotsavam during March - April(Chaitra), Mahavaisakha, during April-May, Car-festival, Janmasthami, Vinayaka festival, Dusserah, Boat-festival, Dhanurmasa festival, Pongal-Makara Sankranti. The celebrations of Maha-Sivaratri and all monthly Sivaratri's are being performed in their own way to Kshetrapalaka of this Temple.

Sri Ramalingeswara swamy and his consort Bhuvaneswari Devi. ‘Alekhya Sampradaya’ & 'Soura Agama' is in prevalent in this temple, acording to which, a devotee who cirumambalater the temple 108 times all the while chanting an one of the Surya Mantras - every Sunday, or for 40 consecutive days, with achieve the best results, and whosoever does so for 360 days (one year) will have the Lord’s grace showered on him. Such a person is considered to have made one “Parikrama’ or ‘pradakshna’ around the Surya Mandala along with the earth.

In Arasavalli Sun temple, there is a unique phenomenon; the rays of the Sun touch the Lord in ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ twice in a year during the 2nd week of March and September, respectively. O resplendent Sun, when you move on with the aura of glory directed with season-forming beams along with the constellations, you give rise to the five seasons: rain, summer, autumn, winter and spring. For this you are complimented with appropriate praises. Many glamorous evil forces, decorated with gold and jewels, have been spreading over the face of the earth. But, mighty as they are, they can not trimputh over godly men. These dark forces are dispersed by the rising Sun of Wisdom”