Image from Moor.


Basic Description:  Sun god.  Some accounts place Surya as one of the Adityas, since in the Adityas Vishnu is associated with the sun.  One of the Nine Planets.

Alternate Names:  Treyitenu, Ravi, Surya

History/Practices:  Surya is one of the earliest Hindu gods.  The Rig Veda has several hymns dedicated to him, both as Surya and as Savitri (wife of the moon.)  The first Hindu Triad included Surya, but was displaced by the present Hindu Triad including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.  Worshippers of Surya are called Surapats, they offer him burnt offerings of Arka (a shrub.)  The Hindu word for the day Sunday, Ravivara, is named after him.

Iconography:  In art, Surya is represented as dark-red, with three eyes and four arms.

Mythology:  

Riding Animal:  Surya rides in a chariot drawn by seven horses.  His charioteer is Arun, the brother of Garuda.

Consort:  Sanjana, who tired of her husbandís brilliance and replaced herself with her handmaiden Chhaya for a while.  Another consort of Surya is Ushas, goddess of the Dawn.

Other References on the Karma-to-Grace website:  

Sources:

Moor, Edward.  The Hindu Pantheon.  Los Angeles: Philosophical research society, 1976.

Thomas, P.  Epics, Myths and Legends of India.  Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons & Co. Private Ltd, 1961.


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