Centuries ago, in the earlier yugas, a distressed Rama stood on this earth, in a battle field facing the wrath of his opponent Ravana on one such brightly lit morning, just that the mood was entirely different. As Ravana continued to intimidate him, Rama was not very inclined towards war. It was at this very prime moment that Sage Agastya appeared before him and shared with him a few pearls of divine wisdom. The Aditya Hrudayam is a profound set of verses composed by the Great Sage Agastya and rendered by Rama in his search for the answer to his distress on the battle field.
The meaning of Aditya is synonymous with the Sun, the giver of energy that helps us enjoy all the experiences of life with our senses
Hrudayam relates to the one who shines or dwells in the heart. Hence the consciousness that resides in the heart of Aditya, pulsating with energy is the inner unchanging witness to all thought, words and deeds.
It is believed that by reciting the Aditya Hrudayam, one is blessed with pure thought, words and clean deeds carrying no karma forward and is ensured of moksha. The sun is universal, the brightest light of divinity visible to our consciousness and hence we bow to this light as a sacred form of the supreme for without it, there is no life, no consciousness.
The essence of the Aditya Hrudayam brings about all destruction to our fears and human inhibitions and prepares us for any calamity/unforeseen event in our lifetimes. The Aditya Hrudayam is a catalyst that helps control emotions while experiencing these events and bring them to moderation thereby seeking to achieve greater heights in our hunger for moksha.
The Aditya Hrudayam when literally translated describes the in detail the state of anxious Rama on the battle field when Sage Agastya appears before him. He teaches him the secrecy of divine worship of the sun which in our language translates to the Great Sun having warm rays with golden hues, nourishing and energizing the universe that rises and brightens up the horizon. It is an all encompassing bright light that is worshipped by both the Devas and Asuras. This light empowers Chandra and Agni and therefore is equal to worshiping the lord of the world. He is the embodiment of all the Gods, self luminous and the sustainer of life. He is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Skanda, Prajapati, Indra, Kubera, Kala, Yama, Chandra, Soma and Varuna. He is the embodiment of the 8 vaasus, the Sandhyas, the twin Ashwins, the Maruts, Manu, Vayu, Agni, the maker of the seasons and the store house of divine light. He is the Son of Aditi, the inspirer of the senses, the nourished, the one with golden rays, the ever brilliant, the seed of the universe and the maker of the day. He is the master of 7 green horses, having thousand rays, the destroyer of darkness, the source of happiness, the one who mitigates suffering and the infuser of life into the cosmic egg. He is the store house of riches, like the hiranya garbhah - the one with a golden womb, the illuminator, the bearer of the divine fire, the ever blissful and the destroyer of "cold" [evil minded]. He is the master of the 3 vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama, he is the sender of dawn, the one who blesses us with rain, the one who crosses the Vindhya range, and the one who sports in the Brahmanadi. He is the giver of heat, adorned with rays and reddish in appearance. He is the Lord of the stars and planets and constellations and the origin of everything in the universe. he is the Lord who appears in 12 forms through out the year [12 months]. Salutations to Him! He is the great lord who is the presiding deity of the eastern mountains and western mountains. He is the giver of victory, he is joy born out of victory, the golden one. He is the one who subdues the senses whose emergence makes the lotus bloom. The Sun is consciousness, that is seated in all those who live, in all created beings and he remains awake when all else sleeps. He is both the sacred fire as well as the fruits of such divine worship. Sage Agastya tells Lord Rama, Raghava, to sing the glories of the divine sun and conquer all the dangers that befall him; the Sun will not leave him. Concentrate on the Sun, recite this hymn 3 times and you will conquer all your fears and enemies.
Gazing at the supreme sun, Raghava recited this divine hymn and experienced the supreme joy of fearlessness and sipping water thrice; he purified himself and prepared for battle. Thus knowing the impending death of Ravana, Surya, and all the other great gods blessed Rama with victory.
The Aditya Hrudayam, in its divine words encapsulates energy into itself that spread divine vibrations around us as we recite these words. Over a period of time, this regular recital leads us to purify and conquer our inner thoughts and conquer our fears by discarding the desires that lead up to them. This profound knowledge is experienced everyday with the waking of the sun into our lives. It may also be described as the tiny drop of light we light for the Gods when we bow in reverence to them during our daily prayer. This fire is but a small speck, an extension of the larger ocean of flames that make up the great Sun.
To the great divine Sun God I pray for another bright day.