The Sun in Scripture, Song, and Commentary

(See also “Sun Messages, Part 1” and “Sun Messages, Part 2”)

This post has been taken from the Word document A Glossary of Sanskrit Terms.  It is currently under revision and will hopefully be ready in its final form by the end of 2020.  Please contact me if you would like a copy and I will send it to your email. The value of the Word format is that the document contains extensive cross-references and may be quickly searched using the navigation feature.

Tom

It should be of no surprise to the student of religion that the vocabulary of Sanskrit terms surpasses any which has preceded or followed it.  The sun (Sun) references contained here are only a portion of the total range of terms, each with its own discrete meaning.  This list is limited to terms in Robert Ernest Hume’s translation (The Thirteen Principal Upanishads) for which the English word “sun” appears and few Sanskrit translations are specifically stated or inferred.  Thus, it is only a starting point.  Additional terms which may be pursued by the reader include Aditya, Savitri, or Surya (the three primary sun references); the definition of deva as “shining”; the Adityas, in Hindu myth a group of sun gods, including Agni, god of fire (the red form of the sun), Savitri, Indra (as the white form of the sun), Varuna (the dark form of the sun), Vishnu, Yama, and others; and translations including dinakara, divakara, and prakazaka.

Abbreviations for the Upanishads:

Brih      Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad

Śvet      Śvetasvatara Upanishad

Maitri   Maitri Upanishad Kaush

Kaushitaki Upanishad Chand

Chandogya Upanishad  Mund

Mundaka Upanishad

Abbreviations for books of the Bible:

Gn    Genesis

Ex     Exodus

Nb     Numbers

Jg      Judges

2S     2 Samuel

2Esd  2 Esdras

Ps      Psalms

Pr      Proverbs

Qo     Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)

Ws     Wisdom

Jr       Jeremiah

Ezk    Ezekiel

Dn     Daniel

Ml     Malachi

Am    Amos

Hab   Habakkuk

Zc      Zechariah

Mt     Matthew

Mk    Mark

Heb   Hebrews

Rv     Revelation

Abbreviations for commentators and sources:

REH   Robert Ernest Hume

BP      A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

JB       Jerusalem Bible (translation, where indicated, and JB notes)

NASB New American Standard Bible (translation, where indicated)

Vulg    The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible

KJV    King James Version (the default source for all Bible quotations unless otherwise noted, and KJV notes

LXX   The Greek “Septuagint”

We are surrounded with so many beautiful images of the smiling, beneficent sun of life, of health, of warmth, of love.  There is much about it to be commended for our consideration.  The predominance of the sun as supreme symbol of the eternal, beneficent, shining, effulgent, unifying, attracting, transcendent, ultimate, illuminating, warming, all-encompassing, one-pointed, all-knowing, all-finding, consuming, originating, life-giving, inexhaustible, culminating, healing, inspiring, nourishing, creating, sustaining, supporting, consuming of the divine as source, goal, principle, foundation in numerous religious traditions is no coincidence.

In the religion of Akhnaten it became the central symbol.  Silverberg writes that even before Akhnaten “there had also been a strain of monotheism struggling to appear. Even in the Old Kingdom, there had been hymns to Re as ‘the only god.’  An ancient Sixth Dynasty text had placed these words in the mouth of Atum-Re: “I am the Eternal Spirit, I am the sun that rose from the Primeval Waters.  My soul is God, I am the creator of the Word.  Evil is my abomination, I see it not.  I am the Creator of the Order wherein I live, I am the Word, which will never be annihilated in this my name of  ‘Soul’.”  The image of the sun is widely incorporated into religious symbolism from the Aten sun-disk to the contemporary (Dawn Horse Communion).

Numerous passages in the Upanishads exist proclaiming “the Person in that Orb”, “the golden Person in the sun,” and similar descriptions: (Brih 2:1:2) “Gargya said; ‘The Person who is yonder in the sun—him, indeed, I worship as Brahma.’ ”; (Brih 2:3:3) “….The essence of the  unformed, immortal, moving, yonder [Brahma] is the Person in that sun-disk, for he is the essence of the yon (see complete passage in Brih 2:3:1-6).; (Brih 4:3:9-18) “….Striking down in sleep what is  bodily, sleepless he looks down upon the sleeping [senses, indriya].  Having taken to himself light, there returns to his place the golden person, the one spirit (hamsa). Guarding his low nest with the breath, the Immortal goes forth out of the nest.  He goes where’er he pleases—the immortal, the golden person, the one spirit (hamsa).”; (Brih 4:4:1-2) [a continuation of the narrative in Brih 4:3:35-38 “The soul at death”; “When this self comes to weakness and to confusedness of mind, as it were, then the breaths gather around him.  He takes to himself those particles of energy and descends into the heart [Hrdayam].  When the person in the eye turns away, back [to the sun ] then one becomes non-knowing of forms [rupa].  ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not see.’  ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not smell.’  ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not taste.’ ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not speak.’; ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not hear.’  ‘He is becoming one,’ they say: ‘he does not think.’ ‘He is becoming one, they say; ‘he does not touch.’ ‘He is becoming one,’ they say; ‘he does not know.’  The point of his heart becomes lighted up.  By that light the self departs, either by the eye, or by the head, or by other bodily parts.  After this, as he goes out, the life (prana) goes out.  After the life, as it goes out, all the breaths (prana) go out.  He becomes one with intelligence [prajna].  What has intelligence departs with him.  His knowledge and his works and his former intelligence [i.e. instinct] lay hold of him.”; (Brih 5:5:2)  “Yonder sun is the same as that Real.  The Person who is there in that orb and the Person who is here in the   right eye—these two depend the one upon the other.  Through his rays that one depends upon this one; through his vital breaths this one upon that. When one is about to decease, he sees that orb quite clear [i.e. free from rays]; those rays come to him no more.”; (Chand 1:5:7) His [that golden Person who is seen within the sun] name is High (ud); In Chand 1:6:6-8 the Udgatri Priest is “the golden Person who is seen within the sun”.  He is the singer (gatr) of the High (ud). [compare to the function of the high priest in Heb 8:1-6 “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,”  who “obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises,” unlike earthly priests who “offer gifts according to the law; who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” and who must sacrifice again and again]; (Śvet 3:8) “I know this mighty Person (Purusha) of the color of the sun, beyond darkness. [see recurrence of “of the color of the sun” in Maitri 6:24] Only by knowing Him does one pass over death.” (see complete passage in Śvet 3:7-10); compare to Tait 3-10:4-5, Maitri 6:8, Brih 5:15; see relationship to the Person in the sun in Brih 5:5:3-4 in the Gayatri Mantra)

Regarding the function of the Person in the Sun, Prabhupada uses the term śuddhaim, stating “Only the Supreme Lord is self-sufficient….Śri Iśopanisad also describes the Lord as śuddhaim (‘antiseptic’) and apapa-vidham (‘prophylactic’), or pure and uncontaminated.  He is antiseptic in the sense that even an impure thing can become purified just by touching Him.  The word prophylactic refers to the power of His association The Lord is also apapa-viddham, because sin cannot touch Him….He is often compared to the sun.  The sun exacts moisture from many untouchable places on the earth, yet it remains pure.  In fact, it purifies obnoxious things by virtue of its sterilizing powers.  If the sun, which is a material object, is so powerful, then we can hardly begin to imagine the purity and strength of the all-powerful Lord.”; (BP, The Nectar of Devotion) “Krsna’s compassion for distressed persons was exhibited when He released all of the kings imprisoned by Magadhendra.  While dying, Grandfather Bhisma prayed to Krsna and described Him as the sun which eradicated darkness.”

Color is an expression as well: in mode of dress it is frequently expressed by devotees in the wearing of red, orange or saffron.  This is because color plays a role in visual apprehension of the divine, and mirrors in the interior sense what is manifested in the external: (Brih 2:3:6) “The form of this Person is like a saffron-colored robe, like white wool, like the [red] Indragopa beetle, like a flame of fire like the [white] lotus-flower, like a sudden flash of lightning.  Verily, like a sudden lightning-flash is the glory of him who knows this.  [compare to Dn 7:9 “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”; also Moses’ encounter with God in Ex 3:2-6 (the burning bush) and Ex 33:18-23 (the vision of the glory of God); Ezekiel’s vision of the wheels of fire in Ezk 1:4-28 and the burning coals and the cherubim in 10:1-22; and the Transfiguration of Jesus in Mt 17:2 and Mk 9:3.

A specialized and diverse vocabulary is an earmark of the richness of conception and the importance of a theme.  Linguist Franz Boas discovered that there were fifty words for snow in the Eskimo language.  The multiplicity of terms for sun/Sun is, as previously stated, an indicator of its importance in the philosophical/religious culture of ancient India.  From the passages gathered under all the terms it can be seen in the context of the struggle for an adequate expression of the divine.

The sun is an expression of grace, invoked, as in Christianity, in the ritual: (Kaush 2:7 “Daily adoration of the sun for the removal of sin”) “….The all—conquering Kaushitaki indeed was wont to worship the rising sun…. saying: ‘Thou art a snatcher!  Snatch my sin (papman)!’…..In the same manner [he was wont to worship the sun] when it was in the mid-heaven: ‘Thou art a snatcher-up!  Snatch up my sin!’….The all-conquering Kaushitaki indeed was wont to worship the rising sun—having performed the investiture with the sacred thread (yajnopavitam) REH “This probably is the earliest reference to the Indian religious custom of investing the twice-born with a sacred thread to be worn over the left shoulder.—Max Müller (SBE. 1:285, note 1)”], having sipped [REH “Thus {source} A: acamya; B, instead has aniya, ‘having fetched.’ “] water, thrice having sprinkled the water-vesssel:—saying: ‘Thou art a snatcher!  Snatch my sin (papman)!’  In the same manner [he was wont to worship the sun] when it was in the mid-heaven: ‘Thou art a snatcher-up!  Snatch up my sin!’ In the same manner [he was wont to worship the sun when it was setting: ‘Thou art a snatcher-away!  Snatch away my sin!’ Whatever evil (papa) he committed by day or night, it snatches away. [REH “The preceding sentence is lacking in {source} A.”]  Likewise also he who knows this, worships the sun in the same manner. [REH “The preceding sentence is lacking in {source} A.”]  Whatever evil one commits by day or night, it snatches away.” [compare to the Christian practice of observation of the hours, or “the seasons of the day”]”; (Brih 6:2:9) “ ‘Yonder world, verily, is a  sacrificial fire, O Gauatama [This person is not Gautama, the Buddha].  The sun, in truth, is its fuel; the light-rays, the smoke; the day, the flame; the quarters of  heaven, the coals; the intermediate quarters, the sparks.  In this fire the gods offer faith (śradda).  From this oblation King Soma arises.’ ”; (Chand 1:10-11 “The divinities connected with the three parts of the chant”): breath (prana) with the Prastava (Introductory Praise), the Sun connected with the Udgitha (Loud Chant), and Food (anna) connected with the Pratihara (Response) enumerating the gods of the commonality, or Viś, and their relation to the sun); (Chand 1:11:7) “ ‘The Sun,’ said he. ‘Verily, indeed, all beings here sing (gayanti) of the sun when he is up (uccais).  This is the divinity connected with the Udgitha.” (see Chand 3:6-11 and Maitri 7:1-6, identifying Brahma and Atman, successively, as the world-sun); (Chand 2:9:1-2) “Now, verily, one should reverence yonder sun as a sevenfold Saman.  It is always the same (sama); therefore it is a Saman.  It is the same with everyone, since people think: ‘It faces me! It faces me! Therefore it is a Saman.  One should know that all beings here are connected with it.” [compare Jesus teaching on the universal beneficence of the sun in Mt 5:45 “That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”]; (Chand 2:10 “The mystical significance of the number of syllables in the arts of the sevenfold Chant”) “….With the twenty-one [syllables] one obtains the sun.  Verily, the sun is the twenty-first from here. [REH “The commentator gives the explanation through the following curious calculation of the distance separating the sun from the earth: 12 months, 5 seasons, 3 world-spaces—then the sun is the twenty-first.”]  With the twenty-two one wins what is beyond the sun.  That is heaven (nakam).  That is the sorrowless.” [REH “The word nakam is made to yield the epithet ‘sorrowless’ by an etymological pun, na-a-kam, ‘no lack of desire,’ ”]; (Mund 1:2:1-6) “….The Black (kali), and the Terrible, and the Swift-as-Thought, the Very-red, and the Very-smoky-colored, the Scintillating, and the All-formed, [REH “A variant is viśva-ruci, ‘all-gleaming.’ ”] divine one are the seven so-called flickering tongues [of flame]….If one performs sacrifices when these are shining, Offering the oblations at the proper time too, these (flames) as rays of the sun lead him to where is resident the one lord (pati) of the gods.  Saying to him ‘Come!  Come!’ the splendid offering carry the sacrifice with the rays of the sun, addressing pleasant speech, praising, and saying: ‘This is your meritorious (punya) Brahma-world [Brahma-loka], gained by good works (see complete passage in Mund 1:2:1-6 in Agnihotra sacrifice); (Mund 2:1:5-6 “The source of the world and of the individual”/“The source of  all religious rites”) “…From the moon (Soma), rain….where the moon (Soma) shines brightly, and where the sun.” [REH “That is, the world of the fathers, and the world of the gods, respectively; described in Chand 5:10.”]  Other considerations: (Brih 3:9:12) “….That very person who is in the sun is He….Who is his god? Truth”; (Chand 1:5:7) His [that golden Person who is seen within the sun] name is High (ud).” (Chand 3:1-5 “The sun as honey extracted from all the Vedas”, contained in Chand 3  “Brahma as the sun of the world-all”) “Verily, yonder sun is the honey of the gods. The crossbeam [REH “The beam from which the honeycomb hangs.”] for it is the sky.  The honeycomb is the atmosphere.  The brood are the particles of light [with analogies to the rays, the bees, the flower, and the sun’s appearance, not included here].

Following is some background information may be useful regarding the preceding descriptions of colors and materials: (Smith’s Bible Dictionary) “It is usually assumed that the Hebrew word chasmal denotes a metal and not the fossil resin called amber.”; Overall’s Dictionary of Chronology “The origin of amber has baffled poets and chemists from the dyas of ancient Greece to the present.  Its property, when rubbed, to attract light substances was first observed by Thales, B.C. 660, who attributed a certain life in it.  By some it is held to be a vegetable resin or gum; others consider it a mineral oil.”; (American Tract Bible Dictionary) “Translated by Septuagint and Vulgate electrum, that is, amber, because the Hebrew denotes a very brilliant amber-like metal, composed of silver and gold, which was very much prized in antiquity.”; (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)  “Hebrew hashmal, rendered by the LXX electron, and by the Vulgate electrum, a metal  composed of silver and gold. Some ranslate the word as ‘polished brass’, others ‘fine brass’.”; (www.bible-history.com) “Bronze typifies the divine character of Christ who took upon himself the fire of God’s wrath, holiness and justice by becoming a sin offering.; bronze=“nechoshet” (Hebr.), “chalchus” (Gr.), an alloy of copper and tin, translated “brass” in KJV, more correctly translated “bronze”, since the alloy used was copper and tin.  In some scriptures “copper” is meant. In ancient Israel there was no such metal known as brass.  The one Hebrew word for copper and bronze was rendered brass by the KJV translators because at that time bronze had not yet been introduced into the English language. (It was later introduced into the English language to distinguish it from brass, copper, and other metals).”Each analogy concludes: “the drops of nectar [arose]….There was produced as its essence splendor, brightness, power, vigor, and food.”  The final verse concludes: “Verily, these are the essences of the essences, for the Vedas are essences and these are their essences.  Verily, these are the nectars of the nectars, for the Vedas are nectars and these are their nectars.”; (Chand 3:6-11 “The knower of the cosmic significance of the sacred scriptures advances to the world-sun, Brahma”): “The Vasus live upon that which is the first nectar [i.e. the Rig Veda] through Agni as their mouth.  Verily, the gods neither eat nor drink.  they are satisfied merely with seeing that nectar.  These enter that [red] form of the sun and come forth from that form.  He who knows thus that nectar becomes one of the Vasus themselves and through Agni as his mouth is satisfied merely with seeing that nectar.  He enters that very form and comes forth from that form.  As long as the sun shall rise in the east and set in the west, so long will he compass the overlordship and the chief sovereignty (svarajya) of the Vasus. ”  [and continuing]: Rudras…second nectar (Yajur Veda)…Indra…white form Adityas…third nectar (Sama-Veda)…Varuna…[dark] form Maruts…fourth nectar (Atharva-Veda)…Soma…[exceedingly dark] form Sadhyas…fifth nectar (Upanishads)…Brahma…the form [which seems to tremble in the sun]….Henceforth, after having risen in the zenith, it will no more rise nor set.  It will stand alone in the middle.  On this point there is this verse:—‘In yonder sphere it has not set, [REH “Adopting Bohtlingk’s emendation, nimumloca, for the impossible na nimloca.”] nor even has it risen up; and by the truth of this, ye gods, of Brahma let me not be robbed.’  Verily, it neither rises nor sets for him, it is evermore day for him who knows this mystic doctrine (upanisad) of Brahma.” [compare to Rv 21:22-23 “And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”]; 2S 23:4 “And God shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springs out of the earth by clear shining after rain.”; also Jos 10:13 “the sun stood still,” regarding that which is seemingly impossible] (see world-sun reference in Maitri 7:1-6 in Atman and Sun, Special Lists Terms relating to city/abode/dwelling); (Chand 3:11:1-3) “Henceforth, after having risen in the zenith, it will no more rise nor set.  It will stand alone in the middle.  On this point there is this verse:—In yonder sphere it has not set, nor even has it risen up’ and by the truth of this, ye gods, of Brahma let me not be robbed.” [compare in Christian hymnody to “till suns shall rise and set no more” from “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun” by Isaac Watts;  (Chand 3:19 “The sun [identified in 3:17 as Surya and 3:18 as Aditya] is Brahma—this is the teaching.” [see further explanation in   Hiranyagarbha]; (Chand 7:12:1) “Space (akaśa), assuredly, is more than Heat.  In Space, verily, are both sun and moon, lightning, stars and fire.  Through Space one calls out; through Space one hears; through Space one answers….” (see Chand 7:1-26 “Progressive worship of Brahma up to the Universal Soul in Atman); (Katha 5:2) “The swan [i.e. sun] in the clear, the Vasu in the atmosphere, the priest by the altar, the guest in the house, in man, in broad space [akaśa], in the right (rta), in the sky, born in water, born in cattle, born in the right, born in rock, is the Right, the Great.”; (Katha 5:11) “As the sun, the eye of the whole world, is not sullied by the external faults of the eyes, so the one Inner Soul [antaratman] of all things is not sullied by the evil in the world, being external to it.: (Frederick Manchester translation) “As the sun, revealer of all objects to the seer, is not harmed by the sinful eye, nor by the impurities of the objects it gazes on, so the one Self, dwelling in all, is not touched by the evils of the world.  For he transcends all.”; (Iśa 15) “With a golden vessel [REH “The sun.”] the Real’s face is covered o’er.  That do thou, O Pushan, uncover for one whose law is the Real to see.”; (Mund 1:2:5) “If one performs sacrifices when these are shining, Offering the oblations at the proper time too, these (flames) as rays of the sun lead him to where is resident the one lord (pati) of the gods.”  (see Mund 1:2:1-6 in Agnihotra sacrifice); In Praśna 1:9-10 the course of the lunar world is identified with matter (rayi) and the path of reincarnation, opposed to the course of the sun, supported by the life-breaths (prana); (Praśna 4:2) “To him then he said: ‘O Gargya, as the rays of the setting sun all become one in an orb of brilliance and go forth again and again when it rises, even so, verily, everything here becomes on in mind (manas), the highest god.  Therefore in that condition (tarhi) the person hears not, sees not, smells not, tastes not, touches not, speaks not, takes not, enjoys not, emits not, moves not about. ‘He sleeps!’ they say’ ” (Frederick Manchester translation) “ ‘As the rays of the sun, O Gargya, when he sets,’ replied the sage, ‘gather themselves up in his disk of light, to come out again when he rises, so the senses gather themselves up in the mind, the highest of them all.  Therefore when a man does not hear, see, smell, taste, touch, speak, grasp, enjoy, we say that he sleeps.”; (Praśna 5:5) “Again, he who meditates on the highest Person (Purusha) with the three elements of the syllable Om [namely a+u+m] is united with brilliance (tejas) in the sun.  As a snake is freed from its skin, even so, verily, is he freed from sin (papman).  He is led by the Saman chants to the world of Brahma.  He beholds the Person that dwells in the body and that is higher than the highest living complex ….”; (Śvet 3:8) “I know that mighty Person (Purusha) of the color of the sun, beyond darkness.  Only by knowing Him does one pass over death.  There is no other path for going there.”; (Śvet  5:4 [contained in Śvet 5:1-6 “Brahma, the One God of the manifold world”]) “As the illumining sun shines upon all regions, above, below, and across, so that One God, glorious, adorable, rules over whatever creatures are born from a womb.” [compare to the Aten theology of Akhnaten and to Jesus’ saying in Mt 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”; (Frederick Mancheschester translation of Śvetasvatara Upanishad) “Thou alone art—thou the Light imperishable, adorable; Great Glory is thy name.  No one is there beside thee.  No one equal to thee.”; (Maitri 6:3-4)  “The light of the sun, as a form of Brahma, represented by the mystic syllable ‘Om’ ”)  “There are, assuredly, two forms of Brahma: the formed and the formless. [REH “A repeated phrase, Brih 2:3:1”]  Now, that which is the formed is unreal; that which is the formless is real, is Brahma, is light. That light is the same as the sun.  Verily, that came to have Om as its soul (atman).  He divided himself (atmanam) threefold. [REH “A statement regarding primeval being occurring in Brih 1:2:3.”]  Om is three prosodial units (a+u+m).  By means of these ‘the whole world is woven, warp and woof, across Him.’ [REH “ ‘Across Him,’ i.e. reading asminn iti instead of asmiti.  The main statement is a stereotyped formula, used repeatedly in Brih 3:6.”]  For thus has it been said: ‘One should absorb himself, meditating that the sun is Om,’  Now it has elsewhere [REH “Quoted from Chand 1:5:1.”] been said ‘Now, then, the Udgitha is Om; Om is the Udgitha.  And so, verily, the Udgitha is yonder sun, and it is Om.’ For thus has it been said: ‘…the Udgitha, which is called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless, three-footed, [REH “According to the commentator, referring to the three conditions of waking, dreaming, and profound slumber {Turiya, the fourth state}, three-syllabled [REH “That is, a+u+m.”], also to be known as fivefold, [REH “Embracing the five breaths, Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana, Udana.”] hidden in the secret place [of the heart {Hrdayam}].” For thus has it been said: ‘The three-quartered Brahma has its root above. [REH Its branches are space [akaśa], wind [vayu], fire [Agni], water [apas], earth [bhumir], and the like.  This Brahma has the name of ‘the Lone Fig-tree [Aśvattha].’  Belonging to It is the splendor which is yon sun, and the splendor too of the syllable Om.  Therefore one should worship it with Om continually.  He is the only enlightener of a man.’  For thus has it been said:—That syllable, indeed, is the holy (punya).  That syllable, indeed, is the supreme.  By knowing that syllable, indeed, Whatever one desires, is his!” [REH “This stanza is quoted from Katha 2:16 with certain verbal changes.”]; (Kaush 4:3 (a) “In various cosmic phenomena”) [another instance of the image of  “the glorious person in the sun”]  “ ‘Him [Brahma] who is this person in the sun—him indeed I reverence….As the Great, the White-robed, the Pre-eminent (atistha), the Head of all beings—thus, verily, I reverence him.’  He then who reverences him thus, becomes pre-eminent, the head of all beings….’ ” (see complete passage in Kaush 4:1-18 in Brahma); (Praśna 1:6-8) “Now the sun, when it rises, enters the eastern quarter. hereby it collects the living beings (prana) of the east in its rays.  When it illuminates the southern, the western, the northern, the lower, the upper, the intervening quarters, when it illumines everything—thereby it collects all living beings in its rays.  That fire rises as the universal, all-formed life.  This very [doctrine] has been declared in this verse:—[…Him] who has all forms, the golden one, all-knowing [sarva-jna] [or “all-finding”], the final goal, the only light, heat-giving.  The thousand-rayed, the hundredfold revolving, yon sun arises as the life of creatures.” [REH “This stanza occurs again in Maitri 6:8, as the conclusion of a section which expounds the unity of Prana (life) and both Aditya (the sun).”] [actually, specified in this passage as Savitri, but referred to in 6:7 as Aditya, Savitri, and Surya]; (Maitri 6:6)  “….The eye [of Prajapati, the lord of creatures”] is the sun [enumerated in 6:7 in the three forms of Aditya, Savitri, and Surya, and not specified in its preceding mention in 6:5], for a person’s great material world (matra) depends upon the eye, for with the eye he surveys material things. Verily, the eye is the Real; for stationed in the eye a person moves about among all objects.”; [here contained in Maitri 6:7].  Etymological significance of the names of the cosmic manifestations of the soul the meanings of the Soul” [Aditya, Savitri, and Surya]  “….Surya (the sun) is [so named] because  of the continual pressing out (suyamana). [REH “Of the Soma juice in the sacrifices to the sun.”]  Savitri (the sun) is [so named] because of its stimulating (savana).  Aditya (the sun) is [so named] because of its taking up unto iself (adana).  Pavana (fire) is [so named] because of its purifying (pavana).  Moreover, Apas (water) is so named because of its causing to swell (apayana).” (see highlighted terms); (Maitri 6:8 “To be perceived by the meditative hermit”) “Having bidden peace to all creatures, and having gone to the forest, then having put aside objects of sense, from out of one’s own body [śarira] one should perceive Him [Atman], who has all forms, the golden one, all-knowing [sarva-jna], [REH “Or, according to a different exegesis,  jatavedasam may mean ‘all-finding,’ ”] the final goal, the only light, heat-giving.  The thousand- rayed, the hundredfold revolving, yon sun arises as the life of creatures. [REH “This stanza=Praśna 1:8.”]; (Maitri 6:12) Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘Verily, all things here fly forth, day by day, desiring to get food.  The sun takes food to himself by his rays.  Thereby he gives forth heat.  When supplied with food, living beings here digest. [REH “Literally: ‘When sprinkled with food, living beings here cook {it}.”]; (Maitri 6:17) “….For thus it has been said: ‘He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart [Hrdayam], and he  who is yonder in the sun—he is one.’  [see identical passage in Maitri 7:7] To the unity of the One goes he who knows this.” [compare to the account of creation in Gn 1; the phrase “he who is yonder in the sun” recurs in Tait 2:8]  (“The infinite Brahma—the eternal, unitary Soul (Atman) of the world and of the   individual”): “Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma, the limitless One….limitless in every direction….incomprehensible….unlimited, unborn, not to be reasoned about, unthinkable [acintyam] —He whose soul is space (akaśatman) [REH “A phrase from Chand 3:14:2 and Kaush 2:14.”]! In the dissolution of the world, He alone remains awake.  From that space He, assuredly, awakes this world, which is a mass of thought.  It is thought by Him, and in Him it disappears.  His is that shining form which gives heat in yonder sun and which is the brilliant light in a smokeless fire, as also the fire in the stomach which cooks food.  [see “like a smokeless fire” in Maitri 2:1 in Atman] For thus it has been said: ‘He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart [Hrdayam], and he who is yonder in the sun—he is one.’  To the unity of the One goes he who knows this; (Maitri 6:24) Now, it has elsewhere been said: ‘The body is a bow. [REH “For another parable of a bow and arrow in mystical meditation see Mund 2:2:3-4.”]  The arrow is Om.  the mind is its point.  Darkness is the mark.  Having pierced through the darkness, one goes to what is not enveloped in darkness.  Then, having pierced through what is thus enveloped, one sees Him who sparkles, like a wheel of fire, of the color of  the sun, mightful, the Brahma that is beyond darkness, that shines in yonder sun, also in the moon, in fire, in lightnining. [compare to Ezekiel’s vision of the wheels of fire and the coals in chapters 1 and 10] Now, assuredly, when one has seen Him, one goes to immortality.’  For thus has it been   said:—The meditation that is on the highest principle within is also directed upon outer objects.  Hence the unqualified understanding comes into qualifiedness.  But when the mind has been dissolved, and there is the joy whose only witness is the self—that is Brahma, the immortal, the pure [śuddha]!  That is the way!  That indeed is the world!”; (Maitri 6:30 “Śakayanya’s final course upward through the sun to Brahma”)  “Marut, having done obeisance and shown proper honor to him, having attained his end, departed by the northern course of the sun, for there is no approach by a side-path here in the world.  This is the path to Brahma here in the world. Piercing through the door of the sun, he departed aloft.  On this point they quote [REH “Compare Chand 8:6:6.”] [this passage addresses and similarly describes the “hundred and one channels of the heart]  ‘Unending are the rays of him who like a lamp dwells in the heart.  They’re white and black and brown and blue; they’re tawny and of pale red hue.  Aloft arises one of these, which piercing through the sun’s round disk, on to the Brahma-world [Brahma-loka] extends.  Thereby men go the highest course. What are its other hundred rays, are similarly upwards ranged; thereby unto the various gods’ abiding places one arrives.  But by its feebly shining rays which manifoldly downward lead one roams about here helplessly for the consuming of his deeds.’  Therefore yonder blessed sun is the cause of creation (sarga), of heaven (svarga), and of the final emancipation (apavarga).” [REH “Ramatirtha, the commentator, explains this as:—of re-creation for the man who does not worship the sun; of heaven [with temporary enjoyment] for the man who worships the sun as a divinity; of final cessation of rebirth for the man who worships the sun as Brahma-Atman.”]; (Maitri 6:31) “….And as, indeed, from fire the sparks do issue, and likewise, too, from out the sun its light-rays, from It repeatedly all breathing creatures come forth into this world, each in its order.” (see complete passage in atmaka, sparks); (Maitri 6:36-37 “The Inner Soul in the material world furnishes the individual’s and the sun’s existence”)  [in a previous part of this passage referred to and cited in Surya] “As the existence of a lamp is because of the combination of wick, support [pratistha], and oil, so these two, the self and the bright (sun) exist because of the combination of the Inner One and the world-egg. Therefore, one should reverence with Om that unlimited bright power.  This has been manifested in threefold wise: in fire, in the sun, and in the breath of life. Now, the channel [which is between them] causes the abundance of food that has been offered in the fire to go unto the sun.  The moisture which flows therefrom rains down like a chant (Udgitha).  Thereby living creatures here exist.  From living creatures come offspring. On this point they quote: ‘The oblation which has been offered in the fire it causes to go unto the sun.  The sun rains that down with its rays. Thereby arises food; from food, the production of beings.’ For thus has it been said:—The offering fitly cast in fire arises up unto the sun.  From out the sun, rain is produced; from rain, food; living creatures thence.” [REH “This same stanza occurs also in Manava-Dharma-Śastra 3:76.”] ;On this point they quote: ‘The oblation which has been offered in the fire it causes to go unto the sun.  The sun rains that down with its rays.  Thereby arises food; from food, the production of beings.’ For thus has it been said:—‘The offering fitly cast in fire arises up unto the sun.  From out the sun, rain is produced; from rain, food; living creatures thence.’ ” [REH “This same stanza occurs also in Manuva-Dharma-Śastra 3:76.”];  (Maitri 6:38) “….On this they quote:—‘In the midst of the sun stands the moon (Soma); in the midst of the moon, fire.  In the midst of fire stands Pure Being (sattva).  In the midst of Pure Being stands the Unshaken One.’ ”; Or, regarding the perception of color, consider this description in the Chandogya Upanishad (8:6:6) of the physiology of the hita, or the “hundred and one channels of the heart: “Unending are the rays of him who like a lamp dwells in the heart.  They’re white and black and brown and blue; they’re tawny and of pale red hue.  Aloft arises one of these, which piercing through the sun’s round disk, on to the Brahma-world [Brahma-loka] extends.  Thereby men go the highest course. What are its other hundred rays, are similarly upwards ranged; thereby unto the various gods’ abiding places one arrives.  But by its feebly shining rays which manifoldly downward lead one roams about here helplessly for the consuming of his deeds.’  Therefore yonder blessed sun is the cause of creation (sarga), of heaven (svarga), and of the final emancipation (apavarga).” [Robert Ernest Hume, translator, adds “Ramatirtha, the commentator, explains this as:—of re-creation for the man who does not worship the sun; of heaven [with temporary enjoyment] for the man who worships the sun as a divinity; of final cessation of rebirth for the man who worships the sun as Brahma-Atman.”]; (Maitri 7:1-6 “The Soul (Atman) as the world-sun, and its rays”) [REH “An analytic and philosophic statement of the contents of this section, 1-6, would be:—The various divinities, meters, hymns, chants, seasons, breaths, heavenly bodies, celestial gods, and earthly beings are transient emanations in the six different directions, returning agin into the one unlimited Soul (Atman) of the whole world.”]  “….He is unthinkable [acintyam], formless [arupam, amrta], unfathomable, concealed, unimpeachable, compact, impenetrable, devoid of Qualities, pure [śuci, śuddha], brilliant, enjoying Qualities (guna), fearful, unproduced, a master Yogi, omniscient, munificent, immeasurable, without beginning or end (anadyanatam), illustrious, unborn, intelligent, indescribable, the creator of all, the soul (atman) of all, the enjoyer [bhoktr] of all, the lord of all [sarveśvara] the inmost being [antaratman] of everything….He is without beginning or end, unmeasured, unlimited, not to be moved by another, independent, devoid of marks, formless [arupam, amrta], of endless power, the creator [Prajapati], the enlightener ….That is tranquil [śanta], soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, enduring, named Vishnu (the Pervader, [REH “The sentence up to this point is repeated from 6:23.’], the ultimate abode….Him who is called Om, a leader, brilliant, sleepless, ageless, deathless, sorrowless….He who is intelligent, the avenger, within all, imperishable, pure, clean, shining, patient, tranquil.”;  (Maitri 7:7) “….He who is in the fire, and he who is here in the heart [Hrdayam] and he who is yonder in the sun—he is one.” [REH “This sentence repeated from 6:17.”]; kśeteri, ksheteri:  the owner of the field: as the sun illumines the whole world, the ksheteri illumines the whole field; (PY) The Lord of the Field (God and His  reflection as the soul) (see Purusha); (BP, The Nectar of Devotion) “Uddhava once told Narada, ‘My dear great sage, the lotus flower that is a friend of the sun may be a cause of distress for us, the fire in the ocean may cause us some burning sensation, and Indivara, the friend of a demon, may distress us in various ways—we do not mind.  But the most regrettable factor is that all of them remind us of Krsna, and this is giving us too much distress!’ This is an instance of the feverish condition which is due to being separated from Krsna.” [compare to Judeo-Christian references to sun, i.e. Ex 34:33-35 “And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.  But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.”; Nb 6:24-26 “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace [JB: “May Yahweh uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”].”; Nb 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of  Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. [JB “I see him—but not in the present, I behold him—but not close at hand: a star from Jacob takes the leadership, a scepter arises from Israel.” [JB notes: “In the ancient East, the star signified a god and, consequently, the deified king.  See also Is 14:12.  Here the word seems to refer to the Davidic dynasty from which the Messiah was to come.”]; Jg 5:31 So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. [JB: “ ‘ So perish all your enemies, Yahweh! And let those who love you be like the sun when he arises in all his strength.!’ ”]; 2S 23:4 “And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.”; 2Esd 6:45-46 On the fourth day you commanded the brightness of the sun, the light of the moon, and the arrangement of the stars to come into being;  and you commanded them to serve humankind, about to be formed.; Ps 19:1-6 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. [JB notes: “The psalmist, speaking of the sun as a creature of God, uses expressions found also in Babylonian mythology.”]  His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.”; Ps 34:5 “ They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.”; Ps 50:2 “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.”; Ps 72:17 “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun [KJV notes: “shall be as a son to continue his father’s name for ever.”]: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.”; Ps 84:11 “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”; Ps 89:36-37 [God is speaking] “His [David’s] seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” [JB: “ ‘His dynasty shall last for ever.  I see his throne like the sun, enduring for ever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky.’ ”]; Ps 136:7-9 “To him that made great lights; for his mercy endureth for ever.  The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever.  The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.”; Pr 4:18-19 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. [JB: “The path of the virtuous is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fulness of day;”] The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.; Qo 11:7 “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:”; Sg 6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?”; Ws 2:4-5 “Our name will be forgotten in time, and no one will remember our works; our life will pass away like the traces of a cloud, and be scattered like mist that is chased by the rays of the sun.  For our allotted time is the passing of a shadow, and there is no return from our death, because it is sealed up and no one turns back.”; Ws 3:4-7  If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality [JB notes: “This word, appearing in the O.T. for the first time, gives philosophical expression to the hope of the Psalmist who could not resign himself to the loss of intimacy with God through death, Ps 16:10+.  The resurrection of the body, 2M7:9+, is not envisaged here.”]; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test [JB notes: “Sorrow tests and purifies the virtuous, Ps 66:10; 119:75; Pr 3:11-12; Tb 12:13; 2M 6:12-17; 7:32-33; 1Co 11:32; Heb 12:11.”] and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a  holocaust. When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they. ; Si 27:11[Vulg v. 12] “The talk of the godly man is always wise, but the fool changes like the moon.” [JB “The devout man’s conversation is wisdom at all times but the fool is as changeable as the moon.”; Vulg “A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon.” [JB notes: “Vulg. ‘The holy and wise man is as fixed as the sun’.” ]; Si 43:1-5 (JB) “Pride of the heights, shining vault, so, in a glorious spectacle, the sky appears.  The sun, as he emerges, proclaims [JB notes: ” ‘proclaims’; Hebr. ‘radiates heat’.”]  at his rising, ‘A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!’  At his zenith he parches the land, who can withstand his blaze?  A man must blow a furnace to produce any heat, the sun burns the mountains three times as much; breathing out blasts of fire, flashing his rays he dazzles the eyes.  Great is the Lord who made him, and whose word speeds him on his course.; Is 60:19-20: “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the  Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”;   Dn 10:5-6 “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” (JB: “his eyes were like fiery torches, his arms and his legs had the gleam of burnished bronze”); Dn 12:2-3 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”; Am 5:20 “Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even  gloom with no brightness in it?”;  Hab 3:4 “And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and here was the hiding of his power.” (NASB) “His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His and, And there is the hiding of His power.”; Zc 3:8  “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at [KJV notes: “men of wonder, or, sign.”]: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.” [JB notes: “This messianic title, cf. Jr 23:5+, does not yet seem to be applied to Zerubbabel, as it is in 6:12.  For ‘Branch’, Greek reads ‘rising Sun’, cf. Lk 1:78.”.]; Zc 9:14 “And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning [JB“his arrow will flash out like lightning”]: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.”Ml 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” {source for “Hail the sun of righteousness” in “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”}; Ml 3:2 “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:”; Mt 13:43 “”Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father He who has ears, let him hear.; Lk 1:78-79 “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring [KJV notes: “Or, sunrising, or branch, Nb 24:17.”] from on high hath visited us [JB: “who from on high will bring the rising Sun to visit us” JB notes: “I.e. either the messianic era or the Messiah himself.”], To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”; Jn 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”; Ac 26:13 “At midday, O king, I saw in the  way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.”  Rv 1:12-18 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps [JB: “tied at the waist”] with a golden girdle.  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. [JB: “his face was like the sun shining with all its force”]; Rv 10:1 “And I saw  another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:”; Rv 12:1-2 “And there appeared a great wonder [JB “sign”] in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet [JB: “standing on the moon”], and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”; Rv 19:17  “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;”; Rv 21:22-23 “And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”; Rv 22:5 “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”; Secrets of Enoch 1:6 “And there appeared to me two men, exceeding big, so that I never saw such on earth; their faces were shining like the sun, their eyes too were like a burning light, and from their lips was fire coming forth with clothing and singing of various kinds in appearance purple, their wings were brighter than gold, their hands whiter than snow.” [following in chs 11-16 descriptions of the celestial mechanics of the sun and moon]

In Christian hymnody “Sun of my soul, thou Savior dear, it is not night if Thou be near; oh, may no earthborn cloud arise to hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.” (John Keble); “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun” from “Amazing Grace,” (John Newton), “When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun” from “Let Us Break Bread Together,” (trad. spiritual), the previously mentioned “till suns shall rise and set no more” from “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun” by Isaac Watts, and others)

(Ray Manzarek in Light My Fire, pp. 118-119) “It was absolutely stunning.  We were in our little one-bedroom apartment above the garage, looking out over the rooftops of Venice, out onto the setting sun…and had entered the cosmic state.  It was divine.  It was expansive and harmonious and beatific and one.  I was alive!  For the first time in my life I understood what it meant to be truly alive….After falling in love with the sun (talk about pure God energy; the closest approximation to the secret of the origin of life is the solar energy coming off that great golden globe that shines down on us all)….I had entered the womb….I had gone back to my mother and was completely safe and secure….I opened one eye to look at the setting sun, but I closed it quickly.  I wasn’t ready to leave yet.  It was not my time of emergence.  I hadn’t cooked enough.  the child was still undone.  Like bread not yet golden….I understood, in that instant, what the concept of being born again was all about.  Jesus   the Christ says in the Christian Bible, ‘You must be born again.’  And I knew what he meant.  You must go into yourself…all the way into yourself…to your beginning, your origin.  Into the waters of your unconscious.  Into the core of you.  A Zen koan asks the question, ‘What were you before you were born?’  Well…you must be born again.”

I have chosen to use selections from the King James Bible, unless otherwise indicated.  While its language is antiquated and must occasionally be altered for inclusiveness or a more modern sense of a term, its passages are still the most familiar to many, and its lyricism is unmatched.  These, in my view, compensate for any difficulties in negotiating the text.

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