Aaditya Hridayam - the Mantra for Victory in life
A few words
before the English rendering of Aaditya Hridayam.
do justice to verses from the epic Ramayana – the first of all epics in
the world – written over 5000 years ago, is impossible by anybody today.
And for that matter, Sage Valmiki himself says that the prayer part is
older than the epic itself. That must be obviously true, for, Sanskrit
language existed in its poetic, prosaic and pristine form much before the
penning of the epic. I have just attempted to give the limited version
of my understanding of the Slokas (verses). Mistakes, if any, are all mine,
and any praise for the work goes to blessings of Lord Ganesha, Lord Rama,
the Sun God, and of course Sage Valmiki.
I have followed
the system adopted by almost all translators of this great work.
A bit of suggestion – to those who would like to take it. Read the original
work in Sanskrit, for it has innumerable powers – too complex to be explained
by my rather uninitiated self.
Hridyam is part of the Yuddha Kaanda (or the war chapter) of Valmiki Ramayana.
1 & 2
arrived at the battlefield to watch two warriors – Lord Rama and the demon
king of Lanka – the ten headed Ravana. Due to incessant war the tired Ravana
rested a little and got ready for war again. As Lord Rama was wondering
as to how the formidable Ravana could be bested, Agastya began his advice
to (Lord Rama to) do the same.
O long limbed
Rama, dear Child, I will now reveal to you an ancient secret (method) to
win against one’s adversaries. Listen to me (therefore), carefully.
(divine verse) Aaditya Hridayam would grant you merits. The verse
will help you annihilate all your foes. It is very auspicious and (will
render you) beyond destruction.
The best amongst
auspicious verses, (Aaditya Hridayam) will destroy all sins, dispel all
doubts, worries and increase the longevity of life.
Sun God who is revered by the denizens of heaven and demons alike, (because)
His rays reach all corners (of all the stellar systems) and on that count
alone, He is said to be the Lord of the world.
(The Sun God)
protects the Universe through his rays and is considered to be the protector
of (all living beings be they) Gods or demons.
(Due to the
aforesaid qualities), He is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (the holy Trinity), Subrahmanya
– the generalissimo of the Gods, Indra, Kubera, Yama, Moon and Varuna
– all rolled into one.
He is also
the origin of all beings, embodiment of all (sense of) direction, the soul
of the Aswini twins, controller of all atmospheric movements, the life
breath of all living beings, and the Lord of all climes – from spring through
fall and winter.
He is one of the progeny of (the mother of creation) Aditi, (and in turn)
Creator of every living being on the Universe, protector of all objects
moving through space and commands the sense of duty (amongst mortals and
immortals alike). He of the golden hue, is the preceptor of intellect.
He, who is
omnipresent in the eight corners of space, has immeasurable amount of rays,
(whose chariot) has seven (celestial) horses. Sun, the God of bliss also
decimates those, which are unwanted in the Universe.
One who controls the creation, safety and destruction of beings, (the Sun
God) is praised by all living beings in the Universe (as He is) the self-controlled
origin of Fire (and therefore) the one who destroys frost.
The Sun God,
who traverses the Vindhyas (a mountain chain in central India), in the
second part of the (Lunar) calendar, scatters darkness and the embodiment
of the wisdom of the Rig, Yajur and Sama (the first three) Vedas,
is the emperor of the Heavens.
shaped Sun God who rises at dawn in the colour of molten gold, who within
himself contains the entire Universe, is the origin of all systems of creation,
(by) inhabiting His own Creation, helps (all to) win over enemies, (because)
He is benevolent at heart.
Prostrate before (Sun God) who is the head of the important 27 major stars,
and all the minor stars, whose brilliance is more than that of (the) Fire
(God himself), and who has twelve faces (for 12 months).
before the One who rises in the east and sets in the west, who is the Lord
of daylight (and so should you.).
(therefore so should you) the very embodiment of victory, the sign of auspiciousness,
the One who has green coloured horses to carry him.
(so you too should), the brave and terrible one (for his enemies), the
one of quicksilver reflexes, the one who makes (all flowers like) the lotus
to bloom, and the one who has the final say in creation at the end of the
4 cyclical periods of time–Kritayuga, Threthayuga, Dwaaparayuga and Kaliyuga
followed by the Great Flood.
before Him (so should you), the first among equals of the (first) three
Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the One who impels all creations to behave
in their ordained, organised way, the One who is in the form of (the brightest)
star (in the Universe), and who burns all the unwanted (debris of the Universe),
(by His) terrible face.
I Pay obeisance
(so do the same) to the One who dispels darkness, who (triggers) the melting
of snow, who has innumerable attributes, who decimates the ingrate, who
shines by His innate glow, and who is the first amongst all the lights
of the Universe.
I bow (so
do the same) before the One who has the colour of molten gold, the (seed
of) fire (in Him), who destroys the darkness of ignorance, and who is the
witness of all merits and demerits of the denizens who inhabit the universe.
the same world he destroys (and ipso facto the same beings within), creates
heat by his rays but cools the same by sending down soothing rain.
awake when all the living beings in the Universe are asleep, and due to
his fierce form, bestows merit on all those who perform the daily fire
The Sun God
is the origin and protector of the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva),
and decides the Universal path.
Listen O Rama!
Anybody who recites these verses of Aaditya Hridayam during difficult times,
or during journeys into (the unknown) forests, or when confronted with
fear will never suffer.
distracted (by the surroundings) pray thrice (a day) to the Lord of all
(mortal and immortal) beings – the Sun God and you shall win (all) your
the long limbed Lord Rama thus, and predicting that He would slay (the
demon) Ravana, sage Agastya took leave.
of) worry thus dispelled, the lustrous (Lord Rama) obeyed (verbatim) the
sayings of sage Agastya with great happiness.
himself with water thrice, with undisturbed concentration, the invincible
Lord Rama prayed to the Sun God thrice and thereafter picked up his bow
(to fight Ravana).
thus cheered, advanced towards Ravana in full concentration with a will
to slay him.
with Lord Rama, the Sun God surrounded by all the Gods in heaven showed
him the path to decimate Ravana. Thus ends the Praise of the Sun
God in the Yuddha Kaanda (the war chapter) in Valmiki Ramayana.