Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SUN WORSHIP AND KASHMIR


                                                                       

                     
  ( OPENING PAGE :  MANUSCRIPT   SURYASHATAKAM  BY   RATANAKANTHA  )


Sun Worship was  practiced by ancient Egyptians , Greeks ,Iranians, Aryans and some other civilizations.

Was it practiced in kashmir ?

Yes.....

Read details in SURYA- SHATKAM a book of poetry in praise of SUN GOD   by kashmiri Sanskrit Poet Rajanaka Ratnakantha and  translated to Hindi  by Dr.Ved kumari Ghai ( Born 1932 ).

( Dr Ghai is a well known Sanskrit  Scholar   who has already   translated  NEELMAT PURANA  to English. She has also  Authored another scholarly book   “ Kashmir ka Sanskrit Sahitya Ko Yogdaan ( Kashmir ‘s contribution to Sanskrit literature   ) published by Sahitya Academy New Delhi .The  Book under scrutiny has 96 pages and is moderately priced at Rs120/= published by RICHA  PRAKASHAN 15/2 TRIKUTA NAGAR , JAMMU( J&K) . It is available with Eastern Book Linkers , 5825 , New Chandrawal , Jawahar Nagar Delhi 110007. Dr. Ghai chanced to see this great work of poetry in praise sun God ( in hand written sharda script ) with Sh Dina Nath Yaksha in kashmir. While going through it , she felt highly  impressed with the poetic genius of RATNAKANTHA and decided to translate the book for wider readership . Rajanaka Ratanakantha lived in kashmir in early 17th centuary .It is believed that he wrote this master piece sometime around 1671 AD.....  The book has 100 Sanskrit Shlokas full of philosophy and composed in praise SUN GOD  .The original Sharda  manuscript of SURYA-SHATAKAM has been micro filmed by Oxford Library . The learned translator   sought  help from Oxford  Library for completion of her task.)

 We have enough  evidence to establish that  Sun worship was prevalent  with people belonging to  Indus Valley civilization also  .It was prevalent during Vedic culture. A hymn from Rigveda goes as under:”

“ In the beginning , there existed God , the source of light .He was the one Lord of all the created beings . He upholds this earth and the heavens .He , it is to whom we shall offer our prayers . ”

 As in Egypt and Mesopotamia , Falcon represented the sun god in  Indus Valley culture . Sun worship also  finds  mention in  Hindu epic MAHABHARATA.  Hindu astrology also testifies to the prevalence of Sun worship in India . “
                                                             

  Sun worship is believed to have been brought to Kashmir by Kushans from present day Iran . Rajataringini of kalhana makes a mention of  first  Temple  of Sun God built by  King Ranaditya . It also makes repeated mention of the MARTANDA  Sun Temple of Kashmir built by King Lalitaditya in 8th century . The MARTANDA sun temple has a commanding location and Gigantic structural lay out .  And had it not been demolished during the rule of Sultan Sikander  of Kashmir , it could match any monumental wonder in the world. After the famous sun temple of  Konark in  Odisha , Martanda of Kashmir ( though in ruins) ,  is perhaps the biggest Sun Temple structure in India. The ruins still give an idea of its past  glory and Grandeur.

                                                               
                           (  RUINS  OF MARTANDA   SUN TEMPLE    OF KASHMIR )
I vividly remember  elderly   kashmiri Brahmins saying that  the Sun is reborn in the month of Pausha which corresponds to ending December .They would  call sun as TRINITY or TRIMURTI that comprised of  Brahma ,Vishnu and Mahesha all in one . Late  Badri Nath Sidha ( A sagacious  Brahmin  from Mattan Kashmir ) once explained   the TRIMURTI  concept of  SUN  to me by saying   that the setting Sun is Shiva or Mahesha  or the destroyer of the day ,the  rising sun is Brahma or the creator of the new day while the mid day sun is Vishnu or the preserver .

SURYASHATAKAM has Scholarly text and foot notes By Dr Ghai . This Book is suggested for serious reading..............................


From the Book

"O Gracious lord ! You have the power to break mountains and dry up the oceans. seldom you do that or use such powers.You made your lustre mild to protect life ."

"O Gracious lord ! You look at all equally and impartially. Full of compassion for all animate or inanimate.."

" Driven by 7 horses who have no time to stop,who have never tasted fresh grass and who do not get time to taste water, O Lord ! you keep every one busy and occupied. O lord! let your horses who are always in motion in this universe be kind to all creatures .Let them be in motion to protect life."

“ May the circle of the sun protect us , the sun which is shining like a vermillion mark (on the forehead ) on the face of the eastern direction , the sun which is like a looking glass in the hands of the radiance of the day , the sun which is like a red ball in the hands of the morning glory .”

“ Rays of the sun have reached the ocean , may be for getting heaps of jewels for the worshippers and have pervaded all the directions , may be for amassing wealth for the worshippers ”


( Autar Mota  19.11.2013.. )


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