|17 Formal Procedure of ‘Arghya Pradaan’ and ‘Puja’ to Aditya Deva|
Bhishma of Mahabharata fame expressed his doubt to Veda Vyasa as to why all the Devatas greet Aditya Deva foremost even before praying to Tri Murtis! Is Aditya really so important? Veda Vyasa mildly admonished Bhishma for this rather ridiculous doubt since at the beginning of Srishti when the Universe was submerged in darkness; it was Aditya or the Very First Deity who was materialised to illuminate although he was provided a worldy Appearance as the son of Aditi and Kashyapa Muni afterwards. Tri Murtis worship Aditya not to mention of others! Bhishma’s equally naïve question was expressed to Veda Vyasa as to why Rahu Devata was able to devour Surya Deva if he was described as so significant in the order of Priority and Surya Grahanas (Solar Eclipses happen from time to time! Veda Vyas replied that nobody could indeed devour Surya Deva; it is believed that as Rahu was desirous of entering the Viman carrying Amrit, a few drops spilt out from the Viman which almost scraped Rahu and made him immortal. But the fact of the matter is that Rahu is right under the Surya Bimba and it is a visual fallacy that the crossing of the two Planets of Surya and Rahu at specified and predictable timings gives an impression that Surya gradually disappeared for a while; the process of the mutual crossing of the two Planets concealed the appearance of Surya causing the ‘Grahan’ or Eclipse! Thus there was no question of Surya Deva being controlled by any force in the Universe since He indeed is the Super Controller of the ‘Charaachara Jagat’ or the Moveable and Immobile Objects of the World responsible for Creation / Destruction; the concepts of Days, Nights, Dharma, Adharma etc. are all his patented ones; and basically He is the be-all and end-all of everything literally! Indeed those who observe devoted worship to Bhakara achieve instant access to Shakti, Courage, Siddhi, ‘Auyshadhi’, Dhana-Dhanya, Suvarna, Sowbhagya, Arogya, Kirti, Putra and Poutra and Mukti!
Then Bhishma requested Veda Vyasa for guidance about the formal Soura Dharma Snaana Vidhi. At the outset, one has to apply ‘Mrittika’ from a Water Source like Sea, River/Waterbody, apply the same on the human body with the Mantra:
Apavitrah Pavitrovaa Sarvaavasthangatopiva
Yassmaret Pundareeksham sabaahyaabhyantara sshuchih
(In whatever condition of cleanliness or otherwise that we are, may we remember Pundarikaaksha and secure out worldy on inwardly Purity); then, one performs the formal ‘Snaana’, remembering the Greatness of Surya Deva and reciting HRAAM HREEM SAAH, followed by ‘Achamana’or sipping spoonful of water; later on continue with Tarpanas to Rishis and Pitaras; proceed with ‘Sandhya Vandana’ and utter the Hraam Hreem Mantra or Kakolakaya Namaha water while offering to Surya Deva.This formal ‘Arghya Praddan’ is followed by Surya Puja. After performing ‘Kara Nyaas’ and ‘Anga Nyas’ with Surya Mantras, set up Surya Pratima (Idol) on a designated platform over an ‘Ashta Kamala’ format; decorate with flowers, Gandha or Sandal Paste, incense sticks, Lighting Stands, Fruits and other Naivedya material and such other pre-puja arrangements. There after position Sarvatomukhi Devi in the middle and arrange on the Ishaana Kona the Ashta Surya Shaktis viz. Deepta, Sukshma, Jaya, Bhadra, Vibhuti, Vimala, Vidyuta and Sarvamukhi. These Shaktis are propitiated first: Avaahayaami, Sthapayami Pujayami Mantras be recited in favour of Shaktis viz. Udyutyam Jaatavedasam and Agnim Dutam (Yajur Veda). Then Bhagavan Surya is propitiated by the two Yajur Veda Mantras viz. Aa Krishnena Rajasaam and Hamsah Shuchishadam. Then again Deepta Devi’s puja is performed by the Mantra Apaptey tarakam; Sukshma Devi is worshipped by the Mantra: Adrusyamasya ketavom; Taranir Viswadarshatom is the Mantra for Jaya; Pratyangi Devaanaam is meant for Bhadra; Yena Paavaka Chakshaam in favour of Vibhuti Devi; Vidyameshim is the Puja Mantra in favour of Vimala Devi; similarly Amogha, Vidyuta and Sarvatomukhi are worshiped by appropriate Mantras. Then the important procedure of Puja of Surya Deva Pratima follows: with Ishe thvom Mantra Surya’s Sirah Pujaami; Agnimeeleym Dakshina Hastaam Pujayaami; Agna Aa yaahim, Charanam Pujayaami; Aa Jighnam Pushpamala Samarpayaam; Yoge Yogem Pushanjali samarpayami; Samudra gaccham, Imam me Gangey and samudra Jeyshthaam angaraagaam snapayaami; then Snaanaas or Abhishekas with the following materials as per Mantras respectively:
Aa payaayaswam (Dugdha Snaan),Dadhi kraavrunno (Dadhi Snaan),Tejosi Shukram (Ghrita Snaan),Ya Aoushadhim (Aoushadhi snaan),Dwipaan (Udyurtan or lift up the Pratima), Maa Nastokey (Punah snaana or repeat Snaana),Vishno raraatam(Gandha jala Snaan), Swarna Dharmam (Paadya Mantra), Idam Vishnurvi Chakramey ( Arghya pradaan), Vedosim (Yagnopaveeta),Brihaspatem (Vastra dwayam), Dhurasi Dhurvam (Dhupam along with Guggula), Sahasra sirshaa (Mastka or Head Puja), Sambhaavayaam (Eyes), Vishvata Chakshuh(Saraanagyaani Pujayaami) and finally Shreescha tey Lakshmischatey/
The above is the Puja Vidhaana of Bhagavan Surya.
Thus Veda Vyasa stated emphatically to Bhishma that there need not be no misguided conceptions about the Absolute Supremacy of Surya Deva, that there could never be a better Well- Wisher of the enire World, that his Aradhana would be a key to appease any negative forces to humanity including the fear of Kings, thieves, Grahas, Serpents, diseases, poverty, natural disasters and the like; instead he would be a pro-active Entity to rally round all positive Shaktis taking hundred firm steps forward to ensure human success against even a faltering step taken by a person in reverence to him. A devotee’s ‘Aradhana’ in his favour, especially on Sankranti, during Grahanas, on Sundays and other auspicious days by observing austerities, charities, Agni Karyas, Prayers, Surya Namaskaras, or just a sincere greeting to his Bimba so readily visible on the sky on daily basis would assure quality life in ‘Iham’ (this World) and ‘Param’ (Other World).
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