The alarm rings. It’s time to wake up, make the bed, get the shoes on, and head out for the morning walk. No phone, no earplugs, just an intimate affair between me and nature. There is no traffic on the roads yet, so one can hear the birds chirping and leaves dancing. The sky is changing colors every few minutes. Barefoot on the fresh dewy grass, I can listen to the silence at this hour as I capture the sunrise in my mind’s eyes. All the five elements are in equanimity now. It’s another day to be grateful for!
I know many people who are crazy Moon lovers, not that I love the Moon any less, but I find a strong spiritual connection with the Sun too. The Moon stirs our emotions, creates magic, enlightens, makes the oceans go crazy, but in the end, it is only reflecting the light of the Sun, ain’t it?
There is something so strange and attractive about the Sun. On one hand, our lives depend on the Sun that is millions of light years away from us, and on the other hand, we have global warming. There is also news doing rounds regarding the solar storms happening on the gaseous star which might cause some network disruptions on the Earth in the future. But these are only speculations.
Is it in our hands to do anything about the Sun? (As if we have done enough for the Earth already, eh!!!)
Let’s try and find out the answers to these questions first—why does the Sun have such a big impact on our lives? What is it about the Sun that makes it so important in our culture? Why do we bow down to the Sun (in Surya Namaskar)? Why do we have a Pranayama dedicated to the Sun (Surya Bhedi Pranayama)? Why do we offer water to the Sun, is it thirsty? And why do we have a total of 108 names for the Sun in Sanskrit? No, I am not even getting close to asking why do we have a Sun-day? Spare it, haha!
Sun is the primary source of warmth and light on Earth. Our planet is solely based on solar energy to thrive and for the flora and fauna to survive. The warmth of the Sun is the only reason we are alive. Do you realize, any form of warmth that we extract from other sources like wood or coal is also releasing stocked up solar energy when burnt up? Let me tell you how—the sun, along with soil, water and air makes a plant grow into a tree. We read about the process of photosynthesis in school, right? The trees which decay with age get submerged in the soil and after millions of years, we get coal. The source of the fire and warmth is the Sun itself.
No matter how seriously or lightly we take the role of the Sun in our lives, our ancestors surely curated some fascinating rituals and practices that became a part of their day-to-day lifestyle. They gave the Sun a total of 108 names in Sanskrit and created different Mantras (chants) for each name. Probably, they had already calculated that the diameter of the Sun is almost 108 times the diameter of the Earth. Also, offering water to the sun heals and balances the fire element and the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra in the body. It is recommended to people who tend to have high blood pressure, anger issues, stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Looking at the sunlight that passes through the water gives optical benefits too.
In Yoga, we have a special Yogasana sequence (Surya Namaskar) and a unique breathing pattern (Surya Bhedi Pranayama) dedicated to the Sun. Sun salutation or Surya Namaskar is a way to acknowledge and tap into this divine life-giving energy of the Sun. It not only has physical benefits, like making the body strong, building stamina, managing weight, etc. but it’s also a powerful way to align the body, mind, and soul to the universe.
Coming to the Universe now, we mostly spend our days and nights contemplating about our future, ignoring the present. We are so occupied in our thoughts that we are actually not living, we are only thinking. We have become Human Thinkers from Human Beings. What an evolution! Although there has been a glitch in this process, we have actually forgotten that we are all connected and we are only equal to a speck of dust in this ever-expanding universe. We have made up a universe in our own minds and are trapped in it. So it’s really important to get out of this illusion first and then align ourselves with the universe to live up to our full potential. It’s necessary in a world where we are all recovering from some loss. When we feel connected to our surroundings, to the people around and to nature, we come close to our true selves!
Stay connected to the Sun, to the Moon, to every other star or planet, or any other thing that fills you with joy and makes you humble. Pay due respect to nature to seek blessings from the whole Universe.