In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important message as to how significant is the chanting of Bhagawan’s divine names. In due course, we had also witnessed the procedure (A tentative one of course) of how do we “internalize” the chanting of the sacred “Mantra”. We’ve also witnessed the benefits that one would get by constantly chanting Bhagawan’s divine names. Especially in this “Kali Yuga”, “Mantra Chanting” is perhaps the only possible way through which we wash off all our sins, thereby paving the way to attain Moksha. This message is clearly brought about by Sage Aadi Shankarachaarya and this is the exact point which Sage Paraashara also mentions here too. Thus, by singing Bhagawan Krishna’s divine names, by performing the “Archana” with flowers of sweet fragrance and by constant thinking of Bhagawan Krishna, we can overcome the fear of the “Naraka Lokha”.
Moving on from here, Sage Paraashara now explains the “Bhoo-Kola”. In fact, we’ve already started this discussion when we witnessed that there are seven “Lokhas” above us and seven below us. This is just the continuation of that important discussion and Sage Paraashara is adding a few more important points here. The “Lokha” upon which all of us are living currently is referred to as “Bhoo-Lokha”. This “Bhoo-Lokha” extends to around one lakh (one hundred thousand) Yojanas upwards, further which is the next Lokha called “Bhuvar-Lokha”. This “Bhuvar-Lokha” extends to around twelve lakh Yojanas in height and after which, the “Suvar-Lokha” starts. Further to the “Suvar-Lokha”, we have the other four “Lokhas” namely, “Mahar-Lokha”, “Janah-Lokha”, “Tapah-Lokha” and the “Satya-Lokha”. If we look at this concept according to our “Sanaatana Dharma”, there is this “Bhoo-Lokha” where all of us live. On top of this “Bhoo-Lokha”, is Soorya (The Sun). On top of the Soorya is Chandra (The moon). On top of Chandra is “Budha” (Mercury). On top of this “Budha” is “Shukra” (Venus). On top of this “Shukra” is “Angaaraka” (Mars). On top of this “Angaaraka” is the “Guru” (Jupiter). On top of this “Guru” is Bhagawan “Shani” (Saturn). This is the basis of the science called “Astrology”, which talks extensively about the various planetary positions and how they influence one’s life.
On top of the “Shani” planet is the “Sapta-Rishi-Mandala” and on top of this “Sapta-Rishi-Manadala” is the “Dhruva” star. We’ve already witnessed the story of Little Dhruva and this is the same Dhruva that we’re talking about here too. Thus, Sage Paraashara explains all these important points to make us understand how the world is structured and sequenced. Having said thus, Sage Paraasshara is now going to explain some salient features of Soorya Bhagawan (The Sun God) and how beautiful is His chariot. He talks about how Bhagawan Soorya revolves around, which is the cause of the two seasons – The “Uttharaayana” and the “Dakshinaayana”. Normally the time from mid January to mid of July every English year is referred to as the “Uttharaayana” period wherein Bhagawan Soorya apparently comes closer to the earth surface (Bhoo Lokha). This is why we have the summer season in most parts of the world, including our Bhaarata Desha. This normally starts with the festival called “Pongal” or “Makhara-Shankaraanti”, which is celebrated all over India. In fact, we had just celebrated this festival last week and I’m sure all of us have this fresh in our minds. The significance of this festival is that, Bhagawan Soorya changes His direction from the “Dakshinaayana” to the “Uttharaayana” or the forward direction of movement.
Similarly, when the Uttharaayana period comes to an end, by around mid-July or so, Bhagawan Soorya starts his backward movement called “Dakshinaayana”. This is where the Sun moves away from the earth surface and we experience winter seasons across the world till the middle of January again. This phase is referred to as the “Dakshinaayana” and is also referred to as the “Dakshinaayana-Punya-Kaala”. Explaining thus, Sage Paraashara goes on to explain how big is Bhagawan Soorya’s chariot. He explains that the chariot alone is around 9,000 Yojanas in size! On either sides of the chariot there would be two fulcrums to hold it isn’t it? One of the fulcrums according to Sage Paraashara is around 18,000 Yojanas in size! We can imagine how mammoth this would be! We’ve already witnessed the calculation of Yojana previously. If we assume that one Yojana measures to around 8 miles or 13.2 kilometers, we can calculate the exact size that Sage Paraashara is talking about. Similarly, the other fulcrum is around 45,000 Yojanas in size. The center portion of the chariot is around 1,75,00,000 Yojanas in area. This chariot has seven horses tied to it, to pull it forward. Sage Paraashara explains the names of these seven horses thus, “Gayathri”, “Brihat”, “Anushtup”, “Brihati”, “Bankti”, “Trusthup” and “Yevacha”. These names are some constant elements that we keep chanting during our “Sandhyavandanam” that we perform every day. So many of our readers might know this pretty well. However, one unique feature of this chariot is that it has only one wheel. Normally we would have seen all chariots having two wheels minimum. But here, it has only one “Chakra” (Wheel).
It is thus in this chariot, Bhagawan Soorya travels across and keeps revolving. So for today, let us understand these important points about Bhagawan Soorya, and let us wait till the next episode to continue this important accord forward! Stay tuned! 🙂