Worshiping the Sun – A practical guide
What if the most powerful force for energising all Yoga practices were as obvious and visible as the Sun? The fact is that it is. The Sun, properly understood not merely as an outer but as an inner energy source, reflects the supreme light of Yoga both in our own hearts and in the world of nature around us.
The Sun is obviously the most powerful influence in nature, responsible for the light through which all life on Earth functions as well as sustaining the force of gravity through which the Earth revolves. The Sun is the ruler or cosmic lord behind our solar system and all that occurs within it. Yet though we all may welcome the sunlight every day, we seldom consider the spiritual reality of the Sun or honor the sacred presence and higher spirit behind it. We take the sunlight for granted or value it for providing us better health or an alternative energy source!
However, if we look at traditional and ancient cultures from throughout world, we discover a strong awareness of the Sun as a spiritual force, and as great symbol and a secret doorway to a higher reality. We note extensive religious, spiritual, yogic, astrological and shamanic traditions that revere the Sun in various ways and also seek to understand the wisdom and grace behind its outer form, intuiting through the Sun the supreme force behind all existence.
The question has been raised whether this ancient solar symbolism reflects a deeper spiritual practice like Yoga or merely reflects the prominence of the Sun’s influence in the world of nature. As we begin to better understand and appreciate native traditions, it is becoming more and more clear that there is something deeply mystical behind the ancient worship of light, and that it is not simply a primitive nature worship. Earlier humanity was probably more spiritual than our current culture, owing to its ability to connect with the inner Divine light behind the great illuminating power of the Sun. This ancient path of light beckons us both from the future as well as the past, as the ecological age dawning today requires that we honor the sacred and Divine presence in nature, especially in the Sun.
Even relative to the asana side of Yoga, the Sun has a very important symbolism. Sun Salutation is probably the most important of all asanas, as it covers the largest range of bodily movements, energising all our physiological systems and all the organs, spreading the solar light through all our limbs.
Conclusion and Summary
We need to cultivate the external Sun not only as an energy source, but the inner Sun as a source of inspiration and meditation. This once more provides us a world view in which we can appreciate the spiritual teachings not only the Vedas, Yoga and Tantra, but of all solar traditions of truth and enlightenment, which have counterparts all over the world and many of which are undergoing renewal.
The best ways to access this power of the spiritual Sun can be listed briefly:
- Perform the Sun Salutation particularly in the morning to the Sun.
- Practice Pranayama, especially alternate nostril breathing and honouring Prana as the purifying inner Sun.
- The simplest thing to do is to greet the sun every day with the mantra: Om Sum Suryaya Namah!