This is a conversation between Sage Agastya
and Shri Rama supposed to be in the 107th
Sarga of the Yuddha kaaNDa of Valmiki
Ramayana .  Some `official' Ramayana texts
do not include it due to the possibility of
later addition

        Before we begin the introduction, let us bow to Aditya, the Sun
god, who bestows upon us all prosperity and who is capable of destroying
all our enemies.

        Aditya hridyam is a hymn to the Sun god and forms part of the
canto 107 of the valmiki ramayana. The setting is the battle field and the
fight between Ravana and Lord Rama has just been suspended. The latter
enters into a contemplative mood and is instructed by the sage Agastya on
the glory of Aditya, the Sun God. 

        The great acharya without any equal, Shankara acharya, established
the worship of five deities : Ganesha, Vishnu, Shakti, Shiva and Aditya. 
The worship establishes the unique function of each deity while
remembering the unity between Them. The unity between all of us is
Brahman. Established in the space-time domain, the mind mistakes that the
sun rises and sets. In reality, the sun is ever-present. Similarly, we
mistake ourselves to be the body-mind complex and suffer, while in
reality, we are Satchitananda, one without a second. To become aware of
this Truth, one has to destroy all the enemies within (like kama, krodha,
lobha, mada etc.) and establish our minds at the lotus feet of the divine
at all times. And recitation of this hymn will accomplish this seemingly
impossible feat. 

        Though this hymn is said to Rama, who appears to be in a state of
distress, Rama is well aware of His divinity.  As Sita says,

'Know Rama to be the Supreme Brahman - the existence knowledge bliss
(Satchitananda) absolute, the one without a second. He is pure
consciousness devoid of all adjuncts, whom the senses can not perceive as
their object.'

But Rama behaved very much like a human to set an example to all of us
humans. By His grace, we have the teachings of Yoga Vasistha since Rama
pretended to be ignorant and asked questions to vasistha.  Similarly, here
we obtain an hymn capable of destroying all our internal enemies and which
will bestow supreme felicity upon us, because Rama pretends to be
distressed. Rama's behaviour is also to set an example on how outwardly we
may act our roles and pretend to be happy or sad, while inwardly
understanding that the world is merely a mirage and the only reality is
the Self, Brahman. 

Let me end this brief introduction with my prayer to Lord Rama.

deva tvaM jagataaM naathaM paramaatmaa
daaraaH putraa dhanaM raajyaM sarva tvaM maayayaa kR^itam.h
ato.ahaM devadevesha naakaN^ashhe.anyatprasiidaM me
tattishhDataM mano naama tvayi naanyatra me sadaa

O Great Lord ! Thou art the paramatma, the protector of all worlds.
Wife, children, wealth, land, everything are infatuations of Thy maya.
O Lord of Lords, bestow Thy grace on me, since I do not seek anything else.
O Rama, may my mind remain on Thee at all times. May it not stray.


Rama, exhausted and about to face Ravana ready for a fresh battle was lost
deep in contemplation. The all knowing sage agastya who had joined the
gods to witness the battle spoke to Rama thus .. 1,2

Oh Rama, mighty-armed Rama, listen to this eternal secret which will help
you destroy all your enemies in battle.

This holy hymn dedicated to the Sun deity will result in destroying all
enemoes and bring you victory and never ending supreme bliss.

This hymn is supreme and is a guarantee of complete prosperity and is the
destroyer of sin, anxiety, anguish and is the bestower of longevity. 5

Worship the One, possessed of rays when he has completely risen, held in
reverence by the devas and asuras, and who is the Lord of the
universe by whose efflugence all else brighten.

He indeed represent the totality of all celestial beings. He is
self-luminous and sustains all with his rays. He nourishes and energizes
the inhabitants of all the worlds and the race of Devas and Asuras. 7

He is Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Skands, Prajapati. He is also Mahendra,
kubera, kala, yama, soma and varuna.

He is the pitrs, vasus, sadhyas, aswini devas, maruts, manu, vayu, agni,
prana and, being the source of all energy and light, is the maker of all
the six seasons.

He is the son of Aditi, creator of the universe, inspirer of action,
transverser of the heavens. He is the sustainer, illumination of all
directions, the golden hued brilliance and is the maker of the day. 10

He is the Omnipresent One who pervades all with countless rays. He is the
power behind the seven sense organs, the dispeller of darkness, bestower
of happiness and prosperity, the remover of misfortunes and is the infuser
of life. 

He is the primordial BEing manifesting as the Trinity. He ushers in the
Day and is the teacher (of Hiranyagarbha), the fire-wombed, the son of
Aditi, and has a vast and supreme felicity. He is the remover of
intellectual dull-headedness.

He is the Lord of the firmament, dispeller of darkness. Master of all the
vedas, he is a friend of the waters and causes rain. HE has crossed the
vindya range and sports in the Brahma Nadi. 13

He, whose form is circular and is colored yellow, is intensely absorbed
and inflicts death. He is the destroyer of all and is the Omniscient one
being exceedingly energetic sustains the universe and all action. 

He is the lord of stars, planets and all constellations. He is the origin
of everything in the universe and is the cause of the lustre of even the
brilliant ones. Salutations to Thee who is the One being manifest in the
twelve forms of the Sun. 

Salutations to the Eastern and western mountain, Salutations to the Lord
of the stellar bodies and the Lord of the Day. 16

Salutations to the One who ordains victory and the prosperity that
follows. Salutations to the one possessed of yellow steeds and to the
thousand rayed Lord, and to Aditya.

Salutations to the Terrible one, the hero, the one that travels fast.
Salutations to the one whose emergence makes the lotus blossom and to the
fierce and omnipotent one.

Salutations to the Lord of Brahma, shiva and Achyuta, salutations to the
powerful and to the effulgence in the Sun that is both the illuminator and
devourer of all and is of a form that is fierce like Rudra.

Salutations to he transcendental atman that dispels darkness, drives away
all fear, and destroys all foes. Salutations also to the annihilator of
the ungrateful and to the Lord of all the stellar bodies.   20

Salutations to the Lord shining like molten gold, to the transcendental
fire, the fire of supreme knowledge, the architect of the universe,
destroyer of darkness and salutations again to the efflugence that is the
Cosmic witness.

Salutations to the Lord who destroys everything and creates them again.
Salutations to Him who by His rays consumes the waters, heats them up and
sends them down as rain.

Salutations to the Lord who abides in the heart of all beings keeping
awake when they are asleep. He is both the sacrificial fire and the fruit
enjoyed by the worshippers.

The Sun is verily the Lord of all action in this universe. He is verily
the vedas, the sacrifices mentioned in them and the fruits obtained by
performing the sacrifices.      24

        .. phala shrutiH ..

Raghava, one who recites this hymn in times of danger, during an
affliction or when lost in the wilderness and having fear, he will not
lose heart (and become brave).

Raghava, worship this Lord of all Gods and the Universe with one-pointed
devotion. Recite this hymn thrice and you will win this battle.

O mighty armed one, you shall truimph over Ravana this very moment. Having
spoken this, Agastya returned his original place.

Raghava became free from worry after hearing this. He was greatly pleased
and became brave and energetic. 28

Gazing at the sun with devotion, He recited this hymn thrice and
experienced bliss. Purifying Himself by sipping water thrice, He took up
His bow with His mighty arms.

Seeing Ravana coming to fight, He put forth all his effort with a
determination to destroy Ravana.

Then knowing that the destruction of the lord of prowlers at night
(Ravana) was near, Aditya, who was at the center of the assembly of the
Gods, looked at Rama and exclaimed 'Hurry up' with great delight. 31

From Giridhar

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