[Advaita-l] Surya Namaskara Mantra

sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org
Sat Feb 19 08:58:38 CST 2005

Surya Namaskara Mantra

Dear Rama ji,

>>>>>>>>> shukeshhu me harimANam | ropaNAkAsu dadhmasi | atho
haaridraveshhu me | What does shAyaNa have to say about these

According to Sayana's Bhashya on the Taittiriya Brahmana 3-7-6-21, shuka
is a parrot. RopaNAkA is a female parrot, also called "saarikaa" in
Sanskrit (Mainaa in Hindi). And Haridrava is a tree, which is called in
modern Sanskrit Haritaal or in Hindi Har(D)taal. Its sap was used in many
ancient manuscripts to correct writing-mistakes. According to SAyana,
"harimA" means paleness caused by grief or ugliness caused by various
In the Sayana Bhashya on the Rig-veda, he interprets "hrid-roga" as
internal (mental) diseases, and "harimA" as external (physical) diseases,
which make the body pale. Now, the essence of the prayer is that since
this yellowish color is only "wanted" by creatures like parrot and Maina
(ropaNAkA) or by trees like "haaridrava", please place this yellowish
color in them, but not in me. "May this color happily remain with them, so
that it may not harm us". This is the purport according to SAyana.
According to the Rig-vedaanukramani, Maharshi PraskaNva KANva praised
Surya with these Mantras to be cured from his skin-diseases.
However, regarding the meaning of the word "haaridrava" in Rig-veda
8-35-7, Sayana himself translates it as meaning a particular type of bird.
The context in the AtharvaVeda is extremely helpful in understanding the
purport of this Mantra.
AtharvaVeda 1-22-3 goes something like this "May the reddish color of the
cows of the Devatas and Humans enter into you", this has been said to an
ill person. After that comes the above Mantra. So you can understand the
context now. Here in the Bhashyam also Sayana interprets "haaridrava" as a
yellowish bird. This also makes me to think that this Mantra must have
originated from the AtharvaVeda, since only there one can fully understand
it in its correct context. That makes it very clear.
Sayana says here, "In the previous Mantras the radiant reddish color has
been said to enter the body of an ill person, but then what should happen
to the yellowish color of the body, which was caused by illness, this is
being mentioned in this Mantra".
It is no injustice with those creatures, since they already have that
color in their body. I hope this makes it clear. Eventually the
quintessence is "may an ill-person obtain the radiant reddish color of the
divine red cows (i.e. may he become healthy), and may the yellow color
(paleness) of an ill-person enter the yellow birds where it really suits
(i.e. may he be free from all diseases)".

>>>>>>>hari is yellowness in color, but how to interpret hari + mA?

Let me also clarify this point. The word from which "hariman" has been
constructed is "harit", which means "yellow". By Panini's Sutra 5-1-123
the suffix "imanic" is added to the word, in the meaning of "bhaava", so
"harit" means "yellow" and "hariman" (which is the praatipadika) would
mean "yellow-ness". harimaa is just first case singular of hariman, like
raajaa is of raajan.

Love and Respect,
Siddhartha Krishna

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