Hindu Prayer

A Prayer to the Sun — from the Svetasvatara Upanishad

Prayer to the Sun -- Svetasvatara Upanishad

Evening Prayer (painting by Francesco Peluso, 19th century).

While reading through the Upanishads recently, we came across this beautiful prayer to the sun from the Svetasvatara Upanishad (a Hindu sacred text from the Yajurveda, believed to have been written sometime in the 6th – 4th century BC). It is incredible to discover so many references to the path of the spiritual sun and homage to the solar traditions all across the world.

We imagine this prayer can be uttered or reflected upon as a personal communion with the divine, or perhaps even incorporated into one of the sacred ceremonies celebrating the spirituality of the sun.

1 May the sun, at the commencement of yoga, join our minds and other organs to the Supreme Self so that we may attain the Knowledge of Reality. May He, also, support the body, the highest material entity, through the powers of the deities who control the senses.

2 Having received the blessings of the divine Sun and with minds joined to the Supreme Self, we exert ourselves, to the best of our power, toward meditation, by which we shall attain Heaven (Brahman).

3 May the Sun bestow favour upon the senses and the mind by joining them with the Self, so that the senses may be directed toward the Blissful Brahman and may reveal, by means of Knowledge, the mighty and radiant Brahman.

4 It is the duty of those brahmins who fix their minds and senses on the Supreme Self to utter such lofty invocations to the divine Sun, omnipresent, mighty and omniscient. For He, all-witnessing and non-dual, is the dispenser of sacrifices.

5 O senses and O deities who favour them! Through salutations I unite myself with the eternal Brahman, who is your source. Let this prayer sung by me, who follow the right path of the Sun, go forth in all directions. May the sons of the Immortal, who occupy celestial positions, hear it!

6 If sacrifices are performed without first propitiating the Sun, then the mind becomes attached to sacrifices in which fire is kindled by the rubbing of the pieces of fire-wood, the oblations are offered to the deity Vayu and the soma juice is drunk excessively.

7 Serve the eternal Brahman with the blessings of the Sun, the cause of the universe. Be absorbed, through samadhi, in the eternal Brahman. Thus your work will not bind you.

~ Svetasvatara Upanishad, translated by Swami Nikhilananda

Please note: While we recommend this practice, the text that it comes from requires further research and therefore is not currently on the recommended reading list of The Spiritual Sun.

23 Comments

  • I had a chance to use this prayer as one the readings chosen to be recited during this year’s summer solstice. It had evoked a feeling of both clarity and strength within me each time I read the words but was significantly more powerful at the time of the summer solstice sunrise. Thanks for posting this special passage.

    • Hello Shah,

      The book was available for free to anyone for quite a long time here. However that book was being plagiarised a lot, so it was taken offline.

      However I recently read that the book will be available on paper very soon! Which I think is great, because it’s such an amazing book. Check the publisher’s page periodically in the upcoming time and I’m sure you’ll see it appear. It’ll likely be availabe through Amazon.

      Kind regards.

  • Thanks for sharing this prayer. It would be great to use this prayer during the time of sunrise to give thanks and praise to the spiritual sun and to help set the spiritual tone for the day.

  • ​Very nice prayer, a poetic one!

    “It is the duty of those brahmins who fix their minds and senses on the Supreme Self to utter such lofty invocations to the divine Sun, omnipresent, mighty and omniscient. For He, all-witnessing and non-dual, is the dispenser of sacrifices.”

    I like to do the asanas-yoga postures at the morning facing the sun and praying to the spiritual sun at the same time. Especially when the morning is sunny the day starts better. And this prayer gave me inspiration to form mine in a different way.

    I guess could fit very nice in a sun ceremony too. Also there are parts of it that worth to reflect and meditate on. Like how could propitiate the Sun before the sacrifice? (6th paragraph)

    Thanks for posting it

  • Thank you for sharing this prayer it’s indeed extremely relevant to the site and the great resources offered here. A excellent find

  • A very beautiful prayer. Reading it I felt a calmness and a connection to the Path of the Sun and the Supreme Self. It is a wonderful thing to be reminded of it, and also to be able to relate to this prayer which was uttered over 2000 years ago. Thank you for uncovering it!

  • I just saw a nice evening sun which felt very peaceful.

    Reading this text carefully was nice, some of the things I felt understood a little, other lines are more obscure (but I guess that hese texts are more of an ‘exploreable’ thing, where with more practice and though understandings taken in solstice ceremonies etc we gain more knowledge about their meaning.)

    It reminds me a bit of the text refered to in this blog, a relfetion upon Krishna. Through the author’s exloration in practice and the following explanation it made the original Hindu text more understandable.

    • Thank you Karim for making this connection between this article and the blog on a reflection upon Krishna!

      “I realized that to rest in the peace of the Samadhi is to meditate upon Krishna from moment to moment during daily life, and that this is the key to conquer the senses.”

      How nice it would be to exist in that Samadhi at least for a while, with whole of our mind and heart always on the Supreme/Sun/Krishna. I feel it would be quite a different way of living if we had that force incarnated within…

      The closest I ever got to something at least remotely similar to this in the past, was when I wanted to get out of a suffering and strife that was going on in my life at that time. I wanted to just get out of it and keep my mind and heart completely on Love I knew existed somewhere… So I kind of imagined that I already had it and that I was in it, trying to feel it “as if” :-). I walked in the park, keeping this feeling alive and I got a sense that I should maybe do this more often, as It helped me to have a sort of devotional feeling that I felt could surpass any mundane heaviness.

  • Really nice. I like how the prayer seems to be highlighting the control of the senses and the need to be always connected to the Divine Sun before everything else. In this sense, the last 2 paragraphs spoke most to me, as they describe the need not to be attached to whatever work we may be carrying to awaken, but always just fix our gaze on the eternal.

    “6 If sacrifices are performed without first propitiating the Sun, then the mind becomes attached to sacrifices in which fire is kindled by the rubbing of the pieces of fire-wood, the oblations are offered to the deity Vayu and the soma juice is drunk excessively.

    7 Serve the eternal Brahman with the blessings of the Sun, the cause of the universe. Be absorbed, through samadhi, in the eternal Brahman. Thus your work will not bind you.”

  • This is a really beautiful prayer and so clearly talks about the connection of the Sun and spiritual transformation. As Julian said this message and practice is truly universal.
    Thanks!

  • What a beautiful prayer! It’s amazing how universal this message is, and I can relate to this prayer so much, understanding the symbology and meaning of the sun through things such as this website, the book “The Path of the Spiritual Sun”, and practicing of sacred ceremonies at the solstices and equinox. It would be interesting to put prayers like this to music…

  • Thanks for sharing this. It would be amazing to understand how to serve and unite with the forces of the spiritual sun in a permanent way.

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