What is it about the sun? It is the centre of our solar system, of course. But the sun is a big deal in so many cultures, systems, and media: mythology, religion, romance,music, literature, and art. In the Hindu tradition, the sun, surya, is one of the gods. Sun gods feature in ancient pantheons in Greece, Rome, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, and Persia, and countless more. Human beings will complement someone’s child, saying they have a sunny disposition. If we are feeling bright, we might say we feel the sun in our heart, which is also the message of the gayatri prayer offered in yoga practice. With the popularity of Ashtanga Vinyasa and other types of flow yogas, salutes-to- the-sun are now practised with great devotion on every day on every continent. On a personal level, my housemates are leaving next week to wend their way up to Cairns to view a solar eclipse. The event is attracting an international audience because Cairns will be one of the best viewing spots in the world, and, for aficionados, a total eclipse is perhaps one of the most spectacular astronomical phenomenons that can be seen. I’ve always thought of myself as a kind of sun worshiper; I love the feeling of sun warming my skin, especially in the lee of the wind on a winter day. Still, I’ll be happy to watch the eclipse, but from the comfort of my computer chair. I’ll be checking in on November 14th just before 6:39am AEST to see the event live on the eclipsecairns website. And, you might want to, too.
Bhuvanajnanam surye samyamatd
Samyama on the sun gives wide knowledge of the planetary system and the cosmic regions.* *Patanjali’s Yogasutras, translation and commentary by T.K.V. Desikachar.