The Surya (Sun)
Okay, Great Book, here I come and stand before you with folded hands. Tell me how to begin. I know you are not a ‘book’ and are not organized into numbered chapters. One does not begin reading you from chapter one. For you are an undivided whole. One can start anywhere and connect with all of you. Also there are no words, no one language. I am confused. Please, kindly guide me.
I wait a long moment and then feel a presence. Something comes and seems slowly to speak to me in English. “Buddhu Ram ji, it is I, that you call the Great Book. I can guide you if you give me your full attention. I know you wish to start with the Sun. I understand. It is the first thing you see every day. Just start and put down what you see written on me. Have no fear. I am with you every day, every week.
So I feel reassured and move. Oh sun I saw you early morning as you rose in the east. You were wrapped in red cool glow as a newborn baby. You rose slowly and the whole scene before me lit up. As you went up your red wrappings began to peel off and you became thin, smaller and warm. And then your light became brighter and hotter. I try to read the Book.
This Sun came first. Earth spun off it as a blob of red-hot molten lava. As it had come off the sun it began to orbit around its source. Then it cooled and became hard surfaced. Water appeared and filled most of it. But few dry spots remained. Then life began in water and marine animals and plants evolved. They took many shapes and filled the oceans. Slowly some sea animals were attracted to dry land and became amphibians. With time some of them adapted to living on the land.
The Sun continues to give light and warmth to all animals to those that live on dry earth and others in the oceans. All of them need light and warmth. If it stopped coming all beings would die. Imagine the sun’s responsibility and for how many billions of years this great saint has carried it!
Sun is the living model of what the Hindus call Dharma (appropriate action). It cannot be defined or canonized as dogma, for it is never the same for every individual.
All beings of the world began to wake up and start doing their assigned work. In my tradition we say we perform our dharma, that is, to do what we are able to do for the community of life according to the abilities given to us. We don’t think only of ourselves, for we are not alone. We exist only as long as life around us exists.
This is what the sun does. He distributes light and warmth among all living things. These are the two things he has and he given them without restraint to everyone. He does not care whether it is a king or a cockroach. He gives equally to both. Recipients have different attitudes. Some meet the sun every morning and meet it with an offering of water. They bow several times to show gratefulness. Others curse the sun for giving too much heat or blinding light. But the sun gives to both for it is his dharma.
The sun rises every morning right on time no matter what. He never says let me not rise today for I am tired or sick today. People on earth may not sometime see it because of the clouds, but the sun is there above the clouds without fail. This being sun’s dharma, he does it with all his might and skill.
Our sages of the old used to call the sun the great guru of dharma. They also said that when God created Dharma it was taught first to the sun. Since then he rises every morning with his message written on his whole face. It is easy to see and read by all. An ant can read it as also a dung beetle, an elephant, and a human being. Knowingly or inadvertently, one can fail to live by one’s dharma but as long as the sun rises in the morning and goes known in the evening, they cannot say no one made me aware.
28 May 2011