July 17, 2008 - Rajesh Odayanchal

Surya Namaskar | Salutations to the Sun

Practicing sun salutations regularly can produce longevity, efficiency, strength and improve overall health. You can make your waist and spine flexible through sun salutations. You can tone up and beautify your arms and broaden your chest. If your spirit has started sagging lately, practice sun salutations to revive and rekindle your lost and drooping spirit.

Surya Namaskar is included in the regular routine of prayer and worship. Means it must be practiced regularly. Its greater importance has been described in the scriptures. As per the scriptures, a single day worship of the sun has virtues equivalent to the bestowal presentation of one lakh milk cows. Like worship, Surya Namaskaras too has their own significance. Surya Namaskara means prayer (Vandana) of Lord Surya. Surya Vandana is short. Surya Namaskara is an ancient system of Indian exercise. Stand facing the east at dawn and peacefully chant the mantras to pray Lord Surya and offer red sandals, flowers, rice grains (Akshatas) with water of simply the water alone as ARGHE (libation) and perform Surya Namaskara. This whole process must be performed before the sunrise is better.

Making difficult body movements becomes easy and your movements also become more graceful through practicing sun salutations. Unpleasant body odors are eradicated by Surya Namaskar. If your Adam’s apple has become abnormally prominent, it can be reduced through regularly performing sun salutations. Of course you can reduce your fat and get rid of love handles and beer belly through this exercise.

Even premature greying of hair and excessive hair fall can be arrested through sun salutations. Women can benefit a lot by practicing sun salutations. The process of child birth can become easier and hassle free or pain free and menstrual irregularity gets suppressed by regular practice of sun salutations.

If your breasts have started to sag, this exercise will stimulate the breast mass and restore firmness to your breasts, making them perkier. The pectoral muscles are strengthened and the glands are stimulated through this exercise. This helps to restore lost elasticity and improves the flexibility of muscles.

Skin disorders are prevented and the skin is refreshed through Surya Namaskar.
The function of the endocrine glands as well as that of the thyroid gland is normalized and your anxiety is calmed down through this exercise. It will even eliminate insomnia and promote deep sleep.

Your memory power is improved and the nervous system is toned up through sun salutations. Various kinds of toxic gases including carbon dioxide, and that too in large quantities are eliminated through the practice of Surya Namaskar. Thus this exercise is a kind of detoxifying agent for your body.

The blood is oxygenated and the lungs are thoroughly ventilated through the performance of this exercise. Even the muscles of your abdomen are strengthened. You can eliminate dyspepsia and constipation and activate your digestion and tone up the digestive system through Surya Namaskar.

For Devotees

The 12 Names of Surya – the Sun
1) Om Maitreya nam-ah       (The friend of all)
2)   Om Ravaye nam-ah         (Praised by all)
3)   Om Suryaya nam-ah       (The guide of all)
4)   Om Bhanave nam-ah      (The bestower of beauty)
5)   Om Khagaya nam-ah     (Stimulator of the senses)
6)   Om Pushne nam-ah        (The nourisher of all)
7)   Om Hiranyagarbhaya nam-ah   (The creator)
8)   Om Marichaye nam-ah   (Destroyer of disease)
9)   Om Adityaya nam-ah      (The inspirer)
10) Om Savitre nam-ah          (The purifier)
11) Om Arkaya nam-ah         (The radiant)
12) Om Bhaskaraya nam-ah    (The illuminator)

The 108 Names of Surya

Brahma once recounted to the sages the one hundred and eight sacred names of Surya. The Brahma Purana lists these names and we reproduce them in nine groups of twelve names each.

(1) Surya, Archana, Bhagavana, Tvashta, Pusha, Arka, Savita, Ravi, Gabhastimana, Aja, Kala, Mrityu.

(2) Dhata, Prabhakara, Prithivi, Jala, Teja, Akasha, Vayu, Parayana, Soma, Brihaspati, Shukra, Budha.

(3) Angaraka, Indra, Vivasvana, Diptamshu, Shuchi, Shouri,Shanaishvara, Brahma, Vishu, Rudra, Skanda, Vaishravana.

(4) Yama, Vaidyuta, Jathara, Agni, Aindhana, Tejohapti, Dharmadhvaja, Vedakarta, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita, Treta.

(5) Dvapara, Kali, Sarvasurashraya, Kala, Kashtha, Muhurta, Kshapa, Yama, Kshana, Samvatsara, Ashvattha, Kalachakra.

(6) Vibhavasu, Shashvata, Purusha, Yogi, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha, Prajadhyaksha, Vishvakarma, Tamonuda, Varuna, Sagara.

(7) Amsha, Jimuta, Jivana, Ariha, Bhutashraya, Bhutapati, Sarvalokanamaskrita, Shrashta, Samvartaka, Vahni, Sarvadi, Alolupa.

(8) Anata, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvotamukha, Jaya, Vishala, Varada, Sarvabhutasevita, Mana, Suparna, Bhutadi.

(9) Shighraga, Pranadharana, Dhanvantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditinandana, Dvadashatma, Ravi, Daksha, Pita, Mata, Pitamaha.

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