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Vayu Purana – Purva Kandha 49-56

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Arrangement of Luminaries

1Samsapayana said: Hearing this the sages became doubtful. They asked Lomaharsana again for its clarification.
2The Sages said: Sir, you have mentioned the famous abodes of Devas. How are these abodes? How are these luminaries? Please describe.
3Please say everything precisely about luminaries. On hearing their words the pious Suta said:
4I shall explain to you what has been mentioned by great intellectuals of perfect knowledge, in connection with the origin of the Sun, the Moon, how the Moon and the Sun are the abodes of gods.
5Now I shall mention the origin of three fires: celestial, elemental (atmospheric) and terrestrial.
6When the great night came (lit. dawned) on Brahma, born of the Unmanifest, the universe became undefined and enveloped by nocturnal darkness.
7Only four elements were there. That which blazed at first is called terrestrial fire. The fire that blazes in the Sun is called Suci (celestial).
8I shall now mention the characteristics of the fire called Vaidyuta (atmospheric) fire. Three fires—Vaidyuta (lightning), Jathara (gastric) and Saura (solar) are born of the womb of waters. Hence by drinking water the Sun blazes in the sky with his rays.
9The fire from lightning that burns trees cannot be quelled by water. Nor the fire in human bellies can be quenched by it.
10The fire existing in the belly is full of rays. It is a great fire. The diffused light of the Sun devoid of heat is white and spreads everywhere.
11It partially (with its quarter part) enters the fire at night, when the Sun sets. So the fire is seen blazing from a distance.
12The heat of the fire permeates the Sun when he rises again. With a quarter of the heat the terrestrial fire blazes forth.
13The light-and heat of the Sun and fire develop by day and night, thanks to this mutual permeation.
14In the northern or southern hemisphere, when the Sun rises, the night enters the water. Hence the water becomes copper-coloured during the day, because of the entry of the night.
15When this Sun sets again, the day enters the water. So during the night the water sparkles due to the entry of day.
16In this manner, in the southern and northern hemispheres, at the time of sunrise and sunset, the day and the night enter the waters.
17That which blazes in the Sun drinking the waters through the rays is the celestial fire mixed with the terrestrial one.
18-19The celestial fire of a thousand rays is circular and shaped like a jar. With its thousand rays it takes up the water of the rivers, oceans, wells, desert lands, both mobile, i.e. flowing, and stationary. The Sun of golden form has a thousand rays that exude rain, chillness and heat.
20Four hundred of those rays having variegated forms shower rain. The rays that generate rain are called Vandanas, Vandyas, Rtanas, Nutanas and Amrtas.
21Apart from these, there are three hundred rays that exude chilliness. These are called Drsyas, Medhyas, Vahyas and Hradinis.
22-23These are called Candras. All these rays are yellow coloured. The rays that generate hot energy are Suklas, Kakubhs, Gaus and Visvabhrts. They are also three hundred. All of them are white. With these the Sun sustains human beings, Pitys and Devas alike.
24He gratifies human beings through medicinal herbs; the Pitris by means of Svadha; and Devas by means of nectar.
25During spring and the summer he blazes with the three hundred rays. During rains and autumn he generates rain by the four (hundred rays).
26The Sun creates mist and fog by means of the three (hundred rays) during early and late winter. He deposits energy on the medicinal herbs. By means of Svadha he propitiates Pitris. By means of nectar of three varieties he bestows immortality.
27Thus thousand rays of the Sun achieve the purpose of the worlds. They differ according to the season by exuding water, chilliness and heat.
28Thus the bright and spaRikling solar zone is described. It is the support and source of origin of the stars, planents and the Moon. All these, the stars, the Moon and the planets should be known to have originated from the Sun.
29The Moon is the lord of stars; the Sun is the king of planets. The remaining five planets are known as Isvaras having forms as they please.
30It is said that the fire is Sun and (the source of) water is the Moon. Now listen to the source of other planets as explained in detail.
31The commander-in-chief of the army of Devas, Skanda, is said to be the origin of Angaraka (Mars). Those who have perfect knowledge know that Narayana is the origin of Lord Budha.
32Lord Rudra himself who is the prototype of Dharma, the son of Vivasvat, in the world, is the origin of the great planet Saturn, the slowest of all planets. He is the most excellent among Brahmanas.
33The two great planets with bright rays are Sukra (Venus) and Brihaspati (Jupiter), the preceptors of Asuras and Devas. They are the sons of Prajapati.
34There is no doubt that the entire universe, all the worlds including Devas, Asuras and human beings, have their roots in the Sun.
35It is his universal splendour, O leading Brahmanas, that shines as the refulgence of all heaven-dwellers such as Rudra, Indra, Vishnu and the Moon.
36He is the Atman of all, the lord of all the worlds. He is the primordial great deity. Everything originates from him and merges in him.
37O Brahmanas, the creation and dissolution of the worlds arose from the Sun formerly. The Universe is known as a planet. The Sun is the most excellent and refulgent planet.
38From him are born again and again and into him merge after death, all the moments, Muhurtas, days, nights, fortnights, months, seasons, years, sets of five years and Yugas.
39Their time-calculation is impossible without the Sun. Without time there is no sacred scripture, no initiation, and no daily routine.
40Without him how can the seasons be named and classified? How can the food grains and plants grow? How can there be medicinal herbs of good quality?
41Without the Sun, the thief of water, the scorcher of the Universe, all the affairs of Devas here and in heaven cannot go on.
42O excellent Brahmanas, he alone is Kala (Time) and fire. He is the twelve-souled Prajapati. He blazes the three worlds including mobile and immobile beings.
43He alone is a mass of splendour. He is the entire world and benefactor of all the worlds. Resorting to the uppermost path of Vayu, he blazes this Universe by means of his splendour at the sides, above and below.
44Seven among the thousand rays of the Sun already mentioned by me are the most excellent. They are the causes of the planets.
45They are—Susumna, Harikesa, Visvakarman, Visvasravas, Sampadvasu, Arvavasu and Svarat.
46The Sun’s ray called Susumna develops the declining Moon. It is said to be exerting power laterally and from above.
47The ray Harikesa is said to be the primordial cause of the stars. It spreads forward. Towards the south the ray Visvakarman makes Budha.
48The next ray called Visvasravas is the source of Sukra (Venus). The ray Sampadvasu is the cause of Lohita (Mars).
49The sixth ray Arvavasu is the source of origin of Brihaspati (Jupiter). The ray Svarat develops Sanaiscara (Saturn).
50Thus all the planets, stars and constellations flourish by the energy of the Sun. The entire Universe too flourishes thereby. The Naksatra-hood (i.e. the term Naksatra) is so called due to (fact that) they do not decline.
51The Sun too is a Naksatra because he falls into their Ksetras (spheres) and then by means of his rays he takes them up.
52The constellations (Tarakas) are so called because they have crossed (the ocean of existence) by means of merit, because [they resort to the planets at the end of their pious actions. They are called Tarakas because they enable others to cross (the ocean of existence) and because they are sparkling.
53The Sun is called Aditya, because it always removes (lit. takes away yja-da) darkness of the night both celestial and terrestrial. He is great by his refulgence.
54The root ‘su’ means ‘to throb’ and ‘to exude.’ Since it diffuses light and exudes water it is called “Savitr”.
55The root ‘cad’ which gives the word ‘Candra’ has many meanings: ‘to delight,’ ‘to spaRikle’, ‘to act as nectar’ and ‘to be cool.’
56-57The divine and sparkling orbs of the Sun and the Moon are in the sky. They sparkle like blazing fire. They are auspicious and they resemble a circular jar. The orb of the Moon is of solid water and the orb of the Sun is of solid refulgence.
58Devas resorting to the stars, the Sun and the planets enter these spots in all the Manvantaras.
59These abodes of Devas are named after them. The Sun enters the abode Saura; the Moon enters the abode Saumja.
60The valorous sixteen-rayed Sukra (Venus) enters the abode Saukra. Brihaspati (Jupiter) enters the abode Brihat: Lohita (Mars) enters the abode Lauhita; Sanaiscara (Saturn) enters the abode Sanaiscara.
61The planets are brightly illuminated due to their contact with the rays of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is nine thousand Yojanas.
62The girth of the Sun is three times its diameter. The width of the Moon is twice that of the Sun.
63Equal to them, Svarbhanu (Rahu) goes beneath. The planet Rahu is created in globular form out of the shadow of the earth.
64-65The dark abode of Svarbhanu is fashioned out of darkness. During full moon days he comes out of the Sun and goes to the Moon. From the Moon he goes to the Sun (during the new-moon days) and again he goes to the Moon. He dispels (the brilliance of) the heaven with his refulgence and is, therefore, called Svarbhanu.
66The magnitude of the diameter and girth of Bhargava (Venus) is one sixteenth of that of the Moon.
67Brihaspati (Jupiter) is three-fourths of the planet Venus in size. Kuja (Mars) and Saura (Saturn) are three- fourths of Jupiter in the size. Budha (Mercury) is three-fourths of each of them in width and girth.
68(Heavenly) bodies, and constellations seen in the sky are equal to Mercury in width and girth.
69-70One conversant with reality should know that the stars are usually in conjunction with the Moon. The stars and constellations differ from one another by five hundred, four hundred, three hundred and two hundred Yojanas as well. The spheres of the stars are lesser than the earlier ones. There is no star smaller than the ones with one and a half Yojanas.
71The three planets Saturn, Mars and Jupiter, move far above the other planets. They go slowly and their movements are crooked as well.
72The four great planets—the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus, have their orbits below. They move swiftly.
73There are crores of constellations and as many stars too. The way (orbit) of the stars is well arranged through the control of Vithis.
74In the order of his transit, the movement of the Sun is either above or below. When the Moon is in the northern sphere during Parvans, Budha and Svarbhanu occupy their own abodes.
75The stars occupy their own abodes. These luminaries are the abodes of pious persons.
76The abodes are created by the Self-born Deity at the beginning of the Kalpa. They stay up to the dissolution of all living beings.
77These are the abodes of the deities in all Manvantaras. These deities identify themselves with these abodes and stay till the final dissolution.
78The abodes of those who have gone have vanished. The abodes of the future Devas and Asuras will be created along with them. The present groups of Devas stay in those abodes.
79In this Manvantara, the planets reside in aerial cars. In the Vaivasvata Manvantara the Sun is born of Aditi and is called Vivasvat.
80Tvisimat, the son of Dharma, known as Vasu is the lord Moon. The lord Sukra, king of Asuras, is known as Bhargava (Venus).
81The excessively refulgent lord Brihaspati, son of Arigiras, is the preceptor of Devas. Budha is charming and is known as the son of Tvisi.
82Agni was alternatively born as the youthful lord of Lohita (Mars). The daughters of Daksha resort to the stars and constellations.
83Svarbhanu is the son of Sirhhika, who, being a demon, harasses all living creatures. Thus the deities identifying themselves with the Moon, the Sun, planents and stars have been recounted.
84Thus the abodes and their resident deities are mentioned. The abode of the thousand-rayed Sun is full of fire and spaRikling.
85The abode of the thousand-rayed Moon is full of water and sparkling white. The abode of the five-rayed charming planet Budha is dark in colour.
86The abode of the sixteen-rayed Venus is full of water. The abode of the nine-rayed Mars is full of water and red in colour.
87The abode of the twelve-rayed Brihaspati is big and green. It is full of water. The abode of the light-rayed Saturn is dark in colour. It is full of water.
88The abode of Svarbhanu is dark. It is the abode harassing all living beings. The constellations are single-rayed and full of water.
89They are the abodes of persons of pious fame. They are bright and white in colour. They are of the nature of solid water. They are created in the beginning of the Kalpa in accordance with the Vedas.
90-91Because of his loftiness, the Sun is seen quickly by his bright rays. The Sun stationed in the Nagavithi, the path of southern transit, is encompassed by the line of the Earth during full moon and new moon days. He is not seen at the usual time and he sets early.
92Hence, the Moon stationed in northern path is not invariably seen during the new moon day in the southern path.
93By virtue of the movement of luminaries, the Sun and the Moon rise and set at the same time during the equinox.
94In the northern pathways, they rise and set at different times. During the new moon and full moon days they follow the circle of luminaries.
95When the Sun is stationed in the southern path, he moves beneath the planets.
96Making his orb extensive, the Moon traverses the orbit above (the Sun). The entire multitude of stars moves above the Moon.
97Mercury is above the stars; Jupiter is above Mercury; Saturn is above Jupiter; and still above is the zone of Seven Sages (Great Bear). Dhruva (Pole Star) is above the Seven Sages.
98The intermediate distances between the stars and the planets are above two hundred thousand Yojanas and vary in individual cases (obscure Text).
99The planets, the Sun and the Moon come into contact with the stars every day in the sky by their divine splendour and they separate also in the due order.
100The Sun, stars and the planets may be either below or above or in the middle. When they come together or separate from one another, people see them simultaneously.
101They stay in juxtaposition with one another coming into mutual contact. But their communion is free from intermixture.
102-103Thus I have described to you the position of the luminaries on the earth and that also of the continents, oceans, mountains, sub-continents and rivers where they are situated. These self-same planets formerly originated from the stars.
104Vivasvan, the son of Aditi, the first among the planets, i.e. the Sun-god, was born under the constellation Visakha in the Caksusa Manvantara.
105The brilliant Moon-god Visvavasu, the son of Dharma, the cool-rayed maker of nights, was born under (the constellation) Krttika.
106After the Sun, Sukra (Venus), son of Bhrigu, endowed with sixteen rays, who is next to the Sun is the most excellent among constellations and planets. He is born in the constellation Tisya (Pusya).
107The planet Brhaspati (Jupiter) of twelve fiery flames, who is the son of Angiras and is the preceptor of the universe was born under the constellation Phalguni (Purva Phalguni in Bd. P).
108It is reported that the nine-rayed, red-bodied planet (Mars), son of Prajapati, is born under the constellation Purvasadha.
109The seven-rayed planet, Saturn, son of the Sun, is born under the constellation Revati. The planets harassing the Sun and the Moon are born under the constellation Rohini.
110These stars and planets beginning with Sukra (Venus) should be comprehended (properly) because they attain evil propensities when the constellation of nativity is afflicted. They are affected by that defect (and are redeemed) due to devotion to the planets.
111Aditya (the Sun) is called the first among these planets. Among the stellar planets Sukra is the first. Among the comets (Ketu) is the first.
112Dhruva (Pole Star) is the pivotal peg among the planets divided in the four quarters. Among the stars, Sravistha (Dhanistha) is the most excellent; among the Ayanas (Transits) the Uttarayana (northern transit) is the most excellent.
113Among the five years the first is Samvatsara; among the seasons Sisira (late winter) is the first; among months Magha is the first.
114Among the fortnights the bright half is excellent; among the Tithis (days of the lunar fortnight) Pratipat (the first day) is excellent; in the divisions of days and nights day is declared excellent.
115Among the Muhurtas, the first is excellent. It has Rudra for its deity. Nimesa (the time taken in the winking of the eyes) is excellent among the units of time. So is the opinion of those who know Time.
116Beginning with Sravistha (Dhanistha) and ending with Sravana there shall be the Yuga of five years. As a result of the rotation of the Sun, it revolves like a wheel.
117Hence the Sun is remembered as Kala (Time). Know that he is the Isvara (Lord), the activiser of the four types of living beings and their destroyer as well.
118Thus, this is the regulated arrangement of luminaries as a decisive feature of the affairs of the world. It is evolved by the Lord for the regular functioning of the world.
119It is born of Sravana and consolidated in Dhruva. It extends all round in the form of a circle.
120It was told (ordained) so intelligently at the beginning of Kalpa by the Lord. He is the supporter and the Abhimanin (the identifier) with all. He is the Soul of luminary bodies. He is the cosmic form, a miraculous transformation of Pradhana.
121The movement of the luminaries among human beings cannot be precisely observed by the physical eye, nor can it be narrated exactly by anyone.
122By means of scriptures, inference, perception and reasoning, after scrutinizing intelligently and carefully, a learned man should entertain sufficient faith in it.
123O excellent among intelligent beings, these five functions are the means for ascertaining the true positions of the luminary bodies, viz. the eye, scriptures, water, written documents and mathematical calculations.

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