Surya is the important ancient Hindu Solar God. There are many hymns found in the Rig Veda which mention or honor Surya. The Rig Veda is a collection of more than a thousand hymns written between 1200 and 900 B.C. by people known as Aryans, who came to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India from the Eurasian steppes to the north. The Rig Veda is one of the earliest known writings written in any Indo-European language. Hymn I.50 speaks to the Sun. (This passage is from The RigVeda; an anthology, a translation by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, Penguin Press, London, 1981) His brilliant banners draw upward the god who knows all creatures, so that everyone may see the Sun. The constellations, along with the nights, steal away like thieves, making way for the Sun who gazes on everyone. The rays that are his banners have become visible from the distance, shining over mankind like blazing fires. Crossing space, you are the maker of light, seen by everyone, O Sun. You illumine the whole, wide realm of space.
You rise up facing all the groups of gods, facing mankind, facing everyone, so that they can see the sunlight. He is the eye with which, O Purifying Varuna, you look upon the busy one among men. You cross heaven and the vast realm of space, O Sun, measuring days by nights, looking upon the generations. Seven bay mares carry you in the chariot, O Sun God with hair of flame, gazing from afar. The Sun has yoked the seven splendid daughters of the chariot; he goes with them, who yoke themselves. We have come up out of darkness, seeing the higher light around us, going to the Sun, the god among gods, the highest light. As you rise today, O Sun, you who are honored as a friend, climbing to the highest sky, make me free of heartache and yellow pallor. Let us place my yellow pallor among parrots and thrushes, or let us place my yellow pallor among other yellow birds in yellow trees. This Aditya has risen with all his dominating force, hurling my hateful enemy down into my...
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