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Surya facts for kids

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The Sun
God of Light and Day
Shri Surya Bhagvan bazaar art, c.1940's.jpg
Surya (c. 1940)
Other names Adithya, Bhaskara, Divakara, Surya Narayanan, Shiva Surya
Affiliation Deva, Navagraha, Adityas, Saguna Brahman (Panchayatana puja)
Abode Suryaloka
Planet Sun
Weapon Wand
Day Sunday
Mount Chariot drawn by seven horses
Charioteer: Aruṇa
Personal information
Consort Ushas/Saranyu, Chhaya, and Ratri
Children Shraddhadeva Manu, Yama, Yami, Ashwins, Shani, Tapati , Bhadra Sugriva and Karna
Greek equivalent Helios
Roman equivalent Apollo / Sol

Surya is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun. Synonyms of Surya in ancient Indian literature include Aaditya, Arka, Bhanu, Savitr, Pushan, Ravi, Martanda, Mitra, Bhaskara and Vivasvan.

Surya also connotes the solar deity in Hinduism, particularly in the Saura tradition found in states such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. Surya is one of the five deities considered as equivalent aspects and means to realizing Brahman in the Smarta Tradition. Surya's iconography is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by horses, often seven in number which represent the seven colours of visible light, and seven days in a week. In medieval Hinduism, Surya is also an epithet for the major Hindu gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. In some ancient texts and arts, Surya is presented syncretically with Indra, Ganesha or others. Surya as a deity is also found in the arts and literature of Buddhism and Jainism.

Surya is depicted with a Chakra which is also interpreted as Dharmachakra. Surya is one of the nine heavenly houses (Navagraha) in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology. Surya or Ravi is the basis of Ravivara, or Sunday, in the Hindu calendar. Major festivals and pilgrimages in reverence of Surya include Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Ratha Sapthami, Chath puja and Kumbh Mela.

Having survived as a primary deity in Hinduism arguably better and longer than any other of the original Vedic deities apart from Vishnu, the worship of Surya declined greatly around the 13th century, perhaps as a result of the Muslim conquest of north India. New Surya temples virtually ceased to be built, and some were later converted to a different dedication, generally Shiva. A number of important Surya temples remain, but many are no longer in worship. In various respects, Surya has tended to be merged into Shiva, or seen as subsidiary to him.

Major Hindu temples dedicated to the Sun god in India

  • Świątynia Surji w Konarak
  • Świątynia Słońca w Modhera
  • Dakshinaarka , Gaya, Bihar
  • Bhramanya Dev , Unao , Madhya Pradesh
  • Surya Pahar , Asam
  • Suryanaar , w pobliżu Kumbhakonam , Tamilnadu
  • Suryanarayanaswamy , Arasavilli , Andhra Pradesh

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