The Twelve Surya Mantras for Summer Solstice
In addition to the twelve physical asanas of Surya Namaskar, there are also twelve mantras that go with the postures. Why twelve? Every year the sun passes through twelve different phases; in the West, it is known as the zodiac, and in the East, it is known as Rashi. According to Eastern astrology, each ‘Rashi’ has a different mood, and because of this, each mood is given a different name. Each of these twelve names comprises the twelve sun mantras. These are not merely names of the sun; every sound syllable contained within them is the vehicle of basic energy represented by the sun itself. The twelve sun mantras should be repeated in their respective order as you flow through the twelve asanas in Surya Namaskar.
Translation and explanation of the twelve Surya mantras
1. Om Mitraya Namaha – Salutations to the friend of all
The sun does not discriminate against anyone or anything; it is a universal friend and shares its light with everyone, so we adopt a position of reverence and grace to the source of all life.
2. Om Ravaye Namaha – Salutations to the shining one
Ravaye means one who shines and offers blessings upon all life. In the second position, we are reaching and stretching our whole being, opening up and expanding to greet the sun and sky and receive strength and energy.
3. Om Suryaya Namaha – Salutations to the one who induces activity
The sun is dynamic and energising. In the third position, we fold forward to connect with the earth sharing the blessings we have received from the sun with the earth and allowing the earth to ground us. Thereby keeping us balanced as the sun shares its energising properties with us.
4. Om Bhanave Namaha – Salutations to the one who illumines
Each morning the sun removes the darkness of the night and reveals daylight. In the fourth position, we are looking up, striving to remove our own blocks, barriers, judgements, fears, negative thought patterns etc., so that we may become illuminated.
5. Om Khagaya Namaha – Salutations to the one who moves quickly in the sky
Traditionally we measured time with the passing of the sun. In the fifth position, we become a conduit with the earth and the sky, requesting that the passing of time be compassionate and kind to us.
6. Om Pushne Namaha – Salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment
The sun gives strength to all life. In the sixth position, we ask for the energy from the sun to nourish and give us strength on a profound level.
7. Om Hiranya Garbhaya Namaha – Salutations to the golden cosmic self
Hiranya Garbhaya is also known as the golden egg and the manifestation of self-existence. In the sixth position, we request that our life is filled with creativity and that we flow with life.
8. Om Marichaye Namaha – Salutations to the bringer of the dawn
Marichaye also means mirage. In life, we seek true meaning or purpose, but sometimes we can be fooled and follow a path that is not right for us. In the eighth position, we ask for the ability to discriminate between what is real and unreal.
9. Om Adityaya Namaha – Salutations to the son of Aditi, the cosmic mother
Aditi is one of the many names given to the cosmic mother. In the ninth position, we salute the creative power that flows through us and all life.
10. Om Savitre Namaha – Salutations to the stimulating power of the sun
Savitre is also known as the stimulator or energiser. In the tenth position, we receive this stimulating and creative energy to enable us to achieve our desires with kindness and love.
11. Om Arkaya Namaha – salutations to the one who is fit to be praised
Akra means energy. In the eleventh position, once again, we are reaching and stretching to greet the sky and the sun to receive energy and pay gratitude to the great force in the sky, the source of all life.
12. Om Bhaskaraya Namaha – salutations to the one who leads to enlightenment
In the twelfth position, we return home to the self, whole & complete.