The sun (savitar or surya) also known as Hiranyagarbha or the Golden seed is the first teacher of yoga and Vedanta. It also represents the inner self or atman. The great Hindu mantra, the Gayatri mantra is also a solar mantra revealed first to the great Vedic Rishi Vishwamitra in Rigaveda. This mantra itself has many powers.
In India the sun is always considered to be an important healer. We all must be aware of sun temple of konarka which is related to healing of Shri Krishna’s Son, Samba of leprosy. Modern health science also advocates that mild exposure to sun is very beneficial for health. We can also have a look on ancient forts, they were built keeping in a view that there should be proper exposure to body of sun rays.
When we study the history of Roman medicine then, according to the famous physician of Rome, Dr. Tilani, in the ancient Rome there was no physician for almost 600 years. The reason was that there was no need of physician. The ancient people of Rome used sun rays, exercises and fresh air & water to keep themselves hale and hearty. In those days Rome was a powerful kingdom. Sun has great impact on our food also. Fruits and vegetables which recieve more amount of sun rays are comparatively more nutritious than others and are included under sattvika Aahara. They are digested easily and do not cause any ailment to any systems of our body. When we talk about food and nutrition from Ayurvedic point of view then we must not forget that ancient rishis used to take fruits and raw vegetables. This type of diet which is full of solar energy kept them long lived and disease free.
Rigveda also states: All living beings of the creation depend on the sun. The sun removes physical, mental and spiritual weaknesses. It makes us healthy and long lived. The people who remain in artificial light or remain in door for most of the time, they themselves invite the micro-organisms to grow in their body. Apart from this the functions of various centers of brain are related with sun exposure. This was known to ancient kings of India that is why they used to make a ‘Kala-Kothari’ or the dark room for their prisoners who are involved in serious crimes. Constantly remaining away from sun makes one’s body full of diseases, very irritable and his intellect becomes tamo guna prabala (looks at the dark & negative sides).
Sun rays are important for growing bones and lactating mother where calcium requirement is increased many folds. This requirement is fulfilled by proper sun exposure. In Ayurveda, there are various descriptions where after massaging the body with medicated oil, patients are advised to lay down under sun for a particular period of time. Patients suffering from obesity and other metabolic disorders can also be benefitted by remaining under the sun as per guidelines of Ayurvedic physician. Sun exposure in these diseases works as wonder. It is an easiest way to lose weight and without any side effects. In many countries people devote time for sun exposure every weekend. Sun exposure relaxes, energizes and keeps them disease free. Seven colors of sun rays also have their own value. Naturopathy also advocates about chromo therapy. Chromo means color and therapy means system of cure. According to chromo-therapy all the things in the universe have a particular color. The stars and planets too emit certain color. In our body too, colors have various impacts and during various body conditions the use of colors benefits the individual. Red color energizes the body. Yellow color is helpful for constipation and urinary disorders. Orange color can be used to increase appetite. Green color is helpful for eyes ailments. Indigo color makes blood pure and can cure liver disorders. Violet color is helpful for nervous system disorders. These color can used in many ways like water, oil etc. This color therapy must be used under supervision of expert and experienced practitioners.
Let us not forget the divine healer, the sun, which can cure most of our physical and mental disorders. Let us do Surya Namaskar in front of rising sun, chant Surya mantras and Gayatri mantra to keep ourselves healthy forever.
Department of Swasthvritta,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.