Surya Namaskar

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In this book on Yoga Asana a chapter on Surya Namaskar is important. There is a proverb in Tamil that “After loosing eye sight what use is Surya Namaskar?” It means any act has to be done in the appropriate period.

Of late Sun energy and its use is becoming more and more important. Solar energy is being used in many ways, even in driving a car. Apart from this idea, Surya Namaskar will surely give a healthy body. (Though spiritual advancement is also got). This fact cannot be under estimated whatever may be the physical frame one can do this. When properly done Surya Namaskar includes some asanas also to some extent.

In Astrology there is a ruling. Fixing an auspicious day and time is still in practice by many people. A day suitable to us may not be auspicious. Hence our ancestors have given us a wonderful theory. Any good act, for example entering a new house, opening a business etc. done at Sunrise time, is always good. The lunar day, star or the day of the week need not be calculated for this. (Thithi. Vara, Nakshatra Dosha) Sunrise period is always auspicious.

Sunrise itself is a beautiful sight. At this beautiful time if Surya Namaskar is done there will be perfect health and sharp eyesight. We should not see the Sun directly. Out eyes are not created to receive the Sunrays directly. Hence close the eyes partially or turn the vision slightly downward. Adjust in such a way to avoid direct vision on Sun. avoid spectacles during Surya Namaskar.

The procedure as I learnt from my Guru is explained hereunder.

  1. Stand erect.

  1. Raise both hands above the head.

  1. Join both the hands in the raised position.

  1. In this position give a backward bend to the possible extent.
  2. Then coming to the normal position give a forward bend to the body.

  1. In forward bending the legs should not bent.

  1. Then slightly rising, bend one leg and take the leg backward and fix the toe on the ground.

  1. Place the palms on the ground.

  1. Take the other leg also to the back and fix this toe also on the ground.

  1. At this position the body will rest on strength of the palms and toes. There should be space between the ground and other portions of the body.

  1. Place the entire body on the ground.

  1. Bring the hands to the forward position from the head.

  1. While getting up fixing the palm on the ground, raise the head and chest region.

  1. Come to the original position slowly.

By this process the backbone is given a backward and forward bend. By fixing the palm on the ground and raising the head and chest, the nerves in the neck portion and chest portion are nourished. We are also doing a portion of Chakrasana, Pachimothasana, Salabasana, Bujangasana and Mayurasana and Savasana.

A minimum of twelve Namaskars has to be performed. After Surya Namaskar there will be perspiration and the body will receive a new strength. Lethargy will go. After this take rest and drink a cup of milk without sugar.

When the hands are raised above the head this sloka, as seen in Mantra Sastra can be said,

Om-Suryam – Sundara lokanatha – mamrudham –

Vedhantha Saram – Sivam-

Gnanam – Brahmamayam – Suresamamalam –

Lokaika ethitham – Swayam –

Indraditya – Naradhipam – Suraguram – Thrailokya –


Brahma – Vishnu Siva Swarupa –Hirudayam –

Vandhe – Sadha Baskaram

The Broad meaning of this sloka is as follows:

The beautiful Lord of the Universe, like the nectar, substance and end of vedhas, the embodiment of auspiciousness, full of Gnana, form of Brahma, God of Devas, pure, a form of entire universe, Lord of Indra, Devas and men, hed of the three worlds, heart of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, full of rays – this superior Sun – I prostrate.

There are twelve mantras for twelve Namaskars.

1. Om Mithraya Namah: Salutations to the Lord who is kind to all.

2. Om Ravaye Namah: Salutations to thee who is the cause for all changes.

3. Om Suryaya Namah: Salutations to thee who induces everything into action.

4. Om Bhanave Namah: Salutations to thee who gives rays of light.

5. Om Khagaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is traveling in the sky.

6. Om Pushne Namah: Salutations to thee who nourishes everything.

7. Om Hiranya Garbaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is having everything.

8. Om Marichaye Namah: Salutations to thee who is having rays of light.

9. Om Adityaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is deva to Devas.

10. Om Savithre Namah: Salutations to thee who produces everything.

11. Om Argaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is fit to be worshiped.

12. Om Baskaraya Namah: Salutations to thee who is the Lord of rays of light.

My Gurudev Shri Swami Sivananda has described more and also the importance of Surya Namaskar in his books.

It is not correct to conclude that Surya Namaskar has to be done by one caste or sect of people. A healthy body is needed for all. Sun rays are for the entire universe without any difference. In the same way, air is needed to all that are created.

These are special gifts given by God. Light, Sound, air etc is for all. Without any distinction of caste, creed, religion, race etc. before the eyes of God, all that are created are equal as tree, men animal etc.