Suryanamaskāra

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Suryanamaskara, SuryanamaskAra, Suryanamaskaara


Suryanamaskāra literally means ‘salutations to the sun’.

Significance of Surya

The scriptures call the Sun as Aditya and describe twelve aspects of the same. They are actually different names of the Sun associated with the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Each has a name such as Mitra, Ravi and so on. These names are converted into mantras[1] and used for each step.

Suryanamaskāra

Significance of Suryanamaskāra

The people always believed in a holistic concept of health. They considered the body and the mind as one unit, each acting and reacting on the other. The suryanamaskāra is one of the earliest techniques discovered and developed by them which accorded with their concept of health. It has twelve postures, each representing a yogāsana and a kind of salutation to the sun.

Practice of Suryanamaskāra

The suryanamaskāra has to be practiced in the early morning, facing the rising sun, to the accompaniment of the respective mantras. The actual method and technique has to be learnt from an adept in the field.

Postures of Suryanamaskāra

The twelve postures along with the yogāsanas they represent as also the associated mantras are as follows:

  1. Praṇamasana - It is a prayer pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om mitrāya namah."
  2. Hastauttānāsana - It is raised-arms pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om ravaye namah."
  3. Pādahastāsana - It is hand-to-foot pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om suryāya namah."
  4. Aśvasañcalanāsana - It is equestrian pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om hānave namah."
  5. Śvānāsana - It is dog pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om khagāya namah."
  6. Astāñganamaskārāsana - It is obeisance with eight limbs. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om puṣne namah."
  7. Bhujaṅgasana - It is a serpent-pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om hiraṇyagarbhāya namah."
  8. Svānāsana - It is dog-pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om maricaye namah."
  9. Aśvasañcalanāsana - It is equestrian pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om ādityāya namah."
  10. Pādahastāsana - It is hand-to-foot pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om savitre namah."
  11. Hasta-uttānāsana - It is raised arms pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om arkāya namah."
  12. Praṇāmāsana - It is a prayer pose. The mantra associated with this pose is "Om bhāskarāya namah."


References

  1. Mantras means holy sentences.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore