Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.


A picture is worth a thousand words.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Solar deities: Western mythology, Hinduism , Buddhism, Aztec

                                                           Edited, Jan. 17, 2012

During the Roman Empire, a festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated on the winter solstice — the "rebirth" of the sun. In Germanic mythology this is Sol, in Vedic Surya, and in Greek Helios (occasionally referred to as Titan) and (sometimes) as Apollo. Mesopotamian Shamash plays an important role during the Bronze Age, and "my Sun" is eventually used as an address to royalty.

 Sól (Old Norse "Sun") - Sunna (Old High German, and existing as an Old Norse and Icelandic synonym: see Wiktionary sunna, "Sun") is the Sun personified in Germanic mythology. One of the two Old High German Merseburg Incantations, written in the 9th or 10th century CE, attests that Sunna is the sister of Sinthgunt. In Norse mythology, Sól is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda. 
 A depiction of Máni and Sól (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.

 The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani

Sól appears throughout Old Norse literature. Scholars have produced theories about the development of the goddess from potential Nordic Bronze Age and Proto-Indo-European roots.

 The Trundholm sun chariot from the Nordic Bronze Age, discovered in Denmark.

Helios  "Sun", was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod (Theogony 371) and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia (Hesiod) or Euryphaessa (Homeric Hymn) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. 

 Solar Apollo with the radiant halo of Helios in a Roman floor mosaic, El Djem, Tunisia, late 2nd century


Helios in the sun charriot, Johann Zimmermann
 Helios wearing the sun-ray crown and a breastplate. Bronze, Roman artwork, 2nd-3rd century AD. From Lower Egypt.
Bust of Helios in a clipeus, detail from a strigillated lenos sarcophagus. White marble, early 3rd century CE. From Tomb D in Via Belluzzo, Rome.

Helios-four elements-phase of the moon-charm, designed by Ing. Ewald Friesacher, created by Mr. Herbert Arrich
Christ, represented as Sol Invictus. 3rd/4th c. AD. Vatican necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica, Mausoleum 
                                                 Johan Loth, Apollo, Pan, and Marsyas
 Apollo Chasing Daphne, Carlo Maratta
                                                        Diego Velazquez
                                            Apollo and Daphne, Rubens
                                                            Giovanni Tiepolo
                                            "L'Aurora" by Guido Reni, 1613-1614
      Young Apollo, wrapped in a blazing nimbus, drives the golden chariot of the Sun, drawn by four horses that, aligned in a single volume, leap lightly into the air and bear to earth the light of the new day.
 Apollo Revealing his Divinity before the Shepherdess Isse 1750,François Boucher

                                     The Rising of the Sun 1753,François Boucher

                                         The Setting of the Sun 1752,François Boucher
                        Sunrise with the Chariot of Apollo, Charles de La Fosse

Louis XIV chose the sun for his emblem. The sun was Apollo, god of Peace and the Arts; it was also the heavenly body giving life to all things, the embodiment of regularity, which rises and sets each day. Like the Sun God, Louis XIV, the warrior hero, brought peace to his people; he protected the arts and dispensed all the graces. Through the regularity of his work, his public levers and couchers (morning rising and evening retiring ceremonies), he insisted on the resemblance, carved in stone: the decor of Versailles was filled with the depictions and attributes of the god (laurels, lyre, tripod) on all the royal portraits and emblems.

The Apollo Salon is the main room of the Grand Apartment because it was originally the monarch's state chamber.

Nec pluribus impar (literally: "Not unequal to many") is a Latin motto adopted by Louis XIV of France from 1658. It was often inscribed together with the symbol of the "Sun King": a head within rays of sunlight.

The Nec pluribus impar motto and the sun-king emblem, on a de Vallière gun, 1745.

The "S" letter (for Sun) with the motto Nec pluribus impar. Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, 1694.

The salon d’Apollon originally was designed as the king’s bedchamber, but served as a throne room. During the reign of Louis XIV (until 1689), a solid silver throne stood on a Persian carpet covered dais on the south wall of this room.

                                                      Apollo's Salon

                ’Apollo's Salon, Grands appartements du Château de Versailles, Guido Reni
                                                              Apollo's salon

                                                    Hercules, Guido Reni, Apollo's Salon

Guido Reni,  Hercules and Hydra  Apollo's Salon, Grands appartements du Château de Versailles, 

Sun symbolism - Sistine Chapel, Vatican

Michelangelo Buonarroti 1475 – 1564,The Creation of the Sun, the Moon and the Plants

The Last Judgement. Images of a Masterpiece, Michelangelo. there is a sun symbolism.This masterpiece is so fascinating that I want to post it.

                                                                  Christ the Judge 

                                                                    Baigio da Cesena as Minos

                                                                      Damned Man
                                                       The boatman Charon
                                                The resurrection of the dead
                                         St Sebastian, St Blaise and St Catherine.
                                                                       St Peter

                                                       St John The Baptist
                                           St Bartholomew holds his own skin
                                        Angels trumpets and the Archangel Michael

Uriel  (God is my light) Standard Hebrew Uriʾel, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÛrîʾēl) is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions. His name may have analogies with Uriah.
In apocryphal, kabbalistic and occult works Uriel has been equated or confused with Urial, Nuriel, Uryan, Jeremiel, Vretil, Sariel, Suriel, Puruel, Phanuel, Jehoel, Jacob, Ezrail/Azrael and Israfil/Raphael. 
                             Uriel Standing in the Sun, by WASHINGTON ALLSTON

To view angels click here

Shamash was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons.

Cult scene: the worship of the sun-god, Shamash. Limestone cylinder-seal, Mesopotamia.

Svarog (Old Church Slavonic: Сваро́гъ) is a Slavic deity known primarily from the Hypatian Codex, a Slavic translation of the Chronicle of John Malalas. Svarog is there identified with Hephaestus, the god of the blacksmith in ancient Greek religion, and as the father of Dažbog, a Slavic solar deity. On the basis of this text, some researchers conclude that Svarog is the Slavic god of celestial fire and of blacksmithing.


The Ādityas are one of the principal deities of the Vedic classical Hinduism belonging to Solar class. In the Vedas, numerous hymns are dedicated to Mitra, Varuna, Savitr.

Even the Gayatri mantra, which is regarded as one of the most sacred of the Vedic hymns is dedicated to Savitr, one of the principal Ādityas. The Adityas are a group of solar deities, from the Brahmana period numbering twelve. The ritual of sandhyavandanam, performed by Hindus, is an elaborate set of hand gestures and body movements, designed to greet and revere the Sun. 

 The sun god in Hinduism is an ancient and revered deity. In later Hindu usage, all the Vedic Ādityas lost identity and metamorphosed into one composite deity, Surya, the Sun. The attributes of all other Ādityas merged into that of Surya and the names of all other Ādityas became synonymous with, or epithets of, Surya.

The Ramayana has Rama as a descendant of the Surya, thus belonging to the Suryavansha or the clan of the Sun. The Mahabharata describes one of its warrior heroes, Karna, as being the son of the Pandava mother Kunti and Surya.

 Surya receives worship from the multitudes; Tanjore School miniature painting, 1800's "A Painting of Surya. India, Tanjore School, 19th Century. The nimbated Sun God depicted upon his chariot surrounded by attendants with smaller figures at left in obeisance."
 The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold. He is said to drive through the heaven in his triumphal chariot harnessed by seven horses or one horse with seven heads, which represent the seven colors of the rainbow or the seven chakras. He presides over Sunday. 

                                                          Shri Surya Bhagvan

The sun god is said to be married to the goddess Ranaadeh, also known as Sanjnya. She is depicted in dual form, being both sunlight and shadow, personified. The goddess is revered in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

 Surendrapuri Temple's Navagraha Temples, Surya with consorts Saranyu and Chhaya

The charioteer of Surya is Aruna, who is also personified as the redness that accompanies the sunlight in dawn and dusk. The sun god is driven by a seven-horsed Chariot depicting the seven days of the week.

In India, at Konark, in the state of Orissa, a temple is dedicated to Surya. The Konark Sun Temple has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Buddhist cosmology, the bodhisattva of the Sun is known as Ri Gong Ri Guang Pu Sa (The Bright Solar Bodhisattva of the Solar Palace) / Ri Gong Ri Guang Tian Zi (The Bright Solar Prince of the Solar Palace) / Ri Gong Ri Guang Zun Tian Pu Sa (The Greatly Revered Bright Solar Prince of the Solar Palace / one of the 20 or 24 guardian devas). In Sanskrit, He is known as Suryaprabha. He is usually depicted with Yue Gong Yue Guang Pu Sa (The Bright Lunar Bodhisattva of the Lunar Palace) / Yue Gong Yue Guang Tian Zi ( The Bright Lunar Prince of the Lunar Palace) / Yue Gong Yue Guang Zun Tian Pu Sa (The Greatly Revered Bright Lunar Prince of the Lunar Palace / one of the 20 or 24 guardian devas known as Candraprabha in Sanskrit. With Yao Shi Fo / Bhaisajyaguru Buddha (Medicine Buddha), these two bodhisattvas create the Dong Fang San Sheng or the Three Holy Sages of the East.  

Chines myhtology

In Chinese mythology (cosmology), there were originally ten suns in the sky, who were all brothers. They were supposed to emerge one at a time as commanded by the Jade Emperor. They were all very young and loved to fool around. Once they decided to all go into the sky to play, all at once. This made the world too hot for anything to grow. A hero named Hou Yi shot down nine of them with a bow and arrow to save the people of the earth. He is still honored this very day.

                                          Taiyang Shen, the Chinese solar deity
Aztec myhtology

In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh (Nahuatl: Ollin Tonatiuh "Movement of the Sun") was the sun god. The Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan (heaven). He was also known as the fifth sun, because the Aztecs believed that he was the sun that took over when the fourth sun was expelled from the sky
Tonatiuh as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis.

The primary local deity in Theosophy is the Solar Logos, "the consciousness of the sun"

Among modern English speakers, solar deities are popularly thought of as male counterparts of the lunar deity (usually female); however, sun goddesses are found on every continent (e.g. Amaterasu in Japanese belief) paired with male lunar deities. Among the earliest records of human beliefs, the early goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon carried a sun above their head as a symbol of dignity (as daughters of Ra). The sun was a major aspect of Egyptian symbols and hieroglyphs, all the lunar deities of that pantheon were male deities. The cobra (of Pharaoh Son of Ra), the lioness (daughter of Ra), the cow (daughter of Ra), the dominant symbols of the most ancient Egyptian deities, carried their relationship to the sun atop their heads; they were female and their cults remained active throughout the history of the culture. Later a sun god (Aten) was established in the eighteenth dynasty on top of the other solar deities, before the "aberration" was stamped out and the old pantheon re-established. When male deities became associated with the sun in that culture, they began as the offspring of a mother (except Ra, King of the Gods who gave birth to himself).
 The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe