Monday, June 21, 2010

Why we love the Sun (video)

Dharmachari, Macpherson, Wells, Liu

The summer solstice brings the longest day of the year and some unusual ways to celebrate. Summer solstice rituals - Lunar eclipse coming - Lightning on Saturn

(Wisdom Quarterly) -- Today is the Summer Solstice. Why do we humans worship the Sun? It's an ancient Indian custom, codified in a yoga series called Salutation to the Sun (Surya Namaskar). But it's a fundamental basis of most modern religions, particularly Christianity, the dominant "son" cult. Christianity is not an original religion. Instead, like America, it is an amalgamation of traditions from around the world (Mithraism, Scandinavian Paganism, Zoroastrianism, Egyptian rites, etc.).

Modern Sun worshippers in So. California

Buddhist principles (particularly of the Mahayana variety) figure into Christianity as well. And it's no wonder, given Jesus' travels in Ladakh, India and the frontiers of Tibet. (See research first published by Nicolas Notovitch and many other since). The Zeitgeist movie brought astro-theology in religious myths to nearly everyone's attention.

In Buddhism the Sun (Surya) is considered an akasha-deva (sky-god, space-being, radiant light spirit in the heavens), or in any case is spoken of as one in Buddhist rebirth stories (Jatakas). The Moon (Chandra) is spoken of in the same way, perhaps from legends told by visitors from space recorded in Vedic Indian history (a.k.a., mythology).

But the Sun is famous in Buddhism as the basis of the most important sutra for lay Buddhists -- the Advice to Sigala (Sigalovada Sutra). The Buddha uses the ancient Indian custom of "saluting" the sky to instruct a householder's son on how this should be done in the dispensation of the nobles. Rather than worshipping the cardinal directions, the Buddha says that honoring and upholding our social relations and obligations is the original meaning behind the ancient practice.
  • Which relations? Our parents, teachers, nuclear family, friends and associates, employees and servants, wandering ascetics and brahmins.
  • Which obligations? To make wholesome karma, avoid harm, make and keep friends, avoid fools, earn and save money, avoid the dissipation of wealth, and so on.

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