Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice: Sun's Prayer for Protection

Dhr. Seven and Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly edit, Ven. Piyadassi Thera, "Suriya Sutta: The Sun Deity's Prayer [Plea] for Protection" (SN 2.10); Deborah Byrd;
When the year began, our vimana (spacecraft/planet) was very close to perihelion -- and today, the solstice, light divides the day in half (
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One (Buddha) was living near Savatthi at Jetavana in Anathapindika's abbey. At that time Suriya (Surya) the Sun deva, was seized by Rahu (Asurinda) Leader of Titans ["demons"].

Thereupon, calling to mind the Blessed One, Suriya the Sun deva recited the following stanza:
"O Buddha, the Spiritual-Hero, wholly freed of all defilements, my adoration to thee! I have fallen into distress. Guide me!"
The War in Heaven: Samudra manthan shows Lord Vishnu in the center, in his Kurma avatar, with the Titans (Asuras) and the Devas on either side. The Churning of the Ocean of Milk (Milky Way?) is  here depicted in bas-relief on the south of the east wall of the third enclosure of the massive Cambodian Buddhist temple Angkor Wat (wiki commons).
Thereupon, the Blessed One addressed a stanza to Rahu Leader of Titans on behalf of Suriya:
Rahu and Ketu in the flesh (
"O Rahu, Suriya has gone for guidance to the Wayfarer (Tathagata), the Consummate One. Release Suriya. The buddhas radiate compassion on the world (of all beings).
"O Rahu, swallow not the dispeller of darkness [Sun], the shining one [literal translation of deva], the radiant and effulgent traveler through the sky. Rahu, release Suriya, my son [disciple, relative]."
Thereupon, Rahu Leader of Titans released Suriya and immediately came to the presence of Vepacitti, the Leader of Titans, and stood beside him trembling in fear with hair standing on end.

Then Vepacitti addressed Rahu in the following stanza:
"Rahu, why did you suddenly release Suriya? Why have you come trembling? Why are you standing here terrified?"
"I have been spoken to by the Buddha in a stanza (requesting me to release Suriya). If I had not released Suriya my head would have split into seven pieces. While yet I live, I should have had no happiness. (Therefore I released Suriya)."

Why do some Indian astrologers, Buddhist and Hindu, still believe that the invisible planets (asuras or mythological demons) Rahu and Ketu cause solar eclipses? (
Summer Solstice 2013
Deborah Byrd (
Sunrise, Dallas, TX (Earth and Moon Viewer)
Happy solstice! The 2013 June solstice has already happened: Friday, June 21st, 5:04 UTC, or 12:04 am Central Daylight Time in the U.S.

It’s that beautiful time of year again in the Northern Hemisphere, when the June solstice -- our signal to celebrate summer -- is upon us. The 2013 June solstice happened last night or this morning (June 21, 2013) according to clocks in North America. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, this solstice marks the longest day of the year. Early dawns. Long days. Late sunsets. Short nights. The Sun is at its [highest] height each day as it crosses the sky. Meanwhile, south of the equator, winter has begun. More

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