(Last Updated on : 27-02-2010)
Vishnu Purana has discussed in detail the concept of sun as an independent and important entity in the universe. It has been described in the Purana that the chariot of the sun is nine thousand leagues in length and the pole is of twice that size. The axle is more than fifteen millions and seven hundred thousand Yojonas long, on which a wheel is placed with three naves, five spokes and six peripheries. The concept says that the sun is undecaying and continues for the year and consequently all the cycles of the time are placed herein. The seven steeds which draw the sun's car are the metres of the Vedas
Gayatri, Vrihati, Ushnih, Jayati, Tristubh, Anustubh and Pankti.
The glorious sun moves speedily like a dart on his southern course attended by the constellations of the Zodiac. It is the sun who creates day and night and is the divine path of the sages who have got over the worldly afflictions.
While discussing the concept of sun Vishnu Purana states that while in one insular continent the sun shines in midday, in the opposite Dwipas it will be midnight at that time. Wherever the sun is visible he is said to rise there and wherever he disappears from view he is said to set. But in reality the sun never sets it always exists. It only disappears from sight at some places at some times.
From the time of rising of the sun till midday the rays of the sun gradually increase; and from then he moves towards setting with his diminishing rays. It has been stated in the Purana that the radiance of the sun, after its setting, is deposited in fire and hence fire is visible even at a greater distance in night. During day the rays of fire enter into the sun by virtue of which the sun becomes more brilliant. Elemental light and heat, proceeding respectively from the sun and fire and mixing with each other, prevail in diverse degrees both by day and night. When the sun prevails either in the northern or southern hemisphere day or night goes into waters according as they are attacked by darkness or light ; it is for this reason that waters appear dark by day because night is within them and white by night because when the sun is set the light of the day enters therein.
It has been explained in the Purana that the sun glides along his course with the velocity of the wind and traverses a great distance in a short time. In twelve Muhurttas it goes through thirteen lunar asterisms and a half during the day, and during the night, it goes through the same distance only in eighteen Muhurttas. The night that is caused by the sun is called Usha the day is called Vyushta and the intervening time between them is called Sandhya. When the dreadful Sandhya sets in, the awful Rakshasas
attempt to devour the sun.
Vishnu Purana narrates that the glorious sun becomes radiant by the energy of Vishnu and destroys the entire darkness of the universe. The sovereign sun gratifying the manes, gods and men, revolves being the instrument of day and night. The moon is cherished by the Sushumna
ray of the Sun. And in the dark fortnight of the mouth the ambrosia of its substance is drunk by the celestials.
The moisture, which the sun attracts from the earth he again distributes for the nourishment of animals and plants and thus the sun, is the source of subsistence to every living being, gods, manes, mankind and the rest. The sun gratifies the celestials for a fortnight, the progenitors once a month, and other animals every day.
Hence in conclusion it can be said that the concept of sun that has been discussed in the Vishnu Purana says that it is the sun which creates day and night. It is because of the sun that various seasons take place in the universe. Rather it is better said that sun occupies a prominent position in the universe.