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Thai Pongal – Surya, the Guru

Sun Taking the Role of a Guru

There was an occasion when Surya took on the role of a Guru, the preceptor and his disciple was none other than the mighty God Hanuman. The legend in this regard is quite interesting.

Hanuman was born as the son of Anjana Devi and was hence called as Anjaneya. Once, when the young Anjaneya’s sight fell on the Sun that was shining with all his brilliance in the sky, the boy was very impressed with what he saw and mistook the blazing sphere of light to be a colorful ripe fruit. The inquisitive youngster wanted to examine it from close quarters, and he simply leaped into the vast sky and started flying towards the great ball of fire hanging in space.

thai-pongal-surya-guru

The Sun God was taken aback by the unusual sight of a remarkable looking lad flying towards him menacingly. However, Indra, the Lord of the Devas was not amused. He thought this to be a threat to Surya Dev, which may cause severe disruption to the Sun God’s duty of providing the all-important light and energy to earth. To stop the boy from doing any damage, the angry Indra fired his powerful Vajrayudha, the thunderbolt weapon at the approaching Anjaneya. This weapon hit the boy’s jaw with immense power and struck him down. The hapless boy fell unconscious.

Anjaneya’s divine father Vayu Dev, the wind God was distraught at what happened to his dear son and quietly withdrew all the air circulation from the universe. With living beings unable to breathe, the world itself was coming to a standstill. The Gods intervened immediately, pacified Vayu Dev, revived Anjaneya and bestowed him with many boons.

The boy’s jaws, however, got disfigured due to the hit from Vajrayudha, and hence he got the name Hanuman, the one with a deformed jaw.

Looking kindly at this adventurous youngster, and realizing about his tremendous potential and the significant role that he was ordained to play for the benefit of the humanity in future, Surya, the Sun God wanted to bless the boy. Along with his enormous responsibilities, he also took Anjaneya under his loving care and started imparting him the divine wisdom. Mythology records that Surya advised Anjaneya the Gayatri Mantra, the highly revered hymn which is dedicated to none other than Surya himself. The Sun God is also said to have taught all aspects of the grammar and their nuances to Anjaneya so that he could attain mastery on the subject.

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