The Aditya Hridayam is revealed in the Ramayana to Ram by the great sage Agastya on the battlefield before fighting with Ravana. Ramayana is the classic story of Krishna Avatar S'ri Ram. This story of the seventh advent of Lord Vishnu was recorded as the Ramayana by Rishi Valmiki upon direct inspiration of Lord Brahma Himself. The purpose of the Ramayana is to reveal the Path to Brahman Consciousnes for the benefit of everyone.
As we progress on the Path to Brahman Consciousness, we will all, as did S'ri Ram, slay Ravana. Ravana is the collection of karma and ungounded energy that is expressed as arrogance. To destroy arrogance, we must call upon our Atman to give us the secret of how to do this. The Aditya Hridayam is that secret.
Chant the verses of the Aditya Hridayam three times at sunrise with devotion to your Atman and hold in your heart the desire to transmute all traces of arrogance. The s'akti of Aditya Hridayam will build day after day and reach its peak after 1,000 repetitions, which will take about one year of regular daily practice. Each day your Âtman will transmute one layer of the Ravana energy and the sum-total of your arrogance will diminish.
In the Ramayana, Râvana has ten heads. This is symbolic of the many layers of arrogance that we have accumulated in the eons of our existence. When Râm battles the demon, he first cuts off a head with an arrow, but another one grows back. Again and again he cuts off a head, and again and again it grows back. Why did not Râm strike at the heart of Râvana? This is because Râvana was holding Sîta captive there in his heart. As the battle continues, eventually the sustained attack upon Râvana, severing head after head, weakens and distracts Râvana to the point that the image of Sîta disappears from his heart for a moment. At that moment, Râm strikes again and pierces the heart of Râvana, slaying him.
Arrogance has such a deep rooted grip on us that our Âtman cannot transmute it all at once without destroying the innocent ego (Sîta) that we need to sustain life in Brahman Consciousness. However, if we will weaken Râvana by a determined and sustained attack through the regular and daily chanting of the Âditya Hridayam, one day the time will come when it is possible for your Âtman to strike the final blow and transmute the remaining block of arrogance. Then you will be free to live the full glory of Brahman Consciousness.
Jai Guru Dev!
1. Tato yuddha parish-antam samare chintayâ sthitam
râvanam châgrato drishtvâ yuddhâya samu-pasthitam
Seeing (S’rî Ram) standing absorbed in the thought of the battlefield, exhausted by the fight, and Râvana facing him, duly prepared for an encounter,
2. Deiva-teishcha samâ-gamya drishtuma-bhyâgato ranam
upagamyâ-bravîdhâ mam-agastyo bhagavân-rishih:
the glorious sage Agastya, who had come with the devas to witness the battle, approaching S’rî Râm spoke thus:
3. Râma râma mahâbâho shrinu guhyam sanâtanam
yena sarvân arîn vatsa samare vijayishyasi
Râm, O mighty armed S’rî Râm, listen to the following eternal secret, by knowing which, my child, you will conquer all your enemies on the battle-field.
4. Âdtiya-hridayam punyam sarva shatru vinâs’anam
jayâvaham japam nityam akshayam paramam s’ivam
It is called Âditya Hridayam, which is holy, the destroyer enemies, the bestower of victory, eternal and supremely blessed. One should recite it.
5. Sarva mangala mangalyam sarva pâpa pranâs’anam
chintâ s’oka pras’amanam âyur-vardhana muttamam
It is the blessing of all blessings and the best means to destroy all sins, remove anxiety and grief and promote longevity.
6. Ras’mi-mantam samudyantam devâsura-namaskritam
puja-yasva viva-svantam bhâskaram bhuva-neshvaram
Worship the brilliant one (your Âtman), the ruler of the worlds, who is crowned with rays, who is greeted by devas and âsuras alike and who illumines (your spiritual life).
7. Sarva devâtmako heysha tejasvî ras’mi-bhâvanah:
esha devâsuraganân lokân pâti gabhastibhih:
Indeed your Âtman is the embodiment of all the devas, He is bright and He Creates and sustains the hosts of devas, âsuras and their world by His rays.
8. Esha brahma cha vishnu-shcha s’ivah: skandah: prajâpatih:
mahendro dhanadah: kâlo ya-mah: somo hyapâm patih:
Indeed (your Âtman) is Brahma, Vishnu, S’iva, Skanda, Prajapati, the mighty Indra, Kuber, Kâla, Yama, Soma and Varuna.
9. Pitaro vasavah: sâdhyâ hyashivanai maruto manuh:
vâyur vahnih: prajâh: prana ritukarta prabhâkarah:
Indeed (your Âtman) is the Pitris, the eight Vasus, the twelve Sandyas, two Ashwins, the maruts, manu, vâyu, agni, and prana. (Your Âtman) is the very life-breath of the universe, the source of the seasons, and the store-house of light (all knowledge).
10. Âdityah: savitâ sûryah: khagah: pûshâ gabhastimân
suvarna sadris’o bhânur-hiranyâreto divâkarah:
(Your Âtman) is the son of Âditi, the progenitor of all, the sun, the courser in the heavens, the nourisher (of all), the possessor of rays, the golden, the brilliant, the seed of the universe and the maker of the day.
11. Haridashvah: sahasrarchih: sapta saptir marîchimân
timiron-mathanah: ’ambhus-tvashtâ mârtanda ans’umân
He has seven green horses, (yoked to his chariot), is the myriad-rayed, full of rays, the destroyer of darkness, the source of auspiciousness, the mitigator of the suffering (of his devotees) and is the infuser of life in the cosmic egg.
12. Hiranya garbhah: s’is’ira-stapano bhaskaro ravih:
agnigarbho aditeh: pûtrah: s’ankah: s’is’ira nâs’anah:
(Your Âtman) is the Hiranyagrabha, the Lord, S’is’irastapan, Bhâskara, Ravi, bearer of fire in his womb, the son of Âditi, and the destroyer of cold.
13. Vyoma-nâthastamo-bhedhî rigyajuh: sâma parâgah:
ghanavrishti-rapâm mitro vindhyavithi plavamgamah:
(Your Âtman) is the lord of the heavens, the disperser of darkness, the master of the rig, yajur, and sâma veda, the sender of thick showers, the friend of water, He courses swiftly along His own orbit.
14. Âtapî mandali mrithyuh: pingala: sarva-tâpanah:
kavir vishvo mahâ-tejâ raktah: sarva bhavod-bhavah:
(Your Âtman) is adorned with a circle of rays, He is death itself, tawny and the destroyer of all. He is omniscient, all formed, extremely brilliant, coppery and the source of all evolutes.
15. Nakshatra graha-taranâm adhipo vis’va bhavanah:
tejasâmapi tejasvi dvâdas’âtman namostute
(Your Âtman) is the controller of the Grahas and Nakshatras, the creator of all, and the resplendent among the splendid. O God, appearing in twelve forms (as the twelve cycles of incarnation), hail to you.
16. Namah: pûrvâya giraye pashchimâdraye namah:
jyotir-ganânâm pataye dinâdhipataye namah:
Salutations to (You, my Âtman, in the form of) the eastern mountain and the western mountain. Hail to the lord of hosts of luminaries and the lord of the day.
17. Jayâya jaya-bhadrâya harya shvâya namo namah:
namo namah: sahasrâms’o âdityâya namo namah:
Salutations, to (You, my Âtman) the giver of victory. Salutations to You the joy born of victory. Salutations to You the God having green horses (yoked to your chariot), the son of Âditi, and the one with thousands of rays.
18. Namah: ugrâya vîrâya sârangâya namo namah:
namah: padma-prabodhaya mârtandhya namo namah:
Hail to (You, my Âtman) the subduer of the senses, and the valiant one. Hail to You as denoted by the mystic syllable Om. Hail to You the awakener of the lotus (S’rî Chakra). Hail to you the fierce one.
19. Brahme-s’âna chyutes’âya sûrâyâditya varchase
bhâsvate sarvabhaks’âya raudrâya vapushe namah:
Salutations to (You, my Âtman) the ruler of Brahma, Lord S’iva and Lord Vishnu. Salutations to You, (represented by) the sun, as the spiritual indwelling light, theresplendent one, devourer of all, the one appearing in the form of Rudra (who makes ignorance cry and run away).
20. Tamoghnâya himaghnâya shatrughnâya-amitâmane
kritaghna ghanâya devâya jyotishâm pataye namah:
Salutations to You (my Âtman) the dispeller of darkness, the destroyer of cold, the exterminator of foes, the one whose extent is immeasurable, the destroyer of the ungrateful, the God who is ruler of all lights.
21. Tapta-châmikarâ-bhâya vahnaye vis’va-karmane
namastamo’bhi-nighnâya ruchaye loka sâks’ine
Salutations to You (my Âtman), possessing the luster of refined gold, the dispeller of ignorance, the architect of the universe, the uprooter of darkness, splendor incarnate, the witness of the world.
22. Nâs’aya-tyesha vai bhûtam tadeva srijati prabhuh:
pâya-tyesha tapa-tyesha varsha-tyesha gabha-stibhih:
(O Râma), the aforesaid Lord (your Âtman) alone actually destroys, brings into existence and sustains (all) that has come into existence. He alone radiates heat by His rays and sends showers.
23. Esha supteshu jâgarti bhûteshu pari-nishthitah:
esha evâgni-hotram cha phalam chaivâgni-hotrinâm
Seated in all created beings (as their inner controller – the Âtman), He remains awake when they have fallen asleep. He himself is the act of pouring oblation into the sacred fire as well as the fruit attained by those who pour such oblation.
24. Vedâshcha krata-vashchaiva kratûnâm phalameva cha
yâni krithyâni lokeshu sarva esha ravi prabhuh:
He himself is the scriptures, as well as the sacrifices as also the fruit of sacrifices. He alone (your Âtman) is the supreme controller of all activities which are found in all living beings.
25. Ena-mâpatsu krichchreshu kântâreshu bhayeshu cha
kirtayan purushah: kashchin nâva-sîdati raghava
No individual, singing the glories of the Lord (his own Âtman) in great difficulties, in the woods as well as in the times of peril comes to grief, O! scion of Raghu.
26. Pûja-yasvainam ekâgro deva-devam jagat-patim
etat trigunitam japtva yuddheshu vijayi-shyasi
Worship this Lord of the universe (your Âtman), the Supreme of all the celestials, with a concentrated mind. Chanting this praise three times one will be victorious in combats.
27. Asmin kshane mahâbâho râvanam tvam vadhishyasi
eva muktvâ tadâgastyo jagâma cha yathâgatam
O! mighty-armed (Râma)! This very moment you will be able to slay Râvana. Saying so, the sage Agastya thereupon left in the same way as he had come.
28. Eta-cchrutvâ mahâ-teja nashta-s’oko ‘bhavat-tadhâ
dhârayamâsa suprito raghavah: prayat-âtmavan
Hearing this advice, S’rî Râm, who is endowed with extraordinary energy, and has a subdued mind, finds his grief immediately dispelled. Feeling greatly delighted he retains (this hymn) in his memory.
29. Âdityam prekshya japtva tu param harsham avâptavân
trirâ-chamya shuchir bhûtvâ dhanu-râdhâya vîryavân
Sipping water thrice (with the name of the Lord on his lips) and getting purified by looking intently on the orb of the sun (which represents the Âtman) and repeating this prayer, the valiant one (Râm) experiences supreme joy, seizing hold of his bow (gaining control over his mind).
30. Râvanam preshya hrishtâtmâ yuddhâya samupâgamat
sarva yahnena mahatâ vadhe tasya dhrito ‘bhavat
Fixing his eyes on Râvana, (S’rî Râm) who fells delighted in mind, advances onto the battle-field and stands, vowing to slay Râvana with an intense and all-sided effort.
31. Atha ravi ravadan nirikshya râmam
muditamanâh: paramam prahashymânah:
Nis’icharapati samkshayam vidhitvâ
Delighted in mind, seeing S’rî Râm feeling supremely exhilarated on perceiving the destruction of Râvana, the ruler of the night stalker, at hand, the sun-god (Âtman) standing (in person) in the midst of a host of devas, exclaims: ‘Make haste!'
Jai Guru Dev!