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Speaker: Radhesa Prabhu
- Text 42:
- My dear King, outside Lokāloka Mountain is the tract of land known as Aloka-varṣa, which extends for the same breadth as the area within the mountain — in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [one billion miles]. Beyond Aloka-varṣa is the destination of those who aspire for liberation from the material world. It is beyond the jurisdiction of the material modes of nature, and therefore it is completely pure. Lord Kṛṣṇa took Arjuna through this place to bring back the sons of the brāhmaṇa.
- Text 43:
- The sun is situated [vertically] in the middle of the universe, in the area between Bhūrloka and Bhuvarloka, which is called antarikṣa, outer space. The distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe is twenty-five koṭi yojanas [two billion miles].
- Text 44:
- The sun-god is also known as Vairāja, the total material body for all living entities. Because he entered this dull egg of the universe at the time of creation, he is also called Mārtaṇḍa. He is also known as Hiraṇyagarbha because he received his material body from Hiraṇyagarbha [Lord Brahmā].
Speaker: Gauda Chandra Prabhu
- Text 45:
- O King, the sun-god and the sun planet divide all the directions of the universe. It is only because of the presence of the sun that we can understand what the sky, the higher planets, this world and the lower planets are. It is also only because of the sun that we can understand which places are for material enjoyment, which are for liberation, which are hellish and subterranean.
- Text 46:
- All living entities, including demigods, human beings, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, creepers and trees, depend upon the heat and light given by the sun-god from the sun planet. Furthermore, it is because of the sun’s presence that all living entities can see, and therefore he is called dṛg-īśvara, the Personality of Godhead presiding over sight.
Speaker: Vidagdha Madhava Prabhu
The Movements of the Sun
This chapter informs us of the movements of the sun. The sun is not stationary; it is also moving like the other planets. The sun’s movements determine the duration of night and day. When the sun travels north of the equator, it moves slowly during the day and very quickly at night, thus increasing the duration of the daytime and decreasing the duration of night. Similarly, when the sun travels south of the equator, the exact opposite is true — the duration of the day decreases, and the duration of night increases. When the sun enters Karkaṭa-rāśi (Cancer) and then travels to Siṁha-rāśi (Leo) and so on through Dhanuḥ-rāśi (Sagittarius), its course is called Dakṣiṇāyana, the southern way, and when the sun enters Makara-rāśi (Capricorn) and thereafter travels through Kumbharāśi (Aquarius) and so on through Mithuna-rāśi (Gemini), its course is called Uttarāyaṇa, the northern way. When the sun is in Meṣa-rāśi (Aries) and Tulā-rāśi (Libra), the duration of day and night are equal.
On Mānasottara Mountain are the abodes of four demigods. East of Sumeru Mountain is Devadhānī, where King Indra lives, and south of Sumeru is Saṁyamanī, the abode of Yamarāja, the superintendent of death. Similarly, west of Sumeru is Nimlocanī, the abode of Varuṇa, the demigod who controls the water, and north of Sumeru is Vibhāvarī, where the demigod of the moon lives. Sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight occur in all these places because of the movements of the sun. Diametrically opposite the place where the sunrise takes places and the sun is seen by human eyes, the sun will be setting and passing away from human vision. Similarly, the people residing diametrically opposite the point where it is midday will be experiencing midnight. The sun rises and sets with all the other planets, headed by the moon and other luminaries.
The entire kāla-cakra, or wheel of time, is established on the wheel of the sun-god’s chariot. This wheel is known as Saṁvatsara. The seven horses pulling the chariot of the sun are known as Gāyatrī, Bṛhatī, Uṣṇik, Jagatī, Triṣṭup, Anuṣṭup and Paṅkti. They are harnessed by a demigod known as Aruṇadeva to a yoke 900,000 yojanas wide. Thus the chariot carries Ādityadeva, the sun-god. Always staying in front of the sun-god and offering their prayers are sixty thousand sages known as Vālikhilyas. There are fourteen Gandharvas, Apsarās and other demigods, who are divided into seven parties and who perform ritualistic activities every month to worship the Supersoul through the sun-god according to different names. Thus the sun-god travels through the universe for a distance of 95,100,000 yojanas (760,800,000 miles) at a speed of 16,004 miles at every moment.
- Text 1:
- Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, I have thus far described the diameter of the universe [fifty crores of yojanas, or four billion miles] and its general characteristics, according to the estimations of learned scholars.
- Text 2:
- As a grain of wheat is divided into two parts and one can estimate the size of the upper part by knowing that of the lower, so, expert geographers instruct, one can understand the measurements of the upper part of the universe by knowing those of the lower part. The sky between the earthly sphere and heavenly sphere is called antarikṣa, or outer space. It adjoins the top of the sphere of earth and the bottom of that of heaven.
- Text 3:
- In the midst of that region of outer space [antarikṣa] is the most opulent sun, the king of all the planets that emanate heat, such as the moon. By the influence of its radiation, the sun heats the universe and maintains its proper order. It also gives light to help all living entities see. While passing toward the north, toward the south or through the equator, in accordance with the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is said to move slowly, swiftly or moderately. According to its movements in rising above, going beneath or passing through the equator — and correspondingly coming in touch with various signs of the zodiac, headed by Makara [Capricorn] — days and nights are short, long or equal to one another.
Speaker: HH Bhakti Prabhupada-vrata Damodara Swami
- Text 4:
- When the sun passes through Meṣa [Aries] and Tulā [Libra], the durations of day and night are equal. When it passes through the five signs headed by Vṛṣabha [Taurus], the duration of the days increases [until Cancer], and then it gradually decreases by half an hour each month, until day and night again become equal [in Libra].
- Text 5:
- When the sun passes through the five signs beginning with Vṛścika [Scorpio], the duration of the days decreases [until Capricorn], and then gradually it increases month after month, until day and night become equal [in Aries].
- Text 6:
- Until the sun travels to the south the days grow longer, and until it travels to the north the nights grow longer.
- Text 7:
- Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued; My dear King, as stated before, the learned say that the sun travels over all sides of Mānasottara Mountain in a circle whose length is 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles]. On Mānasottara Mountain, due east of Mount Sumeru, is a place known as Devadhānī, possessed by King Indra. Similarly, in the south is a place known as Saṁyamanī, possessed by Yamarāja, in the west is a place known as Nimlocanī, possessed by Varuṇa, and in the north is a place named Vibhāvarī, possessed by the moon-god. Sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight occur in all those places according to specific times, thus engaging all living entities in their various occupational duties and also making them cease such duties.
- Texts 8-9:
- The living entities residing on Sumeru Mountain are always very warm, as at midday, because for them the sun is always overhead. Although the sun moves counterclockwise, facing the constellations, with Sumeru Mountain on its left, it also moves clockwise and appears to have the mountain on its right because it is influenced by the dakṣiṇāvarta wind. People living in countries at points diametrically opposite to where the sun is first seen rising will see the sun setting, and if a straight line were drawn from a point where the sun is at midday, the people in countries at the opposite end of the line would be experiencing midnight. Similarly, if people residing where the sun is setting were to go to countries diametrically opposite, they would not see the sun in the same condition.
- Text 10:
- When the sun travels from Devadhānī, the residence of Indra, to Saṁyamanī, the residence of Yamarāja, it travels 23,775,000 yojanas [190,200,000 miles] in fifteen ghaṭikās [six hours].
- Text 11:
- From the residence of Yamarāja the sun travels to Nimlocanī, the residence of Varuṇa, from there to Vibhāvarī, the residence of the moon-god, and from there again to the residence of Indra. In a similar way, the moon, along with the other stars and planets, becomes visible in the celestial sphere and then sets and again becomes invisible.
Speaker: Ramananda dasa
- Text 12:
- Thus the chariot of the sun-god, which is trayīmaya, or worshiped by the words om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ, travels through the four residences mentioned above at a speed of 3,400,800 yojanas [27,206,400 miles] in a muhūrta.
- Text 13:
- The chariot of the sun-god has only one wheel, which is known as Saṁvatsara. The twelve months are calculated to be its twelve spokes, the six seasons are the sections of its rim, and the three cātur-māsya periods are its three-sectioned hub. One side of the axle carrying the wheel rests upon the summit of Mount Sumeru, and the other rests upon Mānasottara Mountain. Affixed to the outer end of the axle, the wheel continuously rotates on Mānasottara Mountain like the wheel of an oil-pressing machine.
- Text 14:
- As in an oil-pressing machine, this first axle is attached to a second axle, which is one-fourth as long [3,937,500 yojanas, or 31,500,000 miles]. The upper end of this second axle is attached to Dhruvaloka by a rope of wind.
- Text 15:
- My dear King, the carriage of the sun-god’s chariot is estimated to be 3,600,000 yojanas [28,800,000 miles] long and one-fourth as wide [900,000 yojanas, or 7,200,000 miles]. The chariot’s horses, which are named after Gāyatrī and other Vedic meters, are harnessed by Aruṇadeva to a yoke that is also 900,000 yojanas wide. This chariot continuously carries the sun-god.
- Text 16:
- Although Aruṇadeva sits in front of the sun-god and is engaged in driving the chariot and controlling the horses, he looks backward toward the sun-god.
- Text 17:
- There are sixty thousand saintly persons named Vālikhilyas, each the size of a thumb, who are located in front of the sun-god and who offer him eloquent prayers of glorification.
- Text 18:
- Similarly, fourteen other saints, Gandharvas, Apsarās, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and demigods, who are divided into groups of two, assume different names every month and continuously perform different ritualistic ceremonies to worship the Supreme Lord as the most powerful demigod Sūryadeva, who holds many names.
- Text 19:
- My dear King, in his orbit through Bhū-maṇḍala, the sun-god traverses a distance of 95,100,000 yojanas [760,800,000 miles] at the speed of 2,000 yojanas and two krośas [16,004 miles] in a moment.
Speaker: Kamalini Devi Dasi
The Orbits of the Planets
In this chapter the orbits of the planets are described. According to the movements of the moon and other planets, all the inhabitants of the universe are prone to auspicious and inauspicious situations. This is referred to as the influence of the stars.
The sun-god, who controls the affairs of the entire universe, especially in regard to heat, light, seasonal changes and so on, is considered an expansion of Nārāyaṇa. He represents the three Vedas — Ṛg, Yajur and Sāma — and therefore he is known as Trayīmaya, the form of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Sometimes the sun-god is also called Sūrya Nārāyaṇa. The sun-god has expanded himself in twelve divisions, and thus he controls the six seasonal changes and causes winter, summer, rain and so on. Yogīs and karmīs following the varṇāśrama institution, who practice haṭha or aṣṭāṅga-yoga or who perform agnihotra sacrifices, worship Sūrya Nārāyaṇa for their own benefit. The demigod Sūrya is always in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. Residing in outer space, which is in the middle of the universe, between Bhūloka and Bhuvarloka, the sun rotates through the time circle of the zodiac, represented by twelve rāśis, or signs, and assumes different names according to the sign he is in. For the moon, every month is divided into two fortnights. Similarly, according to solar calculations, a month is equal to the time the sun spends in one constellation; two months constitute one season, and there are twelve months in a year. The entire area of the sky is divided into two halves, each representing an ayana, the course traversed by the sun within a period of six months. The sun travels sometimes slowly, sometimes swiftly and sometimes at a moderate speed. In this way it travels within the three worlds, consisting of the heavenly planets, the earthly planets and outer space. These orbits are referred to by great learned scholars by the names Saṁvatsara, Parivatsara, Iḍāvatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara.
The moon is situated 100,000 yojanas above the rays of the sunshine. Day and night on the heavenly planets and Pitṛloka are calculated according to its waning and waxing. Above the moon by a distance of 200,000 yojanas are some stars, and above these stars is Śukra-graha (Venus), whose influence is always auspicious for the inhabitants of the entire universe. Above Śukra-graha by 200,000 yojanas is Budha-graha (Mercury), whose influence is sometimes auspicious and sometimes inauspicious. Next, above Budha-graha by 200,000 yojanas, is Aṅgāraka (Mars), which almost always has an unfavorable influence. Above Aṅgāraka by another 200,000 yojanas is the planet called Bṛhaspati-graha (Jupiter), which is always very favorable for qualified brāhmaṇas. Above Bṛhaspati-graha is the planet Śanaiścara (Saturn), which is very inauspicious, and above Saturn is a group of seven stars occupied by great saintly persons who are always thinking of the welfare of the entire universe. These seven stars circumambulate Dhruvaloka, which is the residence of Lord Viṣṇu within this universe.
- Text 1:
- King Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: My dear lord, you have already affirmed the truth that the supremely powerful sun-god travels around Dhruvaloka with both Dhruvaloka and Mount Sumeru on his right. Yet at the same time the sun-god faces the signs of the zodiac and keeps Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on his left. How can we reasonably accept that the sun-god proceeds with Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on both his left and right simultaneously?
- Text 2:
- Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī clearly answered: When a potter’s wheel is moving and small ants located on that big wheel are moving with it, one can see that their motion is different from that of the wheel because they appear sometimes on one part of the wheel and sometimes on another. Similarly, the signs and constellations, with Sumeru and Dhruvaloka on their right, move with the wheel of time, and the antlike sun and other planets move with them. The sun and planets, however, are seen in different signs and constellations at different times. This indicates that their motion is different from that of the zodiac and the wheel of time itself.
- Text 3:
- The original cause of the cosmic manifestation is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. When great saintly persons, fully aware of the Vedic knowledge, offered prayers to the Supreme Person, He descended to this material world in the form of the sun to benefit all the planets and purify fruitive activities. He divided Himself into twelve parts and created seasonal forms, beginning with spring. In this way He created the seasonal qualities, such as heat, cold and so on.
- Text 4:
- According to the system of four varṇas and four āśramas, people generally worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, who is situated as the sun-god. With great faith they worship the Supreme Personality as the Supersoul according to ritualistic ceremonies handed down in the three Vedas, such as agnihotra and similar higher and lower fruitive acts, and according to the process of mystic yoga. In this way they very easily attain the ultimate goal of life.
- Text 5:
- The sun-god, who is Nārāyaṇa, or Viṣṇu, the soul of all the worlds, is situated in outer space between the upper and lower portions of the universe. Passing through twelve months on the wheel of time, the sun comes in touch with twelve different signs of the zodiac and assumes twelve different names according to those signs. The aggregate of those twelve months is called a saṁvatsara, or an entire year. According to lunar calculations, two fortnights — one of the waxing moon and the other of the waning — form one month. That same period is one day and night for the planet Pitṛloka. According to stellar calculations, a month equals two and one quarter constellations. When the sun travels for two months, a season passes, and therefore the seasonal changes are considered parts of the body of the year.
- Text 6:
- Thus the time the sun takes to rotate through half of outer space is called an ayana, or its period of movement [in the north or in the south].
- Text 7:
- The sun-god has three speeds — slow, fast and moderate. The time he takes to travel entirely around the spheres of heaven, earth and space at these three speeds is referred to, by learned scholars, by the five names Saṁvatsara, Parivatsara, Iḍāvatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara.
Speaker: Madan Mohan Prabhu
- Text 8:
- Above the rays of the sunshine by a distance of 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles] is the moon, which travels at a speed faster than that of the sun. In two lunar fortnights the moon travels through the equivalent of a saṁvatsara of the sun, in two and a quarter days it passes through a month of the sun, and in one day it passes through a fortnight of the sun.
Speaker: Bhrigupati Prabhu
- Text 7:
- Kṛṣṇa, the reservoir of all pleasure, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, the supreme controller. No one is greater than or equal to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, yet He appears as the son of Mahārāja Nanda.
- Text 8:
- Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the supreme enjoyer in the rāsa dance. He is the leader of the damsels of Vraja, and all others are simply His associates.
Speaker: Abhirama Prabhu
- Text 9:
- When the moon is waxing, the illuminating portions of it increase daily, thus creating day for the demigods and night for the pitās. When the moon is waning, however, it causes night for the demigods and day for the pitās. In this way the moon passes through each constellation of stars in thirty muhūrtas [an entire day]. The moon is the source of nectarean coolness that influences the growth of food grains, and therefore the moon-god is considered the life of all living entities. He is consequently called Jīva, the chief living being within the universe.
- Text 10:
- Because the moon is full of all potentialities, it represents the influence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The moon is the predominating deity of everyone’s mind, and therefore the moon-god is called Manomaya. He is also called Annamaya because he gives potency to all herbs and plants, and he is called Amṛtamaya because he is the source of life for all living entities. The moon pleases the demigods, pitās, human beings, animals, birds, reptiles, trees, plants and all other living entities. Everyone is satisfied by the presence of the moon. Therefore the moon is also called Sarvamaya [all-pervading].
- Text 11:
- There are many stars located 200,000 yojanas [1,600,000 miles] above the moon. By the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are fixed to the wheel of time, and thus they rotate with Mount Sumeru on their right, their motion being different from that of the sun. There are twenty-eight important stars, headed by Abhijit.
- Text 12:
- Some 1,600,000 miles above this group of stars is the planet Venus, which moves at almost exactly the same pace as the sun according to swift, slow and moderate movements. Sometimes Venus moves behind the sun, sometimes in front of the sun and sometimes along with it. Venus nullifies the influence of planets that are obstacles to rainfall. Consequently its presence causes rainfall, and it is therefore considered very favorable for all living beings within this universe. This has been accepted by learned scholars.
- Text 13:
- Mercury is described to be similar to Venus, in that it moves sometimes behind the sun, sometimes in front of the sun and sometimes along with it. It is 1,600,000 miles above Venus, or 7,200,000 miles above earth. Mercury, which is the son of the moon, is almost always very auspicious for the inhabitants of the universe, but when it does not move along with the sun, it forbodes cyclones, dust, irregular rainfall, and waterless clouds. In this way it creates fearful conditions due to inadequate or excessive rainfall.
- Text 14:
- Situated 1,600,000 miles above Mercury, or 8,800,000 miles above earth, is the planet Mars. If this planet does not travel in a crooked way, it crosses through each sign of the zodiac in three fortnights and in this way travels through all twelve, one after another. It almost always creates unfavorable conditions in respect to rainfall and other influences.
- Text 15:
- Situated 1,600,000 miles above Mars, or 10,400,000 miles above earth, is the planet Jupiter, which travels through one sign of the zodiac within the period of a Parivatsara. If its movement is not curved, the planet Jupiter is very favorable to the brāhmaṇas of the universe.
- Text 16:
- Situated 1,600,000 miles above Jupiter, or 12,000,000 miles above earth, is the planet Saturn, which passes through one sign of the zodiac in thirty months and covers the entire zodiac circle in thirty Anuvatsaras. This planet is always very inauspicious for the universal situation.
- Text 17:
- Situated 8,800,000 miles above Saturn, or 20,800,000 miles above earth, are the seven saintly sages, who are always thinking of the well-being of the inhabitants of the universe. They circumambulate the supreme abode of Lord Viṣṇu, known as Dhruvaloka, the polestar.