THE SUN, the cause of day and night, center of all life, force, energy and giver of Prana to all living beings, has achieved importance since ancient times almost all over the world. During the Neolithic age, he was worshipped in the form of numerous symbols. The Europeans called the Sun "Apollo," whom the Greeks adored as the Sun-God. In Iran, Mithra, the God of Light, is the Sun-God. The Chinese regarded the Sun as the prime dispeller of evil spirits. In Japan, Dhyani Buddha, the great Sun, is the ultimate Buddha-reality. According to Mexicans, the Sun is "Impalnesohumani", which means "He by whom men live." The Egyptians view the Sun as the governing deity because he causes upward and downward currents of ether and the annual waters of rains. The Chaldeans also worshipped the Sun.
The Hindu prays to the Sun thrice a day. Surya Namaskar, the Sun salutation Yoga Asana, is done to regain lost vitality. Whenever the Sun enters into certain significant zodiacs, the Hindus perform religious functions. They celebrate Sankranti when Sun enters Capricorn zodiac, when Sun commences its northern course. Tamil New Year's Day is celebrated when the Sun crosses the fixed Nirayana Vernal Equinox and enters Aries. Christians celebrate Christmas on that very day when the Sun changes its course in the sky and starts gaining power. Sundays were probably initially designated holidays to worship this God of the sky.
In the Hindu scripture, Rig Veda, the greatness of the Sun is beautifully described. According to Hindu mythology, the Sun ever moves in a chariot drawn by seven horses which represent the seven rays of light. Even music has its scale of seven. Matter from Space - Akasa - to earth is of seven densities. The Solar system floats amidst the seven Lokas, seven planes of consciousness. There are seven days in the Hindu calendar representing the seven planets named in the Solar system. The body of man is composed of seven tissues according to Ayurveda, the Hindu science of healing.
The Sun is the self that is connected to God, the Soul. The Sun is described as the Soul of the universe, representing the life-force on earth which sustains everything. If afflicted in one's astrological chart, one is unable to realize his connection to God and can thus only express egocentric qualities. Every heartbeat, thought, inspiration, act of photosynthesis or anything else real or imagined on Earth has been fueled by the Sun's power. His is the energy of confidence and power, consistency and inspiration. The strength of the Sun will show our inherent capacity for truth and transformation. The Sun is the only light in the astrological chart, or in life. The other planets merely reflect the Sun's Light. It is the ONE that connects all things - the ocean of life that is our true nature. As such it illuminates the path of truth, giving the strength to sacrifice our smaller desires so that we may purify and reclaim our Self as the highest truth.
The fragment of Divinity which constitutes each entity is represented by the solar ray. As long as solar energy reaches the individual and is absorbed by him, he lives; when the flow stops, his life ends.
The solar ray is linked with the innermost essence of the human individual. The atman or soul is represented by the Sun. It is life as distinct from Prakriti, energy. The Sun is always concerned with the life-force, but never interferes with its evolution. As such, he is the "Silent Watcher" of every human being. It is vitally concerned with the well-being of the soul, never interfering in its activities but always ready to assist when we are willing to receive his guidance.
The Sun's abode is an open place where there is light. He generates trees that are inwardly strong and at the same time tall. His taste is pungent. His grain is wheat. His precious stone is ruby. His numbers are one and four. He casts full glance on the 7th house. He stays for one month in a zodiacal house and thus takes exactly one year to go around the path of ecliptic. In the Vimshottari Maha Dasha, the Vedic astrological major period system, the Sun has only a 6-year period. His friends are Mars, the Moon and Jupiter. Venus and Saturn are his enemies and Mercury is neutral towards him. Mercury is the only planet which is not considered combust when close to the Sun; other planets in solar vicinity shed their power and are considered weak.
The Sun is assigned the Sattwa Guna, purity, which indicates its basic goodness, harmony and purity of intelligence. It is associated with gold and copper, the former as a symbol of its purity and precious nature, the latter for its electrical vitality. The Sun rules the East, suggesting auspicious beginnings. The Sun only moves forward; it is never retrograde in motion.
On the basis of the Sun's placement in a horoscope, the Vedic astrologer may predict one's relationship with the government, father or husband; the Sun also reflects the enthusiasm, refinement and idealism of the person. A haughty nature, tyrannical disposition and argumentative temperament are also related to the Sun's disposition in a horoscope.
Whatever the impact of the Sun, it provides life-force, works from the center of one's being, and always guides the individual toward his peak of achievement.
Astrologically, the symbol of the Sun can be interpreted as follows: the outer circle represents the area of manifestation or Buddhic matter which is the basis and life of our universe. The point in the middle represents the Spirit, the Divine Spark present there in order to commence its evolution in Matter so that it may become omniscient and omnipresent on all the planes of existence.
The reader will have to recognize that the Sun is the inner, the essential nature of the individual concerned. On the strength and quality of the Sun in his horoscope can be gauged the stage of the evolution of his soul.