The story of Surya and Aruna


Regular readers of Mahabore’s Mumblings will know my affinity towards Indian mythology and the lesser known tales from the same. This post marks my return to this genre after a reasonably long hiatus.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the same, and if you do so, let me know in the Comments Section below the post, and it also goes without saying, please share the post with all your friends and families as well.

So, without further ado, here goes the story of Surya, the Sun god and Aruna, his charioteer.

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SuryaArunaWhen the ocean of milk was churned and Amrita, the divine nectar of immortality was obtained, one of the asuras, Rahu disguised himself as a deva and sat down in line to drink the same. However, Surya managed to see through Rahu’s disguise and prevented Mohini from serving him the Amrita. Due to this Rahu had a longstanding grudge with Surya.

Despite the fact that all the devas knew about this enemity of Rahu’s with Surya, they did not do anything about it, and this enraged Surya to no end. He was of the opinion that the devas, being his kinsmen should have helped him get rid of Rahu’s threat once and for all.

Another version of the story has that, Rahu, enraged by Surya’s action swallows him whole and Surya is saved only when Lord Vishnu intervenes and Rahu is forced to regurgitate him. Surya blames the other devas for not coming to his aid when the asura Rahu swallowed him and insulted him so.

In any case, an angered Surya had decided to destroy all the worlds with his fierce heat.

As Surya was preparing himself to rise from the eastern kingdoms with the intention of burning through all the worlds with his heat, the great rishis approached the gods and asked them to intervene. The gods along with the rishis went to Brahma for a solution. Brahma confirmed their worst fears when he told them that Surya intended to destroy all the worlds with his heat, but he also reassured them when he told them that what was happening was pre-ordained and therefore a solution for this issue had also been determined beforehand.

He informed the gods and the rishis about how Aruna, the intelligent son of Kashyapa with a well-developed upper torso had recently been appointed the charioteer of Surya with the sole purpose of overcoming this particular situation. By doing his duty as a charioteer and staying in front of Surya all the time, Aruna shall absorb all the fierce energy emanated by Surya in his anger and shall ensure the well-being of all the worlds.

Aruna, having the divine providence of the reason for his birth, did just as Brahma described and ensured that Surya’s anger at the other gods did not result in the destruction of the worlds.

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6 thoughts on “The story of Surya and Aruna

  1. Liked the narration; nice, traditional storytelling. I wonder, though, if such myths are actually a sort of attempt by a culture in making sense of the world, then what is the actual things this myth pointing to? If the sun was to burnt he world today, what would be a possible shield or heat absorber?

    • @kiranchaturvedi, quite an interesting question you raised right there!!! And yes, I personally believe that most of these stories were attempts to convey more subtle and hidden messages to the listeners and readers of the same. It is left to the recipient to make sense of the same based on his point of view of these stories.

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