World Sanskrit Conference (WSC) (17th : 2018)

Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir Kaul, Advaitavadini 2019

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 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir Advaitavadini Kaul Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies.  Section Convenors: Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök
General Editor: Adheesh Sathaye Published by the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, on behalf of the International Association for Sanskrit Studies. DOI: 10.14288/1.0391987.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/74781. Suggested Citation Format: MLA:
Kaul, Advaitavadini. “Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir.” Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies. Edited by Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök, 2019. DOI: 10.14288/1.0391987. APA:
Kaul, A. (2019). Tradition of Sun worship in Kashmir. In D. Acharya, M. Slouber, and J. Törzsök (eds.) Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies. DOI: 10.14288/1.0391987. Chicago:
Kaul, Advaitavadini. 2019. “Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir.” In Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13, 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies, edited by Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök. DOI: 10.14288/1.0391987. Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, July 9-13, 2018 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CanadaCopyright © 2019 by the author. Content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/वैधुसव ्मकबुंटुकअ ारा यसं तृा यनसमवायःINTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SANSKRIT STUDIESTHE   17TH    WORLD   SANSKRIT  CONFERENCEVANCOUVER, CANADA • JULY 9-13, 2018 THE 17TH WORLD SANSKRIT CONFERENCE, VANCOUVER, CANADA, JULY 9-13, 2018 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir  1Advaitavadini Kaul Kalakosa Division, Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts,  New Delhi, India. Abstract The identification of the Sun with the supreme consciousness has been a phenomenon throughout the Indian tradition. This identification has concretized in the ādityahṛda-yam, from Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa. Meditation on the Sun in heart and reciting this stotra enables one to conquer all enemies, external as well as internal. Widely revered as one of the powerful stotras, is true in Kashmir too. Mārtaṇḍa, meaning “one who infuses life into the egg of the universe,” is one among the renowned architectural marvels of Ancient India. This Sun temple created at a significantly chosen location in Kashmir dates back to the eighth century. Another important reference is the Sāmbapañcāśikā, a mystical hymn that has remained a prominent stotra among Kashmiri Śaivas till date. Though of an unknown date, it presents both Vedic and Tantric symbolism in praise of the Sun as an existing entity that illuminates the universe and as the supreme consciousness hidden in the inner heart of each individual. The only available commentary by Kṣemarāja has interpreted it from the Trika Śaiva perspective. The Nīlamata Purāṇa prescribes the worship of Sun and the specific dates for Sun worship in Kashmir. There used to be the practice of drawing a sūrya maṇḍala by the house ladies and the practice of many related rituals are still exisiting. This paper aims to cover the period from the eighth-ninth centuries to the present for drawing the lost connections between the theory and practice, since the rituals followed by the masses have strong theoretical basis. Keywords: Kashmir; Mārtaṇḍa; supreme consciousness; cosmic Sun; Sun worship. प#ुन द्वेानमतृिवसरिैर1मा2ा3 स4ग-्
भािभः 8ाभी रसयित रसं यः परं िन<मवे।
>ीणं >ीणं पनुरिप च तं परूय<वेमीग ्
दोलालीलोEिसतFदयं नौिम िचHानमुकेम ॥्The above maṅgala śloka (opening verse) is written by Kṣemarāja, one of the prima-ry disciples of ācārya Abhinavagupta, to his vṛtti on the Sāmbapañcāśikā (Fig.1), a stotra invoking the Sun. The identification of the cosmic Sun with the supreme  This work has been partly supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, 1New Delhi. Proceedings of the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 9-13 2018, Section 6: Tantra Studies, edited by Diwakar Acharya, Michael Slouber, and Judit Törzsök, 2019. DOI: 10.14288/1.0391987. KAUL 2consciousness has been a phenomenon throughout the Indian tradition. Accord-ingly, the above verse provides double meaning which may be explained at two levels viz. cosmic and spiritual.  The translation in relation with the cosmic Sun:   I bow to luminous one (the cosmic Sun) who nourishes all gods (ele-ments) of this universe while spreading nectar (of soothing light) by flowing the pleasant light into the moon and (through that) continuously filling the highest delight (all over) by its self luminosity. (In this way) he always keeps on completing the lunar cycle through the waning and waxing of the moon just as a rocking swing by moving to and fro. Figure 1. Sāmbapañcāśikā with Kṣemarāja’s vṛtti, (manuscript leaf in Devanagari script), Oriental Library, J&K State, Srinagar. Image courtesy of IGNCA, New Delhi.  Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 3The translation explaining the spiritual aspect:   I bow to supreme light of self consciousness which nourishes the gods (senses) by spreading nectar which flows into the inner consciousness as pleasant light. Through its self luminosity it continuously keeps pouring in the supreme sap. (By this) the decreasing (i.e. out coming breath) is filled again as increasing (i.e. incoming breath) to the delight of one’s mind. This happens the same way as a rocking swing, which by moving to and fro delights the mind of one who is enjoying the ride. The Vedic tradition has been strongly prevalent in Kashmir in the same way as in any other part/region of India during ancient times. However, it may be imperative here to note that the Kashmiri Brāhmaṇs/Pandits have continued throughout and are still continuing to follow Vedas while performing the rituals and many other practises involved with them, of course with further develop-ments in the continuous process. So far as the worship of the Sun in Kashmir is concerned the most impor-tant textual evidence that catches our attention is the Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya form-ing the part of Bhṛṅgīśa Saṃhitā (BS) dated by scholars around the twelfth centu-ry or so. Although some portions seem later additions, Bhṛṅgīśa Saṃhitā contains the māhātmyas of the pilgrimage places situated in Kashmir. The descriptions given in these māhātmyas are very significant for tracing the details of the geog-raphy, topography, and the cultural practices followed in ancient Kashmir. The Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya, available in three paṭalas, is about the very famous pilgrim-age place since ancient times, situated in south Kashmir. The first two chapters of this māhātmya, as per the colophons, are named as “Matsya-bhavana”  and 2“Lokārivarnaṇa,”  respectively. The Cākā river and its significance in the 3malamāsa or adhika māsa, when special pilgrimage takes place and people throng from all over to offer śrāddha for their ancestors (departed ones), is the subject-matter of the third chapter.  However this chapter is incomplete in the man4 -uscript. There is yet another Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya containing 277 verses which forms the part of the Brahma Purāṇa as per its colophon.  It records significant 5information about the location of the Mārtaṇḍa in Kashmir:  BS Khajuria ed., 285; Shastri ed., 55.2 BS Khajuria ed., 306; Shastri ed., 73.3 BS Khajuria ed., 307-15;  Shastri ed., 74-76.4 BS Shastri ed., 36.5 KAUL 4अिL तM महOMें मात PQडं नाम भा8तः।
यM पातिकनो यािS कृत े TाUे िवमVुय॥ेWथमं तY >MेY Zारपालो 3वि[तः। 
अनSनाम नागा\ः श^ाभतूो मनुी_राः॥उaरे िहमbकु>ौ शभु े काcमीरमQडले।
dोशMये परीमाणं सयू Pतeं िवमिुVदम॥्चdे_राfमारg यावद ्गौतमसगंमम।्
मात PQडं नाम न>Mं िपतणॄां मिुVकारणम॥्नiा पिjमगािमkा चाकया पिरशोिभतम ।् 
पवूा Pिभdमतो भग Pिशखािदिभरिधिnतम ॥्पिरतो रि>त ुं सा>ाoवेीिभः परशिVिभः…  6There (in Kashmir) is the great place of the Sun god known as Mārtaṇḍa, where people go to get rid of their sins and thus achieve liberation. First of all, the guard of this area is the Nāga named Ananta – the bed of the great god (Viṣṇu). Towards the north (of Anantanāga) in the lap of the Himalaya in the pi-ous land of Kashmir is situated the “Sūrya Tantra,” measuring three krośas, which provides liberation. From Cakreśvara (modern Bijbehara) up to the confluence of the Gau-tama (nāga), the Mārtaṇḍa as a nakṣatra is the bestowal of liberation [this indicates the astronomical significance of the area]. It is adorned by the Cākā river which flows towards the west and on its eastern side are the peaks (known as) Bhargaśikhā and others. It is surrounded by Parā Śakti in the form of the goddesses all around to provide protection.  There are specific dates given for performing the rituals at this pilgrimage place. For that it says:  सयू Pपादे विरnे त ु यः TाUं कुpत े पमुान ।् 
िपतरो मो>मायािS न स भयूोऽिभजायते॥  BS, Shastri ed., 3-4.6 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 5सोमवारे bमावYा रिववारे च सsमी।
तM मिलtचु े मास े सयू P>Mे े िपतkृजते॥्7One who performs the śrāddha during the greatest degree of the Sun [according to particular astrological calculations], his ancestors attain supreme liberation and they never fall in the cycle of birth and death.  When amāvasyā (the new moon) falls on Monday and when the seventh day falls on Sunday and during the malamāsa (extra month) of a year, one must do pūjā for the manes at this Sūrya Kṣetra. Tी माa PQडे >Mे े सs4ां त ु रिविदन।े
िवजया नाम सा WोVा िपतणृािमह मVुय॥े  8(During the malamāsa) a seventh day falling on Sunday is known as Vi-jayā (Saptamī). At Mārtaṇḍa Kṣetra, (this day is) known as the day of lib-eration for the departed ones.  Counting this tīrtha at par with other famous tīrthas in India it further records: कुp>Mे े Wयाग े च हरZारे तथवै च।
माa PQडपादमलेू च TाUं हिरहरौ uरन॥्  9 At Kurukṣetra, Prayāga and Haridvāra, and at the foot of the Mārtaṇḍa [plateau] one must perform śrāddha while keeping in mind Hari and Hara (Viṣṇu and Śiva). Giving description of the tīrtha it says: तM यिZमलं नाम तीथv दवेिनषिेवत।े 
मxyपधरःै िसUःै जzुं चdधररैिप॥तM हमेमया मxाLा{राजाित सि|भाः। 
तM }ाbा बल तgेो दbा पQुयं मह€लम॥्  10 BS, Shastri ed., 5.7 BS, Shastri ed., 6.8 BS, Shastri ed., 8.9 BS, Shastri ed., 9.10 KAUL 6There is a tīrtha (spring) known as Vimala which is adorned by the gods. The Siddhas and Cakradharas adorn it (the spring) in the form of fish. After taking a bath there, one must offer food to these golden fish look-ing just similar to a scintillating kingdom, to achieve benefits.  दवेी भग Pिशखा तM िवTतुा िMमलापहा।
िपतमृिुVWदा सा>ाoवेदवेीसखीयतुा॥  11At that very place is the famous Bhargaśikhā (Devī) accompanied with gods and goddesses and others. The remover of three malas, she bestows liberation to all manes.  In order to explain the meaning of Mārtaṇḍa, the māhātmya gives a long puranic story according to which Aditi, the wife of Kaśyapa, had brought about her thirteenth child. The earlier twelve eggs were born as Āditya, Ravi, Gabhasti, Bhānu, Divākara, Savitā, Gharma, Tapan, Bhāskara, Sūrya, Tvaṣṭā and Surapati. The names of their śaktis are given as Prabhā, Dīpti, Prakāśā, Marīci, Tapanī, Mācanī, Havyavāhā, Tejovatī, Śatadhāmā, Sudhāmā, Padmagarbhā and Chāyā.  12The thirteenth egg was thrown in the water of Satīsara by Aditi. Kaśyapa through his penance received the boon from Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Mahādeva, and then Nārāyaṇa broke the mountain into two and thus the water flowed out. After that, Kaśyapa found a luminous egg of an amazing form placed in a small water body. On taking it in his hands, this unique egg spread out its concealed lustre. Bharga-śikhā is the power (śakti) of this light. This very flame gave rise to second kalā known as Bhīmā, the third, Bhāsuti, and the fourth, Bhānavī. These very four became twelve with three types of each in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.  13As such, emerging from the lifeless egg this is known as Mārtaṇḍa. For it was lying formless in water, therefore the Śrutis praise it as Vīreśvarī. This is the supreme, the teacher of the whole universe, the inner self of all beings, all knowledge and all light. It has no colour, no sound and no degrees. This is the unique and supreme Āditya, Vīra and always present as the risen Sun (nitya ravi). By the breaking of this egg, the water that flowed out of it is well known as Cākā  BS, Shastri ed., 10.11 BS,  Shastri ed., 10-13.12 BS,  Shastri ed., 13-14.13 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 7River that bestows liberation to manes. Because Muni Kaśyapa was taken by sur-prise (cakita) on seeing this (water) therefore this river is called Cākā.  14Further, Brahmā tells Kaśyapa that you have seen the creations of twelve eggs which are known as twelve Ādityas in the Vedas, in loka (common parlance) and in rituals. Accordingly, the twelve months and nine seasons in a year, 27 nakṣatras (constellation) and 12 rāśis (stars) have been conceived under the con-cept of time. The great Mārtaṇḍa is placed at the beginning of Caitra according to the Brahma Siddhānta Darśana, records the text of the Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya. This extra month falls in two months at the end of two nādīs which includes eight months along with sixteen days (it is normally seen that the extra month falls after every two and a half years). There appears no transition in this extra month while as in all other months there appear transitions. Therefore this extra month is known as mala māsa.   15“The Ādityas will have hold on their respective months but Mārtaṇḍa will have hold on all the months” – thus was Mārtaṇḍa divinized by Brahmā, who told Mārtaṇḍa to ask for a boon. On this, Mārtaṇḍa responded by saying, “Since I have experienced pain as a sinner (as consequence of a śāpa), I will ask for a rare boon for the sinners who have no other repose.” “Such souls for whom there is no atonement to atone for their sins, they may get rid of all faults and remain sati-ated for all time.” – This was the boon asked by Mārtaṇḍa.  16The first Paṭala of the Māhātmya describes Mārtaṇḍa in the following dhyā-na ślokas: ॐ भा8‚ƒुकरं Wस|वदनं पीता„राल…†तम ।्
वदनं चाभयपLुके जपवटˆ हLदै Pधान ं Wभमु ॥्सवंता Pि‰समानकािSममलं नMेMयोHािसतम ।्
दवेjै चिरतं च वरदं माa PQडनाथं नमुः ॥17Shining with the lustre of the clusters of rays, face spreading joy, adorned with yellow robes; (four) hands holding lotus, bestowing fear-lessness, holding a book and a rosary (respectively). His three eyes light- BS,  Shastri ed., 15-16.14 BS,  Shastri ed., 17-18.15 BS, Shastri ed., 19.16 BS, Shastri ed., 52; Khajuria ed., 282.17 KAUL 8ed as beautiful flames. Surrounded by gods looking great – I bow to that Mārtaṇḍa Nātha. Now, coming back to other textual sources on the worship of the Sun, at-tention may be drawn to Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī (RT). It records the building of a wonderful temple of Mārtaṇḍa with its massive walls of stone within a lofty en-closure (prāsādāntar), and its town swelling with grapes: सोखिQडताcमWाकारं WासादाS3Pधa च।
मात PQडYाHतुं दाता Šा>ा‹ीतं च पaनम ॥्18This massive temple was built by the well known liberal king of Kashmir Lalitāditya Muktāpīḍa of the Kārkoṭa Dynasty during the eighth century. Sir M. A. Stein has done rigorous research on Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī by identifying the mentioned places with all available and updated details. Regarding Mārtaṇḍa, he writes: “The ruins of the temple of Mārtaṇḍa, here mentioned, from the most striking remains which have survived of the ancient architecture of Kashmir. They are situated near the N. edge of the alluvial plateau (Uḍar) of Maṭan 75° 17" long. 33° 45' lat. about one mile to the N.W. of the temple, and at the Mārtaṇḍa tīrtha. The name given to the temple and its site leaves no doubt as to its having been erected in honour of Viṣṇu-Sūrya, who has evidently been worshipped since early times at the above tīrtha under the form of Mārtaṇḍa.”  He further 19writes “The tīrtha has remained to the present day one of the most celebrated pilgrimage places in the valley, and annually attracts crowds of visitors from all parts of India. The legend related in the Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya connects the springs with the story of the production of the Sun from the lifeless egg (mṛtta aṇḍa) which Aditi, the wife of Kaśyapa, had brought forth as her thirteenth child.” Stein very interestingly thereafter adds: “ The tīrtha of Mārtaṇḍa is already men-tioned in the Nīlamata 1036 among the places sacred to Sūrya.”  20While searching for this reference I came across following ten verses in the Nīlamata Purāṇa (NP), which seem to refer to the images that may have adorned the massive Mārtaṇḍa temple: कात Pवीया Pज ुPन8ाम Œा तं च िदवाकरम ् । मात PQडं कcयप8ाम िव_ग_कृतं रिवम ्॥सचुशें सचुdेशं सरुभी8ािमनं रिवम ।् Œकैैकमथतैgेो हयदानफलं लभते ॥्
 RT IV, 192 (Stein 1989 [3]: 51).18 RT IV, 192 fn (Stein 1989 [1]: 141).19 As above.20 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 9ाणं वरदं Œा शलैyपधरं 8यम ।् िव#8ुाम हर8ाम कcयप8ािमनं तथा ॥
zवतैान 8्ग Pमा‘ोित भिूमपालिपतामहान ।् चd8ािमसमीप[ं हरं Œा सदुश Pनम ॥्
8य’वुं वि“कृतं तथा व ै िप”ले_रम ।् िब1नाद_ेरं दवें दवें भŠे_रं तथा ॥
च_ेरं स•nेशें वालिख–_ेरं हिरम ।् केशवशें समशें च धौ4शें वpण_ेरम ॥् 
चdे_रं सचशें कcयपशें िवलोिहतम ।् कामशें सवािसnशें भतूशें सगण_ेरम॥्
सयूv_रं महाराज भuशें िवमले_रम ।् Œकैैकमथतैgेो म—ुत े सव Pिकि˜षःै॥
िहमाचलेशं श™ेशं दवें ववैिšले_रम ।् महानदी_रं श’ुं वरदं कcयप_ेरम ॥्
राज_ेरं नृसहशें भवशें धनद_ेरम ।् सदा सिंनिहतो राजन द्वेो भतू_ेरो हिरः ॥21These verses require further investigation and deeper research as the temple has had the images of various forms of Sūrya and other gods of the Brahmanical pantheon. Stein also remarks that  The ruins of Lalitāditya’s temple have on account of their size and archi-tectural beauty been more frequently described than any other ancient building of Kashmir; Comp Hugel, Kashmir, ii, p. 453 sqq; Vigne. Travels. i. pp. 360, 394 sqq.; Cunningham, J.A.S.B., 1848, pp. 258 sqq.; Cole. Anc. Build., pp. 19 sqq., etc. They consist of an edifice of lofty entrance, with a small detached shrine on either side of the entrance, and of a quadran-gular courtyard of imposing dimensions surrounded by colonnades. To this magnificent enclosure Kalhaṇa clearly refers in the expression prāsādāntar.   22Highlighting other references to the Mārtaṇḍa temple made by Kalhaṇa and other subsequent writers, Stein remarks: The temple of Mārtaṇḍa is mentioned again by Kalhaṇa in the time of King Kalaśa, who died there; comp. vii. 709, 715, 722. The shrine escaped being plundered under Harṣa, vii. 1096. Subsequently it appears to have been used as fortified position by a rebel force in Kalhaṇa’s own time, on which occasion the temple enclosure (prāṇgana) is specially mentioned; comp. viii.3281, 3288, 3295. Jonarāja, 599, mentions the temple among those which Sultan Sikandar “The Idol-breaker,” destroyed…   23 NP 1055-1064.21 RT 4.192fn (Stein 1989 [1]: 141). 22 As above; also cf. JR 601 (Slaje 2014: 170).23 KAUL 10Updating the information during his own time about the temple and the tīrtha, Stein writes: The temple as well as the tīrtha bear now the Kashmiri name Maṭan (from Mārtaṇḍa), found already in Āin-i-Akbari (ii, p.358), whereas the village round the springs is popularly known as Bavan (Skr. Bhavana). The ancient temple is no longer a place of pious interest for the pilgrims, who visit instead the modern temple dedicated to Mārtaṇḍa by the side of the Nāga (spring).   24We find Jonarāja in his Rājataraṅgiṇī (JR) mentioning Mārtaṇḍa as a locality related to the reign of Sultan Zain-ul-Ābidīn (1420-70 CE) whose irrigation works in Mārtaṇḍa-paṭṭana are narrated in some length. The Sultan caused juicy sugar-cane to be planted in the land of Mārtaṇḍa-deśa. This makes it evident that the temple lent its name to the plateau and possibly also to the land adjoining its base.  25In the fourth Rājataraṅgiṇī, written by Prājyabhaṭṭa and Śuka, covering up to the conquest of Kashmir by the Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605 CE), Mār-taṇḍa is mentioned in the context of the severe and widespread earthquake of 1554 CE which wrought havoc in Kashmir in the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Shah, during the ascendancy of Daulat Chak. It is said that the inhabitants of Vijayeś-vara, Mārtaṇḍa, and Varāhakṣetra did not experience any fear from the earth-quake due to the sanctity of these tīrthas. The Mārtaṇḍa here is the tīrtha situat-ed at the two sacred springs known as Vimala and Kamala near the base of the plateau of Mārtaṇḍa presently known as Maṭan or Bavan. Śuka’s last reference to Mārtaṇḍa is in connection with the bounties lavished by Akbar during his first visit to Kashmir. He went to Mārtaṇḍa and made a gift of cows adorned with pearls and gold to the Brahmins.  26 RT 4.192fn (Stein 1989 [1]: 141).24 Stein 1989 (2): 466; cf. JR, B1232ff (Slaje 2014: 240ff).25 Stein 1989 (2): 465-66.26 Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 11Figure 2. Mārtaṇḍa Sun Temple, Kashmir. Picture by H. H. Cole, 1868. Image courtesy of IGNCA, New Delhi. As recorded by Stein also, Abul-Fazl in his Āin-i-Akbari has made a short notice of Maṭan which was then a small paragaṇa populated by Brahmins. How-ever, the published reports of other travellers make it evident that the remains of Mārtaṇḍa temple were widely known and warmly appreciated even in the early nineteenth century.  The fine photographs published by H. H. Cole (Figure 2) 27are a valuable documentation of the temple as it stood in the year 1868 (that is exactly one hundred and fifty years ago). At present even the ruins of this imposing temple overwhelm the visitors with its massiveness, solidity, simplicity and dignity (Figure 3). By their judi-cious composition of not only of different members of the temple proper but also of the components of the entire complex of the Mārtaṇḍa temple, the archi-tects recruited by Lalitāditya Muktāpīḍa created the impression of a colossal temple of soaring height, though in reality it is of an average height if compared to the high temples in other parts of India. The secluded site of the temple on the elevated plateau has added considerably to the effect of grandiosity. Forming a landmark in the history of the temple architecture of Kashmir, the Mārtaṇḍa temple represents the culmination of the typical Kashmiri architectural style.  Stein 1989 (2): 466.27 KAUL 12Figure 3. Recent aerial view of Mārtaṇḍa Sun Temple. Image courtesy of IGNCA, New Delhi. The main temple is located within a spacious oblong courtyard enclosed by a raised basement supporting a roofed colonnade with an array of cells behind. The entrance to the quadrangle is gained through an imposing double-cham-bered gateway, provided in the middle of the front row of cellular peristyle. In this way the general layout is of the normal pattern of the Kashmiri temples. However, the component parts of the temple proper distinguish this temple from other extant temples. In other instances, the temple is a single chamber with or without a sort of a narrow portico in front. But here, not only does this temple consist of an oblong garbha-gṛha, an antarāla, and a spacious full-fledged maṇḍapa, it has two double-chambered side wings flanking the maṇḍapa, adding to a novel and special character of its own. All these components are erected on a single basement. In front of the staircase leading to the maṇḍapa is a shallow tank. The small shrines are near the corners of the basement of the courtyard. The recessed spaces between the pair of pilasters of the miniature shrines are fashioned into trefoil niches with faceted frames, each containing the image (in relief) of a deity often in the company of attendants. There appears to have had thirty-seven images in all, representing various deities of the Brah-manical pantheon including Sūrya, Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Pārvatī, Gaṅgā, Ya-munā and the Dikpālas. The image of Sūrya is riding a horse (facing), accompa- Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 13nied by Daṇḍī and Piṅgala, his usual companions. Wearing long boots and a crown with three projections; the four-armed and moustached deity wears or-naments which include heavy ear-ornaments; coat of mail and coiled locks of hair. The identifiable attributes in the hands are lotuses. The dado between the base and the top of the basement is panelled by pilasters with moulded bases and tops, the topmost member being splayed out. Between these pilasters there are niches, trefoil and corbelled, showing men and women, mostly single and sometimes in amorous pairs. These figures are shown in various roles, some playing musical instruments like cymbals, flutes, lyres and drums, some seated in relaxed mood and some others absorbed in thoughts.  Inside the maṇḍapa within a trefoil niche of the miniature structure is a six-armed, standing image in curved posture wearing a long garland. The lowest right hand of the images on both the jambs appear to rest on a staff. Among the two hands on the southern jamb one hand carries a triśūla and the other is in abhaya-mudrā. The other attributes are not visible. As such making it difficult to identify the exact form which could be most probably of Śiva. Then we find both, the northern and southern walls of the basement having each six figures, all two-armed and seated on double-petalled lotuses and with legs crossed. The attrib-utes in their hands are damaged. But one may assume to identify these twelve figures (in two walls) with the twelve Ādityas. There are other such two unidenti-fied images within the niches on the western (front) wall as well. Of the two cor-responding niches on the eastern wall, one contains the damaged figure of Sūrya, flanked by attendants, on a chariot with the charioteer Aruṇa holding the reins of seven horses. The figure or figures within the other niche (on the right hand side) is completely damaged. The courtyard of the temple complex has several subsidiary shrines which appear to be later addition. Behind the northwestern corner shrine is the upper portion of a large liṅga, made of smoothly-polished stone. The northeastern cor-ner-shrine, though reduced to its moulded base, is interesting as there is a Śāradā inscription (Figure 4) on a part of the recess rising above the plinth and below the splayed out member. The inscription is badly damaged. According to the translation provided by Pandit Madhusudhan Kaul, it records the dedication of an image of Mṛtāṇḍa (Mārtaṇḍa) by a certain Śrīvarmā. On the palaeographi-cal grounds the inscription has been placed at the end of the ninth century. Around the courtyard is a fairly high solid basement running on all sides and supporting the ranges of cells and the roofed peristyle. The total number of cells is 83: twenty-five on each side towards the north and the south, nineteen on the  KAUL 14eastern side, and fourteen (seven on either side of the gateway) on the western side. The Nīlamata Purāṇa (NP), dated somewhere between the sixth to eighth century, prescribes the seventh day of three months for the worship of the Sun during the cycle of one year. This goes with the astrological observation indicat-ing three peculiar positions of the Sun occurring in a year as recorded in the ṛgveda 1.146.48-9. [The tropic of Cancer also referred to as the Northern Tropic is the most northerly circle of latitude on earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This occurs on the June solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum extent. The tropic of Capricorn or the Southern Hemisphere Counterpart marking most southerly position is the circle of latitude that contains the sub solar point on the December (or southern) sol-stice. It is thus the southern most latitude where the Sun can be directly over-head. The March (north) and September (south) equinoxes occur when the sub-solar point crosses the equator]. Figure 4. Śāradā inscription in the compound of Mārtaṇḍa Sun Temple, Kashmir. Author’s personal collection.  Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 15There is one line missing in the original text with this lacuna we find the names of only two months referred to as Māgha (February/March) and Āṣāḍha (June) mentioned in the text. The Nīlamata records (NP 468-470): ……………………………………… । 
तYािततोषमायाित सगणो भा›रः 8यम ॥्एष एव िविधः काय PLथा माघY सsमीम ।्
आषाढ़सsमˆ चवै यशोिवजयकािं>िभः॥सsमीिMतयं चवै  वुमतेद ् िZजोaम ।
सsमी¡थ सवा Pस ु सयू Pलोके महीयत े ॥The Sun (Bhaskara) along with his gaṇas is pleased with him.  The same procedure should be followed on the seventh of Māgha and also on the seventh of Āṣāḍha, by those who desire victory and renown. O best among the twice-borns, this triad of the seventh days is compul-sory. By following this procedure on all the seventh days, one is hon-oured in the world of the Sun.  The practice of making a Sūrya maṇḍala with natural colors on Āṣāḍha saptamī day (falling in June) was in practice among some Kashmiri Pandit fami-lies till 1989 (I am myself witness to this practice in Kashmir). Maybe some fami-lies are still continuing with this practice after leaving Kashmir in 1989/90 on the rise of terrorism.  In the current system of daily and occasional rituals also the worship of the Sun as one of the navagrahas (nine planetary gods) is practiced by Kashmiri Brahmans. For instance, they invoke the navagrahas every morning by chanting the following śloka:  ा मरुािरः िMपरुाSकारी भानःु शशी भिूमसतुो बधुj ।
गpुj शdुः शिनरा¢केतवः कुव PS ु सवv मम सWुभातम ॥्After cleaning oneself the following mantras are chanted to invoke twelve Ādityas while standing with folded hands towards the morning Sun: ॐ िमMाय नमः । ॐ रवये नमः । ॐ सयूा Pय नमः ।
ॐ भानवे नमः । ॐ खगाय नमः । ॐ प#ूे नमः ।
 KAUL 16ॐ िहरQयगभा Pय नमः । ॐ मरीचये नमः । ॐ आिद<ाय नमः । 
ॐ सािवMे नमः । ॐ अका Pय नमः । ॐ भा›राय नमः ।
ॐ िमM-रिव-सयू P-भान-ुखग-प#ुिहरQयगभ Pमरी—ािद<सिवMाकPभा›रgेो नमः ।Amongst the short mantras for the navagrahas, the mantra for Sūrya is “ॐ रं रवये नमः ।” For the removal of planetary obstacles (नव£हपीडाहर) following mantra is used for praying to the Sun: £हाणामािदरा Pिद<ो लोकर>णकारकः ।
िवषम[ानस’तूां पीडां हरत ु म े रिव ॥Sūrya mantras are prescribed for evening prayers as well:  नमो धम Pिनधानाय नमः सकृुतसाि>णे ।
नमः W<>दवेाय भा›राय नमो नमः ॥This is followed by chanting the Vedic mantras “ॐ गाय¤ै नमः सािव¤ ै नमःसर8<ैनमः। ॐ WणवY ऋिष ा गायMं छ§ एव च…” and so on, ending with:  सयू¨ िवपिjत मनसा पनुात ु ।
यत ्ावािद© तªा मा हसीत ्
सयूा Pय िव«जाय व ै नमो नमः॥Then, the above verse नमो धम Pिनधनाय is repeated and followed by the prayer for peace as under: शािSः पिुzLथा तिुzः सS ु मे bत W्सादतः ।
सवPपापWशािSj तीथ Pराज नमोLतु े ॥Observing the birthday ritual (जªिदन पजूा) is a must for every Kashmiri Brahman. The following Vedic mantras are the part of this ritual for invoking the Supreme Light: सह2शीषा P पpुषः सह2ा>ः सह2पात ।्
स भूम िव_तो वbृा3ितnत द्शागंलंु जªोfवदवेताः
आवाहिय©ािम ॐ आवाहय । Flowers are offered while chanting: भगवन प्Qुडरीका> भVान£ुहकारक ।
अu¬दयानरुोधने सि|धान ं कुp Wभो ॥ Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 17For offering a lamp, etc.: तजेोिस शdुमिस •ोितरिस धमािस 
िWयं दवेानां अनाizृं दवेयजनं दवेताg­ा
दवेताgो ग®ृािम य¯gे8ा य¯gेो ग®ृािम 
जªोfवदवेताgः र°दीपं कपू Pरं धपू ं च 
पिरक±यािम नमः।Śivarātri is considered a tantric ritual. The elaborate pūja for Śivarātri also starts with the Vedic mantra for invoking the Sun: िहरQयगभ Pः समवत Pता£ े भतूY जातः पितरके आसीत ।्
स दाधार पिृथवˆ iामतुमेां कuै दवेाय हिवषा िवधमे ॥This is followed by the initiation mantras (जीवादान): अि_नोः WाणLौ ते Wाणं दaां तने जीव 
िमMावpणयोः WाणLौत े Wाणं दaां तने जीव
बहृ²तःे Wाणः स ते Wाणं ददात ु तने जीव।And then is chanted: भगवते भवाय दवेाय उमासिहताय िशवाय
जीवादान ं पिरक±यािम नमः ।
“िशवाय नमः ॐ”The Sun is worshipped as a cosmic symbol of Divine Light for every ritual: नमो धम Pिनधानाय नमः सकृुतसाि>णे । 
नमः W<>दवेाय भा›राय नमो नमः॥Then is invoked the light within (आ³दीप) by chanting following śloka:  यMािL माता न िपता न ब´ःु «ातािप नो यM सµुदजनj । 
न ¯ायते यM िदनं न रािMः तaा³दीपं शरणं Wपiे ॥The Naivedya mantras are chanted as follows: अमतृशेमŠुया अमतृीकृ< अमतृम अ्Lुअमतृायतां नवैiेम -्
सािवMािण सािवMY दवेY bा सिवतःु Wसव_ेनोबा P¢gां प#ूो हLाgाम आ्ददे ।And then is chanted specifically for invoking the Sun:  KAUL 18… ¶ां ¶ˆ सः सयूा Pय सsा_ाय अन_ाय एका_ाय
नीला_ाय W<>दवेाय परमाथ Pसाराय तजेोyपाय
Wभासिहताय आिद<ायThe Sāmbapañcāśikā is a hymn dedicated to the Sun of supreme conscious-ness. This mystical hymn has remained a prominent stotra among Kashmiri Śaivas to the present day. Though of an unknown date, it presents both Vedic and Tantric symbolism through its most appealing, poetic, and heart-touching vers-es in praise of the Sun as an existing entity that illuminates the universe and as the supreme consciousness hidden in the inner heart of every individual. The only available commentary by Kṣemarāja (eleventh century CE) has interpreted it from the Trika Śaiva perspective. The Sūryastutirahasya and Sūrya Śataka or Ratna Śataka are the two stotras dedicated to the Sun and composed by the well known Kashmiri Paṇḍita Ratna-kaṇṭha during 17th-18th century. The first stotra contains twenty-five verses. Each verse begins with one akṣara of the Gāyatrī mantra respectively signifying the secret of worshipping the Sun. Another stotra containing one hundred ślokas, as is evident by the title, also describes in beautiful poetry different as-pects of the Sun as exiting reality and also as absolute Brahman. One finds so many references related to the Sun in the Tantras and other literature that has originated from Kashmir. This throws ample light on various aspects of the significance of the Sun as observed by the seers and scholars of Kashmir, keeping in view the welfare of humanity at both levels worldly and spiri-tual.  Bibliography Primary Sources Atharvaveda Saṃhitā. Edited and translated by Sripad Damodar Satavalekar. Pa-radi: Svadhyaya Mandal, 1985. Bhaviṣyottara Purāṇa. Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1984. Bhāgavata Purāṇa. Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1987. Bṛhat Saṃhitā of Varāhamihira. Translated by Pt. Achyutananda Jha. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Vidyabhavan, 2010. Devī Bhāgavata Purāṇa. Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1986.  Tradition of Sun Worship in Kashmir 19Kāṇvaśatapathabrāhmaṇa. Edited and translated by C. R. Swaminathan. Kalāmū-laśāstra Series, 40. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 2011. Mahābhārata. Critical edition by Vishnu S. Sukthankar et al, Pune: Bhandarakar Oriental Research Institute, 1933-1966. Mārtaṇḍa Māhātmya in Bhṛṅgīsasaṃhitā. Edited by Anantaram Shastri. Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1986. Mārtanḍa Māhātmya in Bhṛṅgeesh-Saṃhitā (Topography of Ancient Kashmir). Edited by Yashpal Khajuria. Jammu: Shri Ranvir Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, 1985. Matsya Purāṇa. Delhi: Meharachand Lachhamandas, 1984. Nīlamata Purāṇa. Edited by Ved Kumari. Srinagar/Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, 1988/1994. ṛgveda Saṃhitā with Sāyaṇa’s Bhāṣya. Edited and translated by Pt. Ramgovind Trivedi. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Vidyabhavana, 1997. Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. Edited by Vidyadhara Sharma. Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Pra-kashan, 1994. Skanda Purāṇa. Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1986. Sāmaveda Saṃhitā with Sāyaṇa’s Bhāṣya. Edited by Pt. Ramsvarup Sharma Gau-da. Varanasi:  Chaukhambha Vidyabhavan, 1994. Sāmbapañcāśikā with the commentary of Kṣemarāja. Trivandrum Sanskrit Se-ries, 104. Trivandrum: Travancore Government Press, 1930. Śrī Sāmbapañcāśika with the commentary of Kṣemarāja. Edited by Śaivācarya Iśvarasvarūpa Swāmī Lakṣmanjoo Mahārāj. Srinagar: Ishvar Ashram, 2009. Third edition (originally published, 1975). Sūryopaniṣad. Edited by Ajit Dalvi. Mumbai: Vibha Prakashan, 2003. Vijayeśvara Pancaṅga (2018-19 CE, Vikrami 2075, Saptarsi 5094). Edited by Bhushan-lal Jyotishi & Avatar Krishan Jyotishi, and revised by Omkarnath Shastri. Jammu: Vijayeshwar Karyalay, 2018. Secondary Sources Blochmann, Henry. tr., 1873. The Ain i Akbari of Abū al-Fazl̤ 'Allami ibn Mubārak. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal.   KAUL 20Mitra, Debala. 1977. Pandrethan, Avantipur, & Martand. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India. Sachau, Edward C. tr. 1910. Alberuni’s India: An Account of the Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Geography, Chronology, Astronomy, Customs, Laws and Astrology of India About A.D. 1030. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Sadhu, S. L., ed. 1993. Medieval Kashmir: Being a reprint of the Rajataranginis of Jona-raja, Shrivara and Shuka, as translated in English by J C Dutt and published in 1898 A. D. Under the title “Kings of Kashmir.” 3 vols. New Delhi: Atlantic Publi-shers, 1993. Slaje, Walter. 2014. Kingship in Kashmir (AD 1148-1459): From the Pen of Jonarāja, Court Paṇḍit to Sultān Zayn al-‘Ābidin, Critically Edited with an Annotational Translation, Indexes and Maps. Halle: Universitätsverlag Halle-Wittenberg. Stein, Marc Aurel. 1989. Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī. 3 vols. Delhi: Motilal Banarsi-dass. Reprint; originally published, 1892.

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