Mystic Mantra: Let the Sun shine

One moral of the story is the superiority of persuasion over force

One of Aesop’s fables describes a contest between the sun and winds to decide who is stronger by making a passerby remove his coat. The winds blew furiously and the passerby clung tighter to his coat. But, when the sun shone, the passerby, overcome by heat, removed his coat. One moral of the story is the superiority of persuasion over force. But, during these summer days, since the sun is unbeatable, why not befriend it?

The sun is central in religious traditions. Prominent among Hindu practices is the Surya Namaskara — the salutation of the sun — with asanas and mantras venerating the solar deity. How heartwarming it is to gratefully gaze at the rising sun with graceful gestures, acknowledging its power and the blessings it brings!
Many ancient cultures regarded the sun as a deity. In Egypt, the sun god — named Khepri, Atum, Aton and Amon-Re — was regarded as creator, judge, all-knowing and all-seeing. Its Mesopotamian counterpart, Shamash, was worshipped as the patron of justice, the god who uplifted the downtrodden.

Early Biblical books narrate instances of believers practising sun worship. However, the deification of the sun was critiqued in Judaism by asserting that the sun was “the great luminary” created by God to rule the day. The traits of the deified sun were then transferred to Yahweh, god. Thus, God “shines forth” and it is “God, who with eyes like the all-penetrating rays of the sun, scrutinises everything and brings evildoers to justice”.

Beyond religions there’s urgent need to harness solar energy and adopt eco-friendly lifestyles. Can we minimise the use of air conditioners not merely since electricity bills rise phenomenally, but also since Mother Earth’s resources are scarce? More natural means of staying cool could entail waking earlier in the day, completing major work at daybreak, drinking water constantly, wearing light clothes, adopting a healthy diet, etc.

Come summer and the “it’s unbearably hot” mantra echoes nationwide. But, I just saw two babies of labourers peacefully sleeping on the pavement in the afternoon while their parents were digging in the scorching sun. Images like these remind us to stay contented instead of complaining.

Once a businessman asked his servant, “What kind of weather will we get today?” The servant said, “The kind of weather I like.” The businessman continued, “How do you know it will be the kind of weather you like?” The servant explained, “Sir, realising that I can’t always get what I like, I’ve learnt to always like what I get. So I’m sure we’ll have the kind of weather I like!”

Staying cool is an inside job and need not necessarily depend on external forces. So praise God for the sun! Shed unnecessary clothes and put on a sunshine smile.

Francis Gonsalves is a professor of theology.
He can be contacted at

( Source : dc )
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