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Symbolism Of Chariot Of Surya, Sun God In Hinduism

In Hinduism, the chariot of Surya, the sun god, is often depicted with great symbolism. The sun chariot is called "Arka-ratha" or "Surya-ratha" and is drawn by seven horses, which represent the seven colors of the rainbow or the seven days of the week. The chariot is driven by Aruna, the charioteer, who is often depicted as the personification of the reddish glow of the rising sun.

Here are some symbolic elements associated with the chariot of Surya:

Sun as the Cosmic Eye: The sun is often considered the eye of the cosmos in Hinduism, and the chariot represents the journey of the sun across the sky, symbolizing the cycle of day and night.

Seven Horses: The seven horses pulling the chariot symbolize the seven colors of the rainbow, which is a representation of the spectrum of light. It can also be associated with the seven days of the week, symbolizing the passage of time.

Aruna, the Charioteer: Aruna, the charioteer with a reddish complexion, symbolizes the glow of the rising sun. Aruna is also considered the brother of Garuda, the mythical bird and mount of Bhagavan Vishnu.

Symbol of Time: The chariot's movement across the sky is often seen as a metaphor for the passage of time. The journey of the sun from sunrise to sunset symbolizes the cyclical nature of time and the continuity of life.

Symbol of Victory: In some representations, the chariot of Surya is depicted as a symbol of victory, signifying the triumph of light over darkness.

Allegory of the Soul's Journey: The chariot is sometimes interpreted as an allegory for the soul's journey. The sun's daily journey represents the soul's journey through life, with the ultimate destination being the realization of its divine nature.

Connection to Rituals: The worship of Surya and the symbolism of the sun chariot are integral parts of Hindu rituals and festivals, such as the Chhath Puja, where devotees offer prayers to the setting and rising sun.

In summary, the chariot of Surya in Hinduism is a rich symbol representing cosmic order, the cycle of time, the victory of light over darkness, and the spiritual journey of the soul. The symbolism associated with the sun chariot is deep-rooted in Hindu cosmology and philosophy.