Saturday, December 5, 2009

Get Sunlightened!

"The Sun is a big ball of fire." taught my primary Class 1 "Book of Knowledge". I cannot forget repeating the sentence, "The Sun is a big ball of fayah!" My teacher pronounced like that at the Convent and my exaggerated pronunciation of 'fire' irked her to the extent that my mother was summoned. My mother was not familiar with English much, as she had studied in the Kannada medium. When I read the lesson at home, in all likelihood sitting on her lap, she thought what I was uttering was right! When my teacher told her about this 'fayah', she could not believe it. It was then she learnt what was right. Here is the page from that very book which is still preserved to remember this funny little incident!

The Sun also is an important subject for children's drawings. Draw a circle and draw alternately long and short lines along to represent the rays. In imaginary scenery that we children drew, the sun always rose between two sharp mountains!

Watching sunrise is a soothing way to begin the day. It can be inspiring. Sunrises and sunsets never fail to fascinate me. Of course, if the clouds do not hang and obstruct view over the horizon. Thick fog also can prevent the sight. If the sky is clear with a thin fog, we can view a 'cool' sunrise - the glowing orange disk floating up from the horizon. It looks so beautiful and if we continue looking at it, we can see it rise gradually. Taking a glimpse of this can be very energizing!

If there is almost no fog the sunrise will be slightly 'warmer' as it looks brighter.

Here is a photo collage of a series of six pictures taken a couple of years back from our balcony.

A little bit of cloud can add to beauty as the Sun illuminates the cloud to give interesting colours like in the picture below taken of a sunset in Mysore.

Tapping Solar energy is the order of the day and if done on a much larger scale, it can alleviate the present energy crisis. Here in the picture below, the Solar panel on our balcony reflects the morning Sun.

When we tour different places we do not miss the opportunity to watch sunrise or sunset. It is the same Sun, yet we are thrilled to watch this natural everyday phenomenon that is going on for millions of years!

People thronged at the southern most tip of the Indian peninsula at Kanyakumari to watch Sunrise. At the same spot people gather in the evening to watch sunset. This is one of the few places in the world that can offer such a natural 'facility'! This picture (below) was taken at 5.54 AM, a few seconds after much excitement and hand clapping (!) when the first ray was seen over the horizon. Somebody in the large crowd in front of me is still exited.

In May 2009, I was able to watch this scene (picture below) of the sun rising at Interlaken, Switzerland. How I wish the sky was cloudless!

At Darjeeling, people gather at a place called 'Tiger Hill' to watch the spectacle of sunrise and the rays of of the sun falling on the Kanchengunga mountain range. Below is an image from the Net. This visitor has been lucky that it was cloudless. He would have watched the red changing to yellow and brighter.

When we were on that Hill in November 2008, clouds were hanging low. We could watch sunrise and turning to the left, we saw more clouds obscuring the Kanchengunga. Temperature was about 5C. There was a large crowd.

This is all what we could view of the Kanchengunga range. That was our luck. Those who went the previous morning had a clear view but then that is how unpredictable the 'hilly weather' is. It was chilly weather alright.

In lands of 'midnight sun', the sun never sets for many months. The multi-exposure picture below is from Britannica.

The Sun that is the main index of daily activity pattern of the entire life on earth. Birds and animals rise and rest according to the movement of the sun. It sets the rhythm of life. During total solar eclipses they have studied how confused animals become at that short period of near darkness in between dawn and dusk. The Sun's influence on Earth, the tides at seas, climatic rhythm and almost everything are too well known. In the present time, the world is talking much about 'global warming', ultra violet radiation...

Click on these links to get further insight about the Sun:

Facts about the Sun are here in a nutshell.

Sun Website gives much details.

The Wikipidea has these to show us.

The Sun also is meaningfully symbolized.

There are many temples dedicated to the Sun God. The Sun is being worshiped since centuries!

The Temple at Konark, Orissa is dedicated to the Sun God.
Sun Temple at Mesa Verde.
In Gujarat, there is also a Sun Temple.
The famous Machu Picchu Inca Temple of the Sun in Peru.
Yet another temple at Santo Domingo, Peru
One ancient temple was excavated in Egypt.

Surya Namaskar is a much practiced set of yoga postures for health and well being.
This Sun Salutation is described by Stephen Knapp.

Did you know that looking at the Sun can trigger a sneeze! You can try it!

Aditya Hridaya is a hymn dedicated to the Sun God. You can download it in MP3 here. Uttering it daily has many benefits. In fact, all 'mantras' and 'shlokas' in Sanskrit are based on 'sound keys' the sound vibrations produce beneficial effects on the human mind and body on a different plane.

Aditya Hridaya explanation in English is in this link.

English language has many uses of the 'Sun'. Just take a look at this list.

Both boys and girls are named after the Sun. So are many business establishments like this for a small example.

We think we are big! Just look at this one:
How big is the Earth, how big is the Sun in comparison to other objects in the Universe? How small are we?

Former President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Adbul Kalam is fond of answering about is age this way:
"I have made 72 trips around the Sun."

People from the West love 'Sun tan'.

Sunbathing is another of their pastime given the cold winters they experience.

The Sun is an important component in Astrology. We have "Sun Signs" of the Zodiac.

There is so much about this amazing Star called the Sun, the centre of our Solar System. As the Earth rotates, sunrise signals the beginning of the day. Some of the late risers miss the sight and joke "I have never seen a sunrise."! They miss something. The enlightened say that about half an hour before sunrise is the most precious time when the cosmic energies are flowing in at its best. It is why they advise students to keep this time for their study. I remember my grandfather doing it when he had a legal case to handle in court. The mind will work at its best at that hour.

I found the word 'Sunlightenment' impressive. So I adapted it to my blogpost.

(You get this "Alt code" Sun symbol by holding the Alt key and pressing + 1 5 and release the Alt key)

The 'Big ball of fire' will continue to burn for another five billion years!


ER Ramachandran said...

Just Amazing! Thanks.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Sun is indeed a big ball of fayah! I was taught the same way too! Good write up and some really nice pictures.

Sue said...

Wonderful post! Very interesting and entertaining!

YOSEE said...

Thanks for so much sunlightenment about our Super-Star ! The sunset pictures are so lyrical. People gathering to watch a sunset anywhere, do clap spontaneously, i've noticed it in many places. Its truly the greatest show on earth !