Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Celtic Gayathri

This post comes on the summer solstice.

Hail to you, Sun of the Seasons,

Banisher of the darkness.
Hail to you, shining one of the sky,
Illuminator of the souls of each of us.
Hail, fire-dancer and earth awakener-
God of a thousand rays,
gilding the green-faced land
and shimmering on the timeless waters
of the mother's wisdom.
............The Celtic Book of Seasonal Meditation

We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds:
gross, subtle, and causal.
I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination,
and divine grace of universal intelligence.
We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.
............ Gayathri Mantra - A translation by Sathya Sai Baba

For the Celts, the summer season was the jewel of the turning year, and at its height was the midsummer solstice, the longest day when the Sun reached its zenith. The greatest Celtic fire festival took place around 21st June. It is thought to have been celebrated by druids gathered in the great monolithic circle of Stonehenge. They would greet the first rays of the sun with blowing horns, beating of drums and cheering. Bonfires were lit in honour of the Sun-god and staffs and wands were cut from sacred trees, symbolizing the sun energy imbibed wood as a potent tool of transformation. All their celebration was oriented towards celebrating the potency of the Sun-god. This day was the day of great triumph as the Sun-god overcomes the forces of darkness. This was also the time when the two great trees, the oak and the Holly, contended for the crown and the Oak triumphs in midsummer.

Celtic meditation for this season focuses on mother aspect of the Goddess, fertility, love and marriage, the Sun-god, solar energy and the element of fire. The divine power of the Sun, which was understood and venerated by the Celtic tribes, finds a parallel in the Vedic worship. In the Sanskrit Vedas, numerous hymns are dedicated to Surya/Mitra dev, the Sun personified, and Savitr, "the impeller", a solar deity either identified with or associated with Surya.

Even the Gayatri mantra, which is regarded as one of the most sacred of the Hindu hymns is dedicated to the Sun. The Sun-god in Hinduism is an ancient deity, worthy of immense worship. The Sun is referred to in Sanskrit as "Mitra" or "Friend" down to the invariable warmth, life-giving nature and optimism its light brings to mankind. He is called "Prati-Aksh Devta" meaning "The Seen Divinity" and worthy of much worship and reverence.

On this day, the druids also celebrated the journeying into the Otherworld, the Sidhe (the inhabitants of the mounds, similar to fairies). Though the Sun shines during the day its energy is retained and transferred during the night through the sustaining inertia of Mother Earth, This symbolizes the inner region of one's existence and the nourishment of both the manifest as well as the unmanifest.

Love to you all

2 comments :

  1. I had the chance to go twice to this fantastic place. This is a magic place, empowered with a high level of energy. I do recommend to anyone, to go at least once in their life.
    Thank you for this post!!!

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  2. Thanks Zabiweb! Yes I do fully agree with you. The energy of the cosmos invoked by the druids can be felt. I recommend the visit when there are no tourists.

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