There are several interesting legends surrounding Surya.
Surya is considered to be an embodiment of the Trinity Bhrahma, Vishnu
and Shiva. Surya is considered to be
Bhrahma until midday, Shiva in the afternoon and Vishnu in the evening.
Surya is portrayed seated on a
seven horse driven chariot. Aruna the charioteer is the elder brother of Garuda,
the favorite mount of Vishnu.
Usha is the foremost of Surya's
consorts and is referred to in the Rig Veda. Usha is the queen of the
night, and is described as dressed in gold clothing adorned with numerous stars. The
second of his consorts is Padmini or the lotus. (The lotus blooms when
the sun rises in the east). The third of Surya's consorts is Chaaya.
Another legend has it that the first consort of
Surya was Sanjana (Ganga). Yama and Yami
were the children born to Surya and Ganga. Unable to bear the heat of the sun, Ganga
returned to her father (Maya the divine architect)'s home. As she
left her husband, she created a look alike Chhaya and left her in her place.
Chhaya bore more of Surya's
children, and meted out step motherly treatment to Yama and Yami. She cursed Yama to
become an outcaste, and Yama thus became the God of death; Yami transformed into the river
Surya, suspecting foul play
interrogated Chhaya, discovered the whereabouts of Ganga (Sanjana), reduced his intensity
and led a life of bliss with her again; born to them were the divine physican twins, the