Chapter 12, The Illuminer and the Illumined

We now proceed to consider that the moon etc., shine with the light of the sun.

The meaning of the next verse is that the sun illumines the earth and the moon.

The meaning of the next verse is that the sun illumines and the earth and the moon.

This earth is upheld in space by the eternal Brahma, the sun and the air. The sun is the upholder of all light. The twelve months owe their existence to time, the rays of light are generated and rendered strong by the sun, and the motes and particles are upheld by the air. In the firmament the moon depends on

  • the sun for her light, e.e., such globes as the moon, etc., do not possess a light of their own. All of them shine with the light of the sun. Atharva Veda XIV.1.1.

The rays of the sun falling on the surface of the moon are reflected on the earth and become invigorating because they come to possess strength-giving virtues in the following manner. That region of space, where the sun’s rays cannot reach on account of the interception of them by the earth, becomes rather cold. That region being deprived of the suns rays is devoid of heat also.

The lunar rays (in the absence of solar light) impart vigor and strength. The earth is rendered strong and powerful by the light of the moon and by such medicinal herbs, as the soma plants, (which are nourished by lunar light). It is for this purpose (of rendering them strong) that moons are placed

  • near the planets. Atharva XIV 1.2

Four questions are asked in this verse, viz.,

  1. The sun wanders alone in the universe, shining with his own light and illumining other worlds.
  2. The moon shines with the light of the sun and she does not possess any light of her own.
  3. Fire is the remedy of cold.
  4. The earth is the great field for sowing the seeds. Yajur Veda XXII 10.


  • There are many mantras in the Vedas similar to the above dealing with this subject.

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