From the Jacket:
The Sun-God who was popular in the Vedic age continued to be worshipped even in the post Vedic period. The cult of Sun is said to have been imported by Samba from the Sankadvipa. The epics and Puranas including Mahatmyas contain many references to the spread of the Sun-cult in Gujarat as well as in north and south India.
The old inscriptions allude to a number of Sun- temples, the period of which ranges from the fifth century A.D. onwards. The archaeological remains of the old temples and icons of the Sun-God fully corroborate the data supplied by the literary and epigraphic sources.
The Sun (Surya) is a gem of the sky. He shines for all the world. He dispels the darkness with his light. He is the symbol of the light, heat and fertility. He presents himself to his worshippers with three chief aspects which are the rising, culminating and setting Sun. These are not separated or distinguished as three deities but are varying forms of one and the same God, in each of which he displays himself with different attributes and as exercising different powers. By his power he drives away the demons of sickness and expels diseases.
Yet the solar cult of India has not received its due attention as is given to other cults.
About the Author:
DR. PRIYABALA SHAH, a Professor of archaeology and history and culture, is one of Gujarat's best known researchers in ancient Indian Culture. She has Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the Bombay University and a D.Litt. from the Sorbonne University (Paris). She has also taken the diploma of Museology from Ecole du Louvre (Paris). Her research works include the critical editions of many old Sanskrit manuscripts.
Her thesis on the iconography of Surya in French brought her honours in D.Litt. degree in Paris.
A retired Professor of Indian Culture of the Gujarat as well as Saurashtra University and a principal of Ladies College of Rajkot (Saurashtra) is still academically active. She is currently involved in writing on different subjects in the multi-volume encyclopaedia of Gujarat (Gujarat Vishva Kosha) under preparation. She has just finished writing a book - Traditional Wear of Indian Women: Saree. Earlier she published a book - Tilaka: Hindu Marks on the Forehead. Now she has on her hand a project on Temples of Gujarat with reference to iconography and sculpture.
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