This blog article talks how the demonic form of Svarbhanu is used to explain the phenomenon of eclipse. This wiki article also says that Svarbhanu is a name used for Rahu in Puranas. It also claims that the first mention of Svarbhanu can be found in the Rig Veda.

What is the story of Svarbhanu as found in the Rig Veda?

1 Answer 1


The story about Svarbhanu is found here in English and here in Sanskrit in Rig Veda, Book 5, HYMN XL.

आ याह्य अद्रिभिः सुतं सोमं सोमपते पिब | वर्षन्न इन्द्र वर्षभिर वर्त्रहन्तम ||

वर्षा गरावा वर्षा मदो वर्षा सोमो अयं सुतः | वर्षन्न इन्द्र वर्षभिर वर्त्रहन्तम ||

वर्षा तवा वर्षणं हुवे वज्रिञ चित्राभिर ऊतिभिः | वर्षन्न इन्द्र वर्षभिर वर्त्रहन्तम ||

रजीषी वज्री वर्षभस तुराषाट छुष्मी राजा वर्त्रहा सोमपावा | युक्त्वा हरिभ्याम उप यासद अर्वाङ माध्यंदिने सवने मत्सद इन्द्रः ||

यत तवा सूर्य सवर्भानुस तमसाविध्यद आसुरः | अक्षेत्रविद यथा मुग्धो भुवनान्य अदीधयुः ||

सवर्भानोर अध यद इन्द्र माया अवो दिवो वर्तमाना अवाहन | गूळ्हं सूर्यं तमसापव्रतेन तुरीयेण बरह्मणाविन्दद अत्रिः ||

मा माम इमं तव सन्तम अत्र इरस्या दरुग्धो भियसा नि गारीत | तवम मित्रो असि सत्यराधास तौ मेहावतं वरुणश च राजा ||

गराव्णो बरह्मा युयुजानः सपर्यन कीरिणा देवान नमसोपशिक्षन | अत्रिः सूर्यस्य दिवि चक्षुर आधात सवर्भानोर अप माया अघुक्षत ||

यं वै सूर्यं सवर्भानुस तमसाविध्यद आसुरः | अत्रयस तम अन्व अविन्दन नह्य अन्ये अशक्नुवन ||

Below is the English translation:

  1. COME thou to what the stones have pressed, drink Soma, O thou Soma's Lord, Indra best Vṛtra-slayer Strong One, with the Strong.

  2. Strong is the stone, the draught is strong, strong is this Soma that is pressed, Indra, best Vṛtra-slayer, Strong One with the Strong.

  3. As strong I call on thee the Strong, O Thunder-armed, with various aids, Indra, best Vṛtra-slayer, Strong One with the Strong.

  4. Impetuous, Thunderer, Strong, quelling the mighty, King, potent, Vṛtra-slayer, Soma-drinker, May he come hither with his yoked Bay Horses; may Indra gladden him at the noon libation.

  5. O Sūrya, when the Asura's descendant Svarbhanu, pierced thee through and through with darkness, All creatures looked like one who is bewildered, who knoweth not the place where he is standing.

  6. What time thou smotest down Svarbhanu's magic that spread itself beneath the sky, O Indra, By his fourth sacred prayer Atri discovered Sūrya concealed in gloom that stayed his function.

  7. Let not the oppressor with this dread, through anger swallow me up, for I am thine, O Atri. Mitra art thou, the sender of true blessings: thou and King Varuṇa be both my helpers.

  8. The Brahman Atri, as he set the press-stones, serving the Gods with praise and adoration, Established in the heaven the eye of Sūrya, and caused Svarbhanu's magic arts to vanish.

  9. The Atris found the Sun again, him whom Svarbhanu of the brood Of Asuras had pierced with gloom. This none besides had power to do.

  • Thanks for mentioning the original Shlokas too. This English is so weird to read but something is better than nothing. :) May 20, 2016 at 10:48
  • The sacred-text site has screwed up the word Svarbanu in the Shloka. May 20, 2016 at 10:49
  • Also, you need to work on your formatting :) May 20, 2016 at 10:49
  • 1
    yes, I have already started :) May 20, 2016 at 12:31

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