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There are several stories of Hanuman being married or a bachelor. A question was already asked before on this site. Some say that Hanuman promised Sun that he will marry his daughter Suvarchala when he becomes Brahma. Some say that Hanuman was married to Suvarchala the daughter of Sun God in order to teach him nava vyakaranas. Even though He is married, Hanuman continued to be a celibate.

Is she the daughter of Surya or wife? In Valmiki Ramayana Sundara Kanda Chapter 24 verse 9 to 12, Sita cites the examples of great wives to the ogres who threatens Sita with their harsh words and compares herself with those great wives as follows:

Although wretched or without kingdom, whoever is my husband, He alone is my master. Like Suvarchala with the Sun God, I am fond of Him always. Like the highly fortunate Sachi who waits upon Indra, like Arundhati on Vasishta, like Rohini on the Moon God, like Lopamudra on Agastya, like Sukanya on Chyavana, like Savitri on Satyavanta, like Srimati on Kapila, like Madayanti on Saudasa, like Kesini on Sagara, like Damayanti the daughter of Bhima, devoted to husband Nala, in the same way I am devoted to my husband Rama, the best in Ikshvaku dynasty.

Here this is what I don't understand. All the examples Maa Sita took are of great husband and wives. If we consider like that, Suvarchala should be considered as wife of Surya. But in this answer, it is said that Surya has only two wives and there was no mention of Suvarchala. Is Suvarchala consort of Sun God?

Questions

  • Is Suvarchala daughter or wife of Surya?

  • Is Suvarchala a part of power of Sun god?

  • If she is married to Hanuman, How did Hanuman react when Sita said "Suvarchala is wife of Surya" who was right at the top of the Shimshupa tree?

  • The Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata says Suvarchala is the wife of Surya: "Savitri is the chaste wife of Brahma. The chaste Sachi is the wife of Indra. Dhumrorna is the spouse of Markandeya, and Riddhi of (king) Vaisravana. Varuna has Gauri for his spouse, and Surya has Suvarchala. Rohini is the chaste wife of Sasin, and Swaha of Vibhavasu. Kasyapa has Aditi." sacred-texts.com/hin/m13/m13b111.htm Perhaps Suvarchala is another name for Surya's wife Sanjana. In any case, as far as I know the notion of Hanuman having a wife has no basis In Hindu scripture. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 19 '16 at 18:34
  • There is a temple for suvarchala with Hanuman near Guduvanchery in Chennai. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 6 '18 at 9:26
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That Suvarchala is the wife of Surya is mentioned in many Puranas.

For example,from Markandeya Purana:

Brahma gave him the name of Rudra and asked the child not to cry further; but the boy cried seven times more and hence Brahma gave him further seven names viz. along with the names of his wives and places of stay as follows:Bhava, Sharva, Ishaana, Pashupati, Bhima, Ugra and Maha Deva. The names of Rudra’s wives are Suvarchala, Uma, Vikeshi, Swadha, Swaha, Dik, Diksha, and Rohini.

The ‘sthaanas’ or Places of Stay of Rudra are Surya, Jal, Prithvi, Agni, Vayu, Akash, Dikshit, Brahmana and Soma. Besides, Rudra’s another name sake Surya has eight sons viz.Shaneswar, Shukra, Lohitanga, Manojava, Shanda, Sarga, Santan and Bhudha.

So,basically this account says Surya is one of the forms of Rudra and his wife is Suvarchala.

From the Linga Purana(Ashta Rupas of Lord Shiva):

Ashta Rupas of Shiva: Nandi Deva continued to describe the Eight Forms of Maha Deva to Sanat Kumara: Sharva is one Form of Shiva spread all over the Universe whose wife is stated as Vikeshi and their son is Mangala. Veda Vaadis or Experts in Vedas named him as Bhava, with Uma as his wife and Shukra as their son. Agni Swarupa Shiva is called Pashupati, whose wife is known as Swaha and their son is Shanmukha. Pavana (Vayu) Swarupa Mahadeva is called Ishana whose wife is known as Shiva and their son is Manojava or Hanuman. Rudra is the name of Shiva whose Swarupa is of Surya Deva and Suvarchala is the name of his wife and Shanaischara is their son. Soma Swarupa Bhagavan is called Maha Deva, with Rohini as his wife and Budha as their son. Yajamana Swarupa of Shiva is Ugra Deva and his wife is called Diksha and their son is Santana. Bhagavan Shiva’s eighth Form is known as Parthiva, signifying the hardened and cruel feature of Shiva as his wife is Prithvi and their progeny is of humanity.

However ,there is a stotram called "Hanumath Mangalashtakam" which mentions Suvarchala as Surya Deva's daughter and Hanuman's wife.

Following is verse 3 from the stotram:

Suvarchala Kalathraya, Chathurbhuja dharaya cha, Ushtra roodaya veeraya, Mangalam Sri Hanumathe.,

Mangalam to Sri Hanuman, Who is the consort of Suvarchala, Who had four arms, And who is the hero who rides, On a beam of light.

The footnote provides the following explanation:

Suvarchala is the daughter of Surya Dev...and Surya Dev asked Hanuman to marry her as his Guru Dakshina. However, he gave Hanuman a boon that he would continue to be a bachelor and maintain his celebacy after this marriage.

However ,i can't say for sure if this stotram is contained in some Puranas.

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Sri Desiraju Hanumanta Rao translates the name Suvarchala (or, सुवर्चला, ‘Suvarcalā’) as “wife of the sun” in verse 2.30.30 of the Ramayana. Translation link here.

धर्मः तु गज नास ऊरु सद्भिर् आचरितः पुरा |
तम् च अहम् अनुवर्ते अद्य यथा सूर्यम् सुवर्चला || २-३०-३०

Oh Seetha, with thighs like the posteriors of an elephant! Earlier, righeousness (like fulfilling the father's command) was practised by good men. Now, I shall follow that righteousness, like Suvarchala(wife of the sun) following the Sun.

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Viṣṇu Purāṇa (1.8) also says Suvarcalā (सुवर्चला) is the wife of Sūrya.

एवमुक्तः पुनः सोऽथ सप्तकृत्वो रुरोद वै।
ततोऽन्यानि ददौ तस्मै सप्त नामानि वै प्रभुः।
स्थानानि चैषामष्टानां पत्नीः पुत्रांश्च वै प्रभुः।। ५ ।।
भवं सर्व महेशानं तथा पशुपति द्विज।
भीममुग्रं महादेवं उवाच स पितामहः।। ६ ।।
चक्रे नामान्यथैतानि स्थानान्येषां चकार सः।
सूर्यों जल मही वहिर्वायुराकाशमेव च।
दीक्षितो ब्राह्मणः सोम इत्येतास्तनवः क्रमात्॥७॥

But, thus addressed, the boy [Rudra] still wept seven-times, and Brahma therefore gave to him seven other denominations; and to these eight persons, regions and wives and posterity belong. The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, Bhava, Sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra and Mahādeva, which were given to them by their great progenitor. He also assigned to them their respective stations, the Sun, water, ether, air, fire, earth, the ministrant Brahman, and the moon; for these are their several forms."

सुवर्चला तथैवोमा सुकेशी चापरा शिवा।
स्वाहा दिशस्तथा दीक्षा रोहणी च यथाक्रमम् ॥८॥
सूर्यादीनां नरश्रेष्ठ रुद्राधैर्नामभिः सह।
पत्न्यः स्मृता महाभाग तदपत्यानि मे शृणु।
येषां सूतिप्रसूतैर्वा इदमापूरितं जगत् ॥ ९ ।।
शनैश्चरस्तथा शुक्रो लोहिताङ्गो मनोजवः।
स्कन्दः खर्गोऽथ सन्तानो बुधश्चानुक्रमात् सुताः॥ १०॥

The wives of the Sun and the other manifestations, termed Rudra and the rest were respectively, Suvercalā, Uma, Vikesi, Sivā, Svāhā, Dišā, Diksā and Rohiņī. Now hear an account of their progeny, by whose successive generations this world has been peopled. Their sons, then, were severally, Sanaiśocara (Saturn), Sukra (Venus), the fiery bodied Mars, Manojava (Hanumān), Skanda, Swarga, Santana, and Budha (Mercury).

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Devi Suvarchala, is daughter of Surya Dev. there is a misconception that many text states Devi to be wife of Surya Dev, and will clear all those, starting from Sri Vyasa Rachit Mahabharata (Anushashan Parva) say:

"Savitri is the chaste wife of Brahma. The chaste Sachi is the wife of Indra. Dhumrorna is the chaste spouse of Markandeya, and Riddhi of (king) Vaisravana. Varuna has Gauri for his spouse, and Surya has loyal Suvarchala. Rohini is the chaste wife of Sasin, and Swaha of Vibhavasu. Kasyapa has Aditi."

But the same, text tells only Devi Chaya and Devi Samjna or Sharanyu as the wife of Surya Dev, which is also supported by Srimad Bhagwatam Mahapuran (8.13.8):

विवस्वतश्च द्वे जाये विश्वकर्मसुते उभे । संज्ञा छाया च राजेन्द्र ये प्रागभिहिते तव ॥

~ O King, I have previously described [in the Sixth Canto] the two daughters of Viśvakarmā, named Saṁjñā and Chāyā, who were the two wives of Vivasvān (Surya Dev).

If you read, Sri Mahabharata is comparing chastity of Devi(s), in simple language Chastity means loyalty and Suvarchala (Linseed or Sunflower) always follow sun in whatever condition been loyal to him, hence it is not stating about marriage status, which can be evident from text itself, which state only Devi Samjna and Devi Chaya to be wife of Surya Dev, which are off cause are not so loyal.

Further, In Sri Skanda Puran (3b.21.12b-13), Shiva Says to Maa Parvati:

I am Nārāyaṇa and you are Lakṣmī. I am Brahmā; you are Sarasvatī. You are the daughter of Varuṇa and I am the leader of Serpents. You are Rohiṇī and I am the Moon. You are Svāhā and I am the Fire-god. You are Suvarcalā and I am the Sun-god.

But if we look ahead viz. 3b.21.14–17, Shiva says:

You are Gaṅgā and I am the Ocean. You are the fertile land and I am Meru. You are Śacī and I am Indra. You are Rati and I am the god of Love. You are Buddhi and I am Rāja-Rāja (i.e. Supreme sovereign, Kubera). You are Śamā and I am the Wind-god; you are the wave and I am the ocean. You are Prakṛti and I am Puruṣa. You are Vidyā and I am the knowable. O Pārvatī, you are the word and I am its connotation. I am supreme Lord and you, by the virtue of your being the order incarnate, are a part of mine. O Goddess, you are competent to create, sustain, annihilate, duly arrange, bless. Hence you must not entertain any difference between us as is done by ordinary unenlightened people.

Read it carefully, again here, Shiva is not stating anything about marriage status, as we know Consort of Maa Ganga is Maharaj Shantanu, Consort of Sri Kuber is Devi Bhadra, wifes of Vayu Dev or wind god are Devi Bharati and Devi Svasti, so here he is comparing him and Maa Parvati as ‘inseparable’ as Knowledge and Knowable, Fertile land and Sumeru also wave and ocean.

Moving ahead, Sri Brahmanda Puran 2.10.4–7,21,76:

In the beginning of the Kalpa, the lord contemplated on a son on a par with himself. Thereafter, the child Nīlalohita appeared on his lap. He cried loudly in a terrible manner (voice). He appeared as though he would burn by means of his briliance. On seeing the child Nīlalohita crying suddenly, Brahmā spoke to him—“Why do you cry, O child?” He replied—“Give me at the outset a name, O Grandfather.” “O lord, you are named Rudra”. On being told thus he cried again. “Why do you cry, O child?” asked Brahmā to him.

Brahmā said again to the child Nīlalohita—“O lord, at the outset, your name has been mentioned by me as Rudra. The sun shall be the first body unto thy first name”.

His first body has been glorified by the name Rauḍrī. Its wife is Suvarcalā and her son is Śanaiścara (the Saturn).

Here, it’s said that the first Rudra is in form of Surya Dev, his wife is Devi Suvarcala and their son Sanaiscara or Saturn. Have you not feel something wrong here? As, we know Shani Dev or Sanaiscara is son of Devi Chaya and Surya Dev, which is evident from Srimad Vishnu Puran:

Sanjná, the daughter of Viśwakarman, was the wife of the sun, and bore him three children, the Manu (Vaivaswata), Yama, and the goddess Yamí (or the Yamuná river). Unable to endure the fervours of her lord, Sanjná gave him Chháyá as his handmaid, and repaired to the forests to practise devout exercises. The sun, supposing Chháyá to be his wife Sanjná, begot by her three other children, Śanaiśchara (Saturn), another Manu (Sávarńi), and a daughter Tapatí (the Tapti river).

This is fact in all of Purans, hence here ‘Suvarcalā’ is not other than Devi Chaya, just another name of her. [ The same implies to Sri Markhandeya Puran and Sri Linga Puran ]

Further, many quotes Sri Valmiki Rachit Ramayana 2.30.30 and state that Devi is wife of Surya:

धर्मः तु गज नास ऊरु सद्भिर् आचरितः पुरा | तम् च अहम् अनुवर्ते अद्य यथा सूर्यम् सुवर्चला || २-३०-३०

~“Oh Sita, with thighs like the posteriors of an elephant! Earlier, righteousness (like fulfilling the father's command) was practiced by good men. Now, I shall follow that righteousness, like Suvarchala following the sun."

But, here Suvarchala means linseed plant also Sunflower, which always follows Sun and is attracted to him always:

Meaning of Suvarchala here

Therefore, there is no mention of Devi Suvarcalā as wife of Surya Dev but she is his daughter.

In other side, Sri Hanuman Charitram by Maharishi Parshara states:

“Sri Hanuman had worshipped Surya as his guru and mastered the Vedas under his guidance. However, he was not eligible to study one important scripture- the Nava Vyakarnas (or nine grammars) as the status of being married or being a 'family man' was required in order to facilitate the completion of his education, the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) approached Surya and created a beautiful girl name Suvarchala Devi from its rays and luminescence. Sri Hanuman, who had pledged a life of a Brahmachari, was initially confused at this proposal. He refused it. Later, the Surya asked Sri Hanuman to marry Suvarchala as a guru Dakshina. He explained to Hanuman "Suvarchala is a divine woman. You would still be a Brahmachari even after marriage. Your marriage is only for the welfare of the Universe and it would not affect your chosen course."

Who is Maharishi Parshara?

Maharishi Parshara is the father of Maharishi Krishna Dwaipyan-Ved Vyas and author of Parshara Smriti and Srimad Vishnu Puran, since Srimad Vishnu Puran and Hanuman Charitram is written by him alone, they can’t contradict (As there is a misconception that in Srimad Vishnu Puran Devi Suvarchala is wife of Surya Dev)

Every Alwar and great Acharyas of Sri Vaishnavam and Madhava sampraday had saluted him in their every work, this is how Swami Deshikan salutes him in his [Sri Daya Satakam]:

पराशर मुखानः वन्दे भागिराथा न्ये स्थितान्ह् | कमला कान्ता कारुण्य गङ्गाप्लावित मद्विधानः ||

~ Adiyen salutes Maharishi Parshara, who stand in the position of Bhagirathan to immerse me in the Karuna Pravaham of Srinivasan just as Bhagirathan brought Ganga to soak his ancestors’ ashes to bring them back to life.

The purpose of adding this verse is to state that his works can’t be unauthentic and his words are truth like Vedas. Hence, it's more clear now that Devi was Daughter of Surya Dev.

Jay Siya Ram

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