Arka- the Sun/Calotropis Gigantea

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 11 04:45:52 UTC 2000

>Could any one kindly clarify as to whether there is any occurance of term
>arka in association with either the Sun or Calotropis Gigantea in Vedic

arka in relation to light (sun rays, lightning, fire) is found
in RV and in bRhadAraNyaka upanishad.

Calotropis is a ubiquitous wild plant in India. Quite hardy,
needing very little water, so you will find it growing even in
the most rocky areas. The leaves have religious significance,
and are called Aditya/ravi/sUrya-patra. On ratha saptamI,
commemorating the day bhIshma actually died, seven arka leaves
are supposed to be used with one's bathing. Again, there is a
relation to the sun, as this day comes soon after the beginning
of the sun's movement to the north.

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