Why is Surya referred to as Martanda?


Is this story of Surya being born dead and revived later given in any scripture?

Yes , apart from Brahma Purana , we find the brief mentioning of Aditya or Sun God being born dead and revived later in Satapatha Brahmana - Kanda 3 - Adhyaya - 1 - Brahmana 3 . .But here instead it's said that Martanda was born unformed or immature than dead .

It's said in Satapatha Brahmana that Aditi gave birth to eight sons . But Only seven were called as Gods. And with those seven but casting off the Martanda , she went to gods. And why she casted him off. Because she gave him birth while he was half formed . He was just lump of matter as the size of man at his birth .

But Aditi said he is born from me and he should not to be lost , lets give him some shape. And she fashioned him like man . Some flesh was cut off from Martanda and became Elephant.

Below is excerpts from Satapatha Brahmana .

  1. Some then offer a rice-pap to the Ādityas. This is referred to (in the passage, Rig-veda X, 72, 8), 'There are eight sons of Aditi who were born from her body; with seven she went to the gods, but Mārtāṇḍa she cast off.'

  2. Now Aditi had eight sons. But those that are called 'the gods, sons of Aditi,' were only seven, for the eighth, Mārtāṇḍa, she brought forth unformed: it was a mere lump of bodily matter, as broad as it was high. Some, however, say that he was of the size of a man.

  3. The gods, sons of Aditi, then spake, 'That which was born after us must not be lost: come, let us fashion it.' They accordingly fashioned it as this man is fashioned. The flesh which was cut off him, and thrown down in a lump, became the elephant: hence they say that one must not accept an elephant (as a gift), since the elephant has sprung from man. Now he whom they thus fashioned was Vivasvat, the Āditya (or the sun); and of him (came) these creatures.

Also we can find below shlokas why he is called " Martanda " in Srimad Bhagavata Purana. Skanda 5 - Chapter 20 - verses 43-44. Where its said that Aditya Or Surya entered into dull egg of Universe at creation So he is called Martanda.

अण्डमध्यगतः सूर्यो द्यावाभूम्योर्यदन्तरम् ।
सूर्याण्डगोलयोर्मध्ये कोट्यः स्युः पञ्चविंशतिः ॥ SB 5.20.43

aṇḍa-madhya-gataḥ sūryo dyāv-ābhūmyor yad antaram
sūryāṇḍa-golayor madhye koṭyaḥ syuḥ pañca-viḿśatiḥ

The sun is situated [vertically] in the middle of the universe, in the area between Bhurloka and Bhuvarloka, which is called antariksa, outer space. The distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe is twenty-five koṭi yojanas [two billion miles].

मृतेऽण्ड एष एतस्मिन् यदभूत्ततो मार्तण्ड इति व्यपदेशः ।
हिरण्यगर्भ इति यद्धिरण्याण्डसमुद्भवः ॥SB 5.20.44

mṛte 'ṇḍa eṣa etasmin yad abhūt tato mārtaṇḍa iti vyapadeśaḥ;
hiraṇyagarbha iti yad dhiraṇyāṇḍa-samudbhavaḥ

The sun-god is also known as Vairaja, the total material body for all living entities. Because he entered this dull egg of the universe at the time of creation, he is also called Martanda. He is also known as Hiranyagarbha because he received his material body from Hiranyagarbha [Lord Brahma].

Here is another translation of above Shlokas.

43 The sun is located in the middle position of the great Egg of the universe which is at the center of the space between the earth and the valut of the Sky . The distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe is twenty five cores yojanas.

44 As the sun was in this inanimate egg of the universe , he got epithet "Martanda"

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