WATER FOR LIFE
Water is vital to life, participating in virtually every process that occurs in all living creatures. All living things consist mostly of water, for example, the human body is about two-thirds water. The contents of a living cell known as cytoplasm by its composition is about 70 to 90 percent water. The versatility of water as a universal solvent is essential to living organisms. Earthly life depends upon aqueous solutions that are used for carrying out biological processes such as circulation, and digestion.
Water is the most common substance on Earth covering more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface. About 97 percent of the Earth’s water is in the oceans, 2 percent is permanently frozen as polar ice caps, and glaciers, and most of the reminder about 1 percent consists of groundwater or surface streams, rivers, and lakes. The abundant sea water being too salty is of no direct use to the terrestrial forms of life. For earthly existence, the vast majority of plants, animals, and human beings depend upon water that reaches the ground as precipitation from the sky.
THE WATER CYCLE OR HYDROLOGIC CYCLE
The Greek philosopher of nature, Anaxagoras (500 – 428 BC) who lived in Athens, provided the earliest description of the hydrologic cycle, stating that the Sun lifts water from the sea into the atmosphere, from which it falls as rain. The Roman architect and engineer Marcus Vitruvius (1 st century BC) described that the groundwater is derived from rain and snow by infiltration of the soil.
The hydrologic cycle is the process by which water circulates continuously between the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth, falling as precipitation, evaporating or transpiring from vegetation back into the atmosphere, or collecting as surface runoff via streams and rivers and flowing to the sea, there to evaporate again into the atmospheric portion of the cycle. It involves the continuous circulation of water in the Earth-Atmosphere system. The most important processes involved in the water cycle are evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and runoff as streams and rivers. Evaporation involves the transfer of water in the liquid state from the surface of the Earth to the gaseous or vapor state in the atmosphere. The main factors affecting evaporation are solar radiation (the source of heat/temperature), humidity, and wind speed. The radiant energy from the Sun also melts the snow and ice to perpetuate the surface runoff that we recognize as streams and rivers.
THE SUN GOD, LORD SURYANARAYANA, VYOMANATHA (LORD OF SKY AND WATER), SAVITA – THE COSMIC FATHER
All living entities upon Earth are energy dependent and they thrive by drawing the material energy from nature. Sun is the cosmic source of energy for earthly life. Apart from energy, the Sun is the source of freshwater for all terrestrial life. Sun’s role in the hydrologic cycle could be compared to the role heart plays in the human circulatory system. Human heart is considered to be a vital organ as it works like a mechanical pump to circulate purified blood which sustains all the essential functions of the entire body. Just like the human heart, the Sun provides the energy, which very much like a mechanical pump, lifts water from the oceans into the atmosphere and during this process of evaporation the salt water is transformed into purified fresh water. This water vapor is the most important component of Earth’s atmosphere and it provides the opportunity for our earthly existence. Being the source of energy, and of fresh water, it is appropriate to describe the Sun as the Cosmic Father. His heat may put us to trouble, arouse our sense of thirst, but His rains quench our thirst. Indian Cultural traditions recognize Sun as SAVITA which means Cosmic Father and He is often described as the provider of great rains, and as a friend of waters that flow across the land surface. Earthly existence is simply impossible without this harmonious relationship between the Cosmic Sun and earthly living creatures.
A HYMN TO THE SUN GOD
In the epic poem of RAMAYANA, sage AGASTYA taught LORD RAMA the hymns to worship the Sun God who is also known as ADITYA, RAVI, DIVAKAR, PRABHAKAR, MITRA,BHASKARA and other names. The hymns are known as ‘ADITYA HRUDAYAM’. The Sun illuminates the external world, and the same illumination could also dispel the darkness, the ignorance from our hearts, the inner world.
He is the Lord of the sky and water. He dispels darkness and ignorance. He had obtained the essence of Vedic Scriptures (Rig, Yajur, and Saama) and hence is the Master of Knowledge. He is the provider of great rains, and He is the friend of waters that flow across the land. He quickly traverses the celestial plane and we see Him moving over the Vindhya mountains.
व्योमनाथस्तमोभेदी ऋग्यजुः सामपारगः।
घनवृष्टिरपां मित्रो विन्ध्यवीथीप्लवङ्गमः॥ १३
vyomanāthastamobhedī ṛgyajuḥ sāmapāragaḥ।
ghanavṛṣṭirapāṃ mitro vindhyavīthīplavaṅgamaḥ॥ 13
He is the Lord of the firmament and ruler of the sky, remover of darkness. the master of the three Vedas Rig, Yaju, Sama, he is a friend of the waters (Varuna) and causes abundant rain. He swiftly courses in the direction South of Vindhya-mountains and sports in the Brahma Nadi.
सूर्य अंतरिक्ष के स्वामी, आकाश के शासक, अंधेरे के विद्वान, तीन वेदों रिग, यजुर एवं साम वेद के स्वामी है । भारी वर्षा के कारण भी यही है, या भगवान वरुना के दोस्त हैं । ये विंध्या रेंज को पार कर ब्रह्मा नदी को भी पार कर लिया है ।