While so excellently ruling the universe, King Priyavrata once became
dissatisfied with the circumambulation of the most powerful sun-god. Encircling
Sumeru Hill on his chariot, the sun-god illuminates all the surrounding
planetary systems. However, when the sun is on the northern side of the hill,
the south receives less light, and when the sun is in the south, the north
receives less. King Priyavrata disliked this situation and therefore decided to
make daylight in the part of the universe where there was night. He followed
the orbit of the sun-god on a brilliant chariot and thus fulfilled his desire. He
could perform such wonderful activities because of the power he had achieved
by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There is a Bengali saying which describes that someone is so powerful that
he can make the night day and the day night. That saying is current because of
the prowess of Priyavrata. His activities demonstrate how powerful he became
by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Krishna is known as
Yogesvara, the master of all mystic powers. In Bhagavad-geeta (18.78) it is said
wherever there is the master of all mystic powers (yatra yogesvarah krishnah),
victory, fortune and all other opulences are present. Devotional service is so
powerful. When a devotee achieves what he wants to accomplish, it is not by
his own mystic power but by the grace of the master of mystic power. Lord
Krishna: by His grace, a devotee can accomplish wonderful things unimaginable
even to the most powerful scientist.
From the description in this verse, it appears that the sun moves. According
to modern astronomers, the sun is fixed in one place, surrounded by the solar
system, but here we find that the sun is not stationary: it is rotating in a
prescribed orbit. This fact is corroborated by Brahma-samhita (5.52).
Yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakrah: the sun is rotating in its fixed orbit
in accordance with the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
According to Jyotir Veda, the science of astronomy in the Vedic literature, the
sun moves for six months on the northern side of the Sumeru Hill and for six
months on the southern side. We have practical experience on this planet that
when there is summer in the north there is winter in the south and vice versa.
Modern materialistic scientists sometimes present themselves as knowing all
the ingredients of the sun, yet they are unable to offer a second sun like
Although Maharaja Priyavrata devised a very powerful chariot as brilliant
as the sun, he had no desire to compete with the sun-god, for a Vaishnava never
wants to supersede another Vaishnava. His purpose was to give abundant
benefits in material existence. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks
that in the months of April and May the rays of Maharaja Priyavrata's brilliant
sun were as pleasing as the rays of the moon, and in October and November,
both morning and evening, that sun provided more warmth than the sunshine.
In short, Maharaja Priyavrata was extremely powerful, and his actions
extended his power in all directions.