In Hindu mythology, the sun is represented as moving in the heaven in a car, or rath. And so his car, or rath, is represented on earth, and made to conform to his motions in the heavens. At the same time that the sun moves in the heavens towards the solstice, stops there for a short time, and then recedes, his car on earth is in the same way made to move to a certain place, kept there for eight days, and then taken back in the same direction from which it was originally moved. It is true, Jagannath now rides the car, not the sun. But, like Madana and the Virgin, he has probably been made to give place to a more popular deity than himself.
Hindu society has been inspired through the ages by such mighty ãtras as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Jainãgama, the TripiTaka, the various Yogaãstras, the VãNî of Siddhas and Sants, and the devotional outpourings of Alvars and Nayanars. Hindu society has been reawakened and reformed by such visionaries as Bankim Chandra, Maharshi Dayananda, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath, and Subramanya Bharati.