Chhat puja is the main festival of the people living in Bihar, the state lying in the North East of India. Also known as Surya shashthi, it is one of the great festivals which is offered as veneration to Suryadeva, the sun demigod.
It is a festival of the Hindu religion dedicated to the God of energy, also known as Dala Chhath or Surya Shashti. People corroborate this festival to offer thanks to the Lord Surya for blessing the life on the earth.
Rituals of Chhat puja
- 1st day : The people take bathe in early morning in the holy water of Ganges and bring some water to their home for the offerings. The home and its surroundings must be nicely cleaned this day. They take only one meal a day known as kaddu-bhat.
- 2nd day : The devotees keeps fast for whole day and break their fast in the evening after sunset after the worship of Sun. They offer kheer, puris, fruits in the puja. After taking meal in the evening, they go on a fast without water for the next 36 hours.
- On the third day (day of Chhath) they offer the Sanjhiya Arghya at the ghat of riverbank. After Arghya, they wear the single saree of turmeric color. . At the night of Chhath a vibrant event of Kosi is celebrated by lighting the lamps of clay diyas under the covering of five sugarcane sticks. The five sugarcane sticks indicate the Panchatattva (earth, water, fire, air and space) that human body made of Panchatattva.
- On the early morning of the fourth day (Paarun), devotees along with their family and friends offer Bihaniya Aragh at the ghat of riverbank of Gange. Devotees end their festival through breaking the fast by having the Chhath prasadam.
Science behind Chhat puja
tages of Chhath Puja
There are six great stages of the Chhath puja which are:
- The belief of fast and cleanliness of body on the festival identify the detoxification of the body and mind in order to set up the body and mind to accept the cosmic solar energy.
- Standing in water with half of the body inside the water diminishes the escape of energy as well as facilitates the prana to elevate to the sushumna.
- Then the entrance of cosmic solar energy takes place in the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands (known as the Triveni complex) by the retina and optic nerves.
- In the 4th stage Triveni complex gets activated.
- After activation of the Triveni complex, spine gets polarized and body of devotee gets transformed into a cosmic powerhouse and gets the Kundalini Shakti.
- At this stage the devotee is fully able to conduct, recycle and pass on the energy into entire universe.
The ultimate way to offer thanks to the ultimate source of energy ‘Surya Devta’ is a unique festival in this incredible India. Chhath is no more a regional festival of Biharis and Terai region Hindus, but is widely accepted by hilly origins and almost throughout India. Let us explore this Hindu thanks giving ceremony to God Sun.
- The auspicious tradition of Chhath puja was initiated by son of Surya, Karan who ruled over the Anga Desh (Munger district of Bihar) during the time of Mahabharata.
- Lord Rama and Mata Sita offered special prayers to lord Sun ad fasted after returning to Ayodhya from exile and begin the ritual of celebrating Chhath puja.
- The special powers were bestowed to Draupadi by Surya devta, which helped the Pandavas to regain back their kingdom of Hastinapur.
- To receive immense blessings and prosperity from Surya, Chhath is celebrated lively for four days period during the Hindu month of Kartik.
- First day is Nahai Khai i.e. ‘Nahai’ means ‘bathing’ and ‘Khai’ means ‘to eat’; the devotees take a holy dip in river or lake and holy water is taken at home to cook prasadam (offering food).
- The second day is Kharna, on which the worshippers perform ‘nirjalahaar’ vrat for about 8 to 12 hours. By the end of the day, the fast is eneded by adoring lord Sun and eating Prasad. Then another 36 hours fast is begins.
- The third day is the main festival of Chhath called Sandhya Argha. The devotees clad themselves in yellow coloured attire and offer the specially prepared food offerings to Surya Devta at the riverbank in the evening.
- The last day is Suryodaya Argha on which the devotees gives the early morning offerings at the riverbank and break their fast by having Chhath Prasad.
- This festival is a morning and evening affair on all the four days as the sunrise and sunset rays are most beneficial for human body and consists of low intensity of ultra violet rays.
- The traditional festival of Chhath showers you with positivity by detoxifying the mind, soul and body; and removes the negative energies by adoring the powerful Sun.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja