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.
Diwali or Deepawali is the festival of lights. We all are eager to celebrate the festival of lights which is the best festival as well as opportunity to please Mother Mahalakshmi, the eternal consort of Sri Hari Vishnu who is served by millions of Lakshmi as servants.
Diwali is called Mahanisha or a great night whereby the energies or the Ten Mahavidyas and other things roam here and there freely. Srimati Lakshmi comes to this material world to listen to the prayers of her devotees and bless them with immense amount of wealth.
We, at shubhpuja present you the most authentic and practical method of Diwali puja.
Items of puja
Diwali puja needs the following items.
- Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi Photo
- Diwali Puja Book
- Red cloth
- chandan powder
- 16 shringar- Mehandi, Comb, Nail polish, Kajal, Lipstick, bangles, Bindi, Mirror, Itrae etc.
- Dhoop stick
- kamal gatta
- Sarvoshadhi – ten following herbs
- Sapt-Mritika – mud collected from 7 places
a. Horse Stable
b. Elephant Stable
c. Cow Shelter
d. Ant Heap
e. River confluence
g. Royal Palace
Method of worship
The method of worship is simple and is as follows.
- One must take a bath and wear new and fresh cloth. If possible, one must apply Vishnu tilak on his forehead.
- The selection of Muhurtam is to be done. This year, the auspicious muhurtam is
Lakshmi Puja Muhurta = 18:27 to 20:09Duration = 1 Hour 42 Mins
Pradosh Kaal = 17:33 to 20:09
Vrishabha Kaal = 18:27 to 20:22
- One must spread a clean red cloth on a chawki and place the idols of Lakshmi Ganesh in them and must wipe them with a clean wet cloth. They must face east.
- Take a fresh coconut and wrap around a red cloth with a mauli and put them on a water filled copper kalash wish five mango leaves on the top.
- One must make Om and Swastik on the kalash. One must make nine heaps of rice near the kalash and draw swastik nearby.
- One must make 16 small heaps of rice near Lord Ganesha and worship them.
- Take a thali. Make Swastik and put Supari, sarvaoshadhi, saptmatrika and everything on it except Achamani, agarbatti, dhoop and puja book.
- One must light ghee and oil lamps before them and worship them.
- One must offer fresh flowers, rice and laung to them.
- One must sing Lakshmi aarti and Ganesh aarti and offer lamps to them.
- One must offer sweets to Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi and then to Lord Ganesha.
- One must sing various bhajans and then, put the lamps in the house.
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Date of Diwali
Diwali or Deepawali is the festival of lights and lamps. Every year, it is celebrated with great pomp and show not only in India but in the world as well where ever there are Indian communities living together under a single roof or a colony.
As per the nomenclature, Diwali or Deepawali means an array of brilliantly burning earthen oil lamps whose luminescence dissipates the darkness of the night. Diwali falls on the full moon night (Amavasya) of the month of Kartik (October-November).
Scriptural evidences for Diwali
As per the ancient Vedic scriptures like Ramayana, the celebration of Diwali marks the return of Lord Ramchandra, the supreme personality of godhead back to Ayodhya Dham with her eternal consort Srimati Sita devi after an exile of 14 years.
As per the Lord’ divine past time, his step mother Kaikayi asked his father Maharaja Dashratha to coronate her son Bharat as the next heir and send Ramchandra for an exile of 14 years.
As per Srimad Bhagwatam (9.10.32-51)
Karwa Chauth or Karak Chaturthi derives it’s name from Kartik Chaturthi which is the fourth day from the beginning of the pious month of Kartik, the month most dear to Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme personality of godhead.
Since Kartik month represents Srimati Radharani, it is most dear to Lord Madhava, her husband. This festival falls on the fouth day of Krishna paksha of Kartik month, hence it becomes more auspicious.
It falls nine days before the festival of lights, Deepawali. This fast is kept as a prayer for the longevity of the husband and an ever lasting loving relationship.
The Karwa chauth Vrat
On this day, the married women of the household keep a fast for their husband. At some places, the fiancee also keeps a fast for her would-be-husband.
They rise up early in the morning and take sargi which is sent by her mother-in-law. It comprises of sweets and milk items.
The whole day is kept as a complete fast, even from water and they become busy in decorating the house and themselves by putting all types of ornaments and colouring the handa with mehandi which is considered very auspicious for them.
They purchase all the items of Sringar a day before and get them ready to be worn in the evening time.
In afternoon, ladies of the house assemble to listen to the katha of Karwa Chauth Vrat and keep some earthen pots with them in which they keep on putting turmeric rice.
When the moon rises, they offer water to the moon, light a lamp and take blessings of the Lord and her husband.
After that, they all enjoy the sumptuous feast being cooked by her and thus, the fast comes to an end.
The story of Karwa Chauth
“A long long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess by the name of Veeravati. When she was of the marriageable age, Veeravati was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents’ house.”
“After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen was too delicate and couldn’t stand the rigours of fasting. By evening, Veeravati was too weak, and fainted. Now, the queen had seven brothers who loved her dearly. They couldn’t stand the plight of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her. They made a fire at the nearby hill and asked their sister to see the glow. They assured her that it was the moonlight and since the moon had risen, she could break her fast.”
“However, the moment the gullible queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was dead. The queen was heartbroken and rushed to her husband’s palace. On the way, she met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill.”
“When the queen reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king.”
“The queen observed a strict fast that day and when she went to the market to buy the karva for the puja , her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid.”
“However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat . Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. The queen asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen kept singing a song ” Roli ki Goli ho gayi… Goli ki Roli ho gayi ” (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).”
“On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status. It was only the queen’s devotion and her faith that won her husband’s affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati.”
Dussehra, as the name suggests is the tenth day of the Navratras of month of Sharad i.e. September-October and hence, marks the portion of the year when the sun relaxes the earth from it’s scorching rays and cold winds start wrapping the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere.
How to celebrate Dussehra
In the evening, one must offer prayers to Ram darbar and one must offer bhoga to them. One must collect the burnt wood from the effigies and store them in the house to ensure peace.
It is celebrated every year since time immemorial by burning the effigies of Ravana, Meghanada and Kumbhakarna, the three demons who performed great austeriries to please the Lord.
But there are some facts about Dussehra which are still unknown to us.
- Srimati Sita Devi never went away with Ravana. No one can touch her since she is the eternal consort of Lord Ramchandra. In her disguise, Agni went to Ravana’s Lanka
- It was Agni Sita who sat on the tail of Sri Hanumanji and burnt the whole Lanka instead of Hanumanji.
- Ravana and Kumbhakarna were actually the two gatekeepers of Lord Sri Hari namely, Jaya and Vijaya who took the form of enemies of Lord to assist him in his past times.
- Despite Lord Ramchandra knew about Amrit Kalash, still Ravana was invincible. Lord Ram chanted Aditya Hridaya strota to get the power to kill Ravana.
- Jambavant who appeared in Ramayana lived long to meet the next form of Lord Krishna, he himself. He presented to him, his daughter, Jamvanti.
- Though Sri Hanuman was a strict celibate, still a female alligator bore progeny out of his sweat drop.
- Ramayana was completed before the happenings of the actual Ramayana. But Mahrishi Valmiki never disclosed it to anyone.
- Out of 1 Lakh sons and 1.25 lakh grandsons, no one remained. Ravana had all of the them killed in the wat
- Sri Lanka is the only place where the idols of Ravana are worshipped.
- It is a traditional custom to bring the burnt logs of wood of Ravana to kept in home. It ensures peace.
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The festive season of 5 days for Hindus comes with happiness and surprises every year. This is the perfect time of celebrations and receiving the positive energies from the Universe. Devotes invoke the Gods and Goddesses during this period, to receive that extra share of blessings and happiness in Diwali season. This festive period begins with ‘Dhanteras’, which is celebrated on the 13th lunar day of the Krishna paksha of the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu calendar.
Dhanteras is also known as Dhanvantari Trayodashi as it is dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari or Father of Ayurveda. It is believed that during the Samundra manthan when a huge battle was going on for the divine nectar or ‘amrit’; He emerged carrying a pot of elixir. Thus from this day the festival of Dhanteras was named after the divine doctor.
Story of Yama Deepam:
On the day of Dhanteras the female members of the house are observed lighting a ghee lamp outside their home, during evening. The reason for this ritual traces back to the tale of 16 year old Prince (son of King Hima). It was forecasted that the prince will die on the fourth day of his wedding, due to which the King tried to abstain his son from girls.
Still the prince decided to marry one day and told his wife about the prediction. His wife dedicatedly planned to save his husband from the death. She laid out all her ornaments and created heaps of gold and silver coins at the entrance of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the place. She also sang the beautiful hymns all night to keep the prince awake. As the Lord Yama arrived, disguised as a serpent, his eyes were blinded by the bright dazzle of gold. When he tried to enter after climbing the heap he was mesmerized by the hymns and went away. This plan saved his husband from the danger and from then on the ladies begin to light lamps to glorify Lord Yama (God of death).
Thus this is the day to appease Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber by performing their puja and receiving heaps of blessings in return. This day is also marked by the purchase of valuable ornaments, gold, silver and utensils which are also kept during the puja.
Hope this festival brings tons of happiness and prosperity for all 🙂