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.
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.”
Why should we light earthen (mitti diyas) lamps – The mystery of Divine earthen (mitti) Lamp
When we light the earthen lamp there is combination of Five Divine Tattwas i.e. Soil (Earth, Fire, Air, water & Ether) & we chant the Mantra of Lord so it manifests divinity in our family.
Also, these lamps are made by potters with faith, emotion & feeling of Love for God & Goddess. These are made clay of the Divine Soil i.e. “Earth Element”
Thus,when we light earthen lamps on Festival like deepawali, govardhan puja and other pujas, we bring in the positivity.
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