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.
Lord Sun is among Panch Deva( Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Shakti and Surya). He is the soul of all living beings. It is considered to be the most powerful planet among all nine planets. Since weak Sun affects eyes, heart and bones, poverty etc, so the Sun yantra grant to pacify the negative effects of Sun. It consist of dot, hexagon, two circles, eight petal lotus enveloped by one bhupura, drawn on copper, gold or bhojpatra.
The mantra is repeated for one hundred thousand times. The mantra of Sun for recital is
|| Om Hrim Ghrnih Surya Adityah Srim ||
The sage of this mantra is devabhaga: the metre is Gayatri and the deity is Sun-God , the lord of the day. Hrim is the Bija and Srim is shakti. The application is for realization of cherished desires.
Benefits of Sun yantra
- This yanta grants success in career and business.
- The devotee gets relief from all the problems related to court cases and helps in making the judgement in favor of the person itself by this yantra.
How to do worship by this yantra
- The devotee should must wake up early in the morning before sunrise.
- The devotee should wear white clothes.
- The yantra is to be established on yellow cloth and purity the yantra with gangajal and cow’s milk.
- This yantra is to be drawn with sandalwood, kesar, supari, and red flowers.
Where to place it
- This yantra should be established on Sunday in any auspicious muhurat.
- This yantra keep it in your home, offices, wallet or wear it in your neck.
Sun is the source of energy for the whole universe.Sun is considered as the significator of Health, eyes, social prestige, father and profession.
When we offer water to the Sun and recite the mantra,Sun gets strengthened and the water gets empowered. When we touch this water on our body, those energy points gets stimulated thereby giving us tremendous energy and all the areas mentioned above get better.
Lord Hanuman has been known for his devotion for Lord Rama but he is also remembered for his tales of mischievous activities. One such incident was when Hanuman, also called as Aanjaneya, son of Anjana was starving and he called his mother for feeding him. When he saw no sight of his mother, he went out to search his own food.
While searching for something edible, Hanuman ji noticed the Sun and thought it to be a huge red fruit. His hunger could not control anymore and he started moving towards the red ball of Sun. His determination remained unaffected by the scorching heat of the sun. When Lord Indra saw this sight, he became anxious that Hanuman ji can get burnt. In spite of several warning by Surya devta and Indra devta, hanuman ji was adamant to eat the big juicy fruit.
When Indra ji had no option left he hit Hanuman with his weapon, Vajrayudha. Hanuman immediately fell down and was hurt. The injury made his cheeks swollen and from then on Aanjaneya was called Hanuman, as ‘Hanu’ means cheek in Sanskrit.
Vayu devta saw the injured Hanuman and immediately carried him to patalaloka, the world below the grounds of the earth. As the wind god, left the earth, there was no air in the world. People, animals and trees struggled to breathe and started to die.
Finally all the other gods had to visit Lord Vayu for consoling him. Each god conferred a special power to the little Hanuman. Brahma, the Creator said, “No weapon will be able to kill this boy.” Indra said to the boy, “You will be a Chiranjeevi’ (immortal).”
Blessed thus by the gods, Hanuman grew up to be as strong as his father.
||Om Surya Devam Namaste Stu Grihaanam Karoona Karam
Arghyam Ch Falam Sanyukta Gandh Maalyaakshatai Yutam ||
Surya Dev or the Sun God is the highly revering deity in Hindu mythology. Being the head of all the nine planets, Surya dev has immense strength and he controls the life on earth. Blessed with heavenly powers he is portrayed as riding the chariot which is driven by 7 horses or 1 horse with 7 heads. The number seven defines the seven majestic colors of the rainbow, the seven seasons and also the seven chakras of the human body.
Surya is widely worshipped by devotees, including the asuras or demons. Surya Devta is adored by the Saura sect, which worships him as one of the five main Gods. Yatudhanas, group of demons, were also the deep followers of Surya. Even the Greeks and Romans have special mention of Sun God in their ancient mythology.
Significance of adoring Sun God:
Sun is considered as the significator of health, profession and father in the Vedic Astrology. The light energy of the Sun is a natural remedy for the body ailments and boosts us with energy and positivity. Vitamin D from the Sun is a healthy source for stronger immune system and bones. While offering water to the Sun God in early morning hours, the sunlight gets refracted and reflected due to the thin layer of water which leads to the production of 7 forms of light that get absorbed by our body. Since our body has large surface area, the rays are absorbed through it, maximum by the chest.
The Sun is the symbol of the Self-god. As the Self-god illuminates the mind, the intellect and the body, the Sun illuminates the world. Being the highest symbol of enlightenment the Surya devta bestows the devotee with knowledge and illuminates the dark lives of his devotees.
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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
World is a game of timings and the man who performs his task at perfect time, wins the battle of life. Dawn breaks the darkness and chirping birds welcome the new hope of sunrise, showering brightness in our gloomy lives. Our ancestors always recommended us to wake up at ‘Brahma-muhurat’ (between 4:00 am to 6:00 am) and worship Surya devta (Sun) by offering water at sunrise. Ever wondered why are grand-parents used to offer water to Sun every morning?
Apart from the faith and traditional stories of offering water, the basic fact lies behind the mystery of science. We offer water to the Sun raising our hands directly above our head level, the thin layer of water pour down from the vessel (lotta) to the ground in front of our body. According to the principle of refraction and reflection, the sunlight gets refracted and reflected due to the thin layer of water which leads to the production of 7 forms of light that get absorbed by our body. Since our body has large surface area, the rays are absorbed through it, maximum by the chest. This is similar to the process of rainbow formation in the atmosphere.
Another fact reveals that, it is impossible to see the Sun directly from our naked eyes, so the film of water acts as a tool for the eyes and the sunlight tranquilises the soul and body.
Benefits of Sun’s energy:
- The light energy extracted in this process is an excellent medicine for various ailments. The entire body is energised and boosted up with positivity, for the entire day.
- It acts as a barrier against the evil diseases like typhoid and pneumonia. Sun rays are the natural cure for ailments of heart, eyes, leprosy and jaundice.
- Vitamin D from the Sun is a healthy source for stronger immune system and bones.
So the 7 forms of light energy are an all in one solution for various diseases of the body as well as helps in rejuvenating the mind and soul.
Mention in Holy Vedas:
Wonders of Sun God are also present in our ancient holy Vedas. Sun is considered as the significator of health, profession and father in the Vedic Astrology. So it’s not only a tradition followed by our ancestors blindly but an actual tranquiliser of or health and soul.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja