Festivals in India have a very close affinity with the nature. Chhath Puja is one of the festivals which are celebrated after one week of Diwali that is riverside rituals in which the Sun God or Surya is worshipped, giving it the name of ‘Suryasasthi’.
Chhath is a famous festival which starts on the 6th day of the Hindu calendar month “Kartika”. This festival is dedicated to the worship of the Sun-god and his wife Usha. This festival is celebrated to thank god for supporting life on earth and to seek the blessing of the divine Sun god and his wife. In both Nepali and Hindi languages, the word Chhath means six. And hence, this festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Karthika. Therefore, the festival is named Chhath.
According to the Hindu religion, it is believed that the sun heals several health conditions and offers longevity, progress, positivity, prosperity, and well being. Moreover, the main day of Chhath is actually not the first but the third day of Chhath Puja. This festival is celebrated by people following a rigorous routine which lasts for four days, the rituals and traditions of this festival include fasting, offering prayers to the rising and setting sun, holy bathing, and meditation while standing in the water.
It is one of the famous Indian festivals which are celebrated in Bihar and many other destinations of India including Jharkhand, eastern UP, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Bangalore, Chhattisgarh, and regions of Nepal. It is celebrated on the sixth of the month of Karthika in the Vikram Samvat.
History of Chhath Puja
Chhath is a festival which is all about purity, devotion and offering prayer to Sun God; the exact origin of this festival is ambiguous but there are certain believes which connects to Hindu epics. Ramayana and Mahabharata are the two epics that are associated with Chhath Puja.
Chhath Puja Story: King Priyabrat
It is the story of a king named Priyabrat and his wife Malini. Both are living happily, but have no child. They decided on Maha Yagya with the help of Maharishi Kashyap. King’s wife Malini got pregnant and delivered a dead child. With this the king loses hope of decided to give his life, suddenly, the Manas Kanya (Devsena) appeared and said “I am Goddess Khashti and I’m an incarnation of the sixth part of the universe. If you worship me with pure mind and soul for six days, you would definitely be blessed with a child”. The King and Queen agreed to worship and after they are blessed with a beautiful baby boy.
Chhath Puja Story In Vedas:
It believes that it is originated from the ancient Vedas – Rigveda contains hymns of worshiping the God Sun and describe the ritual and exemplifies the similar Costumes. It describes the stringent worshiping of God Sun and frugality and abstinence Rituals. Chhaiti Maiya is also worship and knows as USHA in the Vedas, believe to be the younger wife of the Surya, the Sun God.
Chhath Puja’s Association with Ramayana
In Ramayana, It is believed that after Completion of Banwas (Exile) of 14 Years, Lord Rama & Mata Sita had kept fast together and offered puja to the Lord Surya (The Sun God) in the month of Kartik (in between October and December) in Shukla Paksha. Since then Chhath Puja became the important and traditional festival in the Hindu religion.
Chhath Puja’s Association with Mahabharata
This ritual also referred in the Sanskrit Epic poem in which Draupadi is described with observing the ritual similar to Chhath Puja today. During the exile in the forest of the Pandavas, Draupadi started crying as Pandavas were in misery. To get solution of their misery, Yuddhisthira went to Dhoumya.
Sage Dhoumya gave the solution and explained that “the Food grain are the form of the Sun god that helps I maintaining the life on the earth. Therefore, the Sum god is their father. The people who worship the sun god on the sixth and seventh day of fortnight of Shukla Paksha in Karthik Mas with pure hearth and Chant the 108 names of Lord Surya will blessed with son, gems, wealth and wisdom and bring prosperity.
After enlightened and recommendation by Sage Dhoumya, Yudhisthira started worshipping Lord Sun and pleased him. Pleased by his devotions, Lord Sun appeared in front of Yudhisthira and gave him a magical copper vessel. Lord Sun told that this vessel would cook four types of food for them and will last till Draupadi, the wife of five Pandavas took her meal. This way, Pandavas came out of their trobles and also help in re-gain their kingdoms. Hence, it is believed that by worshipping Bhagwan Surya during Chhath Puja, one can fulfill all their desires and come out of all pain and suffering.
Also, In Mahabharat, karan, the son of Kunti and God Surya do daily worship of his father Sun and special puja during the month of Kartik in Shukla Paksha. Karan is also a King of Aang (Now known as Bhagalpur in Bihar). People living in that part of Bihar also start worshipping lord Sun.
The yogic or scientific history of Chhath Puja dates back to the Vedic times. The rishis of yesteryears used this method to remain alive without any external intake of food and were able to obtain energy from the sunlight. This was done through the rituals of the Chhath Puja.
Scientific Significance of Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is the best way to get your body detoxified as taking dips in the water and exposing the body to the sun increases the flow of solar bioelectricity which improves the functionality of the human body. It is also said that Chhath Puja helps to kill the harmful bacteria and prepares the body for the upcoming winter season.
Dates of Chhath Puja 2020
|Chhath Puja 2020 Festival Names||Days||Date of Chhath Puja 2020|
|Chhath Puja Day 1 – Nahay-Khay||Wednesday||18 November 2020|
|Chhath Puja Day 2 – Lohanda & Kharna||Thursday||19 November, 2020|
|Chhath Puja Day 3 – Sandhya Arghya||Friday||20 November, 2020|
|Chhath Puja Day 4 – Usha Argh & Paran||Saturday||21 November, 2020|
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