Chhath Mata Song
Chhath Puja – Thanking the Sun
Chhath Puja, also popularly known as Surya Shashti, is a festival which lasts for four days. The festival culminates on the sixth day of the growing moon phase of the month of Kartik (October to November) according to the Hindu calendar. Chhath Puja is one of the most important festivals and is regarded as the only Vedic festival dedicated to Surya, the sun god, and his consort Chhathi Maiya. It is celebrated with greatest zeal and passion in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Orissa.
The most famous legend related to Chhath Puja has been referenced in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. Once upon a time the Pandavas and their wife DraupadiDraupadi
Draupadi (Wife of Five Pandavas), also known as Krishna, because of her dark complexion, is the daughter of Drupada... were on exile from their kingdom. One day, eighty eight thousand hermits came to their abode and asked for food. Being religious and followers of great moral values, it was a matter of utmost importance for the Pandavas to feed the hermits. However, they were not able to provide adequate food for so many hermits at that point of time as they were not able to feed even themselves. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Draupadi went to a very noble sage known as Dhaumya. He advised her to worship Surya and perform the rituals of Chhath Puja to achieve prosperity and copiousness. Consequently, Draupadi performed all the rituals as directed by the sage and, as a result, the Pandavas were able to feed the hermits properly. Since then the tradition of Chhath Puja became very popular.
It is also believed that Chhath Puja was started by Karna who is regarded as son of Surya. It is considered that the rituals performed by Karna for Chhath Puja gave him immense power and, therefore, he became the ruler of Anga Desh and one of the greatest warriors of all time. Another popular belief is that RamaRama
As of late, in the year 2007, the idea of whether Rama... and SitaSita
Sita is the most benevolent Goddess, who is known... performed Chhath Puja and worshipped Surya after returning from their fourteen years of exile. The couple celebrated the festival and performed the rituals on the sixth day of the growing moon phase of the Kartik month during their enthronement in Ayodhya.
Chhath Puja is celebrated with great zeal and passion over a course of four days. The first day of the festival is known as Nahai Khai. The word “Nahai” means “bath” and “Khai” translates to “eat”. The devotees are supposed to wake up early in the morning and take bath in a nearby river. Water from the same river is to be taken back at home and food is cooked with it. The second day is known as Kharna. On this day, the devotee fasts for the whole day without eating food or drinking water. However, in the evening the devotees offer prayers and eat some food which consists of deep fried puffs of flour, and sweet dish made of rice and milk. Food and fruits, especially bananas, are distributed among friends and family on this day. On the third day Sandhya Arghya or the evening offering is performed. The devotee observes fast without food and water on this day as well. Preparations for the worship are done by the devotee throughout the day. The offerings are then prepare and kept in a tray made of bamboo and comprise coconuts, bananas and other fruits of the season. Later at evening lamps made of clay are lighted up and kept under five sugarcanes which signify the five elements which comprise the human body – earth, water, fire, air and space. The worshippers and devotees gather together and offer their prayers to the setting sun. The fourth day is regarded as the main festivity and is called Bihaniya Arghya or the morning offering. People gather to offer prayers to the rising sun after which the devotees who have been observing fast break it by eating either ginger or sugar.
Chhath Puja is regarded as the most simple and purest way of thanking and paying respect to the sun god for his blessings and the benefits that he provides to all the living beings. It is, without an iota of doubt, a fact that sun is the ultimate source of energy on earth. Without the sun, life is not possible on earth. Moreover, various researches have revealed that sunrise and sunset are the most benevolent and beneficial periods for the human body to absorb solar radiations as during these times the harmful radiations of the sun are minimum and the benignant radiations are the maximum. And as such, the rituals of Sandhya Arghya and Bihaniya Arghya performed during sunset and sunrise, respectively, are considered auspicious in all the spheres of life. The festival symbolizes purity, simplicity, thankfulness and deference one must cultivate in life.