Desk : Sun worship has its own special significance in Hindu culture. Sun is also considered as the god of energy. Because life cannot be imagined without energy. There is a special festival of worship of this sun god. Surya Sasthi fasting is spoken twice a year. One on the Chaitya Shukla Paksha and the other on the Shuklapaksha of Kartik month. The festival celebrated on the seventh day of this Kartik month is known as Dala Chhath or Sixth Mayya fast. According to the scriptures, Chhath is the festival of worship of Lord Surya and his sister Shashthi.
The fast begins with the help of the Khahi and Kharna
Nahay khay occurs two days before Chhath Puja. That is, on the day of Chaturthi, food is made by making rice, lentils and gourd vegetables after retirement. Desi ghee and rock salt are used in it. It is called Nahai Khay. On the next day, on the fifth day of Kharna, the fast of Kharna begins. After worshiping the sun god throughout the day, the fast eats kheer prasad on this day in the evening, after which this prasad of kheer is distributed among all the people. The worship of Chhath begins on the second day of Kharna.
The next day, after going to the pond or river, they offer milk to the sun while drowning. On the third day of Chhath Puja, the person who observes the rising sun observes fast. That means the fast starts on Kartik Shukla Chaturthi and ends on Kartik Shukla Saptami. In this way, the fasters keep a fast of 36 hours without any water.
Chhath festival is celebrated abroad
It is believed that this fast is celebrated in Vihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and parts of Bengal, Terai region of Nepal and also in East Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Maharashtra. But now the scope of those keeping Surya Sashthi fast has increased. Surya worship this festival not only throughout the country, but say that now it has started celebrating in many countries of the world originating from Bihar.
Worship like this
On the third day, on Kartik Shukla Shashthi, prepare the prasad in desi ghee. After this, fruits, turmeric, ginger, coconut, amla, etc. are taken as prasad in a large cast of raw bamboo or brass plate and taken to the banks of river, canal or pond. There is also a raw bamboo soup (small soup), with the whole family walking towards the Ghat to offer the sunset to the astral sun. All Chhathvratis gather together on a fixed lake or river and collectively perform Arghya donations. And return home after sunset. Arghya is offered to the rising sun on the morning of Kartik Shukla Saptami on the fourth day.
The vratis regroup at the same place and with similar items and return to the rising sun by offering it. After this, the peepal trees of the village to which water is offered. And observe the fast. During the entire fast, the Vratis sleep on the ground and remain sattvic. Women wear a new dress ie sari and men wear yellow dhoti. These clothes keep both men and women.
Their wives also worship along with Surya
In Chhath, there is a combined worship of Surya as well as his two wives Usha and Pratyusha. In the evening, both the last ray (Pratyusha) of the Sun and in the morning, the first ray (Usha) of the Sun and Arghya are both offered. In this festival, nature is not worshiped directly but instead of an idol.
When and how the fast began
Suryopasana Rig has been happening in India since Vedic period. The Sun and its worship are discussed in Vishnu Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Brahma Vaivarta Purana etc. Not only this, the mention of the sun is found in the Rigveda for the first time.
Mother Sita also performed Chhath Vrat
Atmaprakash Shastri, head of the Shankaracharya temple, says that on the day of the establishment of Ramrajya after Lanka’s conquest, Kartik Shukla Shashthi fasted by Lord Sri Rama and Mother Sita and worshiped Suryadev. Mother Sita also performed Chhath Vrat. It is also mentioned in Anand Ramayana.
During the Mahabharata period, an ancestor of Magadha King Jarasandha had developed leprosy. Then the Brahmins of Magadha kept fasting of Chhath, due to which their leprosy was cured. Similarly, Lord Krishna’s grandson Shamb had developed leprosy. Special Suryopasana was done to get rid of this disease, for which Brahmins were called from Shakya Island.
Draupadi and Karna also worshiped the sun
According to a legend in the Mahabharata, Suryaputra Karna first started worshiping Suryadev. Karna was the supreme devotee of Lord Surya. He used to pray to Suryadev every day for hours, standing in the waist. Even today in the Chhath Vrati Arghya adopt this method at the time of donation and worship Lord Aditya by standing in water for hours.
According to another legend of Mahabharata, when Maharaja Yudhishthira lost his entire kingdom in gambling, Draupadi worshiped Surya to attain the kingdom. According to mythology, Chhath was considered to be one of the main ancestors of Suryavanshi kings.