The purpose of the Chhath Puja is to thank the Sun and his wives, Usha and Sangya or Sandhya, for bringing the blessings of life to the earth. Chhath does not involve the worship of idols. Along with their diaspora, Nepalese and Indians observe this event. Chhath is a Hindu celebration, but some Muslims also participate in it.
The festival’s strict rites are carried out over four days. They consist of taking holy baths, going on fasts and refraining from drinking water (Vratta), spending a lot of time in the water, and making prasad and arghya offerings to the setting and rising Sun. v Some worshippers march in prostration as they make their way to the river’s banks.
Chhathi Maiya is the name of the Goddess who is worshipped during the well-known Chhath Puja. In the Vedas, Chhathi Maiya is referred to as Usha. She is thought to be Surya, the solar god who adored the younger bride. She is also revered in the Mithilanchal region under the name “RANA MAI.”
This one is the only celebration that celebrates the rising and dying Sun.
The story behind Chhath puja
According to the poem, on the advice of the honorable sage Dhaumya, Draupadi and the Pandavas—the kings of Indraprastha (modern-day Delhi)—performed the Chhath Puja ceremonies. Draupadi not only found relief from all of her problems thanks to Lord Surya (Sun), but she also later assisted the Pandavas in regaining their lost kingdom.
The legend of Lord Rama also illustrates the significance of Chhath Puja. During their coronation after returning to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, it is thought that Lord Rama and Mata Sita conducted a joint fast and offered puja to the Lord Surya in the month of Kartik (between October and December) in Shukla Paksha.
Since that time, Chhath Puja has evolved into a significant Hindu festival. People of the Hindu religion began celebrating it on the same day, in the same month, every year.
Four days ritual of puja
The festival’s strict rites are carried out over four days. They consist of taking holy baths, going on fasts and refraining from drinking water (Vratta), spending a lot of time in the water, and making prasad and arghya offerings to the setting and rising Sun. Some worshippers march prostrate as they make their way to the river’s banks.
DAY1: Nahay khay/Arwa Arwain
The devotees bathe in the river on the first day of Chhath Puja and bring the holy water back to their homes to prepare the offerings. The surroundings and home have been cleaned. The term “vratin” refers to the women who observe the Vrata.
DAY 2: Lohanda and Kharna
The Vratins conduct a daylong fast on the second day of Chhath Puja, the day before Chhath. Following the Sun and Moon worship on this day, Kheer and chappatis are given out as gifts to family and friends. The Vratins then embark on a severe fast that lasts for the following 36 hours without any food or water.
DAY 3: Sandhya Arghya or Pehla Aragh
On the primary Chaath Puja day, Vratins makes offerings known as Arghya to the setting sun by going to a riverbank or pond.
DAY 4: Usha Arghya or Dusra Aragh
On the last day of Chaath Puja, devotees give offerings to the rising Sun known as Arghya. The break of the fast by the Vratins brings the Chaath festival to a close.
Food and Prasad for Puja:
The sweets, Kheer, Thekua, rice laddu (made of rice grit), and fruits (mostly sugarcane, sweet lime, and banana) presented in little bamboo soop winnows are among the prasad offerings. All the food is prepared without salt, onions, or garlic and is fully vegetarian. The preservation of food purity is emphasized.
Importance of Chhath puja
As was already said, the Sun is thought to be the main source of energy. Therefore, people thank Lord Surya and his wife for giving them life on this day. The Indian mythical texts make extensive reference to chhath puja as well. Karna, the son of Lord Surya, is credited in the Mahabharata as having performed the first Chhath puja. He stood in the sea, his body exposed, and prayed to Lord Surya. Later, he provided food for the hungry as well.
There are many differing views on this celebration. Contact Nakshatrika if you’d like to learn more about the precise puja vidhi to perform and the reasons behind why this festival is observed. The top astrologer in India is available at Nakshatrika and will provide information on the subject. Additionally, Nakshatrika provides online puja services and live darshan for its clients.