Chhath Puja Celebration
Chhath Katha, Rituals and Traditions, Stages of Chhath Puja Benefits and Significance of the Chhath.
1. Chhath Puja
The Sun God, Surya, the god of energy and of the life force, is worshiped during the Chhath Puja to promote well being, prosperity and progress.Chhath is an ancient Hindu festival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya (ancient Vedic Goddess Usha).The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well being, prosperity and progress.In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days.They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun.
2. What Is Chhath Puja
Chhath Puja is one of the most ancient Hindu festivals, ever surviving on earth.Chhath Puja is referred to as the only Vedic festival celebrated in India.If you want to know about the interesting facts of Chhath Puja, read the article.As Chhat Puja is approaching in 2014, we have brought you everything you need to know about Chhath Puja in 2014.Chhath Puja is observed for a period of four days during the month of Kartika.Chhat Puja ritual includes holy bathing, Vrat (fasts) and other holy severities.Chhath Puja is dedicated to Sun god, Surya.Devotees pay reverence to Lord Surya during Chhath Puja by bowing before the Sun.This is done to invoke the blessings of the much powerful Sun god.It is believed that Surya sustains life on earth.On Chhath Puja, Surya is expressed gratitude and he is worshiped for the fulfillment of certain desires.Chhath Puja is also known as Chhath Shashthi, Surya Shashti, Chhathi Maiya, and Chhath Parv.Surya, the Sun lord, will be thanked once again in 2014.But, what made him so significant that he is paid homage each year.Surya is considered to be the source of energy, hence, He is believed to have magical powers of curating a person negativity.As per the Hindu texts, Surya energy is magnanimous.Therefore, Surya is believed to cure deadly diseases like leprosy, and increases a person longevity.
It is believed that the Maga Purohits were invited by King Janak of Nepal for their expertise in Sun worshiping.They started the tradition of Chhat Puja for the first time in the world.It is believed that the ritual of Chhath puja may even predate the ancient Vedas texts, as the Rigveda contains hymns worshiping the Sun god and describes similar rituals.The rituals also find reference in the Sanskrit epic poem Mahabharata in which Draupadi is depicted as observing similar rites.In the poem, Draupadi and the Pandavas, rulers of Indraprastha(modern Delhi), performed the Chhath ritual on the advice of noble sage Dhaumya.Through her worship of the Sun God, Draupadi was not only able to solve her immediate problems, but also helped the Pandavas later regain their lost kingdom.It is also believed that Chhath was started by Karna, the son of Surya (Surya Putra Karna).Surya Putra Karna ruled over the Anga Desh (present day Bhagalpur district of Bihar) during the Mahabharat Age.He was a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.Its yogic/scientific history dates back to the Vedic times.The rishis of yore used this method to remain without any external intake of food as they were able to obtain energy directly from the sun rays.This was done through the Chhath method.
4. Rituals and traditions
Chhath is a festival of bathing and worshipping,that follows a period of abstinence and segregation of the worshiper from the main household for four days.During this period, the worshiper observes purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket.This is the only holy festival which has no involvement of any pandit (priest).The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun in celebrating its glory as the cycle of birth starts with death.It is seen as the most glorious form of Sun worship.
5. Date of the festival
Chhath puja is performed on Kartika Shukla Shashthi, which is the sixth day of the month of Kartika in the Nepali calendar.This falls typically in the month of October or November in the Gregorian English Calendar.The exact date of the festival is decided by Central division of Janakpurdham in Nepal which is applicable all over the world.It is also celebrated in the summer (March April), on Chaitra Shashthi, some days after Holi this event is called Chaiti Chhath. The former is more popular because winter is the usual festive season in Nepal and also in North India.Chhath, being an arduous observance, requiring the worshipers to fast without water for around 36 hours continuously, is easier to undertake in the Indian winters but little harder in Nepalese Winter for Nepali Maithili People due to cold climate of Nepal.
The word chhath denotes the number six in Maithili and local dialects and the festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the Nepali lunar month of Kartika.The word is a Prakrit derivation from the Sanskrit a thi, meaning sixth.It is the National festival of Nepali people with Official status in Nepal since the time of King Janak who is regarded as National hero of Nepal.World largest Chhath festival takes place every Year in Ranipokhari.
7. Chhath Puja Timings
Sunrise on Chhath Puja Day 06.30
Sunset on Chhath Puja Day 17.38
8. Why To Celebrate Chhath Puja
Legend Of Draupadi
It is believed that Draupadi was an ardent devotee of Lord Surya (the Sun god).It was due to her devotion towards Surya, that she was gifted with the unique power to cure even the most deadliest of diseases.Draupadi possessed the energy that helped the Pandavas to regain the kingdom.Similar to any other Hindu festival, the festival of Chhath has more than one legend linked with it.Let take a look at some of its other known legends.
Legend Of Karna
According to the legends, Karna, son of Surya, observed Chhath Puja or Surya Shashti with sheer devotion.It is said that Karna had gained supreme powers by performing Chhath rituals.This had made Karna grow into a powerful and valiant warrior.These are believed to be one of the most well known legends behind Chhath Puja.Now, let take a look how Chhath Puja should be celebrated in 2014.
9. How Should Chhath Puja Be Celebrated
Chhath is an ancient Hindu festival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya (ancient Vedic Goddess Usha).The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.It is also celebrated in the summer (March April), on Chaitra Shashthi, some days after Holi this event is called Chaiti Chhath.The former is more popular because winter is the usual festive season in Nepal and also in North India. Chhath, being an arduous observance, requiring the worshipers to fast without water for around 36 hours continuously, is easier to undertake in the Indian winters but little harder in Nepalese Winter for Nepali Maithili People due to cold climate of Nepal.
10. First Day Of Chhath Puja 2014 Nahai Khai
Nahai means to bathe, and Khai means to eat.On the first day of Nahai Khai, devotees take a holy bath in a holy lake or river, to purify their sins.Then, they worship Lord Surya.Water from the river is carried to their homes, which is to be used in cooking food offerings for Surya.
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