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Mahaparva Chhath

Mahaparva Chhath is probably the only festival of nature worship, in which the setting sun is worshiped. In this, nature is worshiped with full devotion. It is believed that Chhath festival is done to get rid of any type of skin diseases, even terrible skin diseases like leprosy.

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This festival, which is celebrated twice a year, is celebrated with full faith and reverence. The first Chhath festival is celebrated in Chaitra month and second in Kartik month. This festival is originally famous for the worship of Suryadev. This sacred festival is also mentioned in mythological scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata. This festival has a different importance in Hinduism, which men and women fulfill very easily.

This auspicious festival celebrated on the Shashti Tithi of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month is known as Chhath. This puja is organized on a very large scale throughout India. Most of the people of North India celebrate this festival. In this puja dedicated to Lord Surya, Sun is offered to God. Many people also call this festival Hatha Yoga. This year, this mahaparva is being started from 26th October i.e. Tuesday. It is believed that worshiping Lord Surya has the ability to remove various types of diseases and gives long life to the family members. During this festival celebrated for four days, the body and mind have to be fully cultivated. Let us know about the importance of every day of this festival:

Day 1: This day, known as ‘Nahai Khay’, is considered the first day of Chhath Puja. Bathing and eating are done on this day and the surrounding environment is kept clean. On this day, people clean their houses and utensils and start this festival by eating pure vegetarian food.

Day 2: The second day of Chhath Puja is known as Kharna. The method of kharna is done on this day. The true meaning of ‘kharna’ is a whole day fast. On this day, fasting people keep a nirajal fast. In the evening, jaggery rice, jaggery kheer and puris are made on clean utensils and earthen stove and they are distributed as prasad.

Day 3: On this day, Lord Sun is worshiped in the evening. This day, known as Surya Shashthi, is celebrated as the third day of Chhath Puja. On this auspicious day Nirajal fast is kept on the whole day and in the evening, the sun is offered to the setting sun. According to the mythological beliefs, songs of the sixth mother are sung after the evening prayers and fasting stories are heard.

Day 4: On the fourth day of Chhath Puja, the sun is offered to Lord Surya at sunrise. On this day, before the sun comes out, a fasting person has to reach the ghat and offer a burnt to the rising sun. Immediately after offering the erga, the sixth mother is asked for a boon for the happiness, peace and protection of the children. After this holy worship, the devotees themselves open the fast by eating prasad by distributing prasad among them.

 

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  1. According to mythology, Lord Krishna’s son Samb also worshiped the sun god for liberation from leprosy. There is immense reverence in this festival of Vratis worshiping Chhath. He believes strongly that every wish sought from Lord Surya is definitely fulfilled. Public belief is also that leprosy or skin disease does not occur in the family of Chhath-fasting. The Bhavishya Purana also confirms this. Its discussion is also found in Markandeya Purana.
  2. The sadhana performed by the fast in this festival is so harsh that the sages have called this festival as Hatha Yoga.
  1. Not taking water for the entire 36 hours by the people performing this fast, walking barefoot all the time, sleeping on the ground at night, is like a hatha yoga in household life.
  1. First mention of worship of Sun is found in Rigveda, but mention of Chhath Vrat is clearly found in Bhavishya Purana and Mahabharata. Chhath festival, which has been going on since ancient times, is such that in the male dominated society, Lord Bhaskar wishes to get a daughter.
  1. This prayer can be clearly seen in the song ‘Runki-Jhunki Beti Mangila, Padhal Panditwa Damad’.
  1. Mainly in Chhath, the nature-provided material is worshiped by standing in the reservoir with offerings made of lemon, sugarcane, jaggery, radish, coconut, banana, sathi (a type of paddy) and wheat.
  1. In this festival, there is a provision to worship elephant made of clay at night.
  1. Chhath is a symbol of love with nature.
  1. Arghya is offered to the Sun by standing in water in Chhath. Jal or Aap: (Sanskrit) also means love.
  1. Its festival aims to feel familiarity with and proximity to the Sun. Offering water to the Sun means that we are thankful to you (of the Sun) with all our heart and this feeling is born out of love. Arghya is also offered with milk in it. Milk is a symbol of purity. The offering of milk with water shows that both our mind and heart remain pure.Importance of Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja fasting method

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This festival, which is completely dedicated to Lord Sun God, is celebrated with complete cleanliness. This fast is observed by both men and women alike. This holy festival lasts for four days. On the first day of the fast, Kartik Shukla Chaturthi is bathed, in which all the devotees consume only pure food for self-improvement. Kharna is kept on the day of Kartik Shukla Panchami, in which worship is done after purification of the body and in the evening itself, Jaggery kheer and puri are offered to the sixth mother. This Kheer is first fed to the Vartis as a Prasad and then distributed among the Brahmins and family.

On the day of Kartik Shukla Shashti, many types of dishes are made with purity in the house and at sunset, all the dishes are flown in big bamboo branches and taken to the nearest ghat. In the rivers, lamps are made of reed, and lamps are also lit on them. All the fasting women and men take bath in water and lift these dalas in their hands and offer prayers to the mother and god Sun. After sunset, the co-family comes back to their respective homes to awaken the Sun God overnight. The songs of Chhath have a different significance in this awakening. On Kartik Shukla Saptami, before the sunrise, all the Varti are deposited on the banks of the river, keeping the dish, coconut and vase in the evening hours in the Brahma Muhurta. On this day, women and men fasting have to offer a burnt offering to the rising sun. After this, the story of Chhath Vrat is heard and Prasad is distributed after the story. Surrey Varti receives Prasad on this day.

According to a mythological tradition associated with this festival, when the wishes of the sixth mother are fulfilled, then all the devotees worship the sun god. The method of bowing to the sun is quite difficult. The process of worshiping is as follows: Surya Namaskar is offered to the sun god by standing upright first and after that lying on the ground on the stomach and drawing a line on the ground with right hand. This process is repeated repeatedly until reaching the pier. Before this process, all the worshipers worship the family deity of their homes.

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Chhath worshipers have to follow many rules. The main rule among them is the following:

  • In this festival pure clothes are worn for four days. Full care is taken not to stitch in the clothes. Women wear saris and purus dhoti.
  • It is mandatory to sleep on the ground for the whole four day fast. The use of blankets and mats depends on their wish.
  • Onion, garlic and meat and fish are prohibited these days.
  • After worship, Brahmins are served food according to their capacity.
  • In this holy festival, it is mandatory to have bamboo soup near the fairies.
  • As a prasad, bananas and fruits made of wheat and jaggery flour are the main banana.
  • It is necessary to have sugarcane in all the utensils while giving erg. God Sun is offered with sugarcane.

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