Chhath Puja – ThanksGiving Festival To Sun God

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chhatpuja

Chhath Puja is one of the Hindu festivals, quite popular in the Eastern Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand as well as in Nepal. The word ‘Chhath’ means ‘sixth’ as this auspicious festival is celebrated on the 6th day or ‘Shasthi’ i.e. lunar fortnight of Kartik (October – November) according to the Hindu calendar.

Celebrations

The festival is celebrated for four days in the Hindu month of Karthika. October – November according to Gregorian calendar. Chhath Puja (Dala Chhath Pooja) is observed on the sixth day of Kartik Month.The first day is known as Nahai Khai (bathe and eat), second day is Kharna, third day is Chhat Sandhya Argh , and the last day is Chhatt Suryodaya Argh. Chhat Puja is an important festival for the people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, Chhat is observed as Surya Shashti.

The occasion is almost a carnival. Besides the parvaitin, there are friends and family, and numerous participants and onlookers, all willing to help and receive the blessings of the worshipper. Ritual rendition of regional folk songs, carried on through oral transmission from mothers and mothers-in-law to daughters and daughters-in-law, are sung on this occasion. The folk songs sung on the evening of Chhath reflect the culture, social structure, mythology and history of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Belief

It is believed that 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.

It is also believed that Chhath was started by Karna, the son of Surya Putra Karna who 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’s rays. This was done through the Chhath method. This has been stated in the book Sri Chhath Mahaviggyaan (The Science of Chhath) by Yogishri Oumkaar.

Folklores and hymns are sung with somber hues on the banks of the Holy Ganges or any fresh watery body. Lamps are offered to the Ganges upon which millions of lamps are seen lit and thousands of hands are seen with offering of ‘Arghya’ till the late night. Following this the devotees return home and have grand celebrations with singing and feasting. Special pujas with sugarcanes are conducted in home for Agni deva (god of fire). Then fast is broken by eating ‘Prasadam’ or sanctified food.

People pray to the Sun god for their well-being. They have ardent faith that by observing Chhat puja one gets his wishes fulfilled. They also believe that this vrat helps in curing diseases and ensures longevity and prosperity of the family.

Chhatpuja
Devotees are ready to perfom evening puja

Chhath Puja Katha in hindi

एक थे राजा प्रियव्रत उनकी पत्नी थी मालिनी. राजा रानी नि:संतान होने से बहुत दु:खी थे. उन्होंने महर्षि कश्यप से पुत्रेष्ठि यज्ञ करवाया. यज्ञ के प्रभाव से मालिनी गर्भवती हुई परंतु न महीने बाद जब उन्होंने बालक को जन्म दिया तो वह मृत पैदा हुआ. प्रियव्रत इस से अत्यंत दु:खी हुए और आत्म हत्या करने हेतु तत्पर हुए.

प्रियव्रत जैसे ही आत्महत्या करने वाले थे उसी समय एक देवी वहां प्रकट हुईं. देवी ने कहा प्रियव्रत मैं षष्टी देवी हूं. मेरी पूजा आराधना से पुत्र की प्राप्ति होती है, मैं सभी प्रकार की मनोकामना पूर्ण करने वाली हूं. अत: तुम मेरी पूजा करो तुम्हे पुत्र रत्न की प्राप्ति होगी. राजा ने देवी की आज्ञा मान कर कार्तिक शुक्ल षष्टी तिथि को देवी षष्टी की पूजा की जिससे उन्हें पुत्र की प्राप्ति हुई. इस दिन से ही छठ व्रत का अनुष्ठान चला आ रहा है.

एक अन्य मान्यता के अनुसार भगवान श्रीरामचन्द्र जी जब अयोध्या लटकर आये तब राजतिलक के पश्चात उन्होंने माता सीता के साथ कार्तिक शुक्ल षष्ठी तिथि को सूर्य देवता की व्रतोपासना की और उस दिन से जनसामान्य में यह पर्व मान्य हो गया और दिनानुदिन इस त्यहार की महत्ता बढ़ती गई व पूर्ण आस्था एवं भक्ति के साथ यह त्यहार मनाया जाने लगा.