Chhath Festival Thanksgiving to the Lord Surya ‘The Sun God’
Kathmandu – Chhath, a primitive Hindu festival is performed as a thanksgiving to the Lord Surya ‘The Sun God’ for granting life on earth and providing prosperity for the life forms on Earth. As per the Hindu traditions, the sun god is the ultimate force which represents vigor, fame, courage, and vitality. In contrast to other festivals, the Chhath Puja is done to worship the natural phenomenon occurring on Earth that is the Sun.
In the Hindu tradition, the word “Chhath” represents the number 6, and coincidently the festival commences on the 6th day of the Hindu month Kartik. The festival usually lasts for four days, and during this time, one can observe devotees which generally consist of women, follow extreme traditions like fasting for 36 hours and devouring food that is deprived of salt. People bathe in the holy Ganga during these four days.
Here are some of the mind-boggling facts about this ancient festival that will intrigue you more
- Chhath Puja is referred to as the only Vedic Festival celebrated in India, and it is mentioned first in the Rig Veda comprising about hymns worshiping the Sun God.
- Chhath puja goes back all the way to the time of Mahabharata Legend of Karna:
History dictates that Surya Putra Karna was the first to start this puja. As per the legends, Karna, Son of Surya & Ruler of Anga-Desh, initially did Chhath Puja with sheer devotion.
After doing this puja, Karna gained extraordinary powers, and it made him into a mighty warrior.
Legends of Draupadi:
Draupadi was a great devotee of Lord Surya. As a result of her devotion, she was gifted with the ability to cure even the deadliest of the diseases. This power of Draupadi enabled the Pandavas to become victorious in the Battle of Kurukshetra.
Another myth dictates that once during the long exile from their kingdom, 88 thousand wandering hermits visited their hut. As the Pandavas, were in exile and had less food for themselves, they were not in the position to feed the hungry monks. To feed the monks, Draupadi approached the Saint Dhaumya and ultimately began worshipping the Sun God. Her devotion to the Lord led her to solve her current problems, and eventually emerge victorious in the battle of Mahabharata.
- It is the only Hindu Festival, which is backed by scientific claims, and represents a scientific process for detoxification and revitalization of the body.
As per the Yogic philosophy, the physical bodies of all living entities, comprise some energy conducting materials. It is believed that solar bio-electricity starts to flow in the human body, when it is exposed to solar radiation, and in certain conditions this energy absorption rate increases. The rituals and processes of Chhath Puja aim at preparing the body and the mind of the devotee for the advanced stage of Cosmic Energy Infusion. The rishis of ancient times used this method to extract energy from the sun rays directly and could live without solid food and water for a more extended period.
- Chhath rituals enhance the absorption of Vitamin D and calcium into the body
Worshipping the sun, mostly in the month of Kartik allows the absorption of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for preventing rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults. The fasting period aids in the natural calcium absorption from the food consumed, but it is recommended for patients with kidney problems do not do this fast as it may be harmful.
- The tradition of worshipping the Sun God is prevalent in the antediluvian Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations as well. Not only in Nepal, in countries like Fiji, Trinidad, Mauritius, and Tobago, etc. people worship the sun but in their way.
- The Chhath puja boosts the immunity system of the human body and provides an antiseptic effect towards the human body which aids in the healing procedure.
The rituals depicted in the Chhath Puja help in the blood circulation and provide a balanced secretion of hormones for the adequate development of the human body. Worshipping the sun in sunrise and sunset means that the human body can obtain maximum energy from the sun, and harness it adequately. The retina of the human eye emits energy when exposed to sun rays, and this energy is sent to the pineal gland which uses it for self-activation.
A compounding effect is seen as the power generated affects the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. This process of ritual ensures good health to the devotees, and it has a detoxification effect on the human body.
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