Chhath is a major festival celebrated especially in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It starts from the 4th day of Shukla Paksha of Kartika month and concludes on the 7th day. The specialty of the Chhath festival is that not only Hindus, but people of the Muslim religion also celebrate it with great enthusiasm and reverence. It is considered a symbol of happiness and prosperity.
The first day of Chhath Puja begins with ‘Nahai Khay’. This is followed by ‘Kharna’ on the second day in which ‘Arghya’ is offered to the sun and a prasad of jaggery kheer (Gur ki kheer) is made. This prasad is considered to be the most important prasad of the entire festival. On the third day, ‘Arghya’ is offered to the setting sun. The festival ends with the offering of ‘Arghya’ to the rising sun on the last day.
In our Puranas, there is a particular day and date for the worship of every deity. For example, Vishnu is worshiped on Ekadashi, Ganesha is worshiped on Chaturthi, and Surya is worshiped on Saptami Tithi, also known as Surya Saptami or Ratha Saptami. But in Chhath, the sun is worshiped on the day of Shashti which lasts till Saptami.
Stories related to Chhath
From the Mahabharata
According to the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas lost everything in gambling, Draupadi kept the fast of Chhath and the Pandavas got their lost kingdom back.
At the same time, the second story is related to the child of Sun God, Karna. It is believed that Chhath Puja was started by Karna who was a great follower of Sun God. For worshipping the Sun God, Karna used to stand in the water for hours every day and offer ‘Arghya’ to the Sun. Pleased with his devotion, the Sun God gave Karna a boon to become a great warrior. Even today this tradition of offering ‘Arghya’ is prevalent in Chhath festival.
Lord Rama performed the Rajasurya Yagna on returning to Ayodhya
Lord Rama reached Ayodhya on the day of Vijayadashami after killing Lankapati Ravana. He took advice from the sages to get rid of the sin of killing Ravana and performed the Rajasurya Yagna. Sage Mugdal was called to Ayodhya for the Yagna. He also asked Sita Maa to worship the Sun God on the sixth day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. Following the advice of Mugdal Rishi, Sita Maa worshiped the Sun God.
Story of King Priyamvad
King Priyamvad and Queen Malini had no children. Due to this both husband and wife were very worried. They performed a yajna at the behest of Maharishi Kashyap and they were blessed with a son. But unfortunately, their son was stillborn. Distraught by this, the king and queen tried to commit suicide. At that time Devi Devasena appeared and told the king that she is Shashti Devi. Being the sixth part of nature, she is named Shashthi or Chhathi Maiya. She also told him that by worshipping her one can get the happiness of a child.
This gave some hope to King Priyamvad and Queen Malini and both of them observed the fast of Goddess Shashthi with full rituals and pomp. They were again blessed with a son. It is believed that this worship was done on Kartik Shukla Shashthi. Since then, there is a belief to celebrate Chhath Puja.
In this way, the practice of worshiping Chhathi Maiya and the Sun God on the day of Chhath started. No matter how different these stories are, Chhath Puja is observed for children, their protection, and happy life. It is also believed that by performing Chhath Puja, Chhath Mayya fulfills all our wishes very soon.
Charge ERP wishes you and your family a very happy Chhath Puja. We wish that along with wealth and food, Chhathi Maiya helps your business grow and bring you prosperity.
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