Ratha Saptami is highly auspicious festival celebrated in India by the people of Hindu religion. Mainly this festival is observed and celebrated by Hindus in Goa. This festival is observed on the northerly association of sun, it is celebrated in the holy month of ‘Magh’ as per the Hindu calendar and according to English calendar the month continues from mid of January to mid of February. The festival of Ratha Saptami, represent the rotating of the chariot of Surya. Surya is another name of God sun, this festival is dedicated to God Sun. at many of the places it is also observed as ‘Surya Jayanti’ or birthday of God Sun. As per the Hindu lunar calendar the date of festival varies from year to year on the basis of diverse phases of moon.
What are the essential items required for the Ratha Saptami ‘pujan’?
These are essential things required in Ratha Saptami ‘puja’:
- Idol or image and painting of God Sun.
- Leaves and fragrant flowers used for regular ‘puja’.
- Green Bananas.
- Uncooked Rice.
- Some other common fruits.
- Sesame seeds
- Betel nuts
- Betel leaves
- Turmeric powder
- Sugar (jaggary)
- Mango leaves
What are the Rituals and procedure of Ratha Saptami ‘pujan’?
Clean the house properly and put the mango leaves on all the important places early in the morning or a day before in evening of ‘puja’ day. After this start Ratha Saptami ‘puja’ with lighting a lamp and offering a simple prayer to God Ganesha. If you are having a family deities take their blessings along with the payer of Lord Ganesha. Place the flowers and turmeric mixed uncooked rice near the Ganesha and deity. ‘Puja’ of Surya Dev begins by first smearing the Ratha of Surya with kumkum and turmeric. It can be done on the idol or the image is used in ‘puja’. After that keep jiggery, uncooked rice, flowers, lentils and turmeric mixed uncooked rice on the Ratha (chariot). In the Surya puja offer betel nuts, betel leaves, fruits, milk, banana, coconut to the Lord. One can also perform simple puja by chanting Gayatri mantra and offering flowers. Now do the Arti in regular way. After that cahnt Surya mantra or Aditya Hridayam and can also meditate.
It is also believed that keeping fast on Surya Jayanti or Ratha Saptami is beneficial for health and success. According to convince and capacity keeps the fast for whole day or from sun rise to sun set. There is ritual of bathing on Ratha Saptami with Gaint milkweed (i.e. also known as Erukku Plant).
What are the different mantras to chant on the day of Ratha Saptami?
There are two mantras one is chant at the time bathing and another mantra is for offering the water to Sun.
Snana Sankalpa Mantra
YadyajjanmakRutam paapam mayaa saptasu janmasu |
tanmE rOgam cha shOkam cha maakarI hantu saptamI |
EtajjanmakRutam paapam jachcha janmaantaraarjitam |
manOvaakkaayajam yachcha jnaataaj Jnaatam cha yatpuna: |
iti saptavidham paapam snaanaanmE sapta saptakE |
saptavyaadhisamaayuktam hara maakari saptami |
Soorya Arghya Mantra:
SaptasaptivahaprIta saptalOkapradIpana |
saptamI sahitO dEva gRuhaaNaarGyam divaakara |