‘Ratha Saptami’ means the ‘seventh day of the chariot’. The chariot here is that of Lord Surya, the Sun God. This day falls on the seventh day of the bright half of the moon – Shukla Paksha – in the month of Magha of the Hindu calendar. It marks the birthday of Lord Surya, born to the sage Kashyapa and Aditi, thus being celebrated as ‘Surya Jayanti’ too. It falls on 3rd
February this year.
Ratha Saptami is symbolically represented in the form of Lord Surya turning his chariot towards the Northern hemisphere in a north-easterly direction. His chariot is driven by seven white horses that represent the seven days of the week, starting with Sunday – the day of Lord Surya. These horses are also believed to represent the seven colours of the rainbow (VIBGYOR). The chariot has 12 wheels representing the 12 astrological signs, with the wheels forming a complete year known as ‘Samvatsara’. At the beginning, the Sun is present in his own house – Leo. With every month, he keeps shifting to the different houses, thereby covering all the 12 signs in a year, affecting the natives astrologically. The sun’s movement also indicates the change in temperature across the country, making Ratha Saptami symbolic of changing from spring to the harvesting season. This event thus indicates harvest and the beginning of sowing for another great season.
How is Ratha Saptami celebrated?
This festival is celebrated with great exuberance in temples and local communities. All the Sun temples across India are grandly decorated, colourful rangolis are made, and the Sun God is worshipped with great zest. Special Pujas, Yagnas and Havans are performed in some temples. Huge processions are carried out in different regions and states. At home, you can offer a small Puja to Lord Surya by applying kumkum
on the forehead of Lord Surya’s idol and offering him white flowers, milk, fruits and prasad
Why should Lord Surya be worshipped?
Worshipping the Sun is deep rooted not only in the Vedas of the Hindu religion, but also in other countries like China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Praying to Lord Surya helps to cleanse your mind, aids in mental and physical well-being, helps to overcome difficulties and make you victorious. Generally, people also worship Lord Surya in their daily routines through Surya Namaskara or Sandhya Vandana. But, praying to him on this special sacred day can help you achieve success in all your endeavours. It is believed that the thoughts that arise in the human mind are like the horses running in different directions. These horses should be bound and pulled in the right direction to make progress and lead to the path of spirituality and philosophy. This is why Lord Surya, with its seven horses, is worshipped.
What is the legend behind Ratha Saptami Puja?
There is a very well-known legend associated with this significant day. It is believed that the King of Kamboj Empire – King Yashovarma – did not have a son who could rule after him. After years of performing religious rituals and praying to the Almighty, he was blessed with a son. However, his child was fatally ill. Sage Kashyap advised King Yashovarma to have his son to perform Ratha Saptami Puja to get rid of all the ill-effects of his past sins so that he could better his health. After performing the ritual, the king’s son started recovering from his illness and was finally able to rule his kingdom for this entire lifetime.
For any kinds of Pujas you want to perform for your well-being, health, financial success and other benefits that you are not able to get your hands on yet, you can get in touch with MakeMyPuja Pandits to help you perform the most appropriate Puja based on the planetary alignments in your horoscope.