Nowadays, different kinds of questions are being asked regarding Chath, the great festival of popular faith. Now it is no longer a local festival celebrated only in bihar, but has become global. Cruelwhile, regarding Chath, it is asked whether it is a universally accepted festival in the Hindu religion? Is its history really ancient? Where is this mentioned in the holy books? Here we will try to find answers to all these questions, and we will also give you a very interesting story.
What happens at the Chat Festival? Arghya is offered to sunset and sunrise while standing in water. Rapiding is observed without water. This is the festival of worship of Lord Surya. Surya is a Vedic deity. In the Vedas, it is called the eye of the universe, meaning without it, creatures would not be able to see. Since He is the source of light, His presence is essential to the entire functioning of human life – and for this reason He is gratefully praised in the Vedas.
Look at the third emblem of the seventh sukta of the first mandal of the Rigveda – “Indru”, “Derchiu Chaxus” and “Suryon Rohidi”. Vi Gobhirradri Mairayat, which states that God created the sun so that we can see all matter. It is clearly written that it is the sun that draws water from the earth, stabilizes it with the help of the wind, and causes rain in the world. Imagine that today we are studying the water cycle and we are told these things. Our sages wrote these things in the Vedas thousands of years ago.
This was just an example, Lord Bhaskar has been mentioned many times in the Vedas. The Chath festival lasts for 4 days – Nahi Khai, Kharna, Arghya Evening and Arghya Morning. On the first day, fasting women (men also fast) bathe in the morning and usually eat rice and pumpkin curry. After fasting on the second day, jaggery rice and sati kheer are served in the evening and the fasting person meditates on Lord Surya. Then accept the prasad. Rapiding without water is also done on the day of Sandhya Arghya.
That is, the fasting person cannot even drink water. In the evening, the arghya is offered to the sunset while standing in the water. The next morning the festival concludes by offering arghya to the rising sun and prasad is distributed to the people. This fast is difficult due to the lack of water, as many people go to the banks of the river even while prostrating. Rapiding is also done by making puddles or small ponds of water. Songs are sung about Chhathi Maiya who is considered to be the sister of Lord Surya.
There is a story in the Mahabharata that refers to the Chath festival. In fact, after losing everything in gambling, the five Pandavas were ready to go to the forest with their wife Draupadi and their mother Kunti, and during that time some Brahmins also joined them out of love. Dharmaraj Yudhishthir was the elder brother and hence he was worried about how to support his brothers, mother and wife in the forest. Where will we get food from? Suddenly life in the forest becomes difficult from the palace, there are problems in living and food, there is danger from snakes, insects and animals in the forest.
In such a situation, Yudhishthir asked him that he could not welcome him and therefore he should return. On this the Brahmin began to say that he was able to arrange food for himself, and he would only accompany him and tell stories to Yudhishthir and his family and encourage them. Yudhishthir was confused. He reached his priest Douma. During this time, Dhumiya advised them to worship Lord Surya, so that there would be no problem of food and food for them in the forest.
The incident we are talking about is described in the third chapter of the Van Parva Mahabharata. Yudhishthir went to the priest Dhumiya and asked for several Brahmins to accompany him. He was unable to take care of them, so what should he do? Then Dhumiya told them that in ancient times Lord Surya had solved the problem of people suffering from hunger. He explained that the sun extracted the essence of the earth in Uttarayan and rained it down on the earth in Dakshinyan, producing crops and medicines.
Then he also talks about the contribution of the moon and how the sun’s rays coming through it feed those crops and medicines. Uttarayan means from January to June, and Dakshinayan means from June to January. They are both 6-6 months old. When the sun’s rays fall directly on the Tropic of Cancer and when they fall directly on the Tropic of Capricorn – the period between these two tropics is called Dakshinyan. While in Uttarayan the sun is located in the northern hemisphere.
As soon as Uttarayan ends, the rain begins. Crops are good because of the rain. The earth is nourished and fertilized. Science today also believes that even if it is one percent, the moon also contributes to the rain. Dhumeya called the clouds the glory of the sun in the Mahabharata. The meaning is that because of the heat of the sun, the clouds at high altitudes that rise above the ground are what cause rain. This is not possible without the sun. During this, Dhumiya told Yudhishthhir the 108 names of Lord Surya and then advised him to worship him.
After this, Yudhishthir purified himself by bathing, controlled his speech, focused his mind, controlled his senses, and then began to live by drinking only air. That is, quickly without water. Standing in front of the sun, prostrating. He praised the sun and described it as the soul of living beings and the eye of the world. This is what is said in the Vedas. Yudhishthir praised Surya by calling him the lord of all lights and the chief deity of all virtuous qualities.
Yudhishthir described Surya as the attainment of Sankhya Yogis and the abode of Karma Yogis. Sankhya and Karma Yogis existed thousands of years before the birth of Buddha and sages were engaged in research on them. The search for the Prakriti combination of Panch Mahabhuta, Purusha i.e. inanimate soul and consciousness has emerged from Sankhya only. Doubts are resolved by studying the three qualities of this world – Sat, Rajas, and Tamas. Likewise, the theory of karma says that our nature is so vast that we are trapped in the cycle of karma and it results from birth to birth.
Thus, the principle of the immortality of the soul was stated, and our actions were linked to the soul. This is why Yudhishthhir mentions Sankhya and Karma while worshiping the Sun. New Buddhists will not understand. Hence, it is clear that the Chath festival of sun worship has been in existence since the Vedic period. Yudhishthir also observed this fast on Shashti and Saptami, as a result of which Lord Surya gave him a copper ‘Akshaya Patra’, for this reason the Pandavas did not face the problem of food in the forest.
After all, what could this “renewable container” for food be? Wherever the Pandavas went, they had to grow and eat their own food. 12 years of exile is not a short time. Wherever he went in the forest, he made the land fertile, cultivated it, grew food, and ate it. Understanding the principle of the sun, knowing the importance of moonlight, knowing weather cycles – this knowledge of Daumia was definitely useful to the Pandavas for better cultivation. He served the sages and also arranged food for himself.
The gist is that there is science behind every Sanatan Dharma festival. The Chhath festival also comes at a time when cold weather is knocking. The objects used in Argia are seasonal. We pray to God Syria to bestow His blessings upon us. We express our gratitude to them for food and light. Our religion is closest to nature, and for this reason nature is present in every one of our holidays. Rapiding also works to purify the body before the cold weather arrives and prepare it for the new season.