“ The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.” - Mahatma Gandhi


Chhath Puja


Chhath (Hindi: छठ, also called DalaChhath) is an ancient Hindufestival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, also known as Surya Shashti. The ChhathPuja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including losy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.

The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and aragh to the setting and rising sun.

Although it is observed most elaborately in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern UP and the Terai regions of Nepal in modern times, and is more prevalent in areas where migrants from those areas have a presence, it is celebrated in all regions and major urban centers in India. The festival is celebrated in the regions including but not exclusive to the northeast region of India, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai and Mauritius.


History:


It is believed that the MagaPurohits (modern days known as ShakyaDwipi Brahmins) were invited by local kings for their expertise in Sun worshiping. They started the tradition of Chhat Puja. Today Chhat Puja is celebrated specially in those places where ShakyaDwipi Brahmins are found.

It is believed that the ritual of Chhath puja may even predate the ancient Vedas texts, as the Rigveda contains hymns worshiping the Sun god and describes similar rituals. The rituals also find reference in the Sanskritepic poem Mahābhārata in which Draupadi is depicted as observing similar rites.

In the poem, Draupadi and the Pandavas, rulers of Hastinapur (modern Delhi), performed the Chhath ritual on the advice of noble sage Dhaumya. Through her worship of the Sun God, Draupadi was not only able to solve her immediate problems, but also helped the Pandavas later regain their lost kingdom.

It is also believed that Chhath was started by Karna, the son of Surya (Surya Putra Karna). Surya Putra Karna ruled over the AngaDesh (present day Bhagalpur district of Bihar) during the Mahabharat Age. He was a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.

Its yogic/scientific history dates back to the Vedic times. The rishis of yore used this method to remain without any external intake of food as they were able to obtain energy directly from the sun's rays. This was done through the Chhath method. The chhat puja is very popular in Darbhanga, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, Madhuvani and Dehri-On-Sone (Rohtas), Patna, Dev&Gaya.Nowadays it is celebrated in approximately all parts of India. ChhathPooja is also celebrated in Mangalore, Karnataka. People from Bihar & UP celebrate ChhathPooja on Panambur Beach.