Skip to main content

Importance And Significance Of Ratha Saptami

Ratha Sapthami is one of the important Hindu festivals. The day is considered very auspicious and is dedicated to Surya Deva (i.e.Sun God). Ratha Saptami is celebrated on Magha Suddha Saptami i.e. the 7th day of the brighter fortnight of the moon in the auspicious Hindu month of Maagh.

It usually corresponds with February. Basant Panchami (aka Siri Panchami) is followed by Ratha Saptami.
Courtesy: Google Images
Ratha Saptami is of great importance as Surya Deva (Sun God) is considered as the Pratyaksha Daivam i.e.the Visible God.

Also Read: Maagha Masam

Devotees take an early morning shower on this auspicious day by placing Arka (Botanical name: Calotropis procera) leaves on the head and recite the following Surya mantram while having shower:

Also Read: Vasant Panchami

Sapta Sapta Maha Sapta
Sapta Dweepa Vasundhara
Sapta Arka Parna Madaya
Saptamyam Snanam Achareth

Some staunch devotees take Punya Nadi / Samudra Snanam i.e. taking a holy dip in the nearby sea or river waters at the time of sunrise. Women folk in the Southern states draw Ratham Muggu i.e. rangoli in front of the main gate.

After nadi snanam (holy dip in the river), devotees perform morning prayers and worship Surya Bhagawan followed by their daily pooja. Special naivedyam (i.e.Pulagam) is prepared in a special way in the backyard of the house. This rice item is a healthy combination of lentils and rice with added spices) which is offered to Surya Bhagawan as naivedyam.

Related Topic:
1. Pulagam recipe
2. Kheer / Payasam

Some devotees prepare kheer / payasam. Devotees mostly recite Aditya Hrudayam which is one of the most powerful mantras that was recited by Sri Rama at the time of Ramayana War. Reciting Aditya Hrudyam is beneficial for good health.Sri Suryanarayana who is also known by the name Adi Narayana i.e. the foremost God.

Surya Narayana is depicted as sitting on a ratham or chariot that is driven by seven horses which signify the seven colors that are formed by dispersion of light. These seven horses also signify the 7 days of the week and the names of these 7 horses are Gayatri, Brihati, Ushnik, Jagati, Dhrishtup, Anushtup and Bhakti.

The chariot is driven by a charioteer named Arun who is orangish in color. He is believed to be born with deformity without legs. Aruna is the elder son of Vinata and Sage Kashyapa and the elder brother of Garuda - the Celestial Eagle.

According to Hinduism, early in the morning Aruna appears first before Sun rises in the East and in the evening Aruna sets in the West only after the Sun sets. In the olden days, people had not much educated and couldn't understand the science behind this phenomenon. So most of the celestial events were connected with some or the other mythology / mythological character/s for easy understanding of the common man.

There is a scientific explanation for Aruna appearing before Sun rise and seen after Sun set. Due to refraction of light Sun appears to be rising from the horizon before it actually rises in the morning and is visible for few minutes at the horizon after it actually sets.

According to certain philosophy, the chariot has only one wheel which represents the passage of time or Kaal or Kaala Chakram. While as per other philosophy the chariot has 12 wheels which represent the 12 zodiac signs and the 12 months of the year.

There are very few Sun temples across the country and people throng the nearby Sun temples on this auspicious day. Sun temple at Konark in Odisha is one of the famous Sun temples which is a World Heritage site, however this is more a monument than a temple and there are no priests and no daily poojas /prayers in this temple. It is just a tourist attraction and is a World Heritage site which is crowded with tourists and devotees as well on this auspicious day.

Also Read: Sun Temple at Konark

Arasavalli Suryanarayana Temple in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, Dakshinarka temple at Gaya in Bihar and Arakonam in Tamil Nadu are few other Sun temples.

This auspicious day which is dedicated to Surya Bhagawan is also known as Surya Jayanti. It is from this day the Northern Hemisphere starts tilting towards the Sun and thus the days gradually become longer and longer.

Though, the festival is not celebrated with much fervor by the public like other festivals yet spiritually it is an important / auspicious day celebrated by few devotees in some regions only.

Scientifically Sun is the Ultimate Source of Energy for all the living creatures on Earth and in fact it is the light energy from the sun which is trapped by the chlorophyll in the leaves of green plants and converted into chemical energy. Hence Sun is considered as the Visible God by Hindus as life on Earth depends on Sun.

Date of Ratha Saptami 2022: 8th February.

Popular posts from this blog

Seemantham - The South Indian Traditional Baby Shower ceremony

Seemantham is a traditional south Indian way of celebrating baby shower. The same is celebrated in north India as 'godbharai' ('god' means lap in Hindi - 'd' in 'god' is pronounced as 'the' and bharai means 'to fill'). The celebration differs from region to region. Seemantham is also known by the names 'poolu mudupu' (i.e adoring flowers in the hair) and 'gajulu todagadam' (i.e wearing glass bangles) in Telugu. It is celebrated in the 5th or 7th or 9th month of pregnancy. Seemantham is one of the 16 Hindu samskaras known as 'simantonnayana' in Sanskrit. It is a samskara of the embryo / foetus that develops in the pregnant woman's womb. Usually, seemantham is celebrated for the 1st pregnancy only and not for the subsequent conceives. There are certain superstitious believes on celebrating the function. In the olden days, people believed that pregnant women are easily prone to 'dishti' or evil e

How To Perform Aksharabhyasam At Home And Basar temple

Aksharabhyasam Meaning The word 'Akshara' means letters (alphabets) in Sanskrit and 'abhyasam' means practice. Aksharabhyasam is a traditional religious function of Hindus. It is also known as 'Vidyaarambham' which literally means starting of education. In this function a child is given initiation for writing / education. With this function the child is ready to receive formal education in a school. The function is performed in different ways in different regions of India. When to perform aksharabhyasam In the olden days, aksharabhyasam was performed when the child was 5 years old. But presently because of early education at Kindergarten level, parents perform this ceremony when the child is in his 3rd year i.e. after the child completes 2 years. Normally there is a belief that aksharabhyasam should not be performed after the child completes 3 years and is in its 4th year. Where to perform aksharabhyasam The function can be performed either in a temp

School Speeches - Farewell Speech By School Principal to Outgoing Students

Author Reserves All Rights. Listen to the speech in my YouTube Channel: This sample speech would be helpful for the school principal to deliver on the occasion of school farewell day party. Respected teachers and my dear students, Good Morning / Good Afternoon to each one present here and a very warm welcome to you to the school farewell party. It's a nostalgic feeling as I remember my student life in school and my school farewell party. I am sure we all have mixed feelings on this day which is a blend of joy and sadness. On one hand you feel enthusiastic as you will be stepping into a completely new different world where you will find relatively more freedom than in a school life. While on the other hand you will feel sad as you have to depart from your school / classmates. My dear friends the time has come to bid you all farewell with a heavy heart from this esteemed institution which protected you, cared for you, supported you and guided you all these years.