Jagdeep Dhankhar, the distinguished figure, extends warm greetings to the nation on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja, describing it as a celebration deeply rooted in Indian culture and intertwined with our unbreakable connection with nature. His wish for the blessings of Chhathi Maiya and the prosperity of the country resonates with the sentiments of millions celebrating this ancient Hindu festival.
Chhath Puja: An Ode to Lord Surya and Devi Prakriti
Chhath Puja, historically native to the Indian subcontinent, holds a special place in the hearts of millions, particularly in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and the Nepalese Autonomous provinces of Koshi, Madhesh, and Lumbini. The festival, observed six days after Tihar or Diwali, is a vibrant expression of gratitude to Lord Surya for the bounties of life on earth.
The central deity of Chhath Puja is Surya Dev, the Sun God, whose worship is dedicated to showing gratitude and requesting blessings for the fulfillment of certain wishes. Chhathi Maiya, the sixth form of Devi Prakriti and sister to Lord Surya, is revered as the Goddess of the festival.
Rituals of Chhath Puja: A Four-Day Spiritual Journey
Chhath Puja unfolds over four days of profound rituals. Devotees engage in holy bathing, fasting, and abstaining from drinking water (vrata), standing in water, and offering prasad and arghya to the setting and rising sun. Some even embark on a prostration march towards riverbanks, symbolizing their deep reverence and devotion.
Eco-Friendly Celebrations: A Testament to Environmental Harmony
Environmentalists hail Chhath Puja as one of the most eco-friendly religious festivals globally. Devotees across regions prepare similar prasada and offerings, contributing to the festival’s environmentally sustainable nature. While widely celebrated in Nepal and the Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, Chhath Puja transcends borders, finding resonance in northern regions, major north Indian urban centers like Delhi, Mumbai, and even the Kathmandu Valley.
As Chhath Puja unfolds, it not only preserves ancient traditions but also stands as a beacon of harmony between spirituality and the environment. The festival’s enduring popularity is a testament to its cultural richness and its ability to unite communities, transcending geographical boundaries. May the rays of Lord Surya bless all, as Chhathi Maiya’s divine presence illuminates the hearts of the faithful, fostering happiness and prosperity across the land.