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Celebrating Ratha Saptami: Honoring the Birth of Lord Surya

Ratha Saptami celebrated on February 16 this year, holds great significance in Hindu culture as it honors the birth of Lord Surya, the Sun God. The festival, also known as Magha Saptami, falls on the seventh day during the Shukla Paksha of the Magha month.

The word “Ratha” symbolizes the chariot, while “Saptami” signifies the seventh day, emphasizing the day of celebration. Devotees observe various rituals and pay homage to Lord Surya, seeking blessings for prosperity and good health.

According to Hindu scriptures, the worship of the Sun God dates back to ancient times and finds mention in revered texts like the Vedas. Legend has it that sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi were blessed with the incarnation of Lord Surya, who emerged as one of the Adityas, celestial deities associated with the Sun.

Another folklore narrates the tale of King Yashovarma, who, devoid of an heir, prayed fervently to Lord Surya for a son. His prayers were answered, but the newborn was plagued with illness. Upon the advice of a sage, the king performed Ratha Saptami pooja, leading to the miraculous recovery of his son and the subsequent prosperity of his kingdom.

The significance of Ratha Saptami lies in the belief that it marks the commencement of Lord Surya’s journey towards the northern hemisphere, riding a chariot drawn by seven horses. This day, also known as Surya Jayanti, symbolizes the beginning of spring and the onset of the harvest season.

Devotees rise early to offer arghya, a ritualistic offering, to the rising sun, seeking blessings for a bountiful harvest and favorable weather conditions. Farmers, in particular, flock to sun temples, expressing gratitude to Lord Surya and praying for agricultural prosperity.

Ratha Saptami is observed with fasting, prayers, and acts of charity, signifying devotion and gratitude towards the Sun God. It serves as a reminder of the Sun’s vital role in sustaining life on earth and provides an opportunity for devotees to seek spiritual upliftment and blessings for prosperity and well-being.

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