Rath Saptami, Surya Jayanti
Rath Saptami, Surya Jayanti– 24 January 2018
Rath Saptami (also Magha Saptami) falls on the 24th of January 2018, Wednesday. Sanskrit/Hindi word ‘Rath’ means chariot. ‘Saptami’ means the time-period per Hindu lunar (moon) calendar, the 7th day (tithi) of the fortnight (Shukla Paksha – waxing, ascending moon, considered auspicious). The ‘Rath’ was of Lord Surya (Sun God). It was pulled-drawn by 7 white horses. Rath Saptami is a holy Hindu event - festival. The day is dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Vishnu and he is worshiped across India and Nepal. The event is also referenced as Surya Jayanti (Jayanti means Birthday). Magha (above) is the Hindu calendar month. Therefore, Rath Saptami is also sometimes referred as Magha Saptami. Rath Saptami falls immediately after Vasant Panchami.
There are thousands of Surya (Sun) Temples in India; and Sun related temples in other parts of the world like China, Egypt, Japan etc. According to the Vedic texts-literature, Surya denotes power, protector and brilliance.
Worshiping Lord Surya on Rath Saptami removes all the sins. He is the protector of the Earth. He keeps negative aspects like destruction, chaos, evil, threat etc away. Lord Surya is the sun deity from the Vedic ancient times.
Many devotees take bath before the sun rise on this day for purity. The bath or holy dip normally takes place early in the morning in a river or pure water body. However, for those in busy metro cities, and away from clean rivers, canals etc., natives bathe at home early in the morning; then only the worship starts; followed by brief prayers as remembrance to Lord Surya. Many devotees observe general fasting (Vrat). Water is offered to Lord Surya. It is observed across India, but concentrated around Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
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Date Published : 24 Jan 2018