Pancha Parv Festival Chhath, the great festival of worship of nature, is celebrated every year after Diwali.
Yogesh Kumar Goyal
Panch Parv Festival Chhath, a festival of worship of nature, is celebrated every year after Diwali. This year this festival is being celebrated on 10th November. Surya is considered to be the only god, who is actually visible to everyone and on Chhath festival only the Sun God is worshipped. Celebrated on the Shashthi of Kartik Shukla Paksha, this four-day festival begins on Kartik Shukla Chaturthi and ends on Kartik Shukla Saptami, during which devotees observe a strict fast of 36 hours.
Chhath Puja begins with a bath on the day of Chaturthi. The next day is Kharna, on the third day the offerings for Chhath festival are prepared and after bathing, Arghya is offered to the setting sun. On the fourth and last day of Saptami, this great festival ends with the worship of the rising sun. Since this great festival of sun worship is celebrated on the sixth day of Kartik Shukla Paksha, hence it is called Chhath. In true sense, it is a unique folk festival of faith and loyalty.
Celebrated in northern India and especially in the Terai regions of Bihar, Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, this great festival of sun worship is dedicated to Surya, his wife Usha and Pratyusha, Prakriti, Water, Vayu and Chhathi Maiya, sister of Surya. According to religious beliefs, the sixth mother is considered to be the sister of the Sun God. According to mythological beliefs, Chhathi Maiya protects the children and gives them long life.
It is said that by worshiping the Sun during Chhath festival, she is pleased and provides happiness, prosperity, disease-freeness, prosperity and desired results in the family. Usha and Pratyusha are considered to be the main sources of the Sun’s powers, that is why in Chhath festival, along with Sun and Chhathi Maiya, both these powers are also worshipped. Both are bowed by offering arghya to the first ray of the sun (Usha) in the morning and the last ray of the sun (Pratyusha) in the evening.
Rice laddus are often made in the offerings of Chhath festival and this basket is worshiped by decorating the offerings and fruits in bamboo baskets. The fasting women worship the setting sun by offering arghya to the sun and bathing in a pond, river or ghat for worship, and the next day at sunrise, after offering arghya to the sun, Chhath puja ends by distributing prasad. .
According to environmentalists, this festival is the most eco-friendly Hindu festival, which inspires to make rivers pollution free. On the occasion of Chhath Puja, worship is done on the banks of rivers, ponds and other water bodies, which inspires people to keep cleanliness around such water bodies. Actually, according to religious beliefs, Chhath Puja is performed only on the banks of clean rivers, ponds or other water sources, that is why there is a law to do complete cleanliness around these water sources before worship.
Some beliefs about the beginning of this festival are related to the Mahabharata period. There is a mention of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, wishing the family good health and worshiping the Sun regularly for a long life. According to mythology, when the Pandavas had lost all their royal palace in gambling, Draupadi kept the Chhath fast as per the instructions of Shri Krishna and with the blessings of Chhathi Maiya, the Pandavas got the royal palace back after their wishes were fulfilled.
It is believed that it was Mahabali Karna who first started the worship of Suryadev and even today there is a special significance of offering Arghya to the Sun in Chhath festival. There is also a belief that in the first Devasura war, Goddess Aditi worshiped the sixth Maiya in the Sun temple of Devaranya to get a stunning son after the deities were defeated by the demons. Sixth Maiya, pleased with her worship, granted her the boon of giving birth to a son full of all virtues, after which Aditi gave birth to the Tridev form Aditya, who gave victory to the gods over the demons. It is said that since then the practice of celebrating Chhath festival started.
It is believed that the first worship of Lok Matrika Shashthi was done by Suryadev. Sun is considered to be the ruler of all the planets in astrology. That is why it is believed that if instead of pleasing all the planets, only Sun God is worshipped, then many benefits can be obtained.