Karnataka festival Ratha Sapthami :
Ratha saptami is a Hindu religion festival that is celebrated on the seventh day i.e on the thithi-Saptami in the bright half or Shukla Paksha part of the Hindu month "Maagha" i.e. called as "Maagha Maasa"where Maasa means month. This is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Surya. Lord surya is worshipped on this day all over country!
Who is Lord Surya ?
Lord Surya is the chief deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, who is the son of Kasyapa.Lord Surya is also known as Aditya.The seven horses are also said to represent the seven days of a week starting with Sunday, the day of Sun god Surya. The chariot has 12 wheels, which represents the 12 signs (each of 30 degrees) of the Zodiac (360 degrees) and constituting a full year, named Samvatsara.The charioteer of Lord Suya called as Arun. His feet are not placed in the proper direction.
History behind worshipping Lord surya :
Once Lord Indra, by not caring the words of the Nandi, attempted to make his grand entry to see the lord Rudrakoteeshwara Swami.The furious dwarapalakha Nandi following his karma kicked the Lord Devendra with anger. That is when devendra fell down without any sense around him. That is when the Lord devendra in the sub-conscious state of mind,thought that the pain caused by dwarapalaka Nandi can be relieved if and only if he builds a temple(Devasthanam) for Lord Sun or Surya bhagavan. But later he realises that it was his dream and was not real! Lord Devendra then thought may be these are the words of Lord Surya .Later Lord Devendra roamed the entire Earth and found a beautiful idol of Lord Surya bhagavan. From then Lord Surya is worshiped in India.
What do vedas tell about Lord Surya Bhagavan?
Sun worship is vibrantly seen in all Vedas of the Hindu religion. The type of Veda named as the Rig Veda describes lord surya as the God riding a big chariot with 7 white horses that represent the 7 colors of a rainbow.
How do people celebrate Rathasapthami ?
Arunodaya means the morning dawn. As the charioteer Arun is seen first during the Sun rise is the belief. On this day some people go to take bath in the river or in their houses before dawn rises from the horizon. After the rise of the sun,sun god is worshiped by following the proper rituals. A picture of the big chariot called as "Ratha "and the seven horses is drawn on the ground using rangoli(A mixture of rice flour). On the four corners of the drawing,again by using rangoli is made and in the center cow dung is kept and burnt. Then on a stove milk is boiled in earthen pot that face Lord surya bhagavan. When the milk starts boiling, it is believed it reaches the Lord Surya bhagavan. Then from this milk, "Payasam"(milk porridge) is made and is offered to Lord Surya. In a big bamboo basket, twelve big heaps of grain are offered to the Lord Surya Bhagavan, which represents the twelve constellations or dwadasha rashis i.e from mesha to meena through which the sun goes. Later the grain is given to the brahmin people like priests.Some people show their respect to the sun by bowing twelve times every day to the sun, repeating every time one of the twelve names of the sun. On this day a new season begins, the sun sitting on his chariot sets out on his journey. and it is also believed that the Sun shines more brighter from this day that shows the signs of the start of Summer season.
Mantras that are chanted on the day of Ratha sapthami
1.Harshavilli purivasam, Chayosha Padminiyutham
Suryanarayana Devam Nowni Sarvatha Dayakam
2. Adithya hrudayam :
Tato yuddhaparishraantam samare chinmayaa sthitam.
raavanam chaagrato drushtva yuddhaaya samupasthitam
Daivataishcha samaagamya drashhtumabhyaagato ranam..
upaagamyaa braviidraama magastyo bhagavaan rishhi
Raama Raama mahaabaaho shrnu guhyam sanaatanam .
yena sarvaanariinvatsa samare vijayishhyasi .
Aaditya hrudayam punyam sarva shatru vinaashanam .
Jayaavaham japennityam akshayyam paramam shivam
Sarvamangalamaangalyam sarvapaapapranaashanam .
Rashmimantam samudyantam devaasuranamaskritam .
Puujayasva vivasvantam bhaaskaram bhuvaneshvaram
Sarvadevaatmako hyeshha tejasvii rashmibhaavanah .
Eshha devaasuraganaa.nllokaan paati gabhastibhi .
Eshhah brahmaa cha vishhnushcha shivah skandah prajaapati .
Mahendro dhanadah kaalo yamah somo hyapaam patim
Pitaro vasavah saadhyaa hyashvinau maruto manuh .
Vaayurvanhih prajaapraana ritukartaa prabhaakarah
Aadityah savitaa suuryah khagah puushhaa gabhastimaan .
Suvarnasadrsho bhaanu rvishvaretaa divaakarah
Haridashvah sahasraarchih saptasaptirmariichimaan..
Timironmathanah shambhustvashhtaa maartandam anshumaan
Hiranyagarbhah shishirastapano bhaaskaro ravih .
Agnigarbhoaditeh putrah shankha shishiranaashanah
Vyomanaatha stamobhedii rig yajuh saama paaragah .
Ghana vrishhti rapaam mitro vindhya viithii plavangamah
Aatapii mandalii mrityuh pingalah sarvataapanah .
Kavirvishvo mahaatejaa raktah sarva bhavod hbhavah
Nakshatra grahataaraanaam adhipo vishva bhaavanah
Tejasaamapi tejasvii dvaadashaatman namostute
Namah puurvaaya giraye pashchimaayaadraye namah .
Jyotirganaanaam pataye dinadhipataye namah
Jayaaya jayabhadraaya haryashvaaya namo namah .
Namo namah sahasraa.nsha aadityaaya namo namah .
Namah ugraaya viiraaya saarangaaya namo namah .
Namah padma prabodhaaya maartandaaya namo namah
Brahmeshaana achyuteshaaya suuryaayaadityavarchase .
Bhaasvate sarvabhakshaaya raudraaya vapushhe namah
Tamoghnaaya himagnaaya shatrughnaaya amitaatmane .
Kritaghnahanaaya devaaya jyotishhaam pataye namah
Tapta chaamiika raabhaaya haraye vishvakarmane .
Namastamo.abhinighnaaya ruchaye lokasaakshine
Naashayatyeshha vai bhuutam tadeva srijati prabhuuH .
Paayatyeshha tapatyeshha varshhatyeshha gabhastibhih
Eshha supteshhu jaagarti bhuuteshhu parinishhthitah .
Eshha evaagnihotramcha phalam chaivaagnihotrinaamh
Vedaashcha kratavashchaiva kratuunaam phalameva cha .
Yaani krityaani lokeshhu sarva eshha ravih prabhuh
Ennamaapatsu krichchhreshhu kaantaareshhu bhayeshhu cha.
kiirttayanh purushhah kashchin naavasiidati raaghava
Puujayasvainamekaagro devadevam jagathpatimh.
Etath trigunitam japtvaa yuddheshhu vijayishhyasi
Nasminkshane mahaabaaho raavanam tvam vadhishhyasi.
Evamuktavaa tadaa.agastyo jagaamh cha yathaagatamh
Etachchhritvaa mahaatejaa nashhtashoko abhavattadaa.
Dhaarayaamaasa supriito raaghavah prayataatmavaanh
Aaadityam prekshya japtvaa tu param harshhamavaaptavaanh.
Triraachamya shuchirbhuutvaa dhanuraadaaya viiryavaanh
Rraavanam prekshya hrushhtaatmaa yuddhaaya samupaagamath.
Sarva yatnena mahataa vadhe tasya dhritoabhavath
Atha ravi ravadanam nirikshyam raama
Muditamanaah paramam prahrishhyamaanah.
Nishicharapatisa nkshayam viditvaa
Suragan amadhyagato vachastvareti
Sun Salutation or Surya Nmaskara :
On the day of Ratha Sapthami people not only chant mantras but also do 12 different postures that are referred as Surya Namaskara. This is one of the worshiping methods of Lord surya. It is believed that Surya Namaskaras give lot of energy to the person and is one of the way to get the blessings of Lors Surya Bhagavan.A full round of Surya namaskara is considered to be two sets of the twelve poses. This belongs to the Hatha form of Yoga asanas.
Rules that are to be followed while doing Suryanamaskara or Sun salutation :
1. It must be performed in an empty stomach. That is there must be atleast 2 to 3 hours of gap after eating and before performing the namaskara.
2. It is considered auspicious to perform the Sun salutation or Surya Namaskara during the early morning. But you can perform the surya namaskara during evening also that after lunch with atleast 2 hours of gap.
3.Each asana is attributed to one mantra. One can do asanas without mantras also, but for extra benefit you can learn mantras too.
4. Breathing practice is very much important while doing these asanas. Hence without proper breathing practice one cannot get the full benefits of Suryanamaskar or Sun salutation.
5.Shavasana is a must after Surya Namaskar. This is to give rest for the muscles.
Mantras chanted while doing Suryanamaskar or Sun Salutation :
1.om mitraya namah
2.om ravaye namah
3.om suryaya namah
4.om bhanave nama?
5.om khagaya nama?
6.om pushane nama?
7.om hiranyagarbhaya nama?
8.om marichaye namah
9.om adityaya nama?
10.om savitre namah
11.om arkaya namah
12.om bhaskaraya namah
Health benefits of Sun salutation or Suryanamaskar :
1. It reduces fear,stress,anxiety etc.
2. It gives you lot of confidence to your body.
3. Solves the irregular menstrual problems for ladies.
4.Gives immense strength to your body.
5. Makes you feel young.
6.It relieves stiffness, revitalises your body and refreshes the mind. That is it makes your body more comfortable.
7.It stimulates cardiovascular system, the digestive system as well as the nervous system.Also cures the complicated problemsrelated to them.
8. For people who suffer from sleeplessness, Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation is the perfect medicine!