Rathasapthami is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus and it is devoted to Lord Suryanarayana. During this time Surya or Sun moves from the southeast toward the northeast. We adore Lord Suryanarayana for better wellbeing and prosperity. Rathasapthami is festival which symbolizes the change of season to spring and begin the harvesting season. For most of the Indian farmers, it is a favorable start of the New harvesting Year.

The festival is celebrated by all Hindus in their homes and in innumerable temples dedicated to Surya, across over India. In 2017, this day falls on 3rd February. These are called Uttarayanam (the first half of the year) and Dakshinayanam (the second half of the year). The first half is considered more auspicious than the second half. This was the day when Surya was born to sage Kashyapa and his wife Adithi.

Significance of the auspicious day

Surya is considered as one of the most important god since he is the wellspring of life. That is the reason he is placed in the center point of Navagrahas (nine planets). Researchers discovered that sun is the center of all the nine planets and all the planets revolve around the sun. Our sages discovered this truth 1000 years back and specified at a few places in the Hindu sculptures. In fact, the characteristics of the sun and all the nine planets have been described in Vedas. One can distinguish these attributes in the "Navagraha Manthra", and are similar to NASA researcher portrayed in their exploration discoveries. This is an incredible testimony to express many aspects of Hindu faith are significantly important.

How is the festival celebrated?

The auspicious day of Rathasapthami begins by waking up early in the morning before sunrise, take a holy bath with Arka Leafs (Yekka leafs) and offer the prayers to Lord Sun. Women put rangoli in front for their home symbolizing Lord Surya sitting on a chariot. The holy bath with Arka Leafs (Yekka leafs) is done by placing 7 Arka leafs on their body with Akshathe (Raw Rice) and turmeric. Women take the sacred bath by placing one leaf on head, two leaves on the shoulders, two leaves on knees and two leaves on foot. Men will also take bath in the same way but without turmeric.

The main reasonArka Leafs (Yekka leafs) behind the sacred bath is the leafs have many medical significance like it is used to cure skin diseases, digestion problem, join paints, abdominal pain, tooth aches and many more.

Importance of worshipping Suryanarayana on Rathasapthami

There is a great importance in worshipping Lord Suryanarayana on the auspicious day of Rathasapthami.Many people worship Surya as he is called as the “Aarogya and Aishwarya Datha” – the provider of health and wealth. Surya is worshipped early in the morning while fresh sunrays emerge. It is believed and proven that exposure to fresh sunrays which is rich in Vitamin D rejuvenates energy and purify mind and body.  That is the reasons many people in India perform “Surya Namaskara” (the 12 Yoga Postures) early in the morning. It is recommended to get exposed t the early morning sun which has many scientific reasons.

After the prayers and worship to lord Suryanarayana, sweet pongal is prepared either with rice or rava and offered as naivedyam to the god along with coconut, betel nuts, betel leaves and fruits.