“Phele pahil ham kaili, Chhat Maiya barat tohar, Kariha Chama Chhat Maiya, bhul chuk galti hamar”
Chhat mahaparv, the holiest, sacred, auspicious, pure, virtuous, and traditional festive celebrated in UP East and Bihar. Chhat sets itself apart from other pujas or any of the festival. It’s quite different. It is believed that four-day festival is little difficult to peruse, the mahaparv examine your body and mind, hence some individuals claims it as Hatha Yog. It’s so sacred that the fruits as well other, like ginger, turmeric, sugarcane, etc. Whatever offering required for the rituals get a toll, in price, respect and comes in the name of Chhat Puja, Normal fruit market is no more. Even those platforms which usually dipped inside the blood of the chicken and muttons are now covered with the leaf of banana and sugarcanes. The road is spruced up like a bride on the first night. Religion breaks its boundary.
Origin of Chhat:
There are various stories related to the origin of Chhat. I’ll go with the one I heard growing up, I don’t usually bow down my heads in seek of, or in exchange. But, devotion of the devotee made me to do so. Enjoying the virtue of every moment made me to do so, and why shouldn’t I. Well, I’ll tell you the same story my maternal grandmother did.
“There’s a maharishi suffering from Kusta rog i.e. leprosy. His wife started Yagna to cure her husband. Maharishi and her wife fasted for and worshipped Maa ganga and Surya dev. Performing every ritual in four days.”
The very first day is termed as Nahay khay or Arwa Arwain in which, house and surroundings are thoroughly cleaned. The ladies observing the Vrata called vratin or parvaitin allow themselves no meal or only a single meal for the day.
As the day passed, the festival got momentum, Delicious Kheer, Puri and Rasia is prepared with the holy water of Ganga as offering to God. The day is called as Lohanda or Kharna.
From very first second of the third day again, vratin go on fast, offerings were made to please lord Surya. And at eve, offered to the sun which is just about to set, standing within mighty Ganga. The day is reffered as Pehli Arag or Sandhya Arag
On the Final day, the devotee visits river bank before the sun rises. To please the rising Sun. Morning Offering or Usha Arag ends after vratin, wash your face with the attire she wore while offering.
“Maharishi was blessed while his wife wash off the face with her attire.”
Other say different story.
long ago, king named Priyavrat and his wife Malini were living very happily, but they have no child. They decided to do Yagna with help of Maharishi Kashyap to be blessed with a child. His wife became pregnant as the effect of Yagna. But she conceives dead child. King was very sad and decided to suicide. Suddenly, a Goddess appeared there. Goddess said that, I am a Goddess Chhati, if someone would offer puja to me with pure mind and soul, he would get a child. The king, Priyavrat did the same and get blessed with a very beautiful child. Since then, people started celebrating the chhath puja.
Story of Karna:
Some Believe that Chhat was started by the Suryaputra Karna, who did special Puja on Sasthi and Saptmi of Shukla i.e. period when moon is waxing in the month Kartika. Karna was held to rule the kingdom Aanga referred as modern Bhagalpur, it was said that people followed the ritual of the King and the Chhat came to existence.
Story of Lord ram:
Apart this, in Treta, When Suryavanshi’s i.e. descendants of the lord surya, Lord ram returns after the killing of Demon king Raavan. He worshipped Lord Surya and get blessed before claiming his throne.
Despite of the various facts related to origin of Chhat. The name only unites us, and is performed almost in same manner around the globe. Propagated from a very small region of India, Chhat Goes with the individuals.
Chhat is better in many other way like from aspects of science. It is said that Ganga washes you sin, don’t know but scientist say still ganga as pure water bodies having several minerals which is useful for human soul. As well, minuscule exposure to radiation of sun cure various skin Infections. And the fresh breeze detoxifies the body and improve blood oxygen level resulting young skin and age rectifies a bit. From the aspects of psychology, it fulfil mental appetite of calmness and solace.
Well, I enjoy this festival most, due to fabulous, tasty, awesome, lingering, delicious Kheer , Puri, and due to the Fruits which is offered to Lord Surya and he never eat. Apart the breeze of air at the bank was just too good to describe into words and the priceless feeling when you swim around the ganga is just calming my soul. Personally, I believe it’s the only festival where righteous is worshipped. The one is fire and pure who provides light, the other is water and can purify you.
Wising You a memorable, awesome, amazing, and rejuvenating Chhat puja and Chhat have still lot more to talk about