The interesting aspect of Dharmik festivals is that they are identified by the day on which they are celebrated.
Teej falls on the third day, Bhai Duj on the second day, Rakhi Purnima on the day of the full moon. Krishna Ashtami is celebrated on the eighth day, while Sri Rama Navami is observed on the ninth day. Likewise, Chhath Puja is performed on the sixth day of the Shukla Paksha.
One of the major psychological impacts of these pujas is that they bring everyone together and foster unity among families and communities.
Chhath Puja holds a special significance as it is a worship of the Sun god inclusive of all, without gender distinction. This festival is prominently celebrated in North India, in Bihar, and in regions where major rivers flow.
The beauty of Sanatana Dharma is that these festivals were deeply connected to nature. Chhath puja, is focused on worshiping the Sun God, who is the visible manifestation of Brahman. Surya, the giver of life, symbolizes our ego, our legacy, and our health. Therefore, men, women, and other family members worship Surya during Chhath Puja, seeking immunity from disease and ignorance.
Surya, also represents knowledge. Our major Dharmik sastras talk about Surya Puja as one of the prominent features of Dharmik followers. Dhaumya Rishi guided the Pandavas based on the advice given by Shaunak Rishi to worship Surya Dev so that they could get Akshaya Patra, allowing the Pandavas to feed the learning students and educators. These students and their teachers would begin their study by offering their oblation to Surya Dev, as any other students would do.
Srimad Bhagavatam explains that Sri Krishna would begin his day by offering water to Surya Dev. The legacy of worship continues since time immemorial. Even from an environmental point of view, Chhath Puja is most conducive, not to mention its cultural and spiritual significance. Therefore, Sri Rama appears in Surya Vamsha, and Sri Krishna originally spoke the Bhagavad Gita to the Sun God.
Surya and Chandra are the two eyes of the Supreme Brahman. May Chhath Puja bring clarity and legacy for one and all.
– Govinda Das