In India, Ratha Saptami is regarded as one of the most important and religiously significant holidays. The celebration is also known as “Magha Saptami,” “Magh Jayanti,” and “Surya Jayanti.” In order to honor Lord Surya, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, devotees celebrate the eve.
According to the Hindu calendar, Ratha Saptami celebrations will take place in 2023 on the seventh day, or Saptami tithi, of the Magha month of the Shukla Paksha.
The birth anniversary of the Sun God is commemorated by the festival of Ratha Saptami in 2023. It is thought that Lord Surya illuminated the entire cosmos on this specific day with his warmth and brightness.
Ratha Saptami Date in 2023
Saturday, 28 January
According to the Gregorian calendar, this blessed festival takes place between the middle of January and the middle of February. The Ratha Saptami rituals are typically carried out two days after the Vasant Panchami celebrations.
Rituals of Ratha Saptami
- Getting up early and taking a holy bath is the first and most important ritual to carry out on the eve of Ratha Saptami. It is crucial that you only carry out this ceremony at Arunodaya (dawn).
- After taking the holy bath, the next ritual that must be done is “Arghyadan” at sunrise in the name of Lord Surya. By standing in the Namaskar mudra and presenting water to the God Sun through a Kalash, arghyadan is performed. Devotees must carry out this procedure twelve times in a row while repeating the various names of Lord Surya in order to reap the greatest advantages.
- Following the Arghyadan, the worshippers serve Lord Surya dhoop, Kapoor, and red-colored flowers at the Ratha Saptami puja, which is performed by lighting an earthen lamp filled with ghee.
- Following that, as a sacred gesture to greet the deity and his heavenly blessings, the female devotees draw the Ratha (chariot) and Lord Surya pictures. Women create rangolis at the entrance to their homes in diverse places as a representation of prosperity and optimism.
- Milk is placed in a mud vessel as part of a very important rite, and the vessel is kept for boiling in such a way that it can face the Sun. The same milk is used to make the bhog (sweet rice), which is then offered to the deity Lord Surya after it has been boiled.
- On the day of Ratha Saptami, it is lucky and extremely auspicious to recite the Gayatri Mantra, Surya Sahasranam, and Suryashtakam continuously.
Celebration on Ratha Saptami
Many temples and sacred sites have been constructed as expressions of devotion to the God Sun. On the eve of Ratha Saptami, huge celebrations and unique ceremonies are held in each of these locations. In temples like Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple, Shri Manguesh Temple, Mallikarjun Temple, as well as in different districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, grand celebrations are held.
Benefits of Performing Ratha Saptami Puja
Legend has it that those who worship Lord Surya on the eve of Rath Saptami purge themselves of past and present sins, moving them one step closer to the road of salvation (Moksha).
According to Hinduism, Lord Surya bestows longevity and good health, and it is thought that those who worship and offer prayers to the deity on this auspicious day will be blessed with the same.
Importance of Ratha Saptami
The travel of Lord Surya to the Northern hemisphere on his chariot is symbolized by the day of Ratha Saptami in 2023. It signals the start of summer and a shift in the meteorological conditions throughout Southern India. For farmers, it also represents the start of the harvesting season.
Ratha Saptami is a very lucky day for engaging in all kinds of Daan-Punya activities (donations and charities). Legend has it that those who give on the eve of this celebration purge themselves of their sins and illnesses and are also granted longevity, prosperity, and good health.