Ratha Saptami falls on Magha Shukla paksha Saptami. It also denotes the end of the Makara Sankaranti celebrations, including the distribution of the auspicious sesame seeds, to fellow devotees. This article is all about how we celebrated Ratha Saptami 2020.
Mythology has it that on this day, Surya or the Sun was born to Aditi and Sage Kashyap. This is also the day when the Sun was installed in the sky with infinite rays. He also received a single-wheeled chariot with 7 horses and a charioteer called Arun on this day. The 7 in the seventh day of the waxing fortnight and the 7 horses are auspicious and the fact that He received a chariot on this day makes it Ratha Saptami.
We celebrated Ratha Saptami 2020, in the typically Karnataka-based tradition. We make 7 colored rangolis on this day morning. If a single-wheeled chariot rangoli is made, nothing like it. At the top of the ratha, sun, moon and a few stars can be drawn. A 4-pronged diya is an important part of the rangoli and it has to be kept near the drawing. Auspicious stuff can be kept on the ratha rangoli in small boxes. Turmeric powder/stick, kumkum, sandalwood powder, ashtagandha, cotton, tamarind, cumin seeds, food grains, jaggery, etc can be placed in the boxes. Plant stalks and plants growing in soil can also be placed near the rangoli. This signifies the effect the sun has on these life-forms.
Then, we offer auspicious stuff like turmeric powder, kumkum, etc. to the ratha. Chanting 108 names of the Sun can benefit the devotee. Arghya is given with kumkum and turmeric to the east side, in the morning, from a copper vessel, saying the 12 names of the Sun.
Next; we boil milk, chanting the Aaditya Hridaya, within the plain sight of the Sun. When the milk boils over the vessel add jaggery and pieces of ripe bananas. While offering to Suryanarayana, drop a Tulsi leaf. Making and offering havisanna to the Sun and distributing it to children and the needy. It is very important to chant Aaditya Hridaya and Suryashtaka, on this day. Performing Suryanamaskara and chanting Aaditya Hridaya, simultaneously, makes us healthy, wealthy and famous. It is very important to pray for the world, without being selfish.
On this day, we have to donate fruits in the following manner to anybody:
In a mud pot, place 2 types of jujube and some pieces of sugarcane. Cover the mud pot and place it at the center of a plate. We can use steel or disposable plates. Decorate the remaining portion of the plate with vegetables and fruits. Sesame laddoos can also be used to decorate the plate. If the plate is offered at a temple or to suhagan women, the plate has to be decorated with flowers as well.
Donating flowering plants is auspicious and the need of the day.