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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ratha Saptami on 10th Feb 2011

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Dear Members:

Ratha Saptami - the auspicious day to worship Sun God falls on February 10, 2011 this year. It is to be observed on the same date throughout the world - except for those living in New Zealand and Fiji Islands (They have to observe this on February 11, 2011).

This is believed to be the day when Sun God incarnated as son of Sage Kashyapa and his wife Adithi (hence his name Aadityaa!). According to puraanaas, it is believed that is on this day of Ratha Saptami that Lord Surya's chariot turns its actual northward movement towards North-east bringing much auspiciousness to all living beings. The chariot is said to have just one wheel (personification of the Wheel of Time!) drawn by 7 horses (indicating 7 days of the week; 7 rays of the Sun that stand for each colour of the spectrum, etc.). Thus this worship is in essence the worship of the Principle of Time that is controlled with perfection by Paramaatman (signified by Sun).

Worshipping Lord Sun on this day is very auspicious. As you might be aware, worship of Sun blesses one with health ("AarOgyam pra daatu Dinakarah" is the verse related to that). Sun God is a "Namaskaara Priyaha" , so offering Surya namaskaar in His Honour reciting His 12 names will be auspicious today.

The 12 names are "Mitra, Ravi, Soorya, Bhaanu, Kagha, Pooshna, Hiranyagarbha, Mariichi, Aaditya, savitaa, Arka, Bhaaskaraa".

Those who are initiated into Surya Ashtaakshari (8-syllable mantra) can recite that 108 times and offer arghya (oblation with pure water).

A special ritual unique to this day...

It is traditional to take bath with 7 Arka leaves (called Erukku in tamil, JillEdu in Telugu, Ekka in Kannada, and Bowstring hemp in English) on the body. The placement is 1 leaf on the head, two on the shoulders (one on each shoulder), two on the knees, and two on the feet, and then pouring water on oneself. You should keep some akshada (raw rice grains mixed with turmeric) on the leaves while placing them on your body and then take the bath.

The mantra to be recited is this:

"Om Yadyadjanma krutham paapam mayaa saptaasu janmasu

ThanmE RhOgancha SOkancha maakari hantu Saptamii"

YEtatjanmakrutham paapam yathaa janmaantaraarjitam

ManO Vaak kaayajam yaccha gnaathaaghnaathancha yath punah"

Iti saptavidham paapam snaanam ME saptha SapthakE

Saptavyaadhi samaayuktham hara maakari Sapthami"

(This is basically a prayer that declares how sins accrue to us and follow us over births, and request the Saptami thithi Deity (Sun God and the thithi Nithya Devi who is subtly invoked in this mantra) to absolve us of all the sins, and hence the karmic effects of those like diseases and sorrow in life). Those who are unable to follow the transliteration of this mantra may just pray for removal of sins asking for pardon for all sins committed knowingly/ unknowingly, and hence relief from all troubles in life.

At the end of this ritual bath, we should offer "Arghyam" to Sun God and Saptami DEvi with the following mantra:

"Saptha Sapthi vaha preetha Saptha LOkha pradeepana

Sapthamii sahitO Deva gruhaanaarghyam Diwaakara"
(offer pure water three times facing the Sun in the morning saying this mantra).

Those who can - might recite mantras like Surya Sahasranaamam, Surya Atharva seersha upanishad, Aaditya Hrudayam, Suryaashtakam, etc. and get additional benefits.

Charities that can be done on this day

1) Donating to hospitals catering to sick patients.

2) Gupta Kooshmanda daanaa is a powerful dhaana that can be done today (gemstones - especially Ruby, gold, and silver are concealed inside a pumpkin and donated to a vedic Brahmin.....You should not reveal what/ how much is concealed inside the pumpkin to them. That is why it is called Gupta Dhaana! It is difficult to get a good Brahmin to accept this dhaanaa because this is a powerful remedy that involves "transfer of karma from the giver to the receiver"; no amount of money in the world will impel a vedic brahmin to accept this! On the other hand, gifting it to a person who is just a brahmin by birth but without vedic knowledge or ritual purity, is useless; so, if you are suffering from great troubles, request an elderly or mature vedantic brahmin to accept the charity to alleviate your pains...they may consent to this out of piety, and then use that amount for charitable purposes like yagnas, temple renovation, feeding poor, etc.). There are other dhaanas like saaligraama dhaana, vastra dhaana (gifting traditional Panchakaccha dhoti), etc. that can be done today which will be easily accepted by any priest. You can offer these at vedic patashalas near your place or to a respected Pandit who is explaining Puranic truths/ spiritual precepts to a lot of people from an altruistic point of view.

Even if you can't offer the special dhaanas as mentioned above, make it a point to donate at least a small amount of money in charity (may be just a dime to a beggar outside a temple; or purchasing a piece of sweet to a poor child in your neighbourhood). No man is so poor that they can't donate anything, and there is always someone poorer than you! Please remember is not how much you donate but with what attitude you donate that is important in absolving you of your karmic liabilities. Once your karma is reduced even by small amounts, you will be amazed at how things begin to take a positive turn in life.

May our members worship Sun God who is the Manifest Form of Absolute Divine and absolve themselves of all sins and the resultant problems in life.

Blessed be

Astrological and Remedial consultant


Anonymous said...

Very nice article! Thank you!

For day today worship of Sun, which sthotra is best... aditya hridayam/surya ashtakam/surya sahastranama...? Can you please guide to offer prayers to Surya deva everyday?

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Member:

For day-to day worship of Sun, the best is to offer arghya saying his 12 names and offering 12 prostrations (Surya Namaskaaram).

Surya sahasranamam being elaborate might need commitment of time and resources - which may suit only a staunch surya upaasaka.

Aaditya Hrudayam is a very powerful recital that can be done everyday; it is best to wear wet clothes (clothes that have been rinsed and wrung free of excess water and winnowed 7 times - as wearing completely wet clothes during auspicious poojas is prohibited by shastras) - because Aaditya Hrudayam if recited with intensity and focus has the potential to raise the body heat much, and wearing a slightly wet cloth might help avoid unnecessary problems arising thereof.

Performing Surya namaskara is a simple and effective daily worship for everyone.

Blessed be.

nag said...

Dear Guruji,

I am ardent devotee of Lord Surya and appreciate your kindness in posting such a valuable article related to Ratha Saptami.

I was told that Aditya Hridyam should not be recited after 12 in the afternoon since past 12 Surya is descending. Is that true?
Thanks in advance.

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Shri. Nag:

The stipulation that Aditya Hrudayam should not be recited after noon time mainly applies to serious upaasakaas who might recite it for 36 times or more as a part of their upaasana; for such upaasakaas the ideal duration of intense saadhana is between dawn and noon; Shri Karna of Mahabharata was such an ardent upaasaka; for a normal person who wishes to propitiate Lord Surya in the course of daily activities, Surya namaskaaram is done in the morning after sandhayavandanam (or traditional worship routines of the family that comes down the lineage), and aaditya hrudayam is usually recited after the Noon austerities; Surya Atharvaseersha or Sahasranaamam are recited around sunset after the evening austerities. Such devotees who wish to recite Aditya Hrudayam thrice a day might do so once after each sandhya austerity (morning, Noon, and evening); so the taboo of not reciting Aditya Hrudayam after Noon does not apply to such normal devotees.

Dharma and protocols of usage vary depending on one's lineage and deeksha procedures. It is true that some deeksha procedures/ lineages of intense sun worship prohibit recital of Aditya Hrudayam after noon, and it applies only to them - and not for the other devotees.

Hope this helps.

Blessed be.

Anonymous said...

Your knowledge is really amazing! I always look forward to your post to learn something new!

Thank you for sharing the knowledge Panditji! :)

sudhir sharma said...

Respected Sir,

Thank you for informative article. Please guide me to offer arghya to Lord Sun.

Thank you once again.

Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Shri. Sudhir Sharma:

Arghya is offered by holding water in the palms of both hands (keep all the fingers of the hands together except the thumb which should be kept separate, and in the hollow of both palms hold water), and reciting the relevant mantra, and then offering that in a clean ground or running stream of water chanting "idam arghyam."

You can recite the Gayathri mantra and offer arghya thrice (for each recital of Gayathri mantra you can offer arghya; while reciting Gayathri mantra and offering arghya we dont recite "idam arghyam" - but just offer water at the end of the mantra; do it thrice. You can repeat the process during sunrise, Noon, and sunset hours if you are giving arghya with Gayathri mantra as a part of Sandhyavandana).

If you want to offer arghya to Lord Sun specifically, the process is to hold water in the palms (keeping the thumbs apart from other fingers), and then chant "Om Bhaaskaaraaya sarva LOkha Hithaaya Parabhrama swaroopaaya idam arghyam arghyam idam arghyam" (while reciting each "idam arghyam", you should offer one arghyam). [Arghyam water should be offered via the tips of the four fingers of the hand exclusing the thumb; if the thumb is also joined, it becomes arghya for demonaic forces - so, kindly keep the thumb apart while giving Deva Arghya. On a related note, water is offered via the base of the thumb for pitrus - in such cases again you should not join the other four fingers with this thumb for pitru tarpanam; joining all five fingers is auspicious during prayer and salutation - but is inauspicious for arghya purposes. Please note this subtlety and do this carefully as we don't want bad protocol in this simple but efficacious ritual of offering arghya].

Hope this helps.

Blessed be.

archana said...

Thank you for a nice article.

Please let me know if women can give arghyam to Sun everyday.


Pandit R. DAKSHINA MOORTHI said...

Dear Ms. Hima/ Archana:

Yes, women can give arghya to Sun God everyday - EXCEPT on the days of their monthly periods.

Please see my reply above for detailed procedure regarding giving arghya.

Hope this helps.

Blessed be.

automania'10 said...

Dear Guruji,

I am a student and live in USA and I have been instructed by my dad regarding Surya Arghya. He asked me to offer Surya Arghya on daily basis to earn good grades, health and career opportunity.

Issue is that, I don't have fix schedule of sleeping and getting up. I sometimes have work at night and then sleep in the morning and vice versa. Even I haven't seen anybody here offering Arghya in public so I am little shy too.

Having said that, I would like to inform you that; I have a small temple in my home and on daily basis regardless of time I offer my prayers after bath (not a fix timing).

Would you please explain me some other alternative to offer my prayers to sun god.

Looking forward to your invaluable remedy.

Thanks & Regards:

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