Radhasapthami is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus, and it is dedicated to Lord Suryanarayana.
Ratha Saptami is the seventh day of Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month ‘Magh’. Magha Sukla Paksha Saptami is known as Ratha Saptami & is considered as the most auspicious day to worship Lord Surya. Sun is the celestial body who is responsible for the great event Ratha Saptami. On the day of Makar Sankranti, Sun enters Capricorn and also starts his journey toward North which is known as Uttrayana. It is also believed that Surya Deva started illuminating the whole world on the Saptami Tithi and hence it is also known as “Surya Jayanti”. All the names of the Ratha Saptami have some unique significance. The name Ratha Sapthami is the symbol of Lord Sun’s Chariot on which he starts his journey of the vernal equinox, whereas Surya Jayanti marks the birthday of Sun on this day.
Ratha Saptami Significance
The festival is also known as Surya Jayanti, and the festival represents the movement of the Sun in the North-east direction. It is actually from this day that the Northern hemisphere of the Earth starts tilting towards the Sun, and hence it marks the onset of spring season.
In accordance to the Holy Scriptures, there was a King who had one son. The son used to stay ill most of the time. The worries of the king were increasing day by day. Then, at the end, he decided to consult someone. A very learned sage told the King that his son is not well due to some of his sins committed in past or past life. The Sage also told him that his son should have faith in Lord Sun and then he should perform the rituals of Ratha Saptami which will cure him of everything. As soon as the son did the same, he got free from sins that he committed. This legend is the belief of the festival Ratha Saptami.
1. How to do Ratha Saptami Bath (Snanam):
Take a bath early in the morning at the time of sunrise particularly in the sacred rivers facing towards east. People believe that they will get rid of sins committed from their previous seven births, health problems can be cured. Take a bath using Arka(ray of light)/Yekka (Jilledu-plant related to sun god) Leaves by keeping One leaf is kept on the head with few rice grains over it, two leaves on the shoulders, two on knees and two on foot while having a bath. The bath is very sacred.
The following mantra is chanted while taking a bath.
Sloka: “Saptha saptha Maha Saptha|
Saptha Dweepa Vasundara|
Sapth Arka Parna Madya|
Sapthamyam snana machareth||”
Sloka: “Yada janma krutam pāpam mayā janmasu janmasu।
tanmēy rōgam ca śōkam ca mākarihantu saptami।|”
“yētatjjanmakrutam pāpam yacca janmāntarārjitam।
manōvākkāyajam yacca jnātājnātēy ca yē punah॥”
“iti sapta vidham pāpam snānmēy sapta saptikēy।
sapta vyādhi samāyuktam hara mākari saptami॥”
After bath perform Surya Namaskar and read Sri Agasthiar’s Aditya Hrudayam.