Ratha Saptami - A few guildelines
Sapthami of shukla paksha in the month of Magha is popularly known as Ratha Sapthami. This is a period of transition. It is a day wherein the Sun makes a minor shift in its position. It is also the day of the birth of the Sun. It is on this day that the chill winter ceases and the cozy rays of the Sun begin to percolate across the earth. Since this day invigorates the atmosphere, our ancestors have accorded importance to it.
Let us briefly ponder upon the responsibilities we ought to fulfil on this day.
1. Perform ablutions an hour and a half prior to sunrise.
2. In order to redress the seven types of sins we commit, seven Arka leaves (also known as Ekkada ele in KAnnada, errukam in tamil and jilledu in telugu) must be placed on the head and contemplating upon Suryantaryami Bharatiramana Mukhyapranantargata Lakshminarayana, ablution must be performed.
3. While having bath thus, the following shloka must be recited.
ētajjanmakr̥taṁ pāpaṁ yacca janmāntarārjitam |
manōvākkāyadaṁ yacca jñātājñātē ca mē punaḥ |
iti saptavidhaṁ pāpaṁ snānānmē saptasaptikē
saptavyādhisamāyuktaṁ hara mākari saptamī ||
4. Thereafter, a prayer must be rendered to Saptami Devi to rid us of our sins with the following verse.
Naumi saptamīdēvī tvāṁ saptalōkaikamātaram |
saptārkapatrasnānēna mama pāpaṁ vyapōhatu ||
5. Reciting the shloka hereunder, arghya must be offered to Lord Surya.
Saptasaptivahaprīta saptalōkapradīpana I
saptamī sahitō dēva gr̥hāṇārghyaṁ divākara ||
The arghya is to be offered along with milk, dharbe tips, curds, akshate, sesame, wheat and mustard seeds.
6. Eatables made of sesame and sweets made from milk (such as haalubai,etc) must be offered to Lord Narayana who dwells in the center of the surya mandala, then to Lord Mukhyaprana followed by Lord Surya. It must then be shared everyone and consumed.
7. We must not forget that we imbibe energy and knowledge from Lord Narayana who resides at the center of the savitra mandala. Hence, it is important to perform gayatri japa without fail and read the scriptures.
Special Note : Aradhana of Sri Hrishikesha Teertharu, the first yati of Sri Palimaru Matha and Sri Aparajita Teertharu the 4th yati will be celebrated on this day.
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