The Religious and Historical Significance Of The Popular Chat Puja
The Chat puja is one of the most important and highly regarded festivals of Indian Culture which is mostly celebrated in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and parts of Uttar Pradesh too. The festival is celebrated at a mass scale and the Government has to do special preparations to take care of the law and order because lakhs of people gather together to celebrate the festival. The main significance of this festival is that people worship the Lord Sun on the festival day. The Hindu culture believes Sun God to be very powerful as he is the source of lots of positive energy and light.
History of Chat puja:
Many Hindu devotees and priests honor the Sun God by `offering holy water while chanting mantras’ at the time of sunrise. But what makes this festival very special and unique is the fact that people worship the `setting sun’ rather than the rising sun. There are two major rituals which are performed by all people who celebrate this festival. The first one is that special offerings are made to the Sun God during the chat pujaevening time. Sweets, vermillion and lighted Diya are placed upon a huge piece of leaf and it is offered to the Sun at the river banks.
The devotees also fill up a container with holy river water and slowly empty the container in front of the setting Sun at the river banks while chanting their prayers. The second most important ritual is that the Hindu devotees take a dip in the holy water of the river while speaking Sanskrit verses. This pious Chat festival helps in purification of the mind and soul of the devotee who performs the rituals with whole heart. There is a historical significance too. The history of Chat puja and its origin dates back to the Mahabharat period.
During the war of Mahabharat which took place between the righteous Pandavas and the evil Kauravas, there came a situation when the Pandavas found themselves in a very desolate state with nobody to help them and guide them. Their common wife Draupadi got very concerned with the plight of her five husbands. She was a very devout and religious lady who believed in the powers of Sun God. She consulted the holy men and sages at that time and they asked her to keep the fast in the honor of the Sun God.
According to the history of Chat puja, the pious wife Draupadi kept the fast on the festival day and decided to break her fast at the time of sunset only after worshipping the setting sun. She dutifully fulfilled all the rituals and in the evening she paid her respects to the Sun Go by offering `Ardhya’ in the direction in which the sun was setting. Her wish got fulfilled and the Pandavas were able to come out of that tough situation. This significant history of Chat puja is replicated by the Hindu devotees today also.