The holy month of Magha, includes two important days that fall during the Śyāma Navaratrī-s, spanning nine days and nights. The fifth lunar day is Vasanta Pañcami, which is associated with the Goddess of Knowledge Sarasvati Devi. This particular day lends great significance towards learning and many toddlers are inducted into formal education and writing on this day. Special pūjas such as the sixteen-fold Ṣoḍaśopacāra puja are conducted on this day, to help with learning and education in general for everyone.
The seventh lunar day is Ratha Saptami, celebrated as the birthday of the Sun god as Sūrya Jayanti. The chariot of Lord Sūrya, is driven by seven horses signifying the seven colors of the rainbow VIBGYOR and the seven days of a week. This chariot also has twelve wheels, each representing a month in a year, thereby the twelve months of a year.
This day also marks the imminent arrival of Spring forty days in advance and dispels the gloom of the cold wintery days. The heavenly body Sun is a star that emits light and brightens up all the planets that revolve around it. It is the source of the creation of all planets, which formed from it’s chunks. It is therefore the most significant graha or heavenly body, that applies to the entire Creation within our solar system and particularly our planet Earth, teeming with life. From an astrological perspective, the Sūrya graha or Sun, is considered either a neutral graha or a malefic, due to it’s intense heat and the ability to combust nearby planets or grahas in close proximity, thereby limiting their influences upon the individual or even turning them malefic. It is also the health giver and very important for longevity and happiness in general.
Prayers offered on Ratha Saptami, are considered significant in obtaining good health as well as longevity and relief from the sun’s placement and it’s malefic effects in a natal chart. Ṣoḍaśopacāra puja or the sixteen-fold worship, can be offered for greater benefits.
The cause of all Creation, Sustenance and Destruction is Brahman or God Himself/Herself/Itself. The heart of the Sun, therefore is none other than Brahman, which helps the Sun manifest all the worlds that allow for Sustenance and existence of beings in different dimensions. This heart of the Sun, also called Āditya Hṛdayam, is a significant prayer for spiritual elevation as well as for obtaining any type of material desires. This prayer was brought forth by sage Agastya and told to Lord Rāma, before his war with the mightiest and the unbeatable, all worlds/triad conquering king of Lanka, Rāvaṇa. The signification is that, one can conquer and achieve anything of this world, with this single prayer! Such is it’s power and it can be recited on any day. It holds greater significance on this special festive day of Ratha Saptami.
This article is written by Krishna Vallapareddy and can be contacted at Krishna@manblunder.com