Ratha Saptami Wednesday 24th January 2018
Ratha Saptami Muhurta/Timings:
Snan Muhurta on Ratha Saptami = 5:29 AM to 7:17 AM
Duration = 1 Hour 47 Mins
Sunrise time for Arghyadan = 7:13 AM
Saptami Tithi Starts = 4:40 PM on 23-January-2018
Saptami Tithi Ends = 4:16 PM on 24-January-2018
About Ratha Saptami:
The Sun God or Adideva correlates with Saptami Tithi. In Magha maasam, when Shukla Paksha Saptami arrives, devotees dedicate this to Lord Surya by the name of Ratha Saptami or Magha Saptami. Believed to be the birthday of the Sun God, it is said that on this Ratha or Magha Saptami Days hold prominence because Surya God embarked on the journey of enlightening the entire world, thus making it Surya Jayanti Day.
It is considered most suitable for donating or taking part in Dan-Punya/charity giving acts by the name of God Surya. It is so powerful that people believe one can get absolved from all sins and misery by doing so at this auspicious time. It is said that man commits seven different kinds of sins in his lifetime. These are sins committed intentionally, unintentionally, by word of mouth, by bodily action, in the mind, prevailing birth and also punar janam/previous births. To remove all these sins, it is said prayers and worship to Surya God on Ratha Saptami day will help in freeing one.
Commencement of this worship on Ratha Saptami begins with cleansing of body by taking bath during the Arunodaya. The Arunodaya duration continues till four Ghatis which is roughly around one and half hours. The bath done before sunrise during Arunodaya is said to keep the body and mind free from illnesses and diseases. A reason why the other name for Ratha Saptami being called as Arogya Saptami. The best way to take the Ratha Saptami Snan is in some clean water body such as flowing river waters or that of a canal as compared to bathing in one’s own bathroom. Looking up the Hindu Calendar at this site for identifying time of Arunodaya and the sunrise time in your vicinity is prudent.
Once the body is cleansed by taking bath at Arunodaya on Ratha Saptami Day, the next ritual is to worship Surya God. Offerings of Arghyadan is done to Lord Surya by way of a small pot called Kalash and gradually offering water little by little from it. Standing and facing the sun, Adideva with folded hands/namaskar position is done. Puja rituals of lighting the traditional lamp, offerings of camphor, incense sticks and flowers are also done. Thus Ratha Saptami Day which is also referred to as Achala Saptami, enables freedom from one’s sins and puts the person towards the path of better life by pure devotion, worship and Puja.