Dr VP Acharya
ଛ’ ପଟ ରୋଟି
April 12, 2022
Dr VP Acharya
ଇଂରାଜୀ ବର୍ଷ ସରିଲା
April 12, 2022
Happy Samba dashami

Happy Samba Dashami, Pongal, Makara Sankranti, Lohri, Pausha Rabibara Rabinarayana Brata.
Yes, all these festivals have something in common and that is “Surya Puja” glorifying the benefits and kind of thanksgiving to the nature.

They have another commonality i.e. offering food items that will keep our body healthy and warm during winter. Though Uttarayana starts from around December 21, it is commonly believed that this is the beginning of Uttarayana or Summer solstice.

If on Lohri til and ground nut/pea nut items made in jaggery are offered we have a practice to offer Makara Khiri which is made with the same ingredients and also new harvest is offered through kheer. The purpose is to derive more warmth through food.

Odisha and below, we are rice growers mainly and it has been threaded as a custom to offer the first harvest during this Puja. In North wheat being the main produce, the practice is not there.

While doing Surya Puja, Sun God is visualised not directly but through a bowl of turmeric water. This is done to avoid direct sungazing that would damage the retina through its powerful UV rays.

Sun is the Ultra source of energy and hence He is worshipped for good health. However, this should not be a practice for the Puja day but a regular practice of exposing ourselves to Sun everyday. Nowadays we have become so sophisticated that slighest amount of sweating is not tolerable, slightest tanning is unbearable ! Sweating in the gym is something but that can never equate with natural walking under the sun. We are a blessed country to have ample sunlight but never value it. Probably, for this very reason nowadays a large number of people are vitamin D deficient and since it is interrelated with all metabolic diseases, those are on the rise.

We offer puja prasad on either banana leaves, sal leaves or as in Shamba Dashami, brinjal leaves. Each of these leaves can be equally used as through heat their goodness is also leached into the prasad. In Odisha probably 60 different types of saga (green leafy vegetables) are consumed. No wonder we use different leaves on different occasions as per their availability.

But apart from these rituals, we must chant mantras and perform Yajnas. It was a specific mantra chant that had healed Samba as Mantras are specific syllables that have a specific impact on different organ systems. Poet Mayurabhatta who was suffering from leprosy got cured by writing and chanting “Surya Shatakam”.

The Yajnas that were earlier performed have been reduced to “Jhuna dhupa”. Unfortunately, due to deviation from Sanskrit and Ayurveda, these practices are reduced.

But however, knowledge has its own cycle and it’ll return to us in different other ways. Till then Sarve bhabantu niramayah ❤🙏

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