30/1/2012: ‘Ratha Saptami’ is the festival associated with worshipping Sun God, celebrated in India on 30/1/2012. This day is also called ‘Surya Jayanthi’ birth day of Lord Sun. From this day the Sun God starts moving his seven horses chariot from Southern hemisphere to North-Eastern hemisphere called ‘Uttarayana punyakaalam’. Sun God is symbol of virtue, righteousness, removal of darkness and gloom, and in a word the one who gives spirit of life to every living being on this earth.
On this ‘Ratha Saptami’ day people wake up early in the morning and take head bath with cold water keeping Swallow-Worts leaves on the head and on two shoulders. Taking head bath by keeping Swallow-Worts leaves on head and shoulders particularly on this Ratha Saptami day has got great medicianal values having anti-biotic in nature. In the rest of the days the anti-biotic medicinal values would not devolve upon even if head bath is taken up with Swallow-Worts leaves. After taking head bath people offer prayers to Sun God by boiling new rice along milk and Jaggery in a bowl under the fire wood outside the house in the sun light. Special prayers are performed by Hindus in Sun God Temples like, Konark Temple in Orissa, Arasavelli in Andhra Pradesh, Marthand in Jammu Kashmir and other places in India.
The Sanskrit slokas (poems) to worship the Sun God, which bring particularly health, healing of skin diseases and prosperity, are as follow:
1) Saptaashwa ratha maa rudham prachandam kashyapaatmajam; Sweta padma dharma devam twam Suryam pranamamyaham.
2) Japakusuma sankaasam Kashyapayam Mahadyutiyam; tamorim sarva papaghanam pranatosmi Diwakaram.
3) Namaha Savitray Jagadayka Chakushsay Jagat Prasuti Sthitinasa haytavay; Trayee mayaya trigunatma dharaninay virinchi Narayana Shankaratmanay; Bhano Bhashara Marthanda chanda rasmay Diwakara; Aayurarogyavrudyardhamayiswarya dehi maydiyam; Mitra Ravi Surya Khaga Pusha Bhanu Hiranya garbha mareechaditya savitraarka Bhaskaraybhyo namo namaha; Hraam, Hreem, Hroom, Hrayem, Hraam; Sandhya, Padmini, Chaya, Usha samayta Sri Surya Narayana Parabrahamanay namaha.