Nagpur: On October 30, 2014, Bihaniya Arghya or morning offerings were offered. As the last day of the auspicious puja, devotees again assembled on the bank of Ambazhari Lake to present offerings to the rising Sun. After the offerings were made, devotees broke their fast by eating ginger and sugar or whatever their traditional food is sought.
The festival which began on the sixth day (Chhat) of the lunar month of Kartika, was celebrated with almost equal fervor in the city as the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. With the Bihaniya Arghya, the Chhat Puja came to an end.
The first day of the festival, Nahai Khai (meaning bathe-and-eat), devotees took a dip in the water (Ambazhari Lake). Then they brought the water home and cooked Prasad, a religious meal.
The onset of several days of prayer and fasting started. On fasting days, devotees offer prayers to the setting sun while standing on the bank of Ambazhari Lake. The final fast was broken by consuming ginger and sugar. On the fourth day i.e. October 30, 2014 the final prayers were offered to the rising sun.
Sandhya Arghya offered by womenfolk with religious fervour at Ambazhari
The women or the Laxmi of the house plays multiple roles. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister. After marriage, her role as a wife and the mother of her children becomes significant by her innate maternal instincts. While maternal instinct is clearly defined in Indian women and the natural tendency to want to protect and nurture one’s offspring and is extended to her husband too. This is why the Indian women are the most adorable ones in the world. She not only takes care of her children and her husband, she prays to Almighty God for their safety and long life. She fasts throughout the day from Sunrise to Sunset. Chhat Puja too is one such prayer offered by the womenfolk of Northern India at sea, lakes and rivers.
Sandhya Arghya or Evening Offering — The third day of Chhat Puja which fell on October 29, 2014 was observed with fast without consuming water by the womenfolk. The entire day was spent in preparing puja offerings which are made and kept in a tray made out of bamboo, said one of the women at Ambazhari Lake. The offerings included Thekua, coconut, banana and other seasonal fruits. The evening rituals were done at the banks of a river or lake or any clean water body. All the devotees offer ‘Arghya’ at the Sunset.
The festival connects with purity, devotion and thanks to Sun God as it is the source of life on earth and is observed as the deity who fulfills wishes. The Chhat Puja is performed for four days continuously. The people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh residing in city had assembled at Ambazhari Lake with piety and devotion. While their wives performed the puja, the menfolk took care of the kids and helped in the arrangements of the material used in the puja. The womenfolk consecrated the offerings by dipping it into the water and praying to the Sun God (Setting Sun).
The Uttar Pradesh Bahupradeshiya Utsav Mandal had made arrangements that ensured the smooth performance of the puja.
They had installed metal steps, barricaded the edges (shores), placed tubes to ensure the floats are proper, 25 Halogen lamps and 25 tubelights for illumination. The organizers had also made arrangements for an ambulance with doctors, nurses and a team of medical professional to meet any eventualities. The police department had made arrangements of providing security cover and monitoring the site to prevent any untoward incident.