Festive season is yet not over. It ends up today with conclusion of Chath festival, observed in Bihar and the adjoining areas of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, which the migrating people have carried along almost all across. This festival is dedicated to the Sun, the prime illuminator and life giver. Subjecting themselves to austere measures, the devout make offerings in reverence, first to the setting Sun and then to the rising Sun.
Unlike other festivities that are celebrated in deference to some mythological story, the devout try to directly harness nature’s Shakti-s (creative energies) that hold the key to our dynamic existence. It is interesting to note that females of the household sing in praise of what they term as Chathi maiya during this festivity. Remember, in Indian mythological tradition, all forms of Shakti are symbolised by motherly forms. For, mother with all resources in hand bears and nourishes a child selflessly.
The occasion reminds us about the continuum existent in the life cycle. As you know, the Sun never sets, it just moves towards the other part of the globe, and so it goes out of sight. It continues its patronage even during night through its light reflected by Moon. Bear in mind; life doesn’t meet its final end with death. It is just the gross body that disintegrates. The jeevatma (the essence of life) stays put, though inaccessible for want of a gross body. After a lapse of time, the jeevatma reincarnates with a fresh form in all strength. It carries along all the Karmic imprints from the past, which sets the trends of the emerging life.
The setting Sun is worshipped, because it has selflessly provided us with the energies necessary to discharge our activities. Even Sun’s absence at night is purposeful, as it makes you retire for the day, relax, get rejuvenated, and wake up in all strength with the dawn of the Sun. Remember, the seeds planted in the dark realms of the earth mass gets nurtured there for a specified period before it could emerge as a fruit bearing tree. So, in Indian perception, darkness is not taken negatively, rather it is accepted as a necessary phase of creativity.
Bear in mind; nature with its fire power, which is identified with the Sun, makes provisions for food in all forms that sustains life. The food is offered to the fire within, which keeps its flame alive, in turn, providing us with vitals necessary for our existence. All food items are perishable but recyclable. If out of greed you hoard them for long, they will perish and become useless. So, with a sense of detachment, the devout symbolically offer food items first to the setting Sun, and then to the rising Sun, carrying the hope that it will help produce the food items again out of its seed. After the puja concludes, food items are shared with those around as prasada. This makes me recall Mahatma Gandhi’s words: Nature provides us with enough to sustains ourselves but can’t satisfy even an individual’s greed.
The emerging message is to carry on the journey of life dutifully as the Sun, engaged in need based rightful Karma. You may then be remembered even post death with a sense of reverence, as is Mahatma Gandhi. And in individualised sense, you reap the benefits of carrying on seeds of good Karma during the next life. Second, your greed-based actions may derail you as the food stored for long perishes. And good karma provides you with enough to enjoy a fulfilling with ease.
Karma finds reflection in the ongoing life as well, as it recently happened to a greed driven young man, who got trapped in in his illusory dream perceptions, as would the Moon placed adverse to mischievous Neptune mean. He wished to become quick rich by taking recourse to off the track means, as is indicated by the Sun ill-disposed off to Uranus. Added to that was his swaggering ego, coming as it may with the Sun placed adverse to Jupiter, which did not allow him to look beyond for a reality check. Pursuing his desire to amass huge wealth applying short cut method, he fell into a debt trap. Finance indicating Venus placed adverse to debilitated Mars, which, being tenanted in the 8th house identified with difficulties, made him vulnerable to become a victim of his own making. Consequently, he got imprisoned recently as would Rahu’s association to the 12th, 8th, and 3rd houses imply. And the result is there to see.