<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the sun set on Thursday, Nalin Pandey and his family offered the Aragh (an offering), an essential part of Chhath puja, at their building premises in Nerul. For the last two years, the family avoided venturing out to water bodies due to the dirt and overcrowding.”We have a water fountain on the premises which has been particularly made in a way that the sunrise can be witnessed from there. Every year, we clean up the place and offer Aragh. Earlier we would go to a lake in Nerul but for past two years, we have been doing it here. Lakes are usually not clean and it is too crowded. Also, there is a risk of accidents happening. In the fountain, the water is not deeper than three feet,” said Pandey, who is the chairman and managing director of a shipping company.Pandey, who is also joint secretary of Bihar Foundation, organises Chhath puja at various places. The puja is observed mainly by people from Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of UP.”Every morning people pray to the sun. On the third and fourth day of the puja, we offer Aragh to the Sun God. This prayer is also to Chhath Devi, the daughter of Lord Bramha, and the wife of Lord Surya (sun). She is an assigned boon for kids,” said Manoj Singh Rajput of Bihar Foundation.On the third day, people offer five different kind of fruits on a winnow to the Sun God. “In villages where there was clean water, people would take that water and offer it to the Sun God, which is the main offering to the Sun God. Out here, most people take water sprinkled with Gangajal in a copper pot,” said Rajput.”Over a period of time, in the city, many people have been coming to natural water bodies. We co-ordinate with the administration and clean up the place where the puja is done,” said Abhay Kumar, who offers Aragh from Banganga in Malabar HillThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.On the third and fourth day, people offer prayers to the Sun God standing in water. It is done during the sunset on the third day and during sunrise on the fourth.THE RITUALSThe four-day prayer sees people go on a 36-hour fast without water. They observe a fast and also offer aragh to the setting and rising Sun god as part of the ritual.
Their prayer for the first two days is restricted to their homes where they observe abstinence and offer prayers.
Continue reading –