14th February 2016, is a day of auspicious celestial significance being celebrated as Ratha Saptami (also known as Surya Jayanti or Magh Jayanti). This event happens every year and is an observation of the sun’s journey towards the North, also known as Uttarayana.
Ratha, Sanskrit for chariot, is the signifying concept of calling this day Ratha Saptami. Also paying relevance to this day as the birth of Surya dev, the Sun god – Surya Jayanti. Symbolically, the Sun God, Surya Dev, has been visualised as riding a chariot driven by seven horses (denoting the 7 colors of the prism as well as the 7 days of the week). The chariot consists of twelve wheels (denoting the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 months of the year).
Whichever way we refer to it, as yogis, this day is auspicious and relevant to us for the allegiance we devote to our practice that sources, recognises and salutes the constant source of solar energy that drives and nourishes our very existence. In Indian villages, particularly, this day holds prominent significance as it hails a precursor to harvest-season which is the primary source of sustenance for them, hence their undeterred gratitude.
Legend has it that an king had a son with a dreaded and incurable disease and was advised by a learned sage that the affliction was a part of his past life karma and the only way to resolve this was to devote his time by serving the Sun god with full faith. The prince followed this dedicatedly for many years and as the legend goes, he was fully healed and cured bringing in the customary solar dedication of our health and wellbeing.
Yoga holds a special place for the stalwart Surya Namaskar – sun salutation, where the practitioners various poses are a sequence of obeisance and salutation to the undying source of energy for our planet and life. At a1000yoga studios, our teachers would be offering the classes with a dedication to Ratha Saptami and Surya Jayanti, by dedicating the start of our classes with 12 rounds of Surya Namaskars complete with chanting the 12 significant names of the sun.
Luvena Rangel, RYT200 a1000yoga