Ratha Saptami Vrata is an auspicious austerity dedicated to Sun God (Surya Bhagavan). As we all know, Surya Deva is Arogya Devatha, the Lord for Health. Why Arka Patras (Calotropis leaves) are offered to Surya Deva on Ratha Saptami? What is the reason behind this unique ritual?
In Sanatana Dharma (Hindu Dharma), every ritual has connection with environmental, personal and social benefits. May it be Parthiva Ganapati Puja on Ganesha Chaturthi day, Navratri Vrat in Chaitra and Ashwin Month, and many more. Every Hindu festival has its own relevance with environment.
In similar way, we offer Arka leaves for Lord Surya on Ratha Saptami. In Magha Month (January – February), Roganivaraka Sun rays fall on Arka Patras. If we touch them and offer those leaves to Surya Bhagawan would get us the roganivaraka nature of the leaves. The immunity power may increase with this ritual.
Those who perform Punya Snana on this day will have diseases-free body. The sins done in previous seven births (Sapta Janma Paapams) will be lost by performing Arka Patra snana. Devotees keep seven arka patras one each on our head, two on both arms, two on both knees, and two on both foots.
Women draw the rangoli of chariot with seven horses in front of house and Tulasi Puja place to welcome Surya Devara, the Lord of the Health, in to the home.