Life on earth is altogether impossible without the cosmic rays of the Sun. Worshiping the Lord Sun who is the lifeline of the world is nothing new. The Hindu origin people across the world have been praying and offering water to worship the visible God since time immemorial. There are uncountable festivals pertaining to Sun that happen in India every year and Ravivar Vart is an important one.
Ravivar Vrat is done to please Lord Sun, who is self-luminary and the primary source of all energy to the world. Hindu devotees worship this powerful planet Sun God to win His blessings in abundance. Hindu mythology describes an uncountable number of legends and benefits of observing a Vrat/fast to please Lord Sun. Sun is called by many names, one of which is Ravi, and the day of the Ravi is known as Ravivar. This celestial God represents qualities like intelligence, courage, devotion to God, immunity, self-reliance, royalty, leadership, fame, power and authority. The visible God Sun, who is also referred to as Surya Narayana is one of the most loveable and respected God among Hindu pantheons.
When to Start Ravivar Vrat: It is considered auspicious to begin the Ravivar Vrat on the first Sunday in the Shukla Paksha (the waxing moon fortnight) of Ashwin month (Sept-October). One should perform this auspicious fast for 12 or even 30 consecutive Sundays.
Procedure for Ravivar Vrat:
• Ravivar Vrat is observed from sunrise to sunset. A devotee must wake up early in the morning to complete a bath and other household activities before the sunrise.
• Before the beginning of the puja, the observer of this Vrat should offer water to the Sun. One can also add white rice, kumkum, and some red flower to it.
• Place an idol of Sun God in your puja room then decorate the deity with a red color dress and red-colored flowers as red is the color of the sun.
• Place a Kalash filled with water and offer incense, sandalwood paste, wheat grain, kumkum, red flowers as well as dishes specially prepared for this Vart.
• Thereafter chant mantras, different names of Sun God, and read Ravivar Vrat Katha (story) with a pure heart.
• Offer panchamrut, water, flowers, and aarti at the end to conclude the puja vidhi.
• Devotees can have one meal before the sunset without adding salt and oil to their food.
• Those who wish to observe 24 hour fast, must conclude their fast after sighting and offering water to the Sun God the next day morning.
• Many give alms also to the poor on this auspicious day.
Mantras to Chant:
Mantra to chant while offering water to Lord Sun:
"Nama Suryaya Santaya Sarvaroga Nivarine, Ayu Rarogya Maisvairyam Dehi Devah Jagatpate"
Meaning: O Lord Surya, ruler of the universe, you are the remover of all diseases, the repository of peace, I bow to you. May you bless your devotees with longevity, health, and wealth.
Surya Beej Mantra:
"Om Hraam Hreem Hraum Sah Suryaya Namah"
This beej mantra is so powerful that it can improve the healing power of your body to cure many diseases and the ability to bring happiness in abundance.
Significance of fasting on Sunday:
• As per the Vedic texts, fasting on Sunday can help stay healthy and happy with never-ending vitality throughout life.
• People who have a weak Sun according to their Kundli (horoscope) should observe Ravivar Vrat to overcome problems related to mind, heart, blood circulation, issues in childbirth, downfall in career/ fame, etc.
• Observing fast on Sunday also helps to relieve from eye problems and various other ailments and is also helpful in achieving a positive attitude and sharp intellect.
• As per Hindu predictive astrology, the planet Sun is the most powerful planet, and observing Ravivar Vrat is very helpful to place the planet in right place and to eradicate any affliction in the birth chart.
Ravivar Vrat Katha / Sunday fast story:
There was an old lady who used to observe fast and worship Sun God on every Sunday. Waking up before sunrise, she used to clean her house by plastering with cow dung and took her meals only after offering food to the Sun God. The old lady did not have any kind of worry and pain due to the blessings of Lord Sun. This lady used to collect cow dung from her neighbor’s house, as she had no cow. Looking at her happy and peaceful life, her neighbor was jealous and tethered her cow inside the house so that the old lady could not collect the dung. And, as she could not plaster her house with cow-dung, she did not prepare her food. She did not even offer food to the deity and remained on fast throughout the day and slept without eating anything.
The next day morning, the old lady was surprised to see a beautiful cow with a calf in her courtyard and immediately she arranged food and water for them. Her neighbor started burning more than before when she saw the beautiful cow and calf tied in the old lady's courtyard. She also saw that the cow’s dung was of gold and not ordinary dung then she took away the gold dung and quickly replaced with the ordinary dung of her cow. She continued this activity for a number of days. The merciful Lord Sun saw everything and caused a storm one day. The old lady tethered her cow inside her house for its safety and she was surprised to see that her cow gave gold dung instead of an ordinary one. She understood the trick of her neighbor.
Out of jealously towards the old lady, her neighbor visited the king of the city to inform him about the divine cow. Knowing this, the King ordered his soldiers to bring the divine cow to his palace. The old lady cried a lot and missed her meals that day. She had a sleepless night praying to God for the safe return of the cow. On the other hand, the King had a dream that night. The Sun God was there who said; ‘O King immediately return the cow and the calf to that old lady, otherwise you will have a mountain of plagues.’ The King was badly shaken with fear and returned the cow and the calf to the old lady as soon as he woke up in the morning. More than that the king gave a lot of money and apologized to the old lady for his greediness. The king punished the neighbor of the old lady for her wickedness. Then the king proclaimed order in the whole state that all men and women should observe Ravivar Vrat, fast every Sunday. Since then all his citizens were filled with health and wealth and started living a happy and prosperous life.
Summary: According to Vedic astrology, the Sun is called RAVI, or SURYA which is the center of the solar system as well as the primary source of all energy in the world. Therefore, Hindu devotees propitiate the sun god to receive His blessings for a happy life. Hindu sacred scriptures describe that observing Ravivar Vrat and worship the visible God Sun brings good fortune and helps to cure many critical diseases.