Sunday, April 7, 2013

The legend of Chhath Puja

Abridged notes on its possible origin

    • Is only practiced in those areas where there was the rule of Chero tribes in the past.
    • The worship of Surya takes place twice a year on the 6th Chaitra Sudi and 6th Kartika Sudi. Every caste participates in it, even muslims in UP, Bihar. So there is no caste based allegiance, hints at tribal origin.
    • 'Chatth' is derived from 'Shashthi', the date of worship.
    • Brahmans have no role to play in the puja, almost, except for determining the tithi. ----> means non-Brahmanic origin of the worship.
    • Cheros were a group of tribes that had power over eastern UP and Bihar, belonged to the lower castes at one time. However, converted to higher caste by Brahman collusion. Later when they lost power ----> again to low castes, but some were able to retain power, hence high status (caste).
    • But the worship practice was retained, as it was something that the tribe indulged in and was independent of whether the tribe came or went out of power.

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