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Friday, January 22, 2010


Today 22nd Jan 2010, Friday is a very auspicious day – Ratha Sapthami – signifying the seventh day of Shukla Paksha of thai matham.

Uttarayana is the six month period between Makara sankranti (Jan 14) and July 14 when Sun travels towards North in the celestial sphere. Ratha saptami marks the seventhday following the Sun’s northerly movement of vernal equinox starting from Capricorn (Makara). A journey from makara rekai to kadaka rekai – Capricorn to Cancer. Today symbolically represents the Sun God Surya turning his Ratha (chariot) drawn by seven horses towards northern hemisphere in a north-easterly direction. Today is also celebrated as the birth of Surya sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi and celebrated as Surya Jayanthi in many parts. It is also said that sage Bhisma breathed his last breath a day after the Rathasaptahmi day. From today, the days get warmer, especially in South India.

This is an important annual festival at Vaishnavaite temples including Thiruvarangam & Thirumala. Today, it was celebrated grandly in Thiruvallikkeni also. Early morning, Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman had decorated purappadu on Surya prabhai.
the ecliptic path of Earth around Sun

Scientifically, equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long.
Sun worship is deep rooted in vedas and its antiquity relates to several mythologies. Mythologically, the seven horses of the chariot represent the days of a week, the 12 wheels represent 12 signs each of 30 degrees and constitutes a full year named samvatsara. The Sun’s own house is Leo (Simha) and he moves from one house to other every month and the total cycle takes 365 days to complete. The Ratha saptami festival seeks the benevolent cosmic spread of energy and light from the Sun God.

Traditionally in villages, Rangoli kolam is drawn with coloured rice powder depicting Chariot drawn by horses. Here is a sloga from Rig veda in praise of Sun God.
Om. udvayaM tamasaspari jyotiSpashyanta uttaram.
devaM devatrA sUryamaganma jyotiruttamam. Om :::::: (Rig. 1-50-10)
Om. Our salutations and prostrations to the Holy Prophet Rishi Praskanva, the son of Kanva. Om Om. After seeing the Light, that transcends all darkness (ignorance or sins), we realized Surya, the most radiant one. Indeed Surya is the Supreme Light. Om

With regards – S Sampathkumar

Here are some photos of today morning purappadu of Sri Parthasarathi Perumal in Thiruvallikkeni.


  1. Ratha sapthami perumal sevai arputham - Kamala

  2. miga azhagana padangalum azhagana virivurayukkum nandri - Badri