Bhanu Sapthami is the festival ascribed to Bhagwan Surya. It occurs on a Sunday which falls on the Shukla Paksha Sapthami. The ensuing Bhanu Sapthami is on Sunday, 9th July 2023. The exact duration of the Sapthami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar.
Bhagwan Surya is called as Prathyaksha Brahmam because of Sun’s visibility. On Bhanu Sapthami day, Vrat is observed with full or partial fasting.
God Sri Surya
The seven horses in Sri Surya’s chariot signifies the seven days of the week. Their names and their attributable significance are considered as below:
Jaya – immense strength and benevolence
Ajaya – intelligence and understanding
Vijaya – wisdom and spirituality
Jita Praana – analytical thought process
Jita Krama – dedication and discipline
Manojapa – sincerity and truthfulness
Jita Krota – appreciation of finer things
There are twelve wheels in the chariot signifying twelve months / twelve zodiac signs. Sri Surya’s own sign is Leo. He moves from one sign to the other in succession every month. In total, the twelve transitions constitute one year. The charioteer is named as Aruna and He protects the earth.
Bhanu Sapthami – Rituals
The devotees raise early in the morning, take holy dip in the rivers wherever possible. Women draw colorful rangoli at the front of their houses. Sesame seeds, red color flowers, jaggery and rice are blended with water and the mix is offered in argyam to Bhagwan Surya during sunrise. While doing argya, the devotees face east and invariably adorn red color dresses.
Special puddings made of wheat or rice with jaggery are prepared and offered as Neivedyam. Surya Gayathri Manthra and other Surya Slokas are chanted.
Making donations to the poor and the needy is considered auspicious. It is believed that observing Bhanu Sapthami results in curing of deceases and bestowing of healthy life.