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जब माँ ने कहा 'छठ करना है' - When mother said, 'I want to do Chhath puja'

Read this heartwarming personal memoir of the mahaparv Chhath puja, that brings together family and faith.

Read this article in English

'छठ करना है'।

माँ की तबियत ठीक नहीं रहती। सुबह शाम तिल के तेल की मालिश जब तक मेरे हाथों से ना हो, उनको आराम कहां।

'तुम्हारे हाथों से ही ठीक होता है। किसी और की मालिश नही चाहिए। लेकिन छठ करना है'।

'उपवास रख लेंगे। तुम साथ में रहना सब हो जायेगा'।

महापर्व है हमारा छठ। केवल इसलिए नहीं कि इसमें ईश्वर के लिए आस्था है... इसलिए भी क्योंकि इसमें अपनों पर विश्वास है... अटूट।

Thekua chhath puja
Thekua / ठेकुआ

मिट्टी का चूल्हा नहीं जल पाया तो बेटी जला देगी। ठेकुआ के लिए आटा बहू-बेटी मिल के गूंध लेगी। दौउरा बेटा बेटी मिल के उठा लेंगे । सब हैं साथ में। सबकुछ हो जायेगा।

माँ मेरी जानती हैं कि वो कोई काम अपने दम पर नहीं कर पाएंगी। लेकिन उनको ये भी विश्वास है की उनके सारे काम हो जायेंगे।

कर्म और धर्म दोनो ही हमारी पहचान है। ईश्वर हमें दोनो पूरी आस्था के साथ निभाने की शक्ति दे।

माँ की लाल साड़ी सूती है। हवन के सुगंध में लिपटी हुई। माँ मेरी इस में और छठ महापर्व के पवित्र वातावरण में और भी सुंदर लग रही।

आप सबको प्रणाम और छठी मैया का आशीर्वाद।

silhouette of a lady doing chhath puja at sunrise

When ma said, 'I want to do chhath puja'

'I want to do the Chhath puja' said Ma.

My mother doesn't keep the best of health. She does not find relief without the morning - evening sesame oil massages that I give her.

'Only your hands can cure my pains. I don't want anyone else's massages.'

'But I want to keep Chhath. I will keep upvaas (fast with resolution). You stay with me, we'll manage everything.'

hundreds of people on a beach worshipping Sun God for Chhath Puja at sunset

Chhath is a maha-parv (mega festival) for us. Not only because we have a deep devotion to Ishwar (God) but also because we have trust in those who are ours... unbreakable trust.

If I cannot light the chulha (earthen stove), then my daughter will light it. If I cannot knead the dough for thekua (delicious sweet made from wheat flour, jaggery and ghee for Chhath) then my daughter and daughter-in-law together will do it. The daura (a bamboo basket full of prashaad which is carried by the vratti/person keeping upvas) my son and daughter can pick up together. Everybody is with me. Everything will be done.

Ma is aware that her health will not allow her to do it by herself. Yet, she has faith that all her work will be done.

Karma and dharma, both are our introductions. May Ishwar give us the strength to execute both with full devotion.

Ma wore a simple red suti (cotton) saree. She was wrapped in the fragrances of the hawan (ancient Hindu sacred fire ritual). In the saree and in the sacred environment of Chhath Mahaparv, she looked so beautiful.

My pranaam to all of you. May Chhathi Maiyya (Mother) bless you all.



Read also: The sacred chhath puja: Our annual family get-together and spiritual connect

All images are representative



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