By Swami Harshananda
Those desirous of freedom from diseases and a robust health are advised to worship Bhāskara or Surya, the sun. Rathasaptami which falls on Māgha śukla saptamī in February is a vrata dedicated to the worship of the sun, to get that or fulfillment of any other desire. It consists of worship of the sun seated in a chariot usually in image with saffron and flowers, fasting for the whole day, keeping vigil the whole night with devotional songs and music. After bath next morning, gifts are distributed to the guru and others.
- Guru means preceptor.
- It is referred as uttarāyaṇa.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore