By Swami Harshananda
Vratas or religious vows and observances are a common form of practical religion. These vratas are undertaken either for fulfilling a desire with divine intervention or for expiating sin or even observing a spiritual discipline.
The Ādityaśāntivrata can be observed on any Sunday associated with the Hastā- nakṣatra. Worshipping the image of the Sun with 28 or 108 fuel sticks of the arka plant (Calatropis gigantea) is the main part of the ritual. These fuel sticks are to be offered with honey and ghee (or ghee and curd) in homa (fire sacrifice). The vrata can be repeated upto seven times.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore