Kharna Puja in Mahaparva today
Today is Kharna Puja, the second day of the great festival of folk faith, Chhath. In Chhath, 36 hours of waterless fasting begins after Kharna Puja. Kharna puja of the great festival which lasts for four days is called Mahapuja. Kharna means purification. By doing Kharna, the fasting person purifies and strengthens his body and mind so that he can observe the waterless fast for the next 36 hours. On the day of Nahay Khay (pumpkin rice), after eating pure and satvik prasad of pulses, rice and pumpkin vegetable, on the day of Kharna, the devotee observes waterless fast for the whole day. After this, Kharna puja is done at night and prasad is taken.
In Kharna Puja, kheer, rasiya made of jaggery, puri or roti are offered to Chhath Mai in an earthen pot on an earthen stove. After this Varti takes Prasad. During this, care is taken that there is no noise of any kind. The devotees take Prasad in a very peaceful environment. If she hears any kind of sound in her ears, she stops taking the Prasad.
Know the method of doing Kharna
The fasting person takes bath in the morning, wears clean clothes and performs puja. Then she observes Nirjala fast for the whole day. During this time she avoids sleeping during the day. Sleeping during fasting is not considered good. Then in the evening, after taking bath again, the fasting person cooks Kheer Puri in an earthen pot on an earthen stove. In many places, there is a custom of making roti and in many places, there is also a custom of making dosti puri (two puris together).
Then begins the 36-hour waterless fast.
Along with this, Prasad is also made of Rasiya made in sugarcane juice or jaggery juice. Then the prepared prasad is offered on banana leaves along with fruits and betel nuts. During this period, offerings are made on banana leaves at every place where the fasting person worships. Then after lighting the lamp and incense sticks, the devotees take Prasad and drink water. After the Prasad and water eclipse, the Nirjala fast which lasts for 36 hours begins.
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