Rishi Panchami is an auspicious Hindu fasting day, especially for women. It observes on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month, according to Hindu Lunar Calendar. This year, Rishi Panchami falls on Saturday, 11 September 2021. This comes just after the day of Ganesh Chaturthi and showcases the religious observance of Sapta-Rishi. The seven sages ate Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadhvaja, Vishvamitra, Gauthama, Jamadagni, and Vashishta.
Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami is known as Rishi Panchami. It usually observed two days after Hartalika Teej and one day after Ganesh Chaturthi. Currently, Rishi Panchami day falls in August or September on the English calendar. Rishi Panchami is not a festival, but a fasting day observed by women to pay obeisance to the Sapta Rishis.
Date and Vrat Muhurat
Rishi Panchami falls on Saturday, 11 September 2021.
Panchami Tithi Begins – 09:57 PM on Sep 10, 2021
Panchami Tithi Ends – 07:37 PM on Sep 11, 2021
Rishi Panchami Vrat Katha
Once upon a time in the ‘Vidarbha ’state, the Brahmin named Uttak used to live with his wife. They had a son and a daughter in their family. Brahmin married his daughter in a good and reputed Brahmin family. But as time passed, the husband of the girl gets premature death; and she becomes a widow and on this account, she came back to her father’s house. In the middle of a fine day, the girl got worms/insects over her entire body. After noticing her infected body; they got distressed by the grief and took her daughter to Uttak Rishi to know what had happened to their daughter.
Tuktas Rishi conveyed the whole story; how did she reincarnate into a Brahmin again (purvajanam). He told everything about his past life. Rishi communicated to her parents about the description of the girl’s earlier birth. And says that the girl was a Brahmin in the previous birth. He added: She had touched the house utensils etc., even after having a rajasla- mahavari (menstruation period) and she started. Because of this unintentionally done sin, she got the worms on its full body.
According to the ancient scriptures; A girl or a lady is on her menstrual periods (rajswala/mahavari) should not be part of the Puja. But she did not pay attention to this and anyhow it has to be punished.
Rishi concluded at the end that; if this girl prays for Rishi Panchami, worship with all her hearts for puja and aks for forgiveness with reverence. She will get rid of her sins sooner. Thus, by keeping fast and revering, their daughter got free from her past sin.
Puja Vidhi and Rituals of Rishi Panchami
After taking a bath put on clean clothes on Rishi Panchami day. Make a square-shaped diagram (Mandal) using haldi, kumkum, and roli at a clean place in your home. Place the image of Sapta Rishi (the seven sages) on the Mandal. Pour pure water and Panchamrut over the image. Do their tika using sandalwood (Chandan). Put on a garland of flowers and offer flowers to the Sapta Rishi. Make them wear the sacred thread (Yagyopavit). Offer then white clothes. Also offer them fruits, sweets, etc. Put incense etc at the place. In several regions, this puja process observes on the river bank or near a pond. Women don’t consume cereals after this puja. Rather they consume a special type of rice on Rishi Panchami. So, make the best use of the Rishi Panchami festival, do away with all your wrongs and get what you want.
- On this divine day, taking a holy bathe is very important in a nearby sacred river.
- It is essential to offer panchamrit to Sapta-Rishi statues after bathing in River.
- After this, the sandalwood and vermillion tilak apply to them,
- Flowers, sweetmeats, foods, scented incense; lamps, etc. offer to Sapt-Rishis.
- Worship them while wearing white clothes yagyopaviton and naivedya along with chanting of mantras.
- It is very important to listen to the folklore stories during Rishi Panchami fast by worshiping these sapta-rishis with complete pious practices.
In this vrat, the people express respect, gratitude, and remembrance of the great deeds of those ancient Rishis, who devoted their lives to the welfare of the society. This fast is the destroyer of sins and is worth-rewarding; if it was done by a proper set of traditional rituals. Rishi Panchami festival forms an important basis for fasting and pays reverence gratitude, dedication, and respect towards the rishis; which means seven sages and to get purified from Rajaswala Dosha. This fast is more famous in Nepali Hindus. In some regions three days Hartalika Teej fasting ends on Rishi Panchami.