This article is a chapter from the book “Hindu Fasts and Festivals”.
This falls on the 7th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Margaseersha (December-January). People worship the sun in the early morning and recite the Surya Sahasranama. Good actions done on this day give manifold results. Brahmins become celestials if they fast on this day and worship God; Kshatriyas, that is, people of the warrior caste, become Brahmins; Vaishyas, the merchants, become Kshatriyas: and Sudras or men of the servant caste, become Vaishyas. If women fast on this day, they attain knowledge and derive virtues. If widows fast on this day, they get rid of widowhood from the next birth onwards. Even the sin of slaying a Brahmin is expiated by the power of fasting on this day. He who takes a bath at the time of sunrise is purified like Mother Ganges. He can never become a poor man.
Fast on this day. Observe the vow of silence. Remain in a solitary place. Do Japa. Practise intense meditation with faith and devotion. You are sure to attain God-realisation on this very day!