Rishi Panchami: Significance, Date, Puja Timings, Legend, Fasting Food and Puja Vidhi

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Rishi Panchami is one of the most auspicious festivals in Hinduism. The phrase contains 2 words, Rishi meaning sage and Panchami meaning the fifth day. This day is dedicated to the respect and honour of the wise sages of the country. This festival is mainly dedicated to the revered seven sages known as Saptarishi. It falls on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Period of the Moon) of the month of Bhadrapada. This day is celebrated a day after Ganesh Chaturthi and 2 days after Hartalika Teej.

The legend of this festival is related to the Saptarishi or the seven sages who sacrificed their own lives to get rid of the Evil forces from the earth. They lived and worked for the betterment of mankind and died for the same too. All seven sages were full of wisdom and took their followers on the path of humanity and kindness. They were very religious and highly principled. As per Hindu beliefs, these sages had a great hand in spreading the awareness of knowledge, humanity, charity and devotion among human beings.

Rishi Panchami 2023, Date and Timing

Rishi Panchami falls on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

  • Puja muhurat: 11:01 a.m to 01:28 p.m
  • Total Duration: 02 hours 27 mins
  • Panchami Tithi Starts: 01:43 p.m on September 19, 2023
  • Panchami Tithi Ends: 02:16 p.m on September 20, 2023

Significance of Fasting on Rishi Panchami 2023

According to Hindu tradition and beliefs,  women who are menstruating or going through their monthly cycle are forbidden from participating in any pujas or religious rituals. At this time, they shouldn’t also indulge in domestic work which includes cooking, cleaning, etc. They should also take care not to touch anything related to worship such as puja samagri, bhog, etc. If this rule is not taken care of or breached, intentionally or unintentionally at any point, it leads to Rajaswala Dosha in women.

Rishi Panchami is a fast that acts as a Nivaran to get rid of this dosha. Rishi Panchami is also called Bhai Panchami in various states. In the Maheshwari community, sisters tie Rakhi to their brothers on this auspicious day and fast for their long lives. They can take food only after performing the puja.

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Legend Behind Rishi Panchami

According to Hindu Puranas, once there lived a Brahmin with his wife named Vidarbha in a small town. He had a son and a daughter. He got his daughter married to a knowledgeable Brahmin but unfortunately, his son-in-law died soon, leaving his daughter a widow in utter plight. The lady returned to his father’s place and started living with them. After a few days, the daughter started getting worms all over her body. Her parents were shocked and worried. Therefore, they visited a learned Rishi to seek a solution to this issue. The Rishi took some time to know about the past life of their daughter. He discovered that she had breached the religious rule of not doing any auspicious work during her menstruation. 

She touched kitchen materials while she was on her monthly cycle. Thus, committing a sin is reflected in her present birth chart. The Rishi told them that their daughter had not kept the Rishi Panchami Vrat to get rid of this sin due to which she has got worms all over her body. He asked them to inform their daughter to observe the Rishi Panchami Vrat with full faith and dedication and seek forgiveness from the almighty, otherwise, she will face consequences worse than this. The daughter observed the Vrat by following all rules and regulations as said by the Rishi and got rid of the worms and her past sins immediately.

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Rishi Panchami 2023 Worship Method 

  • Get up early in the morning and take a holy bath on Vrat day. Wear clean clothes and clean the puja space.
  • Draw a square on the floor called ‘Mandal’ with the help of kumkum, haldi and roli. Place the idol or image of Saptarishi (the seven sages) within the square. 
  • Then, sprinkle Gangajal and do Panchamrit Abhishek of the idol or image. Apply sandalwood tika and offer flowers or flower garlands to the Saptarishi.
  • Then offer a sacred thread called Yagyopavit and white clothes to the seven sages. Reading the Rishi Panchami Vrat Katha on this day is also considered auspicious. 
  • Offer oil lamps, incense sticks, sweets and fruits as a part of Bhog.
  • In many places, all these rituals are performed on the banks of a holy river or a water body.
  • Women generally indulge in strict fasting on this day and do not consume any cereals.
  • Conclude the puja by chanting some mantras related to Rishi Panchami, doing the Aarti and distributing prasad among the family members.
  • Also, distribute some food and clothes among the poor since it’s considered very auspicious and gives fruitful results.

What Can Devotees Consume During Rishi Panchami Vrat?

The notion of what to consume and what not to consume on the Rishi Panchami Vrat day differs from tradition to tradition. In the ancient ages, the observers of the fast used to intake the fruits that had been grown underground instead of the food that was prepared with grains. This Vrat is considered very important in Jainism. There are 2 different sects in Jainism which are the ‘Shwetambar’ sect and the ‘Digambar’ sect. The sect of ‘Shwetambar’ celebrates this festival as the end of Paryushan Maha Parva whereas the ‘Digambar’ cult observes this festival as the beginning of Maha Parva. On this day, a special meal known as Rishi Panchami Bhaji is cooked and served in Maharashtra. It contains seasonal vegetables and tubers used to prepare the dish. 

This dish is prepared in a very simple way without the use of spices, very similar to the way the sages used to cook it in their time. Devotees who observe the vrat, end it by consuming this bhaji. The most important ingredients of this dish are chawli, Amaranth leaves, moongfali, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, peanuts, raw banana and colocasia leaves. All the vegetables are cooked on high flame in earthen pots. This festival is dedicated to the hard work and devotion of the sages at that time. Observing this Vrat helps the devotees to cleanse their minds, soul and body. It also gives health benefits such as it helps in strengthening the digestive system due to the entire day of fasting.


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