Posted in Basic of Hindusim, hindu culture/traditions, sanatandharma

Panchmukhi Hanuman

Lord Hanuman is one of the most revered gods in Hindu religions. Lord Hanuman, the devout “Bhakat” devotee of Lord Rama is the symbol of bravery, courage, loyalty and pure devotion. Lord Hanuman is the Avtar of Lord Shiva. Lord Hanuman inspires us to face all the odds and to fight all the challenges life throws at us bravely. He is depicted with a strong, muscular body, holding His weapon, the Gada (Mace) in one hand. Lord Hanuman blesses us with His protection, vitality, good health, physical/mental strength, knowledge, clears the path to success and many other blessings. He fulfils the desires of His devotees.

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Panchamukhi Hanuman

The Panchamukhi Hanuman is a form of Lord Hanuman in which He is depicted with five faces. The 5 Mukhi Hanuman is said to be the huge or ‘virat’ from of majestic Lord and is very powerful. Each face is the face of Lord Vishnu’s Avatar, with Lord Hanuman significance lies in the fact that the faces of Lord Vishnu’s Avatar faces a specific direction for a reason. Every aspects of this form has its own importance. Therefore each face has its own significance and reason for being and holds specific significance. The Panchamukha Hanuman benefits the worshipper with many blessings, including liberating from all kinds of fears, enemies, negative or lower energies.

Lord Hanuman is considered one of the prominent Yogis who is known to have gained complete control over the Pancha Indriyas (five senses) according to the ancient Holy Scriptures. The importance of number 5 is wonderfully given in the Tamil version of the epic Ramayana known as Ramavataram and popularly known as Kamba Ramayanam as it was written by the Tamil poet Kambar.

WE ENLIST BELOW THE IMPORTANCE OF NUMBER FIVE IN ASSOCATION WITH HANUMANJI:-

Lord Hanuman is the son of one of the five elements, son of Wind – Pavan Putra.

Lord Hanuman risked His own life, took the leap of faith and crossed the water body to find Sita Devi. Water is among the 5 basic elements.

He could fly in the air which again is one of the five elements namely the sky,

He met daughter of Earth which again is one of the five elements – Sita Devi.

Hanuman burnt the entire Lanka by fire, another element.

This may be one of the reasons why we circumambulate or to do Pradakshina 5times around the idol of Lord Hanuman or in digits which if summed up results as 14, 23 or 41.

The story of shree Panchamukhi Hanuman finds its mention in the renowned and great epic Ramayan. During the fierce battle between Lord Sri Rama demon King Ravana, Ravana sought assistance and help from Mahiravan, the king the king of Patal Loka (underworld or netherworld). After learning that Ravana has sought help from mahiravan, Vibhishan alters Hanuman and tells Him to protect Ram and Lakshman were sleeping. The entry to this fortress was only possible throught entering the mouth of Hanuman of Lord Hanuman Himself and exit was through his ears.

Stealthily, the demon king of Patala, King Mahiravan disguised himself as Vibhishan and entered the castle pretending to check the arrangements Lord Hanuman has made for Ram and Lakshma’s comfortable sleep. Mahiravan contracted the size of Lord Ram and lakshman through His magical powers and carried both (Ram and Lakshman) of them away in his betel leaves box. At dawn when Lord Hanuman opened the fortress He was shocked to see that Lord Ram and Lakshman were missing. Hanuman understood that it was the conspiracy of Mahiravan and without wasting. much time Hanuman quickly rushed to Patal Loka. While batteling with Mahiravan, Lord Hanuman learned that Mahiravan was invincible as his life was preserved and safeguarded in five different lamps which were kept in five different directions, far away from one another. Mahiravan could only be killed if the five lamps were extinguished at the same time. This is when Lord Hanuman took the powerful avatar (form) of Panchamukhi and extinguished the five lamps at once and thus killed Mahiravan and saved Ram and Lakshman.

SIGNIFIANCE OF PANCHMUKHI HANUMAN (FACES)

The five heads of Panchmukhi form includes Hayagirva, Narasimha, Hanuman, Varaha and Garuda. Among these five faces, the three faces namely Narasimha, Hayagriva, and Varaha are Lord Vishnu’s incarnations. Garuda is the devout Eagle-Human Bird, who served as the vehicle or Vahana of Lord Vishnu. Therefore the Panchamukhi Hanuman from holds the combined powers of Lord Hanuman and Lord Vishnu. All the five heads of the Panchamukhi Hanuman hold a specific signifiance which as follows:

HAYAGRIVA (THE HORSE FACE)

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Lord Hayagriva

Lord Hayagriva face is always seen facing the sky. This Hayagriva face offers superior knowledge, generates good will and blesses with good progeny. The devotees are bestowed with the zeal and passion to achieve what they aim for and help them in attaining salvation.

Narasimha (THE LION FACE)

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Lord Narasimha

Lord Narasimha faces the south. It blesses by liberating the worshipper from all kinds of fears, helps to stay away from sins and protects from evils. This avatar blesses the worshipper with victory and fearlessness.

GARUD (THE EAGLE FACE)

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Lord Garuda

The Garud face is seen facing the west. This avtar wards off negativities, Black Magic, and aliments.

VARAHA (THE BOAR FACE)

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Lord Varaha

The Lord Varaha faces the north. The Varaha face is sad to shower all kinds of wealth and prosperity to the worshipper.

HANUMAN (THE MONKEY FACE)

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Lord Hanuman

Lord Hanuman faces the east direction and besses His devotees with happiness aand fulfilment of their desires.

THE PANCHAMUKHI HANUMAN BEEJ MANTRA:-

OM SHREE HANUMATE NAMAHA…..

Posted in hindu culture/traditions

SIGNIFIANCE OF SYMBOLES OF THE LORD SHIVA

Lord Shiva is the god of gods. It is also very difficult to tell about Lord Shiva and very easy. Difficult because Mahadev is eternal and easy because Mahadev is very naive. Nevertheless, some of the symbols of Mahadev have been worn, which are described as follows.

  1. Moon – Wisdom is beyond the mind, but it needs to be expressed with a tinge of mind and this is symbolized by the crescent moon.
  2. Snake – Snake is a symbol of vigilance. To express this state of consciousness, a snake is depicted in the neck of Lord Shiva.
  3. Trishul – Trishul signifies that Shiva is above all 3 states – waking, dreaming and sleeping, yet he upholds all 3 states.
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  1. Third eye – Alertness, knowledge, and wisdom are all related to the third eye.
  2. Damru – Symbolizes the universe which is always expanding all collapsing, From an expansion it collapses and then it re-expands, this is the process of creation.
    The darmru is also a symbol of sound. Sound is rhythm and sound is energy. The whole universe is nothing but a wave function, it is nothing but rhythms. What does quantum physics say? It says the same thing – the whole universe is nothing but rhythms. It is just one wave (Adviata). So the damru signifies the non-dual nature of the universe.
  3. Bull – Bull is a symbol of religion (righteousness). Lord Shiva riding on the bull means that when you are truthful, infinite consciousness is with you.
  4. Ganges – The holy river, signifying the flow of scriptural teachings passing wisdom from one generation to the next.
  5. Tiger Skin – The tiger represents lust and desire. Sitting on the dead tiger skin shows Shiva has conquered both.
  6. Rudraksha Mala – Rudraksha beads denote purity. The mala or rosary in the right hand symbolizes concentration.

HAR HAR MAHADEV !!!!

HARE KRISHNA!!!

Posted in Basic of Hindusim, hindu culture/traditions, sanatandharma

PANCHAK NAKSHATRA

What is Panchak?

According to Vedic Astrology, the union or conjunction of 5 constellations (Nakshatra) creates the Panchak. This period is not considered to be a good time to perform certain auspicious activities. Thus, it is important to determine the Panchak period before performing any auspicious activity. There are a total number of 27 Nakshatra as per Vedic Astrology. These 27 Nakshatra are divided into 12 Zodiac Signs. Thus, each zodiac sign consists of 2.15 Nakshatra. Every zodiac sign is of 30 degrees. The length of each Nakshatra is 13 degrees and 20 minutes. Each Nakshatra is divided into four parts. Each part measures 3 degrees and 20 minutes. When the luminary planet, Moon is posited in the Aquarius and Pisces zodiac sign, it leads to Panchak.

What are the Panchak Nakshatra?

When the Moon enters the Aquarius zodiac sign, the third phase of the Dhanishta Nakshatra commences. Post that, the Moon moves through the Satabhisha, Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada, and Revati Nakshatra. The Moon takes around 5 days to complete its journey through these 5 Nakshatra. This is the time which is known as Panchak. It occurs as a repetitive phenomenon, which takes place after a period of 27 days.

Significance of Panchak

The concept of Muhurat is of utmost importance in the Hindu culture. Activities performed during the right Muhurat yield productive results. On the other hand, any task that is done during the wrong or unfavorable Muhurat is bound to yield undesirable results. Keeping in mind the importance of Muhurat, Panchak is considered to be highly significant.

Frequency Of Activities Performed During Panchak

Panchak signifies the combination of 5 Nakshatras. Thus, it is believed that if any inauspicious activity takes place during the Panchak period, it is repeated for five times. To save oneself from such a mishappening, it is important to avoid landing into trouble during the Panchak period. It is believed that if you hear the news of someone’s death during the period of the Panchak, there are high chances that you may get to listen to another four news about death. To escape this problem, a special ritual is followed. If anyone dies during the Panchak period, five dummies made up of wheat flour, and sacred grass is burnt along with the dead body during the funeral rites of the deceased person. This helps to eliminate the chances of 4 more deaths.

Types of Panchak

Panchak prevails during five days and is classified into five types on the basis of the day it commences on. All these Panchak are slightly different in nature. Also, their Do’s and Don’ts are different. Let us take a look at the different types of Panchak to get the gist of it.

1.  Rog Panchak

The word “Rog” means disease. When the Panchak period starts on Sunday, it is known as Rog Panchak. It is believed that the five days of the Rog Panchak cause physical and mental worries. One should abstain from performing any auspicious deed during Rog Panchak.

 Raj Panchak

The Panchak period that commences on Monday is referred to as Raj Panchak. The literal meaning of the word Raj is “to rule”. This is considered to be a favourable Panchak. During the 5-day span of this Panchak, there are high chances of achieving success. Also, the probability of getting gains through the government sector is quite high. Matters related to land and property yield positive results during this period.

3.  Agni Panchak

The Panchak period beginning from Tuesday is known as Agni Panchak. This period ensures success in matters of litigation. Thus, you may choose to make efforts if you have any pending court case or related issues. On the other hand, one should refrain from taking up any task related to construction. The word Agni means fire and exposing oneself to fire might pan out to be risky and dangerous during this stretch of time. Also, staying away from machinery and tools is recommended. Not adhering to the advice may put you in trouble.

4.  Chor Panchak

Chor means thief. Chor Panchak is the name given to the Panchak that starts on Friday. As the name indicates, there are chances of theft and robbery during this Panchak. Travelling is strictly prohibited within this duration. Carrying out business, financial transactions or deals is not recommended. Doing this may result in a major financial loss.

5.  Mrityu Panchaka

If the Panchak period starts from Saturday, it is known as Mrityu Panchak. Mrityu refers to death. It is believed that death-like hardships prevail during the span of this Panchak. One should avoid taking up any risky task during this period. Be careful during the Mrityu Panchak. There are high chances of injuries and accidents during this period. You may also get entangled in a conflict or an argument, so you should try to keep such a situation at bay.

Things To Avoid During Panchak

According to the scriptures, there are certain tasks and activities that one should abstain from during the period of the Panchak. Doing otherwise can put you in a whirlpool of problems. Here are some of them:

●  Travelling towards the South direction is not recommended. This direction is associated with Lord Yama, the god of death.
●  If you have a house or building under construction, you should avoid constructing the roof of the building during this period.
●  Apart from this, stay away from anything that involves wood or fuel.
●  There are some special instructions that need to be followed during the Panchak in order to minimise undesirable results. Buying a new bed or constructing one does not seem to be an activity that is recommended during the Panchak period.
●  Buying bedding, mattress, etc. or donating it to someone does not reel good results during the span of the Panchak period.

Thus, one should not perform any of the tasks mentioned above. Except these, you can perform all other tasks.

Things That Can Be Done During Panchak

Panchak is not always considered as an unfavourable period. There are certain activities, which when done during the Panchak, yield favourable and productive results. Let us have a look:

The special yogas forming during the Panchak period makes it a period of paramount importance. Dhanishta Nakshatra, Satabhisha Nakshatra, Purva Bhadrapada and Revati Nakshatra are considered to be auspicious for going on a journey, carrying out the Mundan Sanskar, doing business, etc. Also, the combination of Uttara Bhadrapada on a specific day (Vaar) results in the creation of Sarvartha Siddhi Yoga. Although, the Panchak is perceived to be an inauspicious period, it has another facet as well. Activities like engagement, marriage, etc. can be carried out during the stretch of the Panchak.

If any of the three Nakshatras of the Panchak, namely Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada and Revati fall on Sunday, they lead to the formation of various auspicious Yogas. Char, Sthir and Pravardh are the most important out of these. They help to achieve success and gains in terms of money.

The significance of Muhurat is undeniable according to the Muhurta Chintamani. Dhanishta and Satabhisha are associated with motion (Chara). Thus, any task that involves motion is not considered to be auspicious. Setting your foot on a journey, buying a new vehicle, parts of machinery, etc. are a few activities that should be avoided during this period. On the other hand, the Uttara Bhadrapada Nakshatra signifies stability (Sthir). During this Nakshatra, such tasks should be undertaken that require stability. Activities like Griha Pravesh (housewarming), puja, planting new trees, etc. can be done during this span of time. Matters related to land and property should also be laid emphasis on.

The last of these five Nakshatras is Revati. It is associated with tenderness and friendliness. Therefore, it is recommended that reconciliation should be done when this Nakshatra prevails. Bringing an end to conflicts, dealing with a business in textile industry, buying new ornaments, etc. are some of the things that may be done during this period.

Important Facts To Be Kept In Mind During A Panchak

As we have already discussed what Panchak is and how it affects our life, we have realised the fact that Panchak is an important period, during which one should act accordingly. Doing so will eventually help to maximize gains and minimise losses. These are some quick tips that will help you to gain positive results during the Panchak period.

1.  Whenever Panchak of the Dhanishta Nakshatra starts, you should stay away from collecting wood, wooden objects, fuel, grass, etc. There are chances of these things catching a fire, which might hurt you or your loved ones.
2.  If someone dies during the Panchak period, his/her family and friends must consult a priest for the detailed information about performing the funeral. Additionally, the funeral rites should not be performed during the Panchak period, unless necessary. In case it becomes a necessity, the Garuda Purana should be followed.
3.  In Garuda Purana, it is instructed to perform the funeral rites of 5 dummies made of sacred grass and wheat flour along with the dead person. Performing the funeral rites of these dummies helps to eliminate the chances of any more death in the family.
4.  During this period, travelling towards the South direction is not advisable. The South direction is believed to be associated with the god of death, Lord Yama. Travelling in this direction might invite troubles and pose dangers to your life.
5.  If Revati Nakshatra is the constellation prevailing during the Panchak, one should make sure not to construct the roof of their house during this period. Doing so may result in a financial loss or lack of peace and harmony in the family. One should be very careful regarding money related matters during this period. Neither lending money nor giving loans is recommended within this duration.
6.  Construction of a bed during the time of the Panchak may put you in trouble. There are chances of fire related accidents during the Dhanishta Nakshatra Panchak. However, during the Satabhisha Nakshatra, there is a possibility of disturbance in the life of the native, which may invite mental troubles and worries.
7.  There is a possibility of getting ill and facing health issues during the Purva Bhadrapada Panchak. The Panchak of Uttara Bhadrapada is known to bring problems and sufferings in the life of the native.
8.  The Panchak of the Revati Nakshatra causes mental worries and tension. As there are various aspects of a Panchak, one should keep in mind to adhere to the Do’s and abstain from the Don’ts during the period of the Panchak.

I hope that with this article, your knowledge base has expanded and know about Panchak. I hope that you will give your best and get productive results with the help of the above stated information.

Jai Bhole!!!!

Hare Krishna!!!

Posted in Basic of Hindusim, hindu culture/traditions, Makarsankranti

KHUMB MELA – LET’S TASTE THE NECTOR , HARIDWAR 2021

In the Bhagavad Gita it is mentioned that – When a person is devoted to something with complete faith, I (God) unify his faith in that. Then, when his faith is completely unified, he gains the object of his devotion.
Kumbh is the largest gathering of religion, faith, devotion, in which the whole of the world takes part and takes a dip in the sacred river to get emancipation. But have you ever thought that what is the significance of Kumbh, why it is important, what is the story behind Kumbh Mela? Let us take you to this divine experience –
Uttarakhand has always been considered as the land of God since ages. This land is considered as the land of seekers and devotion. It is the land of Shiva (Kedarnath & Haridwar), the land of Vishnu (Badrinath, Har-ki-Pauri), and also the origin place of Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati.

Meaning, History and Signifiance of Khumb Mela

Origin of the Kumbh is perhaps as old as Hindu religion and later in the 8th century, it was revived by Adi-Guru Shankracharya. Kumbh Mela is formed with 2 words Kumbh & Mela. Kumbh means pitcher, also connected with the Astrological term Aquarius (which also means Kumbh), and Mela means fair or gathering. According to the mythology, Devtas (Gods) & Asuras(Demons) churning the sea (Samudra-Manthan) for the acquisition of 14 precious ratnas (items).

14 Ratnas:

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14 ratnas from samudra manthan

Lakshmi, Apsaras Rambha, Varuni Devi, Kamdhenu, Airavat, Uchhaishravas, Kaustubha, Parijata, Dhanvantari, Halahal (poison), Shankha, Kalpvriksha, Amirta Kalash/Kumbh (pitcher of nectar).

Few things owned by Demons and few by Devs, but when Amrita Kumbh appears, both Devs and Demons start fighting for owning the pitcher, to become immortal. So to hide this pitcher from Demons, four Dev (Brahaspati, Surya, Chandra and Shania) ran with Amrita Kalasha. Demons started chasing them and this chase lasted for 12 days and nights. During this chase, Devs hide this pitcher at four different locations Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain, Nasik. To commemorate this holy event, Kumbh is celebrated at these places, every twelve years.

Another theory says by legends is – when Amrita Kalasha appears, Jayanta( the son of Indra) ran with the amarata Kalash for 12 days, during this few drops of nectar fell from the pitcher at four different location – Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik. Those 12 days are equal to 12 years for humans, and that’s why Kumbh is celebrated every 12 years at these locations.

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What’s the Mythological beliefs & Process of Snan:

According to mythological beliefs, taking a holy dip in the sacred river Ganga emancipates you from all the worldly sins. It is also believed that at the time of Kumbh, the water of Ganga is charged with positive healing effects and enhanced electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter.
On Kumbh Mela Snan Day, the first bath is led by the Naga Sadhus and Akhara’s Saints, which is known as Shahi Snan of Kumbh. Firstly the Saints and the Naga Saints take the royal bath and after that common people get permission to take a bath in the holy river. This Snan process starts around 2-3 Am.

Interesting Facts About Kumbh:

  • The first written information about Kumbh Mela is mentioned in Bhagavad Purana, and Hiuen Tsnag (Chinese Traveller in 629-645 AD) also the Samudra Manthan evidence is mentioned in Vishnu Purana, Mahabharat, & Ramayan.
  • Recently organised Prayag Kumbh is the World’s largest gathering of religious pilgrims.
  • Kumbh means the pitcher of nectar. The Kumbh Mela story dates back to the time when gods resided on the earth. Due to the curse of Sage Durvasa, the Devs were weakened and demons were causing havoc on the earth.

How do khumb mela date decide?

Every year, the dates for Kumbh Mela are calculated according to the combination of the Sun, Jupiter, and the Moon’s zodiac positions. The Shahi Snan is usually held on full-moon or no-moon days.The astrological dates of Kumbh at Haridwar fall when Venus and Jupiter correspond with Aquarius and Sun and Moon are on the Aries and Sagittarius.
Kumbh Mela is held in four cities (Haridwar, Prayag, Nasik, Ujjain) every three years in the rotation, thus each place getting its turn only after 12 years.

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Why does Haridwar celebrate Kumbh 2021 instead of 2022?

The last Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar was held in 2010, so mathematically the next Kumbh should be in 2022, but it would be celebrated in 2021. The reason is that after more than 100 years the Kumbh will be held earlier. It is happening because of auspicious dates and astrological positions.

Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2021 Dates (Shahi-Snan Bathing Dates):

  • Makar Sankranti (Snan) – 14 January 2021
  • Mauni Amavasya (Snan) – 11 February 2021
  • Basant Panchami (Snan) – 16 February 2021
  • Magh Poornima – 27 February 2021
  • Maha Shivratri (Shahi Snan) – 11 March 2021
  • Somvati Amavasya (Shahi Snan) – 12 April 2021
  • Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (Snan) – 13 April 2021
  • Baisakhi (Shahi Snan) – 14 April 2021
  • Ram Navami (Snan) – 21 April 2021
  • Chaitra Purnima (Shahi Snan) – 27 April 2021

Har Har Mahadev!!!

Posted in Basic of Hindusim, hindu culture/traditions, Makarsankranti, sanatandharma

Makar Sankrati 2021

Makar Sankranti Puja Muhurat For New Delhi, India

Punya Kaal Muhurat : 08:03:07 to 12:30:00Duration : 4 Hour 26 MinuteMahapunya Kaal Muhurat :08:03:07 to 08:27:07Duration :0 Hour 24 MinuteSankranti Moment :08:03:07

Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the 14th of January every year. Unlike most Hindu festivals which are determined as per the altering positions of the Moon and are based on the Lunar Calendar, Makar Sankranti is based on the Solar Calendar. Every year, Makar Sankranti is celebrated to mark the movement of the Sun in the Capricorn or Makar sign. The word ‘Sankranti’ literally means ‘movement’. Hence, the festival precisely denotes the movement of the Sun into Makar zodiac.
On the day of Makar Sankranti festival, the duration of the day and that of the night is equal making it one of the oldest solstice festivals. The festival officially marks the onset of spring or Indian summer. Post this day, the Sun stays in for a little longer as compared to the previous days making days longer than nights.

SIGNIFICANCE

Religious and Cultural perspective

The festival of Makar Sankranti has immense religious and cultural significance. In consonance with the Puranas, it is believed that Lord Surya pays visit to his son, Lord Shani who is the lord of Makar sign, on this day. This festival signifies a healthy bond that is shared between a father and a son.
Also, as per popular beliefs, Makar Sankranti is celebrated to be conscious of the triumph of Lord Vishnu over Asuras. This legend goes on to tell how Lord Vishnu ended the distress caused by Asuras on Prithvi Lok by cutting their heads off and burying them under the Mandara Parvat. Hence, signifying the victory of righteousness over impiety.

The harvest festival

Makar Sankranti is celebrated to acknowledge the fresh harvest of the season and all those who worked hard for a fruitful harvest. ‘Mattu Pongal’ is celebrated on the following day of Makar Sankranti to acknowledge the hard work and labour that the farm animals have put in for a successful harvest. Farm animals are of utmost importance for a healthy and bountiful produce. Hence, it is of immense importance to respect and celebrate their efforts and backbreaking work. In far flung villages, animals are also considered to be a part of the meeting when the next harvest and crop sowing is planned. This festival is a celebration of the bond that we share with other species and the mutually cooperative ecosystem that we live in.

The Cosmic Connect

Makar Sankranti has a divine nuance to it as well. This period of time is considered to be of ultimate importance for sages and yogis for fresh beginnings in their spiritual odyssey. In general, people consider making fresh beginnings and letting go of any horrid memories and associations of the past. Many aspects of a Yogi’s life are based on the divine bond between the human system and the cosmic system. A Yogi’s life evolves keeping into consideration, all the movements in the universe and in a human’s life; ranging from movement of the planets to the life cycle of a human being.

Festivities akin to Makar Sankranti

In India, harvest season is celebrated with uttermost zeal and joy considering that a large chunk of Indian population is that of farmers and cultivators. Hence, festivals that are celebrated in other parts of the country sharing the same lineage are as follows:

Thai Pongal / Pongal

Thai Pongal, celebrated in Tamil Nadu, is a celebration of four days to pay tribute to Lord Indra. This festival is a medium to thank Lord Indra for plentiful rain and hence the fertile land and a good yield. Thai Pongal celebrations are incomplete without the offerings made to Lord Surya and Lord Indra. On the second day of Thai Pongal, freshly cooked rice boiled in milk and served in earthern pots is offered to Lord Surya. On the third day, Mattu Pongal is celebrated to honour ‘Basava’- Lord Shiva’s bull by adorning cattle with bells, flower garlands, beads and paints. On the fourth day of Pongal, Kannum Pongal is celebrated in which all the women of the household come together to perform various rituals.

Pongal a sweet dish made of rice and Jaggery

Uttarayan

Uttarayan is specifically celebrated in Gujarat to celebrate the harvest season. Vasi Uttarayan is celebrated on the following day after Uttarayan. This festival is marked by flying kites and feasting on jaggery and peanut chikkis. Undhiyu -made of special spices and roasted vegetables- is a special dish made on the occasion of Uttarayan.

Lohri

Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab, celebrated on the 13th of January. This festival is known for bonfires that are lit in the evening and overindulgence on Moongphali (peanuts), Til (Sesame), Gajak, Gur (Jaggery) and popcorn. As a part of the worship ritual, these food items are also offered to the sacred fire before eating them.

Magh/ Bhogali Bihu

Magh or Bhogali Bihu is a one week long harvest festival of Assam. It begins on the 29th day of the month Pooh, which falls on the 13th of January and lasts almost a week. The celebrations of this festival include bonfires and a feast of rice cakes called ‘Shunga Pitha’, ‘Til Pitha’ and coconut sweets called ‘Laru’. People native to the place also indulge in games such as ‘Tekeli Bhonga’ which involves pot breaking and buffalo fighting.

Bihu in Assam

Onam

Onam is a ten day long celebration to honour the annual visit of Asura Mahabali from patala lok to Prithvi lok to meet his kin. Asura Mahabali is considered one of the most kind and influential kings that humanity has ever seen. Tableaus and processions exhibiting the culture of Kerala are organised on this festival. People native to the state and culture indulge in traditional dance during this period. The most famous activity during Onam is the boat race that pute up the most spectacular show in this duration.

Harvest festival of Kerala followed by a meal know as Sandhya

Rituals and Customs

It is customary to feast on ‘Til-Gur’ and enjoy a joyous session of kite-flying on Makar Sankranti. ‘Til-Gur’ or sesame and jaggery can be eaten in the form of laddoos or chikkis and is believed to keep the body warm, considering the cold weather during this festival. Makar Sankranti is a festival of shedding the past lead of unpleasant relations and sour memories and moving on with a positive attitude towards others. As per popular beliefs, people consume sweets on Makar Sankranti to induce sweetness in their speech and attitude which helps them tone down the hostility and praise the love and happiness around them. Sweets are also distributed on this festival to celebrate the visit of Lord Surya to meet his son, Lord Shani, keeping aside his anger.

Til Gur

Similarly, kite-flying on the occasion of Makar Sankranti has a significance of its own. In the earlier days, kite flying was usually done in the early hours of the morning just after the sunrise when the sun rays aren’t unbearable. Since the weather is usually quite cold during Makar Sankranti, it was believed that basking a little in the sun while indulging in a joyful session of kite-flying would be a good way to stay warm and away from infections and harmful bacterias. Rollicking in the sun on a warm morning with kites filling the sky with colours seems like quite a good way to celebrate happiness, joy and ardor.

Pilgrimages

Usually, Makar Sankranti marks the onset of the famous Kumbh Mela in Northern India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and the end of the Sabarimala pilgrimage in Southern India, particularly in Kerala. On this occasion, generally, people belonging to many different castes and cultures prefer taking a dip in holy water to mark the auspiciousness of this festival. It is also believed that those who die on this auspicious day gain Moksha and get freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Posted in hindu culture/traditions

The Kartik Purnima 2020

Kartika is the eighth lunar month in the month of Hindu Calender. The Purnima which occurs during the month of Kartika is known as Kartik Purnima/ Kartik Poornima. The celebrations of Kartik Purnima begins on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi also known as Devuthana Ekadashi. As Ekadashi is the eleventh day and Purnima is the fifteenth day of Kartika month, therefore, Kartika Purnima is celebrated for five days. Kartika Purnima is very significant as many rituals and festivals conclude on this day. Kartika Purnima is also known as Tripuri Purnima or Tripurari Purnima.

The festivities of Kartik Purnima celebrated for five days include:

  • Tulsi Vivah
  • Bhishma Panchaka
  • Vaikunth Chaturdashi
  • Dev Diwali

TULSI VIVAH – SIGNIFICANCE AND CELEBRATIONS

Tulsi Vivah is the solemn marriage of holy Tulsi (basil) plant and Lord Vishnu or his incarnation Lord Krishna. According to the Panchang and Hindu Calender this ceremonious celebration is performed in the month of Kartik (Shukla Paksha). The celebrations of Tulsi Marriage begin on the eleventh lunar day i.e. Prabodhini Ekadashi and continue till the full moon night or Kartik Poornima. However, in many parts of India, the festival is celebrated only on eleventh or till the twelfth lunar day. As per the Indian calendar, this festival falls either in October or November.

What is the Significance of Tulsi Vivah?

Tulsi Vivah is considered as one of the most auspicious days in Hindu Calendar. This day marks the beginning of Hindu wedding season in India. Tulsi Vivah Vrat and Puja is done religiously by married women for marital bliss and well being of their husband and children while unmarried women perform it to get married to good husbands.

The holy plant of Tulsi is believed to be the incarnation of Dev laxmi and this sacred plant is placed in every Hindu household. As per the popular legend, Goddess Tulsi was born as a woman, Vrinda, who got married to an evil king named Jalandhar. She was an ardent devotee of God Vishnu and ceaselessly prayed for her husband’s health and long life. As a result, Jalandhar became invincible. Lord Shiva requested Lord Vishnu to weaken Jalandhar’s power. So Lord Vishnu took the form of the evil king Jalandhar and deceived Vrinda. Consequent to which Jalandhar became powerless and was killed by Lord Shiva. Vrinda, on knowing the truth, cursed Lord Vishnu and drowned herself in the ocean. Lord Vishnu and other gods placed her soul in the plant which later came to be known as Tulsi. Also, Lord Vishnu married Tulsi in the next birth in the form of Shaligram (black stone) on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi. This is the reason why Tulsi Vivah is celebrated on this day with such exuberance.

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Tulsi Vivah

TULSI VIVAH – RITUALS AND CELEBRATIONS

The rituals of Tulsi Marriage with Lord Vishnu resemble the traditions and customs of any Hindu wedding ceremony. It can be performed at temples as well as in homes. On this day, Tulsi Vivah Vrat is kept which can be broken only after ceremonies begin in the evening. Similar to any Hindu marriage, a beautiful ‘Mandap’ bedecked with flowers and rangoli is created. The beginning of the ceremony is marked with giving a bath to Tulsi plant as well as the idol of Lord Vishnu and adorning them with flowers or garlands. During the ceremony, Tulsi is ornamented similar to a bride with a bright red sari, jewelry and bindi among others. The brass idol of Lord Vishnu or even a Shaligram stone (Lord Vishnu’s symbol) is made to don a traditional dhoti. The couple is then linked with a thread for the ceremony. The marriage ceremony can be performed by a priest and also by women of all age groups. The end of the ceremony is marked with devotees showering the couple with vermilion and rice. After the ceremony, ‘Prasad’ or ‘bhog’ is distributed to all the devotees present.

This festival is quite lavishly celebrated in Saurashtra region’s two Rama temples. The celebrations begin the day when an invitation card is sent by the bride’s temple to the groom’s temple. On the day of the wedding, a grand baraat or a procession is taken from Lord Vishnu’s temple to Goddess Tulsi’s temple. The baraat is gladly received by Tulsi’s villagers and the ceremony then concludes at the temple with bhajan recitals throughout the night and Lord Vishnu taking Tulsi home the next day. In some places, Tulsi Aarti is also sung after the end of the marriage ceremony.

It is a tradition in some parts that the expenses of the Tulsi Vivah are borne by childless couples or couples without a daughter. They even perform the ‘kanyadaan‘ ceremony on this day. All the bridal offerings are then given to a priest. It is also a common belief that couples who perform the kanyadaan of Goddess Tulsi are soon blessed with a child.

Bhishma Panchak Vrat

Bhishma Panchaka Vrat begins on the eleventh day, i.e Kartika Suddha Ekadashi, also known as Devuttana Ekadashi of the Shukla Paksha during the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. The Vrat gets its name from Bhishma of the Mahabharata. The fast is observed for five days which begins on the Ekadashi Vrat by remembering Bhismadev and ends on Purnima. During the Bhishma Panchak Vrat, one should avoid eating grains for the whole month and consume just milk or water for the last five days. Bhishma Panchaka is also known as Vishnu Panchaka.

Significance of Bhishma Panchak

Bhishma Panchak is observed for the last five days of the Kartik month of the Hindu Calendar, that begins with the Ashvin Purnima or Sharad Purnima and ends with Kartika Purnima. Hari Prabhodini Ekadashi is observed as the first day of Bhishma Panchak. 

Bhishma of Mahabharat

Lord Shri Krishna had narrated the importance of Bhishma Panchak Vrat to Bhishma, who then observed this vrat for these five days before leaving his physical body for the heavenly adobeafter the conclusion of Kurukshetra yudh in the Mahabharata. 

Devotees observe fast during these five days for the attainment of Moksha and for the redemption of their sins. Believers also fast during this time for gaining good health and for the health of their children. 

The greatness of Bhishma Panchak Fast is described in the Padma Purana. It is explained that this month of Kartika, is very dear to Lord Shri Hari, and bathing in the early morning during this months helps devotees attain the benefits of bathing in all pilgrimage places. 

Kartika vratinam vipra yathokta karinam naram
Yama dutah palayante simham drstva yatha gajah
Srestham visnu vipra tat tulya na satam makhah
Krtva fratum urje svargyam vaikuntham kartika vrati

– Padma Purana

The rituals for the Bhishma Panchak and the offerings to be made during this vrat are mentioned in the Bhishma Panchak Katha in the Garuda Purana. 

The Bhsihma Panchak is also known as mahabharat Bhishma panchak or Vishnu Panchak. The second day of the five days long Bhishma Panchak is celebrated as Tulsi Vivaha, and the fifth day is celebrated as the Kartik Purnima.

Bhishma Panchak Vrat Vidhi

As mentioned in the ancient Hindu scripture, Garuda Purana, special offerings should be made to the Lord during the Bhishma Panchak. 

First day, Dev Utthana EkadashiOffer Lotus flowers at the feet of the Lord
Second day, Tulsi VivahOffer Bilva leaves on the thigh of the Lord
Third day, Vishveshwara VratOffer scents (gandha) at the navel of the Lord
Fourth day, Manikarnika SnanOffer Java flowers on the shoulder of the Lord
Fifth day, Kartika PurnimaOffer Malati flowers to the head of the Lord

It is also believed that taking a bath in the Ganges or any other holy rivers every day of the five day Vishnu Panchak, and offer tarpana to the Bhishmadeva by chanting the following Mantra:-

  • Tarpana

“om vaiyaghra padya gotraya
samkrti pravaraya ca
aputraya dadamyetat
salilam bhismavarmane”

  • Arghya

“Vasunamavataraya
santanoratmajaya ca
arghyam dadami bhismaya
ajanma brahmacarine”

  • Pranam

“om bhismah santanavo birah
satyavadi jitendriyah
abhiradbhiravapnatu
putrapautrocitam kriyam”

It is believed that by following the fast and puja vidhi on these five days, one can attain the path to salvation. 

VAIKUNTHA CHATURDASHI

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Vaikuntha Chaturdashi falls on the Chaturdashi tithi of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartika. It is observed one day before Kartik Purnima and Dev Deepawali This day is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu is worshipped during Nishitha time (midnight) while Lord Shiva is worshipped during Arunodaya time (dawn).

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DEV DIWALI

Dev Diwali commonly known as Diwali of Gods is celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima. Ancient Hindu scriptures describe that Tripurasura demon was killed by Lord Shiva on this day, and this is the reason that Kartik Purnima is also known as Tripurari Purnima in marathi. Legends describe that Gods were overjoyed with the death of Tripurasura and hence celebrated Kartik Purnima just like DIWALI, by lighting earthen diyas in all the temples and at the bank of river Ganga. 

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Women lights lamps on occasion of Dev deepavali

Kartik Purnima Significance 

As per the Hindu mythology, this day of Kartik Poornima is religiously and spiritually significant. It is believed that performing Kartik Snan and worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day, blesses the devotees with immense fortune. Kartik Purnima is considered as one of the most auspicious days for performing religious ceremonies, and it is believed that auspicious ceremonies performed on this day brings joy and happiness. It is also believed that performing Kartik Snan during Kartik month is equivalent to performing 100 Ashvamegha Yagya. 

Kartik Purnima Vrat 

Devotees of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, observe fast, on the day of Kartik Purnima, and begin their day by taking a holy bath early in the morning and reading the Kartik Purnima Vrat Katha. This katha explains the story of the end of demon Tripurasura. Ancient Hindu scriptures describe that once upon a time, a demon named Tripurasura succeeded in defeating the Gods and ultimately conquering the entire World. It is believed that he created three cities in space and named them as Tripura. At this time, Lord Shiva came to rescue the Deva’s and killed this demon with an arrow and announced that this day be celebrated as festival of lights and illumination. 

Kartik Purnima is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Vrinda, personification of Tulsi plant. This day also marks the birthday of Matsya, the fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Kartikey, son of Lord Shiva was also born on this day. The last five days of the Kartik month as considered to be the most sacred days and devotees observe fast by eating only once a day, in the afternoon, which is known as Habisha. 

It is rightly stated in the Hindu scriptures, that Kartik Purnima Vrat and Puja provides a way to Artha, Dharma, Karma and Salvation.

Kartik Purnima Rituals

On this day of Kartik Purnima, taking a sacred bath at places of pilgrimage, known as ‘Kartik Snan’ at the time of sunrise and moonrise, is considered to be highly sacred. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with flowers, diyas and incense sticks. Devotees generally observe fast on this day and recite the Satyanarayan Vrat Katha after performing Rudrabhishek. Kartik Purnima also marks the marriage ceremony of Lord Vishnu and Devi Vrinda, and to celebrate this festivity, Kartik Purnima Mela is organized in Pushkar, known as Pushkar fair, during the Kartik month. This fair concludes on the day of Kartik Purnima with devotees taking the sacred dip on the Pushkar Lake for seeking Salvation.

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Posted in hindu culture/traditions, Kartik Maas

Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepavali on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Pradoshakal Dev Deepavali Muhurat – 05:08 PM to 07:47 PM

Duration – 02 Hours 40 Mins

Purnima Tithi Begins – 12:47 PM on Nov 29, 2020

Purnima Tithi Ends – 02:59 PM on Nov 30, 2020

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Ganga Aarti

WHAT IS DEV DEEPAWALI?

Dev Diwali or Diwali of Gods is a spiritually significant festival celebrated with deep devotion in Varanasi. This hindu festival lauds the triumph of Lord Shiva over evil demon Tripurasura, this is why this celebration is often termed as Tripura Utsav.

Why is Dev Diwali celebrated?

Dev Diwali is celebrated in Varanasi at the bank of River Ganges. It marks an end to the Diwali celebrations as well as concludes the TULSI VIVAH RITUALS. The religious significance of Dev Deepawali lies in the belief that on this day Gods and Goddesses come down on the earth to take a holy dip in River Ganges. The complete ghat of the holy river is bedecked with millions of tiny earthen lamps (diyas) in the honor of the Gods and Goddesses and River Ganges. This ritual of lighting up earthen lamps was initiated in the year 1985 at the Panchganga Ghat.

It is believed that on this very day, Lord Shiva became victorious on the demon named Tripurasur and hence this festival is also known as Tripura Utsav. Other festivals that fall on Dev Diwali are GURU NANAK JAYANTI & Jain light festival.

Apart from the religious significance, this day is also associated with a patriotic significance. On this day, all the brave soldier in Indian forces, who died fighting for India, are remembered and paid tribute to. Wreath are offered as a tribute to the martyrs in Varanasi. This event is organized on a grand scale by Ganga Seva Nidhi. Patriotic songs are sung and the event is ended by the last post by three Indian Armed Forces.

When is Dev Diwali?

Dev Deepawali, as it is also referred to as, comes 15 days after DIWALI on the full moon night in the lunisolar month of Kartik. This day is also known and observed as Kartik Purnima.

What to do on Dev Diwali?

On this festival, devotees take the holy dip in Ganga which is known as Kartik SnanThis is followed by Deep Daan, i.e. offering oil lamps as a symbol of reverence to Goddess Ganga. Ganga Aarti is a major attraction of this religious festival which is performed by 24 priests and 24 young girls with utmost sanctity and devotion.

How is Dev Diwali Celebrated?

Dev Diwali in Banaras or Varanasi is a celebration known for its splendor and grandeur. Thousands of devotees visit the holy city to attend this religious observance.

This festival is celebrated with much rejoice in Varanasi and in some parts of Gujarat. People decorate their homes on this day with rangoli and light oil lamps in every corner. In some homes recital of Akhand Ramayana is also done followed by distribution of Bhog.

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The main tradition of Dev Deepawali Festival is observed on the sighting of the moon. The steps of the entire ghat of River Ganges stretching from the southernmost bank i.e. Ravi Ghat to Raj Ghat are beautifully lit with tiny diyas (earthen lamps) to pay respect to Ganga river and the descended Gods and Goddesses.

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Posted in hindu culture/traditions, Kartik Maas, sanatandharma

CHHATH PUJA

Chhath puja is a Hindu Vedic festival dedicated to the sun god (Lord Surya) and chhathi Maiya. It is an important festival of Bihar; apart from that Chhath Puja is also observed in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal as well as the Madhesh region of Nepal. Chhath puja is also called Chhathi, Chhath Parv, Dala, Chhath Dala Puja, and Surya Shashthi. During this festival women of the house observe fast and pray for the wellbeing of their children and family.

WHEN IS CHHATH PUJA AND DATE

Chhath Puja is celebrated 6 days after Diwali. On sukhla paksha sasthi of Kartik month. In 2020 it falls on Friday, 20 November. Actually the rituals of Chhath Puja are observed over a period of four days. The 4 days holy festival of Chhath starts with Nahay-Khay from Wednesday, 18 November 2020.

Chhath Puja Day 1: Nahaya Khay: Wednesday, 18 November 2020
Chhath Puja Day 2: Lohanda and Kharna – Thursday, 19 November 2020
Chhath Puja Day 3: Sandhaya Arghya – Friday, 20 November 2020
Chhath Puja Day 4: Usha Argh and Paran – Saturday, 21 November 2020

Another Chhath puja is also celebrated after Holi on Chaitra Shashthi; called Chaiti Chhath.

DAY 1 – NAHAYA KHAY

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1st day of Chhath Puja is known as Nahay-Khay. The word ‘Nahay’ refers to a bath and ‘khay’ refers to eating. After bathing in the morning, the vrati women clean the grain for the puja material and dry it by covering it in the sun. Cleanliness is taken care of during washing and drying of grains. After this, women take a bath once again. From this day, not only the vrati women but also their families start taking satvik food. Kaddu Bhaat along with Channa dal is a common preparation on this day and it is cooked by using mud or bronze utensils and mango wood over a mud stove. After worship, all the observers are eaten only once on a day. After eating the food sometime mid-noon, vrati starts the waterless-fast which is broken only the next day evening while observing ‘Kharna’ the second day of Chhath Puja.

In 2020; Chhath puja day 1 – Nahay-Khay falls on Wednesday, 18 November.

Rituals of Nahay-Khay

– People first brush their teeth with mango twigs.
– Then they go to a holy water body like river Ganga and take a bath.
– Some of the holy water is brought home.
– With that water, Prasad for Lord Surya is prepared.
– In the entire day, people eat only before Surya udaya in the morning.
– After having food water is consumed only once.
– This fast is observed for 36 hours from then.
– The fast does not even permit water hence is known as ‘Nirjal’.

DAY 2- Lohanda and Kharna

The 2nd day of Chhath puja is known as Kharna. On Kharna, devotees observe Vrat for a time period of almost 8 to 12 hours. On this day devotees keep fast for the whole day and break their fast in the evening after sunset after the worship of Sun. People terminate the fast during the evening after performing Surya Puja. They offer Rasiao-kheer, puris, fruits in the puja.

This year Chhath puja day 2 Lohanda and Kharna fall on Thursday, 19 November 2020.

Lohanda and Kharna Rituals

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– The fasting continues this day till it completes 36 Hours.
– In the evening Chati Maiyya is worshipped.
– The Prasad from the puja is consumed to break the fast.
– The Prasad prepared is usually Puri and Gud ka Kheer.
– Salt is not at all consumed on this day.

DAY 3- Sandhya Arghya

The 3rd day of Chhath puja – Sandhya Arghya basically observes the worship of the Sun in the morning when it rises. It is also known as Bihaniya (Morning Arghya). In the year 2020, it falls on Friday, 20 November. Here are some important rituals of this auspicious day;

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Sandhya Arghya Ritual

– In the early morning, devotees along with their family and friends offer Bihaniya Aragh at the ghat of riverbank of Ganga or any other holy water body.
– This is the last or you can say the final day of this auspicious festival.
– The devotees gather at the bank of the river with their family and friends to offer bhorwa arghya to the rising Sun.
– Devotees also worship Chatti Maiyya, distribute thekua and then return home.
– The people who were fasting break the fast by taking the blessings of the elders and then eating ginger with water.
– The other Prasad prepared are then consumed by them.
– This is the most important part of the ritual. During the festival, the female folks spend their night by singing traditional Chhath songs.

There is also a tradition of “Dandwat Pranam” during Chhath Puja. People who have wished or wish to succeed in something, take an oath to go to the Chhath Ghat by lying and saluting on the ground in simple cloth. With the help of a “Kanda” a type of stick easily found in the locality or in fields, the devotee draws a round line by lying on the ground with the help of the stomach and stretching both hands in “Pranaam Mudra”. After arriving on the Ghat after “Dand” the devotee takes a bath in the holy river and worships Chatti Maiyya.

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Thekua to be eaten on last day

DAY 4- of Chhath Puja: Usha Arghya

In 2020; Chhath Puja 4th day falls on Saturday, 21 November.

The last day chhath puja is known as Usha Argh and Paran. The offering given to the Sun God in the morning is called Bihaniya Arghya or morning offering. The vrattis and the family members again gather at the bank of the river early in the morning and sit until the sun rises. They sing and worship Chhati Maiya. When the sun rises, the morning arghya is offered by going into the water with arghyas kept in sauri or supali. After morning offerings, the vrati distribute Prasad among each other and take blessings from elders on the ghat. After that, they come back home. After returning from the ghat, vrattis break their 36-hour long fast by taking ginger and water. After that delicious food is prepared and offered to the vrati to eat. This is called Paran or Parna. As they fast for a very long period, they usually

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take light food on that day. This way the four-day long Chhath Puja is concluded.

Devotees reach on the Ghats along with their family members and relatives on the final day and offer bhorwa arghya (morning offerings) to the rising Sun. At the Ghats, Devotees bend down on their knees to worship Chaithhi Maya after Arghya (Offerings). They also distribute Thekua and then break their fasts after reaching home.

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JAI BHHOLE !!!

HARI OM!!!

Posted in Basic of Hindusim, Diwali/ Dhanteras, hindu culture/traditions

Deepawali- Festival of lights.

Diwali Muhurat For New Delhi, India

Lakshmi Puja Muhurat : 17:30:04 to 19:25:54Duration : 1 Hour 55 MinutePradosh Kaal :17:27:41 to 20:06:58Vrishabha Kaal :17:30:04 to 19:25:54

Diwali Mahanishita Kaal Muhurat

Lakshmi Puja Muhurat :23:39:20 to 24:32:26 Duration :0 Hour 53 MinuteMahanishita Kaal :23:39:20 to 24.32.26 Simha Kaal :24:01:35 to 26:19:15

Diwali Auspicious Choghadiya Muhurat

Afternoon Muhurat (Laabh, Amrut):14:20:25 to 16:07:08Evening Muhurat (Laabh):17:27:41 to 19:07:14Night Muhurat (Shubh, Amrut, Chal):20:46:47 to 25:45:26 Early Morning Muhurat (Laabh):29:04:44 to 30:44:04

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a significant festival of the Hindus, which encompasses the five day long festivities ranging from DhanTeras to Bhaiya Dooj. The celebration extends to all of India, parts of Nepal and various other parts of the world. The word Deepavali means series of light lamps, due to which Diwali is referred to as the festival of lights. Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, portraying the triumph of good over evil.

Non-Hindu communities like Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists also celebrate this glorious festival. While Jains celebrate it to commemorate the spiritual awakening or nirvana attained by Lord Mahavira, the Sikhs observe Bandi Chhor Divas with glee as it marks the day when the Sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, unshackled the chains of the brutish prison of the Mughal Empire and freed himself.

Diwali: Scriptural Aspects

SHUBH DEEPAWALI

1.  Diwali is celebrated during the Amavasya of the Kartik month of Hindu calendar, and the MahaLaxmi Puja is done during Pradosh Kaal. If the Pradosh Kaal does not coincide with Amavasya within 2 days, then Diwali is celebrated on the second day. This is the most widely followed way to commemorate the divine day.
2.  On the other hand, there is a contrary belief that if the Pradosh Kaal does not coincide with Amavasya during two days, then it should be the first day to be chosen for the auspicious occassion of Diwali.
3.  If Amavasya does not occur, and Chaturdashi is followed by Pratipada, then Diwali is celebrated on the day of Chaturdashi itself.
4.  The optimum time for Mahalakshmi puja is during Pradosh Kaal, when any of the fixed ascendant out of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, is rising in the eastern horizon. The Pradosh Kaal prevails for approximately 2 hours and 24 minutes after sunset. If proper rituals are followed, the blessings of Goddess Laxmi are bound to be bestowed with all her divine glory.
5.  Puja can also be performed during the Mahanishita kaal, which commences 24 minutes prior to midnight and lasts for about the same period post midnight. This time is dedicated to pay reverence to Maa Kali. Generally, Pandits, Tantriks, Saints, and people who are well aware of the importance of Mahanishita kaal, utilize this time to offer their devotion to Maa Kali.

Diwali: Puja Rituals

Idol must be place like this during puja

Laxmi Puja is one of the most grandiose facet of Diwali. On this auspicious day, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha and Maa Saraswati are revered during evening and night. According to the Puranas, Goddess Lakshmi descends to the Earth, and visits every house. Any house which is spick and span, is chosen by the goddess to reside in, therefore it is said that proper cleaning and lightening of the house should be done on this opportune moment so as to please Goddess Laxmi and enjoy her divine blessings. The following points are to be considered while performing Diwali Puja:

1.  Clean the house and sprinkle the Holy Ganga Jal for the essence of purity before Laxmi Puja. Adorn the house with candles, clay-lamps and Rangoli.
2.  Create a puja altar. Spread a red cloth over it and place the idols of Maa Laxmi and Lord Ganesha on it. A picture of both can also be used for the same purpose. Place a Kalash filled with water near the altar.
3.  Apply a tilak of haldi and kumkum on Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha. Lit a diya (clay-lamp), and place it with sandalwood paste, rice, turmeric, saffron, abeer, gulaal, etc. and offer your devotion.
4.  After Lakshmi Puja, veneration of Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Kali, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kuber is performed according to the rites.
5.  The Puja ceremonies should be performed together with family members and friends.
6.  Following Lakshmi Puja, reverence can be paid to books, closets, business or other wealth related equipments.
7.  After the completion of puja, holi activities like distribution of sweets and prasad, and charity to needy should be done.

Deeds to be done during Diwali

1.  Prior to bathing, oil massage should be done, as it is presumed that this prevents financial losses.
2.  Veneration of ancestors should be done to pay homage to your lineage. During Pradosh Kaal, lights should be lit in order to guide the spirits, help them to ascend to heaven, and rest in peace thereafter.
3.  Midnight celebration preceding Diwali should be done as it helps in eliminating poverty from the house.

Legends related to Diwali

Hinduism has a number of legends associated with every festival, and so is the case with Diwali. Two main legends are followed by most of the people, and thus stand out as opposed to others.

 On the Amavasya of Kartik, Lord Rama returned to his kingdom Ayodhya, after defeating the demon king Ravana, and completing 14 years of his exile. The people of Ayodhya celebrated the homecoming of their beloved prince by lighting their houses with clay-lamps and candles with jollity.
2.  According to another legend, the demon king Narakasura stole the revered earrings of Lord Indra’s mother, and abducted 16,000 women. Terrorized by Narakasura’s overgrowing powers and consequent actions, the Devtas along with the saints, pleaded to Lord Vishnu for succour. Incarnated as Lord Krishna, he beheaded the demon on the Chaturdashi of Kartik, reclaimed the earrings, encaged the incarcerated women from the manacles of Narakasura, thus ending the tormenting reign of Narakasura and immortalizing the day as Naraka Chaturdashi. The people celebrated the victory by lightening lamps to express their gaiety on the next day, ergo leading to the celebration of Diwali.

Other prevalent legends include:

1.  Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as Vamana, the dwarf priest, and challenged the venturous Asura Bali, to provide him with enough space to cover 3 strides, to which Bali fervidly agreed. Lord Vamana covered the Earth and Heaven in two steps. For the third step, Bali offered his head and was pushed into the underworld, and was allotted the Patal-loka as his kingdom.
2.  During the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan), Goddess Lakshmi appeared in the Kshir Sagar, and accepted Lord Vishnu as her consort.

Diwali: Astrological significance

Every festival of Hinduism has an underlying astrological significance. It is believed that the positions of planets on festive occasions are fruitful for the mankind. Diwali is a golden opportunity to give a fresh start to anything and everything, ranging from initiation of new tasks to purchasing stuff. As per the Vedic Astrology, the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction during this period, and are placed in the sun sign Libra, under the rule of Swati Nakshatra. This nakshatra is a feminine constellation linked to Goddess Saraswati, and signifies a harmonious period. Libra represents harmony and balance, and is ruled by the planet Venus which promotes camaraderie, brotherhood, good faith and respect, marking Diwali as a propitious time.

Diwali is an auspicious occasion of spiritual as well as social significance. The festival of Diwali represents the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and guides us towards the right path of life.

We wholeheartedly wish you a happy Diwali, and may Goddess Lakshmi bestow upon you, all her fortunate and prosperous blessings, and you witness a scintillating future ahead for yourself.

JAI BHOLE….

HARI OM

Posted in Diwali/ Dhanteras, hindu culture/traditions, sanatandharma

Dhanteras Puja Vidhi

Dhantrayodashi or simply Dhanteras is the first significance day of Diwali. Dhan means wealth Teras means thirteenth day in the moon cycle. This festivals of wealth falls in the month of kartik, Krishna Paksha. It usually occurs one or two days before Diwali Puja day or Laxmi Puja.

DHANTERAS IS FESTIVAL OF WEALTH.

On the day of Dhantrayodashi day, Devi Lakshmi emerged with other treasures during the Churning of Ocean (Samudra Manthan). This is why Dhantrayodashi is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber, treasurer of the world. People pray to Goddess Laxmi for prosperous life, fulfillment of desires and wellbeing of their families. It is also customary to purchase new things and bringing valuables home on this day for the whole year. In addition Lord Kubera is also worshipped on this day.

BEST WAY TO PLACE THE DHANTERAS DIYA IS ON THE SOUTHWEST DIRECTION, FLAME OF DHANTERAS DIYA IS FOR GOD YAMA.

Dhanteras 2020

13 November

Dhanteras Tithi – Friday, 13 November 2020

Dhanteras Puja Mahurat – Evening 05:25 to 05:59 pm

Pradosh Kaal – Evening 05:25 to 08:06 pm

Vrishabha Kaal – Evening 05:33 to 07:29 pm.

WHAT TO DO ON DHANTERAS

Early morning Rangolis are made on the entrance of the House.

One can buy metal like gold, platinum, silver, copper, brass but do not buy iron. Donating metal on this day is also considered auspicious.

On this day earthen lamps are lite for Yama on the south direction outside the houseand keep it burning throughout the night in the tradition of deep daan.

LEGENDS AND STORIES OF DHANTERAS

Story of Lord Dhanvantari– Lord Dhanvantari, who is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and physician of Deities, came out of the ocean that was churned by the Deities and the demons, on the day of Dhanteras. It is said that God Dhanvantari appeared with Ayurveda for the well-being of mankind.

Story of King Hima- King Hima’s son was expected to die on the fourth day of his marriage and the cause was snakebite. When his smart wife went to learn about such a forecast, the wife of the king’s son decided not to let her husband die and she created a plan. On the fourth day of their marriage, at the door of the room, she gathered all the riches and jewellery and lit lights every nook and corner of the location. She then started singing songs and started saying tales one by one to prevent her husband from sleeping.

The God of death, Lord Yama, arrived in the shape of a snake in the midnight. His eyes were blinded by the bright lights and the lamp’s radiance and he could not enter their room. So Lord Yama continued to sit there all night waiting for a chance to bite the child of the king. As the king’s son’s wife kept singing songs and telling stories all night long so he couldn’t get any opportunity and Lord Yama silently left the place in the morning.

The wife saved the life of her husband from the cruel death’ shand. Since then, Dhanteras day has also been known as’ Yamadeepdaan’ day, and it has become a ritual to light a lamp, Diya, and maintain it burning all night with regard to Lord Yama, the God of death.

Story of MaaParvati – Legend claims Lord Shiva’s consort Goddess Parvati played dice on this day with her husband and won. And so it’s a custom followed by some Hindus, where entrepreneurs playdice, lottery, cards orgambling to ensure wealth and prosperity throughout the year.

The ocean was churned by gods and demons to get Amrita or nectar, another legend behind celebrating Diwali. Dhanvantari (regarded as Gods ‘ physicist and Lord Vishnu’s embodiment) had emerged from the sea churning (having elixir jar). The same day as the Dhanteras is celebrated.

BUYING GOLD ON DHANTERA

Hindus prefer to be guided by the mahurat, the auspicious time to purchase. Pushya Nakshatra and Dhanteras are the two most auspicious occasions when people can buy gold and precious metals. Pushya Nakshatra is ruled by Jupiter and is also the birth star of Goddess Lakshmi. Therefore, it becomes the most auspicious time to bring home the goddess of wealth. Because od its association with Lakshmi, Pushya is the most appropriate for buying gold and jewelry. When Pushya Nakshtra rises on thursday, it is called Guru Pushya yoga and when it rises on Sunday, it creates the Ravi Pushya Yoga. As per Vedic astrology, both are auspicious for buying gold.

DHANTERS PUJA

On Dhanteras invocation of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha as well as God of wealth Kuber who are all worshipped in order to invite abundance and blessing.

GANESH PUJA VIDHI

Lord Ganesh is worshiped first. His idol is bathed and then anointed with sandal paste. He is placed on red cloth and sweets and flowers are offered to Lord. Offerinf lamp or Diya to Lord ganesh just add some sandalwood into it. Chant Ganesha Mantra and invoke his blessings to dhanteras puja.

” ॐ गं गणपतये नमः “

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Meaning: It means bowing down to Ganapati with all our existence and accepting all his great qualities in our self-being.

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Lord Dhanvantri

Lord Dhanvantri is regarded as the founder of ayurveda. People pray to Dhanvatri seeking cure of diseases and good health of family. Bathing Lord Dhanvantri Idol with Vermillion, he is offered nine varities of grains (Navadhanya). Now chant the mantra below.

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaaya
Dhanvantaraye Amrita- Kalasha Hastaaya
Sarva-amaya Vinashaaya Trailokya Naathaya
Dhanvantri Maha-vishnave Namaha’

This is another mantra dedicated to Lord Dhanvantari, which describes his form, hails his greatness, offers salutations to him and seeks his grace for destroying diseases.

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Lord Kuber

KUBER PUJA VIDHI

On this evening, Lord Kuber is worshipped ritualistically and offered flowers. after you have offered him incense, diya, fruits and sweets, chant the following mantra to invoke Lord Kuber mantra.

” Om Yaksha Rajaya Vidhmaya
Alikadeesaya Deemahe
Tanna Kubera Prechodayath॥”

Translation– “We meditate on Kuber, the king of the Yakshas, and son of Vishravana. May that god of wealth inspire and illumine us.”

LAKSHMI PUJA VIDHI

The best time for Lakshmi Puja on dhanteras is during Pradosh Kaal which falls after sunset and lasts for about two and half hours. Place the idol on cloth and also place a handful of grains in center along with water filled in kalash place some beetle nut, a flower, coin and some rice grains in the kalash. Arrange 5 mango leaves in the kalash. Also place inks and books related to your business or study or profession. Light a ghee lamp with astangandh mixed in the ghee. Then offer haldi kumkum astangandh, water and flower. Then recite the following Mantra

Lakshmi Mantra

This Lakshmi Mantra is to be recited 21×108 times (21 mala of lakshmi Mantra) on the day of Diwali.

ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं ऐं सौं ॐ ह्रीं क ए ई ल ह्रीं ह स क ह ल ह्रीं सकल ह्रीं सौं ऐं क्लीं ह्रीं श्री ॐ।

Om Shring Hring Kling Aing Saung Om Hring Ka A Ee La Hring Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hring Sakal Hring Saung Aing Kling Hring Shring Om |

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Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra

By reciting Lakshmi(Laxmi) Gayatri Mantra one can get prosperity and success.

ॐ श्री महालक्ष्म्यै च विद्महे विष्णु पत्न्यै च धीमहि तन्नो लक्ष्मी प्रचोदयात् ॐ ।।

Om Shree Mahalakshmyai Cha Vidraahe Vishnu Patrayai Cha Dheemahi Tanno Lakshmi Prachodayat Om ||

Meaning : “Let me meditate on the greatest Goddess, Who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, Give me higher intellect, And let Goddess give me abundance and prosperity.”

Benefit : By reciting Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra one can get prosperity and success in every walk of life.

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While doing lakshmi puja one must image this image in mind.

YAMA DEEP DAAN ON THIS DAY

Dhanteras also involves the worship of Lord Yama, the God of death. Lord Yama is Honoured with Deep daan on this day for protection of one’s family and loved once. After worshipping Yam Dev, 13 lamps should be lit.

YAMA DEEPAM DAAM IS CELEBRATED IN THE EVENING ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020.

YAMA DEEPAM PRADOSH KAAL – 06.01PM TO 7.17PM.

PROCEDURE FOR YAMA DEEP DAAN

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deep daan

thirteen earthen lamps filled with sesame oil(til ka tale) should be placed outside the house, facing southwards direction of Lord Yama in the evening. A lamp is usually never kept facing southwards except on this day. Then reciting the following mantra, a person should offer obeisance to Yama, the Lord of Death.

‘ मृत्युना दण्डपाशाभ्यां कालेन श्यामया सह ।त्रयोदश्यां दीपदानात्‌ सूर्यजः प्रीयतां मम ॥ ’

With this Deepa daan on Trayodashi, may Surya’s son Yama be pleased without Mrityu (Death), Pasha (Yama’s rope of death), Danda (Yama’s stick) and ‘Kaal’ (Death time).

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SHUBH DHANTERAS…

JAI MAA LAKSHMI…

HARI OM….