Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Greed is a vice

Long time back, there used to live a man named Vikram. He never helped anybody by anything. Even his mother died because of hunger.


One day, he went to market for buying some fruits. He started bargaining with fruit vendors. Feeling that the cost is very high, he decided to go to a farm and steal fruits so that he could get them free of cost. He climbed the tree and got some fruits. He in the greed started ascending the tree and tried getting more and more fruits. Suddenly he slipped and hanged from a branch of the tree, which was pretty high from the ground.
Fortunately a mahout (Elephant master) was passing near by. Vikram shouted for help and offered him half of his property in case mahout saved his life. In greed for Vikram’s money, he went with the elephant near to Vikram. He stood on his elephant and tried bringing Vikram down. Meanwhile, the elephant saw the near pond and it went away to drink some water leaving the mahout hanging on to Vikram. Mahout begged Vikram to hold the branch tightly. To the relief of them, they saw a ghudsawaar (Horse rider) passing by. The mahout shouted to him for help and offered his elephant in return of favour. Ghudsawar, in greed went to help them. The horse too took the way of the elephant. Ghudsawar too hanged on to mahout.
Ultimately a farmer saw the three men in tragic situation. He ran to arrange a ladder and saved the lives of three.
“A greedy man not only destroys himself but also others.”
“One must never be greedy. Because of greed, people act foolish.”
“People must help each other with love and affection, but not for money.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Understand good intentions of your parents

Once there was a sculptor who used to create the statues of Lord.

After finishing his statues, he used to show them to his father for the feedback. But his father always found his statues faulty and asked him for the improvement. Son tried harder and made the statues with full devotion, dedication and hardwork but his father never satisfied with his creations.
Out of the frustration, he thought an idea. He created a beautiful statue and buried it in the ground. After some time, he dug it out and shown to his father and said that he found the statue hidden in the ground. His father was amazed with the beauty of the statue. He said, “Son!! You should make your statues like this.”
His son said with pride, “Father, I’ve created this statue!”. His father became sad, “From now on you will never improve. I used to scold you about your statues so you would always try to do better. Your hands won’t improve beyond this point now” he explained.
Moral of the story
“Understand good intentions of your parents.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Curse Behind The Birth Of Lord Hanuman

Curse Behind The Birth Of Lord Hanuman

Lets read an interesting incident behind the birth of Lord Hanuman. This incident of Lord Vihnu and Narada is derived in the Vishnu Purana and Naradeya Purana.

narada ape face

Narada wanted to marry a princess. So, to impress her, he wanted to look as good as Lord Vishnu. He went to lord Vishnu and requested Him for Hari-mukh (Face resembling Vishnu). Hari is another name of Vanara (Ape) also. So, Vishnu bestowed him with the face of an ape. Unaware of this, Narada went to the princess. Seeing Narada’s ape like face, she burst into laughter.

Narada felt humiliated and cursed Vishnu that one day Vishnu would be dependent upon an ape. Vishnu replied Narada that he intentionally gave him because after entering into matrimony, Narada would undermine his powers. Vishnu also told him that Hari is another meaning of vanara (ape).

Listening all this, Narada regretted on his action. But Vishnu told him not to regret as the curse would act as a boon.

In Treta Yuga, this incident lead to the birth of monkey-face Lord Hanuman. Without the help of Hanuman, Lord Rama (Incarnation of Vishnu) could not kill Demon King Ravana.

Why Goddess Laxmi is depicted as sitting next to Lord Vishnu’s feet?

Why Goddess Laxmi is depicted as sitting next to Lord Vishnu’s feet?

Laxmi sitting next to the feet of vishnu

The posture gives a wrong message to society about women’s status in Hinduism. There is an interesting story behind this posture of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu. The picture is just a symbolic representation of cleanliness, order, preserving and has nothing to do with the relationship of man/woman. Vishnu is the keeper or lord of the house and Laxmi is the one who ensures that the keeper is guarded from misfortune.

Hindu Goddess Alaxmi
Alaxmi is the older sister of Laxmi. Laxmi is the goddess of prosperity while Alaxmi is the goddess of misfortune. Alaxmi follows Laxmi wherever she goes.

Alaxmi does not have a husband. She is extremely jealous of Laxmi. Her sole intention in life is to capture Vishnu. She is described as being cow-repelling, antelope-footed and bull-toothed. She has a wrinkled body, thick lips, and small, globular, glittering eyes. She sometimes takes the form of an owl that is depicted accompanying Laxmi.

One day Laxmi went enraged and asked Alakhsmi – “Why do you want my husband? Please leave me alone and let me enjoy his company”.

To this alakhsmi had said – “I do not have a husband and I am not worshipped. I will follow you wherever you go”.

Laxmi then said – “Mrityu, god of death, decay, and degeneration will be your husband and she will dwell wherever there is dirt, ugliness, sloth, gluttony, envy, rage, hypocrisy, greed and lust.”

So it is Laxmi who is cleaning Vishnu’s dirty feet, because if it is dirty, Alaxmi will come and drive her out and claim her husband.

The symbolic representation

Indian mythology is mostly symbolic and subjective. Here is the subjective meaning:

Fortune and misfortune go hand in hand, just like Laxmi and Alaxmi. When good fortune showers on you, misfortune sits quietly next to the entrance, waiting for an opportunity to come inside. That is alaksmi, waiting for an opportunity to enter your house and drive out the laxmi.

Whenever your house is dirty, there is fight among parents, there is lust, hypocrisy among brothers, gluttony among women, greed between son and father, women are dressed in dirty clothes. It is a sign of Alaxmi entering the house and driving Laxmi away.

Hence, the laxmi in the house must wake up and prevent alaxmi from entering. This is why you see the house is cleaned every morning, agarbatties (Incense sticks) are lighted, people wear fresh new clothes in festivals. This is done to prevent misfortune (Alaxmi) from entering the house.

Monday, October 27, 2014

कार्तिक पूर्णिमा

कार्तिक पूर्णिमा
विक्रम सम्वत् 2071  कार्तिक शु. पूर्णिमा  06th Nov 2014

Kartika Poornima (Kartika purnima) is a Hindu, Jain and Sikh holy festival, celebrated on the Purnima (full moon) day or the fifteenth lunar day of Kartika (November–December). It is also known as Tripuri Poornima and Tripurari Poornima. It is sometimes called Deva-Diwali or Deva-Deepawali - the festival of lights of the gods

संसार की रचना के समय से ही कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन का अपने आप में बहुत खास महत्तव रखता है। हिन्दु धर्म में इस तिथि को पवित्र मानने के पीछे एक कारण यह भी है कि इस दिन को ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, शिव, अंगिरा और आदित्य जैसे देवताओं का दिन माना गया है।

शास्त्र कहते हैं-

पुराणों और शास्त्रों की कथा के अनुसार कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन ही भगवान शिव ने त्रिपुरासुर नामक महाबलशाली राक्षस का संहार किया था इसी कारण इसका महत्व केवल वैष्णव भक्तों के लिए ही नहीं बल्कि शिव भक्तों के लिए भी है। इस दिन श्रीसत्यनारायण जी की कथा सुनने का प्रचलन है और शाम के समय भक्त मंदिरों, चौराहों को साथ-साथ पीपल के वृक्ष, तुलसी के पौधे पर भी खास तौर पर दीपक जलाये जाते हैं। इस दिन गंगाजी को भी दान अर्पण किया जाता है। पुराणों में उल्लेख है कि कार्तिक पूर्णिमा को धर्म, अर्थ, काम और मोक्ष जैसे चारों पुरूषार्थो को देने वाला दिन माना गया है और स्वयं विष्णु ने ब्रह्मा को, ब्रह्मा जी ने नारद को और नारद जी ने महाराज पृथुकों को कार्तिक मास के दिन सर्वगुण सम्पन्न महात्म्य के रूप में बताया है।

क्या करते है कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन-

ऐसा माना जाता है कि कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन से शुरु करके प्रत्येक पूर्णिमा को व्रत और जागरण करने से सभी मनोकामनाएँ सिद्ध होती हैं। इस दिन भक्त स्त्रान, दान, हवन, यज्ञ और उपासना करते हैं ताकि उन्हें मन चाहे फल की प्राप्ति होती हो सके। इस दिन गंगास्त्रान और शाम के समय दीपदान करना भी बहुत शुभ माना गया है। कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन भारी तादाद में गंगा जैसी पवित्र नदियों में स्नान करना शुभ माना जाता हैं। शास्त्रों में कहा गया है कि भरणी नक्षत्र में गंगा स्नान व पूजन करने से सभी तरह के ऐश्वर्य और सुख-सुविधा की प्राप्ति होती है।

कार्तिक पूर्णिमा का महत्तव-

साल मे करीब 16 अमावस्या पड़ती है लेकिन साल की सबसे काली और लंबी अमावस्या की रात कार्तिक मास की अमावस्या यानि दीपावली के दिन मनाई जाती है और इसके 15 दिन बाद कार्तिक मास की पूर्णिमा पड़ती है जो संसार में फैले अंधेरे का सर्वनाश करती है। लोगों में ऐसी आस्था है कि इस दिन ईश्वर की अराधना करने से मनुष्य के अंदर छिपी सभी तामसिक प्रवृतियों का नाश होता है और इनकी सामप्ति के साथ ही मनुष्य देव स्वरूप प्राप्त कर सकता है। कार्तिक में पूरे माह ब्रम्हा मुहूर्त में नदी, तालाब, कुण्ड, नहर में स्त्रान कर नियमपूर्वक भगवान की पूजा की जाती है। कलियुग में कार्तिक मास व्रत को मोक्ष का द्बार बताया गया है।

गंगा स्नान का महत्तव-

शास्त्रों में कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन गंगा स्नान का बड़ा महत्तव बताया गया है। ऐसा श्रद्धापूर्वक माना जाता है कि कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन गंगा स्नान करने से पूरे साल गंगा मईया आप पर प्रसन्न रहती है। इस दिन न केवल गंगा बल्कि अन्य पवित्र नदियों के साथ-साथ तीर्थों में भी स्नान करने की प्रथा है यमुना, गोदावरी, नर्मदा, गंडक, कुरूक्षेत्र, अयोध्या, काशी में भी स्नान करने से विशेष पुण्य की प्राप्ति होती है। कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन उत्तर प्रदेश के गढ़मुक्तेंश्वपर तीर्थ में लोग बड़ी श्रद्धा से स्नान करते है। क्योंकि गढ़मुक्तेिश्व र और महाभारत काल के बीच गहरा संबंध है। दरअसल युद्घ समाप्त होने के बाद युद्धिष्ठिर अपने परिजनों का शव देखकर बहुत दुखी हो उठे थे। पाण्डवों को इस दुख से निकालने के लिए ही भगवान श्री कृष्ण ने गढ़मुक्तेश्वर में आकर इसी दिन मृत आत्माओं की शांति के लिए यज्ञ और दीपदान किया और तभी से कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन गढ़मुक्तेृश्वंर में स्नान और दीपदान की परंपरा शुरू हुई थी।

कार्तिक पूर्णिमा की पूजन विधि-

इस दिन सुबह स्नान करने के बाद पूरा दिन निराहार अर्थात बिना भोजन के रहा जाता है और भगवान विष्णु की आराधना करते हुए पूरे दिन भगवान का भजन करते हैं । इस दिन मंदिरों को विशेष रुप से सजाया जाता है। कार्तिक पूर्णिमा का व्रत करने वाले भक्त ब्राह्मण को भोजन भी कराते है, जो विशेष पुण्य की प्राप्ति होती है। ब्राह्नण को भोजन से पूर्व हवन भी कराया जाता है। अपनी क्षमता के अनुसार ब्राह्मण को दान-दक्षिणा दी जाती है और रात्रि में चन्द्रमा के दर्शन करने पर शिवा, प्रीति, संभूति, अनुसूया, क्षमा तथा सन्तति इन छहों कृत्तिकाओं का भी पूजन किया जाता है। ऐसा माना जाता है कि इस दिन पूजन तथा व्रत के बाद यदि बैल दान किया जाता है तो व्यक्ति को शिवलोक की प्राप्ति होती है। इस दिन गंगा तथा अन्य पवित्र स्थानों पर श्रद्धा-भक्ति के साथ स्नान करने वालों को भाग्यशाली माना जाता हैं।

कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन दान का महत्तव-

शास्त्रों में दान का बड़ा महत्व बताया गया है लेकिन कार्तिक पूर्णिमा के दिन किए गए दान का अपना ही एक अलग विशेष महत्व है। हिन्दू धर्म में ऐसी मान्यता है कि इस दिन जिस वस्तु का भी दान किया जाता है, वो उसे मृत्यु के पश्चात स्वर्ग में वापस मिल जाती है और प्रेमपूर्वक जो भी जरूरतमंदों को वस्त्र,धन और अनाज का दान करता है, उसे बहुत पुण्य की प्राप्ति होती है।

Kartik Purnima Fair in Sidhpur

Kartik Purnima festival in sidhpur city at Patan district of Gujarat is famous for worldwide. The folk festival called katyokana fairs. The Mata of fair procedure tarpana cultural tradition associated with it. People across the country are coming to the fair dead maa (Mother) as well as several generations of his mother Saraswati River as beds Sidhpur brahrman tarpana vidhi.

Patan district passes a town in the primal Saraswati River basin and many of the works in this area. Which is the spontaneous in Siddhpur sivalinga, Siddhpur rudramahalaya as well as during fairs were katyokana tarpana vidhi Siddhpur town and is popular throughout of India. Situated on the shores of the sacred Saraswati river town old Siddhpur many constructions have been built by Solanki vansana rajoo famous Jag. Official who called Saraswati River also identifies a virgin. 

The river until the sea is not mixed up in any other river, so it is also called a virgin. Such a sacred place for thousands of years as a folk fair is held on Kartik Sud moon is known as the fair katyokana festival.
Siddhpur thagala bapaji at the temple with the patanavada around Visnagar and its adjacent living Modi society at large thagala bapaji tonsure ceremony for the forelock of Kartik Sud Poonam agiyarasathi flocking. So this is also a large number of people are fair society Modi.

Three river confluence

According to one myth conflux of three previous times, this place was so triveni sangam spotlights bath for a large number of people were believed to have originated in this folks fairs.

Popular for Siddhpur matrgaya

This time is matrutarpan ceremony as beds for people to come to the fair. Where the vidhi tarpana for thousands of people is per year are remotely.

In this fair:-

The people who stayed overnight stay away from the river as beds. Lowell contents themselves with the river as beds as well as beds of river jamata cooking and overnight cooking enjoying the Show.
Le animals - but this fair so well known for Marketers

Saraswati River as beds bharata large number of cattle traders in the fair's own camel, cattle, horses, domesticated animals, such as the sale of thousands of people to buy these animals are fair. The fair one million five - seven million rupee cost tens of thousands of cattle and horses, as well as take - also in marketing.

The fair held horse races, camel races are also a number of people are attracted to the fair. On the other hand, the value of such animals might do to the mouth of the animals subjected kharidanara race.

Guru Nanak Dev Prakash Purab

Guru Nanak Dev Prakash Purab

विक्रम सम्वत् 2071 कार्तिक शुक्ल पूर्णिमा        6th November 2014

Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith was born in 1469 A.D. in the village of Talwandi in  Lahore, Pakistan. Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh  religion. Sikhs do not worship idols and believe that God is formless. They celebrate the birth  anniversaries of 10 Sikh gurus as Gurupurabs with devotion and dedication.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

 About Guru Nanak Dev

 Guru Nanak was born into a Kshatriya family and was a son of an accountant. Even as a child, Nanak  had a mystic disposition and had a contemplative mind. He was of a pious nature and started meditation and spiritual practices very early in life. As a seven year old boy, he questioned his Hindi teacher about ‘knowledge’ and how will it help to attain freedom. His father then tried to divert his mind to worldly affairs and asked him to cultivate land and tend the cattle. He also put him in charge of a shop but all his efforts failed as his only work was meditation and praying to God. Guru Nanak eventually married and had two sons but he left his family life and became an ascetic.

The three basic guidelines

Guru Nanak founded & formalized the three pillars of Sikhism :

1. Naam - Guru ji led the Sikhs directly to practise Simran and Naam Japna – meditation on God through reciting, chanting, singing and constant remembrance followed by deep study & comprehension of God’s Name and virtues. In real life to practice and tread on the path of Dharam (righteousness) - The inner thought of the Sikh thus stays constantly immersed in praises and appreciation of the Creator and the ONE ETERNAL GOD Waheguru.

2. Kirat Karni - He expected the Sikhs to live as honourable householders and practise Kirat Karni – To honestly earn by ones physical and mental effort while accepting both pains & pleasures as GOD's gifts and blessings. One is to stay truthful at all times and, fear none but the Eternal Super Soul. Live a life founded on decency immersed in Dharam - life controlled by spiritual, moral & social values.

3. Vand Chakna - The Sikhs were asked to share their wealth within the community by practising Vand Chakna – “Share and Consume together”. The community or Sadh Sangat is an important part of Sikhism. One must be part of a community that is living the flawless objective values set out by the sikh Gurus and every Sikh has to contribute in whatever way possible to the common community pool. This spirit of Sharing and Giving is an important message from Guru Nanak.


Guru Nank Jayanti is marked by prabhat pheris or early morning processions that begins from the gurudwaras and then moves to different localities singing hymns or shabads. The celebration lasts for three days. Usually two days before the birthday of Guru Nanak, ‘Akhand Path’ or forty-eight hour non-stop reading of the holy book of the Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib is carried on at the gurudwaras. A procession is carried out on the day before his birthday which is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones). Sikh flag, or the Nishan Sahib and the palki or the palanquin of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is taken out in the procession. The procession also includes a group of singers singing hymns in praise of Guru Nanak and Gatka teams displaying their showmanship through martial arts. The leaders of the procession also spread the message of Guru Nanak.

Gurupurab day begins early with the singing of the Asa-di-Var (morning hymns) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures. It is followd with Katha or the exposition of the scriptures along with poems and lectures in praise of Guru Nanak. Langar or special community lunch is prepared at the gurudwaras. The langar along with ‘Karah Prasad’ is offered to men and women of all communities.

Tulsi Vivah

Tulsi Vivah 

विक्रम सम्वत् 2071 कार्तिक शुक्ल एकादशी     3rd November 2014

Tulsi means the "incomparable one", has spiritually uplifting qualities. The Tulsi (Basil) plant is a sacred plant  for the Hindus. Tulsi Pooja (Worship of Tulsi) is observed almost every day in almost all the Hindu houses. It is  regarded as an incarnation of Mahalaxmi. The festival of ‘Tulsi Vivah' or the wedding day of Tulsi and  Shaligram. is celebrated after Kartik Shukla Ekadashi uptil Purnima. Tulsi Vivah is considered the beginning  of the wedding season. Tulsi plant which is sacred bush of herbal leaves symbolizes Hindu femininity  respected by men and women. Tulsi is regarded as the "Mother of the World."

It is said that Tulsi an incarnation of Maha Lakshmi, who was born as Vrinda in her previous birth. Vrinda was married to a demon king Jalandhar. But she prayed to Lord Vishnu that her demon husband would be protected, with the result that no God was able to harm him. However on the request of the other Gods, Lord Vishnu took the form of Jalandhar and stayed with the unsuspecting Tulsi. When the truth emerged after Jalandhar's death, Vrinda cursed Vishnu and turned him to stone (Shaligram) and collapsed. From her body emerged the Tulsi plant. That is why Vishnu pooja is considered incomplete without Tulsi leaves. Tulsi vivah is celebrated on the next day of Kartiki Akadashi. On this day Tulsi is married to Shaligram.

Another legend behind this goes as Tulsi came out of the ocean during Amrita manthan as a younger sister of Lakshmi. She was devoted to Lord Vishnu and wanted to marry him but Lakshmi, who was already married to him, did not like the idea and cursed her to become a plant. Thus the Tulsi plant was born. But the all merciful Lord Vishnu took pity and fulfilling her wish declared that when he will be in the form of a Shaligram she will remain close to him in the form of a Tulsi leaf.

On this day Tulsi plants are beautifully decorated as a bride. Sugarcane and branches of tamarind and Amla trees are planted along with the Tulsi plant. People prepare various delicious sweet dishes at home. In Goa a typical Goan ojhe (load of sweets) is sent to the daughter from her parental home along with jodi (cotton threads used to light lamp while performing aarti). Tulsi Vivah ceremony takes place in the late evening. Various poha dishes are offered to Lord Vishnu. Then prasad is distributed among family members and friends.

Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja 

विक्रम सम्वत् 2071 कार्तिक शुक्ल षष्ठी       29th October 2014

Chhath (Hindi: छठ, also called Dala Chhath) is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to Surya, the chief solar deity, unique to Bihar, Jharkhand and the Terai . This major festival is also celebrated in the northeast region of India, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Chhattisgarh. Even in Tamil Nadu, the migrants from the north celebrate Chhath.

The word chhath denotes the number 6 in Hindi and the festival begins on the sixth day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik, which corresponds to months of October and November (a week after Diwali). Chhath is the holiest Hindu festival of Bihar & eastern UP. It extends to four days.


The ancient Sanskrit epic Mahbharata has references to Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, worshipping the sun, which was believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and ensure longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders. In addition, it is believed that Chhath was started by Karna, the son of Surya, who became a great warrior and fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.


It is celebrated twice a year: once in the summers (May-July), called the Chaiti Chhath, and once in the winter (September-November) around a week after Deepawali, called the Kartik Chhath. The latter is more popular because winters are the usual festive season in North India, and Chhath, being an arduous observance, requiring the worshippers to fast without water for more than 24 hours, is easier to undertake in the Indian winters. Chhath is mainly a Bihari festival, and so it is celebrated wherever people from Bihar have migrated. This is a ritual bathing festival that follows a peri of abstinence and ritual segregation of the worshiper from the main household for four days. During this period, the worshiper observes ritual purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket. The main worshipers, called Parvaitin (from Sanskrit parv, meaning 'occasion' or 'festival'), are usually women. However, a large number of men also observe this festival. The parvaitin pray for the well-being of their family, for prosperity and offspring.

On the eve of Chhath, houses and surroundings are scrupulously cleaned. One the first day of the festival, the worshiper cooks a traditional vegetarian meal and offers it to the Sun God. This day is called Naha-Kha (literally, 'Bathe and eat'!). The worshiper allows herself/himself only one meal on this day.

On the second day, a special ritual, called Kharna, is performed in the evening after Sun down. On this day also, the worshiper eats his/her only meal from the offerings (Prashad) made to the Sun God in this ritual. Friends and family are invited to the household on this day to share the prashad of the ritual. From this day onwards, for the next 36 hours, the worshiper goes on a fast without water.

Third day, the evening of the next day, the entire household accompanies the worshiper to a ritual bathing and worship of the Sun God, usually on the bank of a river, or a common large water body. The occasion is almost a carnival. Besides the main worshiper, there are friends and family, and numerous participants and onlookers, all willing to help and receive the blessings of the worshipper. Ritual rendition of regional folk songs, carried on through oral transmission from mothers and mothers-in-law to daughters and daughters-in-law, are sung on this occasion.

Fourth day, the same bathing ritual is repeated on the following day at the crack of dawn. This is when the worshipper breaks his/her fast and finishes the ritual. Chhath being celebrated at the crack of the dawn on a river bank is a beautiful, elating spiritual experience connecting the modern Indian to his ancient cultural roots

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bhaiya Dooj

Bhaiya Dooj

The fifth day of Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated as Bhaiya Dooj, popularly know as Bhai Dooj. The name itself denotes the day of the festival i.e it falls on Dooj, the second day after the new moon. This day Yamaraj went to his sister's house who put an auspicious mark on his forehead for his welfare. Thus, on this day sisters perform Puja for their brother’s safety and well-being. Brothers in return give gifts to their sisters as a token of love.

Another version is after killing Narakasur, Lord Krishna, went to his sister Subhadra who welcomed him in the traditional way by showing him a light and putting on his forehead a tilak of her sisterly protection. Another story informs when Bhagawaan Mahavir found nirvana, his brother Raja Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during this festival.

Bhai Dooj

The festival of Diwali is not complete without "Bhaiya-Duj" in the Hindi-speaking belt, "Bhav-Bij" in the Marathi-speaking communities, "Bhai Phota" to the Bengalees and in Nepal by the name of "Bhai-Tika". Bhai Dooj has its own importance in continuing to maintain the love between brothers and sisters for it is the day of food-sharing, gift-giving and reaching out to the inner most depths of the hearts. As a festival of light and beauty it encourages artistic expressions through home-decorations stage-plays, elocution competitions singing and dancing programmes, making gift items and making delectable sweets thereby discovering new talents of younger people. As a result innumerable communities with varying cultures and customs mingle together to make Bhai Dooj celebrations a very happy occasion for all

Govardhan Puja / This ceremony is called “ankut”

Govardhan puja is celebrated on the day after Deepawali. On this occasion Mount Govardhan, near Mathura,  is worshipped. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook 56 or 108 types of food for the bhog (the  offering of food) to Krishna. This ceremony is called “ankut” which means a mountain of food. Various types of  food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads are offered to the deity and then  distributed as prasada to devotees.

Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, India. On this day, people in the northern India build cowdung hillocks, decorate them with flowers and then worship them. This festival is in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Krishna. As per Vishnu-Puran the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honor of Lord Indra and worshiped him after the end of every monsoon season but one particular year the young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra who in terrific anger sent a deluge to submerge Gokul.

Goverdhan Puja

People were afraid that the downpour was a result of their neglect of Indra. But Krishna assured them that no harm would befall them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger and sheltered men and beasts from the rain. This gave him the name Govardhandhari. After this, Indra accepted the supremacy of Krishna.

In temples specially in Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are given milkbath, dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones. After the prayers and traditional worship innumerable varieties of delicious sweets are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before the deities as "Bhog" and then the devotees approach the Mountain of Food and take Prasad from it.

Govardhan Parikrama

Govardhana Parvat (hill) was about 16 miles (29 km) high 5,000 years ago. Govardhana is formed in the shape of a peacock. The following places; Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda are the eyes, Dan Ghati is its long neck, Mukharavinda is the mouth and Punchari is its back and tail feathers. As a peacock often curves its neck and puts his head under its stomach. Govardhana Hill is shaped in this pose of a peacock.

Due to the curse of Pulastya Muni, it is sinking the height of a mustard seed daily. In Satya Yuga, Pulastya Muni approached Dronacala, the king of the mountains, and asked him for his son Govardhana. Dronacala was depressed and pleaded the sage that he was unable to bear the separation from his son. Govardhana then went with sage, under the condition that wherever the sage would put him down, he would remain.

Pulastya Muni then took Govardhana and then started for his ashram. While passing through Braja Mandala he put Govardhana down to answer the call of nature. On his return he found that he couldn’t move Govardhana. He became very angry and then cursed Govardhana to shrink to the size of mustard seed daily. At that time it was 115 km (64 miles) long, 72 km (40 miles) wide and 29 km (16 miles) high. Now the hill is only 80 ft. high at the highest point.

Another story about Govardhana Hill is that the monkey army of Lord Rama was carrying different stones to construct a bridge to Lanka. Sri Hanuman was carrying Govardhana from Himalayas to help built the bridge. As Hanuman was carrying Govardhana over Vraja, Nala and Neela, who were incharge of building the bridge, declared that it was completed and no more stones were needed. Hanuman was in Vraja Mandala and he put Govardhana there. Thus it would appear that Govardhana was then lost in two ways. He was away from Lord Shiva and Lord Rama. Sri Rama heard about Govardhana crying and said that in Dwarpara Yuga he would make His appearance as Sri Krishna and would have His pastimes in that place, and would hold Govardhana up for seven days and nights to save the residents of Vraja.

It is believed that Lord Krishna lifted “Govardhana Giri” (this huge hill) with his little finger of His left hand, and gave shelter to people under that huge hill from a big storm presented by Indradev. A Parikrama (that is going around the hill) is a sacred ritual performed by many devotees. It is approximately a 24-mile Parikrama. Govardhana is set along the edge of a large masonry tank known as the “Manasi Ganga”, believed to have been brought into existence by the operation of the divine will.

The parikrama starts by taking bath in Manasi Ganga. One then takes the darshan of Harideva, Manasi Devi and Brahma Kunda. There are eleven main Silas on the Govardhana parikrama like bhuma sila, sindura sila, etc, that have some special significance. One of them is the dasavati sila. Knowingly or unknowingly if anybody commits a sin then he should pay obeisance to Sri Girirajaji over here.

The sacred tank known as Rinamochana Kunda is near the Govardhana power station and according to shastra if one bathes in this kunda they are freed from all vices, usually only after it rains will there be water in this kunda. There are several important places in the vicinity of Govardhana Hill, which are not visited on the normal parikrama. Many of these places are close to Govardhana Hill (within 5 km) and can be visited by taxi easily. Some devotees prefer to walk from each place and spend many days in the area doing so.

Nearby is Papamochana Kunda. It is said that anyone who bathes here has all his offenses removed. After this normally one returns to the road to Mathura and then goes in the direction of Mathura, passing the government bus stand on the right. Here is a small hill on the right, and next to this hill is a small pond - Indra-dhwaja Tila. This is where the cowherd men would normally come to worship Indra.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 Lakshmi Puja, Diwali Puja

2014 Lakshmi Puja, Diwali Puja

On Diwali, Lakshmi Puja should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and approximately lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes. Some sources propose Mahanishita Kaal also to perform Lakshmi Puja. In our opinion Mahanishita Kaal is best suited for Tantrik community and practicing Pandits who know the best about Lakshmi Puja during this special time. For common people we propose Pradosh Kaal Muhurat. 

I do not advise to choose Choghadiya Muhurat to perform Lakshmi Puja as those Muhurtas are good only for travelling. The best time for Lakshmi Puja is during Pradosh Kaal when Sthir Lagna prevails. Sthir means fixed i.e. not moveable. If Lakshmi Puja is done during Sthir Lagna, Lakshmiji will stay in your home; hence this time is the best for Lakshmi Pujan. Vrishabha Lagna is considered as Sthir and mostly overlaps with Pradosh Kaal during Diwali festivity. 

We provide exact window for Lakshmi Puja. Our Muhurat times contain Pradosh Kaal and Sthir Lagna while Amavasya is prevailing. We provide Muhurat based on location, hence you should select your city first before noting down Shubh Lakshmi Puja timings. 

Many communities especially Gujarati businessmen do Chopda Pujan during Diwali Puja. During Chopda Puja new account books are inaugurated in presence of Goddess Lakshmi to seek Her blessing for the next financial year. Diwali Puja is also known as Deepavali Puja and Lakshmi Ganesh Pujan. 


Shubh Deepawali

Deepawali or Diwali is the most popular and biggest Hindu festival. The word ‘Deep’ means ‘light’ and ‘avali’ means ‘a row’. Deepawali is called the festival of lights. Diwali has a five-day celebration. The whole country shines & dazzles with joy. The five days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but all days mark the victory of goodness and the celebration of life. Diwali is a personal, people-oriented festival when enmities are forgotten, families and friends meet, enjoy and establish a word of closeness.


There are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali. Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu, Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshipped in most Hindu homes on this day. In Jainism, Deepawali has an added significance to the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana. Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen-year long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration the people of Ayodhya, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.

Lights & Firecrackers

All the simple rituals of Diwali have a significance and a story to tell. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire-crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state. Still another possible reason has a more scientific basis: the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains.

From Darkness unto Light

In this festival lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; From darkness unto light the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope.

The tradition of gambling

The tradition of gambling on Deepawali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year.

The Five Days of Diwali

The first day of the festival Dhanteras marks the worshipping of wealth , Goddess laxmi. The second day marks Naraka Chaturdasi the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the tyrant Bali, and banished him to hell. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. It is on the fourth day of Deepawali Kartika Shudda Padyami that Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

Kali Chaudas Puja, नरक चतुर्दशी

विक्रम सम्वत् 2071 कार्तिक कृष्ण चतुर्दशी

Kali Chaudas Puja, नरक चतुर्दशी

Kali Chaudas is also known as Bhut Chaturdashi. Kali Chaudas is mainly observed in Western states especially in Gujarat. 

Kali Chaudas is observed during Chaturdashi Tithi during Diwali festivity. However Kali Chaudas day should not be mixed with Roop Chaudas and Narak Chaturdashi as it might fall one day before of Narak Chaturdashi. The day of Kali Chaudas is decided when Chaturdashi prevails during midnight which as per Panchang is known as Maha Nishita time. 

As rituals of Kali Chaudas involve visiting crematorium during midnight for offering Puja to the Goddess of darkness and to Veer Vetal, the day of Kali Chaudas is decided when Chaturdashi prevails during midnight. 

It seems that most Panchang don't make such distinction and list Kali Chaudas with Roop Chaudas and Narak Chaturdashi. Hence one has to be cautious while looking for Kali Chaudas date. 

Further Kali Chaudas should not be confused with Bengal Kali Puja which is observed one day after Kali Chaudas when Amavasya Tithi prevails during midnight. 

lord vishnu

नरक चतुर्दशी

कार्तिक मास के कृष्ण पक्ष पर पड़ने वाली चतुर्दशी पर नरक चौदस का त्यौहार मनाया जाता है। इसे छोटी दीपावली भी कहते है। दीपावली की तरह ही इस दिन भी दीप प्रज्वलित किया जाता हैं। इस दिन सूर्योदय से पहले उठकर तेल उबटन से मालिश करके चिचड़ी की पत्तियां जल में डालकर स्नान करने का विधान है। ऐसा करने से नरक से मुक्ति मिलती है। स्नान के पश्चात विष्णु मंदिर और कृष्ण मंदिर में भगवान की आराधना अत्यन्त पुण्यदायक मानी गई है। इससे पाप कटता है और सौन्दर्य की प्राप्ति होती है।

नरक चौदस के दिन संध्या के समय स्त्रान कर घर के कुल देवता की पूजा की जाती है। तथा घर के देवताओं और पुरखों की भी पूजा का विधान है। उन्हें नवैद्य चढ़ाते हैं और उनके सामने दीप जलाते हैं। ऎसा माना जाता है कि नरक चौदस को पूजा के दौरान घर—परिवार से नरक अर्थात् दु:ख—विपदाओं को बाहर किया जाता है। घर के आंगन, बरामदे और द्वार को रंगोली से सजाया जाता है।।

स दिन को दीपावली की तरह मनायें जाने के संदर्भ में पौराणिक मान्यता है कि - प्रागज्योतिषपुर में नरकासुर नामक राजा राज्य करता था। एक युद्ध के दौरान उसने देवराज इन्द्र को पराजित कर देवताओं और संतो की 16 हजार पुत्रियों को बन्दी बना लिया।

माता अदीति देवलोक की माता व भगवान कृष्ण की पत्नी सत्यभामा की समधि थी। जब सत्यभामा को को इस घटना के बारे में पता चला तो वो क्रोधित हो भगवान कृष्ण से नरकासुर का वध की अनुमति मांगी। नरकासुर को स्त्री के हाथों मृत्यु का श्राप मिला था। इसलिए श्रीकृष्ण ने सत्यभामा को नरकासुर के वध का अवसर दिया। सत्यभामा ने सारथी कृष्ण की सहायता से नरकासुर का वध करके सभी देवियों और संतो को नरकासुर की कैद से मुक्त करवाया। उन देवियों का खोया हुआ सम्मान लौटाने के लिए भगवान कृष्ण ने उन्हें पत्नी के रुप में स्वीकार किया। अगले दिन सुबह कृष्ण के शरीर से दानवराज नरकासुर के रक्त की दुर्गन्ध दूर करने के लिए उनकी पत्नियों ने उन्हें सुगन्धित जल से स्नान करवाया। लोकमान्यता है की तभी से इस दिन तेल उबटन से मालिश करके चिचड़ी की पत्तियां जल में डालकर स्नान करने की परम्परा का सुरुआत हुई। इस दिन विधि-विधान से पूजा करने वाले व्यक्ति को मनोवांछित फ़ल की प्राप्ति होती हैं।

Dhanteras Puja or Dhantrayodashi Puja

Dhanteras Puja, Dhantrayodashi Puja

20th October 2014 (Monday)
Dhanteras Puja Muhurta = 19:19 to 20:53
Duration = 1 Hour 33 Mins
Pradosh Kaal = 18:11 to 20:53
Vrishabha Kaal = 19:19 to 21:04

Dhantrayodashi which is also known as Dhanteras is the first day of five days long Diwali festivities. On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out of the ocean during the churning of the Milky Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi, along with Lord Kubera who is the God of wealth, is worshipped on the auspicious day of Trayodashi. However, Lakshmi Puja on Amavasya after two days of Dhantrayodashi is considered more significant. 

Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset and approximately lasts for 2 hours and 24 minutes. 

We don’t advise to choose Choghadiya Muhurat to perform Dhanteras Puja as those Muhurtas are good only for travelling. The best time for Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras is during Pradosh Kaal when Sthir Lagna prevails. Sthir means fixed i.e. not moveable. If Dhanteras Puja is done during Sthir Lagna, Lakshmiji will stay in your home; hence this time is the best for Dhanteras Pujan. Vrishabha Lagna is considered as Sthir and mostly overlaps with Pradosh Kaal during Diwali festivity. 

We provide exact window for Dhanteras Puja. Our Muhurat times contain Pradosh Kaal and Sthir Lagna while Trayodashi is prevailing. We provide Muhurat based on location, hence you should select your city first before noting down Shubh Dhanteras Puja timings. 

Dhanteras Puja is also known as Dhantrayodashi. The day of Dhanteras is also observed as Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhanvantri Jayanti, the birth anniversary of the God of Ayurveda. Yamadeep is another ritual on the same Trayodashi Tithi when the lamp for the God of death is lit outside home to ward off any untimely death of any family members. 

The festival of Dhanteras marks  the beginning of the five-day long Diwali celebrations all  over India.  The word Dhanteras is constituent of the terms 'dhan' which means  wealth and 'teras' which means thirteenth,  hence it is a festival  observed on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, of the Hindu  month of Kartik (October- November), which falls just two days  before Diwali, wherein people oblate to be blessed with prosperity  and good health.  Dhanteras is also known as 'Dhantrayodashi' and 'Dhanvantari Trayodashi'.

According to ancient legends, the celebration of Dhanteras is attributed to the story of the sixteen year old son of king Hima.  Predictions were made that he would die of a snake bite on the  fourth day of his marriage.

Four days hence his marriage, his newly wedded wife, being aware of this prediction laid out all her ornaments along with  coins made of precious metals of gold and silver in a heap at the entrance of her husband's sleeping chamber and furbished the  whole place with lamps.

Then, all night long she narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep. It is believed, that when  Yama, the God of death, arrived under the guise of a snake, he found himself unable to enter the prince's chamber as he was  dazzled and blinded by the light of the lamps and jewellery, and so he climbed the heap of ornaments and coins and listened to  the melodious songs of the wife.

In the morning, he quietly went away sparing the life of the prince. In this manner, the young wife saved her husband from the  clasp of death itself. Hence, this day also came to be known as 'Yamadeepdaan'.

Another popular legend also associates itself with this festival. It believes in the appearance of Dhanvantari (physician of the  Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu), with a jar of elixir on the day of Dhanteras during the cosmic battle fought between the  gods and demons, who had churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar.

Dhanteras Celebration

The festival of Dhanteras is celebrated with great zeal and joy. On this festival, people worship the Goddess of wealth and  God of death, Lord Yama for receiving blessings in the form of good health and prosperity. People decorate their houses and  offices.

Colorful, traditional rangolis adorn the entrance of all such premises; this is done to welcome the goddess of wealth and  prosperity into our homes and work places. Small footprints are drawn out with rice flour and vermilion powder to indicate  the long-awaited arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.

Buying new utensils or coins made of precious metals such as gold or silver on Dhanteras has become very popular as it is  considered auspicious and considered to bring good luck.

Dhanteras Puja

Dhanteras is marked with the performance of 'Lakshmi Puja' in the evenings. People sing devotional songs in praise of  goddess Lakshmi. They light up tiny diyas to drive all evil spirits away. On the night of Dhanteras, people light the lamps for  entire length of the night. Traditional sweets are cooked and offered to the goddess.

Dhanteras is celebrated differently, in different parts of India. This is a very important festival for the mercantile community  of western India. In the state of Maharashtra, people follow the custom of lightly pounding dry coriander seeds with jaggery  and offering it as 'Naivedya'. In rural areas, farmers adorn and worship their cattle, as they act as their main source of income.  In south India, people consider cows as incarnations of goddess Lakshmi, and hence treat them with them particular  reverence.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Never Be Jealous..!!!

Never Be Jealous..!!!

There was a popular musician named Tumbaru. He was an amazing singer and sometimes described as the best of singers in Hindu mythology. He is described as the son of sage Kashyapa and his wife Pradha.

narada and vishnu

Once Narada and Tumbaru went to Vaikuntha (the abode of Lord Vishnu). Tumbaru sang in front of the lord Vishnu. Lord became pleased and gifted precious ornaments to Tumbaru. Narada, the prime devotee of Lord Vishnu became jealous of Tumbaru. 

Out of the jealousy, he decided to please Lord Vishnu by his singing. Narada's voice was not very good. He learnt how to sing and sang in front of the Lord Vishnu but Lord didn't feel that joy in His heart by Narada's singing. 

Narada performed hard devout to please Lord Shiva and asked a boon to become an expert singer. Pleased with Narada's penance Shiva granted him the boon. Narada again went to Lord Vishnu and sang but his singing could not satisfy the Lord. 

Narada worked very hard for thousand of years. But his singing couldn't please Lord Vishnu. 

Ultimately, thinking beyond the jealousy, Narada went to Tumbaru and asked to teach him how to sing. Tumbaru taught him. Narada then sang in front of Lord Vishnu in Dwarka. Lord became extremely pleased and gifted him clothes and ornaments as rewards.

"Never be jealous. Jealousy is a waste of time." 
"Strive to learn from those who are better than us."

How to Overcome Pain?

How to Overcome Pain

Negativity is all around us and doesn't always present itself in an obvious way. Here is an inspirational story which may help you to reduce the negativity in your life.

Hinduism - Overcome Pain

An aging Hindu saint grew tired of his disciple's complaints regarding his personal issues. One morning, saint sent him to get some salt. When the disciple returned, the saint told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it. 

"How does it taste?" the saint asked. 

"Ugh! very salty," said the disciple. 

The saint chuckled and then asked the disciple to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the disciple swirled his handful of salt in the water, the saint said, "Now drink from the lake." 

As the water dripped down the disciple's chin, the saint asked, "How does it taste?" 

"Fresh and sweet," answered the disciple. 

"Do you taste the salt now?" asked the saint. 

"No," said the disciple. At this the saint explained softly, 

"The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a tumbler. Become a lake." 

"Life is not what happens to you but how you respond to it." 
"Tough times never last, but tough people do."

2014 Karwa Chauth

11th October 2014
विक्रम सम्वत् 2071     
कार्तिक कृष्ण तीज

Karwa Chauth fasting is done during Krishna Paksha Chaturthi in the Hindu month of Kartik and according to Amanta calendar followed in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Southern India it is Ashwin month which is current during Karwa Chauth. However, it is just the name of the month which differs and in all states Karwa Chauth is observed on the same day.

Karwa Chauth coincides with Sankashti Chaturthi a fasting day observed for Lord Ganesha. The fasting of Karwa Chauth and its rituals are observed by married women for the long life of their husband. Married women worship Lord Shiva and His family including Lord Ganesha and break the fast only after sighting and making the offerings to the moon. The fasting of Karwa Chauth is strict and observed without taking any food or even a drop of water after sunrise till the sighting of the moon in the night.

Karwa chauth is a day of fasting and prayer by married women for the long life of their Husband. The auspicious occasion is celebrated mostly in the northern part of India. Women celebrating Karwa Chauth fasting from sunrise to moon rise without eating a bit or drinking a drop. They do the most difficult fast for the long life and prosperity of their husbands.

On the festive day married women wear special clothes usually red or pink saree suit, adorn themselves with colorful bangles, bindi, jewelry, and vermilion on the forehead and apply Heena (Mehendi) on both hands. Then they worship Lord Shiv , Parvati,Ganesha and Kartikeya. They also worship a Kalash or Karwa (earthen pot made of clay) filled with sweets. In some communities women begin their fast by consuming food called ‘Sargi’ given by their mother-in-law to eat before sunrise. In the evening women receive a basket (Bayana) containing sweets, fruits and saree from mother in laws. Then women from neighbourhood assemble to worship Goddess Gauri and an elderly woman of family narrates the story of Karwa Chauth. After that, the rising of the moon is awaited and as it happens, women worship it and seethe moon and their husband through sieve. Then they receive a bit of food from their husband and end the day long fast.

Puja Process
The pooja preparations start a day in advance. Married women buy the shringar or the traditional adornments and the other pooja items the karwa, matthi, heena etc.

Early in the morning they prepare food and have it before sunrise. The morning passes by in other festive activities like decorating hand and feet with heena decorating the pooja thali and meeting friends and relatives. In evening a karwa chauth puja is held by neighboring women, the essentials of this gathering is a special mud pot, which is considered a symbol of Lord Ganesha, a metal urn filled with water, flowers, idols of Ambika Gauri Mata, Goddess Parwati and some fruits, mathi and food grains. A part of this is offered to the deities and the storyteller. They sit in a circle, and many such circles are made depending on the number of devotees attending the function as it is easy that the thalis are passed in a circle (fera) amongst themselves. Here is the puja song sung by women, while they exchange thalis seven times.

The Story of Karwa Chauth 

"A long long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess by the name of Veeravati. When she was of the marriageable age, Veeravati was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents’ house."

"After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen was too delicate and couldn’t stand the rigours of fasting. By evening, Veeravati was too weak, and fainted. Now, the queen had seven brothers who loved her dearly. They couldn’t stand the plight of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her. They made a fire at the nearby hill and asked their sister to see the glow. They assured her that it was the moonlight and since the moon had risen, she could break her fast."

"However, the moment the gullible queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was dead. The queen was heartbroken and rushed to her husband’s palace. On the way, she met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill."

"When the queen reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king."

"The queen observed a strict fast that day and when she went to the market to buy the karva for the puja , her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid."

"However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat . Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. The queen asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen kept singing a song " Roli ki Goli ho gayi... Goli ki Roli ho gayi " (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen)."

"On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status. It was only the queen’s devotion and her faith that won her husband’s affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati."

Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti

7th October 2014
विक्रम सम्वत् 2071
अश्विन शुक्ल पूर्णिमा

Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti celebrates the birthday of famous poet Valmiki, Who is also known as Adi kavi or first poet as he discovered the first Sloka and the first Verse which set the base of Sanskrit poetry. It falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Ashwin.Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Maharishi Valmiki is worshipped and prayed on this day. Shobha yatras, meetings and distribution of free food is arranged in many places. Many devotees also take out processions in honor of Maharishi Valmiki, and offer prayers to his portrait.There are many Valmiki temples in India, Which are beautifully decorated with flowers and prayers are offered in them, number of incense being lighted fill the atmosphere with purity and happiness. Many devotees go to Lord Rama temples and recite verses from Ramayana in memory of Maharishi Valmiki.Maharishi Valmiki's Birthday is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. It provides the people of Rajasthan a respite from the monotony of daily life. The festival is not all about fun and frolic. This festival also has a great religious significance as well. Valmiki holds a significant position in Hindu mythology. He is Pracheta's tenth baby. Moreover, he is believed to the author of Ramayana, the famous epic. This religious significance lends even more importance to the celebration of Maharishi Valmiki's birthday.

Story of Maharishi Valmiki
Maharishi Valmiki is the author of the original story of Lord Ramachandra, known as the Valmiki Ramayana. He lived during the Treta Yuga and through guidance from his spiritual master, he wrote the epic Ramayana prior to Lord Rama’s advent.

The Vedas say that the highest benediction in life is to have association with a saint, or a devotee of Krishna. In his early life Valmiki’s name was Ratnakara, and he took to robbing people for a living. Through good fortune, he once met Narada Rishi and tried to attack him. Narada chanted Lord Rama’s name and convinced Ratnakara to give up his life of thievery. Following Narada’s advice, the sage chanted the name of Rama and sat in meditation for many many years, during which time his body became covered by ants. Narada Rishi returned and uncovered the sage from the anthill, informed him that his meditation was successful, and bestowed on him the name Valmiki since he was born from an anthill. Valmiki learned the story of Lord Rama from Narada and was instructed to write the story in poetry form by Lord Brahma.

Valmiki was also present during Lord Ramachandra’s time on earth. He had a hermitage in the forest and was visited by Lord Rama, His wife Sita, and His brother Lakshmana during their fourteen year exile period. Lord Rama asked Valmiki if he knew a good place where they could set up camp. Valmiki in turn gave a beautiful description of a pure devotee of the Lord and told Rama to always dwell in the heart of a devotee. The account is described in detail in Tulsidas’s Ramacharitamanasa. Later on, Valmiki also provided shelter to Sita when she was abandoned by Lord Rama. Sita’s two sons, Lava and Kusha, were born at Valmiki’s hermitage, and the sage acted as their spiritual master during their childhood.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vijayadashami : Dussehra

3rd October 2014
Vijayadashami : Dussehra 

Vijayadashami is celebrated as victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. Vijayadashami is also known as Dussehra or Dasara. In Nepal Dasara is celebrated as Dashain.

vijayadashami also known as Dussehra is a festival celebrated by all Indians though it’s a Hindu festival. This occasion signifies as victory of Good over Evil and people celebrate to bring new things their life. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight Shukla Paksha of the Hindu autumn month of Ashvin and is the grand culmination of the 10-day annual Navaratri festival. Few significant Hindu mythological related short stories are mentioned below to bring out the importance of this festival.
Victory of Lord Sri Ramachandra over Demon Ravana
On this day in the Treta Yug, Sri Ram is 7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana the Lankesh who had abducted Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Sri Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his wife Sita. The war against Ravana lasted for ten days.
Sri Rama had performed "Chandi Hom” and invoked the blessings of Durga to kill Ravana. Durga blessed Sri Rama with the secret to kill Ravana. Ravana was defeated in his own kingdom of Lanka by Sri Rama and the Vanarsena. Sri Rama with Sita & Laxman returned victorious to their kingdom of Ayodhya on auspicious day of Ashwin Shukla Dashami as per Hindu calendar. This victory of Rama is since then celebrated as “Vijaya Dashami” which means victory on tenth day.

This event is also celebrated with another Hindu mythological story of Maa Durga victory over Demon Mahishasur Rakshas. Some of the Aasuras (Demons) were very powerful and ambitious, and continually tried to defeat Gods and capture the Heaven. One such Aasura called Mahishasur, who looked like a buffalo, grew very powerful & created havoc on the earth. Under his leadership the Aasuras even defeated the Devas (Gods), all of whom were powerless including Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh along with other Gods. Finally, when the world was getting crushed under Mahishasura's tyranny, the Devas came together & contributed their individual energy to form “Shakti” a single mass of incandescent energy to fight & kill Demon Mahishasur.
End of Agyatwas of PANDAVAS
In Dwapar Yuga, after Pandavas lost to Kauravas in the game of Dice, they had to proceed to 12 years of “Vanwas” (exile to forest) followed by one year of Agyatwas. Pandavas spent 12 years in forest and hid their weapons in a hole on a “Shami” tree before entering the Kingdom of Virat to complete the last one year of Agyatwas. After the completion of that year on Vijayadashmi they took the weapons from the Shami tree, declared their true identity & defeated Kauravas, who had attacked King Virat to steal his cattle wealth.
Since that day the exchange of Shami leaves on Dussehra day became symbol of goodwill and victory. Hence on Dussehra Shami Tree & the weapons are worshipped on this occasion by all Hindus.