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November 22, 2013

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom Day


Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji (1 April 1621 – 11 November 1675) became the 9th Guru of Sikhs on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi.

Early life

Tegh Bahadur was the youngest of the five sons of Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh guru, and his wife Nanaki. He was born as Tyaga Mal Khatri in Amritsar in the early hours of 1 April 1621. The name Tegh Bahadur (Mighty Of The Sword), was given to him by Hargobind after he had shown his valour in a battle against the Mughals.

Amritsar at that time was the centre of Sikh faith. Under Hargobind, it had become even more renowned. By virtue of being the seat of the Guru, and with its connection to Sikhs in far flung areas of the country through the chains of Masands or missionaries, it had developed the characteristics of a state capital.

Tegh Bahadur was brought up steeped in Sikh culture. He was trained in the martial-arts of archery and horsemanship, and was also taught the old classics. Prolonged spells of seclusion and contemplation are said to have given him a deep mystical temperament. Tegh Bahadur was married on 3 February 1631, to Mata Gujri.

In the 1640s, nearing his end, Guru Hargobind said to his wife Nanaki, to move to his ancestral village of Bakala, together with Tegh Bahadur and Gujri.

Bakala, as described in Gurbilas Dasvin Patishahi, was then a properous town with many beautiful pools, wells and baolis. Tegh Bahadur meditated at Bakala for about twenty years (1644-1664) and lived there with his wife and mother. He lived a strict and holy life and spent most of his time in meditation. Yet, he was not a recluse and attended to family responsibilities. He went out riding and he followed the chase. He made visits outside Bakala and also visited the eighth Sikh guru Guru Har Krishan, when the latter was in Delhi.

As the ninth Sikh guru

During his stay in Delhi, Guru Har Krishan was seized with smallpox. When asked by his followers as to who would lead them after him, he replied Baba Bakale, meaning his successor was to be found in Bakala.

Some pretenders took advantage of the ambiguity in the words of the dying Guru and installed themselves as the Guru of Sikhs. There were about 22 pretenders who called themselves as the ninth Sikh guru. The most influential of them was the nephew of Tegh Bahadur, Dhir Mall. The Sikhs were puzzled to see so many claimants and could not make out who the real Guru was.

A wealthy trader Baba Makhan Shah Labana arrived in search of the Guru. He went from one claimant to the next making his obeisance and offering two gold coins to each Guru, while before he had promised to offer 500 coins for his safety in a storm. Then he discovered that Tegh Bahadur, who made no claims about himself, also lived at Bakala.

Makhan Shah Labana went straight to the house of Tegh Bahadur. There he made the usual offering of two gold coins. Tegh Bahadur gave him his blessings and remarked that his offering was considerably short of the promised five hundred. Makhan Shah forthwith made good the difference and ran upstairs. He began shouting from the rooftop:
Guru ladho re, Guru ladho re)
(I have found the Guru, I have found the Guru).

The responsibility of instructing and guiding the Sikh community was now of Tegh Bahadur. He was the focal point of veneration of the Sikhs. They came singly and in batches to seek spiritual solace and inspiration. And by his teachings and practise, he moulded their religious and social conscience.

As had been the custom since Har Gobind, Tegh Bahadur kept a splendid lifestyle. He had his armed attendance and other marks of royalty. But he himself lived austerely. Sikh or other documents make no mention of any clash with the ruling power having occurred during his time.

Tegh Bahadur travelled in different parts of the country, including Dhaka and Assam, to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru. His son Guru Gobind Singh, who would be the tenth Sikh guru, was born in Patna, while he was away in Dhubri, Assam, where stands the Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib.

The Guru made three successive visits to Kiratpur. On 21 August 1664, Tegh Bahadur went there to console with Bibi Rup Kaur upon the death of her father, Guru Har Rai, the seventh Sikh guru, and of her brother, Har Krishan. The second visit was on 15 October 1664, at the death on 29 September 1664, of Bassi, the mother of Har Rai. A third visit concluded a fairly extensive journey through Majha, Malwa and Bangar districts of the Punjab. Crossing the Beas and Sutlej rivers, Tegh Bahadur arrived in the Malwa. He visited Zira and Moga and reached Darauli. He then sojourned in the Lakhi Jungle, a desolate and sandy tract comprising mainly present-day districts of Bhatinda and Faridkot. According to the Guru kian Sakhian, Baisakhi of 1665 was celebrated at Sabo-ki Talwandi, now known as Damdama Sahib. This journey took Tegh Bahadur up to Dhamdhan, near Jind, from where he returned to Kiratpur. The Dowager Rani Champa of Bilaspur offered to give the Guru a piece of land in her state. The Guru bought the site on payment of Rs 500. The land consisted of the villages of Lodhipur, Mianpur and Sahota. Here on the mound of Makhowal, Tegh Bahadur raised a new city.

Tegh Bahadur was given the title Bahadur by his father Guru Hargobind (sixth Guru of the Sikhs) as he displayed such bravery with the sword in battle. Later upon return to eastern Punjab, he settled at Anandpur, where his followers began to refer to him as the Sacha Badshah (True King). Mughal officials such as Nur Muhammad Khan of Rupnagar, Dilawar Khan the Faujdar of Sirhind and Wazir Khan had him arrested. He was taken to Delhi and put to death by Aurangzeb in 1675. However, when Aurangzeb was questioned by a group of Qadis regarding the reasons for the execution, the Mughal Emperor could not clearly explain the causes for the order of the penalty.

It was recognised that Guru Tegh Bahadur gave his life for freedom of religion, ensuring that Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists were able to follow and practice their beliefs without hindrance. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed for political reasons, along with fellow devotees Bhai Mati Dass, Bhai Sati Dass and Bhai Dayalaa.

October 18, 2013

Sharad Purnima



The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It marks the end of monsoon. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and is also called the 'Kaumudi celebration', Kaumudi meaning moonlight.

At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.

It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.

Raas Purnima:

On the magnificent night of Sharad purnima Lord Krishna invited Gopis to play the Maha Raas with him. Shri Krishna played his bansari and the sacred Maha Raas began. When Lord Shiva heard this mesmerizing sound of flute, he thought of being the part of this divine happening. Lord Shiva followed the transcendental sound of Krishna’s flute and reached Vrindavan. Shri Krishna recognized Lord Shiva instantly and gave Him the name of Gopeshwar which means – the Lord of gopis.

On the occasion of Sharad purnima 2013, temples across India and exclusively in Vrindavan organise many religious programmes. Special puja and beautiful decoration are done. Krishna bhakt from all over the world gather to seek blessings on this pious night. You can also get benefit of prasad. Click here and get prasad from Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan.

Kojaagari Poonam:

In Sanskrit, `Ko jaagarti’ means, ‘ who is awake? It is believed that on this night, Goddess Lakshmi moves around asking `Ko jaagarti’. She searches for people below who are awake and gifts them wealth and prosperity.

Rituals for Sharad purnima:

  1. The main ritual is worshiping Lord Krishna, Moon and Maa Laxmi.
  2. You should keep vigil at night to seek the blessings of Maa Laxmi.
  3. Prepare Kheer and keep it in moonlight to get the divine essence.
  4. In Gujarat, people perform Garba, Raas and eat rice flakes with milk.
  5. Bengalis call it Lokkhi Pujo, they arrange several bhog and worship maa Lakshmi.

Raas 
Raas Purnima

October 16, 2013

Bakri Id





Bakr-id, to be rightly called Id-ul-Azha, is one of the most important Muslim festivals. This festival is observed and celebrated as a Festival of Sacrifice by Muslims all over the world. It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hagg, the last month of the lunar year. Bakrid is celebrated in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to offer his only son as a sacrifice at God's command. On this day, goats are sacrificed as an offering. Bakrid is celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigor among Muslims. Men and women dress up in new clothes and go to mosques. They offer special prayers or 'Dua' for the peace and prosperity of all Muslims. After the prayer, sacrifice is done. Muslims greet one another 'Eid Mubarak' and share their warmth. They visit relatives and friends and exchange gifts. Special delicacies and dishes are prepared and served amongst family and friends.


History

The history of Eid-al-Adha/ Bakrid dates back to the times of Ibrahim. On the day of Bakrid, Muslims observe animal sacrifice to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). Ibrahim dreamt of being commanded by God to sacrifice the person dearest to him to check his obedience. Ibrahim decided to sacrifice his only son Ismail who was just 13 years old at that time. When Ibrahim revealed to him about God's command, he was surprised to see the boy not defying the fact of being sacrificed. When Ibrahim was about to sacrifice the boy, Allah voiced stating that he need not carry out His order, as he had passed the test of devotion. He was further instructed to sacrifice a lamb instead of his only son. Ibrahim, by the Grace of Allah was blessed with another son, Is-haaq (Isaac). The history of Hajj pilgrimage revolves around the surrender of Ibrahim and his family to Allah. Bakrid is a celebration of ardent faith of the believers in Allah and His word Quran. It is recommended that the sacrifice is made in the name of Allah. The offering that is sacrificed is divided into three portions: One being set apart for personal consumption, another part to be distributed amongst friends and relatives and the third part to be given to the poor and needy. 

Celebrations And Rituals

Eid-al-Adha/ Bakrid holds animal sacrifice as one of the most significant aspects in its celebration. In order to honor the event of Ibrahim's attempt to sacrifice his son, Muslims commence animal sacrifice, so as to conform to Allah's command, and Allah's mercy in substituting a lamb for the child. A goat, a sheep or a cow is sacrificed according to the laid down rules. One third of the meat is retained for family, while another third is distributed among friends and relatives and the remaining one third is given in charity for the poor and the needy. People wear new clothes on this occasion. They offer their prayers in a gathering in an open area called Eidgah or a mosque. People engage in animal sacrifice, performed duly in tune with the religious laws. Muslims make it a point to see that everybody becomes a part of the Eid feast. They chant Takbir loudly before and after offering their Eid prayers; the sacrifice is made and distribution of meat takes place. The sacrificed animal needs to meet somecertain age and quality standards as otherwise the animal would be considered inappropriate for sacrifice.

Commonly Celebrated

Bakri-Id, also known as Eid-al-Adha is extremely important to Muslims and thus, they celebrate it with great zeal and enthusiasm. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the 12th month, Dhu a-Hijjah. It occurs after the Hajj pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam, undertaken by the Muslims. It is celebrated with ritualistic fervor in Andhra Pradesh and in particular, the old city of Hyderabad.    

October 12, 2013

Dussehra Messages



Today is the Day whn truth prevail ovr all Evils. 
May God removes all Evils from ur life & fill ur life with joy & prosperity. 
Happy Dussehra


May God bless you with all success on the auspicious occasion 
of Dussahra and you may be capable of defeating all evils of your life. 
Happy Vijaya Dashami.


Happy Vijayadashami – Wish this Dussehra bring 3 high in your life. 
High Devotion, 
Determination 
Dedication 
which will take you to dream destination.


May this Dussehra, 
Light up for you. 
The hopes of Happy times, 
And dreams for a year full of smiles! 
Wish you Happy Dussehra.


Why we celebrate Dussehra? 
bcoz ADHARM per DHARM, 
JHOOTH per SATYA, 
ANYAY per NYAY 
or 
BURAI per ACCHAI ki vijay ho… 
*Happy Dussehra*


Burai par acchai ki jeet !! 
Dussehra lata hai ek ummed…. 
Ravan ki tarah hamare dukhon ka ant ho…. 
Ek nai shuruat ho ek naye savere k saath… 
*Happy Dussehra*


Good Health And Success 
Ward Off Evil Lords Blessings 
Happy Dussehra Yummy Dussehra 
Triumph Over Evil 
Joyous Festive Season 
Spirit Of Goodness… 
Happy Vijaya Dashami!


An auspicious day to start with any good work 
It was today that good won victory over bad
May this day clear all hurdels of your life and 
start new era of well being. 
*Happy dussehra*


JAI SRI RAM May God shower 
His choicest Blessings on you 
and you win over every hurdle in life! 
Happy Dussehra!


Fortunate is the one 
Who has learned to admire, 
But not to envy. 
Good wishes for a joyous Dussehra, 
With a plenty of peace and prosperity. 
Happy Dussehra.


Troubles-as light as Air; 
Love-as deep as Ocean; 
Friends-as solid as Diamonds; 
And Success-as bright as Gold! 
These are the wishes for you and your family on this auspicious day of Dussehra! 
Happy Dussehra!


I PRAY THIS DUSSEHRA SHOWERS UPON YOU.. 

1. SHANTI 
2. SHAKTI 
3. SAIYAM 
4. SAMMAAN 
5. SARALTA 
6. SAFALTA 
7. SAMRIDHI 
8. SANSKAAR 
9. SWAASTHYA. 

*Happy Dassara*



Troubles as light as Air, 
love as deep as Ocean, 
Friends as Solid as Diamonds, 
and Success as bright as Gold… 
These are the wishes for you and 
your family on the day of DUSSEHRA. 
Happy Dussehra!



Celebrate The Victory Of 
The Force Of Good Over Evil. 
Lets Celibrate An Auspicious 
Day To Begin New Thing In 
Life. 
Happy Dussera.



Long live the tradition of Hindu culture, 
as the generations have passed by, 
Hindu culture is getting stronger and stronger 
lets keep it up. 
Best Wishes for Dussehra….


As the candlelight flame 
Your life may always be happy, 
As the mountain high 
You move without shy, 
As sunshine creates morning glory 
fragrance fills years as Flory, 
All darkness is far away 
As light is on its way. 
Wishing You all a very 
Happy Dussehra.


@@@('_')@@@ <) )__/ _/ \_ 
Meine Ravan Bhej Diya Hai 
Ab Aap Apne Mobile Mein 
Patakhe Laga Ke Aag Laga Dena. 
"HAPPY DUSHERA.


Aptyachi Pan, Fulancha Vas, 
Aaj Ahe Divas Khup Khas, 
Tula Sarv Sukh Labho ya Jagat, 
Premane Bhetuya apan Ya Dasryat. 
Wishing You Happy Dussehra!


RAWAN ke dus Sar, 
bees Aakhein, 
par Nazar Ek hi ladki par, 
Aapka Sar ek, 
Aankhein do, 
par Nazar har ladki par. 
Ab batao ki……? Asli Rawan kaun? 
Wish u Happy Dussehra!


As Shri Ram kills Ravana 
And comes back to people he loves, 
As Maa Durga kills Mahish-asura, 
And prepares to go back to her heavenly abode, 
May these gud-over-evil stories, 
Inspire you towards your own victories! 
To meet great targets!Aspire & Stretch! 
Tide over bad-times! 
Make the best of your good-times! 
And just enjoy! 
Wishing U and your family 
A Very Happy Vijaya Dashami & a Happy Dussehra.


May Saraswathi play on your tongue & lips,
Laxmi play on your palms, 
Parvathi in your heart, 
Durga on your arms, 
Wish you a *HAPPY DUSSERA*


This Dusshera, I wish you to develop all the qualities of Lord Rama. 
May you be an ideal son, a perfect brother and an idyllic husband! 
Happy Dusshera!

Dusshera signifies the victory of good over evil. 
May all the evils in and around you vanish by the virtue of the goodness in and around you. 
Happy Dusshera!


This Dusshera, I wish you to develop all the qualities of Lord Rama. 
May you be an ideal son, a perfect brother and an idyllic husband! 
Happy Dusshera!

Dusshera signifies the victory of good over evil. 
May all the evils in and around you vanish by the virtue of the goodness in and around you. 
Happy Dusshera!


Good Health And Success 
Ward Off Evil 
Lords Blessings 
Happy Dussehra 
Yummy Dussehra 
Triumph Over Evil 
Joyous Festive Season 
Spirit Of Goodness… 
Happy Dussehra.. !


An auspicious day to start with any good work.. 
It was today that good won victory.. 
over bad May this day clear all.. 
hurdels of your life and start.. 
new era of wellbeing 
Happy Dussehra….!!


May Lord Rama always… 
keep showering his blessings upon you…. 
May your life be prosperous and.. 
trouble free throughout. 
Happy Dussehra.

Dussehra

 Dussehra

Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami, Dasara, or Dashain) is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is a gazetted holiday in India, which is marked on the 10th day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the month of Ashvin (Ashwayuja), according to the Hindu calendar.

The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara literally means removal of ten referring to Lord Rama's victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana. The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demons Mahishasur. The name Vijayadashami is also derived from the Sanskrit words "Vijaya-dashmi" literally meaning the victory on the dashmi (Dashmi being the tenth lunar day of the Hindu calendar month).

As the name suggests Vijayadashmi or Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar which corresponds to September or October of the Gregorian calendar. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri or Sharada Navratri (the most important Navratri) and culminates on the tenth day as Dasara.
In India, the harvest season begins at this time and so the Mother Goddess is invoked to start the new harvest season and reactivate the vigor and fertility of the soil. This is done through religious performances and rituals which are thought to invoke cosmic forces that rejuvenate the soil. Many people of the Hindu faith observe through social gatherings and food offerings to the gods at home and in temples throughout Nepal and India.

Victory of God Rama over Ravana


On this day in the Treta Yug, Rama, also called Shri Ram, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana who had abducted Rama's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Rama, his brother Lakshmana, their follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue Sita. The entire narrative is recorded in the epic Ramayana, a Hindu scripture.

Rama had performed "Chandi Homa" and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. On the day of Ashvin Shukla Dashami, Rama's party found Sita and defeated Ravana. Thus it is termed as Vijaya Dashami. Based on the inferences from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Kalidas’s Raghuvans, Tulsidas’s Ram Charit Manas, and Keshavdas's Ram Chandra Yas Chandrika as well as common perception in India, Rama, Sita, and of Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya on the 30th day of Ashvin (19–20 days after Vijayadashmi). To mark the return of Lord Rama, in the evening, the residents of Ayodhya lit their city with millions of earthen lamps (called Deepak). Since then, this day is celebrated in India as Deepawali or Diwali.

Many people perform "Aditya Homa" as a "Shanti Yagna" and recite Sundara Kanda of Srimad Ramayana for 5 days. These Yagna performances are thought to create powerful agents in the atmosphere surrounding the house that will keep the household environment clean and healthy. These rituals are intended to rid the household of the ten bad qualities, which are represented by 10 heads of Ravana as follows:

Kama vasana (Lust)
Krodha (Anger)
Moha (Attachment)
Lobha (Greed)
Mada (Over Pride)
Matsara (Jealousy)
Swartha (Selfishness)
Anyaaya (Injustice)
Amanavta (Cruelty)
Ahankara (Ego).

Some householders perform Yagnas thrice daily along with Sandhya Vandana, which is also called Aahavaneeya Agni, Grahapatya Agni or Dakshina Agni. In addition, the Aditya Homa is performed with the Maha Surya Mantras and the Aruna Prapathaka of the Yajurveda. These mantras are believed to keep the heart, brain and digestive functions in balance in the absence of adequate sunlight in the winter months.

Victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasura


Some of the demons, or Asuras, were very powerful and ambitious and continually tried to defeat the Devas, or Gods, and capture Heaven. One Asura, Mahishasura, in the form of a buffalo, grew very powerful and created havoc on the earth. Under his leadership, the Asuras defeated the Devas. The world was crushed under Mahishasura's tyranny, the Devas joined their energies into Shakti, a single mass of incandescent energy, to kill Mahishasura.

A very powerful band of lightning emerged from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and a young, beautiful female virgin with ten hands appeared. All the Gods gave their special weapons to her. This Shakti coalesced to form the goddess Durga. Riding on a lion, who assisted her, Durga fought Mahishasura. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashvin shukla paksha, Mahishasura was defeated and killed by Durga.


Hence Dasha-Hara is also known as Navratri or Durgotsav and is a celebration of Durga's victory. Durga, as Consort of Lord Shiva, represents two forms of female energy – one mild and protective and the other fierce and destructive.

October 6, 2013

Navratri Garba


Navratri Garba Dance

In Gujarat, Garba is performed on festive occasions like Navratri, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami and Holi. When the folk dance is performed during the nine nights of Navratri, it symbolizes the worship of Goddess Jagdamba. The dance is performed by generally women, but men also take part nowadays. The performers stand in a circular form, to perform the dance. The word 'Garba' is derived from 'Garbha Deep', a lamp placed inside a perforated earthen pot or Garba. The perforated pot is illuminated by the lamp inside it, which represents the embryonic life. According to the legends, Usha, the grand daughter-in-law of Lord Krishna, popularized Lasya Nritya, which is today known by the name - Garba. 

In the primitive form of Garba dance, the women place the pot 'Garba', with lamp on their head and move in a circular motion. They sing and clap their hands simultaneously and synchronize their circular steps, very gracefully. The dance is accompanied by folk instruments. The pot is filled with a betel nut and a silver coin. On top of it, a coconut is place, giving it the appearance of a holy 'Kumbh'. In the interiors of Gujarat, there exists a tradition, according to which, women place the perforated earthen pot (with the lamp inside it) at the center on a stool and dance around it, by clapping their hands and singing songs in the praise of Goddess Jagdamba. 

During the festive season of Navratri, Garba dance performances begin at the night. The performances are arranged by different clubs and cultural committees. During the 'Garba night', the participants gather at an open space, a club or at street corners. They stand in a circle, around an idol or photograph of the goddess that is kept in the center. The dance begins with beats in slow tempo. As the dance proceeds, the energy level of the participants is heightened due to the fast beat and tempo of the music. The music is synchronized by a drummer, who sits in the center of the dancers.

Navratri Garba is the most colorful form of the dance. The performers, both men and women, would clad themselves in colorful and magnetically attractive traditional attire. The most chosen attire for the dance is sari, worn in the typical Gujarati style. In Saurashtra region, the performers would wear magnificently embroidered petticoats (Ghaghara) with a backless choli (kapdu), accessorized with a head cover (odhani). They would adorn themselves with lots of silver jewelry on their head. Their male counterpart would wear kediyum (shirt) and vajani (trouser), with a rumal (printed headpiece). Drum, harmonium and naal are the musical instruments usually used for Garba dance.

Navratri History

History of Navratri

Navratri is a very important Hindu festival celebrated in India, which is devoted to Goddess Durga. The festival is celebrated with great reverence and faith across the country. It stretches over a period of nine days, with each of the nine days being dedicated to one of the nine forms of the Goddess. Talking about the history of Navratri festival, it can be explained through the stories mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. In case you want to know more about them, explore the information given below

History & Origin Of Navratri

In different parts of India, different legends describe the history of Navratri:

The legend in North India goes that Mahishasura, the mighty demon, worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained the power of eternity. Soon, he started killing and harassing innocent people and set out to win all the three lokas. The gods in swargaloka appealed to Lord Shiva, to find a way to get rid of the demon. To protect the world from the atrocities of Mahishasura, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva united their powers and created a divine female warrior, known as Goddess Durga. Mahishasura, when he saw the divine beauty of Goddess Durga, got mesmerized. 

So fascinated was Mahishasura by Goddess Durga's beauty that he approached her with the intention of marriage. The goddess agreed to marry him, but put forth a condition - Mahishasura would have to win over her in a battle. Mahishasura, proud as he was, agreed immediately! The battle continued for 9 nights and at the end of the ninth night, Goddess Durga beheaded Mahishasura. The nine nights came to be known as Navratri, while the tenth day was called Vijayadashmi, the tenth day that brought the triumph of good over evil. 

As per the legend prevalent in East India, Daksha, the king of the Himalayas, had a beautiful and virtuous daughter called Uma. She wished to marry Lord Shiva, since her childhood. In order to win over the Lord, she worshipped him and managed to please him as well. When Shiva finally came to marry her, the tiger-skin clad groom displeased Daksha and he broke off all the relationships with his daughter and son-in-law. One fine day, Daksha organized a yagna, but did not invite Lord Shiva for the same. 

Uma got so angry at her father's rude behavior, towards her husband, that she decided to end her life by jumping into the agnikund of the yagna, where she was united with eternity (since then, she came to be known as Sati). However, she took re-birth and again won Shiva as her groom and peace was restored. It is believed that since then, Uma comes every year with Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati and Laxmi and two of her best friends or 'sakhis', called Jaya and Bijaya, to visit her parent's home during Navratri. 


Yet another legend of Navratri relates to the Hindu epic Ramayana. It goes that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in nine aspects, for nine days, in order to gather the strength and power to kill Ravana. He wanted to release Sita from the clutches of powerful demon king Ravana, who had abducted her. Those nine nights became to be known as Navratri and the tenth day, on which Lord Rama killed Ravana, came to be called Vijayadashmi or Dusshera, signifying Rama's (good) triumph over Ravana (evil).

October 2, 2013

Gandhi Jayanti


Gandhi Jayanti - A tribute to 'Father of the Nation'

 

Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Sitaram, Sitaram,
Bhaj Pyare Mana Sitaram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Ishwar Allah Tero Nam,
Sabako Sanmati De Bhagawan
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Mukhmen Tulsi Ghatamen Ram,
Jab Bolo Tab Sitaram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Hathose Karo Gharka Kam,
Mukhase Bolo Sitaram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Kaushalyaka Vhala Ram,
Dashrathjika Pyara Ram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

Bansivala Hay Ghanshyam,
Dhanushya Dhari Sitaram
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram
Patita Pavan Sitaram

 

Gandhi Jayanti or Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is observed every year as a national holiday to commemorate the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948). His non-violence or satyagraha continues to influence political leaders and movements till date. The celebration and essence of Gandhi Jayanti is not restricted within India and also observed by the United Nations as the International Day of non-violence that aims to disseminate his philosophy, principle and believe in non-violence through proper education and public awareness.

Celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is also a moment to relive Mohandas Gandhi's life and contribution in India's Independence. Born in a small coastal town Porbandar in Gujarat, Gandhi married Kasturbai Makhanji at the age of 13. His childhood memories and experiences are vividly depicted by him in his autobiography My experiments with truth. Gandhi at the age of 18 went to England to study law and returned to India in 1915. After his homecoming, he led nationwide stir for achieving Sawaraj, abolition of social evils, empowering women rights and improving economic conditions of peasants and farmers. He further strengthened his movement against the British Raj and led Indians in protesting Dandi March Salt in 1930 that was later followed by the popular Quit India in 1942 calling British to leave India.

At Raj Ghat, New Delhi, and across India, people gather to observe Gandhi Jayanti in innovative ways that includes offering flowers on Gandhi's pictures, statues and singing his favourite devotional song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram.

The government offices, banks, schools and post offices remain closed on Gandhi Jayanti to pay homage to 'Father of the Nation'. Additionally, as a tribute to this great soul, the Indian government mint rupee notes and also issue postage stamp depicting Mahatma Gandhi's photo. In May 19, 2011 at Geneva, a 1948 10 Rupee Mahatma Gandhi stamp was auctioned for a whopping price of US $205,000 making it a world record as the most pricey modern postal stamp from any country.

Many ardent followers make effort to preserve Gandhi's belongings, works and writings through various means with the support of governments and non-profit organizations. Online portals are also acting as major contributors in preserving and providing information on Mahatma Gandhi and about Gandhi Jayanti celebration.

The significance of Gandhi Jayanti celebration transcends beyond commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's birth and his life as followers renounce violence and entirely devote themselves to Gandhi's philosophy and principles of Ahimsa i.e living a life by following non-violence.

The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti conventionally kicks off by singing prayers, offering flowers, lighting candles and garlanding Gandhiji's photo or statue. Mahatma Gandhi's life and principles has inspired lives of all ages. And if you are enthusiastic to explore more about him and Gandhi Jayanti, then Gandhi Jayanti 2013 is the right time to become familiar with his perpetual and valuable philosophy, and also his role as an architect of Indian Independence.

 

September 26, 2013

Pitru Paksha Shraddha Puja

Pitru Paksha

Pitru Paksha, also spelt as Pitr paksha or Pitri paksha, (literally "fortnight of the ancestors") is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha ("sixteen shraddhas"), Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.

Pitru Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. In southern and western India, it falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. The autumnal equinox falls within this period, i.e. the Sun transitions from the northern to the southern hemisphere during this period. In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.

LEGEND

According to Hindu mythology, the souls of three preceding generations of one's ancestor reside in Pitru–loka, a realm between heaven and earth. This realm is governed by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying man from earth to Pitru–loka. When a person of the next generation dies, the first generation shifts to heaven and unites with God, so Shraddha offerings are not given. Thus, only the three generations in Pitru–loka are given Shraddha rites, in which Yama plays a significant role.[4] According to the sacred Hindu epics (Itihasa), at the beginning of Pitru Paksha, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Libra (Thula). Coinciding with this moment, it is believed that the spirits leave Pitru–loka and reside in their descendants' homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.

When the legendary donor Karna died in the epic Mahabharata war, his soul transcended to heaven, where he was offered gold and jewels as food. However, Karna needed real food to eat and asked Indra, the lord of heaven, the reason for serving gold as food. Indra told Karna that he had donated gold all his life, but had never donated food to his ancestors in Shraddha. Karna said that since he was unaware of his ancestors, he never donated anything in their memory. To make amends, Karna was permitted to return to earth for a 15–day period, so that he could perform Shraddha and donate food and water in their memory. This period is now known as Pitru Paksha. In some legends, Yama replaces Indra.


Rules of Shraddha

The shraddha is performed on the specific lunar day during the Pitru Paksha, when the ancestor—usually a parent or paternal grandparent—died. There are exceptions to the lunar day rule; special days are allotted for people who died in a particular manner or had a certain status in life. Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami, the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively, are allocated for people deceased in the past year. Avidhava navami ("Unwidowed ninth"), the ninth lunar day, is for married women who died before their husband. Widowers invite Brahmin women as guests for their wife's shraddha. The twelfth lunar day is for children and ascetics who had renounced the worldly pleasures. The fourteenth day is known as Ghata chaturdashi or Ghayala chaturdashi, and is reserved for those people killed by arms, in war or suffered a violent death.
Mahalaya marks the formal beginning of the Durga Puja festival

Sarvapitri amavasya ("all fathers' new moon day") is intended for all ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died. It is the most important day of the Pitru Paksha. Those who have forgotten to perform shraddha can do so on this day. A shraddha ritual performed on this day is considered as fruitful as one conducted in the holy city of Gaya, which is seen as a special place to perform the rite, and hosts a fair during the Pitru Paksha period. In Bengal, Mahalaya marks the beginning of Durga Puja festivities. Mahalaya is the day when the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth. Bengali people traditionally wake up early in the morning on Mahalaya to recite hymns from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi) scripture. Offerings to the ancestors are made in homes and at puja mandaps (temporary shrines). Matamaha ("Mother's father") or Dauhitra ("Daughter's son") also marks the first day of the month of Ashvin and beginning of the bright fortnight. It is assigned for the grandson of the deceased maternal grandfather.

The ritual is also held on the death anniversary of the ancestor. The shraddha is performed only at noon, usually on the bank of a river or lake or at one's own house. Families may also make a pilgrimage to places like Varanasi and Gaya to perform Shraddha. An annual Pitri Paksha Mela at Gaya on the banks of River Falgu. Pilgrims from all corners of the country visit Gaya for offering Pinda to their Ancestors. According to Bihar Tourism Department estimates, some 5,00,000 to 75,00,000 pilgrims arrive in the Gaya city during the Pitri Paksha Mela every year.

Importance

Annadaana or giving food to the hungry is a central part of the rituals during these 16 days. On all these days, offerings are made to the departed, including those whose names or manner of death are not known. On these days tarpan, shraaddha and pinda daan are performed daily according to the procedures under the guidance of a priest. Although these rites are to be carried out daily in this fortnight, it is considered that to perform them on the last day i.e. on Mahalaya Amavasya or Sarva Pitru Amavasya is extremely important and sacred. The performance of Shraddha by a son during Pitru Paksha is regarded as a compulsory by Hindus, to ensure that the soul of the ancestor goes to heaven. In this context, the scripture Garuda Purana says, "there is no salvation for a man without a son". The scriptures preach that a householder should propitiate ancestors (Pitris), along with the gods (devas), ghosts (bhutas) and guests. The scripture Markandeya Purana says that if the ancestors are content with the shraddhas, they will bestow health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha) upon the performer.

September 9, 2013

Onam Festival

 

What is Onam?

Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar.

Carnival of Onam lasts from four to ten days. First day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all. Popularity and presentation of rich culture of the state during the carnival made Onam the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of the dynamic festival called Onam.

Government of India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colorful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates 'Tourist Week' for Kerala during Onam celebrations. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam.

The Legend

Story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Every body in the state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali's character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali's growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached.

It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.

Onam Celebrations

Rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten day long festival. It is indeed a treat to be a part of the grand carnival. People of Kerala make elaborate preparations to celebrate it in the best possible manner.

The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.

Another enchanting feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators.

There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations.

Ganesha-stotram

Shree Ganesha Stotram - प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं

 This Ganesh Chaturthi, let us know the meaning of the Ganesh Stotram, with eight shloka-s. The meaning in English is given in almost the same order as the original Sanskrit words.


प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं गौरीपुत्रं विनायकम् ।
भक्तावासं स्मरेन्नित्यं आयुःकामार्थसिद्धये ॥ १॥

praNamya shirasA devam gaurI-putram vinAyakam |
bhaktAvAsam smaren_nityam AyuH-kAmArtha-siddhaye || 1 ||
  
bowing with the head, to the divine, to the son-of-pArvatI, to the vinAyaka 
to the devotee-dweller; remember daily, for the accomplishment of long life, desires and wealth ||







प्रथमं वक्रतुण्डं च एकदन्तं द्वितीयकम् ।
तृतीयं कृष्णपिङ्गाक्षं गजवक्त्रं चतुर्थकम् ॥ २॥
prathamam vakra-tuNDam cha eka-dantam dvitIyakam |
tRitiyam kRiShNa-pi~NgAkSham, gaja-vaktram chaturthakam || 2 || 
 first to the curved-trunked, and second to the one-tusked 
third to the brown-eyed, fourth to the elephant-faced ||
 
 
 लम्बोदरं पञ्चमं च षष्ठं विकटमेव च ।
सप्तमं विघ्नराजेन्द्रं धूम्रवर्णं तथाष्टमम् ॥ ३॥


 lambodaram pa~nchamam cha ShaShTham vikaTameva cha | 
saptamam vighna-rAjendram dhUmra-varNam tathAShTamam || 3 || 
fifth to the large-bellied and sixth to the huge
 seventh the king of obstacles, and eighth to the smoke-colored ||
 
 

नवमं भालचन्द्रं च दशमं तु विनायकम् ।
एकादशं गणपतिं द्वादशं तु गजाननम् ॥ ४॥ 
navamam bhAla-chandram cha dashamam tu vinAyakam | 
ekAdashamam gaNa-patim dvAdasham tu gajAnanam || 4 ||  
ninth to the one with moon on the forehead, tenth to the supreme hero 
eleventh to the leader of peoples and twelfth to the elephant-faced ||
 
 

द्वादशैतानि नामानि त्रिसंध्यं यः पठेन्नरः ।
न च विघ्नभयं तस्य सर्वसिद्धिकरः प्रभुः ॥ ५॥ 
dvAdashaitAni nAmAni trisandhyam yaH paThen_naraH | 
na cha vighna-bhayam tasya sarva-siddhi-karaH prabhuH || 5 ||  
these twelve names, one who reads three times a day (morning, afternoon, evening)
 there is no fear of obstacles, and lord is his all-accomplisher ||
 

विद्यार्थी लभते विद्यां धनार्थी लभते धनम् ।
पुत्रार्थी लभते पुत्रान्मोक्षार्थी लभते गतिम् ॥ ६॥ 
vidyArthI labhate vidyAm dhanArthI labhate dhanam | 
putrArthI labhate putrAn_mokShArthI labhate gatim || 6 || 
  
knowledge seeker gains knowledge, wealth seeker gains wealth   
child seeker gains child, nirvANa seeker gains nirvANa ||
 

जपेद्गणपतिस्तोत्रं षड्भिर्मासैः फलं लभेत् ।
संवत्सरेण सिद्धिं च लभते नात्र संशयः ॥ ७॥
 japed_gaNapati-stotram ShaDbhir_mAsaiH phalam labhet | 
saMvatsareNa siddhim cha labhate nAtra saMshayaH || 7 || 
 by chanting this ganapati stotram for six months, one gets results  
and by [chanting for] one year accomplishment is gained, there no doubt here ||
 
 
अष्टेभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यश्च लिखित्वा यः समर्पयेत् ।
तस्य विद्या भवेत्सर्वा गणेशस्य प्रसादतः ॥ ८॥ 
aShTebhyo brAhmaNebhyashcha likhitvA yaH samarpayet |
tasya vidyA bhavet_sarvA gaNeshasya prasAdataH || 8 ||
one who offers having written from eight scholars
his knowledge becomes all-encompassing, by the grace of gaNesha ||
 
If you find any difficulties to read Sanskrit font, please enable your browser to see Unicode fonts properly.

May Lord Ganesha fulfill your sincere and just wishes.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.
 
 
 




Ganesh Chaturthi



Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi, the great Ganesha festival, also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' or 'Vinayaka Chavithi' is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate of them, especially in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasts for 10 days, ending on the day of 'Ananta Chaturdashi'.

 A life-like clay model of Lord Ganesha is made 2-3 months prior to the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. The size of this idol may vary from 3/4th of an inch to over 25 feet.

On the day of the festival, it is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their homage. The priest, usually clad in red silk dhoti and shawl, then invokes life into the idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called 'pranapratishhtha'. After this the 'shhodashopachara' (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 'modakas' (rice flour preparation), 21 'durva' (trefoil) blades and red flowers are offered. The idol is anointed with red unguent or sandal paste (rakta chandan). Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda and Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.

For 10 days, from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshipped. On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man. All join in this final procession shouting "Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya" (O father Ganesha, come again early next year). After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and camphor is made, people carry the idol to the river to immerse it.

The whole community comes to worship Ganesha in beautifully done tents. These also serve as the venue for free medical checkup, blood donation camps, charity for the poor, dramatic performances, films, devotional songs, etc. during the days of the festival. 

September 5, 2013

Mahavir Jayanti


Mahavir Jayanti- Why it is celebrated


People belonging to Jain community celebrate Mahavir Jayanti every year which falls on the 13th day of the Chaitra month. This Wednesday would mark the 2,611 years of the birth of Lord Mahavir who was born in 599 BC and was the 24th Jain Tirthankar.

On this day, various sects of Jains including Digambars, Shwetambars, Sthanak Vaasis and Tera Panthis come together to mark the occasion. The day is marked by organising mass celebration with elephants, horse-carts, camel-carts, a tableau on the life of Lord Mahavir, forming the main attraction.

While greeting the nation on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "May the life and noble teachings of Lord Mahavira inspire us to abjure violence in thought, word and deed and to always adhere to the path of ahimsa (non-violence)."

Mahavira was born at a place called Kundagrama in Vaisali and spread the message of peace and non-violence. According to Mahavira, to live a righteous life one should follow the following principles, which are the main pillars of Jainism

Nonviolence (Ahimsa) causing no harm to living beings; truthfulness (Satya) to speak the truth, non-stealing (Asteya) not to possess things that does not belong to you; Chastity (Bramacharya) not to indulge in sensual pleasures and non-attachment (Aparigraha) not to get attached to material things.

According to Mahavira, one should not accumulate bad karmas (deeds) which are the main cause of human delusion and suffering and lead to vicious cycle of life and death and continues till one is liberated.

August 24, 2013

Janmashtami



What is Janmashtami?

Janmashtami commemorates the earthly appearance of Krishna, who is described in India’s sacred writings as God Himself. One of the biggest religious festivals in the world, it is celebrated by nine hundred and thirty million people around the world--and two million in the US alone. To devotees, it’s Christmas and New Year’s in one, a day of deep spiritual renewal and celebration that effectively finishes an old year and begins a fresh one.

But why Janmashtami, you may ask? What’s so special about Krishna, as opposed to any other form of God? It’s His personable-ness. He reciprocates in unique, personal ways with every devotee who offers Him love—He is the most adorable, mischievous son, the most romantic lover, the most compassionate friend. And on Janmashtami, devotees celebrate Krishna in all of these aspects. For just as Krishna reciprocates individually with His relatives and confidantes, he responds to the distinct feelings and desires held most deeply in the heart of every single worshipper.

So remember that whatever way you worship Krishna on Janmashtami, He will reciprocate with you accordingly. It’s a meditation that makes for an extremely rewarding devotional experience.

How is Janmashtami Celebrated?

Where Vaishnava temples exist, festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishna’s appearance. Events include kirtan, singing the Lord’s name along with other devotees; and japa, private, more intimate prayer. Some devotees cook a feast of over one hundred dishes, while others perform drama and dance. Some clothe and decorate the deity of Krishna while others string enormous flower garlands and other decorations for the temple. Incense burns, scriptures are read, and all but the young and the infirm fast all day. The deities are also bathed with a variety of auspicious liquids in a kind of ablution

ceremony called abhisheka. Sometimes taking over two hours, this is performed with great pomp.
Finally, at midnight, priests pull apart the curtains to reveal the freshly dressed deity of Krishna on a creatively festooned and colored altar. The excitement builds, and a rousing kirtan ensues.


 


 

Shitala Satam


Shitala Satam Vrat2013 Coming Date

Shitala Satam Vrat Coming  (After Randhan Chhath)  in Gujarat and india and Gujarati Month in Shravan vad Satam or Day of Seven.
About Shitala Satam Vrat

Shitala Satam Vrat is observed in the month of Sravana on the seventh day of the dark fortnight. On this day Shitalamata’s puja is performed after taking bath with cold water. One cold meal is eaten during the day.
Shitala Satam, popularly known as Shitala Shasti, is dedicated to Goddes Shitla. the goddess of pox and measles. It is observed for the welfare of children and others and to escape from measles and small pox.
It is written in the Skand Purana that donkey is the vehicle of Shitalamata. Shitalamata holds a broom in her one hand and a kalash (container with water) in her other hand. The one who observes the Shitala vrat bathes in a river or in a lake. There Shitaladevi’s image (murti) is placed on the banks of river or lake. Shitaladevi is offered cooked food and ghee. On this day cold food is eaten; the food that was cooked the previous day (cooked on chhatthi or sixth day). For the vratdhari (one who observes this vrat), it is forbidden to eat warmed or hot food on this day.
Those who can afford it, can make golden image of Shitaladevi and together with the image of the vehicle (donkey) place the devi’s image on eight petalled lotus flower. Offer obeisance with joined palms saying ‘My pranam to Shitaladevi’ and make puja. In some places people offer raw flour and gor (molasses) as naivedya to the devi. It is customary to eat only one meal on Shitala Saptami day.
Shitala Satam Vratkatha
Mothers perform special pujas and offer prayers to Shitla Mata. There is a popular belief that with the blessings of Goddess Shitala, children and other will be protected from numerous contagious diseases like chicken pox etc.  Food cooked on previous day is eaten on theShitala Satam day. The Vrat Katha is .....
In the olden days, Hastinapur was ruled by king Indralumna. His wife’s name was Pramila who was full of faith and devotion and was keen on performing religious ceremonies and rituals. They had a son, Mahadharma by name and their daughter’s name was Shubhakaari. She was given in marriage to prince Gunvaan, son of king Sumati who ruled Kaundinyanagar.
 Prince Gunvaan lived up to his name. He was a virtuous prince. A year after the wedding, Gunvaan went to his in-laws to fetch his wife. The king (his wife’s father) asked his son-in-law to stay over because the next day was the day of Shitala Saptami vrat. The king invited a Brahmin and his wife for the ceremony of Shitala Saptami vrat. The king’s daughter Shubhakari mounted a chariot and with her female friends set out for the puja ceremony of Shitaladevi. The puja was to take place by some lake.
Unfortunately, they took a wrong turn and got lost. Leaving the chariot, they started walking on foot, and dispersed in different directions. Princess Shubhakari was overcome by fatigue and sat under a tree. She saw an elderly woman approaching her and asked her for directions.
 “O girl, follow me and I will lead you to a lake”  said the old woman and took them to a lake. The princess bathed in the lake and with devotion and faith, placed the image of Shitaladevi on a makeshift platform of stone. The old lady was herself Shitaladevi. She was well pleased. Placing her hand on the head of Princess Shubhakari she asked her to state her wish.
 The princess said: “Mother, I shall surely ask when the need arises”.
Then the old lady (Shitaladevi) escorted the princess and her female friends to the lake where they were to meet the Brahmin and his wife. The Brahmin’s wife was heard crying aloud. Princess Subhakari went to her and saw that her husband was lying dead, apparently bitten by a snake.
Princess Shubhakari again bathed in the lake and concentrated her mind upon Shitaladevi and stated her wish: “Mother, please bring back to life this Brahmin”.
Bhagavati Shitaladevi was pleased and restored life to the Brahmin. Everybody was full of joy. They all performed Shitaladevi’s puja and returned home.
People of Hastinapur were filled with awe on hearing that the dead Brahmin was brought back to life. The citizens together with the parents of the princess made a murti of Shitaladevi and celebrated this day in the manner of a festival. After staying for a few more days, Princess Shubhakari went with Prince Gunvaan to her in-laws. There also, being impressed by Shitalamata, they developed faith and devotion. It is said that the children of those who are Shitala vratdhai (who observe this vrat) do not suffer from smallpox and that their wishes get fulfilled.

Randhan Chhath




Randhan Chhath Vrat Coming Date2013

Randhan Chhath is Coming on 26 August 2013.
Randhan Chhath Celebration

Randhan Chhath is a Hindu Festival. It is observed on the previous day of Sheetala Satam in Shravan month as Gujarati Tithi Calander. Actually it is not any vrat day, but it is the preparation day for Sheetala Satam Vrat. Randhan Chhath 2013 is comes on date of 26th August. On this day women cook many foods for Sheetala Satam.
Randhan Chhath is not a ritual but is a preparation day for the Shitala Satam day. No food is cooked on Shitala Satam, people eat only what is prepared on Randan Chat.
Food items that are prepared on Randhan Chath are those that will stay for 24-hours. All women in the family participate in the cooking. Some people opt for spicy and fried  Recipe.
After the cooking is over on Randan Chat, the earthen hearth is cleaned using cow dung. The ash remains in the hearth.


Randhan Chath Sms2013

1) We wish u happy chhath puja to all.
Chhath maiya ki jai,
Maa sabhi ki wish and manokamana puri kare.
(2) Chhat festival is one of the mahaparva,
chhati mayya apram parrr hai,
chath miya ko main sat sat bar pranam karta hu!