Author Topic: Hindu Fasts , Festivals from April 2016 - March 2017  (Read 5519 times)


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Re: Hindu Fasts , Festivals from April 2016 - March 2017
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 11:34:57 PM »
Today i.e Thu 25 Aug 2016 is the Birthday of Lord Krishna ( Krishna Janmashtami ) and given below is an article by Swami Sivananda on the significance of this festival

Krishna Janmashtami

Sri Swami Sivananda

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

This is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth Divine Incarnation. It falls on the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). This is one of the greatest of all Hindu festivals. Lord Krishna was born at midnight. A twenty-four hour fast is observed on this day, which is broken at midnight.

Temples are decorated for the occasion. Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organised at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings.

The Lord appeared when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha at the constellation of the star Rohini, on Wednesday, the 8th day of the second fortnight of the month of Sravana, which corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha according to the Barhaspatyamana, in the year of Visvavasu, 5,172 years ago (from 1945), which means 3227 B.C.

Study the Bhagavatam and the Pancharatras, which are equal to the Upanishads. You will know all about the glory of Lord Krishna, His Lilas and superhuman deeds. The eighth Avatara, Krishna, who has become the Beloved of India and the world at large, had a threefold objective: to destroy the wicked demons, to play the leading role in the great war fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (where he delivered His wonderful message of the Gita) and to become the centre of a marvellous development of the Bhakti schools of India.

There is no true science except devotion to Lord Krishna. That man is wealthy indeed who loves Radha and Krishna. There is no sorrow other than lack of devotion to Krishna. He is the foremost of the emancipated who loves Krishna. There is no right course, except the society of Sri Krishna's devotees. The Name, virtues and Lilas (divine pastimes) of Krishna are the chief things to be remembered. The Lotus Feet of Radha and Krishna are the chief objects of meditation.

Sri Krishna is the ocean of bliss. His soul-stirring Lilas, which are the wonder of wonders, are its waves. The honeyed music of His flute attracts the minds of His devotees from all three regions. His unequalled and unsurpassed wealth of beauty amazes the animate and the inanimate beings. He adorns His friends with His incomparable love.

His palms bear the signs of a lotus and discus, the right sole of His feet of a flag, lotus, thunderbolt, an iron goad, barley seed, and the Swastika. His left sole has the rainbow, triangle, water-pot, crescent, sky, fish, and a cow's footprint. His Form is composed of condensed universal consciousness and bliss. His Body pervades the entire cosmos.

Devotion is the only means of attaining Lord Krishna. Bhakti kindles love for the Lord. When love is directed towards Krishna, man is freed from the bondage of the world.

Though Lord Krishna appeared in a human body, He had a divine body not composed of the five elements. He did not take any birth here in the usual sense of the term. He did not die. He appeared and disappeared through His Yoga Maya as He has declared in the Gita. This is a secret, known only to His devotees, Yogis and sages.

His enchanting form with flute in hand is worshipped in myriads of homes in India. It is a form to which is poured out devotion and supreme love from the hearts of countless devotees not only in India but also in the West. Millions of spiritual seekers worship Him and repeat His Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

Lord Krishna was great in knowledge, great in emotion, great in action, all at once. The scriptures have not recorded any life more full, more intense, more sublime and grander than the life of Sri Krishna.

Krishna has played various roles during His stay in the world. He was Arjuna's charioteer. He was an excellent statesman. He was a master musician; he gave lessons even to Narada in the art of playing the veena. The music of His flute thrilled the hearts of the Gopis and everyone else. He was a cowherd in Brindavan and Gokul. He exhibited miraculous powers even as a child. He killed many demons. He revealed His Cosmic Form to His mother, Yasoda. He performed the Rasa Lila, the secret of which can only be understood by devotees like Narada, Gauranga, Radha and the Gopis. He taught the supreme Truth of Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta to Arjuna and Uddhava. He had mastered every one of the sixty-four fine arts. For all these reasons He is regarded as a full and complete manifestation of God.

Incarnations of God appear for special reasons under special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of mankind, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever irreligion and unrighteousness prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, the great Incarnation of God appears in order to re-establish righteousness and to restore peace.

An Incarnation is the descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Cosmic Being in His potential state of manifestation descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Incarnation of God and His teachings produce a benign influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine unfoldment and Self-realisation.

The Incarnation comes to reveal the divine nature of man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism.

The greatest manifestations are called Incarnations proper. Rishis, Munis, prophets, sons of God and messengers of God are minor manifestations.

The Incarnations usually come with their particular or favourite groups or companions. Lord Rama came with Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Lord Krishna came with Balarama, Devas and Rishis. Sanaka came with Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Some, like Sri Shankara and Ramanuja, come as teachers and spiritual leaders. Some, like Chaitanya, are born to instill devotion in the hearts of people and turn their minds towards God. The Incarnations proper, like Krishna, come only when there is widespread catastrophe in the world.

On the holy Krishna Janmashtami, the ladies in South India decorate their houses beautifully, ready to welcome the Lord. They prepare various sweetmeats and offer them to the Lord. Butter was Krishna's favourite, and this is also offered. From the doorway to the inner meditation room of the house the floor is marked with a child's footprints, using some flour mixed with water. This creates the feeling in them that the Lord's own Feet have made the mark. They treat the day as one of very great rejoicing. There is recitation of the Bhagavatam, singing and praying everywhere.

The Janmashtami is celebrated at the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, with the following programme of intense spiritual activity:

1. During the preceding eight days, Japa of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is done intensely.

2. Those who can, will recite the Bhagavatam during this period. Others will listen to it being recited.

3. On the birthday itself everyone fasts and spends the whole day in holy communion.

4. Everyone greets others with the holy Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

5. A grand havan is performed on that day.

6. There is continuous Satsang from 4a.m. early in the morning till night. Yogis, Sannyasins and learned men discourse upon the glorious life and teachings of the Lord.

7. From sunset people assemble in the elaborately decorated temple and sing the Lord's Names and glories.

8. Many hymns and portions of the Bhagavatam, especially the Gopika Geetam, are recited.

9. Towards midnight, there is a grand worship of Lord Krishna. The Lord is bathed with milk while His Name is chanted 108 times.

10. This worship concludes with offerings of flowers, waving of lights (Arati), and reading of that portion of the Bhagavatam which deals with the birth of Krishna. This synchronises with midnight, the hour of the Lord's birth, at which time the murti of the Lord is rocked in a beautifully decorated cradle. After this item, all the assembled devotees partake of the holy prasad or sacrament, and then retire, filled with the Grace and blessings of Lord Krishna.

If you cannot read the whole of the Srimad Bhagavatam during these days, at least you should recite the following four most important verses from the book. The leading two verses and the closing verse are the prologue and the epilogue respectively:

"Hear from Me the most secret knowledge coupled with the essential experience and its component parts.

"May you realise by My Grace, the knowledge of Myself and what form, qualities and actions I am endowed with.

1. "Before creation I alone existed. There was nothing, neither existence nor non-existence. I am that which remains after dissolution.

2. "Understand that to be Maya or illusion which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be found in the Self and which is unreal like light and darkness.

3. "As the primary elements are amalgamated, with one another and also separate from one another at the same time, so I pervade the whole universe and am also separate from it.

4. "The aspirant should, by the method of positive and negative, know that thing which exists always and everywhere.

"Experience this truth through the highest superconscious state so that you will not be disturbed even by illusory objects".

There is another beautiful verse in the Bhagavatam which you can recite daily: "In days of yore, the Lord, born of Devaki, brought up in the house of Yasoda, killed the wicked Putana of illusive form and lifted the Govardhana hill, killed Kamsa and the sons of the Kuru race, and protected the sons of Kunti. Thus is recited the essence of the ancient Bhagavat Purana consisting of the nectarine stories of the deeds of Lord Krishna".

May the blessings of Lord Krishna and Sri Radha be upon you all!
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha


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Re: Hindu Fasts , Festivals from April 2016 - March 2017
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2016, 11:39:27 PM »
Some Chants to be used for worship of Lord Krishna ( during Krishna Jayanthi as well as at other times )

The 108 names of Lord Krishna ( Krishna Ashtottaram )
Here sharing the 108 names of Lord Krishna in this link that has both the audio , sanskrit text , english transliteration /translation of each of the names of Lord Krishna .

Mantra of Lord Krishna - Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Sharing below a very beautiful meditative chant of the Mantra of Lord Krishna "Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya " and it is chanted very slowly to take you to a relaxed meditative state ..May the blessings of Lord Krishna be on all of you .Happy Krishna Jayanthi Celebrations .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha


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Re: Hindu Fasts , Festivals from April 2016 - March 2017
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2016, 02:51:36 PM »
Ganesh /Vinayaka Chaturthi falls on Mon 5 Sept 2016 and when we talk about Lord Ganesha immediately comes to our mind "Vinayakar Aghaval" by Saint Avaiyar . For more about Lord Ganesha and Vinayakar Aghaval kindly go through this short intro by Kanchi Paramacharya and after going through it listen to the chant of Vinayakar Aghval by TL Maharajan .
"Everybody belongs to Pillaiyar and Pillaiyar belongs to everyone. He is related to the poor and downtrodden too. Even unread people and poor urchins have a direct access to this 'common man's God'. The 'sidaru thengai'( broken pieces of coconut ) are meant for poor children mainly. They have a right over the pieces of coconut so distributed in His presence. As an infant-God, He is very popular with children. He is also very close to woman folk, as He is very dear to the Mother's instinct in every woman. As Avvai Paatti is a woman, they have a direct special right on this sloka. So, it is in the rightness of things that, woman and children, should all learn this 'Vinayagar Agaval'. You need not worry if the meaning is somewhat difficult and the pronounciation in places is slightly tough. Avvaiyar's words have the power to directly appeal to the inner self. By the time it becomes committed to memory, the import will be known to your heart! That will benefit the family, community, country and the world at large!
Say there is a beautiful box containing gems but whose key has been misplaced. Will we forsake the box for this reason? 'Let the key be found in its time'. In the meanwhile, we will keep the box very safe, 'is it not so? As otherwise, even if the key is found later, there will be no gain! Vinayagar Agawal, is such a box of Yoga Sastra gems. It does not matter if we presently do not have the necessary understanding and grasp. We will keep chanting it. Slowly the inner meanings will reveal itself. Pillaiyar will grant us the 'key' of understanding." - Kanchi Paramacharya .
Now listen to this very clear chanting of Vinayagar Aghaval by Sri TL Maharajan and there is an abhisehekam done to Lord Vinayaka in this video and if we cant do Vinayaka Puja in our house , let us at least listen to this chant watching the Video . May the blessings of Lord Ganesha be on all of you .Om Gam Ganapathaye Namah .

Vinayagar Agaval by T L Maharajan
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha


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Re: Hindu Fasts , Festivals from April 2016 - March 2017
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2016, 06:15:22 PM »
The Tamil Month Puratasi starts from Today i.e Sat 17 Sept 2016 and is very famous for the worship of Lord Vishnu especially Lord Vishnu in the form of Tirupathi Venkateshwar and though every Satuday is auspicous for Lord Vishnu , the Saturday coming in the month of Puratassi is considered very auspicious and many observe fasts on this Saturday and given below is an article explaining how the fast behind Puratassi Saturday came to take place .

முக்தி தரும் புரட்டாசி சனிக்கிழமை

புண்ணியம் தரும் புரட்டாசி மாதம் இன்று (சனிக்கிழமை) பிறந்தது. இந்த ஆண்டு புரட்டாசி மாதம் சனிக்கிழமையில் பிறந்திருப்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

புரட்டாசி மாதம் என்றாலே ஏடுகுண்டலவாடா, வெங்கட்ரமணா, கோவிந்தா கோவிந்தா!? என்ற பக்தி கோஷம் திருப்பதி மலை முழுக்க எதிரொலிக்கும். புரட்டாசி சனிக்கிழமைகளில் இது இரட்டிப்பாக இருக்கும். புரட்டாசி சனிக்கிழமைக்கு இருக்கும் தனித்துவமும் மகத்துவமே இதற்கு காரணமாகும். புரட்டாசி மாத சனிக்கிழமையில் விரதம் இருந்து, மஞ்சள் ஆடை உடுத்தி, பாத யாத்திரையாக திருப்பதிக்கு சென்று ஏழுமலையானை தரிசிப்பது பேருந்து வசதி இல்லாத அந்த காலத்திலேயே இருந்தது.

சகல வசதிகளும் உள்ள இந்த நாள்களிலும் தொடர் வதுதான் வேங்கடவனின் மகிமைக்கு சான்று. மாதங்களில் நான் மார்கழியாக இருக்கிறேன் என்கிறார் பகவான் ஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ணர் ஆனால் ஏழுமலையான் எனக்கு உகந்த மாதம் புரட்சி மாதம்தான் அதிலும் சனிக்கிழமைதான் எனக்கு உகந்த நாள் என்கிறார். இதன் பின்னணியில் ஒரு கதை உள்ளது.

அந்த கதை வருமாறு:--

மன்னன் தொண்டைமானுக்கு ஏழுமலையான் மீது மற்றும், பாசமும் அதிகம். எனவே திருவேங்கடவனுக்கு ஆலயம் அமைத்து தினமும் பொன்மலர்களால் அர்ச்சனை செய்வதற்குரிய ஏற்பாடுகளை செய்திருந்தான். அதன்படியே பூஜையும் செய்து வந்தான். ஒருநாள் பூஜையின்போது பொன்மலர் களுக்கிடையே மண்மலர்களும் வந்து விழுவதைக் கண்டான். திடுக்கிட்ட அவன், அவை மண்மலர்கள்தானா எனக் கூர்ந்து நோக்கினான்.

அவை மண்மலர்கள்தான் என்பதை மீண்டும் மீண்டும் பூஜையில் வந்து விழுந்த மலர்கள் சந்தேகமேயில்லாமல் நிரூபித்தன. கதவுகள் அனைத்தையும் மூடி விட்டு மன்னன் மீண்டும் பூஜையைத் தொடர்ந்தபோதும் அவ்வாறே நிகழ்ந்தது. மன்னனின் மனம் குழப்பத்துக்கு உள்ளாகியது. தனது வழிபாட்டில் ஏதேனும் பிழை இருக்குமோ என உள்ளுக்குள் வருந்தினான்.

குருவை என்ற கிராமம் ஒன்றில் பீமய்யா என்ற குயவன் ஒருவன் வாழ்ந்து வந்தான். பிறவியிலேயே அவனுக்கு கால் ஊனம். தனது குலத்தொழிலான மண்பாண்டங்கள் செய்தலை நேர்மை தவறாமல் ஏழுமலையான் மீது அயராத பக்தி கொண்டு செய்து வந்தான். வேங்கடவனும் அவன் பக்திக்கு மெச்சி, தன் திருவுருவத்தை அவனுக்கு கனவில் காட்டி பின்பு மறைந்து விட்டார்.

பீமய்யாவுக்கு திருமால் கனவில் காட்சியளித்த நாள், புரட்டாசி மாத சனிக்கிழமை விடியற்காலை நேரம். பீமய்யாவும், தனது கனவில் தோன்றிய திருமாலின் வடிவத்தை அப்படியே செய்தான். அதன்பின்னர் மண்ணால் ஏழுமலையானின் உருவத்தை வடித்து, மலர்கள் தூவி வழிபட்டு வந்தான். ஒவ்வொரு வாரமும் சனிக்கிழமை நாளில் தவறாமல் விரதம் அனுசரித்து வந்த பீமய்யன், பெருமாளின் சிந்தனையிலேயே தொழிலையும் செய்து வந்தான்.

இவ்விதம் தொழில் செய்து கொண்டிருக்கும் போதே, கண்மூடி தியானத்தில் ஆழ்ந்து விடுவான். அச்சமயயங்களில் தான் என்ன செய்கிறோம் என்பதை அறியா நிலையிலேயே, பிசைந்து கொண்டிருக்கும் களி மண்ணையே மலர்களாக பாவித்து பெருமாளுக்கு அர்ச்சிப்பான். காலப்போக்கில் இதுவே அவனது அன்றாட அலுவலாகவும் ஆகி விட்டது. இது இப்படியிருக்க, குழப்பத்திலிருந்த தொண்டைமான் ஒருநாள் அபூர்வக் கனவொன்றைக் கண்டான்.

அக்கனவில் வெங்கடநாதன் தோன்றி, `தமது பக்தன் பீமய்யன் செய்யும் பூஜையே தமக்கு மிகுந்த மனநிறைவை அளிப்பதாகவும், அந்தப் பூஜையை நீயும் செய்து பார், அப்போது உண்மை விளங்கும்? என்று கூறி மறைந்தார். தொண்டைமானும் திருமால் குறிப்பிட்ட இடத்துக்கு சென்று பீமய்யன் செய்யப்போகும் பூஜையை மறைந்திருந்து கவனித்தான்.

தினமும் செய்வது போலவே, பீமய்யன் தான் வடிவமைத்திருந்த வேங்கடவனின் சிலை அருகே அமர்ந்து மண்பாண்டங்களை செய்து கொண்டே, கண்மூடி மண் மலர்களைத் தூவி இறைவனை வழிபடுவதை கண்டான் தொண்டை மன்னன். உடனே பீமய்யனைச் சென்று கட்டித் தழுவிய தொண்டைமான் அவனிடம், `உன் பக்தி உயர்வான பக்தி.

உனது வழிபாட்டைத் திருமால் ஏற்றுக் கொண்டு விட்டார் என்பதை நான் புரிந்து கொண்டேன்? என்றான். இதற்கிடையில் அந்தப் பரந்தாமன் பீமய்யனின் கனவிலும் தோன்றி, `உன் பக்தியின் பெருமையை என்று பிறர்கூற அறிகின்றாயோ அன்றே உனக்கு முக்தி அளித்து, வைகுந்தத்துக்கு அழைத்துக் கொள்வேன்? எனக் கூறியிருந்தார்.

அதன்படியே தொண்டைமான், பீமய்யனின் பக்தியை பாராட்டியதைக் கேட்ட மறுகணமே அவனுக்கு முக்தி கிடைத்தது. எனவே புரட்டாசி சனிக்கிழமைகளில் விரதம் இருந்து, ஏழுமலையானை மனம் உருக வழிபட்டால், செல்வமும், நிம்மதியும் கிடைக்கும் என்பதோடு, முக்தியும் வாய்க்கும் என்பது ஐதீகம்.

புரட்டாசி மாத சனிக்கிழமை விரதத்துக்கு இப்படியொரு மகத்துவம் இருக்கிறது.

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha