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Maha Shivratri
11 Mar, 2021

Shiva means Kalyankari, and Shiva means Baba Bholenath, Shiva means Shivashankar, Shivashambu, Shivji, Shivji, Neelkanth, Rudra, etc. 

Lord Shiva is the most adored God among all Hindu Gods. He is loved by demons too. He is loved due to his simplicity. His rituals are also very simple. If Lord Shiva is invoked purely, He becomes pleased. Mahashivratri is celebrated everywhere. It is known for the union of Shiva and Shakti. Religiously, Mahashivratri is the symbol of Nature and Man union. Followers of Shiva keep fast on this day and seek God’s blessings. Temples continue to offer Shiva Milk and Water. According to Shiva Purana, Mahashivratri is celebrated on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Falgun. It is the biggest festival of the Hindus. Monday is believed to be the day of Lord Shiva.

Similarly, monthly Shivaratri is also celebrated. Mahashivratri is celebrated twice in a year, one in the month of Falgun and Shravan. The former is called Mahashivratri. People keep fast on this day and invoke Lord Shiva by following all the rituals, which are very simple. People offer Him water and fruits and stay awake for the whole night. They are on Kavadh and take Gangajal, which is used for bathing Lord Shiva.

We at Bajrangi Dhaam will be performing a small Pooja ritual and Mahashivratri celebration for selected followers & the overall prosperity of our large client base on 11th March, 2021 in the morning around 8.00 am. 

Why is Mahashivratri Celebrated?

Shivaratri is celebrated on the previous day of the New Moon, the fourteenth day of the month. Among all the Shivratri, the one which arrives during February-March holds particular importance. On this night, the northern corner of the houses is organized so that the energy of Nature enters appropriately. This day helps the people in reaching the religious and spiritual zenith. The rituals go on for the entire night. As the conventions are followed for the whole of the night, it is ensured that the spinal cord is straight and the rules of Nature are not disturbed.

Importance of Mahashivratri

This day holds importance for people who believe in spirituality and religion. It is also essential who are caught in the web of desires related to familial life. People who are caught in worldly affairs consider Mahashivratri as the day of attaining victory over the enemies. For spiritual leaders, Shivratri is the day when Lord Shiva went to Kailash and became a rock. As per Yogic tradition, Lord Shiva is not considered a God. He is considered to be a Yogic Guru who teaches the Shishyas about meditation. After a series of Yoga, Lord Shiva became as motionless as a rock. This day is believed to be Mahashivratri. After taking the form of a stone, all the movements inside him took a pause. That is why a lot of spiritual leaders consider the night of Mahashivratri as the night of motionlessness. 

Lord Shiva took a form for the first time

As per old myths, Lord Shiva gave his darshan for the first time on Mahashivratri. He gave his darshan in the form of Shivling in the fire in one of the Jyotirlingas, a shivalinga which had no end and no beginning. It is believed that Lord Brahma took the form of a dove and tried to see the topmost part of the Shivalinga but in vain. He couldn't reach the top part of the Linga. Even Lord Vishnu tried to know about the Shivalinga as a Varah but in vain. 

Union of Shiva and Shakti

Devotees of Lord Shiva are awake for the entire night on Mahashivratri. They celebrate the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. Lord Shiva left his Vairagya life and adopted Grihastha life and became a Grihastha. It is believed that the observation of Holi after a fortnight of Mahashivratri has this reason only. 

Shivalinga was seen at 64 places

One of the stories tells that on Mahashivaratri, the shivalinga emerged in 64 places. Among them, we only know the names of the 12 sites, and we call them Jyotirlinga. People lighten up diyas at the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain to see the fire oriented invincible Linga. One of the idols of Lord Shiva is called Lingobhav, meaning which has emerged from the Linga, a Linga which has no end and no beginning. 

The Religious Rule of the Fasting on Mahashivaratri 

There are a lot of rules related to Mahashivaratri. These are:

 1. Mahashivaratri is celebrated on the first Chaturdashi, which is known as Nishithatvyapini. The eighth Muhurt at night is a critical phase. In other words, when Chaturdashi begins, and the eighth Muhurt meets with Chaturthi, then only Mahashivaratri is celebrated.

 2. Mahashivaratri is observed on the first day of the Nishit Kaal and Chaturthi, on the second day. Chaturdashi should be in contact with the 2nd Nishit in the first part of the previous day Nishit 

3. Except in two places, fasting is observed on the next day in every other area. 

Puja-Vidhi For Mahashivaratri

 1. Water/Milk is stored in a small mud container. Belpatra, Aak Dhature, and rice are kept on the container's top only to be put over the Shivalinga. If there is no temple in the vicinity, one can create a mud murti of Shiva and offer prayers. 

 2. On this day, Shiva Purana should be read, and Mahamrityunjaya Jaap, along with Shiv Panchakshar Mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, must be chanted. Staying awake at night is also a ritual on Mahashivatri 

3. According to the Shastras, it is best to observe this day at the Nishit Kaal. However, Purohits can perform the puja on any prahar as per their convenience. 

Shivaratri- Jyotish Perspective 

Lord Shiva is himself the Chaturthi Tithi. Every month, on the Chaturthi of Krishna Paksha, Mahashivaratri is celebrated. This tithi is considered to be auspicious. As per mathematical astrology, Surya Uttarayan happens, and Seasons changes also take place on Mahashivaratri. Moon is at its weak during Chaturthi of Mahashivaratri. Lord Shiva keeps Moon in his forehead, and that is why Moon is under control. Offering prayers to Lord Shiva helps in fulfilling desires, strengthens willpower, and increases courage.

Old Belief related to Mahashivaratri

There are many stories associated with Shivaratri. Goddess Parvati meditated for Lord Shiva. This resulted in the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the month of Falgun on Chaturdashi. That is why Mahashivratri is considered to be pious.

Once, there was a hunter named Chitrabhanu. He raised his family by killing animals. He had taken money from a moneylender, but an angry moneylender took him captive in a Shivamath because he could not clear the debt on time. And it was Shivratri that day. In the process of being confined, the hunter kept listening to Shiva's holy things in the monastery, while he also heard Shivaratri's story fast. In the evening, the moneylender called him and asked to repay the loan, and the hunter promised to return the entire loan the next day. The moneylender obeyed him and left him. The hunter set out to hunt in the forest. But due to being in captivity all day, he was disturbed by hunger and thirst. At sunset, he came near a reservoir and climbed a tree on the banks of a gorge there to drink some water, because he hoped that some animal would come here to quench his thirst.

The tree was of Bel-Patra, and there was a Shiva lingam under the same tree, which was hidden under a dried Bel-leaf. Hunter could not find the person. Tired of hunger and thirst, he sat on the same loft. The twigs he broke while making the scaffolding fell on the Shivling by chance. In this way, fasting and thirsty hunters also fasted throughout the day, and bell-sheets were offered to the Shivalinga. At one o'clock in the night, a pregnant lady came to drink water at the pond. As the hunter attacked, a few leaves and a few drops of water fell on the lingam made below, and inadvertently the hunter's first attack was worshiped. Mrigi said, I am pregnant and will have a baby soon. Do not kill two lives. It is not morally right.

I will give birth to a child and will present myself in front of you. The hunter did not kill it, and it ran away amidst the bushes. After some time, another Mriga came out of the bushes. The hunter was making himself ready for another attack. A few bells fell on the Shivalinga, and the hunter's second attack was on point. The deer said I had come back after a long time. I am in search of my husband. I will meet him and offer myself to you. The hunter was tensed as he did not kills two prey. The last hour of the night was passed. Then another deer escaped with her children. The hunter was about to kill when the deer said, "I will return these children to their father. Do not kill me this time. Please do not laugh and say, leave the victim in front. I am not such a fool. I have lost my prey twice before. My children must be suffering from hunger and thirst. In reply, Mrigi again said, just like you are concerned for your children, children, I am also worried for them. I will leave them to their father and surrender myself to you immediately. Hearing the deer's low voice, the hunter felt pity for him. He let that chicken escape too. In the absence of hunting, the hunter sitting on the vine tree was being thrown down by breaking the bell-sheet. The worship of his third Prahar was also done automatically. When the dawn came, another deer came, and the hunter had made his mind to kill it. The deer said, " If you have killed thforthree deer and small children that come before me, do not delay in killing me also as I do not wish to suffer the loss caused by their death. I am the husband of those deer. Please give me life too, if you have given them life. Hearing the deer, the hunter narrated the whole story to the deer. Then the deer said, the way my three wives have gone as promised, they will not be able to follow their path with my death. So, just as you have left him as a confidant, let me also go. I will come to you soon. The hunter's restless heart was purged by fasting, night-awakening, and offering the bell-sheet on Shivling. Bhagavad Shakti was in him. His hand missed the bow and arrow, and he let the antelope run.

After a while, the antelope appeared before the family hunter so that he could hunt them. Still, the hunter was very apologetic for seeing such a kindred spirit of wild animals. He started crying. By not killing that deer family, the hunter removed his hard heart from living violence and made him soft and kind forever. All the Dev Samaj from Devalok were also observing this event. After doing this, Lord Shiva was pleased and immediately showed him his divine form and gave him Guha's name by giving him a boon of happiness and prosperity. This was the guise with which Lord Sri Rama had made friends with him. If ignorance is such an outstanding result of worshiping Lord Shiva on the day of Mahashivaratri, then the worship of Devadhidev Mahadev will be all the pious.

Shiv Ji can offer Darshan through this Jaap

The most famous mantra is the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra to receive Mahadev's grace and blessings, the God of Gods. This is the mantra, which can remove the fear of untimely death and revenge. Mahashivaratri day is an essential day for Lord Shiva because, on this day, Shiva and Shakti meet. Rudraprashita of Shivpuran states that chanting the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra on Mahashivaratri can be helpful. According to Shiva Purana, by chanting Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, the devotee can fulfill his/her wishes. This year Mahashiva Yoga has been organized in which you can satisfy your desires by chanting this mantra.

1. According to Shiv Puran, if you chant the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra for a million times on the day of Mahashivaratri so that physical purification can occur, and diseases get removed. Negative energy gets released.

2. By chanting the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra two lakh times, you can get the achievement of remembering the things of your previous birth. According to the Puranas, there is a lot of power in this mantra, and you can also know about the past life.

3. If the devotee completes chanting of Mahamrityunjaya mantra three lakh times, then he can get the accomplishment of getting the things he desires. When this happens, his worldly life becomes very prosperous.

4. As per Shiva Purana, if Mahamrityunjaya Jaap is completed four lakh times, Lord Shiva can be seen in the dream.

5. Lord Shiva is very easy on his devotees. He soon becomes happy, so he is called Bholenath. On the day of Mahashivaratri, Lord Shiva gives direct darshan if the devotee completes the Jaap in 5 lakhs times.

6. On the day of Mahashivratri, if one chants Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 10 lakh times, he gets complete phal. One who looks for salvation attains salvation.

Include these in your Puja to make Lord Shiva Happy

1. Bholenath Mahadev has the title of being the creator of the whole universe. In Rudraprashita of Shivpuran, it is told that Shivaji is happy if we include these things during Puja on Mahashivaratri. As per astrology, Shivji loves Bel Patra. This leaf is used in the first place in the worship of Lord Shiva. It is believed that the three leaves of the belpatra are symbolical of the three eyes of Lord Shiva

2. If you use sesame and barley in Shivaji's puja, then all your sins come to an end. The blessings of ancestors are also given, and negative energy gets removed from the house.

3. You can use Bhasma in the puja of Bholenath. Bhasma is very dear to Lord Shiva. It must be kept in the worship of Lord Shiva on Shivaratri. If the fasting devotees put ash on Shivalinga, they gain divine powers.

4. You can use Rudraksha in the puja of Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri. Shiva and Rudraksha are parts of the same coin. Rudraksha is formed from the tears of Lord Shiva. The house gets purified by keeping Rudraksha in the place after worship.

5. You can also use Dhatura in the puja of Lord Shiva. It is believed that that Lord Shiva always uses Dhatura as food. During the Samudra Manthan, Lord Shiva had become quite agitated when he drank the poison. Then Dhatura had given him relief.

6. You can use silver or copper Trishul and snake in the worship of Bholenath on Mahashivratri. The snake is always in the neck of Lord Shiva. Establish Trishul and Nag of Pooja in the house. This will not harm the house.

What should be taken special care of during the worship of Shivji

In Rudraprashita of Shivpuran, it is told that during the puja of Shivji on this day, many things should be taken special care of. This not only completes the worship of Shiva but also blesses him. On the festival of Shivaratri, Shiva devotees fast with full devotion. On this day, a considerable number of devotees are seen in Shiva temples.

1. Lakshmi's accomplishment is attained by performing the rituals of Shivalinga with sugarcane juice on Mahashivratri. Also, you get freedom from all kinds of hostility. While offering sugarcane juice to Shivling, one should chant Om Namah: Shivaya.

2. When you do Abhishek with the water of a pilgrimage on Shivling, you get salvation. Related diseases and doshas also end. You will witness a magical change in life.

3. If both the husband and wife of Lord Shiva are given milk on Mahashivaratri, they get blessings to have children (See the link below to read more about this). Along with Brahmins, provide food to the poor and needy. This has been said in the Shiv Purana.

4. Worship of Lord Shiva not only brings wealth but also cures all diseases. This is considered to be good for healing.

5. The Shivpurana states that worshipping Lord Shiva with the thousand names of ghee from the stream of ghee expands the lineage, and on anointing with sugars mixed with milk, root wisdom also turns into superior intelligence.

6. You can get rid of debt (See the link below to read more about this) by offering whole rice to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri. If you adorn and worship Shivling with cooked rice, then the Mangal Dosh of your horoscope also becomes slow.

Worship Lord Shiva Through Rudrabhishek on Mahashivaratri 

On Mahashivaratri, many people do Rudrabhishek to please Lord Shiva. Rudrabhisheka means the invocation of Lord Rudra, that is, the invocation of Rudra's mantras on the Shivling. Rudra is also considered as a form of Lord Shiva in the scriptures. It is believed that this form of Lord Shiva eases people's distress. According to a myth, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma did Rudrabhisheka. It is believed that Lord Brahma got his form from the navel of Lord Vishnu. When Lord Vishnu revealed the secret of his origin to Lord Brahma, He was not ready to accept this, and there was a dispute between them, and both started fighting. An angry Lord Rudra appeared in the form of this war. This gender had neither the beginning nor the end. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu tried to reach the base and back of this sex but in vain. He accepted his defeat and worshipped Linga. This made Lord Shiva happy. It is said that Rudrabhishek started from here. Shiva worship is performed in many ways. Rudrabhishek has great importance in this. This makes Mahadev happy immediately.

Rudrabhisheka means the invocation of Lord Shiva through Vedic mantras. It is believed that doing Rudrabhishek fulfills all the wishes of Shiva devotees and gets rid of suffering. It also destroys diseases and leads to recovery. Rudrabhishek is more helpful if done on Saavn month, Shivaratri, Mahashivaratri, and Pradosh. Once Mahadev was riding on the Nandi and was driving. Goddess Parvati, seeing Mahadev in Mrityuloka asked Bholenath why He is worshiped in Mrityulok. Mahadev said that the devotee worships with Shuklayujurveda Rudradashthyayi. I am pleased and will grant him the desired fruit soon. The desire for which the devotee performs Rudrabhishek is fulfilled.

Holy Water bath

To get rid of all sorrows, perform Jalabhisheka to Mahadev. At the same time, while doing Jalabhishek, picture Bholenath's child form. Fill the water with kumkum on a copper pot. Chant 'Molly' while chanting 'Om Indraya Namah.' Chant together 'Om Namah: Shivaay.' Offer flowers and Rudrabhishek with a small amount of water. During this, chant the mantra 'Om Tan Trilokinathaye Swaha.'

Holy Milk Bath 

To get the blessings of Bholenath, one should perform the milk bath of Lord Shiva. One should keep in mind the luminous form of Mahadev while performing the holy ceremony. Put kumkum on the copper lotus and tie Molly while chanting 'Om Sri Kamadhenve Namah.' Offer flowers while chanting 'Om Namah: Shivaay.' Rudrabhishek with a small amount of milk. During this, chant the mantra 'Om Sakal Lokac Gururvai Namah.' Get the Shivling bathed with clean water.

Holy Fruit- Juice Bath

Shivling should be bathed with fruit juice for the benefit of money and freedom from debt. While cleaning with fruit juice, one should meditate on the blue neck of Mahadev. Mouli should be tied by chanting the mantra 'Om Kuberai Namah': Put Kumkum on the copper lotus. Flowers should be offered while chanting 'Om Namah: Shivaay.' Rudrabhishek with a small amount of fruit juice. During this time, chant the mantra.

'Om Hrun Neelkanthaya Swaha.' Get the Shivling bathed with clean water.

Abhishek with mustard oil

Shivalinga should be bathed with mustard oil to prevent planetary obstruction. While bathing with mustard oil, one should keep in mind Lord Shiva's Pralayankar form. Mouli should be tied by chanting 'Om Bhan Bhairavai Namah' with a Kumkum on the copper lotus. Chanting 'Om Namah: Shivaay' should dedicate flowers. Fill the copper pot with mustard oil and perform Rudrabhishek. During this process, chant the mantra 'Om Nath Nathaye Nathaye Swaha.' Bathe with clean water. These things must be offered to Lord Shivaratri on Mahashivatri to receive his blessings to the fullest. Let us see what these things are:

1.Lord Shiva loves Dhatura. This must be offered to Him on Mahashivratri. As per old myths. Lord Shiva drank all the poison during Samudra Manthan. Dhatura helped HIm to bear the pain. Hence, He loves Dhatura. 

2. Just like the effect of the poison was lessened by Dhatura, similarly, if you offer water onto shivalinga, the difficulties in your life are going to end. 

3.As Lord Shiva is a Vairagi. He is offered ashes too. As per the Vedic and Religious texts, Lord Shiva loves to get adorned. By adorning him, the devotee is relieved from the worldly illusions. 

4. Offer ashes to Him in the morning after taking a bath; if the ashes are offered at dawn between 4-5, that's the best time. Women should not offer Him ashes as it is not considered to be auspicious. 

5.On Mahashivaratri, black til should be offered to Lord Shiva as it enhances the devotee's financial positioning. Paternal spirits are also satisfied when black til offered to Him. Allegations from the Father's side get resolved, thereby removing all the obstacles.

6.It is believed that Rudraksha got its form from Lord Shiva’s Tears. Offering Rudraksha to Him makes Him happy. 

7.Offering Rudraksha to Him will bring peace at home and removes all kinds of negative energies from the mind and heart. 

8.Silver Sword can also be offered to Lord Shiva on this day. This will help in getting rid of obstacles and achieving success. 

9.If someone is Kalsarpsdoshi, that person can offer Lord Shiva a pair of silver Naag-Naagin. After the ritual, these can be flown away in a river. 

Dont’ts for Shivaratri

Some things are to be kept in mind as don't during Shiva Puja. The following items must be avoided in Shiva-Pujan.

1. Do not use Shank while offering water to Lord Shiva as He had killed a demon named Shankhchudh. Shankh epitomizes this demon, who was also a devotee of Lord Vishnu. That is why Lord Vishnu is offered prayers with Shankh.

2. Tulsi leaves should not be used in Lord Shiva's puja as the former was the consort of Lord Vishnu. 

3. Lord Shiva should not be offered broken rice as it stands for incompleteness and impurity. Lord Shiva must be offered whole rice. 

4. Do not offer Kumkum. Kumkum symbolizes good luck, and Lord Shiva is a Vairagi who does not like Kumkum. 

5. Haldi and coconut water should not be offered to Lord Shiva as the former is related to Lord Vishnu and good luck, and the latter is associated with Goddess Laxmi.  

Go for solutions to Kaal Sarpa Dosh on Mahashivaratri 

As per astrology, people who have this issue need to go for solutions to get rid of problems arising due to this dosh. One needs to see the kundali to look for answers. 

Every kundali needs different solutions for Kaal Sarpa Dosh. If you know the kind of dosh you have, accordingly, solutions can be looked for. The following are the various kinds of Kaal Sarpa Dosh (See the link below to read more about this) and their solutions.

1. Anant Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Wear one faced and nine faced Rudraksha on Naagpanchami if you have this dosh. 

- If you have health issues due to this dosh, you can flow away Raange coin in the river on Mahashivratri. 

2. Kuleek Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Give away two-colored blankets and woolens to the needy. Offer prayers to silver balls and keep them with you.

3. Vasuki Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Keep a little bit of Bajra near your pillow at night and give them away to birds in the morning. 

- Wear three faced or a nine faced Rudraksha on Mahashivratri. 

4. Shankhpal Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Flow away 400g of almonds in the water. 

 - Use milk to bathe the Shivalinga 

5. Padam Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Chant Saraswati Chalisa for forty days on Mahashivaratri. 

- Give away yellow clothes to the needy and plant tulsi. 

6. Mahapadma Kala Sarpa Dosh

- Chant Sundarkand at Hanuman temple. 

- Do charity in the form of food to the poor and helpless people. 

7. Takshan Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Give away 11 coconuts in some water body. 

- Give away white clothes and rice as a charity

8. Karkotak Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Visit Batukbairav temple and offer curd and jaggery to God as Bhog. 

- Offer food and clothes to the needy on Mahashivratri. 

 9. Shankhchudh Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Keep some jowar in a cloth and place it near your pillow at night on Mahashivaratri. 

 - Wear eight faced and nine faced Rudraksha. 

10. Ghatak Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- Keep a bronze jug full of Gangajal at your Puja space.

- Wear a four-faced and nine faced green colored thread. 

11. Vishdhar Kaal Sarp Dosh 

- Every member of the family should touch one coconut each and give it away into the waters. 

- Charity should be done on Mahashivratri to the best of one’s abilities. 

12. Sheshnag Kaal Sarpa Dosh

- To cope with this dosh, you need to fold some Batasha and white flowers in a red cloth a keep it near your pillow at night. In the next day, give away this cloth into the waters. 

- Give away milk and white substances to the poor on Mahashivaratri

You can read my views of astrology for blessings to have children, get rid of debt and Kaal Sarpa Dosha.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Holika Dahan
28 Mar, 2021

Holika Dahan is celebrated one day before the festival of Holi. This is one of the most significant festivals of the Hindu religion. Not only in India but this festival is also celebrated in various regions of Nepal. This festival displays the triumph of good over evil. According to the Hindu Panchang, this festival occurs on the full moon of the Phalguna month.

On this day people use wood and cow-dung to form Holika and burn it, and then pray to god for the fulfilment of wishes. This day makes us restore our trust and belief in God plus like Prahlad you can get through any obstacle in life.

Importance Of Holika Dahan

Holika Dahan plays an important role in our lives and makes us realize the power of truth and honesty. This festival teaches us that we should never be too proud of our power and status. Never torture someone as people who do so have to face the consequences.

Along with this, ancient tales of Holika Dahan describe the importance of fire and light in our lives. We also understand how God protects those who adopt the path of truth.

Why do we celebrate Holika Dahan?

This festival displays how always good wins over evil. It is said that on this auspicious day an evil named Holika died. According to the ancient tales, in “Satyug”  lived an egoistic king named Hirankashyapu who was lost in the pride of his powers and started calling himself God. He wanted everyone to pray to him instead of God, however, his own son, Prahlad, denied to do so and instead started worshipping Lord Vishnu.

After seeing this, Hirankashyapu started punishing Prahlad but failed miserably every time. Lord Vishnu saved Prahlad from all the troubles and this irritated Hirankashyapu. So, he planned on killing his son with the help of his evil sister Holika. However, Holika had a quilt/blanket as a vardan that protected her from a fire so Hirankashyapu thought that nothing would happen to her and his plan would succeed. When Holika sat with Prahlad on the fire pit, the blanket flew over Prahlad and she immediately turned to ashes. After this incident, Lord Vishnu appeared in the Narsingh Avatar because Hiranyakashipu had a vardan from Lord Brahma that no one can kill him during the day or night, or on the floor or sky, no God, evil, human or any weapon can harm him.

When Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narsingh he said “ I live everywhere, in your palace, inside you, I can change unholy to holy, however unholy things can never harm me and here is your death sentence “ right now it's not night or day, nor I am a man or an animal and your death will not take place on the floor or sky. After saying this Lord Vishnu ripped off Hirankashyapu’s chest and killed him. From this day onwards, the Holika Dahan festival is celebrated as the greatest example of triumph over evil.

How is the festival of Holika Dahan celebrated?

The preparation for Holika Dahan starts a few days before it arrives. In the different villages and towns, people start collecting wood to form Holika. Cow-dung is also an essential part of Holika. After this, Holika Dahan takes place at a holy time and people from the locality gather to celebrate the burning of evil together. Some people also throw away all the negative stuff and energy in the sacred fire of Holika Dahan.

This portrays that fire can eliminate all the negative energy and fill our life with the positivity of light and protects us. In north India, there is a custom of throwing away the garbage that comes out of the body scrub in the sacred fire of Holika Dahan. Many people, to save themselves from the bad shadows or negative energy, rub the ashes of Holika on their forehead.

The modern tradition of Holika Dahan

The tradition of Holika Dahan has changed and evolved with time. Earlier people used to think of this festival as a great example of the triumph of good over evil. In ancient times Holika was formed in a much simpler way and the size was medium or small. Initially to form
Holika people only used wood, cow-dung, and Khar-patvaar and it was built far away from the residential places or in a garden or any other empty space. However, nowadays everything related to this festival has completely changed.

In today’s time, people from huge Holika’s in residential places and fields. Due to this, the flames are quite high and there are chances of catching fire. Earlier people used to put wood, khar-patvar in Holika and now harmful things like the tyre-tubes, plastic and rubber are common.

When you burn a Holika consisting of these substances it produces harmful gases and adversely harms the environment. That is why it is better to maintain simplicity and use an environmentally friendly way of celebrating Holika Dahan.  In this way, this festival can communicate its main message to all the people around the world.

History Of Holika Dahan

This festival celebrated on the full moon of Phalgun Month has an ancient history of its own. In different states of India, you can find many shreds of evidence of around 300 BC. There are many legendary tales related to Holika Dahan and the most renowned one is the Prahlad and Holika’s story. According to this story, there was an egoistic and ruthless king named Hirankashyapu during the Satyuga period. He was too proud of his powers and started believing that he is God. He wanted everyone in his state to pray to him and treat him equal to God.

However, his own son Prahlad refused to listen to him. Due to this, Hirankashyapu planned to kill his son Prahlad. After a lot of failed attempts, Hirankashyapu took the help of his sister Holika and planned to kill him on a fire pit. Holika had a quilt as a vardan that protected her from fire and she can never be harmed.

She sat with Prahlad on her lap in the firepit. However, nothing happened to Prahlad and Holika received the punishment for her bad deeds and turned to ashes. After this incident, Lord Vishnu appeared in the Narsingh Avatar and killed Hirankashyapu. From this day onwards the festival of triumph of good over evil called Holika Dahan is celebrated.

Here is another tale that is related to the Holika Dahan festival. Mata Parvati wanted to get married to Lord Shiva but due to his Tapasya, he didn’t pay attention to her. However, at that time to breach Lord Shiva’s Tapasya Lord Kam Dev appeared and he fired a Pushp Arrow towards him. Lord Shiva got very angry and opened his third eye and turned Kam Dev to ashes.

The next day when Lord shiva calmed down the wife of Kaam Dev, Rati begged him to bring her husband back to life. According to the ancient tales, it was the incident of Kam Deva turning into ashes that gave birth to the festival of Holika Dahan. The next day when Kaam Deva was reborn, the festival of Holi was introduced.

Rules Of Holika Dahan According to Shastras

Holashtak period stays from Phalgun Shukla Ashtami to Phalgun Shukla Purnima (Full Moon). During this period, any holy work is entirely restricted. It is on the day of the full moon (Purnima) when Holika Dahan is celebrated. Initially, for this, you have to take care of the two most important rules:

  1. Firs is that day shouldn’t have “Bhadra”. Another name of Bhadra is Vishti Karan, which one of the eleven Karnas(करणों). One Karana is equivalent to half of the date.

  2. The second important rule is that the Purnima should be PradoshKaal-Vyapini. In simple words, on that day after the sunset three muhurtas should consist of the full moon.

Why are Holika Dahan ashes considered holy?

According to the shastras, Holika Dahan ashes are the purest and the holiest. These ashes consist of the blessings of all the Gods and Goddesses. Using these ashes for Tilak results in good luck and an increase in wisdom. It is believed that these sacred ashes can soak up all the negativity from your life.

On the other hand, is you use these ashes as an Uptan, you can easily get rid of all skin problems. If you roast Gehu, Chana and Ganna in the flames of Holika Dahan, it leads to an increase in the auspiciousness. Using these ashes as Tilak bless you with happiness, wealth and long life. Using these ashes in your house can eliminate all kinds of negative energies and give place to more positivity in your life. It is also believed that if Holika Dahan’s ashes are kept in the locker, it can lead to an increase in your wealth. 

What is the importance of Parikrama (circumambulation)?

For Holika Pooja and Dahan Parikrama is considered one of the most essential parts. It is believed that during parikrama if you wish for something it definitely comes true. 

Using cow-dung is very crucial when it comes to Holika Dahan. How many cow-dungs one uses and what is the shape should be determined according to the beliefs and wishes of the person.

Circumambulation and cow-dungs will help make all your dreams come true. However, don’t underestimate the importance of Prasad. Whether you are planning to increase your wealth or go on a foreign trip, or you are worried about a new job or a baby, you can turn all your wishes into reality with the help of Holika Dahan.

What you should do before Holika Dahan?

  1. Before Holika Dahan, mix Sarso oil and Haldiuptan and apply on the body of all the members of your family.

  2. Once it dries, remove the Uptan and collect it on a piece of paper.

  3. Now take 5 to 11 cow-dungs, a few Sarso Daane, sugar, rice and dried coconut shell.

  4. Now take the dried coconut shells and fill them with Jaw, Till, Sarso Daane, Sugar, chawal and ghee.

  5. Now throw all these materials in the sacred fire of Holika Dahan and also throw the collected pieces of the Uptan.

  6. Before or after the Holika Dahan, light a Diya on the Northside of your house. It is believed that this brings peace and harmony to the house.

  7. Holika’s circumambulation is an important part of this festival. By doing this you can remove all kinds of problems, diseases and faults from your life. Don’t forget to do Parikrama at the time of Holika Dahan.

What you should do after Holika Dahan?

  1. Before Holika Dahan during the pooja don’t forget to put haldi Teeka.

  2. After throwing the necessary materials in the sacred fire, pray for the peace and prosperity of your household.

  3. Do 7 Parikramas and offer water. This brings prosperity to the house.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Holi
29 Mar, 2021

Holi is a festival in which people burn their ego and flaws in the sacred fire and celebrate the win of good over evil. People in India celebrate this festival with excitement and pour different colours on each other that is why it is known as the festival of colours. One day before Holi, Holika Dehen (Kamudu Pyre) takes place and this is also called Chotti Holi. People of Mathura start celebrating Holi one week prior to the festival and it is one of the most famous festivals in India. Tourists from all around the world come to watch this auspicious occasion in Mathura. Apart from this, Barsana is famous for Lathmaar Holi that includes using a thick wooden stick to hit husbands. It is one of the most popular forms of celebrations among Indians. According to Hindu Panchang, the festival Holi arrives in Chaitra Month(March-April) during the fortnight between the full moon and new moon also called Krishna Paksha. If Krishna Paksha’s is repeating for two days then the first day is celebrated as Holi or Spring Festival (also called Dhulandi). This festival marks the arrival of the spring season. Spring is the season of colours and it is portrayed by using different colours in Holi.

Importance of Holi Festival

Holi is one of the most important festivals for Hindus. However, not only Hindus but people from different backgrounds and religion enjoy this festival and celebrate it with excitement. With enthusiasm, exaltation and joy this festival also establishes brotherhood and is an essential part of the Indian heritage. One day before Holi, Holika Dehen is conducted in different places and it is marked by spreading happiness using gulal. It portrays that no matter how powerful evil is, it can never triumph over the good. The festival of Holi marks that good will always win over evil. On the first day, only Holika Dehen occurs and the next one is followed by playing and spreading colours all over. It is also known as Rangawali and Dhulandi. People burn their ego, evils and many other negative traits in the sacred fire of Holika and then follow it by wishing each other happy holi.

According to the legendary beliefs, Holika, the sister of Hirankashyap, who was blessed to not burn or get harmed with fire, sat on fire with the supreme devotee of Vishnu, Prahlad. However, in the end, nothing happened to Prahlad but the evil sister Holika, died in the fire. Many women on this day pray to god for bringing peace and prosperity in their family and also to get the blessing of a child. Preparations for Holika dehen starts almost one month before the Holi. People collect thorn bushes and wooden sticks to use at the auspicious time of Holika dehen.

History of Holi

The term Holi is not a new concept. In fact, in the ancient Vijayanagar empire’s capital Hampi, you can find an example of Holi engraved in their 17th-century art. Similarly, in Ramgarh, which is situated near the Vindhya mountains, you will find Holi mentioned in 300 years to christ old records. It is one of the most ancient festivals of India and was celebrated as Holaka or Holika. Because it is celebrated in the spring season, Holi is also called the spring festival or kaam festival. Historians believe that Holi is also mentioned in Aayaren (आयरें), however, it is mostly celebrated in North India. This festival is described in various ancient religious texts. Out of these, the most significant one is the pre-epistemology of Gemini and Katha Ghari-Sutra. Narada mythology and Future Mythology books consist of manuscripts and texts that clearly mention Holi. It is also described in the old records almost 300 years to Christ in Ramgarh situated in the Vindhya region. In Sanskrit literature spring season and spring festivals are the favourite topics of many writers. The famous Muslim tourist Alberuni has mentioned Holi in his historical travel memoirs. Many Indian Muslim poets have described Holi in their compositions. Holi is not just a Hindu festival, many Muslims celebrate this festival as well. You will get the proof in all the historical pictures.

Holika Dahan

We all know that every festival has its own colour which we usually term as happiness or glee, however; there is a festival that includes actual colours like green, yellow, pink and red celebrated especially by all Hindus around the world. It is the festival of colours Holi in which people eliminate all kinds of differences prevailing in society by putting colours on each other. On the other hand, Holi plays a significant role as a religious form. It is said that on this day, Hirankashyapu tried to kill his own son who was a supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu with the help of his sister Holika. However, it was the blessing of god that instead of Prahlad, Holika died in the fire. That is why this day people celebrate Holika Dehen. The next day people use colours and water to celebrate Holi and it is known as Rangwali Holi and Dulhandi (रंगवाली होली और दुलहंडी).

Why do we celebrate Holi?

Holi is a part of an ancient tale and according to that in ancient times the king of persecutor demons, Hirankashypu with Tapasya got a vardan from Lord Brahma that in this world no human, God or demons can kill him, he cannot die at night or during the day, not on earth neither in the sky nor in the house or outside and no weapon can kill him. After receiving this vardan, he lost his control and humanity. After some time, Hirankapshyap had a son and he named him Prahlad. His son was the total opposite of his father and put his unwavering faith in God. Hirankashyapu ordered Prahlad to not worship anyone else except his own father. When Prahlad said no, his father wanted to kill him. Hirankashyapu thought of many ways to kill his son but Prahlad was always saved due to the blessings of God. Hirankashyapu with his sister, who had a vardan that no fire can harm her, planned on killing Prahlad. Holika took Prahlad on her lap and sat in the fire. With God blessings Prahlad was not harmed by the fire, however, it consumed Holika and she died. After this, to kill Hirankapshyapu, Lord Vishnu in Narsingh Avatar came out of the pole and appeared at the twilight. Narsingh Avatar sat at the door frame and killed Hirankashyapu. It is said that from this time the beautiful festival of Holi was celebrated.

How to celebrate Holi?

In some places, Basant Panchmi marks the arrival of the Holi festival. However, primarily this festival only lasts for two days. The first day starts with Holika dehen and the other day is followed by throwing colours on each other. The first day of this festival is also known as burning holi, holika dehen or chotti holi. On this day you will find big decorated Holi’s with Gooleri, Kandon, and wooden sticks on almost all the crossroads and streets. Then holika pooja takes place and after circumambulation (परिक्रमा), it is burnt with fire. During this period people sing and dance with joy and also apply Abeer and Gulal to each other. The younger ones touch the feet of their elders for blessings and the elders wish for a good future, health and long life for their younger ones. The second day of this auspicious festival is all about different colours and excitement and that is why it is known as the festival of colours. On this day people wear white clothes and use Abeer and Gulal for Tika. In fact, the colours are mixed with water and applied to each other. Small children use Pichkari, Balloons and water to fiercely play Holi. The whole locality, houses and streets are filled with the smell of Gujiya, Chaat Pakodi and Thandai. During this time people go to each other’s house and play Holi together. It is believed that this festival of colours brings people closer and they forget about all the differences.  In Holi, people love dancing on music beats and the passing Holiyaron ki Toli is something no one wants to miss on this day. After playing Holi, everyone takes a bath and then the series of meeting continues during the evening. People visit each other’s house to share the excitement of Holi and share the packets of Gujia.

Mythology Stories connected to Holi

Once there was a king Hirankashyapu who believed no one can compete with his strength so he hated the Gods. He never wanted to listen to the word “Lord Vishnu” at all. On the other hand, his son Prahlad was a supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu and worshipped him every single day. Hirankashyapu did not like this and he tried to scare his son and restrict him from worshipping Lord Vishnu. However, Prahlad never listened to his father and continued his prayers for Lord Vishnu. Fed up with his son’s behaviour Hirankashyapu planned to kill Prahlad. He asked his sister Holika (she had a vardan that fire can never harm her) to sit on fire with Prahlad on her lap. Prahlad sat at the fire altar and continued worshipping god. Suddenly Holika started burning and there was an oracle (Akashvani) in which Holika was reminded that she will burn if she misused her blessing and that is what happened. Prahlad was not hurt even an inch and Holika turned into ashes. People celebrated that day as the triumph of good over evil and so this day is known as Holika Dehen which is followed by the festival of colours.

Method: Holi Pooja

  1. Holika Poojan usually takes place during the evening. For this sit comfortably facing north or east.
  2. Spray a few drops of water around the place. By doing this you will be able to remove any negative energy.
  3. After this, use cow-dung to make Holika or go to a public place where Holika is already made and do your poojan. Don’t forget to do Ganesh poojan before proceeding with Holika pooja.
  4. Take a plate and put Roli, Kaccha Soot, Rice, Flower, Sabut Haldi, Batashe, Fruits, and one lota water.
  5. After this, pray to God Narsingh and dedicate the roli, rice, batashe, flowers to the Holika and wrap up the Mauli (मौली) around Holika.
  6. Now take Prahlad’s name and throw some flowers on Holika. After doing this, take the name of God Narsingh and offer five kinds of food.
  7. Now, take your name, your father’s name and gotra name and dedicate the flowers.
  8. In the end, follow these steps with Holika Dehen and circumambulation and bow down with folded hands.
  9. Pour some Gulal in the fire of Holika Dehen and apply some on your elder’s feet and take their blessings.
  10. There is a custom of Flicker (बालें बुझने) in Holika Dehen. After this, don’t forget to give your best wishes to your friends and family.

Holi Mantras

  1. अहकूटा भयत्रस्तै:कृता त्वं होलि बालिशै: अतस्वां पूजयिष्यामि भूति-भूति प्रदायिनीम:
  2. गुरु गृह पढ़न गए रघुराई अल्पकाल विद्या सब पाई
  3. ऊं नमों नग्न चीटी महावीर हूं पूरों तोरी आशा तूं पूरो मोरी आशा
  4. ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय मृतार्क मध्ये संस्थिताय मम शरीरं अमृतं कुरु कुरु स्वाहा

Significance of Colours in Holi Festival

Holi is known as the festival of colours and is celebrated for two days. The first day of this festival is occupied with Holika Dehen. The second day is all about colors and spreading happiness. It is also known as Dhulandi or Dhul. This day includes forgetting all kinds of differences and fights and greeting each other with love and respect. People meet their families and friends and share gujiya and sweets. Colours play a very important role in our lives. All these colours display a crucial part of our lives which you can clearly see in the festival of Holi.

Holi of Love: Radha and Krishna

Holi is celebrated in the memory of the holy love of Radha and Krishna. According to the plot, Baal Gopal asked Yashoda why he is not as fair as her.  Yashoda jokingly told Baal-Krishna that by putting colour on Radha’s face she will turn exactly like him. After this Kanha played holi with Radha and other Gopiya and from then this festival is celebrated as the festival of colours.

Holi: A Festival Decorated With Colours

The arrival of Holi brings a big smile to everyone’s face. You must have seen the different ways people in India celebrate this festival. Whether it is the younger generation or the older one, both of them enjoy this festival with equal excitement and happiness. The famous song ‘होली के दिन दिल खिल जाते है रंगों में रंग मिल जाते है’ is enough to portray the significance of this festival. Even now people cling to the honesty and simplicity of this forever green song. This festival is not only famous for its colours. In fact, it is filled with fun and excitement and everyone from children to adults enjoy this to the fullest. Every year this festival is celebrated on the day of the full moon in the month of March. People from different states of India celebrate Holi in their own way. From Lathmaar Holi in Vrindavan to Mathura’s Holi filled with flowers, all of them are famous around the world. The Holi festival has access to different countries and parts of the world. A week prior to the arrival of this festival, social media is flooded with the best wishes of Holi by Hollywood and Bollywood stars. This festival brings in various stories and ancient tales that are disappearing with time. Whether it is the story of Holika Dehen or the birth of Prahlad, every Katha has its own significance. It is said that the way goodness of Prahlad and his allegiance towards Lord Vishnu killed the evil Holika. Similarly, people’s trust in God and gentleness will remove the negativity from their lives and this world. On the day of Holika, Dehen people bow down in front of the Holika so that the good triumphs over the evil. People gather at one place and burn the wood, grass and cow-dung to complete the custom of Holika Dehen. After the completion of this custom, people leave for their homes and start preparing for the next day of Holi. This is a festival that is celebrated with a lot of unity, love and brotherhood. The different colours this festival brings into our lives is well known by everyone around the world. Many Hindi films display the true meaning of entertainment and fun through this festival. In our country, this festival is celebrated as a national festival. On this day all the schools, colleges, universities, offices, institutes and any other working places are officially closed so that one can spend some quality time with their families on this auspicious and colourful festival.

Holi of Belongingness

Apart from the colours, happiness and tasty dishes, this festival is also known for brotherhood and belongingness. This amazing festival brings different colours, fun and excitement to the lives of people. One day before Holi, Holika Dehen is celebrated in which Holika is burned to set an example of the triumph of good over evil. People like to celebrate this holy day with their friends and family. It is believed that this festival allows people to forget their differences and embrace happiness.

Colourful Holi

Holi is a festival of India filled with colours and happiness which is celebrated by the Hindus with cheerfulness. People forget about all their differences and fights and celebrate the arrival of this festival with their family. Holi is celebrated in different places in India in different ways. Some places are known for “Lathmaar Holi” and other places are known for Holi filled with flowers. The way people all over India celebrate this festival displays the importance of this festival. This festival of colours is also known as Falgun Mahotsav in which many old songs are sung in Bajra Bhasha (Language). Paan with Bhaang is also an essential part of this festival. After people are drunk and high they hug each other and forget about all their fights and sing and dance together. Various dishes are prepared in all households, especially for Holi. In India, all the festivals have some or the other special dishes associated with them.

Holi With People

The second day of Holi is also known as Dhulivandan. On this day people play with colours and in the morning they leave to meet their family members and friends. They are welcomed in the houses with Gulal and different colours. People put aside their grudges and envy and meet each other with love and care. You will find various groups of people wearing colourful clothes also called Toliyaan roaming around the streets, singing and dancing on Holi. Children use Pichkari and watercolours to have fun and enjoy on this day. The whole society, with a beautiful combination of colours, looks alike and becomes one. After playing with colours people usually take bath in the late afternoon and they wear new clothes in the evening to go out and meet people. Many houses make arrangements for dancing and singing and feast on this festival. You will find people offering different kinds of sweets and especially Gujia which is one of the most important sweet of Holi. Besan Sev and Dahibade are made in almost every household of Uttar Pradesh. Kanji, Bhaang and Thandai are the most important drinks of the Holi festival. On this day all the government offices in North India are closed however in South India due to the unpopularity of Holi government offices are usually open. In India, different states celebrate this festival in their own unique way. Holi in Braj is still the centre of attention when it comes to Holi celebrations. No one can deny the popularity of Barsanes Lathmaar Holi. In Lathmaar Holi men try to put colours on the women and women beat their husbands with wooden sticks and cloth whips. Similarly, in Mathura and Vrindavan this festival extends for about 15 days. Kaumaun’s geet sittings take us to a whole new world of classical music or shastriya sangeet. In Haryana, there is a custom where the sister-in-law teases the brother-in-law. Bengal’s Dol Yatra is celebrated as Chetanya Mahaprabhu’s birthday. It is followed by julus and songs played by people. Apart from this, Maharashtra’s rang panchmi includes playing with dry gulal, Goa’s Shingo includes many cultural programmes and in Punjab’s Hola mohalla Sikh display their outstanding power performances.  Adivasis of South Gujarat is a very significant festival, Chattisgarh Hori has a custom of including regional songs and Madhya Pradesh’s Malva Anchal Adivasis area celebrate Bhagoriya that is a part of Holi. Bihar’s Phagua is a great time to do fun and display excitement and in Nepal’s holi you will find a more religious way of celebrating this festival. In the same way, Indians living in other countries or religious institutions like Iscon and Vrindavan’s Banke Bihari Mandir celebrate Holi in their own ways and by addressing the differences and similarities.

History Of Holi In Sanskrit Literature

Holi is clearly mentioned in various types in the Sanskrit literature. Shrimadbhaagvat Mahapuraan mentions samuh raas and there are other compositions that describe a festival called Rang. In the Hindi literature of Bhaktikaal and Ritikaal, there is a clear description of Holi and Phalgun month. Aadikaleen Poet Vidyapati to Bhaktikaleen Surdas, Raheem, Raskhan, Padmakar, Jayasi, Mirabai, Kabeer, and Ritikaleen Bihari, Keshav, Dhananand etc. loved the topic of Holi festival. The great poet Surdas wrote 78 pad and Padmakar also added Holi in a lot of his compositions. Through this topic, a lot of poets described many affectionate and graceful Holi’s played by the hero and heroine. On the other hand, they also described the Holi filled with love and teasing between Radha and Krishna. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Ameer Khusro and Bahadur Shah Zafar have written various compositions on the Holi festival that are read and celebrated even today. Advanced Hindi Stories like Premchand’s Raja Hardol, Prabhu Joshi’s Alag Alag Taliyaan, Tejendra Sharma’s Ek Baar Phir Holi, Om Prakash Awasthi’s Holi Mangalmay Ho and Swadesh Rana’s Ho Li Mai Holi describes the different forms of Holi. In Bollywood films as well you can find various scenes and songs that display how entertaining and fun the Holi festival is. Some of the best ones are Shashi Kapoor’s Utsav, Yash Chopra’s Silsila, V Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje and Navrang plus many others.

History Of Holi Songs

Bhartiya shastriya, Upshastriya, Lok and in Films there is a huge significance of Holi festival. In shastriya sangeet dhamar has a strong relation with Holi, however, Dhrupad, Dhamar, Chotte Aur Bade Khayaal and Thumri also showcase the beauty of the Holi Festival. Along with Kathak Nritya, Holi Dhamar, and Thumri consisting of various outstanding Bandishe like “Chalo Guiyaan Aaj Khele Holi Kanhaiya Ghar” is still famous among the peers. In Dhrupad there is a well known Bandish “Khelat Hari Sang Sakal, Rang Bhari Hori Saki”. In Bhartiya Shastriya Sangeet you will find a few melodies in which all the holi songs are sung. Some of them are basant, bahar, hindol and kaafi. Holi festival creates an environment of singing and dancing a slowly everyone gets involved in it. In the upshastriya sangeet, you will find various Holiyaan in cheti, dadra and thumri. you can understand how important the role of Sangeet is as its main part is called Holi and in different provinces, you can find various versions of the same. The sangeet of these places displays religious beliefs, history and their importance. Whether it is the story of Radha and Krishna playing Holi in Brajdhaam or Ram and Sita celebrating Holi in Awadh that is also used in a song that goes “Holi Khele Raghubeera Awadh Mai”. In Rajasthan’s Ajmer, there is a different vibe of the Holi sung at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah. One of there well known Holi is “ Aaj Rang Hai Ri Mann Rang hai, Apne Mehboob Ke Rang Hai Ri”. Similarly, “ Digambar Khele Masane Mai Holi” describes how Lord shiva plays Holi at burial sites. In Indian Films, various songs follow different melodies and are very famous among the Indian audience. Silsila’s song “Rang Barse Bheege Chunar Wali” and Navrang’s “Aaya Holi ka tyohaar Ude rango Ki bauchaar” can never vanish from people’s memories.

Holi celebrated in different states

In some places like Madhya Pradesh’s Malva Anchal celebrates Rang Panchmi after five days of holi and people play this holi with more excitement.  The best celebration of the Holi festival takes place in Braj and especially the Lathmaar Holi of Barsana that is world-famous. Mathura and Vrindavan also celebrate this festival for almost 14 days. In Haryana, there is a custom of a sister-in-law teasing her brother-in-law. On the other hand in Maharashtra, people like playing Holi with dry Gulal. For South Gujarat Adivasis, Holi is a significant festival. In Chattisgarh, people celebrate this with Lok Geet and in Malvanchal, Bhagoriya is celebrated. This festival of colours motivates us to eliminate all differences based on colour, caste and creed and adapt the colours that bring peace and love to our lives.

Why Holi is not burnt in Bhadra Kaal?

According to the shastras, Bhadra Kaal is not an appropriate time to burn Holi as it is inauspicious. It is believed that bhadra’s behaviour is fiery and that is why any auspicious work is totally forbidden during this time. According to an ancient tale, it was the Bhadra kaal when Lord Shiva performed Tandava and displayed his Rodra Roop. This is the sole reason why Holika Dehen should never take place in Bhadra kaal.

What is Holashtak?

According to the Hindu Shastra Holashtak arrives eight days before Holika Dehen. On this day you cannot do any auspicious work like Greh Pravesh, Shaadi, Mundan, Sagai, or any new and favourable thing. According to shastras Holashtak is the beginning of the Holi festival. Doing any auspicious work during this will not provide you with any favourable results.

Significant things related to Holi

  1. Holi is an auspicious festival celebrated during the spring season.  According to the Hindu Panchang, this festival is celebrated at the time of the full moon in the Phalgun month. This day marks the beginning of the New Year. That is why Holi is considered as the beginning of the spring season and New Year.
  2. Holi is one of the most ancient festivals of India celebrated with fun and excitement.
  3. Earlier Holi was termed as Holaka or Holika and today it has many different names like Phagua, Dhulandi, Dol.
  4. Historians believe that this festival was also famous among the Arya but it is mostly celebrated in the north of India. It is mentioned in various ancient manuscripts and texts. However, it mostly includes the Mimasa sutra and Gahrya Sutra. The ancient manuscripts and texts of Narada Puran and Bhavishya Puran also mention the festival of Holi.
  5. The famous Muslim tourist Alberuni has mentioned Holikotsav in his memoir. Many Muslim Poets have used the Holi festival in their compositions and proved that not only Hindus but Muslims also celebrate this auspicious occasion.
  6. There are descriptions in the history of Akbar celebrating Holi with Jodhabai and Jahangir with Noorjahan. In the Alwar museum, you can find pictures of Jahangir playing Holi.
  7. Till Shahjahan appeared the Mughlai way of playing Holi completely changed. In those times Holi was called “Eid-E-Gulabi” or “Aab-E-Paashi”.
  8. It is quite famous about Mughal Emporer Bahadur Shah Zafar that his ministers used to put colour on him in Holi. Hindi literature is filled with various Krishna Leelas especially describing the Holi festival.
  9. Sanskrit Literature consists of the different phases of the Holi festival. In Shreemad Bhagvat Puraan Holi is described as a Raas. The great poet Surdas wrote 78 Pad on spring and Holi.
  10. Shastriya sangeet has a very close relationship with the festival of Holi. In fact, without Dhrupad, thumri and dhamaar, Holi is still incomplete. Adding to this, the songs sung at Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah in Ajmer adds a different colour to this festival.

Safety Precautions for Holi

  1. Holi is a beautiful festival but doesn’t forget to maintain the necessary precautions. Nowadays people face a lot of issue due to the negative impacts of harmful chemical in the colours. That is why it is better to celebrate this festival by using natural gulal.
  2. Similarly in Bhaang, one can find various other harmful drugs and substances that can harm you. It is better to avoid drinking and using any type of intoxication.
  3. If you use colours with harmful chemicals, you can catch various eye infections. Try to use only organic colours to play Holi and avoid the ones that use consists of harmful chemicals.
  4. If you are planning to eat from outside then be careful as there can be a lot of impurity that can harm your organs.
  5. Apply colour to each other more carefully and don’t force someone if they are not willing to play Holi.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Gudi Padwa
13 Apr, 2021

In Gudi Padwa, Gudi means Vijay Pataka, and Padwa means Pratipada. On this festival, people decorate their houses with Pataka, Dhwaj, and bandhanwar. Puran Poli or sweet roti is made on the day of Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. On this day, all the people in Maharashtra also play Gudi in their courtyard. The Gudi Padwa is mainly celebrated in Maharashtra to mark the beginning of the Hindu New Year or the New Year's start. According to the Panchang, the new year starts with the Pratipada of the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month, and it is a tradition to celebrate this festival on this day. Gudi Padwa is celebrated with joy in the South Indian states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Goa. Shukla Pratipada of Chaitra month is celebrated as the festival of Gudi Padwa. This day is observed all over the country as a new festival. There are certain beliefs about this festival in Hinduism. The Gudi is the flag, and Padva is the Pratipada Tithi. It is said that on Gudi Padwa, Brahma Ji created the universe. On this day, people decorate their houses with Bandanwar made of mango leaves. Especially in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, there is a lot of excitement about it. The Bandanwar of mango leaves instills hope of a happy life among the people. People also have hopes of growing a good crop and welcoming prosperity at home. 

Gudi Padwa is counted among the three munhatare of the year. This festival is also essential from a health point of view. Hence, the dishes prepared on the day of Gudi Padwa are incredibly healthy. Whether it is Prasad Pachhadi made in Andhra Pradesh or Puran Poli, Maharashtra made a sweet roti. It is believed about Pachadi that the health of an individual gets improved. The treatment of skin diseases also gets better by having it on an empty stomach.

On the other hand, sweet roti is also made from jaggery, neem flowers, tamarind, mangoes, etc. Since Navratri begins on this day, the celebration of Gudi Padwa is witnessed in different forms all over the country. It ends on Ramnavami with Durga Puja. On Gudi Padwa, people tend to clean their homes and decorate the house's courtyard and door with Rangoli, Bandanwar, etc. A Gudi, i.e., the flag is placed in front of the house. A swastika symbol is drawn on a vessel and wrapped in silk cloth, and kept on it. Traditional clothes are worn. Sun God is worshiped. On this day, the mantras of Sunderkand, Ram Rakshastra, Goddess Bhagwati are also chanted.

Importance of Gudi Padwa

'Gudi ' means Victory Flag. Gudi is the victory flag that symbolizes the victory of good over evil. At the same time, Padwa means Pratipada Tithi. At the Gudi Padwa festival, wake up early in the morning and make a flag with a big pole's help. For this, a cloth or new sari which has not been used before is wrapped on the bars. A bowl, glass, or lota is inverted on it. Then this victory flag is worshiped as God.

Many things are associated with Gudi Padwa. Let us see some of them:

1. One belief related to the Gudi festival is quite popular. On this day, a potter-son named Shalivahana conquered his enemies with an army of mud soldiers. It is the reason that Shalivahana Shaka begins from this day.

2. Some people also use Gudi to remember Chhatrapati Shivaji's victory.

3. It is also believed that Brahma Ji created the universe on this day. That is why Gudi is also considered Brahmadhvaj. It is also known as Indra Dhwaj.

4. According to the belief, on the day of the Gudi festival during the Ramayana period, Lord Sri Ram liberated the people from the tyrannical rule of Vanararaj Bali. Then the people there hoisted the victory flag in their homes, which is still hoisted today. Since then, this day is known as Gudi Padwa.

5. It is believed that applying Gudi brings prosperity to the house.

6. Gudi is also called Dharma-Flag; So each part of it has its specific meaning - the inverted character represents the head while the Dand represents the Meru Dand.

7. Farmers observe this festival in the joy of sowing after harvesting the rabi crop again. They also plow the fields on this day to pray for a good harvest.

8. Three and a half Muhurats are considered very auspicious during the whole year among the Hindus. The three and a half Muhurats are- Gudi Padwa, Akshaya Tritiya, Dussehra, and Diwali are considered half Muhurta.

History related to Gudi Padwa

Two mythological stories related to the Gudi Padwa festival are also prevalent. The first mythology is related to Lord Sri Ram. According to this myth, when Shriram Chandraji went out to find Sita Mata and met Sugriva. At that time, Sugriva was fighting with his elder brother, and he was a victim of Bali's torture. Then Lord Sri Ram helped Sugriva and killed Bali, and liberated Sugriva from Bali. Gudi Padwa festival is celebrated to commemorate this victory.

The second mythology is related to Shalivahana. Shalivahana defeated Shaka on the day of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. Apart from this, on Gudi Padwa, Shalivahana Kaalgadhna got started, known as Shalivahana Shaka. Also, a myth is that a potter named Shalivahana defeated the enemies by making an army of mud. Gudhi Padwa was celebrated on the occasion of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. From the day of Gudi Padwa, Shalivahana Samvat is believed to begin.

Puja-Vidhi of Gudi Padwa

The following method is only done on the main Chaitra:

• New Year Phal Shravan (knowing new year's horoscope)

• Oil Abhyanga (bath with oil)

• Nimba Patra Prashan (eating neem leaves)

Flag hoisting

• Start of Chaitra Navratri

• Ghat Sthapana

Pujan-Mantra of Gudi Padwa

The following mantras are to be recited for Puja on Gudi Padwa. Some people also keep fast on this day.

Morning Vrat Sankalp

Vishnu: Vishnu: Vishnu: Adya Brahmano Vyasa: Parardhe Sriswetavarakaalpe Jambudvipe Bharatvarshe Amuknamasamvatsare Chaitrasukh Pratipadi Amukwasara Amukgotrah Amukanamaham Praharamanasya Navvarsyasya Prathamdivase Vishwasrijah Sri Brahmanah

Prasadaya Vratam Karishye.

A person observing a fast after worship should chant this mantra:

Chaturbhirvadanai: Vedana Chaturo Bhavayan Subhan.

Brahma mein Jagantam srishta Hridaye Shashvatah Vaset.

Gudi Padwa is Celebrated this Way

Gudi Padwa starts from Navratri and ends till Ramnavami. This festival is celebrated with grandiloquence across the country, but the way to celebrate it is different in different states. On Gudi Padwa, people clean their homes, decorate their houses after cleaning. In decorating, make Rangoli and Bandanvar on the courtyard and door of the house. A flag is placed in front of the house called Gudi. A swastika symbol is made on a vessel and wrapped on silk cloth and kept there. Also, on Gudi Padwa, people wear traditional clothes and worship the sun god. Apart from this, it is considered reasonable to chant the mantras of Ram Rakshastra, Sundarkand, and Goddess Bhagwati on Gudi Padwa.

The Vidhi of Observing Gudi Padwa

1. Gudi is decorated after morning bath etc.

2. People clean the houses. In villages, houses are painted with cow dung.

3. According to the Shastras, one should perform Abhyanga Snaan on the day of Arunodaya.

4. There is a custom to worship Gudi immediately after sunrise. It should not be delayed much.

5. Beautiful Rangoli is made with bright colors, and fresh flowers are used to decorate the house.

6. People get ready by wearing new and beautiful clothes. Generally, Marathi women wear nauvari (9 yards long saree) on this day, and men wear kurta-pajama or dhoti-kurta with saffron or red turban.

7. The family gather and celebrate this festival and congratulate each other on the new festival.

8. On this day, there is a tradition of listening to the horoscope of the new year.

9. Traditionally, the festival is started by eating sweet neem leaves as prasad. Generally, on this day, sweet neem leaves, jaggery, and tamarind chutney are made. It is believed that it clears blood and increases the body's immunity. Its taste also symbolizes the fact that life is sour and sweet, like chutney.

10. Sreekhand, Puran Poli, Kheer, etc., delicacies are made at Gudi Padwa.

11. In the evening, people also perform the traditional dance called lezim.

How to Install Gudi

1. On this day, after waking up in the morning, ubtan of the gram flour and oil is applied. After that, a bath is taken.

2. The place where Gudi is applied is cleaned thoroughly.

3. After this, take the Sankalp of Puja and make a swastika at the cleaned place. After this, construct the sand altar.

4. After this, spread a white-colored cloth and color it with turmeric kumkum. After this, make an Ashtadal and worship Brahma Ji's idol with all the rules and regulations.

5. Finally, perform the Sthaapana of Gudi.

Pataka and Toran are installed at home. 

On the day of Gudi Padwa, celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, there is a tradition of putting Pataka and Torans in the house as Gudi means "Victory." It is why people put flags etc., in their homes on this day, which signifies their and their family's victory. But some people put it in any Disha and Dasha of the house, but according to the religious and Vastu Shastra, it should be placed in the south-east corner, i.e., the Aagneya Kodh. So, on this day, you should also take care of the process of installing a pataka. A red Pataka measuring a quarter-and-a-half hand should be displayed in a five-handed high pole. Many people also install Dhwaja on this day. Pataka has three corners, and Dhwaja has four corners. You can install any of these two.

In whose name should you meditate while installing Pataka?

According to religious beliefs, while installing the Dhwaja or Pataka, one should meditate in the names of Som Digambar Kumar and Ruru Bhairava and pray to them to protect one's Dhwaja or pataka. Pray for the happiness and prosperity of your home. It is said that by doing this, the victory of the native is ensured. Also, there is an increase in happiness and prosperity in life. Promising results of Ketu are also achieved. Not only this, but the Vastu of the house is also fixed

Surya Samvedana Pushpe, Dipti Karunyagandhane.

Labhwa Shubham Navavarsheasmin Kuryatsarvasya Mangalam.

Meaning, just as the sun gives light, gives flowers, senses, and teaches us compassion, may this New Year provide us with knowledge every moment and our every day, every moment is auspicious.

These works will get benefitted from Gudi Padwa day.

The Gudi Padwa festival falls in the Spring. Make a powder of neem fruits and neem leaves on this day. After that, mix black pepper, salt, heing, cumin, sugar, and ajwain in neem powder. Now consume this mixture. You will stay away from many diseases through this.

Dishes made on Gudi Padwa

Maharashtra has a tradition of serving and eating some unique dishes on the day of Gudi Padwa. On this day, Puran Poli or sweet roti is made in Maharashtra. Jaggery, neem flower, tamarind, and raw mango are mixed to make this dish. This dish also has a philosophy of its own. It is said that jaggery is for sweetness in life, neem flowers remove bitterness from one's life, tamarind and raw mangoes symbolize the sour-sweet experiences of life. In other states, too, there are different traditions of observing this festival.

In which states of India is Gudi Padwa celebrated?

In Konkan, Goa, and Kerala, it is celebrated as Samvatsar Pavo. The rest of the Konkani migrants in Karnataka know it as Yugadi. The public of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana observe it as Ugadi. Kashmiris observe it as Navreh. In Manipur, it is marked as Sajibu Nongma Panda (Sajibu Nongma Pānba) or Meetei Cheiraoba. Chaitra Navratri starts from this day for North Indians. It is believed that on this day, Brahmaji created the universe. One worships not only Brahmaji and the principal deities of the universe created by him, Yaksha-rakshasas, Gandhwars, sages-sages, rivers, mountains, animals, birds, and insect-mites, but also diseases and their remedies. A new festival begins on this day. Hence, this date is also known as 'Navamsavatsar.' Chaitra is a month in which trees and vines flourish and bloom. The day of Shukla Pratipada is considered the first day of the moon art. The primary basis of Life's Vanaspati is provided with Samaras by the Moon only. It has been believed to be the king of medicines and Vanaspati.

Gudi Padwa Celebration in various places 

This festival is celebrated by different names at different places in the country.

1. Konkani community in Goa and Kerala celebrate it as Samvatsar Pavo.

2. In Karnataka, this festival is called Yugadi.

3. In the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gudi Padwa is celebrated as Ugadi.

4. Kashmiri Hindus celebrate this day as Navreh.

5. In Manipur, this day is called Sajibu Nongma Panda or Meitei Cheiraoba.

6. Chaitra Navaratri also begins on this day.

On this day, people apply for Gudi in Maharashtra. Hence this festival is called Gudi Padwa. An inverted urn of silver, copper, or brass is placed over it with bamboo and is decorated with beautiful cloth. Generally, this cloth is of saffron color and silk. Gudi is then decorated with gathi, neem leaves, mango stalks, and red flowers.

Gudi is placed on a high place, such as the house's roof, to be seen from a distance. Many people also install it on the main door or windows of the house.

Do this work on this day to achieve peace, happiness, prosperity, wealth, and honor in life.

1) After taking auspicious Sankalp of the Puja, spread a clean white cloth on the newly constructed chowki or sand altar and make an Ashtadal lotus with turmeric saffron-colored on it and install the Suvarnamurti of Brahmaji on it.

2) After worshiping Ganeshambika, worship Brahmaji with the mantra 'Om Brahmane Namah' and worship Shodashopchar.

3) Humble prayers are offered to Brahmaji for the destruction of the eternal obstacles. Prayers are also done for the welfare of the year and for the year to be auspicious: -

 'Bhagavansattvaprasaden Varsha Kshemmihastu Mein. Samvatsaropasarga Me Vilayam Yantavasheshatah 

4) After worshiping, one should eat only after feeding the Brahmins with various fine and sattvic substances.

5) One should listen to the king of that year, the minister, the chief of the army, etc., and the year's result from the new calendar.

6) Pachang should be donated according to potential, and the piao should be established.

7) On this day, you should wear new cloth and decorate the house with dhwaj, pataka, Vandanvar, etc.

8) On Gudi Padwa day, powder of neem leaves and flowers should be made and eaten by adding black pepper, salt, heing, cumin, sugar candy, and ajwain. It does not cause blood disorders and attains a healthy life.

9) Ghat sthapana and Tilak fast is also done for Navratri on this day. In this fast, one should worship a river, lake, or house and make a statue of Samvatsar and worship him with mantras named 'Chaitraya Namah,' 'Vasanthaya Namah' etc. After this, Puja should be done.

10) After observing the fast on Navami, mother Jagadamba should be worshipped from the heart to get the fruits of auspicious wishes.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Akshay Tritiya
14 May, 2021

Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya is popularly known as Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej. It is the most important festival of the Sanatan Dharma. On this day, whoever donates food and takes a bath in pure water and performs various rituals, becomes the one who cannot be destroyed. And this is the reason behind naming this festival 'Akshay Tritiya.' One could perform various holy work but without even looking for 'Panchang.' This festival is also known as 'Akhatji.' Written in the traditional and classic scriptures, from this day, only the beginning of 'SATYUG' and TRETAYUG' is marked. Any ritual, including 'Puja' or 'Taking bath in pure water,' will definitely be fruitful. That's why it is also known as Akshay Tritiya. Also, If the fast falls on Monday and Rohini Nakshatra, it is said to be very useful. On this day, the offering of rice, salt, ghee, sugar, vegetable, fruits, tamarind, and clothes is considered very important and fruitful. 

Akshaya Tritiya Muhurta

1. In case Tritiya of Shukla Paksha in Vaishakh Month is in the morning, it is referred to as 'Prathamardha.'

2. Now, in case Tritiya Tithi appears for two days consecutively in the morning, then this festival is celebrated just the next day. However, this is also believed by a few people that this festival would only be celebrated if this particular date is three Muhurat or more from Sunrise.

3. On Tritithya Tithi, supposedly Rohini Nakshatra falls on either Monday or Wednesday; it is considered to be extremely beneficial and fruitful.

Akshay Tritiya's Importance

Performing any auspicious ritual appears to be extremely fruitful on this day. Everyone should donate food or clothes to the poor or needy; this will add to your good deeds. It is considered almost necessary for married people. By doing so, there has been a considerable escalation in your financial status. Just on this beautiful and auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, Donations must be made even for religious work. By doing this, even your wealth will get doubled. 

1. This day of Akshaya Tritiya is one of the three and a half Muharatas that is considered to be most auspicious. Many of the great and optimistic work is done on this day

2. Taking a Bath on the Ganges is said to be auspicious as well. People who take Bath on the Ganges, on this day gets free from all sins

3. It is also believed that 'Pitra Shradh is also performed on this day. One must also donate Barley, Curd-Rice, and other food items, including milk products, to any Brahmin

4. On this day, it is a great time to perform 'Shradh' and 'Tarpan' in the name of your ancestor's or forefathers and that too at an early age

5. People also assume that buying Gold is advantageous on this day.

6. On this day, Parashurama and Hayagreeva epitomized.

7. Tretayug begins on this day.

8. The doors of Shri Badrinath Ji remain open throughout this day.

Akshaya Tritiya fast and worship method

1. On this day, one who keeps fasts and takes a bath will be purified and should wear yellow colored clothes.

2. At the temple, one must offer Basil (Tulsi) a garland of yellow flowers or a yellow flower after bathing Vishnu with Ganges water.

3. Light up incense sticks (Agarbatti), and sit on a yellow-colored seat and chant the holy mantras related to Vishnu, which includes (Vishnu Sahastranama, Vishnu Chalisa) and at last, read the Aarti of Vishnu. 

4. On this day, feeding or offering to the poor in the name of Vishnu is especially ethical and good.

Note: If it is not possible to stay in fast throughout the day, then you can have sweet pudding, banana, and sweet yellow rice.

The reason behind the celebration of Akshaya Tritiya

There are many beliefs and thoughts about Akshaya Tritiya in Hinduism. Some of which are: 

a) Lord Parashurama, who is the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Parshuram was born to Maharishi Jamadagni and Mata Renukadevi. Due to this reason, Lord Vishnu is also worshipped on the day of Akshay Tritiya. Along with that, even Parshuramji is also worshipped. 

b) Mother Ganga disembarked from paradise. For ages, King Bhagiratha meditated for thousand years to descend Ganga to the earth. All the misconducts of human beings are destroyed by taking a dip in the holy Ganges, especially on this day

c) Mother Annapurna's birthday is also celebrated on this day. The poor are fed. Mother Annapurna blesses the taste of the food, and one must worship her to keep their kitchen fulfilled, and so she should be worshipped.

d) On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Maharishi Ved Vyas Ji began writing Mahabharata. It is considered as the fifth Veda. The empowered Shrimad Bhagwat Gita is also included in this. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, the 18th chapter of Srimad Bhagwat Gita should be recited.

e) In Bengal, the traders and businessmen begin their accounts by worshipping the almighty Lord Ganesha and Mata Lakhmiji. And so this day is also known as 'HALKHATA.'

f) Lord Shankarji suggested idealizing Lord Kuber and Mata Lakshmi on this day. After which, Mata Lakshmi is worshiped on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, and this custom continues till today.

g) On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Pandava's son Yudhishthira also received the Akshaya Patra. The special thing about this is that it always has an abundance of food. 

According to mythology, Nara-Narayana, Parashurama, and Hayagreeva were personified on this day. So according to few people, for the sake of Nar-Narayana, Parashurama, and Hayagreeva Ji, they give Sattu of barley or wheat, cucumber, and soaked gram dal as an offering.

Akshaya Tritiya Katha

The significance of Akshaya Tritiya was asked by Yudhishthira to Sri Krishna. Then Shri Krishna said, 'Rajan! This date is especially ethical. For anyone who performs rituals after taking Bath just before the afternoon, this will definitely be going to be fruitful. On this day, the one who takes a Bath, carols at home and donations, before midday is part of the Akshaya Punyafal. This day marks the beginning of the golden age. 

A well-known story connected to this occasion is there- In old times, there was a Vaishya named Dharmadas who believed in integrity. His family was huge. So, he was always agitated. He found out the significance of fasting from a person. Later, when this festival was celebrated, he took a bath in the holy Ganges and methodically worshiped the almighty. There are numerous items like Ladoos, fan, water-filled jugs, barley, wheat, salt, Sattu, curd, rice, jaggery, Gold, and clothes to Brahmins. Even after declining a woman, being anxious about family members, and suffering from many illnesses due to old age, he was not discouraged from his devotional work and charity. This Vaishya became the king of Kushavati in his next birth. He was rich and handsome due to the outcome of donations of Akshaya Tritiya. His brain never diverged from religion, even when he was rich.

God Gives Vision

The doors of Shri Badrinarayan remain open on this day. Shri Banke Bihari Ji's temple is situated in Vrindavan, and only on this day, one gets to witness the feet of 'Shri Vigrah' or else on other days, they are wrapped in clothes for the whole year. On this day, Thakurs go to the door or put a picture of Badrinarayan Ji on the throne and give them the soaked gram dal and sugar candy. It is said that the personification of Lord Parashurama also took place on this day.

Charity-Orineted Festival

This specific festival appears to be charity oriented. The war of Mahabharata ended on this day, and the Dwapar Yuga had also ended on this day. 'Sattu' must be consumed on this day, and one should wear new clothes and jewelry. One must donate cow, land, gold vessel, etc., on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, is said to be eminently virtuous. According to the Panchang, this day is also the end of spring and the starting of summer. This day is also considered as the Mahaparva of donations. According to the Puranas, a person who does charity on this day finds a place in Vaikuntha Dham. Let's see what to donate on the day of Akshaya Tritiya: -

1. This day is considered auspicious for starting new jobs or any new project.

2. On this day, Lord Vishnu is offered Sattu, and it is given in Prasad.

3. The giving away of sesame, barley, and rice is specifically important on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.

4. On this day, offering new rice to Badrinath fulfills all the dreams. 

5. On this day, giving honor and shraddha and performing a ritual in respect of forefathers or ancestors, one gets Akshaya Punya.

6. After filling two pitches of soil with water, putting it together in one pitcher and spleen in the other, these pitches should be worshiped in Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva Swaroop and be donated to Brahmins. By doing this, our forefathers bless us to fulfill all our desires.

7. On this day, the poor should donate rice, salt, ghee, fruits, clothes, confectionery, etc., and keep fast. 

Must provide food to poor, helpless people on Akshaya Tritiya.

9. Donation of melon and Matki is also said to be meaningful on this day.

10. Ganga bathing has special importance on Akshaya Tritiya. By bathing on this day in the holy Ganges, eating barley, giving of barley, Sattu, all the sins of a human being are demolished. On this day, sandalwood or perfume is also applied to the idol of Lord Krishna.

11. Can do any auspicious and demanding functions

Could invest your time and effort in performing Pious Work

The significance and intensity of this festival can be measured as on this day one does not need to see an almanac; any auspicious events like marriage, Griha Pravesh, shopping or jewelry or buying a house, vehicle, etc., can be done. As mentioned in the Puranas that the giving made to their fathers and ancestors on this day give a renewable outcome. People bathe in the Ganges on this day because it is assumed all their sins are destroyed by worshiping God. It is also believed that if one confesses and asks for forgiveness from God, on this day, one will be blessed by the Almighty God. 

Why is Gold bought on Akshaya Tritiya?

1. People often choose the day of Akshaya Tritiya to do any holy work, as one does not need to check out any Muhurat to do any auspicious work or buy something new. It is believed that this day is really different in the context of planets, and any work done on this day gives positive results.

2. It is also believed that if you buy Gold on this day, it brings everlasting fortune in your life; the auspicious results are with you and your whole family and close ones. The Gold bought on this day will continue to grow with all generations of your family.

3. Gold is included in the most valuable metal since Vedic times. Gold is not only a sign of wealth and prosperity, but it's worth also increases with time.

4. On this day only, the beams of the sun fall on the earth with intensity. Along with that, it is believed that buying Gold on this day is a symbol of strength as it is compared to the powerful sun's rays. 

Things to do and not to do on Akshay Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya is called Yugadi Tithi. This day is marked as the beginning of two Yugas and the ending of another. This day has given a lot of significance, as mentioned in the Vedic Texts and scriptures. So, on this day, devotees get together and bathe in large numbers on the holy rivers, ponds, and seas. It is believed that the holy Bath performed on this day eliminates even suffering sins and leads to a happy life. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, performing rituals and dipping in the pure Ganges will help to get rid of sins and evilness within. This is marked as a great day to begin your work. However, there is certain work that one should not perform, especially on this day. 

Things to do on Akshay Tritiya 

According to the classic Traditional Beliefs, a Tarpan, Pind Daan, or any other kind of donations done for the fathers and ancestors on the day of Akshaya Tritiya ensures the Akshaya Phal. By doing so, one could attain the blessing of their Forefathers.

a) On this day, bathing in the Ganges or taking a bath in any holy river and worshiping the Bhagavat will eradicate all the evils and sins. Chanting Mantras performing, Tapa, Havan, Swadhyaya, and charity on this day of Akshaya Tritiya ensure Akshaya phal.

b) If this day comes on Monday and Rohini Nakshatra, then the fruits of Donation, chanting, this day becomes even more fruitful. If this date starts before Tritiya's Midday and lasts till Pradosh Kaal, then it is a perfect time. On this day, God forgives all sins. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Hathajodi can be demonstrated, and to invite Lakshmi's, one must indulge in Sadhana. 

c) The person who donates on the Akshaya Tritiya gets a place in Vaikuntha Dham. So, it has been considered a huge cause of donations. On this day, after bathing in the Ganges, the person should donate barley; by doing this, all the sins of humans are destroyed.

d) On Akshaya Tritiya, the Donation and worship of Kalash provide Akshaya fruits. Donating this Kalash filled with water to the temple or to any needy gets the blessings of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. At the same time, fathers and ancestors also get fulfillment and peace of Navagraha.

e) According to religious beliefs, one should recite Shri Ramcharit Manas on Akshaya Tritiya. Also, one should read the story of Lord Vishnu's Dasavatara. On reading these, you get the outcome of the philosophy of sages and great saints.

f) You must put milk in the roots of 'Tulsi' on Akshaya Tritiya. The worship of Lord Vishnu is considered incomplete without Tulsi Patta. By doing this, one could get the extremely auspicious blessing of Lord Vishnu

Things not to do on this day

a) Akshaya Tritiya is a special coincidence; therefore, special care should be taken on this day for cleanliness. Keep the house clean, and even your Worship Room should be extremely neat and clean. Worshipping Srihari in clean clothes is said to be of great importance. It is forbidden to perform Upanayana Rites on this day. It is believed that this will get unholy results. Do not wear Janeyu for the first time on this day. Traveling on this day in some places is also considered not favorable. Buying a new house on Akshaya Tritiya is auspicious, but new construction work should not be started. Planting trees on this day is also not auspicious.

b) If any needy comes on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, do not let them leave empty-handed. Performing Donation on this day of Akshaya Tritiya is immensely fruitful and virtuous. The donations made on this day are renewable, i.e., it gives benefits for many births.

c) Akshaya Tritiya is a day of performing pious activities. Do not do any work on this day, which will hurt someone's heart. Also, speaking bitterly with someone is not considered good on any day. On this day, one should not just focus on selfish activities. If you hurt others, then Goddess Lakshmi will never bless you. 

d) If the festival of Akshaya Tritiya is on Sunday, the Tulsi leaf should not be plucked on this day. To offer Tulsi to Lord Vishnu, pluck it a day before. On this day, Tulsi Puja is considered special.

e) It is told in the Bhavishya Purana that one should not perform Upanayana rites even on Akshaya Tritiya. On this day, for the first time, you should not wear Janeyu at all. It is considered inauspicious to do so.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Guru Purnima
24 Jul, 2021

In Hindu culture, Guru is considered superior to God as it is the Guru who helps to cross the ocean like the world. By attaining the knowledge of the Guru and following the path shown, one attains salvation. It is believed in the Shastras that if God curses you, then the Guru can save you, but even God himself cannot protect you from the Guru curse. That is why Kabir Ji also says –

Guru Gobind Dono Khade, Kaake Laagu Paya.

Balihari Guru Aapno, Gobind Diyo Batay.

Every year, the full moon of Ashadh month is observed as Guru Purnima. The Guru is venerated on Guru Purnima. In India, this festival is celebrated with immense respect. In ancient times, when the disciples used to receive free education in the Guru's ashram. On Guru Purnima, they worshiped their Guru with full devotion. On this day, the Guru and the elder in the house, i.e., parents, siblings, etc., are considered gurus, and blessings are taken from them. Gurus are highly respected in our country because it is only a Guru who leads his disciple out of the wrong path and leads it in the right direction. Many such stories related to the mythological period are prevalent, which shows that the Guru has a remarkable contribution in making anyone great. One of the reasons behind celebrating this day is also believed that on this day, the great Guru Maharishi Ved Vyas, who composed the great literature like Brahmasutra, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavat, and Eighteen Puranas, was born. On this day, all the disciples take the blessings of their respective gurus. They thank them for what they have given so far. 

What is the Meaning of Guru?

In the Shastras, 'Gu' means darkness Yamul ignorance, and 'Ru' means its Nirodhak, 'Prakash.' A Guru is called a Guru because he removes ignorance from enlightenment; that is, he is the 'Guru' who leads from darkness to light. The similarity between Guru and God has been believed to be of equal stature. The reason behind this reverence is that this relationship is solely for spiritual progress and attainment of God. 

The Beginning of Guru-Shishya Tradition 

According to the Shastras, at first, Sriparmeshwar named Narayan as Vishnu and ordered him to chant the Mahamantra in the form of 'Om.' Later, to free Brahma from ignorance, God revealed with his heart the wisdom of Yogis to Sri Rudra. He then purified Brahma's darkness by giving them the knowledge to chant the 'Om Namah Shivaya' mantra to cleanse Brahma's conscience. Therefore, it is Guruta to take the disciple towards the light instead of darkness.

The Importance of Guru Purnima

On the day of Guru Purnima, many people duly worship their late Guru or Brahmin saints with their Paduka, Diya, flower, Akshat, sandalwood, naivedya, etc. Gu's meaning is given in the Shastras - the essence of darkness and Ru - its prevention. The Guru is called a Guru because he removes ignorance from the knowledge of knowledge. One who erases darkness and leads to light is called 'Guru.' Even though parents give birth to a child, the teacher does the work of explaining the meaning of life and the world to him. Guru is called Brahma because just as he creates an organism, in the same way, the Guru makes a disciple. Our soul is eager to confront the truth in the form of God, and this confrontation is not possible without meeting the present physical state of Guru; that is why in every birth, it searches for the Guru. Maharishi Ved Vyas Ji, who composed great literature like eighteen Puranas, was born on Ashada Purnima. Such is the belief. Ved Vyas was the son of great sage Parashar. According to Hindu scriptures, Maharishi Vyas was the master of all three periods. Seeing from his divine vision, he knew that people's interest in religion in Kali Yuga would decrease. Due to a lack of interest in religion, a man will not be a believer in God, devoid of duty, and will be of less age. It will not be easy for him to study an extensive and complete Veda. That is why Maharishi Vyas divided the Vedas into four parts so that people with little intellect and little memory power can also benefit by studying Vedas.

Vyas Ji named the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, and Atharva Veda after dividing the Vedas into separate divisions. Due to such division of Vedas, he became famous as Ved Vyas. He gave Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda to his beloved disciples Vaishampayan, Sumantumuni, Pal, and Jamin. Ved Vyas Ji composed the Puranas as the fifth Veda in which the knowledge of Vedas is explained in the form of exciting stories-stories because the experience in Vedas is extraordinarily mysterious and challenging. He gave them the wisdom of Puranas to his disciple Rome Harshan. According to their power of intellect, the disciples of Vyas Ji divided their Vedas into several branches and sub-branches. Maharishi Vyasa also composed the Mahabharata. They are considered our Adi-gurus. This famous festival of Guru Purnima is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Vyas Ji. Therefore, this festival is also called Vyas Purnima.

What is the Ancient Importance of Guru Purnima?

According to various Hindu mythological Vedas, Guru has also been called Sarvopari from Tridevas because it is believed that Guru only shows the right direction to the person and also guides his disciple. This day has been celebrated since old times. The disciples' immense reverence for their Guru was the real Dakshina for the Guru at that time. There is also a law for Govardhan's circumambulation, which is in Uttar Pradesh. It has also been seen that on this day, people bathe in holy rivers, kunds, and ponds and also give donations.

Guru ki Mahima Hai Agam, Gaakar Tarta Shishya

Guru Kal ka Anumaan Kar, Gadhta Aaj Bhavishya

Lord Shiva is considered to be the Maiden Guru in Vedic Grantha. 

According to the Puranas, Lord Shiva is considered the first Guru. Shani and Parashuram are his two disciples. Shivaji was the first to propagate civilization and religion on earth, so he is called Adidev and Adiguru. Shiva is also called Adinath. Adiguru Shiva gave seven people along with Shani and Parashurama. These were later called the seven hamarshi, and they subsequently spread the knowledge of Shiva all around.

Shishya Worship Guru

On the pious festival of Guru Purnima, the disciples worship and worship their gurus as gifts and give some donation and Dakshina and express their gratitude concerning them. In each age, the authority of the Guru has been pervading everywhere like the particle-like Parambrahma. The world without a guru is just a night of ignorance. 

Method of Guru Purnima Puja

The Shastras describe the method of Guru Puja on Guru Purnima in such a way that after worshiping Lord Vishnu, Shiva, Guru Jupiter, and Maharishi Ved Vyasa in the morning, you must honor your Guru. Make your Guru a garland of flowers and take blessings from him by offering sweets, new clothes, and money.

1. On Guru Purnima, not only the Guru but anyone elder in the family, that is, parents, siblings, etc., should also be considered like Guru.

2. Only by the grace of the teacher does knowledge enters the student. The ignorance and darkness of his heart get removed.

3. Only the blessings of the Guru are beneficial, enlightening, and useful for humanity. All the learning of the world comes from the grace of the Guru.

4. This day is also best for getting the mantra from Guru.

5. On this day, it is essential to serve the Gurus as much as possible.

6. Hence, it is important to celebrate this festival with full devotion

The Myth behind the Celebration of Guru Purnima

The identity of India lies in its spiritual essence. According to the changing times and circumstances, the fantastic art of bringing this spirituality into life is also taught by India's sages. Guru Poornima is the festival of expressing gratitude to such cosmopolitan gurus who, despite suffering themselves, lead the society on the path of progress. Hardly anyone is unaware of the name of Maharishi Veda Vyasa during the Mahabharata period; these are the same Munishrestha who composed the four Vedas, written eighteen Puranas, and created the Srimad Bhagavata. He was considered the first Guru of the Guru-disciple tradition. 

It is known very well that if any person gives any knowledge, makes us learn something; then he is like a guru to us; he is worthy of worship, irrespective of the stature. It is mentioned in the Shastras that once Muniver saw someone from the Bhil caste bending a tree and plucking coconut from it. From that day, Vyas Ji started chasing that person because he was keen to know this learning, but that person used to run away from Ved Vyas Ji due to hesitation and fear. While chasing - Vyas Ji reached the person one day, and the person was not present, but his son was present who listened to Vyas Ji and agreed to give the mantra. The next day Vyas Ji came, and he took that mantra, following all the rules. When the father saw all this, he could not stay away from him. He wanted to know the reason for this from the son. After listening to the son, the father said that son, "I did not want to intentionally give this mantra to Vyas Ji as in my mind that the person from whom the mantra is taken, he becomes like Jiguru and we are poor and belong to small caste. Will Vyas Ji respect us if we are poor?" Then the father said that if the son who gives the mantra is not revered, then that mantra does not come to fruition, so you go and test Vyas Ji whether he will provide you with respect or not. The son reached the next day in the court of Vyas Ji, where he was discussing with his companions. Seeing his Guru coming, Vyas Ji came running and worshiped him and respected him, following all the rules. The person was pleased to see this. All his dilemmas and his father's dilemmas were erased that a person who gives importance to a small caste like a Guru is genuinely revered. And since then, Vyasa Ji started being considered as the foremost Guru in the Guru-Shishya tradition. One day in the year was dedicated to the Brahma Gyan Sadguru, popularly known as Vyas Purnima or Guru Purnima.

Why is Varsha Ritu Best for Guru Purnima?

All seasons in India have their importance. There is a reason behind Guru Purnima being observed, especially during the rainy season. It is because, in these four months, there is neither excess heat nor excess cold. This time is apt and best for studies and teaching. Therefore, the disciples present at Gurucharan opt for this time to attain the power of knowledge, peace, devotion, and yoga. 

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals. 

Kajari Teej
25 Aug, 2021

Kajari Teej is as unique as HariyaliTeej for women. It is celebrated on the third day of the Krishna Paksha during the month of Bhadrapad. This festival is observed grandly in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan. Kajari Teej is also known as KajaliTeej. It is a festival of women. On this day, the married women observe fast for their married lives' wellbeing and prosperity. Kajali Teej is known with different names at different places. It is predominantly celebrated in the Hindi speaking places like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Bihar. Among these places, Kajari Teej is known as Buri Teej and SaturiTeej also. KajaliTeej is as vital as HariyaliTeej and HartalikaTeej for women. This fast is observed for happiness and prosperity in the married life. It is believed that if a Jap Kanya or a married woman worships Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati with utmost devotion on this day, then they are blessed with the Vardaan of a right life partner and good fortune. It is also believed that Goddess Parvati could be with Lord Shiva only after performing deep and intense meditation on this day. It is believed that on the occasion of KajaliTeej, Gauri is worshipped predominantly. No matter how many hurdles are present in the Kundli of an individual, all of them can be removed by performing a Puja on this day. However, this might be fruitful only if an unmarried perform this Puja all by one's self. People believe that on KajaliTeej, Goddess Parvati got Lord Shiva's presence in her life. She had to undergo challenging meditation for this. On Kajari Teej, married women should worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is said that women who are not married receive a noble life partner's blessings on this day. Neither the husbands nor the married women should commit specific actions to strike good relations with the husband. These are betrayal, wrong behaviour, and saying ill of others behind their back. Husband and wife must not do these actions both. On this day, married and unmarried women observe fasts, which are considered essential for them. They should adorn themselves on this day. The adornment includes henna (mehndi) and bangles. And then, in the evening, they should visit a temple and worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. On this day, a wife prays for the long life of her husband. On KajaliTeej, a swing is installed at home, and women enjoy swinging in it. On this day, women sit together all day long with their friends and sing songs. They dance together as well. Married women observe fast for their husbands, and unmarried women follow it to get the right life partners. 

Importance of KajaliTeej

Like HariyaaliTeej, HartalikaTeej, Kajari Teej is also an important festival for married women. Married women keep this fast to the long life and prosperity of their husbands. It is considered that on this day, Devi Parvati performed deep meditation to receive Lord Shiva's presence in her life. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati must be worshipped wholeheartedly on this day. By doing this, unmarried receive the Vardaan of suitable bridegrooms, and married women receive the Vardaan of being fortunate forever. Goddess Parvati's worship is considered to be auspicious on this day. All the women who worship Goddess Parvati on Kajari Teej get the blessings of a respectful relationship with their husbands. According to a legend, it is said that after 108 births, Goddess Parvati was successful in marrying Lord Shiva. This day is celebrated with the feeling of selfless love. It was the selfless devotion of Goddess Parvati which made Lord Shiva accepts her as His consort. Henna and bangles should be used in adornment during this festival. In the evening, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati must be worshipped in the temple. On Kajari Teej, various cuisines are prepared by mixing the Sattu of barley, wheat, gram peas, and rice with ghee. After the moonrise, meals are consumed to open the fast.

Why is KajaliTeej Celebrated?

The festival of Teej holds a lot of importance for married couples because it is a festival that strengthens the relationship of a husband and his wife. On this day, women open their fast by eating Sattu. Worshipping the Neem tree is another essential part of this festival. People wear colorful clothes on this day and enjoy various delicacies after finishing with the fast. It is believed that Goddess Parvati had received the fruit of having Lord Shiva in her life after performing deep meditation on Kajari Teej. Hence, both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped on this day. If an unmarried woman observes fast on this day, she gets the bridegroom of her own choice.

Why is KajaliTeej known as KajaliTeej?

According to ancient legends, a forest named Kajali existed in India's central part, where a king named Dadurai used to rule. In this kingdom, people used to sing songs based on the name of the kingdom, Kajali. This is the reason that their place got so famous all over India. After some years, King Dadurai died, after which Queen Naagmati became a widow. After the death of the king, Queen Naagmati became a widow. This situation made their subjects very sad and gloomy. Hence, the songs of Kajali are sung for the eternal togetherness of the husband and the wife.

On the other hand, according to a loving myth, Goddess Parvati desired Lord Shiva as her husband. However, Lord Shiva had kept a condition in front of her. According to the condition, Goddess Parvati had to prove her true devotion and love for Lord Shiva. After this, Goddess Parvati performed meditation for 108 long years in the name of Lord Shiva and stood the test of loyalty and love as was asked by Lord Shiva. After this, Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as His wife on the day of Teej. Due to this reason, this day is also known as KajaliTeej. According to shastras, all the Gods worship Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva on Buri Teej. 

How is KajaliTeej Celebrated?

On the day of KajaliTeej, married women observe fasts for their husbands' long life, and unmarried women keep fasts on this day to be blessed with bridegrooms of their choice. On this day, various cuisines are prepared by mixing the Sattu of barley, wheat, gram peas, and rice with ghee. The fast comes to an end after worshipping the Moon. Apart from this, cows are worshipped on Kajari Teej. Also, swings are installed on this day, and women sit together to sing and dance together. Singing Kajari songs is an inseparable part of this festival. Neem tree is also worshipped. After that, there is a tradition of offering sacrifice to the Moon.

The tradition followed on KajaliTeej.

1. On this day, married women keep fast so that their husbands can be blessed with long life and unmarried girls observe this fast for getting a bridegroom of their choice. 

2. On Kajari Teej, various cuisines are prepared by mixing the Sattu of barley, wheat, gram peas, and rice with ghee. After the moonrise, meals are consumed to open the fast.

3. On this day, cows are worshipped especially. Seven little balls of wheat are made, and ghee, jaggery is applied to them. These are fed to the cows, and then meals are consumed. 

4. Swings are installed on KajaliTeej. They sit together and sing and dance together. 

5. On this day, there is a unique tradition of singing Kajari songs. In UP and Bihar, people play dholak while singing Kajari songs.

Rituals of KajaliTeej

On the occasion of Kajari Teej, there is a rule of worshipping Goddess Nimdi. Before the Pujan, a pond-like structure is made on the wall using mud and cow dung by tying a paal made of ghee and jaggery. And then, a branch of the Neem tree is kept beside it. Raw milk and water are offered in the pond, and a Diya is lit and placed there. Lemon, cucumber, Banana, apple, Sattu, Roli, Mauli, Akshat, etc., are placed on a plate. Apart from this, take some raw milk in a container, and the evening after adorning yourself; worship Goddess Nimdi in the following ways: 

1. At first, sprinkle some water and Roli on Goddess Nimdi and then offer rice. 

2. Apply 13 tikas of henna, Roli, and Kajal with fingers on the wall behind Goddess Nimdi. 

Apply the tika of henna, roli with the ring finger, and Kajal's tika should be applied with the index finger.

3. After offering Mauli to Goddess Nimdi, offer henna, Kajal, and clothes to her. Taking the support of the tikas on the wall, tie a laccha

4. Offer fruits and Dakshina to Goddess Nimdi and tie a laccha by applying Roli's tika on the Puja container.

5. Look at lemon, cucumber, neem branch, nose ring, sari palla, etc., in the light of the Diya kept on the banks of the pond at the place of worship. After this, offer Arghya to the Moon.

Ritual of offering Arghya to the Moon

There is an age-old tradition of offering Arghya to the Moon after worshipping Goddess Nimdi in the evening of the Kajari Teej.

1. Offer drops of water, Roli, Molly, and Akshat to the Moon, and then offer bhog. 

2. Offer Arghya to the water by holding a silver ring and wheat seeds in the hands and then stand at one place and rotate four times. 

Rule of Kajari Teej

1. Generally, this fast is observed without having water. However, pregnant women can have fruits. 

2. If the moonrise cannot be seen, then the fast can be opened by offering arghya while looking at the sky around 11:30 at night. 

3. If the whole fast is not possible after the Udyapan, then fruits can be consumed. 

According to the rules mentioned above, if the fortunate and married woman observes Kajari fast, her family is blessed with prosperity and happiness. Unmarried girls get the blessings of getting bridegrooms of their choice. 

Ancient Myth of Kajari Teej or KajaliTeej

A poor Brahmin used to live in a village. His Brahmin wife also lived with him. Kajari Teej arrived in the month of Bhadrapad at that time. The Brahmin wife observed fast in the name of GoddesTeej. She told her husband that she had observed Kajari Teej fast and needs Sattu, and she asked him to bring Sattu made of gram peas. The Brahmin husband asked his Brahmani wife as to how and from where he will get Sattu. On this, she asked him to arrange for it at any cost, either by theft or loot as she needs it. It was night time. The Brahmin went out of the house to the moneylender's shop. From here, he took chana daal, ghee, sugar and measured it up to one and a quarter kilogram. Then he made Sattu out of these. The moment he was leaving, all the servants woke up by listening to the noise. Everyone started shouting: Thief! Thief! The moneylender came and caught the Brahmin. The Brahmin said he was not a thief and that he was a poor Brahmin. Her wife has kept Teej fast, and that is why; he came to prepare one and a quarter kilogram of Sattu so that he can take it to her. When the moneylender did the Brahmin's checking, he got nothing except Sattu.

On the other hand, moonrise had taken place, and the Brahmin wife was waiting for Sattu. The moneylender said to the Brahmin that from today, he would consider Brahmin's wife as his Dharam sister. He bids a warm farewell to the Brahmin by giving him sattu, jewelry, money, henna, and lacchaa, along with a lot of wealth. Then, everyone worshipped Goddess Kajali. The way the Brahmin was blessed with happiness, similarly, may everyone remain blessed by the grace of Goddess Kajali.

Cow is worshipped

On this day, dishes are cooked by mixing wheat, gram peas, and rice in Sattu. The fast is opened after sunset in the evening. On this day, a cow is worshipped especially. Jaggery and gram peas are out on wheat made chapatis and offered to a cow. And then, fast is opened.

Kajari Teej and SolahSringar

A procession of the idol of Goddess Parvati is taken out on Kajari Teej. Unmarried women perform ghoomar dance as well. On this day, women pray for their husbands' long life and stay awake for the entire night by lightening up an Akhand Diya. On this day, women put henna on their hands and do solahsringar. Swinging is also done on this day.

Women cook delicious dishes on Kajari Teej like Malpua and Ghevar. They sing songs and dance in front of the idol of Goddess Parvati. They enjoy the greenery all around on this day and also sing songs while swinging on the swings.

Click to know Which Nakshatra is good for the stock market?

Where is Kajari Teej Observed in India 

Kajari Teej is celebrated in different parts of India. However, it is observed in different ways in various states of India. It is observed in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. 

1. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Kajari songs are sung on boats. 

In Varanasi and Mirzapur, Kajari songs are sung along with the annual songs.

2. This festival is given special significance in Rajasthan. It is specially celebrated in the city of Bundi with great pomp and show. On this day, people ride on horses and camels. Teej's celebration in Bundi is famous worldwide, and people come from faraway  places to witness its grandiloquence.

What should not be done by Women on Kajari Teej

  • On this day, married women should not wear white saree and should not stay without jewelry. 

  • Do not consume meals and water on Kajari Teej as this fast is Nirjala Fast. One needs to follow it without having water. 

  • Focus on keeping the surroundings clean as cleanliness has a lot of importance on Kajari Teej.

  • On Kajari Teej, please do not say anything to your husband that might hurt him.

  • Do not stay away from your husband on Kajari Teej. 

  • Do not say bad words on the occasion of Kajari Teej.

  • Do not speak behind anyone's back on Kajari Teej, and do not feel jealous of anyone.

  • Do not fight at home on Kajari Teej. Behave nicely with the family members.

  • Married women should apply henna on their palms on this day. Henna symbolizes love.

  • Do wear bangles on this day. Being without bangles is considered to be inauspicious.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Krishna Janmashtami
30 Aug, 2021

Lord Vishnu got incarnated in Krishna's form in the midnight Rohini Nakshatra on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada month to release the Earth from sin. Janmashtami is considered the birthday of Lord Krishna; this festival is celebrated with full faith and devotion worldwide. Sri Krishna has been the epicenter of our faith for ages. He is sometimes the son of Mother Yashoda, and sometimes is the naughty Gopal of Braj. This festival's enthusiasm is seen throughout India's year; its preparations begin grandly even before its arrival. The ambiance everywhere gets involved deeply in the colors of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami is celebrated with complete faith and reverence. Considering the Srimad Bhagavat as proof, the followers of Smaart Sampradaya celebrate Janmashtami on Chandrodaya Vyapani Ashtami, i.e., Rohini Nakshatra, and the Vaishnavites celebrate Janmashtami on the Udayakal Vyapani Ashtami and Udayakal Rohini Nakshatra. Janmashtami has different forms, and this festival is celebrated in different ways. There is a Holi of colors, somewhere there a celebration of flowers and the fragrance of it. And somewhere, Dahi Handi is enthusiastically celebrated, and somewhere, we get to witness the enticing impressions of Lord Krishna's life. Temples are decorated uniquely. Devotees observe fast on this occasion. On this day, temples are decorated with Jhanki, and Lord Krishna is made to swing, and various Krishna Rasleela is organized.

During Janmashtami's auspicious occasion, devotees from far off places visit Mathura for Darshan of Lord Krishna. Temples are specially decorated. All the temples of Mathura are decorated with colorful lights and flowers. Millions of Krishna devotees reach not only from the country but also from abroad to witness the Sri Krishna birth anniversary organized on Janmashtami in Mathura. By offering turmeric, curd, ghee, oil, rose water, butter, saffron, camphor, etc., to the Lord's Vigrah, people sprinkle it on each other. On this day, temples are decorated with Jhanki, and Lord Krishna is made to swing, and Rasleela is organized. The devotee attains Moksha by observing Janmashtami fast as per all the rules and regulations. This fast is for fulfilling wishes. This holy festival of Sri Krishna's devotion fills everyone with Krishna Bhakti. This Upvas is believed to be essential for the followers of Sanatan Dharma. On this day, fasts are observed, and people listen to the songs of Krishna Bhakti. Jhanki of Sri Krishna-Leela is decorated in the domestic worshipping place and temples. 

Importance of Janmashtami

Sri Krishna Janmashtami has particular importance nationwide. It is one of the pivotal festivals of Hinduism. Lord Sri Krishna is considered to be the eighth Avatar of Hari Vishnu. This festival s followed in various states in various ways. From children to elders, everyone observes fast happily for the whole day to mark the birth of their Aradhya and appreciate the glory of Lord Krishna. All the temples re adorned on this day. On the occasion of Sri Krishna Avatar, Jhanki is decorated. Lord Sri Krishna is adorned, and swings are decorated, and Lord Krishna is made to swing on it. Women and men observe fast at midnight. At midnight, at night, the news of Sri Krishna's birth echoes everywhere through the sound of bells and Shankh. Sri Krishna Aarti takes place, and Prasad is distributed. 

History of Krishna Janmashtami

It is believed that one crucial reason for Sri Krishna's Avatar was to kill Kansa. Kansa had a sister, Devaki. She was very dear to Kansa. When Kansa was returning after getting his sister married, then a sound came from the sky saying, "Oh Kansa, the eighth child who will arrive in the womb of your dear sister, will be the reason for your death." That is why Kansa imprisoned his sister. The moment Devaki would give birth to any child, Kansa would immediately kill that child. When Devaki Ji gave birth to the eighth child, Sri Krishna, all the prison locks were broken by Lord Vishnu's Maya, and Lord Krishna's father Vasudeva left him in the palace of Mathura Nand Baba. A girl was born there. That girl was Maya incarnate. Vasudeva came back to the prison Vasudeva by bringing that girl. Kansa saw that girl, and with the desire to kill her, he threw her on the floor. The moment she was thrown down, that girl jumped in the air and said, "Kansa, your Kaal has left this place. It will destroy you after some time. I am just a Maya." After some years, this only happened. Lord Sri Krishna came to the same palace and killed Kansa. 

Importance of Peacock Feather on Sri Krishna's Head

A king is responsible for all his subjects. He bears the weight of these responsibilities on his head in the form of a crown. But, Sri Krishna fulfilled all his duties effortlessly, like a game. Just like a mother does not consider it a burden to take care of her children. Similarly, Sri Krishna does not believe his responsibilities as a burden. He carries these responsibilities with various colors very quickly on his head in the form of a peacock crown (which is also very light). Sri Krishna is an attractive and blissful flow in all of us. When there is no restlessness, worry, or desire in mind, only then can we get deep rest, and in deep rest, only Sri Krishna is born. 

How is Janmashtami Celebrated

Janmashtami is celebrated differently in various places. Many places celebrate it as Holi of flowers, and along with it, Holi of colors is also played. At many sites, on Janmashtami's occasion, the blissful form of Sri Krishna can be witnessed in the form of Jhankis. Temple is decorated delicately on this day. On the day of Janmashtami, Lord Sri Krishna is made to swing in the temple. Janmashtami is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm in Mathura, the city of Sri Krishna's birth. Sri Krishna liked butter and milk because he used to have the village's butter, which he used to steal. One day to stop him from stealing Makhan, his mother Yashoda had to tie him to a pillar, and for this reason, Lord Krishna was named Makhan Chor. In Vrindavan, the women started hanging the matki of the stirred butter at a height so that the hand of Krishna could not reach there. Still, in front of the naughty Krishna's understanding, their plan also proved to be futile, to steal Makhan, Shri Krishna made a plan with friends, and together they stole the curd and Makhan from Matki, which hanging at a height. It is from here that the festival of Dahi-Handi began.

The meaning of Sri Krishna's Other Name- "Makhan Chor." 

Sri Krishna is also celebrated in the form of Makhan Chor. Milk is the source of nutrition, and curd is a refined form of milk. When the curd is stirred, butter is made and floats above. This is no just heavy but is light and healthy. When our intellect is awakened, it becomes like butter. Then there is a rise of knowledge in the consciousness. And an individual gets established in his self. Being in the world, he remains unattached; his consciousness is not disappointed by the world's words and behavior. Makhanchori symbolizes the depiction of the glory of Shri Krishna's love. The charm and skill of Sri Krishna are so deep that he steals even the most patient person's consciousness. 

What is the belief behind Dahi-Handi?

The belief behind celebrating Dahi-Handi is that Lord Krishna loved butter. In his child incarnate, he used to steal butter from a neighbor's home. Hence, he began to be known as "Makhan Chor." Lord Krishna used to steal Makkhan from everyone's houses, which caused many troubles to Mother Jashoda. For this, Mother Yashoda advised all the neighbors to tie their dahi-handi at a height. But still, Lord Krishna manages to reach the Handi by forming a human chain with his friends and break the Handi and divide it among themselves. Due to this, the festival of Dahi-Handi is celebrated at many places on Janmashtami. This tradition is marked with a lot of enthusiasm. People hold the Dahi- handi competition in their streets; then people climb up in bulk to break Matki's program. This tradition is mainly witnessed in India in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

The importance of Rohini Nakshatra on Janmashtami

Lord Krishna was born on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada in Rohini Nakshatra. Due to this Tithi falling in Rohini Nakshatra, it is known as Krishna Janmashtami. Now since Lord Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra, the positioning of Rohini Nakshatra is given importance in determining Janmashtami. 

Birthday Celebrations happen at 12 on Janmashtami.

As per the Tithi, Lord Krishna was born at midnight on the Ashtami of Krishna paksha of Bhadrapada, so in the houses and temples, at midnight, Lord Krishna's birth anniversary is celebrated. After bathing the idol of Laddu Gopal with milk after birth at night, Sri Krishna is dressed in new and beautiful clothes, and he is adorned. Then, he is placed in the cradle, and then after Puja, he is offered charanamrit, panjiri, fresh fruits, panchmeva, etc., which is distributed as Prasad. 

Janmashtami Festival is Fruitful in Having Children

The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated traditionally. People observe fasts and perform Puja. It is a belief that all desires can be fulfilled by celebrating this festival. People whose moon is weak can be benefitted on this day by doing special Puja. On this day, by performing Sri Krishna Puja, people can be blessed with children, long-life, and happiness-prosperity. 

Every Wish Gets Fulfilled by Swinging on Janmashtami 

There is a belief that keeping fast on this day might help get the fruits of several fasts. In our Shastras, Krishna Janmashtami is said to be the king of fasts, that is, "Vrat Raja." As per religious beliefs, there is the immense importance of making Baal Gopal swing, and people are enthusiastic about making Lord Krishna swing. If a person makes the Lord swing in a cradle, all his/her wishes are fulfilled. 

How to keep the fast of Janmashtami

On Janmashtami's occasion, devotees observe fast for the whole day and seek God's blessings; they perform special Puja. Keeping Janmashatami Upvas has its regulations. People who wish to keep Janmashtami Upavs should consume food only one time before one day of Janmashtami. After bathing in the morning of Janmashtami, the devotees pledge the Sankalp of the fast and open the Upvas, that is, fast after the end of Rohini Nakshatra and Ashtami Tithi on the next day. 

Rules of Janmashtami Puja

There is a rule of worshipping Lord Sri Krishna on Janmashtami. If you are also observing Janmashtami fast, then worship Lord Sri Krishna in this manner. 

  • Wear clean clothes after a morning bath
  • On Janmashtami, sthapana of Bal Krishna take place (Thakurji or Laddu Gopal). You can perform the sthapana of Krishna Ji in any form as per your wish. 
  • Further, in the temple of the house, perform the bathing the idol of Krishna Ji or Thakur Ji with Gangajal first. 
  • After this, perform the idol's bathing with panchamrit of milk, curd, ghee, sugar, honey, and saffron. 
  • Now, perform the bathing with pure water. It is written in Shastras that bathing with Shankh is excellent. 
  • Make him wear new clothes, make him wear yellow colored clothes and adorn him. 
  • The swing of Sri Krishna is decorated with flowers. For this, you can decorate with Parijaat and Vaijyanti flowers. After the birth of Krishna, he is made to swing. 
  • For the bhog of Sri Krishna Ji, prepare panchamrit and add Tulsi leaves, Mewa, Maakhan, and Mishri. As per your potential, you can make coriander panjiri and offer 56 bhog. 
  • Fast should be done with patience and by following rules as far as possible. Unwell people should not keep fast. 
  • Lord Krishna's birth celebrations should be observed at midnight. The whole night should be spent by staying awake, and Bhajan-kirtan should be performed. 
  • Worship Laddu Gopal at midnight by offering him Bhog and then perform Aarti.
  • Consume Anna in the morning the next day. If someone wishes to have meals before then, he/she can do so after celebrating Lord's birth anniversary and having Prasad, etc., at midnight.
  • This Krishna Janmashtami fast is meant to destroy all the sins. By following it with all rules and with patience helps in acquiring spiritual happiness in Indralok Parlok.

The Myth behind Janmashtami

Towards the end of Dwaparyuga, King Ugrasen ruled in Mathura. The name of Ugrasen's son was Kansa. Kansa forcefully became the king himself by forcefully dethroning Ugrasen and putting him in prison. Kansa's sister Devaki's marriage got fixed with Vasudev in the Yadav clan. When Kansa was bidding farewell to Devaki with a Rath, then Akashvaani happened, "Oh Kansa! The eight son of Devaki whom you love so much will kill you". By listening to the words of Akashvaani, Kansa got filled with anger and got ready to kill Devaki. He thought- Neither Devaki will be there, nor she will have any son. Vasudeva made Kansa understand that he need not be afraid of Devaki. Devaki's eighth child might be a cause of fear. Hence, I will hand over her eighth child to you. Kansa accepted Kansa's words and put Vasudeva-Devaki in prison. Immediately Narada Ji reached there and said to Kansa how it would be known which would be the eighth womb and how the counting would start, from the first or the last pregnancy. On Narada's advice, Kansa mercilessly killed all the children born from Devaki's womb one by one.

The birth of Sri Krishna happened on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha during the month of Bhadrapada in the Rohini Nakshatra. The moment he was born, the light got spread in prison. In front of Vasudev-Devaki, the four-armed God holding shankha, chakra, Gada, and lotus flower manifested his form and said, now I take the form of a child. You immediately take me to Nanda's in Gokul and hand over the girl who has just been born to him. Vasudeva did the same and handed over that girl to Kansa. When Kansa desired to kill that girl, she got away from his hands and flew in the sky. She took the form of Goddess and said, "What is the use of killing me? Your enemy has reached Gokul". By witnessing this sight, Kansa got shocked and became anxious. Kansa sent many demons to kill Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna killed all of them through his Alokik Maya. On getting old, he killed Kansa and made Ugrasen sit on the throne.

Why Lord Krishna is offered 56 Bhog

There is a custom of offering 56 bhog to Lord Krishna on Janmashtami. Religious belief is that Lord Krishna is happy with fifty-six Bhog, and all the devotees' wishes are fulfilled. Come, let us know the reason behind 56 Bhog- 

When Lord Krishna lived with Nanda Lal and his mother Yashoda in Gokul, his mother used to feed him with her hands eight times a day. Once, the Brajwasi were organizing a big ceremony to worship Indra, the king of heaven. Krishna asked Nanda Baba what the reason behind the ritual is. Then, Nanda Baba said that Devaraj Indra would be pleased by this Puja, and he would send heavy rains. Krishna Ji said that sending showers is Indra's responsibility, so why he needs to be worshipped. If Puja is to be performed, worship Govardhan Mountain as we acquire fruits and vegetables, and animals get their fodder. Then, everyone liked Krishna's advice, and everyone started worshipping Govardhan instead of worshipping Indra. Indra Deva considered this as an insult, and he got angry. Angry Indra sent too heavy rains to Braj, and water could be seen everywhere. The Brajvasi got afraid by witnessing such a scenario, then Krishna said to them, "Let us go under Govardhan's shelter. Only he can protect us from the wrath of Indra." Krishnaji lifted the entire Govardhan mountain with his little finger protected the Braj as a whole. Lord Krishna kept holding Govardhan Mountain for seven days without eating anything. When the rain stopped on the eighth day, and all the Brajwasi came out, and after that, everyone thought that Krishna protected us by holding up the Govardhan Mountain for seven days without eating anything.

Then, mother Yashoda prepared 56 kinds of delicious dishes for Kanhaiya and Brajvasi daily for eight Pahar, including seven days. Chappan Blog comprises the delicacies which are liked by Kanhaiya. Many devotees offer 20 kinds of sweets, 16 types of Namkeen, and 20 types of dry fruits. Commonly, Chappan bhog comprises Makhan mishri, Kheer, Almond milk, Tikki, Cashews, Pista, Rasgulla, Jalebi, Ladoo, Rabri, Mathri, Malpua, Mohanbhog, Chatni, Moon Daal Halwa, Pakora, Khichdi, Brinjal vegetable, Bottle gourd vegetable, Puri, Murabba, Saag, Curd, Rice, cardamom, pulses, Kadhi, Ghevar, the chilla, and papad. Regarding 56 bhog, another belief is that in Go Lok, Lord Sri Krishna sits with Radha Ji on a divine lotus. That lotus has three layers. The first layer has eight, and the second layer has sixteen, the third layer has thirty-two petals. There is one pivotal Sakhi on each petal, and God sits in the middle. This way, there are 56 petals in number. Here, 56 number has this meaning only. Hence, Lord Krishna gets satisfied by 56 Bhog in the company of his sakhis.

Why Janmashtami fast is observed?

Lord Sri Krishna is worshipped by observing fast on Janmashtami. The fast is followed so that while worshiping God, our conscious, body, and thoughts, all three remain pure. When Puja is performed with clear conscious and noble thoughts, then that bestows inner peace to us. The importance of keeping a fast on Janmashtami is not just related to Krishna's birth, and there are four primary reasons. 

1) Ashtami Tithi. Ashtami Tithi is also known as Jaya Tithi, meaning the Tithi of winning the hearts. On this day, worshipping the Lord by observing fast, victory is achieved in all the endeavors. 

2) Shiva is the Lord of Ashtami Tithi, and on this day, Lord Vishnu also took Avatar. This is the worship day of two major Gods. 

3) The body gets purified by being on a non-vegetarian or just fruit diet, not eating food. During fasting, worldly thoughts do not come to the mind, and the conscious remains with God. 

4) Imbibe the knowledge of Lord Sri Krishna in your life. Imbibing knowledge without purifying oneself is not possible. Therefore, on this day, one should renounce food and stay away from feelings like untruth, material pleasures, and violence.

Janmashtami is celebrated in Foreign Countries Too.

Not only in India but also Indians living abroad and people of the Indian community celebrate Janmashtami with full devotion and enthusiasm. In Mathura prison, Sri Krishna was born at midnight in Mata Devaki's womb to destroy his wrathful maternal uncle, Kansa. In this context, this day is considered the day of Lord Krishna's incarnation on the Earth. Various grand events are organized on this day in foreign countries also.

Pomp and show happen in Mathura on Janmashtami.

On the holy ceremony of Sri Krishna Janmashtami, devotees from far- fetched places reach Mathura today to witness the glowing image of Lord Kanha. On the birth anniversary of Sri Krishna, the entire city Mathura of Braj gets engrained in the Krishna consciousness. Hence, on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, the town of Mathura gets enlightened by the colors of devotion.

The Decoration of Jhanki on Janmashtami

People celebrate the holy festival of Janmashtami with excitement and enthusiasm. Along with the Puja and fast, jhanki are also decorated in homes and temples on this day. The illustrations of these jhanki are from Sri Krishna's childhood pastimes and the entire lifespan. Since God was born in prison, many police lines decorate the beautiful jhanki of God even today. Apart from this, people install beautiful jhanki in their homes. 

Include these items in Janmashtami Puja

1. Tulsi Puja Has Special Importance 

Tulsi Puja has a special significance on the day of Janmashtami. According to Shastras, on this day, in the evening, it is beneficial to lighten up Diya by putting ghee in it along with worshipping Tulsi. If you do not have the Tulsi plant at home, then go to a temple and lighten up a Diya. Never worship the Tulsi of somebody else's house.

2. Inclusion of Betel leaf is Auspicious 

On Janmashtami, in Krishna Puja, betel leaf has special significance. It is believed that including betel leaf in the Puja lets us receive Goddess Laxmi's special blessings. According to astrologers, in Puja, write 'Om Vasudevaya Namah' on one betel leaf and offer it to Sri Krishna. The Puja is fruitful by doing this. 

3. Janmashtami Puja is incomplete without Maakhan

Nanda's lal Gopal is hugely fond of Maakhan. Hence, do remember to include Maakhan in the Puja. In his child form, he used to steal maakhan from Gopis as he was fond of Maakhan. Hence, in the Puja of Nand Lal, do include Maakhan-Mishri in the form of Bhog.

4. Peacock feathers are also necessary

Lord Krishna puts on a peacock feather on his head always. Peacock feather increases the beauty of His head and is a part of his adornment. Hence, do offer peacock feathers to Lord Krishna in Janmashtami Puja. 

5. Special Importance of Parijat flowers in Puja

Lord Shri Hari Vishnu and Mother Lakshmi are incredibly fond of Parijat flowers, and Krishna Ji is Vishnu's incarnation. Hence, Parijat flowers must be included in the Puja on the day of Janmashtami.

6. Worship will be incomplete without Bansuri 

Lord Krishna loves Bansuri. After listening to his flute's tune, the gopis used to get happy and leave all their work and go to Krishna. The photo of Krishan is also incomplete without Bansuri. Offer silver Bansuri to Krishna Ji on Janmashtami. Simultaneously, after the Puja, keep the Bansuri in the purse or place where the money is placed. 

7. Ask for the wow of Protection through Rakhi 

The festival of Rakshabandhan is extraordinary. From the day of Rakshabandhan to the eighth day, Rakhi can be tied. Hence, tie Rakhi to Lord Krishna and his elder brother, Balrama, on the day of Janmashtami. Through this, you will receive Lord Krishna's special blessings.

8. Perform Abhishek in Shankh with Milk 

Perform Abhishek of Lord Sri Krishna's child form by taking milk on Janmashtami. Your wishes will be fulfilled.

9. The idol of the calf removes troubles 

Krishna Ji is adorably known as Gwala. In his childhood, Lord Sri Krishna has done many Leela with cows and calves. Hence, bring small idols of cows and calves on the day of Janamashtami. Through this, economic difficulties and issues related to children are solved.

What should be done and what should not be done on Janmashtami

What should be done on this day?

  • It is a belief that before Janmashtami fast, eat simple food the night before and the next day, Brahmacharya should be fully observed.
  • On the day of fast, after getting up in the Brahma Muhurta and after bathing, one should meditate on Lord Krishna. 
  • After the Lord's meditation, take Sankalp of his fast, and you should start the Puja preparations. 
  • On this day, offer the Bhog of Makhan-Mishri, betel leaves, coconut made sweets to Lord Krishna
  • This Manta must be recited by taking water, flowers, Gandh, fruits, Kush in the hands: 

Mamkhilpaaprashamanpurvak Swabhisht Siddhaye 

Sri Krishna Janmashtami Vratmaham Karishye.

  • Perform the birth of the Lord at midnight. After that, do his Abhishek through Panchamrit. Make him wear new clothes and adorn him 
  • Do Lord's Tilak by Chandan and offer Bhog to Him. Tulsi should be added in his Bhog for sure. 
  • Krishna should be made to swing by saying Nanda Ke Anand Bhayo Jaya Kahnaiya Laal Ki 
  • Perform Lord Krishna's Aarti by Diya made of ghee and incense sticks and sing his Mangal Bhajan for the entire night. 

Do not do like this on Janmashtami.

A person who is to observe fast on Janmashtami should practice good behavior before one day only. Those who do not keep Upvas should avoid garlic, onion, brinjal, meat-alcohol, betel leaves- nuts, and tobacco. The fasting person should start meditating about Lord Krishna and distance oneself from sexual feelings, luxury, etc. Also, one should stay away from consuming Mool and Masur lentils. Do not let negative essence enter. 

Decorate the Puja Place with flowers on Janmashtami 

To decorate the small temple or place of worship present in your house, you can use flowers. Instead of decorating with ordinary marigold flowers, you can use chameli and mogra flowers to decorate your worship place as Lord Krishna loves these flowers a lot. If you wish, you can make a vast garland of these flowers and decorate it on the swing of Baal Gopal. 

Decorate the Puja Place with Colorful Lights on Janmashtami

Apart from flowers, if you wish, you can also give Puja place and the temple an excellent outlook by decorating them with colorful lighting and lights. Red, green, blue, yellow, white, whatever color you like, install that color in the form of wired lightings in your place of worship and temple and wonderfully decorate them. 

Make Rangoli on Janmashtami

If you make Rangoli only on Diwali at home, try making it on Janmashtami this time. Yes, making Rangoli for welcoming someone has been our centuries-old tradition as Indians. Keeping this in mind, this time, if you wish, you can decorate the house and temple by making a rangoli on the main door of your home and in the place of worship on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. 

You can read my views of astrology for new business ideas.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Ganesha Chaturthi
10 Sep, 2021

People perform the Sthaapna of the first revered God, Ganesha Ji, at their homes. On Ganesha Chaturthi, people bring Ganapati Bappa to their houses. Ganesha Ji removes all the obstacles of his devotees. Hence, Ganesha Ji is also known as Vighnaharta. Ganesha Ji's Sthaapna is done at the homes with respect, and then his Visarjan is done with a lot of pomp and show. Lord Ganesha has particular importance in the Sanatan Dharma. Lord Ganesha is also known as Gajanan or Vighnahartabhi. Gajanan is considered to be the provider of Riddhi-Siddhi and happiness-prosperity. As per the shastras, Ganpati Bappa releases his devotees from troubles, suffering, poverty, and diseases. This day is also called Ganeshotsav, which means Utsav of Ganesha Chaturthi. This Utsav after ten days from now, on then Anant fourth day. On the same day, people bid farewell to Ganapati Bappa. On the day of Anant Chaturdashi, devotees perform the Visarjan of Ganesha Ji's idol with pomp and show.

Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated on the Shukla Chaturthi of the Bhadrapada. It is believed that Ganesha Ji was born on Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Chaturthi during the mid-day, on Monday, Swati Nakshatra and Singh Lagna. Hence, this Chaturthi is primarily is called Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi. This festival is famous as Kalank Chaturthi, and as per the lok tradition, this is also known as Danda Chauth.

Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with great grandeur and faith, especially in Maharashtra, Western India. As Ganesha Ji also has the name Vighnaharta, Hindus believe that Ganesha is worshiped with reverence and rules during these auspicious ten days. Then Lord Ganesha, also known as the leader of Gods, ends all obstacles in your life and showers blessings, prosperity, and happiness upon his devotees. 

The Importance of Ganesha Chaturthi

It is known from Shiva-Parvati's son Ganesha's birth story that Ganesha was born not of birth but the dirt of Parvati's body. Before taking a bath, Mother Parvati went away by making Ganesha Ji sit at the door as her protector, and Shiva Ji was unaware of this thing. He beheaded Ganesha Ji, considering him an opponent in the path of meeting Parvati. When Shiva Ji came to know about the reality, he ordered his people to bring the son's head, situated behind his mother's back. When the people of Shiva got the son of an elephant in this condition, they brought his head only, and Shiv Ji resurrected the child by putting the elephant's head on the child's head. This incident happened on the Chaturthi of the month of Bhadramas. Hence this Tithi is considered to be Ganesha Chaturthi, believing it to be the birth of Ganesha. On this day, Lord Ganesha was born. Ganesha Ji has been considered as the first revered among all the Gods. On this day, bringing Ganapati Bappa to the house removes all his devotees' obstacles and difficulties. Hence, he is also known as Vighnaharta. People bring Ganesha Ji to their homes on Ganesha Chaturthi, and on the eleventh day of Ganesha Chaturthi, his Visarjan is performed with a lot of pomp and show. Ganesha Ji is worshipped before starting any work.

Bappa is the Lord of the Gana. Hence one of his names is Ganapati. Ganesha Chaturthi is called Vinayak Chaturthi. It is also called Danda Chauth in many places. Ganesha Ji is considered to be the provider of knowledge-wisdom, the destroyer of obstacles, and Mangalaka. On the day of Ganesha Chaturthi, the special Puja of Ganesha Ji is done. When Ganesha Chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is called Angarak Chaturthi. This festival is believed to offer pure and magnanimous outcomes. Hence, this day is very ceremonial. Ganesha Chaturthi, the only festival that binds India's whole in one thread, is a bright symbol of national unity. If we turn to history, we come to know that the Puja of Ganesha Chaturthi has been going on since Chalukya Satavahana and Rashtrukta. A clear description is received from the reign of Chatrapati Shivaji when he started doing Ganesha Vandana Puja to promote national culture and unity. The essence of Ganeshamaya ambiance reaches the maximum limit in ten days and then gets calm only with Ganesha Visarjana. 

The History of Ganesha Mahotsav

No one knows the exact Tithi of the beginning of the Puja of Ganesha Chaturthi festival. Historically, this festival got important during 1630-1680, in Shivaji's era (the founder of the Maratha Empire). At that time, this festival was celebrated as a public ceremony. During the times of Shivaji, this Ganeshotsav started being followed in the form of his Kuladevata regularly. After the end of the Peshawas, this festival used to prevail as a familial celebration; in 1893, the celebration of this festival was again started by Lokmanya Tilak ( Indian Freedom Fighter and social reformer). Ganesha Chaturthi began to be celebrated as an annual festival followed by a Hindus's domestic ceremony with immense preparation. Generally, it began to be observed as a national festival to bring unity among the people and remove the struggle between Brahmins and non-Brahmins. During the British rule, to get themselves free from their cruel behavior, Maharashtra people followed this festival with immense courage and nationalist enthusiasm. Lokmanya Tilak established the ritual of Ganesha Visarjan. 

Gradually people started celebrating this festival in the form of community participation rather than family celebrations. People of the society and community celebrate this festival together as a community festival and collectively perform intellectual speech, poetry, dance, devotional songs, drama, music festivals, folk dances, etc. Before the date arrives, people meet together and decide to control such a massive crowd and celebrate the festival. 

Ganeshaa Chaturthi, a holy Hindu festival, is celebrated by the people as the birthday of Lord Ganesha (Lord of Gods, meaning the supreme God of wisdom and prosperity). The entire Hindu community together observe this festival with complete devotion and dedication every year. As per the Hindu ancient myths, it is believed that the birth of Ganesha Ji happened on the Chaturthi (on the fourth day of Ujjawal Pakhwada) of Maagh month. Since then, Ganesha Ji's birth date began to be celebrated in the form of Ganesha Chaturthi. Nowadays, this festival is observed by Hindus and several Muslims worldwide.

Timeline of Ganeshotsav 

Ganesha Ji's festival begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha by doing the sthaapna of the Ganapati idol on the Chaturthi of Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month. For ten consecutive days, He is kept in the house. On Anant Chaturdashi, people bid farewell to Him. On this day, the Ganesha idol is taken for Visarjan while playing drums and singing and dancing. Ganeshotsav ends with Visarjan.

How is Ganesha Utsav Celebrated

This festival, which goes on for ten days, is a fantastic testimony to the Hindus' devotion. In this, the Sthaapna of Shiva-Parvati-Nandan Sri Ganesha's idol, ranging from the height 3-4 inches to 25 feet, is done at the houses, temples, and Pandals on the Shuddha Chaturthi where the idols are adorned and a Pandit performs "Pranpratishtha" of the Pratima by indulging in Vedic Mantraocchran. For ten days, meaning till Anant-Chaturdashi, Ganesha's Pratima, is worshiped every day with all regulations. On the eleventh day, the Visarjan of this idol is performed in a clean water-body. The water body can be a river or ocean. 

Why is Ganesha Chaturthi Celebrated

Who should be considered worthy of being worshipped when the Gods reached Lord Shiva. Then, Shiva said that the first person who will revolve around the entire Earth would be regarded as worthy of being worshipped on a prior basis. In this way, all the gods departed to revolve around the EarthEarth by sitting in their Vaahan. As the Vaahan of Lord Ganesha is a rat and Ganesha's body is enormous, how he could revolve around the Earth. Then, Lord Ganesha completed three revolutions around his father Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati and stood there with folded hands through his intellect and judiciousness. Then Lord Shiva said, "There isn't anyone greater and intelligent than you in the entire universe." By revolving around the mother and father, you have completed the revolutions of all the lokas. You have received its Punya, which is even greater than circles of the Earth. Hence, A person who will worship you before starting any work will not have to face any difficulties. Since then, Lord Ganesha became respected and worshiped before all the Gods and Goddesses, and then after the worship of Lord Ganesha, all other gods are worshiped. Hence, Lord Ganesha is worshipped on Ganesha Chaturthi. All the devotees celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi perform the Visarjan of the idol of Lord Ganesha, the Sthaapna of which was done on this day on the eleventh day of Anant Chaturdashi, and thus Ganesha Utsava gets concluded.

Why is Ganesha Chaturthi Celebrated for ten days? 

As per religious texts, when Ved Vyas Ji had narrated the story of Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha for ten days, he closed his eyes. On opening his eyes after ten days, he observed that Lord Ganesha's temperature was very high. At the same time, Ved Vyas Ji made him take a bath in the nearby Kund. Doing this reduced his body temperature, so Ganesha Ji is worshiped for the next ten days after the Sthaapana of Ganpati, and then the Visarjan of the idol of Lord Ganesha is performed. Ganesha Visarjan symbolizes that this body is made of dust and gets mixed with dust in the end.

Why is Ganesha Ji known as the God of Knowledge? 

Once, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati challenged both their sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya, to complete three revolutions of the universe. The one who will complete the challenge first will be complemented with the fruit of knowledge. Kartikeya flew away, taking his Vajra peacock. Ganesha completed three revolutions of his mother-father and explained to them that the entire universe on their feet. Shiva and Parvati got impressed by his answer, and hence, they bestowed the fruit on him. 

Bappa removes all the troubles. 

It is believed that there are special blessings in the houses where Bappa is welcomed and worshipped for ten days, and troubles never arrive in such homes. With the blessings of Ganesha Ji, all the tasks get completed without any obstacle. All the wishes are fulfilled.

Sthaapna of clay idol of Ganesha Ji 

Ganesha Ji's Puja is considered to be the easiest Puja among all the Gods. On Ganesha Chaturthi, the Sthaapana of clay idol of Ganesha Ji is done in every house. It is believed that this body is made of five elements and will get mingled in these five elements only. Based on this belief only, the Visarjan of Ganapati Ji is done on the Anant Chaudsah. 

This Festival Goes on for Ten Days 

Starting from the Chaturthi of Shukla Paksha of Bhadramas, this festival lasts for ten days, till Ananda Chaudas. On Chaturthi, Ganapathi Bappa visits every house, and after ten days, the Visarjan of Bappa is performed, and the idol is immersed. According to their capacity, people bid farewell to Bappa after 2 or 3 days of worship. 

The Vidhi of Ganesha Chaturthi Fast 

1. After the morning bath, bring Ganesha's idol made of gold, copper, and clay. 

2. Take an empty Kalash and fill it with water. Tie its mouth with plain cloth and make Ganesha Ji sit on it. 

3. Offer vermilion and Durva to Ganesha Ji and offer him Bhog made of twenty-one laddoo. Among these, offer five laddoos to Lord Ganesha and distribute the remaining laddoo among the poor or the Brahmins.

4. The Pujan of Ganesha should be done in the evening. After reading the Ganesha Chaturthi Katha, Ganesha Chalisa, and Aarti, offer Arghya to the Moon by keeping your eyes down.

5. On this day, Ganesha Ji is worshipped in the form of Siddhivinayak, and fast is observed.

The Bhog on Ganesha Chaturthi 

After the Sthaapana of Ganesha Ji, he is worshipped with all the rules and regulations daily. Then Bhog is offered to him in the morning and evening. Ganesha Ji loves Modak the most. Hence, he is provided Bhog made of Modak on Ganesha Chaturthi.

Do not witness the Moon on Ganesha Chaturthi Even By Mistake.

Once, while riding on a rat, his Vaahan, he slipped, making the Moon laugh. Ganesha Ji got angry, and in his anger, he gave bane to the Moon, "You will not be able to show your face to anyone, and if someone looks at you, that person will be sinning." After cursing the Moon, Ganesha Ji left from there. The Moon got sad, and he got worried and guilt-ridden, said to himself, "What did I do with the Sarvaguna Sammapan God"? The Gods also got low on the issue of not being able to do look at the Moon. Then, under the supervision of Indra, all the Gods began to worship Gajanan. Being pleased with his worship, Ganesh Ji asked them to put forth their demand. All the Gods said, "Prabhu, it is our request to you; please make the Moon as it was earlier." Ganesha Ji said to the Gods, "I cannot take back my curse, but I can modify it a bit. Anyone who does the Darshan of the Moon on Bhadra, Shukla, Chaturthi deliberately or unknowingly, that person will be cursed, and false accusations will be made on him". If Darshan happens on this day, then to prevent yourself from this sin, read the following manta-  

 ''Singh Prasenamvadhitsingho Jambavta Hatah 

 Sukumarak Maa Rodistava Horsha Syamantak''

The Gods said to the Moon, "You have insulted Ganesha by laughing at him. We, together, have apologized to him for forgiving your sin; pleased by our efforts, Gajanan has greatly reduced the curse by giving the promise of staying invisible only once a year on Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi. You also go to his harbor and acquire his blessings and then provide coolness to the universe".

Perform the Sthaapna of Left Tusked Ganesha Ji 

The direction of Sri Ganesha's tusk has a lot of importance in Sri Ganesha Puja. It is believed that Ganesha with the left trunk should be seated in the house. By doing this, he gets happy immediately while right trunked Ganesha takes time in getting pleased. Therefore, householders should worship Ganesha with the left trunk. 

Why is Ganesha Chaturthi Known As Danda Chauth

Ganesha Ji is considered to be the provider of Riddhi-Siddhi and Wisdom. As per the belief, within Guru-Shishya Parampara, the auspicious beginning of studies occurs with this day. On this day, children play with Danda. Hence, it is known as Danda Chauth in some areas due to this reason. 

Some Interesting Facts About Lord Ganesha 

1. Lord Ganesha is considered the second child of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati.

2. Being the leader of Ganas, he is called Ganapati. 

3. In astrology, Lord Ganesha is called the 'God of Ketu.'

4. His name is 'Gajanan' as he has a face like that of an elephant

5. He has a boon that no worship and no work will be completed without worshiping him. That is why he is called 'Adipujya.'

6. The sect that worships only Lord Ganesha in India is called the 'Ganapataya Sampradaya,' mainly found in Maharashtra.

7. Ganesha Ji is a symbol of the long elephant-like trunk of Mahabudditva.

8. Ganesha Ji has been called Pranava () in Shivmanas Shastra. The upper part is Ganesha's forehead, the lower part is the abdomen, the Chandrabindu laddu, and the Matra is the trunk.

9. Some religious texts state that Ganesha also had a sister named Ashok Sundari.

10. Ganesha Ji has two wives, named Riddhi and Siddhi.

11. Both Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Parvati are Adi Shakti, i.e., Goddess Durga. Goddess Lakshmi is not worshiped without her son Ganesha because the value of Lakshmi can be understood only by the one who has the wisdom, and Ganesha is the symbol of wisdom.

How can Lord Sri Ganesha be Made Happy? 

As soon as the Ganeshotsav begins, efforts to please Sri Ganesha begin to intensify. Sri Ganesha becomes happy with minimal solutions. Know the simplest ways to please Sri Ganesha

1. On Ganesha Chaturthi, the names of Lord Ganesha should be remembered. The Lord gets happy by performing Puja in a temple with all the rules and regulations. 

2. Offer ghee and jaggery as Bhog to Lord Ganesha on this day. After offering the Bhog of Ghee and jaggery, it should be fed to the cow. Doing so brings financial prosperity.

3. If opposing forces inhabit the house, then the Sthaapana of white-colored Ganapati should be done in the temple of the house on the day of Ganesha Chaturthi. It destroys all kinds of evil forces.

4. On this day, Lord Ganesha should be offered Durva. If possible, an idol of Lord Ganesha should be made from Durva and should be worshipped.

5. One should apply Sindoor Tika to Lord Ganesha for sure. After this, tilak should also be put on one's forehead.

3 Interesting Ancient Myths Related to the Birth of Sri Ganesha 

1. According to Varaha Purana, Lord Shiva created Ganesha with five elements. When Lord Shiva was making Ganesha, he found a unique and lovely form. After this, the news was received by the gods. When the gods came to know about Ganesha's structure and uniqueness, they began to fear that he might become the center of attraction for everyone. Lord Shiva sensed this fear, after which he enlarged his stomach and turned his face to an elephant.

2. At the same time, the story in Shivapurana is different from this. According to this, Mata Parvati had applied turmeric on her body. After this, when she removed the turmeric from her body, she made an effigy from it. She later put his life in the effigy. And, hence, Vinayak was born. After this, Goddess Parvati ordered Ganesha to sit at her door and protect her and not let anyone come in. After some time, Shivaji came home, and he said he has to meet Parvati. Ganesha Ji refused this. Shivaji did not know who he was. The two got into a dispute, and that dispute took the form of war. During this, Shivaji took out his Trishul and beheaded Ganesha. When Parvati came to know, she came out and started crying. She told Shiva that you beheaded my son. Shivaji asked how he could be your son; after this, Parvati told Shiva the whole story. Shivaji, while pacifying Parvati, said, that okay, I am pouring my life in him, but I require the head to do that, and the head is required. He asked Garuda Ji to go in the north direction and bring the head of a child whose mother is lying by keeping her back towards the child. Garuda Ji kept wandering, but he could not find any such mother because every mother sleeps by facing her child. Finally, an elephant was seen. The structure of a mother elephant is such that she cannot sleep facing her baby elephant. Garuda Ji brought the head of that baby elephant. Lord Shiva attached that head to the child's body. He poured life into it. He provided him with a name. In this way, Sri Ganesha got the head of the elephant.  

3. It is described in Sri Ganesha Chalisa that Mata Parvati did hard penance to have a son. Pleased with the penance, Sri Ganesha himself took the form of a Brahmin and gave her the boon that without conceiving, Mother, you will acquire a divine and intelligent son. Having said this, he became pleased and arrived as a child in the cradle. Joy prevailed in all four worlds. Lord Shiva and Parvati arranged a huge celebration. Goddesses, gods, Sur, Gandharvas, and sages from every side started arriving to see. Shani Maharaj also came to visit. Mata Parvati urged him to look at the child walking and bless him. Shani Maharaj was trying to avoid seeing the child because of his vision. Mother Parvati felt terrible. She cried at Shanidev that you did not like this festival, did not like the child's arrival. Shani Dev hesitantly went to see the child, but as soon as a little sight of Saturn fell on the child, the child's head flew into the sky. The atmosphere of the festival was transformed into lamentation. Mother Parvati became worried. There was chaos all around. Soon Garuda Ji was asked to bring the best head from all four directions. Garuda Ji got the elephant's head. Shankar Ji took his life by attaching it to the child's body. This head was attached to the body of the child by Shankar Ji, and he poured life into him. In this way, the head of Ganesha Ji was received by an elephant.

Why is the Visarjan of Ganesha Idol Performed

According to religious texts, Sri Ved Vyas narrated Mahabharata Katha to Sri Ganesha from Ganesha Chaturthi for ten consecutive days, written by Sri Ganesha word by word. After ten days, when Ved Vyas Ji opened his eyes, he found that Ganesha's temperature has become very high after ten days of tireless hard work. Immediately Ved Vyas Ji took Ganesha to a nearby lake and cooled him. Therefore, on Chaturdashi, after Ganesha Sthaapana, he is cooled. In the same story, it is also mentioned that to prevent Sri Ganapati Ji's body from becoming warmer, Ved Vyas Ji applied a layered paste of fragrant clay on his body. Ganesha's body got stiff after the paste dried. The dried clay started falling too. Then took him to a cold lake and made him get into the water. Meanwhile, Ved Vyas Ji offered his favorite food to Sri Ganesha for ten days. Since then, symbolically, the Sthaapana and Visarjan of Sri Ganesha idol are done, and it is also customary to offer him a delicious diet for ten days. 

How did a rat become the Vaahan of Ganesha?

His Vaahan is a small mouse as compared to Lord Ganesha's physical structure. Why did Ganesh Ji choose a little creature as his Vaahan? Mooshak also sits on his Dhwaja. Ganesha is the presiding God of wisdom and learning. There is no one more able than him in arguments and debates. His passion is to get to the depth of every single thing or problem, do the research, and conclude. Mooshak is not also far behind in arguments. It cuts and trims every item and is equally active. It gives the message of being alert. Ganesha Ji had considered these qualities only while choosing rat as his Vaahan. Once Lord Ganesha was invited to the ashram of Maharishi Parashar. Crounch stepped into the ashram and destroyed it. Lord Ganesha decided to meet the giant rat and teach him a lesson. He had one of his weapons called 'Pasha,' which looped around Crounch's neck and took him to Ganesha's feet. Concha apologizes and asks Ganesha to accept him as his Vaahan. However, Karuna could not bear the weight of Lord Ganesha, and he requested her to reduce weight and smile. Since then, Mooshak has been the Vaahan of Lord Ganesha. 

These items Must be offered to Ganesha Ji.

Modak: Modak is a special kind of sweet. Ganesha Ji loves it, and if offered Modak, He fulfills the wishes of the devotees. 

Green Durva: Ganesha Ji especially loves green Durva. It is believed that green durva offers freshness and coolness to Him.

Bundi Laddoo: Ganesha Ji also loves Bundi Laddoo. If Bundi Laddoo is offered to Ganapati Ji as Bhog, He blesses His devotees with wealth and prosperity.

Sriphal: Ganesha Ji loves Sriphal among all fruits. Hence, in the Aarti of Gajanan, Sriphal is offered. 

Sindoor: sindoor tilak is applied to him to make Ganesha Ji happy. After applying Sindoor Tilak to Ganapati Ji, we should also apply sindoor tilak to ourselves. 

Red Flowers: Sri Ganesha Ji loves red flowers. Hence, there is a rule of offering red flowers while Ganapati Puja is performed. As per the belief, he gets happy with red flowers without any delay.

Shami Leaves: By offering Shami leaves in Ganesha Puja, there is an increase in wealth and happiness.

Know these Important Rules Before Ganesha Sthaapna

It is said that if the Sthaapana of Ganapati Ji is not done according to rules and regulations, then he does not get seated, nor one acquires his blessings. Know how you can earn Ganapati Bappa's blessings, how you can do his Sthaapana, and what points you must keep in mind: 

1. On Ganesha Chaturthi, one must take a bath, wear clean clothes, and then bring home the Ganesha idol. 

2. Clean the chowki with Gangajal and spread a red or green colored cloth on it.

3.After spreading a cloth, keep Akshat upon it and perform the Sthaapana of Lord Ganesha upon the Akshat.

4. Sprinkle Gangajal over the idol of Lord Ganesha. 

5. Make Lord Ganesha wear the Janeyu and after keeping Akshat on the left side, perform the Sthaapana of the Kalash. Make the symbol of Swastika on the Kalash. 

6. Keep mango leaves on the Kalash, tie a Kalava on a coconut and place it on the Kalash.

7. After the Kalash's Sthaapana and offering Durva to Ganapati Bappa, offer him Bhog consisting of Panchmeva and Modak. 

8. Offer flower-garland, Roli, etc. to Lord Ganesha

8. Now, do Ganapati's Tilak with Roli. After tilak, light up an Akand Diya in front of Ganesha Ji and keep it on the right side.

9. Now, perform Lord Ganesha's Aarti. 

Keep these things in mind During Ganesha Sthaapna. 

1.The Sthaapana of Ganapati Bappa's idol in the east and north direction is considered to be auspicious. It should not be done in the southern and south-west corners by any means. 

2.In the home or office, two idols of Lord Ganesha must not be kept. As per Vastu Shastra, there is a clash between energies, which causes loss of money. 

3.During the Sthaapana of Lord Ganesha, one must keep in mind that the idol's face should not be towards the door. It is said that there are Riddhi, Siddhi, and happiness towards the mouth of Lord Ganesha.

4.The Akand Jyoti should be kept in front of Lord Ganesha till the day of Visarjan 

The Echo of Ganapati Bappa Morya in Maharashtra 

In Maharashtra, special events are held on this day, and the heart gets overwhelmed by seeing the faith in people. On this day, all the devotees carry Ganapati on the foot, chariots, and vehicles, and perform the Visarjan with great pomp and show. They shout slogans, "Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya, Parcha Varshi Laukariya." The meaning is that "O Parampita Ganesha Ji! Mangal Karne Wale, come soon next year." This auspicious festival is a time of great happiness for Hindus. During these ten days of Ganesha-puja, worshiping the selected Yanta with Ganesha-Pratima in Ganpati Puja pleases Ganapati Ji and fills your life with joy, prosperity, and good fortune. It is due to the particular importance of these Yantras, which makes the Pujan very auspicious. Just as Diya, incense, flowers, and prasad are necessary for worshiping through rules, in the same way, you get unique benefits by worshiping these Yantras.

Do's and Dont's On Ganesha Chaturthi

What to Do on Ganesha Chaturthi

1.Perform the Sthapana of Ganesha idol made of clay only and, at the same time, perform the Sthaapana of the Kalash too.  

2. Offer Durva to Ganesha Ji after performing his Sthaapana on this day.

3. Lighten up an Akand Diya after performing the Sthaapana of Ganesha Ji, which should keep burning till Ganesha Visarjan.

4.You should worship Lord Ganesh both in the morning and evening after the Sthaapana of Ganesha.

5. On Ganesha Chaturthi, do offer Modak to Lord Ganesha twice a day. 

6. You should only use marigold flowers in the Puja of Ganesha Ji.

7.After the Sthaapana of Ganesha Ji, do keep betel- nut in Ganesha Puja as it is considered extremely important.

8. You should take care of an elephant and feed it grass from Ganesha Chaturthi to Ganesha Visarjan. 

9. Anything you offer as Bhog on Ganesha Chaturthi must be distributed among the poor in the form of Prasad.

What not to do on Ganesha Chaturthi

1. Do not do the Sthaapana of Lord Ganesha in the west and south direction on Ganesha Chaturthi. 

2. You should not use Tulsi in Ganesha Puja.

3. You should not forget to visit Ganesha Ji's back on Ganesha Chaturthi

4. You should also not have Chandra Darshan in the evening time on Ganesha Chaturthi.

5. Abstain from using garlic and onions at home, from Ganesha Chaturthi to Ganesha Visarjan.

6.When you perform Ganesha Sthaapan, you ought to take care that there isn't any fight at home. 

7. Neither you should say ill words to anyone on Ganesha Chaturthi and nor you should speak against anyone behind their back.

8. Avoid committing any mistakes in Puja from Ganesha Chaturthi to Ganesha Visarjan. You need to take special care of this thing. 

9. Do not bully or kill any animal on Ganesha Chaturthi.

10. Do not insult any Brahmin or poor person at all on Ganesha Chaturthi.

If any devotee merely takes the name of Sri Ganesha with devotion, then all his/her wishes come true for sure. Worship Ganesha Ji, following all the regulations, and offer him his likable items. Thus, it helps in acquiring fruits as per the desires. Although Ganesha Ji is considered to be innocent, certain precautions must be followed while worshipping him. Devotees should not do anything which would make Ganpati Bappa angry.

Ganesha Ji Might Get Angry by these things:

Do not do Darshan of Ganesha Ji's back:

As per the Shastras, by doing Sri Ganesha's Darshan, all the tasks get fulfilled. All the parts of the universe are inside him. However, doing the Darshan of Ganesh Ji's back is strictly prohibited. Poverty resides in Ganesha Ji's back. Hence, Darshan of Ganapati Ji's physical back should not be done. If it happens by mistake, an apology should be sought from Ganesha Ji.

Do not Use Tulsi

Tulsi should not be used by mistake as well, in the Puja of Ganesha Ji. It might make Sri Ganesha Ji angry. It is believed that Tulsi Ji wished to marry Sri Ganesha, and when Ganesha Ji denied, she cursed Him with a bane. Along with the Puja of Ganesha Ji, wife Riddhi-Siddhi and son Shubh-Labh should be worshipped. Giving space to rats at the puja place, Ganesha Ji gets pleased by the devotees. 

Perform the Visarjan of the old idol 

If you are doing the Sthaapana of Ganesha idol at home, you must perform the Visarjan of the old Pratima. As per the shastras, three idols of Ganesha should not be kept at home. It is also believed that, during Anant Chaturdashi, the Visarjan of this idol should not be done. The Sthaapana of this idol is done on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapada, 

What to consume on Fast and what should be avoided?

During Ganeshotsav, some people observe fast for the entire ten days. However, they fail to take care of their health, due to which they face the problems of vomiting, acidity, and indigestion. During the fast, have the juices of sweet lemon or orange and eat papaya. It will enable the body to have the energy for the whole day. Have a heavy fruit diet in the morning between 7-8 and eat light at night. You can have Kuttu Atta or the chappatis/parathas made of Singadha Atta or Rajagir Atta instead of having sabudana khichdi or Atta Halwa. Avoid having fried items during fast. Apart from this, avoid excessive tea and coffee. There might be discomfort in terms of lower sugar levels or low blood pressure during fast. Hence, keep eating at regular intervals. If you have chronic kidney disease, avoid sendha salt as it can be harmful due to potassium. 

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals. 

Gandhi Jayanti
02 Oct, 2021

Gandhi Ji was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar in Gujarat. The birth of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi is observed across the country with great pomp on October 2. Various functions are organized in schools and offices across the country on the occasion of Bapu's birthday. Bapu's full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Bapu, who got freedom for the country based on the non-violence movement, is still alive in the people's hearts. Gandhiji also went to prison many times for the independence of the country. Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in a place known as Porbandar, in Gujarat. He left for London to study law and to become a barrister. Also, Gandhi received a barrister's degree after completing his studies in London. When Gandhiji returned to India, the country's situation touched him much, and he fought a long war for the country's independence. Due to Gandhiji's efforts, today we are free.

Bapu's contribution in liberating the country is enormous. Along with remembering him, they also recall his method. Gandhiji started such a massive movement of the country with non-violence, truth, and peace. Bapu has got the country free with the help of these principles. Gandhiji believed that the British could dominate India because of the latter the support of Indians. The British ruled India only. Apart from that, they got financial help from Indians only, and Gandhiji took advantage of this situation. Gandhiji requested the entire country to boycott English products altogether. It benefitted the Indians and posed a loss to the British.

Gandhiji believed that the British could dominate in India because they got the support of Indians. The British ruled India only. Besides, they used to get financial help from Indians only. The benefit of which Gandhi Ji took advantage of well. Gandhiji requested the entire country to boycott English products altogether. Which benefited India, and the British suffered a significant loss.

Bapu had started many movements, and all of them were for the country's independence, which was successful. It can be inferred that the beginning of the first movement happened in 1919. In 1919, there was a movement against the Jallianwala Bagh scandal in which the countrymen gave full support to Bapu. After that, Gandhiji started the Salt Satyagraha, which was successful. Salt Satyagraha was the most successful. This movement is also known as Dandi Yatra. The journey lasted for 26 days, which started on March 12, 1930, and ended on April 6, 1930, in Dandi's coastal village.

Gandhiji's movements started with some people. But as these campaigns went on, more people began to join them. One example of such a campaign is the salt movement, which started with a few people, but the whole country later got included in it. The entire country was ready to follow Gandhiji's guidance. The Salt March's primary purpose was to stand against the English tax system. Due to this, the lives of Indians had become difficult. Due to this movement, many arrests also took place. However, the British could not stop this movement, and this movement was a massive success because the British realized that their rule was getting weak. 

The British were also forced to think that they found it challenging to face the non-violence movement witnessing every campaign's success. The British began to feel that it was easier to confront the violent reaction. The British government was able to see it losing its rule. For the first time, the whole country was fighting for independence in unison that too based on non-violence. Women also became a part of the country's freedom movement because women also got freedom for themselves. Mahatma Gandhi was the man who decided to liberate the whole country and started the campaign. He told the entire country that every fight is not loaded with blood. The war can also be performed by following non-violence, even if it is a fight to liberate the country. 

2. Why is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated in October?

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated annually on October 2. Gandhiji was born on October 2. This day is also observed as World Non-Violence Day. Gandhi Ji is famous worldwide for his non-violent movement. This day is celebrated to acknowledge him globally. Gandhiji believed that non-violence is a philosophy, a principle, and an experience based on building a better society.

3. How is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated?

On Gandhi Jayanti, people offer homage in front of the Gandhi statue in Rajghat, New Delhi. This day is has been declared as a national holiday. Prayers are offered at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi by the President and Prime Minister of India. The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is observed with joy in all schools and offices.

4. About Mahatma Gandhi

National father Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. His full name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mohandas was married to Kasturba at the age of 13. Gandhi went to England to study law. After four years, he returned to India after completing his studies and practiced here for a few days but got no success.

Meanwhile, he got an opportunity to travel to South Africa. He also faced racial discrimination in South Africa. While traveling on a first-class train in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi was thrown out of the coach by an Englishman with luggage.

In this way, he formed the Indian Congress against inhuman treatment and discrimination against Indians living in South Africa. During the struggle for the rights of Indians in South Africa, Gandhi also began to use the principles of self-purify and Satyagraha, which were part of his broader vision of non-violence. He united Indian workers, mining laborers, and agricultural laborers in South Africa and raised his voice against British rule injustice. After spending twenty-one years in South Africa, Gandhi came back to India in 1915.

Gandhi had a pivotal role in the Indian freedom struggle. After returning to India, Gandhi led several movements for the independence of the country. He was a skilled politician who fought for India's liberation from the English state and raised his voice for the rights of poor Indians. He roamed around the country and made people aware of his patriotism. The whole world remembers himself as a priest of non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi became the popular Father of Indians due to his simple life and high ideals. During the war for independence, Gandhiji was forced to leave India on August 15, 1947, due to various movements, such as civil disobedience, the British leaving India, and visiting Dandi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was killed on January 30, 1948, by Nathuram Godse. Godse was a part of the Hindu Mahasabha. He accused Mahatma Gandhi of favoring Pakistan and opposed the principle of non-violence.

5 Interesting Facts Related to Mahatma Gandhi

1. Mahatma Gandhi left for London to study law and to become a barrister. After completing studies in London, he obtained a barrister's degree but was unsuccessful in the first debate in the Bombay High Court.

2. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, one of the world's largest mobile companies, wore round glasses to honor Gandhiji.

3. There are more than 50 roads on Mahatma Gandhi's name, excluding small roads in India. Also, there are about 60 roads abroad in the name of Gandhiji.

4. Mahatma Gandhi was selected for the Nobel Prize 5 times, but he did not receive the Nobel Prize even once.

5. Bapu used to walk 18 km daily.

6. How Gandhiji came to be known as 'Mahatma' and 'Father of the Nation':

On January 12, 1918, Rabindranath Tagore was addressed to Gurudev in a letter written by Gandhi.

Tagore addressed Gandhi for the first time in a letter written on April 12, 1919, to the 'Mahatma.'

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose first addressed him as the Nation's Father in his speech broadcast from Radio Singapore on July 6, 1944. It is also said that Netaji had earlier addressed Gandhiji as "father of the country" on June 4, 1944, in a message broadcasted from Azad Hind Radio Rangoon.

On Gandhi's death, Pandit Nehru addressed the Nation on radio and said, "The father of the nation is no more."

7. Mahatma Gandhi's five movements Helped India in Getting Freedom

The First Satyagraha campaign was against the Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act in 1906. In 1920 he became a part of the Indian National Congress Party and, on January 26, 1930, declared India's independence from British rule. After this, in 1917, he introduced many movements such as Champaran Satyagraha, Non-Cooperation Movement. It was because of these movements that India got independence from the British Raj. Read here these movements run by Gandhiji:

Champaran Satyagraha: Champaran in Bihar was the first Satyagraha under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1917, after reaching Champaran in Bihar, he organized a satyagraha to support farmers who were forced to plant indigo and other cash crops and not food grains.

8. Mahatma Gandhi- The Hero of Peace 

The day of October 2 provides another opportunity for a grateful nation to remember the Father of the Nation's teachings. The arrival of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi in the Indian political scene offers ample reason for making a lot of people happy and attracting thousands of Indians and with it the main reason for cheering his life-vision, which later on Called Gandhi Darshan. It is even more surprising that Gandhiji's personality made a place in the hearts of millions of his countrymen. In later times, many people across the world were attracted to his ideology.

9. The Celebration at the Schools and Colleges 

Various activities such as drama, sports, and speech reading are organized in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions on non-violence and Gandhi's efforts in the Indian freedom struggle. Other exciting activities like essay writing competition, Mahatma Gandhi slogan competition, Gandhi Jayanti speech competition, quiz competition, and painting competitions are always organized for various institutions.

Awards are also rewarded to the best performers for the competitions mentioned above. Besides, schools and colleges are decorated with Gandhiji's photo posters, Mahatma Gandhi slogans, and Gandhi Jayanti images. Apart from this, young children dress up like Gandhi.

Gandhi remains an ideal and inspiring leader for the youth forever. Like Nelson Mandela, James Lawson praised Gandhi's principle of non-violence for freedom and liberty.

Gandhiji did a great job in achieving Swaraj. He also improved the peasants' economic condition. He eliminated other social evils like untouchability or society's untouchability. She also supported women's empowerment.

Gandhiji has led various movements like the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920), Dandi March (1930), and Quit India Movement (1942). All these movements were highly successful and also supported by the youth.

10. Role of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian National Movement for Independence

One of the most significant and most successful movements under the supervision of Gandhiji was the Champaran movement. When Mahatma Gandhi returned to India, he saw so many problems the farmers of India were facing.

Champaran is a small district located in North Bihar whereas, farmers were forced to cultivate indigo on their little pieces. Farmers suffered heavy losses by growing indigo on their fertile lands.

Gandhi also led the struggle for poor farmers to increase their wages and was successful in it. There was a 35% increase in wages after the movement. In 2007, the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti was declared the "International Day of Non-Violence" by the United Nations General Assembly. He died on January 30, 1948, due to the attack of Hindu nationalist Nathu Ram Godse.

11. Conclusion

The purpose of celebrating Gandhi Jayanti is to spread the philosophy, principles, and precious ideas of Mahatma Gandhi to the people and instill a sense of non-violence and trust in people across the world. In these ways, we pay our heartfelt tribute to our great leader every year. We remember Bapu for his great deeds on every Gandhi Jayanti.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals. 

Dussehra
15 Oct, 2021

All the festivals observed in India give the message of victory of good over evil in one form or the other, but, in actuality, the festival that is majorly known for this message is Dussehra. Precisely twenty days before Diwali. According to the Panchag, the Dashami of the Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month is celebrated nationwide as Vijayadashami or Dussehra. Dussehra is one of the pivotal festivals of the Hindus. This festival narrates the story of Lord Sri Rama, who defeated arrogant Ravana in Lanka after the nine days war and got Mother Sita released from his clutches. On the same day, Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura. Hence, it is celebrated as Vijayadashami.

Devi Durga is also worshipped. It is said that Lord Sri Rama also worshipped Goddess Durga and asked for strength. In examining Lord Sri Rama, Goddess Durga removed one Lotus flower from the flowers that were kept for the Puja. Sri Rama is known as Rajivanyan, meaning having lotus-like eyes. So, he decided to give away one of his eyes as an offering to the Goddess. The moment he was about to pull out his eye, Goddess Durga was pleased; she came in front of them and blessed him to be victorious. It is believed that after this, on Dashami, Lord Rama killed Ravana. This festival of Lord Rama's victory over Ravana and Goddess Durga over Mahishasura is celebrated all over the country as the victory of good over evil and Dharma over Adharma. Different styles of celebrating it have also evolved in other parts of the country. The Dussehra of Kullu is very famous nationwide; Durga Puja is also celebrated on a large scale in many states, including West Bengal, Tripura.

Importance of Vijayadashami/Dussehra

The festival of Vijayadashami / Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of good behavior over wrong behavior. Dussehra is observed as a victory celebration, but the beliefs behind the celebrations vary. For example, for farmers, it is the celebration of the arrival of new crops. In ancient times, tools and weapons were worshiped on this day because, in mythological times, people used to consider tools and weapons as victories won in war. Still, the main reason behind all this is the "victory of good over evil." In the present times, it is the symbol of the victory of good over evil. Nowadays, vile can be in any form like anger, lies, hatred, jealousy, sadness, etc. We should celebrate the day of Vijayadashami / Dussehra by destroying the evil inside us so that one day we can rule on all our senses. 

Vijayadashmi: Know What is Written in Ramacharitra Manas

The festival of Vijayadashami celebrated every year should not just be considered a battle of Ram-Ravana. The messages hidden in this festival symbolizing the triumph of good over evil can provide directions to society. MahapanditDashanan himself knew very well that his life was to be saved by Rama. On the other hand, MaryadaPurushottam Ram has also bowed down to the wisdom of Ravana.

While Rama's character is beautifully described in the Ramcharitra Manas, we also see the shadow of pride in Ravana's way of leading his life and wisdom. Ravana was mighty along with being wise, but this pride was crushed by Bali and kept him buried in his Kokh for six months. 

Ravana, who ruled over a small Lanka area, also betrayed his brother Kubera and captured Pushpak Vimana. Due to all these evils, he had to go to Mrityu Lok. We celebrate the festival by burning an ego's effigy every year, but we are not ready to renounce our ego. What kind of Vijayadashami festival is this?

Awakening of the hidden consciousness in us and renouncing issues is the predominant message of the Vijayadashami festival. Today, we are too caught up in the web of problems to offer the right direction to our consciousness and energy. Lord Rama was born only to provide a happy life to the people troubled by Ravana.

We all know that Rama was born in the Kshatriya family. In contrast, Ravana was a Brahmin and was the son of the great Vishwa, the Vedas and Puranas sage. Ravana's grandfather Rishi Pulatsya was also considered as significant as a God. During the Rama-Ravana war, there was sympathy for Ravana somewhere in Rama's heart.

Maryada Purushottam knew that killing a Brahmin is a sinful act. Hence, he made an atonement for killing Brahmins after killing Ravana and prayed that considering his sin was necessary for protecting the ordinary people; God should release him from this sin.

In today's era, it is also worth knowing that Lord Rama himself sent his younger brother Laxman to Ravana to seek knowledge after Ravana's death. Still, Ravana, who was breathing his last breath, did not even look at Laxman. Later, MaryadaPurushottam himself requested to impart knowledge by folding hands at Ravana's feet, and Ravana renounced his ego and imparted his substantial understanding.

Dussehra or Vijayadashami festival is a message to stay away from ten kinds of great sins. This victory festival motivates us to stay away from kaam, anger, greed, Moh, intoxication, matsar, pride, laziness, violence, and theft and stay away from these bad habits. If we burn these ten sins with fire while enthusiastically burning the effigy of Ravana, then our victorious festival can be justified.

Only the cultural programs such as jumping, dancing, singing, fireworks should not be considered symbols of the Vijayadashami festival. The message in the festival's depth should reach the people, and peace and happiness should shower from one house to another. This is the message of this festival. The planets' position has been the dominant reason behind the Dussehra festival's name as Vijaya Dashami.

According to the Shastras, the Muhurt, which occurs at the time of Shukra's rise during the tenth day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha, is called Vijay Muhurt in astrology. If we believe in astrology, then that period of Shukra's elevation is considered to be Sarva Siddhi Dayak. That is why the Dussehra festival is known as Vijay Dashami.

On Dussehra's pure occasion, the tradition of exchanging Son leaf or leaves of Shami tree has been going on for a long time. There is a story hidden behind this tradition. It is believed that when Lord Sri Rama was passing through this tree during the time of Lanka gaman, it was this Shami tree that declared His victory. 

It is said that Arjuna had hidden his bow on this same Shami tree in the fourteenth year of the unknown exile. Even today, at the Dussehra festival, followers of Hindu Dharma request Ravana to impart knowledge by acquiring the leaves of the Shami tree and folding hands at the feet of Ravana.

Whatever may be the reason for celebrating Vijay Dashami, it is sure that this festival seems to destroy pride and provide directions to conduct behavior as per the culture. Adopting good behavior and offering Tilanjali to the evil prevailing in your heart and soul can be called Vijayadashami.

Dussehra Has Huge Importance From Religious Point of View 

It is believed that beginning any auspicious work at this time results in acquiring good results. On the day of Dussehra, weapons are worshiped in the Kshatriya clan with rules and regulations. On this day, Brahmins worship the Devi of knowledge, Goddess Saraswati. On this day, Vaishyas venerate their budget books. Ravana, a symbol of evil, is also burnt in different parts of the country. Lord Rama killed Ravana of Lanka. However, Ravana still exists in society in forms like inflation, corruption, adultery, dishonesty, violence, discrimination, jealousy, environmental pollution, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation. So, on this day, all these evils should also be removed from within the mind. 

Hence, it is known as Vijaya Dashami and Dussehra.

According to the legend, Ravana abducted Mata Sita. When Ravana could abduct the queen Mata Sita, imagine the other women's plight at that time. Lord Rama challenged the unrighteous and unjust Ravana to fight and fought with Ravana for ten days to protect the female fraternity's honor and dignity. On the day of Ashwin Shukla Dashami, Lord Rama killed Ravana with a Divya weapon from mother Durga. The end of Ravana was the end of the ten-headed Ravana. It was celebrated as a celebration of the victory of justice and truth over untruth. Rama was victorious over Ravana. Hence this Tithi was called Vijaya Dashami. With ten heads, Ravana was defeated on this day, so this day is also called Dussehra and Dashara in the common language.

Goddess Durga has made this Tithi as Vijayadashami. 

The middle Charitra of Durga Saptashati tells the story of Goddess Durga and Mahishasura's killing encounter. This demon drove out the gods from heaven also. There was turbulence on the Earth due to his atrocities. The Goddess made the Earth free from the burden of sin by killing Mahishasura on Ashwin Shukla Dashami Tithi. Pleased with the Goddess's victory, the gods worshipped Vijaya Devi, and this Tithi is called Vijaya Dashami.

The victory of truth in the time of Mahabharata 

Before the Mahabharata war, there was another Mahyuddh, which was fought by Arjuna alone. On one side, there was a massive army of Kauravas, and on the other side, Arjuna stood alone. This war is recorded in history with the name of the battle of Virat. In the last days of his unknown condition, Arjuna fought this war for Maharaja Virat, whose kingdom he had spent his exile. This was the victory of the Pandavas' Dharma over the untruth of the Kauravas. Dussehra is also celebrated in the form of Vijayadashami due to the success of the Pandavas. 

Dussehra got its name as Vijaya Dashami because of this Goddess. 

The nine forms of Maa Durga are worshiped during the nine days of Navratri. But the worship of the Goddess is not considered complete without the worship of Yoginis. Therefore, in the Vijaya Nakshatra, the Goddess's Yogini Jaya and Vijaya Ashwin Shukla occur on the Dashami Tithi. These two yoginis are unvanquishable; no one can defeat them, so they are also worshiped as Aparajita Devi. Dussehra is called Vijaya Dashami because of the worship of Vijaya Devi on DashmiTithi. 

Festival is being celebrated since ancient times. 

In ancient times Rajaghana Dussehra used to be celebrated as Vijaya festival. On this day, King prayed to Vijaya Goddess and leave for the Rana Yatra. On the day of Vijayadashami, kings attacked the kings of other countries to extend their rule area.

Importance of the day of Dussehra

It is believed that if you begin a new work on this day, it proves to be beneficial, and it is auspicious to buy vehicles, jewelry, and other items; this increases the house's progress. With this, worship of Lord Shiva offers several benefits manifold, and on this day, the work can be taken forward by praying for victory and success is achieved.

Dussehra Puja Essentials

Dussehra Idol 

Cow Dung, Lime 

Tilak, Mauli, Rice, and Flowers 

Navaratri-grown Barley

Bananas, Radish, Gwarfali, Jaggery 

Kheer, Puri, and your books 

Dussehra Puja Vidhi 

Bath early in the morning, and after that, make a Dussehra idol with wheat or lime. After this, make nine cow dung balls. Now make two bowls from cow dung and keep some coins in one bowl; in the other, keep Roli, rice, fruit, and barley. After this:

Start the Puja with water.

Offer roli, rice, flowers, and barley.

Offer banana, radish, gwarfali, jaggery, and rice to the idol.

After this:

Offer incense and Diya to the idol and offer flowers, barley, roli, and rice to the books too.

After this, remove the coins from the cow dung bowl and keep it in a safe place.

Offer food to Brahmins and poor, offer Dakshina, and after Ravana, Dehan, distribute the Sona leaf and bow down to the elders and the relatives of the house and meet each other. 

Sri Rama Raksha StotraPaath

Suppose you are suffering from any demonic effects. If an unrighteous person is bothering you, then do the path of Sri Rama Raksha Stotra on this day. If there is any fear in your conscious, then perform BanglamukhiAnushthan on the day of Vijayadashami. You will be benefitted. Rama is a Dharmagya. He is Dharamvatsal. Rama is Devakalpa. He lives the Truth of consciousness, speech, and Karma. Rama is Vishnu in might. He is Earth in forgiveness. In truth, he is Sakshat Dharma. Today is his day of worship, and also it is the day of learning from the character of Rama.

Importance of Shastra Puja 

On Vijayadashami, weapons are also worshiped to win over the enemy. Here Shastra is the weapon. Worship your Vedas, Gita, and Ramayana on this day because these are your real weapons that will defeat both your inner enemies and external enemies. Vijayadashami comes immediately after the worship of female power. Its philosophical meaning is that without Naari Puja or the Matra Puja of the Naari, we cannot win over the enemy. Worship Sri Rama on the day of Mahaparava of this Vijayadashami. Get done the Akand Path of Sri Ramacharit Manas. Get done the Akand Kirtan of Sita Rama.

There is also a provision of other pujas on this day, which are mentioned below.

1. When sunset occurs, and some stars start appearing in the sky, this period is called Vijay Muhurta. Performing any puja or work at this time helps in acquiring good results. It is said that Lord Sri Rama started the war to defeat the evil Ravana in this Muhurta only. During this time only, a tree named Shami took the form of a bow called Gandiva of Arjuna. 

2. Dussehra is considered one of the purest days of the year. It is one of the three and a half Muhurats (the most auspicious time of the year - Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, Ashwin Shukla Dashmi, Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya, and Kartik Shukla Pratipada (Aadha Muhurta)). This period is suitable for starting anything. However, some nischchit Muhurta may also be meant for special worship. 

3. Kshatriyas, warriors, and soldiers worship their weapons on this day; This Puja is also known in the form of Ayudh/ Shastra Puja. They, too, do Shami-Pujan on this day. In ancient times, this worship was considered to be the main for the Kshatriyas for the monarchy. In ancient times, for Rajashahi, this Puja was supposed to be pivotal for the Kshatriyas. 

4. Brahmins worship Goddess Saraswati on this day

5. Vaishyas worship their notebook. 

6. The Navaratri Ramleela, which takes place in many places, also ends today. 

7. The victory of Lord Rama is celebrated by burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghnath.

8. There is a belief that it is considered sacred to chant the aparajita of Mother Bhagwati Jagadamba.

9. In Bengal, the festival of Goddess Durga Puja is celebrated lavishly.

Dussehra is also called Vijayadashami or Ayudhapuja. Dussehra is a very auspicious Tithi. There is SarvakaryaSarvasiddhi Vijaya Muhurt on. That is why there is immense benefit in starting any religious work or new work. At the same time, weapons are also worshipped on Dussehra. Also, many such tasks pave the way for happiness and peace prevailing at home throughout the year, along with massive financial earning. Come, let us know what those works are: 

Worshiping Shami's wood with sweet curd on Dussehra with Aparajita mantras leads to success and progress in the presence of that Siddha Kashth in that pivotal period. The members of the house are blessed with the grace of the gods and goddesses.

You can also make a secret donation after Lanka Dehen on Dussehra. On this day, you can keep a new broom in a temple where no one can see you. This private donation will remove all your money related problems.

You can also make a secret donation after Lanka Dehen on Dussehra. On this day, you can keep a new broom in a temple where no one can see you. This private donation will remove all your money related problems. (This point has been repeated. Please see to this)

It is a belief to worship the Shami tree on Dussehra. On this day, if you worship the Shami tree and burn a Diya of desi ghee beneath it in the evening, then doing this will be auspicious for you. It is believed that this gives success in matters of court and legality. 

On the day of Dussehra, you take a piece of alum and make all the family members touch it. Then take it to the roof of the house and stand on the opposite side of where you wish to throw it. Then throw it while meditating the name of your Ishtadeva. By doing this, the house's negative energy is destroyed, and prosperity arrives; religious beliefs say so. 

After doing Puja on the day of Dussehra, to get success in jobs and business, distribute ten fruits among the poor and chant the Mantra Om VijayaayoNamah. Through this, your wish will get fulfilled. 

According to astrologers, the left-over wood after Ravana Dehen should be brought into the house and kept in a safe place. Through this, negative energy does not enter the house. Also, no performs tantra-mantra at home. On the day of Dussehra, Lord Rama was victorious over Ravana. It is also the end of Navratri, and on this day, the Visarjan of Devi's idol also takes place. On this day, weapons are worshiped, and the victory festival is celebrated. If some special rituals are done on this day, then a lot of wealth can be acquired.

Who should be worshipped on Dussehra, and what will be the benefit?

  • On this day, Mahishasurmardini Maa Durga and Lord Rama should be honored.
  • Through this, all the obstacles will get destroyed, and victory will be acquired in life.
  • Worshipping weapons today will not protect you, and those weapons will not harm you. 
  • By worshipping Goddess today, you can start any new work. 
  • Dussehra Puja is unique when it comes to keeping the Navagraha in control 

Which Mantra should be chanted for victory?

"SriyamRamam, JayamRamam, DwirjayamRammiryet. 

TrayodashaksharoMantrah, SarvasidhhikarahSthitah. 

Celebrate Dussehra on the culmination of Navaratri 

  • First worship the Goddess and then worship Sri Rama
  • Chant the mantras of the Goddess and Sri Rama
  • If you have kept Kalash, then remove the coconut and consume it as Prasad. 
  • Sprinkle water of the Kalash in the entire house so that negativity can get destroyed

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Durga Visarjan
15 Oct, 2021

The Durga Puja festival ends with the Visarjan of Ma Durga. The Durga VisarjanMuhurat begins in the morning or afternoon when Vijayadashami begins. Therefore, when the Vijayadashami occurs in the morning or afternoon, then the idol of Maa Durga should be immersed. For many years, Visarjan has been done in the morning time. However, the best time for Ma Durga's Visarajan is when the Shravan Nakshatra and Dashami Tithi occur together in the afternoon. Durga Puja is a religious festival in India celebrated grandly by the Hindu religion throughout the world. Durga Puja lasts for nine days, and some people celebrate it for five or seven days. People start worshiping the idol of Goddess Durga Devi on Shashti and end it on Dashami with Ma Durga's Visarjan. Durga Puja is also known as Durga Utsav or Navratri. The festival of Durga Puja is widely celebrated in Assam, Orissa, Bengal, Jharkhand, Manipur, and Tripura, India. Apart from Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated in the name of Navratri Puja in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, etc. India. Durga Puja or Navratri Puja is celebrated twice a year in the month of Chaitra and Ashwin.

Durga Puja is an important Hindu festival that has religious, philosophical, cultural, and worldly importance. People start the worship of Ma Durga with Shashti and end it on Dashami. All the temples are decorated during these days, and the whole ambiance gets devotional and pious. Some people worship all the nine forms of Ma Durga with all the arrangements in their homes and observe fast. We worship female power in the form of Durga Puja. In many places, fairs are organized during this festival.

What is the Importance of Durga Visarjan During Navaratri? 

Visarjan has particular importance in our Sanatan tradition. Visarjan means perfection, the perfection of life, spiritual meditation, or Nature. When an entity gains completion, it must be necessarily immersed, or its visarjan has to be done.

In the spiritual arena, Visrajan does not stand for an end but completion. This is the only main reason behind Ma Durga's Visarjan. We make Goddess's statue as soon as the Sharadiya Navratri starts and then decorate it with clothes and ornaments. We worship the same idol for nine days with full devotion, and then one day, we perform its visarjan.

The tradition of Visarjan is followed only in our Sanatan Dharma. This tradition involves a lot of courage. Sanatana Dharma believes that a form is only the beginning, and completion is always formless. Here, the meaning of the formless is not shapeless, but in being an all-encompassing form. The formless means all the forms of the universe belong to one God. 

Being formless does not mean limiting to one form but to represent all forms. When a devotee completes the spiritual meditation, she/he goes beyond any form or rituals. Hence, all the legendary people have said, "Chaap Tilak Sab Cheeni, ToseNainaMilayke."

The nine days of Navratri symbolize the fact that we should not limit ourselves to worshipping one form. Instead, we must complete our spiritual meditation, immerse our deity so that it can attain formlessness. When the devotee attains such a formless state, then he can witness it in the entire universe. You can give any nomenclature to this formlessness; it will not have any impact on its formlessness. At this stage of spirituality, we get reminded of SarvaKhalvidamBrahm; this is the only truth of God.

How did Durga Puja Begin? History of Durga Puja

In the 17th and 18th centuries, zamindars and rich people organized Durga puja on a vast scale, where everyone gathered under one roof to worship Goddess Durga. For example, Achala Puja is very famous in Kolkata, which was started by landlord Laxmikant Majumdar in 1610 from 33 Raja Nabakrishna Road of Chhoti Rajbari, Kolkata's Sobha Bazaar, which got mainly began in 1757. Not only this, the idol of Ma Durga used to be set in the pandals outside Bengal, and She used to be worshipped grandly.

Myths related to Durga Puja

It is believed that Goddess Durga killed the demon named Mahishasura on this day, who became very powerful after getting Vardaan of Lord Brahma. Lord Bramha gave Mahishasura the Vardaan that no god or demon can defeat him. After getting this Vardaan, he started troubling the Gods in heaven and terrorized the people on the Earth too. He made a random attack in heaven and defeated Indra, and began ruling heaven. All the Gods became worried and approached the Trimurti Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh for their help. All the gods fought together to defeat him but in vain. When no solution could be found, the Gods created Goddess Durga for his destruction. She is also known as Shakti and Parvati. Goddess Durga fought with Mahishasura for nine days and killed him on the tenth day. On this occasion, Hindus celebrate the festival of Durga Puja, and the tenth day is known as Vijayadashami.

Durga Puja is the celebration of the will to amass all the power to remove all the evil. People believe that Goddess Durga will bless them and keep them away from all problems and negative energy. Every festival of Hinduism has a social reason behind it. Durga Puja is a festival that plays an essential role in filling our lives with positive energy and happiness.

Ritual of Visarjan

After Kanya Pujan, take a flower and a few rice grains in the palm and take a pledge.

Take the coconut placed in the container as a prasad itself and offer it to the family.

Sprinkle the container's holy water in the entire house, and then the whole family must consume it as a Prasad.

Keep the coins in your bowl; you can keep them in your savings container too.

Distribute betel nut as prasad in the family.

Now, organize Mata ki Chowki at home and keep the Singasan again at its place in the temple.

Women of the household can make use of saris and jewelry etc.

Place the idol of Shri Ganesh at His place in the temple of the house.

Distribute all the fruits and sweets in the family as an offering.

Collect rice on the Chowki and the lid of the container. Offer them to the birds. 

Bow down in front of Ma Durga's idol or photo and seek her blessings. Also, seek the blessings of the container in which you had sown jowar and other Puja essentials. Then, perform the ritual of Visarjan in a river, lake, or sea.

Give away a coconut, Dakshina, and clothes of the Chowki to a Brahmin after Visarjan. 

Keep these points in mind while performing Visarjan

It is considered very auspicious to perform Visarjan in a river or lake. Immerse the mother's statue, container, or Jawar with full faith. All the Puja essentials should also be immersed in the holy waters.

Take care of Ma Durga's idol while taking Her for Visarjan in the same way you had taken care of Her when you brought Her. No harm should be caused to the Divine Ma Durga's idol before Visarjan. Proper Aarti should be performed before Ma Durga's Visarjan.

The divine light of Aarti should be received as the blessings of Ma Durga and as pure Prasad. It is considered auspicious to donate a coconut, Dakshina, and clothes of the Chowki to a Brahmin after Visarjan.

Why do we perform Ma Durga’s Visarjan

It is believed that a daughter is ParayaDhan. She needs to leave her maternal house and head forth to live with her husband in his house, which is her Sasural. Daughters visit their maternal house like guests after marriage. This is an ancient tradition. Even Ma Durga visits her maternal home on this Earth and her children, and after spending a few days, she goes back to Lord Shiva, to her Sasural.

After rains, in September and October, the crop is ready for the harvest. The farmers complete their duties and responsibilities by bringing the produce to their homes and cleaning the factories to store them. At this juncture, the wives of the farmers visit their maternal homes along with their children, spend some happy times, and go back to their Sasural. The women are sent back from the maternal homes with blessings and goodwill. 

Similarly, along with her children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Karthik, and Ganesha, Mother Durga comes to her home to spend four days on the Earth, and then she goes to her Sasural to Lord Shiva. This moment is celebrated as Visarjan wherein the devotees perform Visarjan of the idol according to tradition. Mother Durga is fully adorned before the Visarjan. Women apply vermilion to each other's Maang and chudas as a sign of prosperity. 

This festival has special importance in Bengal, where it is called SindoorKhela. This vermilion symbolizes the long life of the husbands. This ritual creates an ambiance of joy and happiness, and then after some time, everyone gets emotional during the time of Ma Durga's Visarjan. The Pandal ambiance suddenly changes, and everyone sings the songs of Ma Durga's departure, "Ma CholecheSoshur Bari," meaning Ma Durga is heading towards her Sasural. She will again visit us in the coming year. She is sent to her Sasural through the process of Visarjan.

SindoorKhela

SindoorKhela, during Durga Puja, is a unique ritual that is celebrated in West Bengal. The ritual of SindoorKhela is performed before Durga Visarjan on Vijayadashami. On this occasion, married women apply vermilion to each other and wish each other goodwill. The sindoor festival is also known as sindoorkhela.

Why is the idol of Ma Durga Made with the soil of Sonagachi?

India is a country of festivals. Every province has its festivals. Durga Puja is a festival that fills all the people living in Bengal with energy and enthusiasm.

Durga Puja is an essential festival of the Bengalis. This festival lasts for four days. The preparations begin in advance. During the festival, pandals are installed, and cultural programs are arranged. People buy new clothes. Durga Puja has been significant in Bengal for centuries.

In the eighteenth century, when our country was captured, even then Durga Puja got celebrated in Jabalpur.

From the day of Mahalaya, the mantra of Chandipath is played in every Bengali household. The practice of listening to Chandipath on the radio is still prevalent in Kolkata. The Chandipath is sung by Birendra Krishna Bhadra wherein he narrates the story of Mahishasura Mardini melodically and rhythmically in the form of Sanskrit and Bengal chants. Today he is not alive, but his voice is immortal.

No matter how piously Durga Puja is celebrated, the idol of Ma Durga gets its form only through the soil of Sonagachi. 

Durga Maa gave a Vardan to a devout prostitute that her idol will be made from the smooth clay of the Ganges provided by her hand. She did this to save the woman from social insults. Since then, the tradition of making the statue of Goddess from the soil of Sonagachi got started.

On the day of Mahalaya, eyes are carved on the incompletely made statue of Mother Durga, called Chakshu-dan. On this day, people perform Tarpan offering to their dead relatives, and only then the Devi Paksha begins. Ma Durga leaves her Sasural and husband Shiva's home in Kailash and accompanies Ganesha, Karthikeya, Lakshmi, and Saraswati to her home on Earth for ten days.

People observe the planets and stars' positions to find out how Ma Durga is riding on towards Earth. If She comes riding on an elephant, farming gets blessed along with the humans' lives on Earth, spreading happiness. If She comes sitting on a horse, then there isn't any rain and 

it's all dry.

If She comes on a swing, then it symbolizes diseases spread all around, and if She comes on a boat, it is believed that the rain will be good, the harvest will be good, the arrival of the new year will also be good, there will be happiness around the Earth.

On the sixth day, the idol of Durga is brought to the pandal. Kumartuli of Bengal is famous for making beautiful idols of Durga, where these idols are made from clay. About 95 percent of the idols in Durga Puja in Kolkata come from Kumaratuli.

To make these idols, a frame is first prepared by tying jute on the wooden structure, and then that the idol is prepared by mixing paddy with clay. Then the idol is decorated with jewelry and clothes.

Not only the idol of Durga, but the pandals are also very beautifully made. The Golden Temple of Amritsar in Kolkata is made of bamboo and cloth. The Durga Pandal look as grand as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The lights of the pandals make the whole city look as bright and beautiful as a bride.

On the evening of Shashthi, the cover is removed from Durga's mouth with the ritual of Bodhon. Then on the morning of Mahashashti, women worship wearing red bordered sarees. The day of Mahashtami has its significance. Sandhipuja occurs on Ashtami.

It has its own auspicious time, and sacrifices are offered at that time. In olden times people used to offer goat sacrifices, but this practice is no more observed. In some places, sacrifices of any fruit or pumpkin, etc., are offered. People lighten up 108 diyas amidst Sandhikshan by observing Nirjala fast. It feels like the entire universe becomes silent for a while. It is believed that during Sandhikshan, the idol of Maa Durga becomes alive. 

Dhunuchi Dance is performed in Bengal. A Dhunchi is a big pot cum Diya made of clay. Coconut peels are burnt in these pots along with the fragrance oriented Dhuno. Then, these pots are held in hands, and dance is performed in front of Ma Durga. People carry 4-5 Dhunuchi together and dance amidst falling fires. 

On the morning of Dashami, the married women come to Pandal to put vermilion on the idol of Ma Durga, and they play with vermilion like Holi. It is called sindoorkhela. The idol of Maa Durga is immersed by reciting chants.

At the time of Visarjan, it seems as if the beloved daughter Ma Durga is heading to Sasural from her maternal home. On the day of Dussehra, the younger ones seek the blessings of the family's elder members by touching the latter's feet. They offer each other sweets. People go to each other's homes to meet and greet each other. And, this is how the festival of Durga Puja gets completed and celebrated.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Ahoi Ashtami
28 Oct, 2021

The Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami is observed on the Ashtami Tithi of the Krishna Paksha. On this day, Goddess Ahoi is worshipped. On this day, women Upvas for the protection and long life of their children. This Upvas is vital for people who are not able to give birth to children. This Upvas is lucky for the people whose children do not have a long life or whose child is destroyed in the womb. Generally, if this day is put into particular use, this day enables the child's progress and well-being. This Upvas is for long life and good fortune.

The Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami falls after four days of Karva Chauth and eight days after Diwali Puja. As compared to Karva Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami is more famous in North India. Ahoi Ashtami is also known as Ahoi Anthe because this Upvas is observed on the Ashtami Tithi. It is the eighth day of the month.

On this day, women worship Goddess Ahoi (Parvati) and pray for their children's long life. Just like women observe Upvas for their husbands' long life on Karwa Chauth, similarly, they observe Ahoi Ashtami Upvas for their children's long life. Generally, this Upvas is performed to give birth to sons, but now, women have started to observe this Upvas for daughters. 

Importance of Ahoi Ashtami Upvas

The Tithi of Kartik Krishna Paksha is fraught with festivals, among which the two dominant festivals which women observe are Karwa Chauth and Ahoi Ashtami. Women follow these festivals by keeping Upvas from Shastriya and Lok point of view, and on the other hand, they give it a celebration form by arranging cultural programs. These celebrations comprise the feeling of family's welfare, and today, there is a tradition of seeking blessings from the mother-in-law by considering her feet as Tirth itself. The eighth day of Kartik Krishna Paksha is known as Ahoi or eighth. This Upvas arrives just a week before Diwali. It is said that this Upvas is observed by women who have children. In other words, it can be believed that Ahoi Ashtami Upvas is done for the welfare of small children. In this Upvas, the pictures of Sei and Sei children and the image of Ahoi Devi are worshipped. Ahoi Ashtami Upvas is done for experiencing the joy of child-bearing and for the prosperity of the child. On this day, a childless woman can also observe Upvas with the prayer of bearing a child. Actually, on this day, people seek the Ahoi form of Goddess Parvati for the protection, long life, good health, happiness, and prosperity of their children.

This Upvas is Observed Without Consuming Water 

Women tend to wake up early in the morning to observe Ahoi Ashtami Upvas; then, they keep a white karva meaning a utensil made of clay filled with water. After this, they meditate in the name of Goddess Ahoi. They worship Her by following all the rules and regulations for the protection of their children. On this day, mothers observe Upvas without having water. 

Arghya is Offered to the Stars

According to old beliefs, for the Ahoi Pujan, an effigy of eight koshthak of Geru or yellow clay is made on the north wall of the house in the evening. Following all the regulations, after doing bathing, tilak, etc., Bhog is offered. Some people, as per their potential, perform Puja by putting Moti in Silver Ahoi. After moonrise, women perform Shodshopchar Pujan by looking at the stars. Then, the Upvas is completed by offering Arghya water to the stars. Some women open their Upvas by offering Arghya to the moon and then complete the Upvas by having a meal. Simultaneously, some people put Ahoi and some silver balls in a thread, and then there is a tradition of putting some balls in the same thread every year. The Kalash leaped in cow dung for the Puja, and smooth clay is kept on the ground towards the north. After this, after worshiping the first revered Lord Sri Ganesh, Goddess Ahoi is honored, and Bhog made of milk, sugar, and rice is offered to Her. Then the story of Ahoi is heard and narrated by setting a Kalash filled with water on a wooden plank.

This Wish Gets Fulfilled

The Ahoi Ashtami Upvas is predominantly observed or the joy of child-bearing and child's progress. On this day, a childless woman can also keep Upvas with the desire of having a child. Actually, on this day, people offer prayers to the Ahoi form of Goddess Parvati for the protection, long life, good health, happiness, and prosperity of their children. Childless people perform Puja on this day with full devotion with the desire to have children. On this day, women prepare raw food mostly at the homes ( Urad Rice, Kadhi Rice) 

Troubles Will Get Away

To do the Puja of Goddess Ahoi, put some turmeric in cow's ghee, prepare a Diya, ignite sandalwood incense stick, offer roli, saffron, and turmeric to the goddess. Offer Rice porridge to the goddess. After the Puja, giving Bhog to a poor girl is considered to be auspicious. Apart from this, offer yellow Kaner flowers to Goddess Gauri to prevent the troubles from arriving in your child's life.

Rules of Ahoi Puja

Wake up early in the morning, take a bath, and wear clean clothes.

Now, draw the pictures of Goddess Ahoi, Goddess Parvati, and Syahu and his seven sons at home on the temple wall.

If you wish, you can use the posters available in the market for the Puja.

Now, take a new utensil and fill it with water. Make haldi Swastik on it, and now keep a chestnut on the lid of the container. 

Meditate in the name of Goddess Ahoi and read Ahoi Ashtami Upvas Katha along with the older women at home.

Keep clean cloth for all the women.

After the Katha, gift those clothes to those women.

Offer Arghya to the stars at night and then open the Upvas.

The Myth of Ahoi

In ancient times, there lived a moneylender. He had seven sons and seven daughters-in-law. He also had a daughter who had come to her maternal house from her Sasural. When the seven daughters-in-law went to Diwali's forest to bring mud for applying at home, the sister-in-law also accompanied them. A Syahu lived at the place where the daughter of the moneylender was cutting the soil. By mistake, one child of the Syahu was wounded by the daughter's spade and died. The Syahu got angry and said, "I will bind your womb."

After listening to Syahu, the moneylender's daughter requested each of her sisters-in-law to get their womb bound in place of her. The youngest sister-in-law agrees to bind her womb in place of the moneylender's daughter. After this, all the children of the youngest sister-in-law die after seven days. After the death of the seven sons, she invited a Pandit and asked him for a solution. The Pandit advised her to look after a Surhi cow.

Surhi gets happy by the care and takes her to the Syahu. The two of them rest for a while on the way after getting tired. Suddenly the moneylender's youngest daughter-in-law looks at one side; she sees that a snake will sting Garuda Pankhini's child, and she kills the snake. At this point, Garuda Pankhini comes there and witnessing splashed blood all over; she presumes that the younger daughter-in-law has killed her child, and she starts pecking the youngest daughter-in-law through her beak.

On this, the youngest daughter-in-law says that she saved the life of her child. Garuda Pankhini gets happy at this and takes her to Syahu along with Surhi. There, being pleased by the youngest daughter-in-law's care, Syahu blesses her with the blessing of having seven sons and seven daughters-in-law. Through the prayers of the Syahu, the home of the youngest daughter-in-law is filled with sons and daughters-in-law. The meaning of Ahoi is also "Anhoni ko Honi Banana" as the daughter of the moneylender did. 

The Rule of Ahoi Ashtami Upvas

A woman who is about to observe the Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami should be aware of the rules of Ahoi Ashtami to receive the fruits of this Upvas ultimately. On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, Goddess Ahoi is worshipped. It is believed that a woman who performs the Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami, Goddess Ahoi herself, protects her child. 

1.Ahoi Ashtami is followed without having water. A woman who observes this Upvas without having water receives the fruits of this Upvas ultimately. 

2.The Arghya of Ahoi Ashtami Upvas is not offered in a bronze container because a bronze container is considered impure. If a woman gives Arghya in a bronze container, then her Upvas gets destroyed. 

3. In Ahoi Ashtami Upvas, Arghya is offered to the stars. Just as Karva Chauth gets completed by offering Arghya to the moon, Ahoi Ashtami gets completed by offering Arghya to the stars. 

4. In the Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami, a new Karwa is not taken because, according to this Upvas, this Upvas makes use of the Karwa of the Karwa Chauth.

5. The woman observing the Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami should not cut anything with sharp objects like a knife, scissors and should not indulge in any needle thread work.

6. Ahoi Ashtami Upvas is observed for the children. Hence, do not beat and scold your child or other's children on this day. 

7. Do not consume or let anyone consume non-vegetarian food on the day of Ahoi Ashtami Upvas.

8. A woman observing Ahoi Ashtami should not sleep during the day because it is more fruitful to perform Puja-Path on the day of Upvasing. 

9. A woman observing Ahoi Ashtami Upvas should not insult the older people. By doing this, her Upvas gets destroyed. 

10. Do not mop the floors of your home on the day of Ahoi Ashtami. As per ancient myths, it is not allowed to sweep the house on that day.

Must Remember Points

On this day, the Ahoi form of Goddess Parvati is worshiped. Childless women observe Upvas on this day and pray to have children. 

On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, before worshipping Goddess Ahoi, Lord Ganesha should be worshipped. 

The Upvas of Ahoi Ashtami is followed without having water. By doing this, the life of the child gets longer and attains prosperity.

Bayana must be taken out for the in-laws on the day of Ahoi Ashtami. If the in-laws do not stay with you, you can give the bayana to a Pandit or any other older person. 

On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, Arghya is offered to the stars. The child's life gets longer by doing this, and people who haven't received the joy of child-bearing get this joy. 

While listening to the Upvas story on Ahoi Ashtami, keep seven types of grains in your hands, and after the Puja, these grains should be fed to a cow.

While performing Ahoi Ashtami Puja, make your children sit beside you and, after offering bhog to Goddess Ahoi, feed the blog to your children.

Donate to the poor. By indulging in Donation and Dakshina, the Upvas gets fulfilled completely.

On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, after the Puja, do feed meals to a Brahmin and a cow. Seek and obtain their blessings. 

Aarti of Goddess Ahoi

Jai Ahoi Mata, Maiya Jaya Ahoi Mata.

Tumko Nisdin Dhyavat Har Vishnu Vidhata. Jaya Ahoi 

Brahmani, Rudradhi Kamla Tu Hi Hai Jagmata 

Surya- Chandrama Dhyavat Naarad Rishi Gata. Jai Ahoi Mata 

Mata Roop Nirajan Sukh-Sampatti Data

Jo Koi Tumko Dhyavat Nit Mangal Pata. Jaya Ahoi Mata

Tu Hi Pataal Basanti, Tu Hi Hai Shubhdata

Karma-Prabhav Prakashan Jagnidhi Se Trata. Jai Ahoi Mata

Jis Ghar Tumhro Vaasa, Taahi Ghar Gundh Aata 

Kar Na Sake Soi Kar Le, Man Nahi Ghabrata. Jai Ahoi Mata

Tum Bin Sukh Na Hove Na Koi Putra Pata 

Khan-pan Ka Vaibhav Tum Bin Nahi Aata. Jai Ahoi Mata

Subh Gudh Sundar Yukta, Sheer Nidhi Ki Jata

Ratan Chaturdash Tum Bin Koi Nahi Pata. Jai Ahoi Mata

Sri Ahoi Maa ki Aarti Jo Koi Gata

Ur Umang Ati Upje Paap Utar Jata. Jai Ahoi Mata

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Dhanteras
02 Nov, 2021

Dhanteras, every year, is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the Kartik Krishna Paksha. It is a ritual to buy brand new things on this day. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day as this day brings an increase in wealth. Lord Dhanwantari also incarnated on this day, which is why it is called Dhan Teresa. Dhanwantari and Mata Lakshmi are among the fourteen gems received during the Samudra Manthan performed jointly by the gods and demons. This date is also known as Dhanwantari Trayodashi.

Dhanteras is a famous festival among the Hindus. It marks the commencement of Diwali. In Jainism, Dhanteras is also called Dhanya Teras and Dhyan Teras. Lord Mahavira revitalized Jain dharma on this day. According to tradition, Mahavira attained omniscience, i.e., absolute or complete knowledge, thus making Diwali one of the most important Jain festivals. This day is also known as National Ayurveda Day.

Why do we buy Utensils on Dhanteras?

God Dhanwantari appeared on the thirteenth day of the Kartik Krishna Paksha by churning of the sea. He had a pot filled with nectar when he appeared. Hence, utensils are bought on this day as God Dhanwantari had a utensil in hand. One should purchase utensils of brass and silver as it will please Lord Dhanwantari. Dhanteras also bring good health and fortune.

Importance of Lightning Diya in the South direction 

According to Indian culture, health is considered above wealth. The saying 'पहला सुख निरोगी काया, दूजा सुख घर में माया' is famous even today. This is why Dhanteras is given so much importance and celebrated before Diwali.

Dhanteras Mythology

One day Yamraja asked his messengers that when you take someone's life away from them, do you sometimes have mercy for them? Does it sometimes break your heart that you cannot do anything about it? Yamdoots hesitated and said, we follow your instructions. Our purpose is not to feel this way. Yamraja felt that maybe they are scared of him, and that's why not telling the truth. He asked them to be fearless and tell him everything honestly. Yamdoots then said that once they came across a situation that shook their heart and didn't want to do their job. Yamraja asked them to tell him what had happened. 

Yamdoots said, "Once there was a king named Hans who went for a hunt in the jungle. Amidst the hunting, he lost his way and got separated by the other hunters. The king crossed the borders and went to another kingdom. King Hema heartily welcomed King Hans. 

The same day King Hema's wife gave birth to a baby boy. Astrologers calculated the constellations and said that the boy would die after four days of getting married. By the king's order, that child was placed as a celibate in a cavity on the river Yamuna banks. He was asked to stay away from women. 

Time passed by, and one day, King Hans's daughter went to the river Yamuna banks. She saw the celibate and married him. On the 4th day of the marriage, the prince died." 

When the yamdoots got to know about their story, they felt devastated. They couldn't listen to what happened to the newlywed couple. They exclaimed that their tears didn't stop when they were picking the young prince's dead body. 

To this, Yamraja said, "what can we do? For restriction of the legislation, we have to this unpleasant terrible job." 

One of the Yamdoots replied, "Maharaja, is there nothing we can do to escape the premature death?" 

Yamraja said that there is a solution to this dreadful situation. 

Worshiping Dhanwantri and doing the Deep Daan relieves premature death. In the house where this worship is done, there is no fear of early death. 

After this incident, the practice of worshipping Dhanwantri and doing the Deep Daan started. According to this belief, in the evening of Dhanteras, people light Diyas in the south direction to pray to Lord Yam. As a result, the worshipper and his family get protection from the God of Death's wrath. If you light a Diya and worship Goddess Lakshmi, it brings good health to the family. 

How did Lakshmi Ji reach the farmer's house? Another story 

Shrihari, who once resided with Mata Lakshmi in Kshirsagar, realized that the death could be inspected. Mata Lakshmi also started asking to come with him.

Lord Vishnu said that she has to follow his conditions if she wants to come with him. Mata Lakshmi agreed and came to visit Earth with him. After some time, Lord Vishnu asked her to wait at a place for him and not go anywhere until he comes back and asks her to. Mata Lakshmi refused to listen to Lord Vishnu and continued to follow him. 

She came across a beautiful mustard field and got delighted after seeing beautiful yellow mustard flowers. She decorated herself with these beautiful flowers. After some time, she saw a sugarcane field. She got very excited as she wanted to have the tasty ripped sugarcane. 

Seeing this, Lord Vishnu got very angry with her as she stole the poor farmer's fruits. He cursed her to stay with the farmer for 12 years and help him with his farming. After cursing her, Lord Vishnu left for Kshirsagar. 

Mata Lakshmi took care of him for 12 years and even blessed him with silver jewels. In the thirteenth year, when Lord Vishnu came to take her back, the farmer refused to send Mata Lakshmi back. To this, Lord Vishnu said that no one could stop her from going. She is always moving from places to places. The farmer still didn't agree and begged Mata Lakshmi to stay with him.

With this, Mata Lakshmi came up with a solution. She asked the farmer to follow whatever she says, and if he does this, she will come back for a year. She said tomorrow is the thirteenth. Clean your house nicely. Then in the evening, worship me with lightning a Diya. Fill a copper vessel for me with coins. If you do this, I will reside in your house for a year. And when the farmer did this, he became prosperous again. Every year, the thirteenth day of Krishna Paksha of Kartik month is celebrated as Dhanteras.

Dhanteras Puja Vidhi

It is always preferred to pray in the evening. At the place of worship, the idols of Lord Kubera and Dhanwantari should be kept on the north side. Along with them, worship Mata Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. It is said that Lord Kubera should be offered sweets of white colour while Lord Dhanwantari should be offered yellow sweets. This is because the yellow colour is Lord Dhanwantari's favorite. Flowers, fruits, rice, roli, dhoop, and Diyas should be kept in the Pooja thaali. Lord Yamraja should be prayed after lighting the Diya. 

Dhanteras astrological concept 

Ancient narratives are not just stories, as they have essential roles in today's environment as well. According to astrology, if there is any problem in the house due to disease, clash, pain, court case, or enemy, what kind of lamp would be benefited by burning? What type of oil in the lamp is best can be calculated. 

Lamps and Oils 

1. Lamps made out of flour are considered favorable for any occasion or Pooja. 

2. Ghee diyas should be lighted to get freedom from money constraints. 

3. Sesame oil lamp should be lit to get rid of Saturn's disaster. One gets rid of the troubles coming at home.

4. Lamp of mahua oil should be lighted in the house temple for the long life of the husband. 

5. Flaxseed oil lamp should be lit to calm the condition of planets Rahu and Ketu. 

6. To win a pending court case, light a five-faced lamp in front of the house temple. 

7. To avoid enemies or prevent any objections, please Shani Dev by burning a mustard oil lamp.

What to Do on Dhanteras  

a) Clean your house thoroughly. This brings positive vibes in one's life and home.

b) Make sure you clean all spider webs around you as they can cause hindrance in your wealth. 

c) Close the doors of your bathroom. Open bathroom doors attract negative energy and cause problems in money matters. 

d) The Northside of the house is said to belong to Lord Kubera. Keep this side of the house clean as they can be a smooth inflow of money. 

e) Make sure you close all the taps of the house as wastage of water means less income. 

f) Don't buy any sharp objects like scissors, knives, etc. 

g) Buy a brand-new broom as it is a symbol of Mata Lakshmi. 

h) Buying items of brass, steel, gold, and silver on Dhanteras is considered very auspicious.

What to not do on Dhanteras 

1. Don't touch the broom using your foot. This means you're disrespecting Mata Lakshmi. 

2. Do not buy oil at all on Dhanteras nor buy any such item in which oil is used. If you have to buy oil, buy oil one or two days before Dhanteras.

3. Don't buy anything black. It is considered to be inauspicious. 

4. Do not give loans to anyone on this day. If you do so, it will cause money loss. 

5. Do not buy any glass item. Glass is said to be related to Rahu. 

6. Worship Lord Dhanwantari also and not just Lord Kubera. 

7. Do not come into blows with anyone on this day. It is believed that Mata Lakshmi doesn't bless the house whose members are fighting. 

8. Do not use vindictive weapons.

9. Do not disrespect elders. Mata Lakshmi doesn't bless the house in which elders are being disrespected and insulted. 

Dhanteras Mantra

कुबेर धन प्राप्ति मंत्र-

ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं श्रीं क्लीं वित्तेश्वराय नमः॥

कुबेर अष्टलक्ष्मी मंत्र-

ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं क्रीं श्रीं कुबेराय अष्ट-लक्ष्मी मम गृहे धनं पुरय पुरय नमः॥

कुबेर मंत्र-

ॐ यक्षाय कुबेराय वैश्रवणाय धनधान्याधिपतये

धनधान्यसमृद्धिं मे देहि दापय दापय स्वाहा॥

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Diwali
04 Nov, 2021

Diwalis is a very beautiful festival that brings lots of happiness with it. It is a festival of lights, and it is also called 'Deepotsav.' Diwalis sheds light on the victory of light over darkness, and it fills our lives with happiness. This festival strengthens our relationships, removes all the petty issues, and makes our relationship warm and cordial. Diwali is not only celebrated in our country but also in other countries. A gazetted holiday has been declared on this festival, when all the government offices, such as schools, colleges, banks, etc. remain closed. People of different religions celebrate Diwali, and many fables or myths are related to this festival. But all these myths sheds light on the victory of truth over evil and victory of light over darkness. This festival is celebrated because, one this day, Lord Rama, returned to Ayodhya along with his wife after defeating Ravana, the ruler of Lanka, and freeing her from his clutches. After killing Ravana, Rama got victory over evil. Therefore, Ayodhya's people welcomed him by lighting Diyas of Ghee on the black night of Amavasya. Since then, this festival has been assumed as the victory truth over evil. Since that day, this great festival has been celebrated after twenty days of Dussehra festival with gusto, zeal, and enthusiasm. 

When is Diwali celebrated? 

In the northern hemisphere, this Dipotsav is celebrated with great fervour and zeal on the full-moon day of Autumn. It is celebrated in October or November month as per the Gregorian calendar. 

Importance of Diwali and its History

Since ancient times, Diwali/Deepawali has been a very big and important festival celebrated by Hindus. The word 'Diwali is made of two Sanskrit words—Deep and Aawali. The meaning of 'Diwali' word is a series of Diyas. That's why the Diwali festival is also called Dipotsav or a festival of Diyas. The meaning of this festival is the lights or the festival of lights. This festival is celebrated especially for cleanliness and lights. Because of this festival, the houses and their surrounding areas are also cleaned. Moreover, this festival connects us with our tradition, thereby making us aware of the might of our inner soul's might. It also makes us aware that at last, truth and goodness always wins. Many mythological stories associated with Diwali further increase its importance. From this festival, we all get a lesson to move on the path of truth. It is clear from the name of 'Diwali' itself that it is a festival of lights. People start their preparation months before its celebration. There is illumination all around due to the lighting of Diyas. Even today, the worship of this festival is done traditionally. Diwali festival is celebrated every year in Autumn, i.e., in October or November month. During that time, the weather remains pleasant, though it is light cold. People celebrate it on the new moon day of Kartik, and hence this dark night of Amavasya is removed from the light of Diyas. It is assumed that just as the light of the Diyas removes the darkness and spreads the light, similarly, this Diwali festival removes the darkness from our life and fills it with the light of a new dawn. This festival brings lots of happiness with it and gives a lesson to lead our lives in the right direction. On the day of Diwali, we distribute sweets and gifts among our friends, relatives, and neighbours. And give them lots of good wishes. Because of which small differences in our relationships disappear, and sweetness gets filled in our relationships. Our relationships become stronger. That's why this festival is also called the festival of the meeting. Diwalis is a very big festival, so on this day, all the government departments, such as schools, colleges, and, banks remain closed. Not only Indians celebrate the festival of lights but also the people of other countries. There is a gazetted holiday on the eve of this festival in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Pakistan, etc. Diwalis is celebrated by people of various religions, such as Sikh, Buddha, and Jain. Many myths are related to this festival, and people of different religions celebrate it differently. But all these things throw light on the victory of darkness over light and truth over evil. Diwali is celebrated by Jains because, on this day, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara, Mahavir Swami attained salvation (Moksha), and on this day, his first disciple, Gautam Gandhar, attained enlightenment, which sheds light on the victory of knowledge over ignorance. 

The Most Popular Story of Deepawali  

Return of Rama to Ayodhya: In the religious book, Ramayana, it has been mentioned that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after fourteen years, during which he stabbed Ravana. In his grand welcome, the people of Ayodhya lighted Diyas to express their happiness and enthusiasm. Ayodhya city was illuminated with lights in Rama's reverence.

First Story

Once, a king presented a sandalwood forest to a woodcutter after becoming delighted with him. But a woodcutter was after all a woodcutter. He did not understand the value of sandalwood. He used to bring sandalwood from the forest to burn it for cooking his food. The kind came to know about it from his detectives. Now, he understood that only intelligent people could spend their money wisely. This is why Goddess Laxmi and God Ganesha are worshipped together so that a person having money should know how to use it wisely. 

Second Story

Lord Krishna killed Narkasur a day before Diwali. Narkasur was a demon, so he freed this world from his terror by killing him. For this reason, Diwali is celebrated as a symbol of the victory of good over evil. 

The Story of Indra and Bali

Once, the demon Raj Bali fearing the King of Gods hid somewhere. In search of a demon, Devraj Indra reached a vacant home, where Bali had hidden himself in donkey's disguise. They both started talking to each other. While they were talking, a woman emerged from Bali's body. On being questioned by Dev Raj Indra, the woman said, "I am Goddess Laxmi. I do not remain stable at a place due to my nature. I stay stable at a place where truth, charity, fast, tenacity, might, and religion prevail. I remain stable in that person's home, who is truthful, friendly to Brahmins, and follows religious rules. In this way, it is clear that Goddess Laxmi lives in that place permanently where good and virtuous people live.

The Story of King and Saint

According to an ancient story, once a saint thought of leading a kingly lifestyle. For this, he started doing Tapasya (Austerity) for Goddess Laxmi to please Her. When Tapasya was over, Goddess Laxmi was pleased with him and granted his wishes. When his wishes were fulfilled, he reached King's court and ascended the throne to topple King's crown. The King saw a poisonous snake coming out of his crown. Seeing this, King was very pleased because the saint had defended him against the snake. Once, the saint asked all the courtiers to go out of the King's palace. No sooner had they gone than the King's placed turned into rubble. The King praised him. Listening to his praise, the saint became arrogant. Now, he realized his mistakes. Now, he started pleasing Lord Ganesha to rid the King of his resentment. Again, the saint was given his initial position. That's why it is said that intelligence is a must for wealth. This is why Goddess Laxmi and God Ganesha are worshipped together in the form of wealth and intelligence.

The Story of Goddess Laxmi and Money Lender's Daughter

There was a money lender in a village. His daughter used to offer water at the Peepal tree every day. Goddess Laxmi used to live on the tree where she used to offer water. One day, Goddess Laxmi asked the money lender's daughter, "I want to become your friend." The girl said, "Let me ask my father." She said this to her father, and her father consented. The next day, the money lender's daughter accepted her friend request, and they started talking to each other like good friends. One day, Goddess Laxmi brought the money lender's daughter to her home. Goddess Laxmi welcomed her at her home wholeheartedly. She offered her different varieties of food. After warm hospitality, when the money lender's daughter left for her home, Goddess Laxmi asked her when she would invite her. The money lender's daughter did invite Goddess Laxmi, but she became sad due to her home's poor financial condition. She though that she would not be able to treat her properly. The money lender saw his daughter sad and understood everything. He asked his daughter to clean the kitchen using soil. He also asked her to burn a Diya with four Battis and sit at a place to recall Goddess Laxmi. In the meantime, an eagle flew carrying a gull necklace to her. The money lender's daughter sold it to arrange a feast. After some time, Goddess Laxmi came to her house with Lord Ganesha. The money lender's daughter welcome both of them very well. Goddess Laxmi was very pleased with her hospitality, and the money lender became very rich.

Special Preparation for Diwali

The preparation starts many days before Diwali. Houses and buildings are painted. Old and outdated things are thrown into the garbage. Every nook and corner of the house is cleaned. From this perspective, this is a festival of cleanliness. Diwalis is a festival of great zeal and enthusiasm, which we await impatiently. That's why people start preparation months before this day. It is assumed that Goddess Laxmi always resides in a neat and clean place. That's why this festival's preparation starts with cleanliness. Every corner of the house is cleaned in a better than the best way. The shops are also cleaned. The garbage of the whole year is dumped out. All the things that are not used or those things, such as worn-out clothes, broken and damaged utensils, or other irreparable are dumped out of the house. If there are crevices in your home, then they will be repaired. After that, houses and shops are painted. The houses are decorated differently. Houses are decorated 4-5 days before Diwali day. After that, people indulge in a shopping spree—buying new clothes for family members, buying gifts for friends and relatives, buying kitchen utensils and many other things, such as golden ornaments, vehicles, etc. Besides, all the essential things related to Gods' worship, such as Diya-Batti, idols of Ganesha and Laxmi, clothes for deities, colourful lights, Diyas, and candles for the decoration of the house. Along with these things, orders are given for sweets. New clothes and gifts are also purchased for servants working in restaurants, shops, etc. On Diwali day, houses are cleaned and mopped and decorated with lotus flowers and mango leaves. Along with it, houses are decorated with colourful lights. At the threshold of the house, Rangoli is made, and a Diya is lighted, which remains alight the whole day. The happiness prevails in the home. All the young children listen to this festival's importance and stories related to it from their elders. The women prepare different varieties of sweets. After that, in the evening, all the family members get together to worship the Goddess of wealth Laxmi and obstacle remover Ganeshji and pray to them for their wellbeing, peace, and prosperity. After that, young people touch elders' feet to seek their blessings and then go to their neighbours' houses to wish and congratulate them. After worship, the house is decorated with Diyas. The lights of these Diyas remove Amavasya night's darkness and illuminates it. After that, crackers are exploded. Having done this, all the family members, friends, and neighbours enjoy dinner altogether. In this way, this grand festival is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm. And it brings lots of happiness to our lives. It sweetens our mutual relationships and removes all petty issues from our lives. On Diwali day, all people decorate their houses with different decorative materials. People illuminate their respective homes with different types of Diyas, worship Goddess Laxmi and burn crackers. Women make Rangoli in the courtyard of their houses. In the evening, people meet each other with dry fruits and sweets. 

The tradition of worshipping Laxmi and Ganesha on Diwali

On Diwali’s day, worshipping Goddess of wealth Laxmi and Lord Ganesha by placing their idols in the east direction of the home in the evening removes all the obstacles from people’s lives. And they get wealth and fame.

Importance of worshipping Laxmi on Diwali

Mother Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth. We all know that we get both luxury and splendour by Mother Laxmi’s grace. By pleasing the Goddess of wealth on the auspicious date of Kartik Amavasya, one can get both blessings and prosperity. Sharad Purnima festival that comes before Diwali is celebrated like the birth anniversary of Mother Laxmi. Then, by worshipping her on Diwali, one can expect riches and prosperity from her.

Importance of Ganesha’s worshipping on Diwali

Lord Ganesha is called the God of intelligence. According to Hindu mythology, no worshipping or rituals are performed without worshipping Lord Ganesha. This is also the reason Lord Ganesha is worshipped on Diwali. After getting a blessing for prosperity by worshipping the Goddess of wealth, a person needs intelligence to use his wealth for the right things. Lord Ganesha is worshipped with this prayer that lord Ganesha enlightens our path by bestowing intelligence on us.

Importance of Diwali’s five days

Dhanteras

Naraka Chaturdashi

Lakshmi Pooja

Govardhan Puja

Bhai Dooj

Diwali’s Worshipping Materials

The worshipping materials needed for worshipping Goddess Laxmi include Kesar, Roli, Rice, Betel Leaves, Betel Nuts, Fruits, Flowers, Puffed Rice, Batase, Sindoor, Dry Fruits, Sweets, Panchaamrit, Ganges Water, Dhoop, Agarbati, Cotton Batti, Kalewa, Coconut, and a Copper Vessel for Kalash.

How to do Preparation for Worshipping on Diwali?

1. Make a Swastik either on a thali or ground after purifying it or install any Yantra. Now, make a Kalash of cupper vessel, keep Panchamrit, Ganges water, betel nuts, coins, and cloves in it; cover it with a piece of black cloth. Now, take a raw coconut and wrap Kalave (a red thread) around it and place it on Kalash.

2. Keep rupees, golden or silver coins, the idol of Goddess Laxmi or idols of Laxmi, Ganesh, and Saraswati made up of soil or idols of other deities, where you have made Shri Yantra. 

3. If you have any metallic idol, consider it a personification of God, bathe it with Ganges water and decorate it with Akshat, sandalwood, and fruits and flowers. On its right side, light a Panchmukhi lamp, in which ghee or sesame oil is used.

4. The specialty of Diwali is related to the worshipping of Goddess Lakshmi. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi is welcomed through worshipping in every house, family, office, etc. On Diwali day, householders and business people expect wealth and prosperity from the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi.

Worshipping Methodology on Diwali

1. The older adults of home or even those who worship regularly should keep a fast for Goddess Laxmi. During the worshipping of Goddess Laxmi, all the family members should remain indoors. The concerned family member should take a bath, sit on an Asan (a holy seat), do Aachman and Pranayama, and take a pledge. After that, recall the name of Ganeshji and take Gandh, Aakshat, flowers, scutch grass, sweet and Ganges water in your right hand and offer them to Ganesh, Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, Mahakali, Kuber, etc. while worshipping them.

2. Worshipping Kuber proves very useful. For worshipping Kuber, first, make Swastik on your safe or vault where you store your money and recall Kuber.

3. First and foremost, worship Ganesha and Mahalaxmi, place Kalash and then worship Mahalaxmi and other deities. After worshipping them, all the family members should organize parties and explode crackers.

4. Now take Aakshat, flowers, water, and money in your hand. Take all these things in your hand and chanting Sankalp Mantra, take a pledge, “I am so-and-so person, sitting at so-and-so place and time, going to worship you so that I should get scriptural results. First, worship Ganeshji and Mahalaxmi. 

5. Take some water in your hand, and recollecting the name of God, offer worshipping materials to Him. Take Aakshat and flowers in your hand. Finally, complete the process of worshipping after taking Aarti of Mahalaxmi. Your home will be full of happiness, peace, and prosperity.

6. After worshipping Deepawali methodologically, Aarti of Mahalaxmi is taken with an alight Diya full of Ghee. For Aarti, take thali and make a Swastik with Roli, keep some Aakshat and flowers in it, light a Char- Mukhi Diya full of Cow Ghee, take Aarti of Mother Laxmi amidst the ringing of Sankh, Ghanti, Damru, etc. 

7. While doing Aarti, all the family members should be altogether. Every family member should take Aarti of Mother Laxmi seven times. After taking Aarti seven times, the thali of Aarti should be handed over to the next family member standing in a queue. Every family member should do the same. 

8. Worshipping of Goddess Saraswati is also emphasized on Diwali. Therefore, after worshipping Goddess Laxmi, one should worship Goddess Saraswati also.

9. In addition to worshipping Mahalaxmi, the lord of wealth, Kuber, should be worshipped on Diwali and Dhanteras. Worshipping of Kuber maintains a steady flow of wealth at home.

How to worship Ledger Account?

To worship ledger account, one should make a Swastik, using Sandalwood mixed with Kesar or red Kusum, on a ledger book during the auspicious time of worshipping. After that, one should write 'Om Ganeshay Namah' on it. Now, one should take a new satchel and keep five lumps of turmeric, Kamalgatta, Aakshat, Scutch grass, coriander, and some money in it. Also, make a Swastik on a satchel and offer it to Goddess Saraswati. 

Crackers and Fireworks

Whatever negative feelings have developed in you for the last one year—anger, envy, and fear—should be exploded in the form of crackers. With every cracker, explode all the negative feelings you have for a particular person in your mind or write that person's name on a cracker for whom you have ill feelings and explode it, knowing that you have burnt all the negative feeling against him or her. But what do we do? Instead of eliminating negative feelings against that person, we tend to destroy that person or keep burning ourselves in negative feelings' fire. It would help if you had an alternative way also. Explode all your negative or ill feelings along with a cracker and befriend that person again. Then, you will feel lighter and better with love, peace, and pleasure. After that, distribute sweets along with him and indulge in merry-making. Do not explode the person but explode his vices along with crackers. Indeed, this is the right way to celebrate Diwali.

Economic Importance of Diwali

The biggest shopping season of the year starts on the Diwali festival. All the business, ranging from small to big, such as clothes, utensils, lime, colours, worshipping materials, decorative items, confectionery, and sweet shops and even gold and silver and vehicle shops—witness brisk sale during this festival's season.

Diwali festival is a great festival for all and sundry. It is a special festival for business people because they clear all the last year's dues and start afresh. Business people start a new business (See the link below to read more about this) transaction after worshipping Mother Laxmi with a new ledger and pen so that their business goes smoothly throughout the whole year. That's why this great festival has great economic importance.

What to Do on Diwali? 

1. On Diwali day, ring Sankh or Ghanti in every room of the home after worshipping Goddess Laxmi. As a result of this, negative energies and poverty go out of the house, and Mother Laxmi enters home.

2. On Diwali day, light a Diya full of oil, keep a clove in a Diya, and take Aarti of Hanumanji. You can bring such a Diya from any Hanuman temple. 

3. Go to any Shiva temple and offer Aakshat or some rice to the deity. Remember that rice is of full size and not broken. Do not offer broken rice on Shivling. 

4. While worshipping Mahalaxmi, keep yellow clamshell. By keeping these things before Goddess Laxmi, you can please her easily. As a result, your problems related to money will disappear.

5. While worshipping Goddess Laxmi, keep turmeric roots before her. After worshipping Her, keep those turmeric roots in that place where you keep your money. 

6. On Diwali day, you must buy Jhadu (broom). Clean your home wholly with it. When it is not in use, hide it at a certain place.

7. On Diwali day, donate a Jhadu in any temple. If there are Mahalaxmi temples near your home, then donate fragrant Agarbatti there.

8. On this day, there is Amavasya. So, on this day, offer water to the Peepal tree. Doing this eliminates Shani Dosh and Kaal Sarp Dosh.

9. For worshipping Goddess Laxmi on Diwali day, stable Lagna is considered appropriate. Worshipping in this Lagna enables Goddess Laxmi to live in your home permanently. Keep Lakshmi yantra, Kuber Yantra, and Shri yantra while worshipping. The use of Sphatik yantra is considered appropriate. 

10. Light a Diya full of oil under a Peepal tree near your home.

11. Offer scutch grass to the first-worshipped Shir Ganesh. By offering 21 scutch blades of grass to Ganesha, you can get His grace. Doing this on Diwali day, Goddess Laxmi’s grace is also sought along with Lord Ganesha.

12. Worship Mahalaxmi’s picture, where Laxmi Goddess is sitting near lord Vishnu’s legs. Worshipping such an image makes Goddess Lakshmi happy very quickly.

13. On Diwali day, recite Sri Sukta and Kanakadhara Stotra. Ram Raksha Stotra or Hanuman Chalisa, or Sundarkand, can also be recited.

14. Remember that home should be cleaned appropriately on every Amavasya of the month. After cleaning, burn Dhoop and Deep. Doing this purifies your home’s atmosphere, and there will always be prosperity in your home.

15. Light a Diya near a Tulsi plant in your home on Diwali night. Also, offer a piece of cloth to the Tulsi plant.

16. Chant Mahalaxmi’s Maha Mantra, “Om Shree Shri Shree Kamle Kamalalaye Praseed Praseedshri Shri Shree Om Mahalakshmi” at least 108 times with a mala (necklace) made up of Kamalgatta (stem of Lotus).

You can read my views of astrology for new business ideas.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Govardhan Puja
05 Nov, 2021

The pure and pious Govardhan Puja has significant importance in Hinduism. The festival is one of the most incredible ways to show love and gratitude to nature and other humans. Along with that, just on the second day of the Shukla Paksha, the fantastic festival of Govardhan Puja or Anna Koot is widely celebrated across the country. The beautiful festival is celebrated all over the country. Still, it appears to be it is the most vital festivals of North India especially in Braj Bhoomi such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Gokul and Barsana. Also, Govardhan Puja is popularly known as Annakoot. One could witness the authentic essence of this wonderful festival just on the next day Deepawali, especially celebrated in Braj. Eventually, Godhan is the worship of cows during the Govardhan Puja. The beautiful reference is just like Goddess Lakshmi Provides happiness, Joy, Prosperity and serenity to everyone in the same way the serene cow mother also ensures good health and money. As per the ancient believe when Lord Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhan Parvat for consecutive seven days on his youngest fingers to save everyone from the destructive torrential rain of the Braj, the Gopikas remained happily content in his shadow.

On the seventh day, the powerful Lord Krishna laid down the huge Govardhan Parvat and declared the auspicious and beautiful celebration of Annakoot by worshipping the Govardhan every year. Since then, the wonderful festival is named as Annakoot. On Kartik Shukla Pratipada, which is one the second day of the Deepawali, worshipping Govardhan or Cow Worshipping, holds significant importance. Along with that, it is also believed that on this day after worshipping cow, one should also gift cow spinach, gifts, food and clothes.

Anyone who worships cow and celebrates Govardhan Puja would be truly blessed with true joy, happiness and prosperity. It is widely celebrated numerous beautiful parts of the country such as Vrindavan and Mathura, and this is one of the primary festivals which is widely celebrated. The pious teachings of the religious legend Lord Krishna, the one who has lifted the people of Gokul from the Indra's anger by lifting the giant Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to break the pride of Indra.

Just after the Indra's Pride was destroyed, Lord Krishna stated that on the day of Kartik Shukla Pratipada, one should make 56 Bhog and worship the huge and powerful Govardhan Parvat. Even the residents of Gokul get fodder for the animals from the wonderful Govardhan Parvat. It is this huge mountain that stops the cloud and gives them rain which is eventually helpful in improving the agriculture and fertility of the land.

And so this proves this immense significance of celebrating Govardhan Puja. Since then, there is a wonderful ritual that one has to follow to worship the Govardhan Parvat, and that is by preparing Annakoot on the day of Govardhan Puja. As per another religious belief, this beautiful festival is celebrated because Kanha eventually raised the huge the Govardhan on his little finger to save the people of Gokul from Indra'sIndra's anger. The people in a way to show gratitude and thankfulness prepared 56 Bhog and offered it to the great Lord Krishna. Pleased and content with this gesture of Gokul dwellers, Shri Krishna blessed the people that he would always protect the people of Gokul.

Importance of Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja holds immense importance in Indian Society. As per the authentic Vedas and tradition, there is a wonderful rule to worship the powerful Gods of Varuna, Indra and Agni and many others. On this day, one should worship the huge Govardhan Parvat, Godhan that is a cow, and of course, Lord Shri Krishna holds special importance. This festival disseminates the message to save mankind and show immense gratitude towards all the resources provided by nature. By celebrating Govardhan Puja, we get a chance to express our gratitude and thankfulness to nature and all its resources. The huge and beautiful Govardhan Parvat is worshipped during this puja. The message is that one should show gratitude and respect towards the various natural resources which enrich our life such as trees, animals, birds, river and mountains.

One of the main reasons behind the balance of the climate in India is the presence of mountains, garlands and rivers. And so, this is the day to show gratitude, thankfulness towards all the different natural resources or which are popularly known as natural wealth. On this day, you must worship cow as it is their ghee, milk, buttermilk, curd and butter as well as cow dung, which has definitely enriched the living standards of mankind. In this kind of circumstances, a cow which is considered to be as important as the pious River Ganga in Hinduism is widely worshipped. On this day, people worship by singing, dancing and thanking the beautiful Govardhan Parvat by making Annakoot that refers to different kind of food items. The belief is that the mountain is eventually the real God or Guardian as it gives the human beings a way to live, provides shelter in crucial moments in order to save lives. Every year, Govardhan Pooja is beautifully celebrated by following various important customs and traditions. People worship Lord Krishna on this auspicious day to celebrate the victory of good over the bad, God over the evil. People do worship Govardhan Parvat because it has protected the people.

People bathe their cows and oxen in the morning and do decorate them with saffron and garlands. People also make a pile of cow dung and worship it by preparing delicious food items such as Kheer, Batasay, Garland, sweet, delicious food. Also, many of them also prepare ''Navaidha or 108 types of food for Chappan Bhog that is 56 kind of food which is specially prepared and offer to God.

The shape of Govardhan Parvat is peacock shaped which could be easily described as Radha Kunda, and Shyam Kunda makes eyes, Dan Gati makes the neck, Mukharbind forms mouth and Panchari makes long-winged waist. It is believed that Pulastya Muni. The curse of Pulastya Muni, it is believed that the height of the mountain is decreasing every day, which appears to be equal to a seed of mustard every day. The story is once in Satyug, Pulastya Muni went to Dronakaila which appears to be the king of the mountains. The kind was immensely sad, and then appealed to and requested to the sage that he is not able to tolerate the disconnection from his son.

With a special condition, he sent his son with sage but he was kept down on the way, he would stay there only forever. Passing through the Brijmandal, Muni did put him down to defecate. As soon as he was back, he did realize that he could not pick him up from that place and got angry and cursed Govardhan that he would gradually shrink in size. Earlier it was 64 miles long, 40 miles wide and 16 miles high which was later reduced to 80 feet. The beautiful Govardhan Puja is popularly known as Annakoot. It is almost a modern-day party as it lasts for months. In many places, even Bhandara is also arranged for people.

Why is Govardhan Puja celebrated?

Eventually, the Annakoot and Govardhan Puja have begun from the Dwapar Yuga after the wonderful incarnation of the powerful Lord Krishna. In Hinduism, worshipping of Lord Govardhan Nathji with cow dung is worshipped. Just After that, to please the powerful Giriraj Bhagwan that is referred to the mountain is offered delicious and pure food to Annakoot. It is widely celebrated in temples on this day. The religious belief behind worshipping Govardhan is that the almighty, the superior Lord Krishna wanted to break the unreasonable pride of powerful Lord Indra as he got furious because people started worshipping the Govardhan Mountain. To protect the people of Gokul and to save everyone from the destructive anger of Indra, Krishna raised the huge and powerful Govardhan Mountain on his little finger and protected the people of Gokul from the anger destructive anger of Indra. 

Also, It is stated that after this Lord Krishna himself suggested preparing the delicious 56 Bhog on the pious and serene day of Kartik Shukla Pratipada to worship Govardhan Parvat.

Since that time only, the serene practice of Govardhan Puja and Annakoot is widely celebrated every year. Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parvat and Annakoot are properly worshipped.

On this day, everyone prays and please Maa Lakshmi and Lord Krishna to gather courage, wealth, beautiful house and so on. If you could please them, you could absolutely notice a significant profit in various ventures. You must also make new and delicious dishes.

You must not use anything related to onion or garlic. You must also offer food to powerful Lord Krishna. You would witness happiness, satisfaction and joy. It is performed on the second day of Diwali. Basically, it is all about worshipping nature and was started by Shri Krishna. The Govardhan Mountain is worshipped based on nature, cow and everything that is offered to you. The puja begins in Braj, and it soon became popular. 

Why is Lord Indra worshipped?

Along with Govardhan and Lord Krishna, Indra is also worshipped. It is a great festival to thank and show gratitude to all the Gods who have helped in growing food like Lord Indra, Agni. Also, Tree and Water Gods are also worshipped. Specifically, Lord Indra is praised and worshipped because he apologizes to the almighty Lord Krishna. He was pardoned, and so he is also worshipped at Govardhan Puja.

Why was Indra angry?

It is believed that every year before Govardhan Puja the people of Brij performed Govardhan Puja as he provides rain which helps in growing crops and keeping the weather favourable. However, during the Dwapara Yuga, when Shri Krishna saw his Mother Yashoda preparing for the Indra Puja, he asked them to worship the Govardhan Parvat, trees, plants rather than Indradev as nature helps make everyone's life better and more affluent. All the Brij Wasis did agree and started to worship to Govardhan. By looking at this, Lord Indra got angry then made it rain for the next seven consecutive days. Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat on the smallest finger. But in the end, Indra had to apologies to Lord Krishna. 

Govardhan Puja Procedure

1. Govardhan is made from cow dung, and then it is beautifully decorated with flowers. Govardhan Puja is done in the morning or evening. During worship, incense, lamp, Naivedya, water, fruits etc. should be offered to Govardhan. On this day, cattle and animals used in agricultural work are worshipped.

2. Govardhan Ji is made as a man lying with cow dung. An earthen lamp is placed in the place of the navel. In this lamp, milk, curd, Ganga water, honey, Betashe etc. are put during worship and later on as Prasad.

3. After the pooja, You must say Jai Govardhanji while doing seven circumambulations. 

4. At this time just after the parikrama, the circumambulation is done by dropping water from the lotus and sowing barley.

5. Truly, Govardhan Giri is considered as God and worship him in the house on this day increases the wealth, progeny and cow juice.

6. The powerful Lord Vishwakarma is also worshipped on this day of Govardhan Puja. On this occasion, machines are worshipped in all factories and industries.

गोवर्धन पूजा मंत् :

गोवर्धन धराधार गोकुल त्राणकारक/

विष्णुबाहु कृतोच्छ्राय गवां कोटिप्रभो भव//

नैवेद्य अर्पित कर निम्न मंत्र से प्रार्थना करें:

लक्ष्मीर्या लोक पालानाम् धेनुरूपेण संस्थिता।    

घृतं वहति यज्ञार्थे मम पापं व्यपोहतु।।

गोवर्धन आरती (Govardhan Aarti) :

श्री गोवर्धन महाराज, ओ महाराज,
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

तोपे पान चढ़े तोपे फूल चढ़े,
तोपे चढ़े दूध की धार।
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

तेरी सात कोस की परिकम्मा,
और चकलेश्वर विश्राम
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

तेरे गले में कण्ठा साज रहेओ,
ठोड़ी पे हीरा लाल।
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

तेरे कानन कुण्डल चमक रहेओ,
तेरी झाँकी बनी विशाल।
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

गिरिराज धरण प्रभु तेरी शरण।
करो भक्त का बेड़ा पार
तेरे माथे मुकुट विराज रहेओ।

Why is Govardhan Puja called Annakoot?

If you wish to perform this Puja, You must remember that Yashoda Nandan Krishna and Govardhan Parvat are worshipped by making Annakoot, and this probably could be in reason it is named as 'Annakoot'. It is eventually the kind of food that is prepared by vegetables, milk and rice. 

Method of making Annakoot

One is supposed to make all seasonal vegetables; milk, Mawa, dry fruits and rice are used to make Annakoot. Also, fresh fruits and sweets are brought to God. Fifty-six types of foods are included in Annakoot. With all these, Lord Krishna is worshipped in the Pradosh Kaal (evening time) by law. Along with this, worshipping cow and feeding jaggery and green fodder are considered auspicious.

How is Annakoot worshipped?

- On this auspicious occasion, Varuna, Indra, Agni are worshipped on this day in the Vedas.

- Along with the cows, their Aarti is done, and they are fed fruit sweets.

- Cow dung replicates Govardhan Parvat

- After this, it is worshipped with flowers, incense, lamps, Naivedya.

- On this day, every member of the household cooks from the same kitchen.

- Get to taste various delicious and different types of dishes are made in food.

Events on Govardhan Puja

1. Govardhan Puja is widely celebrated and is a festival that is dedicated to ensuring gratitude and thankfulness to nature and Lord Krishna. On this occasion of Govardhan Puja, a religious occasion like Annakoot which is Bhandara are organized in various temples. Food is also distributed among the people. 

2. It is an amazing idea to put circumambulation of Mount Govardhan on Govardhan Puja. It brings a lot of blessing, joy and prosperity with the blessing of Lord Krishna. 

Story of Govardhan worship

There is a serious story behind the celebration of Govardhan Puja, and according to the sayings, Lord Krishna has advised people to perform Govardhan Puja. It is also stated that one day when the mother of Krishna, Yashoda was praying to Lord Indra, Krishna abruptly asked his mother why is she worshipping Lord Indra. Krishna's mother innocently answered that all the dwellers are praying to Lord Indra for rain. The rain will be immensely helpful in growing the crops, and even cows will get fodder to eat. While listening to his mother, Krishna immediately replied that everyone should pray to Govardhan rather than Lord Indra. He further added that cows get grasses to eat when they visit the huge Govardhan Parvat. This convinced Yashoda, and she further influenced people of the village as well. Gradually, the villagers started to pray to Govardhan than Indra. When the Brijwasis were praying, Indra Devta saw it, and he got extremely angry and started the rain. Due to heavy torrential rain, the villagers got to face many troubles, and then they went to Lord Krishna for help. At the same time, due to incessant rains, water started filling the homes of the people, and they could not find any place to hide their heads. To protect the people from the troubles, Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Mountain on his little finger and under it all the Brjwasis for shelter as the rain did not stop for consecutive seven days. As soon as Lord Indra realized that Lord Krishna is another form of Lord Vishnu, he realized his mistake and stopped the rain. After the rain stopped, Lord Krishna put the mountain down and ordered people to worship Govardhan Mountain, and since then this festival is beautifully celebrated in many places. 

How to get enormous profit during Govardhan Puja? 

Measures of financial prosperity and everlasting success

For financial consistency and success, you must perform this:

1. Make sure you give a cow a bath and then put Tilak on her

2. Make sure your fruit and fresh vegetables 

3. Revolve cow seven-time

4. Take the soil near the hoof of the cow

5. Make sure you do maintain the safety

6. If you go to this soil by applying Tilak, then you will definitely get success.

To get better jobs and seek better opportunities 

a) You must visit Peepal Tree on any Saturday

b) You must tie a black thread 

c) You are supposed to put nine knots in the threads, and then you must pray for change

d) Come straight home from there

e) There will be a change in the job (See the link below to read more about this) as soon as possible.

Ways to get children

1. Make Panchamrit with milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee.

2. Mix Ganga water and Tulsi Dal in it

3. Offer Panchamrit to Lord Krishna by filling it in a conch.

4. fter this, chant "Mala Krishna Klein" 11 beads.

5. Take Panchamrit. Your wish will be fulfilled, and you will be blessed with a child (See the link below to read more about this).

Things to do and what not do during Puja hours 

What to do?

1. One must perform Govardhan Puja at a proper time auspiciously to complete the rituals properly. It is better that you must invite a Pandit to proceed with the rituals.

2. You must put massage oil in the morning, and you must take bathe before worship

3. You must make a Govardhan Parvat and then properly worship the huge and powerful Govardhan Parvat

What not to do?

1. Make sure you do not arrange the Govardhan Puja and Annakoot in a closed room

2. Do not forget to worship Ishtadeva or Lord Krishna while worshipping cows.

3. Make sure you do worship 'Ishtadeva or Lord Krishna' while worshipping cows

4. Make sure you do not see the moon on this day.

You can read my views of astrology for job change and child birth.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Bhai Dooj
06 Nov, 2021

Bhai Dooj is a festival to celebrate the sacred relationship of a brother and a sister. Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is also known as Bhai Teeka, Yam Dwitiya, and Bhatru Dwitiya. It is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha of the Kartik Month. This date falls on the second day of Diwali. On this day, sisters apply 'Tilak' on their brother's forehead and pray for their long life, happiness, and prosperity. And in return, brothers gift them with gifts. God of Death, Yamraja, is also worshipped on this day. It is believed that Yamraja came to his sister's house, Yamuna, to have food. 

Importance of Bhai Dooj 

Dedicated to celebrating the pure relationship of brothers and sisters, Bhai Dooj is a significant festival in Hinduism. This festival's main aim is always to uphold the flow of love and goodwill of brothers and sisters. The relationship between Yamraja and his sister Yamuna is proof that relationships are above everything. Bhai Dooj teaches us that no matter how busy we are in our lives, we should try to make sure that we must take time out for our relatives on special occasions. This is the purpose of celebrating this festival every year. 

Why do we celebrate Bhai Dooj? 

Dedicated to glorify the relationship between the brothers and sisters, this festival holds the utmost importance in Hinduism. Celebrated on the second day of the Krishna Paksha of the Kartik month, this festival is also known as Yam Dwitiya. 

How do we celebrate Bhai Dooj?

There is a unique way to celebrate this festival. Early morning, sisters take a bath and worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha. After this, they apply Tilak on their brother's forehead. Brothers visit their sister's house and even have food there. They also give them gifts. To take a bath in the Yamuna river and worship on the banks of this river is considered to be very promising. 

Rules for celebrating Bhai Dooj 

1. According to the scriptures, after two days of Diwali or when the second date comes in the afternoon of Kartik Shukla Paksha, Bhai Dooj is celebrated on that day. If the second date falls on both days, then there is a law to celebrate Bhai Dooj the next day. Apart from this, if the second date does not come on the afternoon of both days, Bhai Dooj should be celebrated the next day. These three views are more popular and valid.

2. According to another opinion, if Pratipada Tithi starts in the midday (the third part of the day) in Kartik Shukla Paksha, then Bhai Dooj should be celebrated. This opinion is not said to be logical.

3. The brother should offer Tilak and food only afternoon on the day of Bhai Dooj. Apart from this, Yama Pujan should also be done afternoon.

Story of Bhai Dooj

There was a king who used to play Chaupar with his brother in law. His brother in law used always to defeat him. The King thought that he wins every time because he celebrates Bhai Dooj every year and his sister's majesty. 

He ordered that his brother in law will not celebrate the Bhai Dooj with his sister. He closed all gates and made sure that he cannot get in any way. When Lord Yamraja looked at this, he immediately turned the brother in law into a dog. The dog went inside the palace. The queen recognized that the dog is his brother and applied Tilak on his forehead and rubbed her hand on his head, and the dog left. 

After this, the queen's brother went to the King and challenged him to play Chaupar with him again. King was shocked to know that his brother in law met his wife and even celebrated Bhai Dooj with her with Lord Yamraja. After this, the King also went to his sister's house to celebrate Bhai dooj with her. On hearing this, Yama got worried and started thinking that in this way, the existence of Yampuri will end. Seeing his brother worried, his sister Yamuna told him, that brother, you should not worry, give me this boon that people who have a meal with sister today and take a bath at Vishramghat in Mathura city, They do not have to go to Yampuri. They can get free from this bond of life and death. Lord Yamraja granted his sister's wish, and since then, the festival is celebrated by all sisters and brothers.   

What to do on Bhai Dooj 

1. Sisters should invite brothers to their place and apply Tilak, Chandan, and Roli on their forehead. 

2. Sisters should gift their brothers Tambul. It is believed that it signifies the sister's good luck. 

3. Brothers should take a bath in the Yamuna river. They get freedom from their Yamdosh. 

4. brothers should bring water to their homes from River Yamuna. 

5. Sisters should prepare rice kheer. It is a symbol of the long lives of both brothers and sisters. 

6. Brothers should give gifts to their sisters on this day. 

7. Seek blessings from your elder sister by touching her feet. 

8. While applying Tilak on your brother's forehead, make sure he's facing the north direction. 

9. Seek blessings from the elderly of the house. 

10. Both of them should do Isht ki Pooja. 

What to not do on Bhai Dooj

1. Do not eat alone. Make sure you eat the meal with your sister. If you're unable to meet your sister, have food sitting near a cow. 

2. Brothers and sisters should not fight on this day. 

3. Do not disrespect the food cooked by your sister.

4. Do not disrespect the gift given by the brother.

5. Do not lie to your sister on this day. If you do this, Yamraja will be angry with you.

6. do not eat or drink on this day.

7. brothers and sisters should not eat anything before performing the ceremony. 

8. Sisters should cook food for their brothers with full of affection and care.

9. Offer the brother sweets after applying Tilak 

10. Do not forget to give the brother a 'gola' as it is considered very sacred.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Chhath Puja
10 Nov, 2021

Chhath Parva or Chhath Puja is a folk festival of India celebrated on the Shashthi Tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha. Chhath Puja is also known as Surya Shashthi. This festival is celebrated six days after Diwali. Chhath Puja is predominantly and grandly celebrated in the North Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. On this day, Sun God and Chhathi Maiyya are worshipped. The main ritual of this festival involves offering Arghya (water) to Sun God and Chhathi Maiyya. Since the past few years, Chhath Puja has gained significant importance among the folk festivals of India, and due to this reason, it has emerged as one of the most popular and widely celebrated festivals of not just Bihar and Jharkhand but also other regions of India.  

In Bihar, the grandeur and spirit of Chhath Puja are all-pervasive and spectacularly matchless. Basically, Chhath Puja is dedicated to the worship of the Sun. As per the mythological beliefs, Chhath is considered the sister of Sun. It is believed that worshipping Sun God on Chhath Parva pleases Chhath Mai (Chhath Maiyya), and she grants boon such as wealth and prosperity, peace and harmony to everyone who worships Sun God with full devotion. 

History of Chhath Puja?

The biggest and most important festival of Hindus, Diwali, is like an exquisite string of festivals. This beautiful festival does not end on Bhai Dooj but continues till Chhath. Chiefly celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Chhath Parva is an important festival of North India, now enthusiastically celebrated across the country. Chhath is not just a one-day festival, but a grand celebration during which festivities continue for four days. It starts with Nahay-Khay on day-1 and culminates with the offering of Arghya to the rising Sun on the fourth day, the festival of Chhath holds unique mythological significance in Hinduism. 

Mythological significance of Chhath/Legend of Chhath

During Chhath Parva, Goddess Chhathi is worshipped, whose legends find a mention in Brahmavaivarta Purana. As per the legends, the son of first Manu Swayambhuva, King Priyavrata, had no children of his own, and this made him utterly unhappy and desolate. Sage Kashyapa suggested the King should perform a Yajna to be blessed with a son. The King performed the Yajna as per the command of the sage. As a result of the boon received, Queen Malini gave birth to a boy, but unfortunately, the baby was stillborn. This misfortune made the King, the Queen, and the entire clan even more miserable.    

As they were mourning the loss, a plane descended from the sky carrying Goddess Shashthi. When the King reverently bowed his head in front of the Goddess, she said - I am Goddess Shashthi, the adopted daughter of Lord Brahma. I am the protector of children and bless all those childless couples with their own child who worship me with full devotion. Then she put her hand on the dead child, and with her divine touch, the baby was alive again. King could not contain his happiness to see his dead son alive and worshipped Goddess Shashthi devotedly. Henceforth, people started worshipping Goddess Shashthi to get her blessings. 

The Scientific significance of Chhath Parva

There are deep scientific insights hidden behind the significance of Chhath Parva. Actually, Shashthi Tithi is a special astronomical event. On this day, Sun’s ultraviolet rays hit the surface of the Earth with more intensity and frequency. The rituals followed on Shashthi Tithi have immense powers to protect the life on Earth with potential ill-effects of accumulated ultraviolet rays. Observance of Chhath Parva protects living beings from the harmful effects of Sun’s (star) ultraviolet rays. 

Observance of Chhath began in Mahabharata Era 

As per the beliefs, the observance of Chhath began in the Era of Mahabharata. It was Karna, the son of Sun God, who initiated the Chhath ritual by worshipping Sun on this day. Karna was an ardent devotee of Sun, and he would stand in waist-deep water for hours every day and offer Arghya to Sun. With the blessings of Sun, Karna became a mighty and formidable warrior. Even in this age, the ritual of offering Arghya (Arghya-Daan) on Chhath is observed with full devotion. 

Draupadi observed Chhath Vrat

There is one more legend associated with Chhath Parva. According to this legend, Draupadi observed Chhath Vrat when Pandavas lost their kingdom in the game of dice. With the power of this Vrat, Draupadi’s wish was granted, and Pandavas regained their lost kingdom. According to folk tales, Sun God and Goddess Chhathi are brother and sister. Therefore, worshipping Sun on Chhath is considered highly propitious.    

Observance of Chhath as a penance of killing Ravana 

There is a Chhath legend associated with Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. As per the mythological legend, when Lord Rama and Goddess Sita returned to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile, on the command of sages and saints, they decided to perform Rajsurya Yajna as an act of atonement of the sin of killing Ravana. To perform the Yajna rituals, they invited Rishi Mudgal. Rishi Mudgal sprinkled some holy water from the river Ganges on Goddess Sita and suggested that she should worship Sun on the Shashthi Tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha. Goddess Sita worshipped Sun for six days while staying at the Ashrama of sage Mudgal.    

When is Chhath Parva celebrated?

The festival of Chhath, which is dedicated to the worship of Sun God, is celebrated twice a year, on Chaitra Shukla Shashthi and Kartik Shukla Shashthi. However, the festival celebrated on the Kartik Shukla Shashthi is more important and main Chhath Parva. Kartik Chhath Puja holds high religious and mythological significance. This four-day-long festival is also known as Chhath Puja, Dala Chhath, Chhathi Mai, Chhath, Chhath Mai Puja, Surya Shashthi Puja, etc.

Why Chhath Puja is observed?

There are various reasons for performing Chhath Puja and observing the Vrat, but Chhath Puja is chiefly performed to worship Sun and to seek his blessings. With the blessings of Sun, a person remains in good health throughout the year. Sun also bestows material comfort and prosperity on his devotees. Childless couples seek Sun’s blessings to conceive. Chhath Vrat is also observed to be blessed with a virtuous child (See the link below to read more about this). This Vrat is observed for the fulfillment of all the worldly as well as the non-worldly desires. 

Who is Goddess Shashthi, and how she originated?

Goddess Chhath is considered to be the sister of Sun God. But according to Chhath Vrat legend, Goddess Chhath is shown as Devsena, the daughter of Supreme God. According to Devsena herself, she originated from the sixth part of the primal nature, Prakriti, the feminine manifestation of divine power, and this is the reason she is called Shashthi. Goddess says anyone who wants to be blessed with a virtuous child should observe my Vrat and worship me ritualistically on the day of Kartik Shukla Shashthi.  

In religious scripture, the legend of Chhath Vrat is also associated with Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. After returning to Ayodhya from their 14-year exile, Lord Rama and Goddess Sita observed Shashthi Vrat and worshipped Sun God on Kartik Shukla Shashthi. According to another legend, during Mahabharata Era, Kunti worshipped Sun God before marriage and was blessed with a mighty and formidable son, Karna. 

Karna, who was born to an unmarried mother Kunti with the blessings of Sun God, and was abandoned in the river by his own mother, was himself an ardent devotee of Sun. He would worship Sun for hours while standing inside the water. It is believed that Sun blessed Karna with great powers and benedictions. Hence, people worship Sun on Kartik Shukla Shashthi to seek his blessings and grace. 

Chhath Parva continues till four days

Goddess Chhath is the sister of Sun God. The festival of Chhath is dedicated to the worship of Sun. To propitiate Goddess Chhath (Chhath Maiyya), Sun is worshipped on Shashthi Tithi. People meditate upon Goddess Chhath (Chhath Maiyya) and worship Sun on the banks of holy rivers Ganges and Yamuna or any water body nearby their place. The main and most important ritual of Chhath Puja is performing Sun’s Puja, offering the Arghya and taking a holy bath in some water body, like a river, pond, or lake. On the first day of this 4-day long festival, the house is cleaned and dusted extensively. Rural India follows this tradition religiously and performs a comprehensive cleaning of their houses.  

During the four days of the festivities, only vegetarian food is consumed. On the second day, the rituals of Kharna are observed. On the third day, the setting Sun is worshipped, and Sandhya Arghya is given to the Sun. On the fourth day of the festival, Usha Arghya is offered to the rising Sun. Observing Vrat on Chhath is considered highly propitious. Those who observe Chhath Vrat with full devotion and rituals become worthy of Sun’s grace and are bestowed with wealth and happiness. Worshipping Sun on Chhath blesses childless couples with a virtuous child.  

The first day of Chhath Puja, Nahay Khay - Although Chhath Puja is observed on Kartik Shukla Shashthi, the festivities begin on Kartik Shukla Chaturthi with the observance of Nahay Khay. According to the belief, Vrattis (those who observe the Chhath Vrat) take a holy bath in a water body, especially in a river, wear new clothes and partake in vegetarian food as Prasad. As per the customs, the Vratti eats first, and then other members of the family take their food. 

The second day of Chhath Puja, Kharna - On the day of Kartik Shukla Panchami, the Vratti observe a whole-day Vrat (fast) and takes their meal after performing the Puja in the evening. The observance of the second day is known as Kharna. On this day, the Vratti abstains from eating and drinking even a single drop of water the whole day. In the evening, Kheer is prepared with rice and jaggery. Salt and sugar are not used in Kheer preparation. Rice Pittha and Roti, greased with Ghee, are also served as Prasad in the evening.  

The third day of Chhath Puja, Sandhya Arghya - On the third day of Chhath festivities, which is Kartik Shukla Shashthi, Sandhya Arghya is given to Sun during the Sandhya Kaal. In the evening, seasonal fruits are placed in a bamboo basket, and the winnowing basket of Arghya is decorated with Thekua, rice Laddu, and other items. After making all these arrangements, the Vratti, along with their family, step inside the water and offer Arghya to the Sun. While giving the Arghya, water, and milk is offered to Sun, and Chhathi Maiyya is worshipped by offering the contents of the winnowing basket (Sup). After worshipping the setting sun in the evening, folk songs dedicated to Goddess Chhathi are sung later in the night, and Vrat Katha is narrated. 

The fourth day of Chhath, Usha Arghya - On the last day of Chhath Parva, Usha Arghya is given to Sun God. On this day, devotees reach the riverbank before Sunrise and offer Arghya to the rising Sun. Then, Vrattis pray to Goddess Chhath for the long and prosperous life of their children and the peace and prosperity of their whole family. After worshipping and offering the Arghya to Sun, Vrattis break their fast by drinking a concoction of raw milk and taking a little Prasad. The breaking of the fast is called Vrat Parana. 

Chhath Puja Vidhi/Rituals

1. Collect the following items before Chhath Puja and then offer Arghya to Sun God by following all the important rituals. 

2. Three large bamboo baskets, three winnowing baskets (Sup) either in bamboo or brass, a plate (Thali), milk, and glass. 

3. Rice, vermilion, lamp (Deepak), coconut, turmeric, sugarcane, lesser yam, vegetables, and sweet potato. 

4. Pears, a large lemon, honey, a betel leaf, an unbroken betel nut, Keraw (small green peas), camphor, sandalwood, and sweets. 

5.For Prasad (food offering), take these items -Thekua, Malpua, Kheer-Puri, Suji Halwa, and rice Laddu.

6. Wake up before Sunrise on the day of Chhath.

7. One should take a holy bath in some nearby lake, pond, or river. 

8. After the holy bath, while standing inside the water, pray to the rising Sun and perform ritualistic worship.  

9. Light a Diya using pure Ghee, and offer Dhup and flowers to the Sun. 

10. Mix seven kind of flowers, rice, sandalwood, and sesame in water and offer Arghya to Sun on Chhath. 

11. Bow your head reverently and pray to Sun God and chant one of the following Mantras 108 times - ‘Om Ghrini Suryaya Namah,’ ‘Om Ghrini Suryah Adityah’, ‘Om Hreem Hreem Suryaya’, ‘Sahastrakiranaya Manovanchhit Phalam Dehi Dehi Swaha’, or ‘Om Suryaya Namah’. 

12. The right method to offer Arghya - Place the aforementioned items in a bamboo basket. While offering the Arghya, place Prasad items in a winnowing basket along with a lit Diya. Then step inside the river and make the offering of Arghya to Sun God.    

13. Donate food items to Brahmins and the poor as per your ability. 

14. Donate clothes, food, food grain, etc., to the poor.  

Some basic information regarding Chhath Puja

The folk festival of Chhath, also known as Surya Shashthi, is celebrated across the world by the diaspora of people who migrated from Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Despite the increasing popularity of the festival, a large section of Indian people is still not familiar with the most basic information related to the Chhath Puja. Furthermore, many questions regarding this festival arise in the mind of those people who celebrate this festival every year. 

1. Which deities are worshipped on Chhath or Surya Shashthi Vrat?

On Chhath or Surya Shashthi Vrat, Sun is worshipped as a prime deity, who is the direct manifestation of divine power and the prime source of life on Earth. Along with Sun, Goddess Shashthi, also known as Chhath Maiyya, is also worshipped. As per the mythological beliefs, Goddess Shashthi blesses children with good health (See the link below to read more about this) and long life and protect them from all adversities. On this day, the Arghya is also given to the wives of Sun God, Usha, and Pratyusha. During Chhath Vrat, Sun and Goddess Shashthi are worshipped together, and due to this reason, Chhath Parva is one of the most unique and popular festivals in India. 

2. Sun is an important Hindu deity, but who is Goddess Chhath? 

A manifestation of Prakriti as its integral part, the primal feminine power, which governs the very nature of life on Earth, is described in religious scripture as Devsena. Because she is the sixth part of Prakriti, Devsena came to be known as Goddess Shashthi. She is also known as the adopted daughter of Lord Brahma. In Purana, she is also identified with the name Katyayani. During Navaratri, she is worshipped on the sixth day or Shashthi Tithi. On the regional level, Shashthi Tithi is known as Chhath Maiyya, who blesses childless couples with a child and protect all children in the world. 

3. Where do you find the mention of Sun-worship in our religious scripture? 

In our religious scripture, Sun is considered a Guru, a teacher. Sun was also the Guru of Lord Hanuman. Lord Rama chanted ‘Adityahridayastotram’ to seek the blessings of the Sun before aiming the last arrow on Ravana and triumphing over the evil forces. When Lord Krishna’s son Samba was afflicted with leprosy, then he worshipped Sun God and got rid of the disease (See the link below to read more about this). Sun has been a primal deity being worshipped since the ages prior to the Vedic period. 

4. What is the place of Sun among other deities of Sanatana Dharma? 

Sun is placed among those five prime deities, who are first-worshipped during any religious ceremony or event. As per Matsya Purana, these deities are collectively called Panchadeva - Sun God, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu.

5. What are the benefits of worshipping the Sun God, and what does Puranas opine on this matter? 

Sun God is a benevolent and compassionate deity. He bestows all of his worshipers with long life, good health, wealth and prosperity, progeny, glory, fame, fortune, and success. Above all, he is the ultimate source of light on Earth and enlightens people to conquer darkness. Those who worship Sun with full devotion get rid of all mental and physical afflictions. Those who worship him never face penury, misery, sorrow, and blindness in life. Sun is considered as the glory of Lord Brahma. Sun blesses his devotees with Purushartha, that is, Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Prosperity), Kama (Pleasure), and Moksha (Liberation), and is the protector of the entire universe. 

6. Why do people gather at river banks or around lake and ponds during Chhath Puja?

The most important ritual of Sun worship on Chhath Puja is the offering of Arghya. Taking holy bath in rivers such as the Ganges and offering Arghya to Sun God while standing inside the water is considered very auspicious. However, this Puja can also be done at any clean place. 

7. A large crowd gather around water bodies on Chhath. What measures can one take to comfortably perform the Puja? 

Because a lot of people don’t prefer performing Chhath Puja at crowded river banks, the practice of performing the Puja at home is fast gaining popularity. Many people observe Chhath Vrat and offer Arghya from their courtyard or terrace. People adapt rituals with changing times and their convenience. 

8. Why do mostly women observe Chhath Vrat? 

It is highly usual for women natives to take extreme pains to perform various rituals and prayers for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their family. It is associated with the sacrificial nature of women in general. Thus, most women keep this fast. However, Chhath Vrat can be performed by both men and women. Childless women observe this Vrat to be blessed with a virtuous child. Mothers observe this fast for the longevity and good health of their children.  

9. Can this Puja be performed by a person of any social status or caste? 

Sun does not discriminate with his subjects, and he provides his light and energy uniformly and equally upon us. There is no restriction based on Varna or caste; people from all caste and Varna can perform this Puja. People coming from all sections of society perform Chhath Puja with full devotion. Everyone participates in rituals with the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood. Those who have faith in the Sun, whatever religion or caste they come from can perform Chhath Puja. 

10. Does Chhath Puja give any social message? 

During Surya Shashthi Vrat, people worship the setting Sun with the same devotion as they worship the rising Sun. This provides many significant clues and insights about this unique festival. It showcases the spiritual supremacy of India in the world. This festival doesn’t discriminate on the basis of caste and treats all people equally. The bamboo baskets, which are used to offer Prasad to Sun, are made by underprivileged people of our society. All these points made the social significance of Chhath quite evident.   

11. Why is there a special association of Bihar with Chhath Puja?

The unique tradition of worshipping the Sun along with Goddess Shashthi, is seen during this folk festival. Due to this very reason, Chhath Parva is closely associated with Bihar. In Bihar, the tradition of Sun worship is prevalent for ages. One can find the mention of Bihar’s many famous Surya temples in Surya Purana. Also, Bihar is the birthplace of Karna, the son of Sun. This all leads up to a special devotion for Sun in the hearts of the Bihari people.   

12. What is the significance of Bihar’s Deo Surya Mandir? 

The most important factor that makes this temple unique is that the main entrance of this temple opens in the west direction, while generally, Sun temples open in the east direction. It is believed that this unique Surya temple was built by the architect of God, Vishvakarma. This Surya temple is a sublime example of Hindu architecture. 

13. Apart from the Kartik month, when is Chhath Puja observed in a year?

Apart from Kartik month, Chhath Vrat is also observed from Chaturthi to Saptami Tithi of Chaitra Shukla Paksha. Colloquially, this Chhath is called ‘Chaiti Chhath’. 

14. During Chhath Puja, why some devotees take pains such as prostrating and reaching the river banks by rolling over the ground?

Colloquially, this practice is called ‘Kashti Dena’, which translates as ‘to take pains’. In most of cases, only those who have taken an oath or vow for various reasons perform this practice as a sign of devotion.

You can read my views of astrology for blessed with a virtuous child, good health and specific diseases.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.  

Dev Uthani Ekadashi
14 Nov, 2021

The Ekadashi fast is of enormous interest in the Sanatan Dharma. The Ekadashi, which occurs in the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month, is also known as Devotthan, Devauthani, or Prabodhini Ekadashi. Generally, this Ekadashi occurs after the festival of Diwali. Ashadh Devashayana on this day of Ekadashi in the Shukla paksha rise up, and hence it is known as Devotthan Ekadashi. It is considered that on this auspicious day of Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu gets up after four months of sleep in Kshirsagar. Any kind of marriage or any special functions are rarely done in these four months of Vishnu's slumber time. All the fortunate function commences after Lord Hari wakes up on Devotthan Ekadashi. Tulsi-vivah is also performed on this day, and the person who fasts on this day is said to attain BaikunthaDham.

Importance of Devuthani Ekadashi

In our Vedas and Puranas, there is a faith that on this Ekadashi, which occurs after Diwali, the almighty rises. So that is why all the prosperous practices like marriage, upanayana, or Graha Pravesh, etc., begins after the occasion of Devauthanigyarasi. Hence Tulsi marriage is also performed on this day of Gyarasi. Chalk is made in houses with rice flour. Lord Vishnu is worshipped between the cane canopy. Firecrackers are burned on this day. DevauthaniGyarasi is most commonly known as Chhoti Diwali. From this day of Gyarasi, the carrier of Mars gets its strength again. On this day of Kartik Shukla Ekadashi, along with the tulsi marriage, it is hoped that all the positive tasks in the house should be done sleekly. As the tulsi plant is also a portrayal of nature and is also considered as a medicinal plant, it is donated among all for it benefits everyone. After four months of sleep, awakened Lord Vishnu resumes all the auspicious works after this moment. According to the Indian Calendar, the day of Ekadashi is also actually ponderous. Hence this day is celebrated with exceptional rituals. From this day, onwards marriages and many auspicious functions start. Keeping a fast on this day is also said to be of huge importance. Women perform Tulsi marriage and renovate their lawn with khadi, and celebrates the festival with bhajans and songs.

Why is Devouthani Ekadashi celebrated?

On this day, Shri Hari wakes up. This day is called Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi or Devauthanigyarasi. All the Manglik tasks, which has been stopped for four months, also starts. According to the Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu annihilated a ghastly beast named Shankhasura and then the Ekadashi of Asadh Shukla Paksha, which is known as Harishayani Ekadashi in which Shri Hari slept on the bed of Sheshnag started.  The awakening of Lord Vishnu after relinquishing the yoga sleep of four months means that in four months, we can reorganize the energy which we gathered from self-study and worship, into karmas which will have advantages in our lives. 

Panchabhika fast

The KartikPanchTirthaMahasnan starts as well, and it continues till Kartik Purnima. 'PanchabhikaVrat' starts from the Ekadashi day in the month of Kartik, in which bathing is done for five days while staying without water(nirjala). This is performed for the fulfillment of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. According to Ekadashi Mahatyam termed in PadamPurana, the fruit of Devotthan Ekadashi fasts is equivalent to a thousand AshwameghYajna and a hundred RajasuyaYajna. Keeping a fast on Ekadashi day is knowledgeable and delightful. Having a bath in holy rivers and praying to Lord Vishnu on this day is of great importance. This fast on Ekadashi is considered to lessen the sins which we do after taking birth in this world and makes it easier for us to get the cycle of birth and death.

Benefits of donating a lamp

It is said in the testament of Devotthan Ekadashi is the Shaligram figure of Lord Vishnu and the marriage day of Goddess Vrinda, i.e., Tulsi. On this day, Lord Vishnu wakes up after a sleep of four months and resume the works of managing the universe. Lord Rudra relaxes as he is free from the task of creation during the four months of Lord Vishnu's sleep. So on this day, Lord Vishnu is worshipped with full dedication and faithfulness. On this daylight, some lamps on the roof of the house and don't keep any part of the house dark in the night as it increases happiness and well-being. 

Do not pluck basil leaves 

Tulsi should not be plucked from the plants on the day of Devotthan Ekadashi. On this day of Ekadashi, Shaligram form of Goddess Tulsi and Lord Vishnu were married, so Tulsi leaves should be worn on this day. Lamps should lighten up under Tulsi plants. On the next day, i.e., Dwadashi tithi, the fasting should be broken by consuming tulsi leaves, and the leaves should not be plucked by the one who was fasting, so children or elders who have not fasted should pluck the leaves. 

After all, Why does Shri Hari fall asleep?

Once upon a time, his beloved Lakshmi Ji said to Lord Vishnu-Lord, you stay awake the whole day, and when you sleep, you sleep for years, and the balance of nature loses. Therefore take the lesson from it and sleep by a schedule as it will also help me. After hearing what Lakshmi Ji said, Lord Vishnu smiled and replied, 'Devi' what you have said is true and appropriate; waking up does not give rest to all the other Gods and especially to you because of my service. From today onwards, I will sleep for the four months of the rainy season, which will be called Alpnidra and Yojanidra, which will be the ultimate blessing for my followers. During this time, all the fanatic who will care for me in the spirit of my sleep, I will always stay in their homes with you and bless them.

Tulsi Shaligram marriage

The marriage of Lord Vishnu, who is also known as Shaligram and Vishupriya Tulsi, is performed on Ekadashi by women who bath in Kartik. The marriage ceremony of the Tulsi tree and Shaligram is performed under the beautiful mandap. Vishnushastram, including Namastak, is recited during the ceremony. According to the scriptures, the reason to celebrate this Tulsi-Shaligram marriage is the attainment of virtues and happy married life. In the month of Kartik, no donation is greater than donating a tulsi tree. In Prithvi Lok, Goddess Tulsi is recognized by eight names, and they are:-  

Vrindavani, Vrinda, Vishvapujita, Vishvapavani, Pushpasara, Nandini, Krishnajivani, and Tulsi. In the holy offerings of Shree Hari, the Presence of Tulsi leaf is compulsory, and Tulsi leaves are offered in Lord's rosary and feet.

Devotthan Ekadashi Vrat and Puja Vidhi

Lord Vishnu is worshipped and awakened on the day of Prabhodhini Ekadashi.

    Religious deeds performed on this day are as follows-

    On this day, we are expected to get up in the morning, take a vow and do meditation on Lord Vishnu.

    Just After taking a bath and cleaning the house, the feet of Lord Vishnu are drawn in the courtyard.

    After drawing the pounder from ochre, fruit, sweet, plum, water chestnut, season fruit, and sugarcane are put in it, and it is covered with thread.

    On this day in the night, lamps and Diyas are lightened at the place of worship and also outside the house.

    Every family members of the house should worship Lord Vishnu and other deities at the night

    After this, Lord Vishnu should be awakened with the help of concha, bell-gharial, etc. And this sentence should be repeated:-Utho Deva, Baitha Deva, Anguriya Chatko Deva, New Cotton, New Cotton, Dev Raise Karthik month.

Chanting of Mantras

In Hinduism, the chanting of mantras has great importance. Almost all the predestination is done using the mantras. There is also predestination of awakening the Gods by chanting mantras, recitation, strings, bell sound, and bhajan-kirtan on the day of Devuthani Ekadashi.

This mantra is chanted

Uttistha Govind Tyaj Nidran Jagatpatye.  Tvayi Supte Jagannath Jagat Suptam Bhavedidam

 Uttheta Chestate Sarvamuttishottistha Madhava.  Gatamegha Viachaiva Nirmalam Nirmaladishsh

 Sharadanchi Pushpani Grihaan Mam Keshav.

And if the above mantra is not known or if there is not a pure accent, raise Shri Narayana by saying 'Get up deva, sit deva'.  After awakening Srihari, worship him with the Shodashopachari method. Lord's Charanamrit must be taken to increase happiness and good luck.  It is believed that Charanamrit destroys all diseases, and protects them from premature death, eliminates all suffering.  On the day of Devothani Ekadashi, recitation and fasting of Vishnu praise, Shaligram, and Tulsi glory should be observed.

Devauthani Ekadashi: Mythological Fast Story

Once there was a king, and in his kingdom, everyone used to keep fasting on Ekadashi. on the day of Ekadashi, food was not given to anyone, including the animals. One day a man came to the King from another state and requested the King to hire him. The King agreed to hire him, but he has put a condition before him that he will get food every day to expect on the day of Ekadashi. For that time, the man accepted the King's condition, but on the day of Ekadashi, when fruits were given to the man, he disagreed with having the fruits; instead, he went to the King and pleaded with him that fruit is not sufficient for him and he will die of hunger and requested the King to give him food. After this, the King reminded him of the condition, but he didn't agree to give up on food, so the King gave me flour, daal, rice, etc. After getting the food from the King, the man, as usual, went to the river, took his bath, and started to prepare the food. After the food was cooked, he started calling God to come and have the food. On his call, God wearing Pitambar came in quadrilateral form and started eating with him with love. 

The Lord became impeded after having the meal, and the man went to his work. After fifteen days, when again came the Ekadashi, the man requested the King to give him the food in double amount. After asking for a reason, he replied to the King that he remained hungry that day because God also used to eat with him, and the food was not enough for two people. After hearing this, the King was surprised and was not ready to believe the fact that God eats with the man. The King Said that he used to keep fast on Ekadashi, worship God, but God never appeared before him. After hearing this, the man said that if he is not able to believe, then he must come along with him and hide behind the tree and see everything that's happening there. 

As the King wanted to check whether the man is true or not, he went near the river and hid behind the tree. As usual, the man-made the food and kept calling God till the evening, but God didn't appear. Finally, the man prayed to God that if he does not come, then he will jump into the river and die. But then also God didn't come. So he started moving towards the river to kill himself. Knowing his strong intention to give up his life, God soon appeared and stopped him from doing that, and both enjoyed the meal together. After completing the meal, God took him to his abode in his plane. Seeing this, the King realized that there is no benefit of fasting until the mind is pure.  The King got a lesson from this.  He, too, started fasting from the heart and finally got to heaven. 

Devauthani Ekadashi Story

There was a king, and the people lived happily in his kingdom. However, no one in his kingdom ever sells 'anna' or food items; everyone only sold fruits. Once God decided to take his test, and God converted himself into a beautiful girl, and then he sat on the road. At that time only, King was passing by, and he got utterly surprised. And then he asked her, 'who are you? Why are you sitting here? Then the beautiful woman said that I am destitute and I have no identity in this city and so I could not ask for help from anyone. The King got attracted to her looks, and then he said, 'why don't you come to my palace and live there as my queen?' The beautiful lady said that 'I would listen to you only if you give all your responsibilities. 

Also,  I would have all rights over your kingdom. Whatever I will cook, you will eat' As King was already extremely attracted, so he agreed to all her sayings. The next day, it was Ekadashi and queen ordered to sell food at the market. She also cooked fish and mutton and asked the King to eat it. When King saw it he said, it is Ekadashi, and so he would only eat fruits. At that point only, the queen reminded him about the promise that he made, and then she said, either you eat food or else I would behead your elder son. At this point, the King decided to explain his situation and share his problem with the other queen, and so the elder queen said, 'dear King does not get sad, but you must not give up on virtue or ethics, and so she suggested sacrificing his son. At this time only, the son returned and saw tears in his mother's eye, and so he asked the reason behind it. When he came to know the reason, he agreed to sacrifice his head. He said you must respect and protect ethics and virtue. 

When King agreed to do it, God Vishnu appeared and said 'I am impressed by your values, you can ask me anything as a blessing' Then King said that 'with your mercy, we do have everything, all we expect from you is to guide us'At that only, King gave his son and then the son flew in into the heavenly world.  

Special things that you must perform on Devathaon Ekadashi 

Let's try to understand a few important solutions:

1.    On this day, you should donate milk mixed with Kesar to the almighty Lord Vishnu. If God gets happy and feels content, he would make all your wish come true 

2.    On this auspicious day, devotees must get up early in the morning and take a bath. If you do this, your entire family would be blessed. After that, you must also chant the pious and pure 'Gayatri Mantra', which would make your health better 

3.    For financial benefits, on the day of Ekadashi, you must offer any white sweets or rice pudding to the powerful Lord Vishnu. Make sure you do put 'Tulsi' in it

4.    Devotees must offer coconut and almonds to Lord Vishnu consecutively for 11 Ekadashis

5.    Try to wear yellow colored clothes on this day. You could also offer yellow fruit to the Almighty

6.    On this day, towards evening, you must light pure Ghee Diyas and chant 'वासुदेवाय नम' eleven times and also take around. This would help you to keep your house calm and serene 

7.    On this day, you must collect water in 'दक्षिणावर्ती शंख' and offer to Lord Vishnu. This will impress Lord Vishnu and Maa Lakshmi 

8.    On this day, you must offer water to the Peepal tree and also lit some Diyas. It is believed that the peepal is the symbol of Lord Vishnu. You must perform this ritual to get over the debts

9.    You must keep a picture of the statue of Lord Vishnu when you are praying. You must include some money and then keep it with you after puja

10.    On this day, you must visit any spiritual place and chat Gayatri Mantra

11.    On this day, if anyone proceeds with 'Tulsi- Shaligram' Marriage, he or she would be blessed for life

12.    There are eight popular names, such as:

 देवी तुलसी आठ नामों वृंदावनी, वृंदा, विश्वपूजिता, विश्वपावनी, पुष्पसारा, नंदिनी, कृष्णजीवनी और तुलसी. You must add Tulsi in it to make your prayers more effective

13.    On this day, you must roam around the 'Tulsi' eleven times 

What to do and What not to do on this day?

Things you should do:

    You must light some candles and Diyas on this day.

    You must put the light everywhere in your house.

    People could prefer 'Tulsi-Shaligram' Marriage on this day. 

    You must keep fast on this day.

    You must pray to Lord Vishnu and also sing spiritual songs.

    You must offer Tulsi to Lord Vishnu. 

    Married people who chant 'Tulsi Namastak' would be blessed.

    You must not consume salt on this day.

    You must also not drink water.

    You must also eat fruits.

    You must chant beautiful and effective prayers.

    You must donate food to the poor and needy.    

Things you should not do:

    Make sure you do not eat rice as it is not allowed on this day as it might have a severe impact on your next birth.

    You must not fight or misbehave with anyone.

    Make sure you do not pluck Tulsi leaves on this day. 

    So make sure you do pluck flowers and leaves on the previous day.

    You must follow 'Brahmacharya Fast' on this day, or else Lord Vishnu would get furious. 

    The person who is fasting must sleep on the floor.

     Do not consume alcohol on this day.

    You must not sleep and perform prayers to Lord during the entire night.

    You must not lie to anyone.

    You must not insult anyone.

    Also, you must not hurt any living beings.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Tulsi Vivah
15 Nov, 2021

On the Ekadashi Tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha, also known as Dev Uthani Ekadashi, the ceremonial marriage of Tulasi plant and Shaligram is conducted. It is believed that performing this ritual pleases Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. According to the Padma Purana, Goddess Tulasi is the incarnation or Avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. Shaligram is the manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The legend of their incarnation is found in the ancient text of Brahmavaivarta Purana. As per the scripture, conducting the marriage of Holy plant Tulasi and Shaligram brings peace and prosperity in life. Therefore in Sanatan Dharma, the tradition of conducting the marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram is followed with utmost devotion. 

The significance of Tulasi Vivah

Tulasi is considered sacred and has special significance in Hinduism. Along with religious significance, Tulasi is known for its scientific significance as well. From the scientific perspective, the Tulasi plant is well-known for its rich medicinal properties. In the Hindu religion, Goddess Tulasi is considered the incarnation of Devi Lakshmi, and she is married to Shaligram. Shaligram is depicted as the manifestation of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Ekadashi Tithi of Ashadha Shukla Paksha, also known as Devshayani Ekadashi, marks the four-month sleeping period of Lord Vishnu in Kshira Sagara. 

Lord Vishnu wakes from his four-month-long sleeping period on the day of Dev Uthani or Devutthana Ekadashi. Goddess Tulasi is very dear to Lord Vishnu, and he loves listening to the prayers of Tulasi when he wakes from sleep. On Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Goddess Tulasi is married off to Shaligram. If a person doesn’t have a daughter and can’t earn the ‘Punya’ of Kanyadan (giving away the daughter in marriage), then he should perform Tulasi Vivah, the ceremonial marriage of the Tulasi plant to earn the Punya of Kanyadan. It is believed that people who worship Tulasi in their home always prosper with an abundance of wealth. With Tulasi Vivah, auspicious ceremonies like wedding, etc., restart after the four-month hiatus. The Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi of Kartik month is the day dedicated to the marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram.  

Why is Goddess Tulasi married off to a stone? 

On the day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu wakes up from his sleep after four months. Onwards this day, all the auspicious ceremonies restart in the Hindu religion after the hiatus of four months. The marriage of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram is also conducted on Dev Uthani Ekadashi. A Tulasi plant is decorated like a Hindu bride with a wedding Saree draped around her, and Shaligram is the groom; during the wedding ceremony, all wedding rituals are observed with full devotion.   

Due to a curse, Lord Vishnu turned into a stone (Shaligram)

According to a legend, just when Vrinda’s vow was broken due to Vishnu’s trick, her husband Jalandhar was killed in the battle, and his head fell off in her courtyard. Vrinda was shocked to see the head of her husband. When she turned and asked her companion who he was as? Then, Vishnu revealed his true identity as he was disguising himself as Jalandhar and deceived Vrinda to break her vow made to Jalandhar. Feeling betrayed, Vrinda cursed Vishnu. She cursed Vishnu to go through the pain of separation from his wife just as she went through the pain of separation from her husband. The way you betrayed me by disguising yourself, your wife will be abducted by deception. You will be forced to live through the separation of your wife. Then Vrinda said, you have deceived me into breaking my vow; now you will turn into a stone. Henceforth, Lord Vishnu came to be called Shaligram. It is believed that due to this very curse of Vrinda, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Rama, the son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya, and suffered the pain of separation from his wife, Sita. 

The association between Vrinda and Tulasi plant

As per the legend associated, the Tulasi plant originated at the exact spot where Vrinda became Sati. As the Tulasi plant shares its origin with the place where Vrinda died, Tulasi came to be known as Vrinda. It is said that when Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu, he repented his deed by honoring Vrinda to become his consort in the form of Tulasi. Vishnu said he respected her integrity, and thus she would live forever with him as Husband and wife. 

Lord Vishnu further added that anyone who will conduct my marriage with you on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi would become worthy of my blessings, and I will fulfill every worldly and non-worldly desire of that person. Henceforth, the tradition of performing the ceremonial marriage of Shaligram and Tulasi on Dev Uthani Ekadashi started. Furthermore, Tulasi has special significance in the worship of Lord Vishnu. Without Tulasi leaves, the worship of Lord Vishnu is considered incomplete.   

Tulasi Vivah is helpful for people who don’t have a daughter.

The day of Kartik Shukla Ekadashi is considered most auspicious for Tulasi Vivah. This day is dedicated to the celebrations of the wedding of Goddess Tulasi with Shaligram. The wedding is performed by following all the important rituals of a Hindu wedding. Hence, any couple who doesn’t have a daughter should perform the rituals of Tulasi Vivah to earn the Punya of Kanyadan.   

Medicinal and Puranic significance of Tulasi plant

Tulasi is an important plant from a medicinal and health perspective. Brewing a few Tulasi leaves with tea will not just enhance its taste but also boost your immunity and keep you energetic throughout the day. These medicinal properties of Tulasi have made it an important ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines and preparations. Tulasi holds high significance from a health as well as a religious perspective. On the one hand, Tulasi is beloved to Lord Vishnu, and on the other, she has deep animosity with Lord Ganesha. Usage of Tulasi leaves in any form is forbidden during Ganesha Puja. 

This miraculous legend associated with Tulasi Vivah

There are many legends associated with Tulasi Vivah, and one of them narrates the story of a particular Nanad-Bhabhi. As per the story, Nanad was an ardent devotee of Goddess Tulasi and would worship her with full devotion. But her sister-in-law (Bhabhi) did not approve of her worshipping Tulasi. She used to get angrily shout and taunt her Nanad that she would only get a Tulasi plant as a wedding gift or dowry. Furthermore, she would only serve Tulasi leaves in the reception dinner to the wedding guests and Baratis (groom’s side).  

Soon, the Nanad was old enough to be married off, and her wedding day arrived. Bhabhi broke the Tulasi plant in front of Baratis. But with God’s grace, all the leaves and soil turned into a sumptuous meal. This exasperated the Bhabhi even more, and instead of adorning her Nanad with golden jewellery, she put a Tulasi’s seed garland around her neck. But the very next moment, that Garland transformed into a beautiful gold necklace. Bhabhi did not stop there, and instead of giving bridal clothes to her Nanad, she gave her Janeo to wear. But that Janeo transformed into a beautiful silk Saree. Witnessing the incident, Nanad’s new family, that is, her husband’s family, praised her wholeheartedly. Seeing all those miracles, Bhabhi understood the importance and power of Tulasi Puja.   

Goddess Tulasi bestows boon only to her true devotees.

It is common knowledge that the offering of all your delicious sweets, fruits, and flowers would mean nothing if you don’t have devotion in your heart. But if you have true devotion in your heart for a deity, and worship them without any selfish interest, then a single flower would be enough to become worthy of God’s grace. This theory is justified by the next incident of the Nanad-Bhabhi story told above. According to the story, when the Nanad got married and went to live with her husband, the Bhabhi came to understand the importance of Tulasi Puja. She instructed her daughter to worship Tulasi.    

However, the daughter paid no heed to her mother’s instructions. Then, Bhabhi thought if she behaved with her daughter the same way she behaved with her sister-in-law during the latter’s wedding, maybe Goddess Tulasi bestows boons on her daughter as well. She repeated all her actions during her daughter’s wedding. But no miracle happened this time, and the broken Tulasi pot did not turn into delicious food, Tulasi garland did not transform into gold jewellery, and Janeo remained as it is. All these actions of the Bhabhi made them a subject of ridicule in society, and everyone criticized them.   

When Jowar transformed into gold and silver

The story of Nanad-Bhabhi further goes like this. After all that happened during the wedding, the Bhabhi never invited her sister-in-law home even for a day. One day, the brother thought that he should go and meet his sister. He shared these thoughts with his wife and proposed to bring along some gifts for his sister. To this, the Bhabhi put a handful of Jowar grain in a bag to be presented to the Nanad and handed it to her husband. Seeing this behaviour of his wife, the brother felt very bad. He thought it would be very awkward and inappropriate to gift Jowar to his sister, and he emptied the bag in front of cows in a cowshed on his way.   

But with the grace of Goddess Tulasi, all Jowar grains transformed into gold and silver. The cow owner was astonished to see this and asked the brother as to why he offered all that gold and silver to the cows. Brother was also stunned to see the miracle and shared the complete incident with the cowherd. Then the cowherd said it was all because of the blessings of Goddess Tulasi. Brother proceeded happily and reached his sister’s place. Seeing the precious gift, the sister and her family were overjoyed with happiness. 

The legend of Tulasi-Shaligram marriage 

Shaligram is the Avatar of Lord Vishnu. As per the Puranic legend, apart from Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya, Lord Shiva had one more son, and his name was Jalandhar. But Jalandhar had demonic qualities in him. He considered himself the most powerful, mighty, and formidable warrior among all the Gods and demons. He used to misuse his powers to trouble Gods. Jalandhar was married to an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, Vrinda. As Jalandhar would persistently bother Gods and try to snatch their kingdom, the trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva conceived a plan to kill him.   

But for Vrinda’s virtue and faithfulness, nobody could kill Jalandhar. To get the solution to this problem, Gods decided to ask the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu made the plan of breaking Vrinda’s vow, which was protecting her husband. To execute their plan, Lord Vishnu disguised as Jalandhar and deceived Vrinda to break her vow. This way, the trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva succeeded in killing Jalandhar. Vrinda felt tormented knowing about the betrayal of Lord Vishnu, of whom she was an ardent devotee. In her anguish, Vrinda cursed Lord Vishnu to turn into a stone. All Gods implored Vrinda to take her curse back, and she capitulated. To repent for his betrayal, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the form of a stone and henceforth came to be known as Shaligram. 

Puja Vidhi of Tulasi Vivah

As per the tradition, the ceremonial marriage of Tulasi, called Tulasi Vivah, is conducted on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi. On this day, Lord Vishnu also wakes after four months of the sleeping period, which begins on Dev Shayani Ekadashi. This Ekadashi also marks the resuming of auspicious ceremonies, like a wedding in Hinduism after the hiatus. As per the beliefs, Lord Vishnu, in his Shaligram Avatar, marries Tulasi on this day. Those who perform this ceremony earn Punya equivalent to Kanyadan. 

  • During the evening, before the marriage, draw a beautiful Rangoli and an eight-leaf lotus by using Geru powder.  
  • Then set up a Mandapa by using sugarcane. 
  • Place two Chowkis inside the Mandapa. Now place a Tulasi pot on one Chowki and either Shaligram or Lord Vishnu’s idol on another. 
  • Place Tulasi pot on the right-hand side of Shaligram. 
  • On Shaligram’s Chowki, draw an eight-leaf lotus and place a Kalash on it. Also, draw a Swastika on the Kalash. 
  • Put Tilak on mango leaves using Roli and decorate them around the brim of Kalash. Now, wrap a coconut with a red cloth and place it over the Kalash. 
  • Light a Ghee-Deepak in front of Tulasi pot and start the wedding ceremony. 
  • Then, dip a flower in Gangajal and sprinkle it on the Tulasi pot while chanting the Mantra - Om Tulsaya Namah. Sprinkle some Gangajal on Shaligram also.  
  • Put Roli Tilak on Tulasi and sandalwood Tilak on Shaligram. 
  • Wrap a red Chunari or Saree around Goddess Tulasi and offer Suhag-items, like bangles, Henna, etc. 
  • Perform the Abhishekam of Shaligram with Panchamrita and make an offering of yellow clothes. 
  • Offer flowers on the Kalash. Put a flower garland each on Tulasi and Shaligram.  
  • Then, put a betel nut, flowers, a few cardamoms, and Dakshina (money) in a cloth. 
  • A male member of your family should carry Shaligram in hands and make seven rounds around Tulasi. 
  • After completing Pheras or seven rounds, make Goddess Tulasi seated on the left-hand side of Shaligram. 
  • Offer sesame to Shaligram and perform his Aarti with camphor. 
  • After completing all rituals, offer the Bhog of sweets and Kheer-Puri to Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram. 
  • After the Puja, donate all the Puja-Samagri (items used during the Puja) along with the same Tulasi pot in a temple.  
  • If possible, plant Amla along with Tulasi at your home and perform Panchopachar Puja. 

One should never pluck Tulasi leaves after the sunset. Our scripture has made Tulasi plucking forbidden on certain days and Tithis, which are - new moon day, Chaturdashi Tithi, Sunday, Friday, and Saptami Tithi. Furthermore, don’t pluck Tulasi leaves without any reason. If you need Tulasi leaves during one of those aforementioned forbidden days, then use the fallen leaves of the Tulasi plant gathered around the pot, or you can pluck the leaves one day prior and use them during the forbidden days. Tulasi is a sacred plant, don’t pluck her leaves unless you need them. The leaves that you have used during the Puja can be reused after washing them with clean water.

Performing Tulasi Vivah confers a person with Punya Phal

It is believed that conducting Tulasi Vivah with devotion end all the problems coming in your marriage. Those who are finding it difficult to get married should also perform Tulasi Vivah to get the blessings of Goddess Tulasi and Lord Vishnu. Tulasi Vivah also confers one with the Punya equivalent to Kanyadan. 

Perform Tulasi Vivah with Manglashtaka Mantra

Tulasi Vivah is conducted by following the rituals of a Hindu wedding. Manglashtaka Mantra is chanted during the wedding rituals. In the same way, during the wedding rituals of Goddess Tulasi and Shaligram, Manglashtaka Mantra should be chanted. It is believed that the power of these mantras sanctifies the whole environment and increases positive energy. 

The benefits of conducting the Tulasi Vivah

Tulasi Vivah is performed on Dev Uthani Ekadashi. As parents, marrying off Goddess Tulasi to Shaligram bestows the fruits equivalent to Kanyadan. Those who don’t have a daughter should perform Tulasi Vivah by following all rituals to earn the Punya of Kanyadan. Couples who are facing a troubled relationship in their married life should perform Tulasi Vivah for a happy marriage. Conducting Tulasi Vivah with devotion confers peace and prosperity in your life and success to your children.  

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Guru Nanak Jayanti
19 Nov, 2021

Every year, the birth commemoration of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru and founder of Sikhism, is celebrated as Gurpurab, Guru Nanak Jayanti, or Prakash Parv across the world on Kartik Purnima. Followers of Sikhism carry out Prabhat Pheri and Nagar Kirtan on the morning of Guru Nanak Jayanti and offer handkerchiefs. They make donations in Gurudwaras and feed the poor. Guru Nanak Jayanti is known as Guru Parv and Gurpurab, which translates into 'the festival of Guru' Gurpurab is the most important day for the followers of the Sikh religion. 

Guru Nanak Dev was born in Talwandi village of Shedkhupura district of Punjab, which is now a part of Pakistan. Every year, Sikh people celebrate the day of Kartik Purnima as Guru Nanak Day. Guru Nanak Dev is remembered and revered for his many noble deeds and contribution to humankind's spiritual development. Nanak Dev Ji gave the message of religious harmony, integrity, peace, and brotherhood. Guru Nanak Dev founded Sikhism, one of the major religions followed by millions worldwide. The saint Guru Nanak Dev Ji left for his heavenly abode on September 22, 1539, in Kartarpur, now a part of Pakistan.  

Guru Nanak Ji is remembered for his teachings and noble deeds that he performed during his lifetime. His teachings are still relevant, and millions of people across the globe follow his message. Nanak Dev's father was Baba Kaluchand Bedi and his mother was Tripta Devi. His parents named him Nanak. His father was the revenue officer with the local government in his village. Guru Nanak Dev showed signs of an insightful and intelligent mind from a very early age. He mastered many languages and became a polyglot at a very young age.  

He had a deep knowledge of Persian and Arabian languages. He started working as an accounts manager in the office of Daulat Khan Lodi. Nanak Dev Ji got married in 1487 with Sulakhni Devi while he was residing in Sultanpur Lodi. They became parents of two boys in 1491 and 1496. 

Guru Nanak Ji is known for his supreme spiritual knowledge and great values in life. To disseminate his brotherhood message and 'One God', Guru Nanak Ji left his home and travelled to faraway places, mostly on his feet. To spread his teachings and principles, he would go places and participate in religious discourse with common people and learned individuals, sages, and monks. Later, he renounced his worldly life and started living as a monk. Nanak Dev Ji extensively worked for the betterment of underprivileged and poor people of society. He spread awareness against discrimination, idol worship, and religious superstitions. He visited many Hindu and Islamic pilgrimage sites to interact with people of these faiths and made them aware of many religious malpractices. 

Guru Nanak Dev Ji devoted 25 years of his life to disseminating his teachings, during which time he travelled to distant places and touched the lives of millions of people. During the last leg years of his life, he settled in a village named Kartarpur, Punjab, now part of Pakistan's Punjab province. Here, Nanak Devi Ji lived till his death. After twelve years of Nanak Dev's death, Bhai Gurudas was born, who joined the Sikh mission from early childhood. Bhai Gurudas is remembered reverently for his great contribution to the development of the Sikh community. He opened many Dharmashalas (community rest house) and inspired people to follow Guru Nanak Dev Ji's teachings.  

Why Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated?

Gurpurab, also known as Guru Parv and Prakash Parv, is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, was born on April 15, 1469, at the place called Rai Bhoy's Talwandi in Nankana Sahib district, now part of Pakistan's Punjab province.  

Nankana Sahib was named after Guru Nanak Dev, which is home to one of the most popular religious shrines in the world, Gurudwara Nankana Sahib. This is one of the most sacred & important places of worship for Sikh people. Gurudwara Nankana Sahib is visited by lakhs of people every year from all over the world. The leader of Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, popularly known as Sher-E-Punjab, renovated Gurudwara Nankana Sahib during his period. 

Who was Guru Nanak Dev Ji?

Guru Nanak Dev was the first-ever Sikh Guru and founder of Sikhism. He is known as Nanak Dev Ji, Baba Nanak, and Nanakshah among his followers. In Ladakh and Tibet, Nanak Dev Ji is known as Nanak Lama. He devoted all his life in the service of humankind. To preach his teachings and message, Nanak Ji travelled extensively, not just in South Asia but to regions as far as Afghanistan, Iran, and Arabian nations. In the Punjabi language, his travels are known as Udasis. 

He undertook his first Udasi Yatra between 1507 AD and 1515 AD. At the age of sixteen, he married Sulakhni Devi and became the father of two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das. Nanak Dev Ji took his last breath in 1539 AD, at a Dharmashala in Kartarpur district of present-day Pakistan. Before his death, he had declared Bhai Lehna as his successor, who later came to be known as Guru Angad Dev. Guru Angad Dev was the second Sikh Guru.  

Guru Nanak Dev Ji laid the foundation for Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur . Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first-ever Sikh Guru. He laid the foundation for the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara. He is known as Nanak, Nanak Dev Ji, Baba Nanak, and Nanakshah among the follower of Sikhism. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Gurpurab, also known as Guru Parv and Prakash Parv. 

Gurudwaras are decorated elaborately across the world. On the day of Gurpurab, also known as Prakash Utsav, Sikh worship place Gurudwaras are elaborately decorated with lights and flowers. Nonstop recitation (Akhand Path) of Guru Granth Sahib are conducted, and Langars are run. Preparations for grand celebrations start many days prior to the festival with the early morning procession called Prabhat Pheri. Sikh people in huge numbers participate in Prabhat Pheri and sing Guruvani and Satnam Wahe Guru. Large processions of Nagar-kirtan are also carried out. Groups participating in Nagar-Kirtan are welcomed by their community members at many stops during the course. Shabad-Kirtan are conducted, and special arrangements are made in Gurudwaras for the big day. Celebrations continue day and night till Gurpurab, the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti.   

Ten facts about Guru Nanak Dev

1. Guru Nanak Dev was born on the Purnima (full moon) Tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha. People celebrate his birth anniversary every year as Guru Nanak Jayanti on Kartik Purnima.

2. Guru Nanak's father name Mehta Kalu and his mother was Tripta Devi. Guru Nanak Dev also had a sister; her name was Bebe Nanaki. 

3. Guru Nanak Dev felt a detachment from worldly life from the very beginning of his childhood. Later, he began spending all his time in spiritual contemplation and Satsang (religious discourse).  

4. Due to many miracles associated with him right from the young age, people started believing him as a divine personality. 

5. Right from childhood, Guru Nanak Dev opposed the various orthodox and conventional belief systems prevalent during that era. He used to visit pilgrimage sites and discourse with religious leaders to highlight their shortcomings. He would urge people not to get misguided by religious superstitions and preachers blindly. 

6. Guru Nanak Dev married Mata Sulakhni in 1487. He had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das. 

7. Guru Nanak Dev gave the message of 'Ik Onkar' or 'One God'. He encouraged people of all faith and religion to worship one God. He rejected the idea of Murti Puja (idol worship) and polytheism. Nanak's teachings resonated with Hindus and Muslims equally.  

8. There is a famous story associated with Guru Nanak Dev. Once, Nanak's father gave him twenty rupees to start a business and instructed him to conduct a Sacha Sauda (profitable deal) with those twenty rupees. Nanak Dev set off on his journey to the city. On his way, he met with a caravan of saints and monks. He bought food for the saints with those twenty rupees and returned home. At home, his father inquired whether he made some profit or not, to which Nanak Ji replied with a yes and said he bought food for saints with that money. 

9. Guru Nanak Dev espoused the idea that God resides within, and if your heart lacks compassion and is filled with anger, animosity, hate, and malevolence for other people, then God will never stay in such an impure heart. 

10. During his final years, Guru Nanak Dev settled in Kartarpur. This holy saint left for his heavenly abode on September 22, 1539. Before his death, Guru Nanak Dev had appointed his disciple Bhai Lehna as his successor who later came to be known as Guru Angad Dev.  

The preaching of Guru Nanak Dev

1) Ik Onkar, that is, 'One God'. God is omnipresent. We all are the children of God and must live in solidarity with each other. 

2) We should keep fulfilling our duties without taking unnecessary stress, and always strive to be happy. 

3) He preached the philosophy of brotherhood and believed that all the citizens of the world are part of one extended family. 

4) One must stay away from greed and work diligently and honestly to earn a respectable living for themselves. 

5) One must never indulge in misappropriation and always work with integrity. Also, one must never hesitate to help the underprivileged. 

6) One must always endorse the idea of love, harmony, unity, brotherhood, and spiritual enlightenment in their life. 

7) One must never take pride in their wealth and worldly possessions. 

8) One must always respect women. Guru Nanak Dev treated men and women equally. 

9) Before preaching to others, a person should conquer their vices and bad habits.  

10) One must always remain humble and never let ego dictate their behaviour. 

List of Sikh Gurus

1. First Guru - Guru Nanak Dev

2. Second Guru - Guru Angad Dev

3. Third Guru - Guru Amar Das

 4. Fourth Guru - Guru Ram Das

 5. Fifth Guru - Guru Arjan Dev

 6. Sixth Guru - Guru Har Gobind

7. Seventh Guru - Guru Har Rai

8. Eighth Guru - Guru Har Krishan

9. Ninth Guru - Guru Tegh Bahadur

10. Tenth Guru - Guru Gobind Singh

After the first ten Gurus, the primary religious scripture of Sikhism, Guru Granth Sahib, is considered the living Guru or eternal Guru. There are total 1430 pages in Guru Granth Sahib which comprised the teachings of all the previous Gurus and the discourses of 30 other saints. 

Some important facts from the life of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji 

From a young age, Nanak Dev Ji displayed great poise and had an equanimous temperament. He opposed orthodoxy from a very early age.

Nanak Dev Ji was the first Sikh Guru and the founder of Sikhism. He was strongly against religious superstitions and pageantry prevalent in that period. 

Nanak Dev Ji was a philosopher, a social reformer, a poet, a family man, a Yogi, and a patriot. 

Nanak Dev Ji didn't approve the caste system. To eradicate this social evil, he started conducting 'Langar' (community kitchen), an inclusive dining concept in which free food was served to everyone without making a distinction based on caste, religion, race, ethnicity, financial background.

Nanak Ji disseminate the concept of 'Nirguna Upasana' (worship of formless God). He was strictly against the concept of idol worship. He propounded that God is one, almighty, and omnipresent. 

To spread the awareness about various social ills, Guru Nanak Ji travelled extensively in all the four directions. The journeys he undertook for this purpose were called Udasis. He travelled through Haridwar, Ayodhya, Prayag, Kashi, Gaya, Patna, Assam, Bikaner, Pushkar Tirth, Delhi, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Jagannatha Puri, Rameshwaram, Somanath, Dwaraka, Narmada Tat, Multan, Lahore, and many more regions across the Indian subcontinent. 

Teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

1. God is one; worship him with full devotion.

2. God is omnipresent; every living being is part of One God. Always have faith in God. 

3. Those who worship God with a pure heart must never feel afraid of anyone and anything. 

4. One must diligently fulfil their duties and earn their livelihood with fair means. 

5. One must never engage in immoral activities. Even the thought of such activities is deplorable.  

6.If one commits is a mistake, inadvertently or intentionally, they should confess it in front of God and seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings. 

7. One must always strive to be happy and content. 

8. Men and women are equal and should be treated equally by one and all.  

9. One must always donate a portion of their income earned through fair means to the poor and needy people. 

10. One must stay away from vices such as greed, ego, jealously, etc. 

Celebrations on Guru Parv or Guru Nanak Jayanti 

To commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, grand celebrations are organized. Sikh community starts taking out Prabhat Pheri three weeks prior to Gurpurab. Akhand Path (nonstop recitation) of Guru Granth Sahib is conducted in Gurudwaras. Shabad-Kirtan (singing devotional songs) and tableaux are also carried out during processions, and Langars are run. Sikh people visit their loved ones on the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Gurpurab, Guru Parv, and Prakash Parv, to exchange greetings of the festival. As we are living in a digital age, wishing each other on festival through various social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram are gaining popularity, and people use these platforms to celebrate the festival and exchange wishes with their near and dear ones.

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Basant Panchami
16 Feb, 2021

Vasant Panchami holds particular importance in Hinduism. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on this day. This day is celebrated in the Eastern part of India with a lot of pomp and show. On this day, females wear yellow colored clothes to worship Goddess Saraswati. Amongst the six existing seasons, people admire Vasant the most. 

Vasant Panchami can be recognized when the flowers bloom at their fullest, and sunflower seeds get spread in the farms when wheat starts to blossom when the mango trees begin to get mango seeds, and there are butterflies all around. Such is the grace of Vasant Panchami. This day is also known as Sri Panchami and embarks the beginning of the season of Vasant. Vasant Panchami is essential for the farmers as it is the best harvesting season. As mentioned earlier, during this phase, the sunflower seeds begin to embellish the farms, trees and flowers are at their happiest, and people fly kites in the sky. In Punjab, they celebrate Vasant Panchami on the fifth day by flying kites and worshipping Goddess Saraswati. In Hinduism, Goddess Saraswati is considered to be the goddess of education. All students worship Her on this day. In the Bhagvat Gita, Lord Krishna has said, “Vasant is one of my forms.” To welcome this festival, Lord Vishnu and Lord Kama are worshipped on the fifth day of the month of Maagh. That is why; this festival is called Vasant Panchami. This festival is also celebrated as the day of Goddess Saraswati’s birth. In Rigveda, Goddess Saraswati is has been described as:

Prano Devi Saraswati VajebhirvarjinvatiDheenamadhitrayavatu.

The meaning is as follows: Goddess, you are the ultimate power. Bless our minds, bless us with progress, and help us develop the right attitude. You are the source of our behavior and intellect. The grace of the Goddess’s progress and form has its scintillating grandeur.

For regular days We at Bajrangi Dhaam always perform a small Pooja ritual and Basant Panchami celebration for selected followers & the overall prosperity of our large client base every year on this day in the morning around 7.30 am.

Importance of Basant Panchami

In this festival, flora and fauna, as well as the wildlife, are full of happiness along with human beings. Although the entire month of Maagh bestows happiness on all, Basant Panchami has its wholesome beauty and importance. Since ancient times, this festival is considered to be the day of Goddess Saraswati’s birth. That is why, on this day, She is worshipped as Maa Sharda as the Goddess of knowledge and intellect. Even all the creative artists such as writers, singers, dancers, actors, and so on worship Goddess Saraswati and offer their greetings to Her. 

Ancient Importance of Basant Panchami

The ancient importance of Basant Panchami is related to Ramayan. When Ravana abducted Maa Sita and took her to Lanka, then Lord Rama went to a lot of places to look for her, one of the places being Dandkadhnya. Here, an elderly woman named Shabari used to live. When Lord Rama went to her hut, she fell in love with him and offered him berries. It is believed that Shabari’s hut still exists in the Dang district of Gujarat. It was the occasion of Vasant Panchami when Lord Rama visited this place. Today, the inmates of this place worship the idol of Lord Rama and believe that Lord Rama visits them and sits with them. This place also has the temple of Mother Shabari. 

Vasant Panchami also reminds all of us of Prithviraj Chauhan. He defeated Mohammad Ghori sixteen times but left him alive every time out of big-heartedness. In the seventeenth time, Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan and took him to Afghanistan to torture him. He removed his Raj’s eyes. Before sentencing Raj to death, Mohammad Ghori wished to witness Raj’s magical skill of “Shabdavedi Baan.” Taking advantage of this situation, Poet Chandabardai gave a hint to Raj. 

ChaarBaansChaubisGaj, AngulAshtPraman.

Ta Upar Sultan, Mat Chuko Chauhan. 

Prithviraj Chauhan didn't miss the sign this time, and she shot directly at Ghori’s chest. After this, Chauhan and Chandbardai killed each other through a knife as a token of self-sacrifice. This incident took place in 1192 on the day of Vasant Panchami. 

Vasant Panchami And Saraswati Puja

Goddess Saraswati is also worshipped on Vasant Panchami. She is the Goddess of knowledge and intellect. According to the Guru-Shishya tradition, parents send their kids to the Gurukul on this day only. This day is auspicious in terms of the formal education of the children. Being the Goddess of knowledge and creativity, She is worshipped on this day. People associated with creativity worship her on the same day. Just as soldiers consider armaments and the day of Vijaydashmi auspicious, creative people think Vasant Panchami is the bright day for them. All the creative artists such as writers, singers, dancers, actors, and so on worship Goddess Saraswati and offer their greetings. 

Why is Basant Panchami Celebrated?

The word “Basant” means Vasant, and “Panchami” means the fifth day. That is why; when the season of Vasant arrives in the month of Maagh, this festival, the grandest among all, is celebrated on the fifth day. Simultaneously, this day is celebrated as the day of Goddess Saraswati’s birth according to the spiritual books. Nature is at its full glow on the onset of Vasant Panchami. Trees shed their old leaves only to pave the way for the new ones. Sunflower seeds begin to flower on the farms. The weather is abundant. Such beauty can be witnessed only on Vasant Panchami. On this day, schools and colleges worship Goddess Saraswati along with the students. We all know that there are six seasons in India, namely, Vasant, Grishma, Varsha, Sharad, Hemant, and Shishir. Amidst all these, Vasant is considered to be the most abundant season as Nature gets shrowded with greenery during this time. Also, wheat and Sunflower are in the center of agriculture. It seems as if the farm of wheat has dressed in green sarees, and the sunflower farms have adorned themselves with gold ornaments. 

According to Hindu Purana, Lord Brahma created the universe and human beings and other living creatures at the request of Lord Vishnu. However, Lord Brahma was not satisfied with this creation and lacked something, due to which there was silence all around. After seeking Lord Vishnu’s permission, Lord Brahma sprinkled water onto the universe, which created vibrations. A euphoric power emerged amidst the trees. This power was that of a four-armed beautiful woman who had the instrument Veena on the one hand and Var Mudra on the other. The other two hands had a book and a garland on the other. Lord Brahma requested her to play Veena, and the moment she played Veena, all the living beings on the Earth got the skill of speech, the speed of water got momentum, the wind got strong. It was then when Lord Brahma gave her the name “Saraswati.” Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, intellect, and wisdom and the Goddess of Music. Vasant Panchami is the day of knowledge transference. This day is considered auspicious as this day removes ignorance, and children are made to learn the first letter on this day. It is believed that this day is bright for indulging in studies. All schools worship Goddess Saraswati on this day. She loves white flowers, and hence, on the day of Vasant Panchami, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped wearing white clothes, and white flowers are given as offerings to Her. 

Importance of Yellow Color in Basant Panchami

The yellow color of Basant Panchami symbolizes success, progress, and abundance. During Vasant Panchami, flowers are at the fullest; they get their best glow, sunflower seeds seem to get the shine of gold and wheat crops at their abundant phase. Vasant Panchami is considered to be the most admired of all seasons.

Forms of Vasant Panchami in Various Places

On this day, all the devotees tend to bathe in Ganga and other religious rivers on the fifth day and worship Goddess Saraswati. There are many devotees in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) during this festival. On this day, lakhs and lakhs of devotees worship on the banks of Ganga and Sangam. Apart from this, people from places like Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand visit Himachal Pradesh and dive into sulfur's warm waters. On this day, people wear yellow clothes in India's northern region and eat yellow colored dishes. In the rural parts of Punjab, people fly yellow-colored kites in the yellow sunflower fields. On the one hand, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped through the sounds of Dhaak in the West Bengal region, and other hand, in places like Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), fairs are arranged in Sikh places like Guru-ka-Lahore. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh was born on Vasant Panchami. 

The Story of Vasant Panchami

Lord Brahma created this universe on the orders of Lord Vishnu, wherein he created humans and flora as well as fauna. However, Lord Brahma was not satisfied with this creation and lacked something, due to which there was silence all around. After seeking Lord Vishnu’s permission, Lord Brahma sprinkled water onto the universe, which created vibrations. A euphoric power emerged amidst the trees. This power was that of a four-armed beautiful woman who had the instrument Veena on the one hand and Var Mudra on the other; the other two hands had a book and a garland on the other. Lord Brahma requested her to play Veena, and the moment she played Veena, all the living beings on the Earth got the skill of speech, the speed of water got momentum, the wind got strong. It was then when Lord Brahma gave her the name “Saraswati.” Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, intellect, and wisdom and the Goddess of Music. Vasant Panchami is the day of knowledge transference. This day is considered auspicious as this day removes ignorance, and children are made to learn the first letter on this day. It is believed that this day is great for indulging in studies. All schools worship Goddess Saraswati on this day. She loves white flowers, and hence, on the day of Vasant Panchami, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped wearing white clothes, and white flowers are given as offerings to Her.

How to Worship Goddess Saraswati on Vasant Panchami

1. Wear yellow clothes on this day. Start prayers facing the East and north direction. 

2. Keep the idol of Maa Saraswati on a yellow cloth and offer Her Roli, Saffron, Turmeric, rice, yellow flowers, yellow sweets, Curd, Halwa, and so on as Prasad. 

3. Offer white Chandan to Goddess Saraswati and keep yellow/white flowers in her right hand.  

- Saffron milk porridge is the best offering that can be made to Maa Saraswati. 

- Chanting the mantra ॐऐंसरस्वत्यैनमः by holding a turmeric garland is the best way to worship her.

- Do not wear black and blue clothes while the ritual is on. If there are obstacles in studies, the unique offering must be made to Maa Saraswati on this day. 

Saraswati Puja Mantra Number-1: 

YaKundentuTusharhardhawlaYaShubhravastravrita 

YaVeenavardandmanditkaraYaSwetapadmasana 

YaBrahmachyutShankarprabhritibhirdaivaSadaVandita 

Sa Mam Patu Saraswati BhagvatiNisheshjadhyapaha (1)

ShuklamBhrahvichar Saar ParmaamAadhyamJagdwaapinim

Veena PustakDharinimbhayadamJadhyandhkarapham

Haste SphatikmalikaamVidhteemPadhyasaneSanthitaam

VandeTaamParameshwarimBhagwatimBudhipradamshardam (2)

Saraswati Mantra Number-2:

सरस्वतीनमस्तुभ्यंवरदेकामरूपिणी, विद्यारम्भंकरिष्यामिसिद्धिर्भवतुमेंसदा।

According to old belief systems, Devi Rati and Lord Kama are also worshipped, and the ritual is called Shodshopchaar Puja 

Shodshopchaar Puja Mantra: 

ॐविष्णुःविष्णुःविष्णुः, अद्यब्रह्मणोवयसःपरार्धेश्रीश्वेतवाराहकल्पेजम्बूद्वीपेभारतवर्षे,

अमुकनामसंवत्सरेमाघशुक्लपञ्चम्याम्अमुकवासरेअमुकगोत्रःअमुकनामाहंसकलपाप - क्षयपूर्वक - श्रुति -

स्मृत्युक्ताखिल - पुण्यफलोपलब्धयेसौभाग्य - सुस्वास्थ्यलाभायअविहित - काम - रति - प्रवृत्तिरोधायमम

पत्यौ/पत्न्यांआजीवन - नवनवानुरागायरति - कामदम्पतीषोडशोपचारैःपूजयिष्ये।

If couples worship Goddess Rati and Lord Kama on Vasant Panchami and chant Shodshopchar mantra, they will be able to lead a joyful life full of fulfillment and conjugal bliss. 

Devi Rati and Lord Kama’s Chants

ॐवारणेमदनंबाण - पाशांकुशशरासनान्।

धारयन्तंजपारक्तंध्यायेद्रक्त - विभूषणम्।।

सव्येनपतिमाश्लिष्यवामेनोत्पल - धारिणीम्।

पाणिनारमणांकस्थांरतिंसम्यग्विचिन्तयेत्।।

Why is Vasant Panchami Special?

Among many auspicious timings, Vasant Panchami is particular of “Abhujh Timing.” 

- Marriage and other ceremonies can be done during this phase. 

- Knowledge and Science can be attained at their best during the union of these seasons. 

- Blessings can be sought in the field of Music, creativity, and spirituality during this time. 

- Offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati during this time if there are obstacles in the field of studies. 

New Work will attain Success on Vasant Panchami.

New things can be started during Vasant Panchami. House warming ritual can be done during Vasant Panchami. New business (See the link below to read more about this) deals can be made on Vasant Panchami for the best results. Similarly, all kinds of delayed work can be pursued during this time for optimum outcomes. 

How to get Blessed Intellectually? 

- Saraswati Puja holds utmost importance on this day. 

- On this day, Neel Saraswati Chants should be chanted in front of Goddess Saraswati. 

- Ignorance vanishes on this day.

- Knowledge and wisdom can be attained as blessings on this day.

10 Ways to Strengthen the positioning of Planets on Vasant Basanti 

1. If Buddha is weak, wisdom starts fading. 

2. To come out of such a situation, worship Maa Saraswati.

3. Offer green colored fruits to Maa Saraswati. 

4. If Brahaspat is weak, it gets challenging to attain knowledge

5. Wear yellow clothes on Vasant Panchami to come from such a situation.

6. Use yellow fruits and flowers while worshipping on Vasant Panchami.

7. If Shukra is weak, restlessness prevails.

8. It gets challenging to choose a career (See the link below to read more about this).

9. Worship Maa Sarawati in such a situation.

10. Use the white flowers to worship Maa Saraswati.

You can read my views of astrology for new business ideas and choose a career.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Sankashti Chaturthi
31 Jan, 2021

Sankashti Chaturthi is a famous festival of Hinduism. According to Hindu beliefs, Lord Ganesha is worshiped before doing any auspicious task. Lord Ganesha is the first-worshipped God among all Gods and Goddesses. He has the status of God, who gives intelligence, strength, and wisdom.  Lord Ganesha takes away all the troubles and obstacles of his devotees; hence, they are also called Vighnaharta and Sankatmochan. Many fasts are kept to please the Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu religion, but Sakat chauth or Sankashti chaturthi fasting for Lord Ganesha is very popular. Let us know in detail about Sankashti Chaturthi.

When is Sankashti Chaturthi?

Sankashti Chaturthi is celebrated on Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha's fourth day. According to the Hindu calendar, Chaturthi comes twice every month, which people celebrate with great reverence. The Chaturthi that falls after the full moon is called Sankashti Chaturthi, while the Chaturthi after Amavasya is called Vinayaka Chaturthi. Sankashti Chaturthi is considered a special day to worship Lord Ganesha. According to the scriptures, Chaturthi, after the full moon that falls in the month of Magha is very auspicious. This auspicious day is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in the northern and southern states of India.

What is Sankashti Chaturthi or Sakat Chauth?

Sankashti Chaturthi means the Chaturthi that removes obstacles. Sankashti is a word taken from the Sanskrit language, which means 'to get rid of hard times.'

On this day, the devotee worships Ganapati to get rid of his sorrows. According to the Puranas, worshiping Gauri's son Ganesh on Chaturthi is very fruitful. On this day, people keep fast from sunrise up to the time of moonrise. Ganesh is worshiped on Sankashti Chaturthi as per all the Vedic rules. 

Importance of Sankashti Chaturthi

Worshiping Ganapati on the day of Sankashti removes negative influences from the house and maintains peace. It is said that Ganesha removes all the disasters coming in the house and fulfills the wishes of his devotees. Chandra Darshan is also considered very auspicious on the day of Chaturthi. This fast, which starts from sunrise, ends after having a glimpse of the Moon. Thirteen fasts of Sankashti Chaturthi are kept throughout the year. There is a different fast story for all the fasts. 

Importance of Chandra darshan on Sankashti Chaturthi

According to astrologers, this fast will be complete after having a glimpse of the moon at night. One should keep a fast all day. After seeing the moon at night, worship Ganesha. Offer him sesame, jaggery, laddus, scutch grass, sandalwood, and sweet, listen to the story, and then take Prasad.

Different Names of Sankashti Chaturthi

In this festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha, devotees worship him and keep fast to get rid of their lives' difficulties and bad times.  Sankashti Chaturthi is also known by many different names. In many places, it is called Sankat Hara and also Sakat Chauth at some places. If this festival falls on a Tuesday in any month, then it is called Angarki Chaturthi. Angarki Chaturthi comes once in 6 months, and by fasting on this day, the devotee gets the benefit of the entire Sankashti. People in South India celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and gaiety. On this day, by meditating on Lord Ganesha with a pious soul, one can get one's wishes fulfilled. One also gets special benefits. 

Worshipping Method & Mantra of Sankashti Chaturthi

People who believe in Ganpati keep fast on this day to please him and pray to him to fulfill their wishes. 

1. On this day, you should get up before sunrise. 

2. Those, who keep fast on this day, should take a bath and put on a neat and clean dress. Putting on a red-colored dress on this day is considered very auspicious.  By doing this, one can make one’s fast purposeful. 

3. After taking a bath, devotees should start worshipping Ganpati. While worshipping Ganpati, the devotees should keep their faces in the east or the north direction.  

4. First of all, you should decorate the idol of Ganpati with flowers. 

5. While worshipping, you should keep sesame, jaggery, laddu, flowers, water in a copper urn, dhoop, and sandalwood, and keep coconut and bananas in the form of Prasad. 

6. Remember to keep with you an idol or statue of Goddess Durga also while worshipping.  Doing this is considered very auspicious. 

7. Apply Roli on the forehead of Ganpati, and offer flowers and water to Him.

8. On Sankashti, offer Bhog of sesame laddu and sweets to Lord Ganpati.

9. In front of Ganpati, burn Diya and Dhoop and enchant the following mantra: 

गजाननं भूत गणादि सेवितंकपित्थ जम्बू फल चारू भक्षणम्।

उमासुतं शोक विनाशकारकम्नमामि विघ्नेश्वर पाद पंकजम्।।

10. After worshipping, do not eat anything except fruits, groundnut, Kheer, milk, or Sago. Most people use rock salt on a fast day. But you should try to brush aside this salt.

11. In the evening, worship lord Ganpati before the moonrise and recite Sankashti Chaturthi's fast story. 

12. After Pooja is over, distribute Prasad. At night, fast is broken after seeing the moon. And in this way, the fast of Sankashti Chaturthi is carried out. 

Do Not Eat the Following Things on Sakat Chauth

According to Shastras (scriptures), one should avoid root cultivation. So, you should avoid eating radish, onions, carrots, and sugar beets. It is presumed that eating radish on this day is considered inauspicious.

Offer Arghya of Sesame and Jaggery to the Moon at Evening

After sunset, one should offer Arghya containing sesame and jaggery to the moon. After offering this Arghya, one should break the fast. After worshipping Ganeshji, one should eat Prasad of sesame. Those who do not keep a fast should also eat things made up of sesame in the evening after worshipping Ganesha. It is said that by eating sesame or by pronouncing the name of sesame, one can ward off one’s sins. The donation of sesame on this day is also considered auspicious. 

Worship Lord Ganesha with Scutch Grass

One should offer scutch grass to Ganeshji. It is believed that nectar is present in the scutch grass. One gets good health by offering scutch grass to Ganeshji. There is also an increase in one’s prestige and wealth. If possible, then one should offer scutch grass to Ganesh every day. But remember not to offer Tulsi leaves to Ganeshji. Offering these leaves makes Ganeshji angry. It is so because Tulsi cursed Ganeshji. 

Aarti of Ganeshji

जय गणेशजय गणेशजय गणेश देवा।

माता जाकी पार्वतीपिता महादेवा।।

एकदन्त दयावन्तचार भुजाधारी।

माथे पर तिलक सोहेमूसे की सवारी।।

पान चढ़े फूल चढ़ेऔर चढ़े मेवा।

लड्डुअन का भोग लगेसन्त करें सेवा।।

जय गणेशजय गणेशजय गणेश देवा।

माता जाकी पार्वतीपिता महादेवा।।

अंधे को आंख देतकोढ़िन को काया।

बांझन को पुत्र देत,निर्धन को माया।।

'सूरश्याम शरण आएसफल कीजे सेवा।

माता जाकी पार्वतीपिता महादेवा।।

दीनन की लाज राखोशम्भु सुतवारी।

कामना को पूर्ण करोजग बलिहारी।।

जय गणेशजय गणेशजय गणेश देवा।

माता जाकी पार्वतीपिता महादेवा।।

Mythological Story

According to a mythological and famous story of Ganesha, once the lord was surrounded by many troubles. Then, he went to Lord Shiva for help. At that time, Karthikeya and Ganeshji were sitting with Shiva. On hearing the matter of deities, Shiva asked Karthikeya and Ganeshji who of them could mitigate the troubles of deities. Then, both Karthikeya and Ganeshji told him that they were capable.

On hearing this, Lord Shiva, taking both of them, said that who of you come first after taking the earth's rotation will help deities.  

On hearing the words delivered from Lord Shiva's mouth, Karthikeya sat on his vehicle, peacock, to set out for the earth's rotation. But Ganeshji started thinking that if he took the earth's rotation by sitting on the mouse, he would be spending lots of time in it. Then, an idea struck him. He got up from his place, took his parents' rotation seven times, and returned to his place. When Karthikeya returned after taking the rotation of the earth, he declared himself a winner. Then, lord Shiva asked Shri Ganesha the reason for not taking the rotation of the earth. 

Ganesha said, “The whole earth lies in the feet of parents” On hearing this, Lord Shiva ordered Ganesha to remove the deities' obstacles. In this way, Lord Shiva blessed Ganesha and told him that whoever would worship him on lunar fortnight's fourth day (Chaturthi day) and offer Arghya to the moon in the night, his three types of problems—bodily problems, divine problems, and physical problems—would vanish. 

By keeping this fast, one’s problems will disappear, and one will get all the physical happiness in one’s life. There will be complete happiness and prosperity all around. One will be blessed with children and grandchildren and wealth and prosperity. 

Sankashti Chaturthi or Sakat Chauth Vrat Katha

There are dozens of mythological fables behind the celebration of Sankashti Chaturthi. But I am going to explain to you the most famous story behind its celebration. 

Once mother Parvati and Lord Shiva were sitting near a river. Then, suddenly, mother Parvati expressed her desire to play Chopad. But there were none to take part in that Chopad game except them. Finding the solution to this problem, lord Shiva and Parvati made an idol of soil and put life into it. Both of them ordered the body made up of soil to carefully watch the game and declare who the winner is and who the loser is. The game started, and mother Parvati was winning by tricking lord Shiva. 

The game went on, but the boy declared mother Parvati a loser by mistake. This mistake of the boy made mother Parvati angry, and she cursed him angrily. And he became lame; the boy begged mother to pardon him. On seeing this boy's repeated request, the mother said that this curse could not be reversed, but she could tell him one remedy by which he would be free the curse. The mother said that on Sankashti day, some girls come here to do Pooja, and he should ask them about the method of this Pooja, and accordingly, he should perform Pooja with full devotion. 

Knowing the method of fast, the boy performed it accordingly. Lord Ganesha became pleased with his true devotion and asked for his desire. The boy expressed his desire to go to mother Parvati and Lord Shiva. Lord Ganesha fulfilled his wish and took him to ‘Shivalok.’ But he found only lord Shiva when he reached there. Mother Parvati had gone to Kailash after being upset with lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva asked this boy how he reached here, he said that he got this blessing after worshipping Lord Ganesha. After knowing this, lord Shiva also did this fast to please mother Parvati. Being pleased with lord Shiva, mother Parvati returns from Kailash. 

Know How Many Chaturthi Day Comes in a Year

The Chaturthi day that comes after Purnima is called Sankashti Chaturthi. Similarly, the Chaturthi day that comes after Amavasya is called Vinayak Chaturthi. In other words, the Chaturthi day of Krishna Paksha is called Sankashti Chaturthi, and the Chaturthi day of Shukla Paksha is called Vinayak Chaturthi.

Read more about important Hindu festivals, date and significance and Chandrodaya time today.

Republic Day
26 Jan, 2021

Republic Day is the day which the whole nation celebrates together with great enthusiasm. January 26 is the Republic Day for the people of India. It is an important day, so it is celebrated every year since January 26, 1950. British rule had been prevalent in our motherland India for a long time, and the people of India have performed slavery for many years, due to which the people of India had to follow the British's laws. After a long struggle, Indian freedom fighters finally got to India free on August 15, 1947. Almost two and a half years after independence, i.e., on January 26, 1950, India established its Constitution, and India called itself a democratic republic. The Indian Constitution got passed by our Parliament on January 26, 1950, after about two years, eleven months, and eighteen days. India called itself a sovereign, democratic, Republic after which January 26 was celebrated as Republic Day by India's people. No one likes to be dependent. Even animals do not like slavery; we are still humans. Even if the bird is kept in a gold cage, it still wants to live in the open sky. It is to establish that freedom is most valuable. Merely getting free is not enough; maintaining and nurturing it is also not less challenging.  

The Importance of Republic Day

Republic Day is our national festival, which is celebrated on January 26. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India replaced the Government of India Act 1935. January 26 was opted to implement the Constitution because, on this day in 1930, the Indian National Congress announced Purna Swaraj at midnight during the Lahore session. Republic Day is considered to be a prestigious national holiday all over India. Apart from Republic Day as a holiday in the country, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti are also national holidays. According to the definition of democracy, it is "rule by the people, for the people, of the people." In today's time, it has become a fashion to be termed democratic. Some kind of euphoria is prevalent. We have got freedom after many difficulties. Through this, we can tell our upcoming generation about our glorious history. At the same time, we receive inspiration from the country's sons by witnessing them, and passion gets generated to do anything for the country.

The Meaning of Indian Republic Day 

Gana means people, and tantra means governance. Republic or democracy means the people's rule, the country, or a state where they choose their representative. Such a nation is labeled as a democratic republic. Such a system exists in our country. That is why our country is called a democratic republic. Republic means a country where the general public has the right to choose and remove the ruling government. Such a government is never autocratic because no one has power in their hands. The form of our government is parliamentary. A government is a group of few people who work on the prescribed procedure. It has three parts - the executive, the judiciary, and the administration.

The History of Indian Republic Day

The enormous history of Indian Republic Day is quite impressive; it started on January 26, 1950. Since the implementation of India's Constitution by dismantling the 'Government of India Act' in our country, the Republic Day program is observed every year on January 26 to honor the Constitution and Republic of India. But, there is another history associated with this day, and it started on January 26, 1930, as it was considered the historic day when Congress first demanded Purna Swaraj. It began when, in 1929, during the Congress session in Lahore under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's chairmanship, a resolution got passed that if by January 26, 1930, the English government did not grant 'Dominion status' to India, India would declare completely independent. After this, until January 26, 1930, the British government did not respond to Congress's demand. So from that day, Congress started its active movement for complete independence. When India got independent on August 15, 1947, the Government of India, keeping in mind the historical importance of January 26, chose this day to establish the Republic.

Why is Republic Day Celebrated?

The people have been given the right to choose the government in our country. Many countries in the world are democratic countries, but not all are republics. Both are the same thing. It seems the same, but there is a slight difference. Let's see what the difference is. Law is governed in the Republic. A republican country ensures that nobody's rights are denied, like minorities, etc. Having no power, it is not autocratic, so some powers are given to the President along with the prime minister. In this regime, everyone works together and supports each other. That is why in India, many times, the President refuses to sign the laws made by Parliament, but this is not the case in democratic countries. The rules made by Parliament are final and acceptable. It is now to be understood why India is called a republican government and the significance and features. You can also understand it in this way. There is democracy in all the world nations, but not all those countries fall in the Republic's parameters. Let's take the example of England. There is democracy in England, but it is not a republican country. The parliamentary system in our Constitution is derived from England itself. However, it is different from that.

The Constitution was prepared after about two and a half years.

After independence, a drafting committee was instructed to prepare a draft of India's permanent Constitution at a meeting on August 28, 1947. On November 4, 1947, India's draft of the Constitution was laid in the House under Dr. BR Ambedkar's chairmanship. After taking almost three years, it was completely ready. And finally, the wait was over on January 26, 1950, and it got implemented.

National Festival of India: Republic Day

Republic Day is not an ordinary day. It was the day when our India attained complete independence because even though India became independent on August 15, 1947, it became utterly independent when January 26, 1950. The newly constituted Constitution of India got enacted by removing the 'Government of India Act.' Therefore, from that day on January 26, this day is celebrated as Republic Day in India. It is one of India's three national festivals. The other two are Gandhi Jayanti and Independence Day, as Republic Day is a national holiday worldwide. In many places like schools and offices, programs are celebrated a day in advance.

Proposal for Purna swaraj

The day of January 26 was opted to establish the Constitution. It was done because, in 1929, Congress passed the resolution of Purna swaraj against the slavery of the British. In December 1929, a meeting of the Indian National Congress was held under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's chairmanship. It got announced that if the British government did not give India the post of Dominion by January 26, 1930, India would declare itself completely independent.

Constitution Day is also celebrated.

After India's independence, the Constituent Assembly was formed, which started its work on December 9, 1946. It took about two years, 11 months, 18 days to make the world's most extensive written Constitution. The Constitution of India was handed over to the President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on November 26, 1949. Hence, November 26 is celebrated every year as Constitution Day. The Constituent Assembly held a total of 114 days at the time of framing the Constitution, and the press and the public were also free to be a part of it. After several reforms and changes, 308 members of the assembly signed two handwritten copies of the Constitution on January 24, 1950. Two days later, on January 26, the Constitution came into force across the country.

A national festival full of pride

It is an honor to observe Republic Day for people living in India and Indians living abroad. This day holds particular importance, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people participating in many activities and organizing them. People eagerly wait for this day to become a part of it repeatedly. The preparations for the Republic Day celebrations start about a month before. During this time, people's movement is banned at India Gate due to security reasons so that any criminal incident gets prevented before happening. It also ensures the security of the people over there on that day.

National festival - a sign of unity in diversity

On this day in India, special arrangements are made for this festival in all the state capitals. It is also arranged in New Delhi. The program starts with the act of flag hoisting and the national anthem by the President. Each State presents Jhanki for their respective diversity. After this, parade, prize distribution, march past, etc., are performed by the three forces. And finally, the whole atmosphere reverberates with "Jana Gana Mana."

Republic Day Celebrations

The Republic Day celebrations in India are celebrated with pomp and show. On January 26, the President of India hoists the national flag, and the national anthem is sung. Although Republic Day is celebrated with great pomp in the entire country, its form is worth witnessing in Delhi. Every year on Republic Day, a grand parade is organized from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Army, Air Force, and Navy personnel also participate in this parade. During this parade, the heads of the three armies salute the President. Not only this, but three armies also display modern weapons on this day, which is a symbol of national power. Also, children from different schools in the country take part in this parade and present colorful programs. A unique aspect of the Republic Day celebrations is that in this ceremony, one chief guest from the whole world's countries is chosen who is present there during the entire program. Jhanki of all the states is presented during the parade at the Republic Day celebrations. In this Jhanki, all the states offer a glimpse of their diversity and culture. Not only this, every State presents a beautiful form of folk songs and folk dances in its State. People come from over the country to participate in the Republic Day celebrations and sit in the visitors' gallery. Along with this, the national channels are broadcasted live, thereby showing a glimpse of this ceremony to the country's entire people. And finally, the atmosphere of the whole of India reverberates with "Jana Gana Mana Gana."

Colorful Program

School and college students are very excited to celebrate this festival and start preparing for it a month in advance. On this day, students are awarded prizes and certificates, etc., for performing better in the academy, sports, or other education fields. Family people attend social events organized on this day with their friends, family, and children. Everyone gets ready to witness the show, which happens on the Rajpath on TV at 8 am. 

Celebrating Republic Day is a matter of honor

It is a great honor for people living in India and Indians living abroad to celebrate Republic Day. Everywhere in schools, in colleges, in offices, etc., on January 26, India's flag is hoisted, and there are many programs for which preparations start months before its arrival. The people of India celebrate January 26 with full enthusiasm and joy. The movement of people is stopped at India Gate due to security reasons.

How is our parliamentary system different from the parliamentary system of England?

1. Inspired by England's parliamentary system, we also have a parliamentary system. In England, like us, people choose MPs, and then all those MPs together elect the Prime Minister.

2. The Prime Minister of England is also responsible for people like our country. The public has the right to elect and remove this Prime Minister every five years. That is why England is also a democratic country, but still, England is not called a republic.

3. England is not just the only nation that has such a tradition. There are many countries of the world, including Japan, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, where there is a democracy, but there is no republic, but it is not so with India, that is why our country is the most unique. Indeed, it is honestly said, "Sare Jahan Se Acha, Hindostan Hamara."

4. Also, there is an underlying difference. The difference is of the person in the highest position of power, which is not understood as we do not witness it.

5. If the people have the right to choose and remove the person sitting in the highest position of power, that country is called a democratic. (As in India.) If not, that country would not be called a republican.

6. It is not so in England. There, the king (or queen) is seated at the highest position of power. Even today, only for the sake of it, there is Rajshahi. The people of England can change the Prime Minister, but not the King or Queen.

Some interesting facts related to Republic Day

1. On Republic Day, the program of Purna Swaraj got celebrated for the first time on January 26, 1930, in which there was a pledge to achieve complete independence from the British rule

2. A Christian tune gets played during the Republic Day Parade, named "Abide with me," as it is one of Mahatma Gandhi's favorite sounds.

3. President Sukarno of Indonesia was invited as the chief guest of India's first Republic Day celebrations.

4. Republic Day celebrations were first observed in Rajpath in the year 1955.

5. A 31-gun salute is given to India's President during the Republic Day celebrations of India.

Conclusion of Republic Day Celebrations

After celebrating the Republic Day celebrations enthusiastically, the ceremony is concluded with great pomp and show, called the Beating Retreat. The ceremony is held on January 3, January 26, that is, January 29. Three armies also participate in this ceremony. The ceremony is celebrated near Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President attends the program as the chief guest whom the chief of the three armies' salutes.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Pongal
14 Jan, 2021

Pongal is a festival of Tamil Hindus. It is celebrated on January 14-15 annually. This is similar to Navan, which is regarded as the harvest ceremony (Shasotsav). Pongal in Tamil means boom or viplav. Traditionally, it is a festival related to goodwill in which rain, sunshine, and agricultural cattle are worshiped to bring fulfillment. The history of this festival is at least 1000 years old. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm in other countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, USA, Canada, Singapore, besides Tamil Nadu of India. All government institutions in Tamil Nadu declare a holiday on this day. The day of January 14 is celebrated in North India in the name of Makar Sankranti, which has significance for the Sun's departure towards Makar Rekha. It is known as Uttarayan in Gujarat and Maharashtra and is observed as Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka (Tamil Nadu). In Punjab, it is regarded as Lohri. The festival of Pongal is celebrated differently in the form of Tamil Nadu in South India.

Here, the Sun is considered a giver of food and money and is celebrated for four days, and gratitude is expressed. This festival is for the gods related to agriculture and crops. This festival's name is Pongal, as the prasad that is offered to Sun God on this day is called Pagal. Another meaning of Pongal in the Tamil language is 'to boil well.' In both the forms, it has the same purpose, 'Boil well and make offerings to the Sun God.' Pongal is also essential as it begins on the first date of the Tamil month. The importance of this festival can be understood from the fact that it lasts for four days. Every day Pongal has its name. The first Pongal is called Bhogi Pongal, which is dedicated to Devraj Indra. It is called Bhogi Pongal because Devraj Indra Bhog is considered to be the god of coolness. People carry their old clothes and garbage from their homes during the evening and gather them in one place and burn them. It shows respect for God and a sense of terminating evil. Young people play Bhogi Kottam throughout the night, a type of drum made of buffalo sing.

The second Pongal is called Surya Pongal. It is requested to Lord Surya. On this day, a particular kind of Kheer called Pongal is made, which is made from newly prepared rice, moong dal, and jaggery in an earthen pot. After Pongal is ready, special worship of Sun God is initiated, and he is offered this Pongal and sugarcane in the form of Prasad, and gratitude is given for giving the crop. The third Pongal is called Mattu Pongal. According to Tamil beliefs, Mattoo is the bull of Lord Shiva; due to a mistake, Lord Shiva sent him to the earth and asked him to produce food for humans. Since then, he has been living on earth and helping humans with agricultural stuff. On this day, farmers get their bulls bathed, apply oil in their horns, and decorate the bulls in another manner. They are worshiped after their hair is adorned.

Along with the bull, cows and calves are also worshiped on this day. Somewhere people even know it by the name of Keanu Pongal in which sisters worship their brothers for happiness and brothers give gifts to their sisters. Kanya Pongal is celebrated on the last day of the four-day festival, also known by the name of Thiruvallur. On this day, the house is adorned. Toran is made at the door along with mango palav and coconut pattas. On this day, women prepare kolam, i.e., rangoli, on the head of the house. On this day, Pongal is celebrated grandly. People wear new clothes and send Pongal and sweets to others as Vayana. The fight of bulls takes place on the day of Pongal, which is very famous. At night, people organize mass enjoyment and wish each other.

The Meaning of Pongal

On the first Amavasya of Pongal, people promise to eliminate harmful practices and indulge in good things. This process is called 'Pohi,' which means 'to go.' Pongal in Tamil means boom or viplav. The next day is called Pratipada, which is like Diwali. Hence, Pongal is popular.

Importance of Pongal

This festival stands for the farmer's community. By January, the main crop of Tamil Nadu, sugarcane and paddy, are ready for harvest. The farmer gets happy by looking at the farms and acknowledges the Almighty. The bull is also worshiped on this day because it plows the fields. Hence, garlands and bulls are bathed, and wreaths are tied between their horns. Their foreheads are painted, and they are offered sugarcane and rice. Fair is also organized in some places. In which bulls race and various sports-events are organized. India is agricultural land, and here, Nature is worshipped. Like another festival, Pongal is known as Uttarayan Punyakalam, which holds special significance in Hindu mythology and is exceptionally pious.

History of Pongal 

Pongal is an old festival in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. If this festival's history is to be calculated, it can be considered from the Sangam age, i.e., around 200 BCE to 300 AD. However, Pongal is celebrated as a Dravid harvest festival, and it is also mentioned in Sanskrit Puranas. Historians classified the festival with the Thai United Nations and the Thai Niradal, who believed that the festival was observed during the Sangam age. Some mythological legends are also related to the celebration of Pongal. Pongal's two stories are mentioned below, related to Lord Shiva and Lord Indra and Krishna.

Four days Celebration 

The festival of Pongal is observed for four days. Bhogi is celebrated on the first day, Surya on the second day, Mattoo on the third day, and Kanya Pongal on the fourth day. In the Bhogi Pongal, on the first day, Indradev is worshipped; on the second day, Suryadev is worshipped; on the third day, Mattu is worshipped, i.e., Nandi or bull, and on the fourth-day Kanya is worshipped, which is done with great magnificence in Kali temple.

Why is Pongal Celebrated

After the harvest of paddy in South India, people observe Pongal's festival to express their happiness and pray to the Almighty for the future harvest. To bring prosperity, rain, sun, Lord Indradev, and agricultural cattle are worshiped. Just as the new year begins in North India with Chaitra Pratipada, similarly in South India, the new year is regarded as Pongal's beginning on sunrise.

Four Kinds of Pongal Festivals

The four types of Pongal are as follows -

1.Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Mattoo Pongal, and Kanya Pongal. Indra Dev is worshiped onBhogi Pongal on the first day. Indra dev is also called Bhogi. People do Indradev's puja on the very first day of Pongal and pray for rain and a good harvest.

2. The second worship of Pongal is in the form of Surya Puja. In this, new rice, moong dal, and jaggery are kept in new utensils, and puja takes place using sugarcane, ginger, etc., on banana leaves. This Prasad is offered to the Sun.

3. The third day is celebrated as Mattoo Pongal. Mattu is the puja of Nandi, i.e., the bull of Shiva. It is believed that once Nandi, one of the foremost gurus of Shiva, had made a mistake, for that mistake, Lord Shiva asked him to become a bull and help the humans on earth. This festival of Pongal is still celebrated in his remembrance.

 4. The fourth Pongal is the Kanya Pongal, which was celebrated with great splendor in a Kali temple. Only women participants in it. In ancient times, this festival was observed as Dravida Shasya Utsav. The inscription in the temple at Tiruvallur says that Kilutunga donated land and temples to the needy on Pongal's occasion. On this occasion, there was a practice of daring war with dance ceremony and bull. The most influential person was the girl who chose her husband by putting varmala on this day.

Uffan Made of Cow’s Milk 

The cow's milk ufaan is given importance at this festival. The reason for this is that just as the milk is pure and auspicious, the mind of every living being is meant to be bright, and the mind should have values. That is why milk is boiled in new utensils.

Dishes on Pongal

Kheer is prepared on this day. On this day, sweet and spicy Pongal dishes are prepared. They prepare food with rice, milk, ghee, sugar, and offer it to the Sun God.

What is the Legend Behind Pongal

Legend 1: According to a legend, once upon a time, Lord Shiva asked his bull Basava from heaven to convey a message to the humans that - they must bathe with oil every day and consume food once a month. But Basava went to Prithvi Lok and gave the opposite message to humans. He conveyed to humans that - they should bathe in oil one day and consume food every day. Lord Shiva became very agitated with this mistake and cursed his bull Basava, saying that - they have been ousted from here to live on earth permanently and they will have to plow to lend a hand to humans in producing more food. . In this way, this day is dedicated to cattle.

Legend 2: This is another mythological story related to Lord Krishna and Lord Indra. Once, Lord Krishna was a child, and he thought of teaching a lesson to Indra, who had become headstrong after becoming the Head of the Gods. Lord Krishna requested the cowherds of his village to stop doing Indra's puja. Due to this, Lord Indra was cross, and he sent storm and rain for three days consistently, due to which the whole of Dwarka was destroyed. Then Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain in his small utensil to protect everyone, then Indra realized his fault and realized the power of Lord Krishna. Then Lord Krishna asked Vishwakarma Ji to rebuild it, and the cowherds re-cultivated the crop with their cows.

Legend 3: Madurai's husband and wife are engaged to Kannagi and Kovalan. Once, at the behest of Kannagi, Kovalan went to the goldsmith to sell Payal. The goldsmith tells the king that Payal, who has come to sell Kovalan, is similar to Rani's stolen Payal. The king sentenced Kovalan to the gallows without any investigation for this crime. Enraged by this, Kannagi did a tremendous penance to Shiva and asked him the boon to destroy the king and his kingdom. When the people of the state came to know of this, the women there worshiped Kali Mata on the river Killilyar. Prayed to arouse mercy in Kannagi to protect the life and kingdom of his king. Mata Kali, happy with women's fast, awakened a sense of compassion in Kannagi and saved the king and the state. Since then, this festival is observed with great magnificence in the Kali temple. In this way, the four-day Pongal ends.

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Makar Sankranti
14 Jan, 2021

Makar Sankranti is a major, popular and auspicious festival mostly celebrated by the Hindus. This wonderful and authentic festival is widely celebrated in different parts of India. Along with that, this amazing festival is celebrated as per the diverse, authentic, and eternal beliefs and faith. Usually, this beautiful festival is celebrated on January 14th. As per the authentic beliefs, on this day, the sun turns Uttarayan; however, the northern hemisphere turns towards the sun. According to the authentic astrological beliefs, on this particular day, the sun enters Capricorn. Almost every Hindu Festival, are counted according to the moon-based Almanac. However, Makar Sankranti is widely celebrated by counting the powerful Almanac, which is based on the sun.

During this wonderful period of Makar Sankranti, it is marked as an epitome of season change. At this period, the autumn begins to dwindle, and this marks the beginning of the charming spring. As per its effective outcome, the days become longer and the nights become shorter. As per the beliefs of Hindu Religion, on this day only, Lord Vishnu announces the ending of the war with Asuras by pressing their heads in the strong and giant Mandar Mountain. Makar Sankranti is considered to be the day of victory over evil, good over bad, and it would guide you towards enlightenment, knowledge, and light. This day is marked as a win of positivity over the negative energy. This day is celebrated by everyone and is popular by different names in various other provinces. In Tamil Nadu, it is widely celebrated as Pongal.

Apart from that, this extremely enthusiastic and meaningful festival is popular as 'Sankranti' in states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. It is also celebrated in different states across India, and undeniably it has various other popular names. In states like Bihar and Jharkhand, Makar Sankranti is traditionally known as 'Khichdi.' Uttarayan is considered to be a significant symbol. This is a day of positivity, and you could get indulged in various activities such as chanting, penance, charity, bathing, shraddha, tarpan, and many others. This is an amazing day to perform various auspicious occasions and events.

For regular days We at Bajrangi Dhaam always perform a small Pooja ritual and Makar Sankranti celebration for selected followers & the overall prosperity of our large client base every 14th January in the morning around 7.30 am. 

Why say Makar Sankranti?

The divine word 'Makara' means Capricorn, and 'Sankranti' means transition. On this auspicious day only, the sun enters Capricorn from powerful Sagittarius. Eventually, the process of displacement or leaving one sign and entering into another is popularly known as 'Sankranti.

The auspicious period when the Powerful and fiery Sun enters into Capricorn, and this entire process is known as Sankranti. As the sun enters Capricorn, this period is known as Makar Sankranti. As per the ancient and traditional Hindu Month, auspicious Makar Sankranti is popularly celebrated in Paush, Shukla Paksha.

Importance of Makar Sankranti 

Makar Sankranti is basically considered to be vital in the sun based Hinduism. The special importance of this day is widely mentioned in the authentic and traditionally Enriched 'Vedas' and 'Puranas.' However, exclusive celebrations of various auspicious festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Durgotsav, Maha Shivratri, and many other festivals are based on special, and authentic, and ethical stories behind it. Makar Sankranti is eventually an Astronomical Event that throws light on the crucial condition and direction or the traditional roots, approach, and consciousnesses. The importance and vitality of Makar Sankranti are the same for Hindus, such as peepal in trees, Airavat in elephants, and huge and mighty Himalayas in beautiful mountains. The Powerful entry of Capricorn from Sagittarius by the sun is widely known as Uttarayan. The evolution in Zodiac Signs is known as Makar Sankranti. Most probably, this is the only festival that is widely and popularly celebrated across India. However, it is true that the name varies from one province to another. Also, the type and ways of celebration also vary. Undeniably this is one of the most celebrated and amazing festivals that is widely celebrated. From this day only, the earth enters into a new year, and also, the sun enters and witnesses a new motion. Along with that, scientists also state that on March 21st, the earth absolutely completes one round of the sun, and so it is celebrated as a New year. January 14th is an auspicious day and is marked as the beginning of the good days. It is because of this, and the sun begins to move north instead of south. When Sun begins to travel from east to west, this effect is considered to be immensely bad.

However, when the sun moves from east to north, the Powerful and amazing rays positively impact the health and peace of an individual. On this day only, the holy and serene Ganges had descended on the earth. In Mahabharata, Pitamah Bhishma himself gave up the body just after the sun had passed on Uttarayan as the souls who left the body during Uttarayan either go to heaven for a particular. Period of time or simply get rid of the rebirth cycle. During leaving the body in Dakshinayan, the soul might face darkness, sadness, and despair for a longer time. Almost everything is under the law of Nature, and so almost everyone and everything is bound by the extensive and beautiful Nature. The plant blooms perfectly in light and could also shrink in the darkness. And so it is impeccably significant that death must be in the light so that we could visibly notice the speed and the type of situation. But the main question is, can we improve it? Do we have the right selection? Natives must know that the Powerful and the Almighty Lord Krishna himself stated in the pious and serene 'GITA' stated the vitality of Uttarayana. During this period of six months of Uttarayana when the immensely powerful and strengthened Sun God is Uttarayana, and at this time only, the earth remains extremely light. Along with that, the natives must remember that the renunciation of the body in this seraphic light does not reincarnate the people who have already attained Brahm. In contrast to that, the earth is overpowered with darkness when the sun is towards the sun. This darkness actually signifies that one has to be born after renouncing the body. Especially the cosmic significance of Makar Sankranti is immense.

The Cosmic Significance of Makar Sankranti

It is widely believed that when the sun moves from east to south, at this time, the rays of the sun are would be extremely bad. Apart from that, it is also true that when the sun starts to travel from east to north, it has an optimistic impact on your peace, prosperity, and health. Saints and natives who are associated with various spiritual activities would always attain peace and calmness as well as accomplishments. In simpler terms, humans move forward as they forget the bitter experiences of the past. The almighty Lord Krishna himself stated in the Gita that during this auspicious period.

Because of this, saints, spiritual souls, and devotional people who are associated with spiritual activities get peace and accomplishment to a greater extent. In simpler terms, gradually, the human progresses by forgetting the bitter and bad experiences and issues of the past life.

The almighty and the most powerful Lord Krishna himself stated in Gita that, in this auspicious period of 6 months of pious and serene Uttarayan. Also, when the sun god is in the serene period of Uttarayan, at this point, the earth is impeccably light, so by sacrificing the body in this light, man is not reborn, and Brahma receives. During the Mahabharata period, Bhishma Pitamah courageously had the boon of euthanasia. Undeniably, He sacrificed his body on the day of Makar Sankranti.

Cultural significance of Makar Sankranti festival

This wonderful festival is celebrated in various states of India and that too in different styles and patterns. Talking about south India, this beautiful festival is celebrated and named 'PONGAL.' Also, in the north side of India, this astonishing festival is popularly and widely known as 'Khichdi or Kite' festival. Apart from that, in the Madhya Bharata, it is named as Sankranti, Makar Sankranti or even 'Uttaravan' or 'Maghi Khichdi'and many others.

As per the ancient and traditional Hindu Theology, this is the day of purity and enlightenment. This is the day when good overpowers bad, and light overpowers darkness. This would last till the Month of Ashadh. Even in the ancient and as per the Hindu Mythology, during the Mahabharat Period, Bhishma Pitamah also chose this serene day of Makar Sankranti to give up his body. Along with that, it has other historical significance as well, such as on this auspicious day only, Gangaji followed Bhagirath and also met Kapil Muni in the Ocean. Also, on this day only, Maharaja Bhagirathi offered this day to his ancestors. In the memory of that only, wonderful fairs are organized at Gangasagar on Makar Sankranti.  

Why do you celebrate Makar Sankranti? 

It is believed that the powerful Lord Surya visits his son 'Saturn' and he appears to be the owner of Capricorn. And so the day is named as 'Makar Sankranti.' On this day only, the serene, tranquil, and seraphic Ganges River also descends on the earth, and so it leads to a huge celebration. Apart from that, even in the epic Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitama voluntarily gave up his body when the sun rose. There was a significant reason behind this that it is said that spirits that leave the body in Uttarayana either go to heaven or they get the divine and get rid of the cycle of regeneration and gain.

However, it is true that leaving the body in Dakshinayana, and the soul might have to face immense darkness for a longer period of time. It is the almighty Lord Krishna who also stated the immense importance of Uttarayan. During this time, the Sun God is Uttarayan, and even the earth remains light. Also, abandoning the body during this light does not regenerate the person, and people do attain Brahm. Also, when the Sun is Dakshin, and the earth becomes darker, then one has to be reborn, renouncing the body. It is a ritual and tradition to fly kites on this day in various destinations. People do enjoy various these amazing festivals and show gratitude, happiness, and joy. There is a religious reason behind flying kites, and that is Shri Ram also flew kites. On this day, there is a holiday for a few days, especially in Gujrat and Saurashtra. It is happily celebrated in all the states happily.

Traditions on Makar Sankranti

In Hinduism, almost every festival is incomplete without having sweets. As per the enriching tradition, there is a ritual of making Laddus and other dishes, which are made of sesame and jaggery, on this auspicious festival. People do consume sesame and jaggery and express their love and warmth towards each other. Sharing sweets with everyone would make your bitter relationship sweet. This would help you to inculcate positivity, attitude, and disseminate love without any boundaries or connotations. Eating and sharing sweets would also bring peace, harmony, and happiness to your life. Flying kites is definitely one of the most amazing thing rituals, and so the entire sky looks extremely beautiful and picturesque. Kite betting is also one of the most entertaining recreations to perform.

How to celebrate Makar Sankranti?

Bathing, charity, and virtue do have special importance as on this day, and people do apply Jaggery and Sesame in the holy river water. Just after this, people do offer water to Lord Surya. The almighty and powerful Lord Surya is worshipped as a product of a good future. After people do offer water to Lord Surya, he is prayed for a better and brighter future. Just after this, sesame, jaggery, blankets, and fruits are also donated. People do fly kites everywhere, which looks extremely beautiful. Also, many delicious and mouth-watering dishes are prepared and consumed. On this day only, people do make delicious Khichdi and offer it to the supreme Lord Suryadev. This festival is amazingly celebrated in different cities, and in many places, even the crops are harvested by the farmers. 

Importance of Bathing on Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is a very important day for the Indian people. They believe in taking a bath to get purified from all the signs and having a peaceful mind. In the Vedic Scriptures, this is a day of special importance. As it is calculated, this occasion is celebrated at the end of the winter season and the beginning of harvesting. This is a holy day for the farmers of India. Millions of people go for an early morning bath in the rivers all over India. Millions of people gather in holy rivers and get themselves purified. Despite the cold weather, devoted people come at dawn and take a bath. This is celebrated on a large scale across the country. The celebration starts early in the morning will devotees gathering in a volume of lakhs around a different part of the country amidst which some popular places are Gangaghat in Varanasi, Kurukshetra in Haryana, Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, Pushkar in Rajasthan, Godavari River in Nasik, and different other holy places. A huge festival called the Magh Mela is arranged every year in Allahabad, and even the Gangasagar in Kolkata is quite famous for this occasion.

Indeed Haridwar is a beautiful Holy place in India where people all over the world gather and take a dip into the thrilling cold river Ganga to wash their sins and purify themselves. Along with Ayodhya, devotees gather to take a bath in the Sarayu, praying to Maa Janaki at Ramlila, Hanumangarhi, and Hanuman in Kanak Bhavan. Haridwar celebrates this occasion will love and harmony. Fair is organized; where devotees show their enthusiasm and even foreigners from other countries take part in this festival. In Prayag and Gangasagar, bating in the river during this day is called Maha Sanan. Donation is called to be very beneficial on Makar Sankranti. Even the celebration of Makar Sankranti gives special importance to charity and the well-being of needy people. Thus, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as the most auspicious occasion by the Indians, and people from around the world tend to take an interest in knowing about the occasion. This period brings great help for the people who are poor and needy. 

After the bath, people collaborate and donate money to the poor and needy. During this time, Khichdi is given utmost importance, as it is a nutritious food and keeps you warm during the chilled days. Khichdi, which is made of urad dal, rice, mixed spice, and healthy green vegetables of winter, gives you immunity and strength to carry on the day. People serve Khichdi to everyone on the day of Makar Sankranti, this donation is made on a large scale, and everyone is invited to have the food and start their fruitful day. Temples around the country are decorated and seen under graceful elegance. Uttar Pradesh is very popular for this occasion, and the donation of Khichdi is known to be very important during this auspicious day; even Khichdi is cooked in every house. Maharashtra delicately celebrates this occasion, and married women donate cotton, oil, salt, etc., to Suhagin women on their first solstice. In the wonderful state called Tamil Nadu, people celebrate this festival by worshiping Lakshmi Ji; they call the Makar Sankranti as Pongal, which is celebrated for four days, the first day is celebrated by burning garbage, and Lakshmi Ji is worshiped on the second day continuing the third day they worship wealth of animal. 

As Chandra- Krishna and Shukla Paksha are the two parts of the Month. In the same way, there are two parts of the year that depends on the sun, which is Sun Uttarayan and Sun Dakshinayan. When the northern hemisphere of the earth faces the sun, then the sun starts rising from the north. Sun rising from the north is called Uttaryayan or Somaya. This period remains for half of the year. And on the other hand, the rest six months is called Dakshinayan. This is the reason the festival is known as Uttarayan. The period of Uttarayan, which is for six months, starts from Makar Sankranti and ends on Cancer Sankranti. The importance of Makar Sankranti is because the harvest begins from this day of the new season, and new crops are planted. Punjab, UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu are the main states where farmers celebrate the day of Makar Sankranti of huge importance. The farmers believe the farming process is the blessing of God and Nature. Wheat and paddy are the main crops harvested in the field with the starting of this new season. 

Sesame-jaggery, laddus, and some other healthy dishes might help you to strengthen your immunity and give your body the strength to fight disease. Thus due to a low environmental temperature, these dishes are made and distributed to prevent any kind of disease or weakness. The healthy element present in them gives the required nutrient to our body. Jaggery-sesame, Revdi, Gazak, and other dishes like Ghewar are distributed as prasad during this festival. Khichdi is the most popular food offered on this day in North India. 

Kite Festival

The festival of Makar Sankranti is called by different names in different parts of India as we already know that Khichdi, Pongal, Uttarayan are their different names, though the festival is also widely celebrated as the Kite Festival. The reason it is called so is, during winters sunlight is very important for our body as it provided various benefits and Vitamin D is present in the sun which helps our skin and the rays of sun kill germs. Thus people spend a few hours in the morning flying Kites, especially on this day. Therefore this day is also known as the Kite Festival, which is very good for our body. 

According to Indian mythology, Lord Shri Krishna said in the Gita that the sixth Month of Uttarayan is very prosperous; when Surya Devta faces Uttarayan of Earth, the earth remains lighted. During this period leaving your body in the light prevents the person from reincarnation, and Brahm is attained. This is the reason that Bhishma Pitamah never left his body until the sun passed away. 

Story of Makar Sankranti

As per the writings, legendary Srimad Bhagwad Purana and Devi Purana Shanidev usually had a plum from his father Suryadev since childhood. There was a time when Suryadev did see Shanidev and his mother Chaaya discriminating against his wife and also against Yamraj. Angered by this, he took the drastic decision to remove Chhaya and Shani Dev from his life. Angered by this, Shanidev and his mother Chhaya cursed Suryadev for having Leprosy and left from there. Seeing his father being troubled by Leprosy, Yamraj performed severe penance of Lord Shiva. Then, he got angry and then took the decision to remove Chhaya and Shani Dev from his entire life. Shanidev and Chaaya cursed Suryadev for having Leprosy, and then they left. Just after seeing his father being troubled by Leprosy, Yamraj did perform several penances of Lord Shiva, and then after that, Suryadev was freed from Leprosy. But still, he got angry at Shanidev, and so he went to Shani dev's house and then burnt it to black. After which, Shanidev and even his mother had to suffer a lot. Also, Yamraj was not sad to see his brother Shani and stepmother Chhaya as also he tried his best to help both of them just after which Suryadev was sent to meet him again. Just after that, when Suryadev reached there, he did plan a Puja and worshipped him with black sesame as almost everything in the house was burnt, and only sesame was left with Shani Dev. 

Pleased with the Puja and worship of Lord Shiva, Surya dev did give him a boon and stated that 'every time I come to your first house, i.e., Capricorn, your house would be full of happiness and satisfaction as you would become richer and fulfilled. Just for this particular reason, on this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, the Sun God is worshipped with sesame, and just on the second day, it was consumed. 

Makar Sankranti Puja Method

1. Every individual must take a pure bath in a serene and holy River on the day of Makar Sankranti. Supposedly if you could not take a bath in a holy or pure river, you must put some sesame in Ganges water and take a bath. Along with that, do not forget to clean your clothes as well. 

2. You must take a clean outpost, and then you must sprinkle Ganga water on it and then put a red cloth. After that, you must make a proper 'Ashtadal Lotus' with beautiful red sandalwood on that post. 

3. Just after this, you are supposed to install a picture of the Sun God and take water in a coffin Lotus, and then after some time, you must place it on the outpost.

4. After some time, you are supposed to invoke Suryadev's intactness in his hand and then offer red sandalwood Tilak to Suryadev.

5. After this, you must offer red flowers to them, and along with that, also you must offer 'Naivedya' or red fruit. 

6.You must also offer various other things such as you must focus and then chant the mantras of 'Suryadev' and also recite 'Adityahrdaya Source.'

7. After performing all of these wonderful rituals, you must duly worship them, and then you must take their Aarti with incense and lamp.

8. Then, you must perform all the traditional rituals, and after then, you must offer Ladoos, which are made of sesame and jaggery.

9. Just after offering Bhog, you must offer water of Copper Lotus to almighty Suryadev, and you must also chant the mantra 'Ghurya Surya Nam Mantra.'

10. You must also donate 'khichdi' as this day is considered to be extremely auspicious and pure. You must also donate Khichdi to any poor Person or any Brahmin. 

Mantra of Makar Sankranti

.ॐ घृ‍णिं सूर्य्य: आदित्य:

. ॐ ह्रीं ह्रीं सूर्याय सहस्रकिरणाय मनोवांछित फलम् देहि देहि स्वाहा।।

. ॐ ऐहि सूर्य सहस्त्रांशों तेजो राशे जगत्पते, अनुकंपयेमां भक्त्या, गृहाणार्घय दिवाकर:।

. ॐ ह्रीं घृणिः सूर्य आदित्यः क्लीं ॐ ।

. ॐ ह्रीं ह्रीं सूर्याय नमः।

Aarti of God Sun

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

tribhuvan - timir - nikandan, bhakt-hrday-chandan.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

sapt-ashvarath raajit, ek chakradhaaree.

du:khahaaree, sukhakaaree, maanas-mal-haaree.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

sur - muni - bhoosur - vandit, vimal vibhavashaalee.

agh-dal-dalan divaakar, divy kiran maalee.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

sakal - sukarm - prasavita, savita shubhakaaree.

vishv-vilochan mochan, bhav-bandhan bhaaree.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

kamal-samooh vikaasak, naashak tray taapa.

sevat saahaj harat ati manasij-santaapa.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

netr-vyaadhi har suravar, bhoo-peeda-haaree.

vrshti vimochan santat, parahit vratadhaaree.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

sooryadev karunaakar, ab karuna keejai.

har agyaan-moh sab, tattvagyaan deejai.

jay kashyap-nandan, om jay aditi nandan.

Benefits of performing Makar Sankranti Puja

1. This auspicious Puja would definitely escalate your consciousness and enhance your cosmic intelligence to a greater extent. 

2. You would develop strong and higher consciousness. 

3. The spiritual spirit would amazingly enhance and purify your body.

4. In your professional life, you would do better.

5. You will get consecutive good results.

6. Spend some time at the religious and spiritual ceremonies

There are many Gods who are worshipped on this day of Makar Sankranti. Sun God is properly worshipped, and on this day, you must also worship Lord Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu, and also Goddess Mahalakshmi, additionally to Suryadev as it is described in details in various authentic and ancient texts.

Makar Sankranti is a beautiful festival to make the planets work favorably by practicing 'Panchashakti.' Bathing, charity, and praying, and you could awake your sleeping fate by effectively worship 'Panchadevas.'

Pilgrimage and Fair

Fairs are held in many cities of the country on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Large fairs are organized, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and South India. On this occasion, lakhs of devotees bathe and donate and do religion on the banks of the Ganges and other sacred rivers.

According to mythological beliefs, Lord Krishna himself has said that the person who renounces the body on Makar Sankranti attains Salvation and is free from the cycle of life and death.

Time of celebrating Makar Sankranti

Due to the chilly weather during 'Paush month,' the body is imbued to many contaminations, which is not known, and your skin also becomes rough and dry in this weather. And so, when the sun is in Uttarayan, sunbeams act as a medication for your body. Flying a kite in this season also helps as the rays of the sun come into direct contact with your body, which helps in killing germs that we are unaware of. This festival looks contrasting in different parts of the country.

Makar Sankranti is also celebrated by other names in different parts of the country. In Tamil Nadu, it is known as Pongal, while in Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, it is known as 'Sankranti.' A day before Makar Sankranti, another festival is celebrated known as Lohri in Himachal, Haryana, and Punjab. On this day, in the evening, a fire with sesame, jaggery, rice, and roasted maize is lit and worshipped. This function is enjoyed by sharing peanuts, Gurjak, sesame seeds with everyone. In India, Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a huge spirit in each other state, but with different terms and rituals.

Uttar Pradesh: In Uttar Pradesh and the west of Bihar, it is known as Khichdi's festival. Taking a dive in the holy rivers on this day is very auspicious. On this occasion, a whole month of MaghMela(fair) starts in Prayag. Apart from Triveni, holy baths are also held at many places beautiful places like Haridwar and Garh Mukteshwar located in Uttar Pradesh and also in Patna, Bihar.

West Bengal: Almost, every year, a very big fair is arranged on the shore of the Ganges, where it is believed that the guru of sixty thousand ancestors of King Bhagiratha was deserted. A huge number of travelers from across the country cooperate in this fair. Tamil Nadu: In Tamil Nadu, it is known as Pongal, which is celebrated to open the harvesting day of farmers.

Andhra Pradesh: In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Makar Sankranti is called Sankramana. It is a big festival in Andhra Pradesh. Telegu people popularly call it Penda Panduga, which means big festival. Gujarat: It is known as Uttarayan in Gujarat and Rajasthan. On the day of the festival, a kite flying event takes place in Gujarat, where everyone participates. As it is a huge occasion in Gujarat, there is a 2-day national holiday for everyone.

Bundelkhand: In Bundelkhand, specifically in Madhya Pradesh, the festival of Makar Sankranti is called Sankrant. This festivity is enjoyed with a lot of sweets in Madhya Pradesh and even in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Sikkim.

Maharashtra: Cuisines made of til and jaggery are given to each other on the day of Makar Sankranti in Maharashtra; people say 'til-Gulghaya, Gode god bola' while giving sesame seeds. It is a significant day for women in Maharashtra when married women invite guests with 'Haldi Kumkum' and offer them some utensils.

Kerala: On this day, people perform 40 days of ceremonial, which finishes in Sabarimala.

Orissa: Many tribal people in the country begin their new year on the day of Sankranti. Everyone enjoys and dances hand in hand. Bhuyatribals of Odisha includes their MaghYatra in which the items are made in houses are kept for selling.

Haryana: It is known as Lohri in Punjab and Magahi in Himachal Pradesh. It is of great priority for each and every Punjabi; from this day, all the farmers start garnering their crops and starts worshipping them.

Assam: Magh Bihu is celebrated in the villages of Assam. Kashmir: Makar Sankranti is popularly known as Shishur in Kashmir. There are other names of the Makar Sankranti festival outside the country, and it is popular in other countries as well. In Nepal, it is termed as Maghe Sankranti. In a few other parts, it is called Magahi. In Thailand, it is celebrated and is known as Songkran. In Myanmar, it is famously known as Theognis. In Cambodia, they celebrate under the name of Moha Sangrakaran. In Laos, it is known as P Ma Lao. Although Makar Sankranti is celebrated with different names across the globe, the motive behind it is that of peace.

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You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Lohri
13 Jan, 2021

Lohri is majorly celebrated in Punjab and Haryana, but it is also observed worldwide. It is celebrated in different names in different parts of the Nation. Lohri is considered to be the new year for the farmers. Lohri takes place in the month of Posh, which comprises the winter season. Burning Alaav Shukun is offered in Lohri. Farmers get some time for themselves during this time. Wheat crops and sunflower seeds are at their fullest, which gives farmers hope and dreams. They are happy and excited about the harvest. There is happiness, new energy, mutual goodness, the victory of good over evil are prevalent on Lohri.

Along with Punjab, Lohri is celebrated in Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu Kashmir with pomp and show. In today’s times, it is celebrated in other parts of India as well. Every year, Lohri is celebrated lavishly in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir. As Lohri is essential for all the Punjabis, all the Punjabis living in India's different parts celebrate it with a lot of excitement. This festival is celebrated as Sindhi Lal Loi. In Punjab, Lohri is predominant, but it is also celebrated in Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh.

For regular days We at Bajrangi Dhaam always perform a small Pooja ritual and Lohri celebration for selected followers & the overall prosperity of our large client base every 13th January in the evening around 8.15 pm. 

When is Lohri Celebrated?

Lohri is celebrated during the onset of Vasant on January 13th January in the last night of the month of Posh, just like other the other seasons of summer, winter, autumn. People believe that Lohri symbolizes that the month of Posh (coldest month according to the Hindu Calendar) will end, and the month of Magh is going to start. That is why; some people call Lohri Maaghi Festival. 

Religious Importance

It is believed that the Earth begins to face the Sun again on Lohri. This festival symbolizes happiness all around. It is celebrated in the first month ( January) of the year, which is also the coldest month in Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. The farmer community celebrates it wonderfully with hopes and aspirations as their crops are ready for harvest during this time, for which they worked hard a lot. Lohri is burnt at night with the season’s first wheat crop. 

The Importance of the Lohri Festival

Lohri symbolizes the end of the Winter season. That is why; it is a seasonal festival that arrives during Makar Sankari towards the end of Winter. It is promising for farmers. We all know that Lohri is a Punjabi festival, and it is named after a Punjabi, Dulla Bhatti. There are many reasons for celebrating Lohri, which have been discussed in detail further. Although it is celebrated on January 13 with a lot of happiness, it is also observed when days become brief and nights are longer. It is called Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh, Makar Sankranti in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Bihu in Assam and Karnataka. Sindhi community celebrates this festival as Laal Koi, and Punjabis call it Lohri. 

The History of Lohri

There are many reasons for celebrating Lohri according to various belief systems. According to Purana, it epitomizes the sacrifice of Sati every year. According to this story, Sati, KIng Daksh, insulted her husband, Lord Shiva, by not inviting him to a Mahyagya. Sati burnt herself in the same fire of the Mahaygya as a gesture of self-sacrifice. Hence, Lohri started being celebrated, and the married women are invited at home for meals. It is also called Dulla Bhatti.

There is another historical story of celebrating Lohri, and it is related to Akbar’s rule. When Akbar ruled Punjab and adjoining areas, a person named Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab. He believed that he was the Robinhood of the poor people and used to rob the rich people of their wealth to help the poor. He used to distribute the appropriated money among the needy. He also used to save Hindu women who were sold in the Gulaam Bazar by force. These women were married to Hindu men following all the Hindu rituals, and dowry was also given. Although Dulla Bhatti used to loot, he became the poor's hero for his contributions to their life. Hence, the songs of Lohri have his name, and Lohri commemorates his efforts. Some people also believe that Lohri is derived from the word Loi, the poet Kabir’s wife's name. Lohri has also been taken from the phrase Loi, which is used to make Diyas. 

How is Lohri Celebrated?

Although Lohri is a Punjabi festival, it is celebrated all over India with great pomp and show. Like every other festival, Lohri is also celebrated with happiness wherein all the family and friends are happy together. People distribute and exchange sweets such as jaggery, Revari, Sugar candies, and Til. They offer these items to the bonfire of Lohri. On this day, people keep religious ceremonies at home and seek God’s blessings. According to the rituals, people eat Sarso Saag, jaggery, Gajak, Til, peanuts, etc., as Prasad. People wear novel clothes on this day and perform Bhangra. Farmers consider this day as their new year as it is the season of harvest. It is followed majorly in Punjab and Haryana. It is also the epitome of a new year. 

1.Celebration Near Fire

On the eve of Lohri, people burn a bonfire made of wood and circle around them, dancing and singing. They offer revari, peanuts, corns to the fire and then sit near the fire, enjoying themselves. 

2.Special Eatables

Gajak, revari, peanuts, til-jaggery laddoo, Corn chapatis, and Sunflower leaves are some of the essential eatables which people consume on Lohri. Before Lohri arrives, children sing Lohri songs while preparing for the festival. They collect woods, dry fruits, revari, and peanuts to be used on Lohri.  

3.Festival of Newly-Wed Bride, Sister, and Children 

Lohri holds particular importance for the Punjabi community. Places where weddings have taken place or birth has taken place, and good wishes are bestowed on such sites and people. The Lohri of newlywed woman and newly born child are essential. Women are treated well on Lohri and are invited at home.

4.Belief Behind Celebrating Lohri

It is believed that Lohri gets its name from Sant Kabir’s wife Loi. It is also believed that Dulla Bhatti saved Sundari and Mundari named women from the king and got them married to decent men 

5.Festival of Festivals

The festival of Baisakhi is also like Lohri and is celebrated in Punjab. It is also associated with the village and agriculture of Punjab. Carrot and Sugarcane crops are sowed during this time. Before that, Rabi crops are reaped and kept in the houses. Farms get embellished with sunflowers. 

Contemporary Outlook of Lohri

People have changed their ways of celebrating Lohri. Earlier, they used to gift each other Gajak sweets. Now, they offer chocolates and cakes. People have adhered to social media and digital means to wish each other such as emails and WhatsApp. Bonfires are not made keeping in mind the environmental concerns. Now, people do not cut down trees and woods to set a Lohri bonfire to preserve Nature's essence. They celebrate it during the day now.

The story of Lohri

There many belief systems behind the festival of Lohri. However, the most prevalent is one that pertains to Dulla Bhatti. According to this story, Dulla Bhatti was a courageous soldier during the Mughal rule. An already married existing Mughal ruler wanted to forcefully marry the two beautiful daughters of a poor Brahman, Sundari, and Mundari. Dulla Bhatti helped these women to get rid of the ruler and got them married somewhere else. He also did kanyadaan. This story is narrated in different versions. Somwhere Dulla Bhatti is a courageous soldier during Akbar’s rule somewhere he is a Bandit. But the commonality lies in the belief that he helped the two women like a father and got them married. The story of Dulla Bhatti is sung in the folk songs of Punjab.

The grace of Lohri Everywhere

On this day, everyone gets together and performs Bhangra and greets each other Lohri. Women dance on farms with new hopes and new dreams. They begin to get ready for the festival before it arrives. They apply henna on each other’s hands. In Punjab, this festival holds particular importance for new brides and new borns. On this day, people eat revari, peanuts, corn chapatis, and sarson leaves. Irrespective of the city, since morning, people start praying in Gurudwaras. Parties happen in the evening, and people enjoy a lot. In Delhi, Punjabi pop songs are played. Markets begin to welcome Lohri before a fortnight. Peanuts, til laddoo, revari, gajak, everything begins to have availability in the markets. All these items are used in the form of prasad. It is called Tilchauli. These are burnt in the fire, and people pray to God for the ultimate blessings. 

Tradition of Lohri

1. The story of Dulla Bhatti is narrated on Lohri as a traditional ritual. However, nowadays, it is done less. 

2. Children visit houses, and they are given Tilchauli as a present. 

3. Woods are collected and are burnt in the form of a bonfire on roads. These days, woods are bought.

4. Tilchauli is burnt in the Lohri fire as an offering.

5. People dance and revel among themselves. Men perform bhangra

Traditional song of Lohri

Sundar Sundar mundariye, hoye 

Tera ki vichara, hoye 

Dulla Bhatti Wala, Hoye 

Dulle Di dhi Viyaai, Hoye 

Ser Shakar Paai, Hoye

You can read similar write-up on relevance of astrology in indian festivals for all other major Indian Festivals.

Festivals are eventually a great way to celebrate happiness, express joy, disseminate positive vibes, and instill the feeling of brotherhood and prosperity by enriching and enhancing the rich heritage, culture, and traditions. Festivals are an amazing and great way to let your emotions out and let your loved ones feel extremely happy and content. Along with that, festivals also play a vital role in adding structure and ensuring perfect shape to social lifestyle. It helps to establish a strong connection and also helps in tightening the societal norms. It helps everyone to connect with families and enrich the glorious background, as it would be immensely helpful in building great relationships. Festivals are eventually a sort of distraction from our monotonous lifestyle and exhausting routine. It eventually motivates and inspires everyone to acknowledge and value the important moments in life. Festivals are a great event to disseminate knowledge and inculcate the feeling of deep emotions to the next generation.

All festivals are celebrated to uplift the culture and traditions. It is basically an astounding way to unite everyone and inculcate the strong feeling of rejoicing, brotherhood, and prosperity. There are innumerable festivals that are celebrated, including National, Religious and Seasonal ones. The idea of a celebration is to instill the feeling of enthusiasm and optimism and strengthen the community norms and take it to a different level.

National Festivals:

It is an astonishing way of unification, and it let us dive deep into the glorious and prestigious history of a country. By celebrating different National Festival, one could simply gain knowledge, information, and the treasured history of the nation. Celebrating the foundation day of a nation always makes its citizen feel proud and happy. Along with that, the celebration of days like Independence Day or Europe VE day (Victory of Europe during WWII) is widely celebrated across the continent, which is impeccably helpful in fostering the feeling of oneness and nationality in everyone. It eventually solidifies and inculcates the feeling of patriotism and spirits in society.

Religious Festivals: 

It plays a vital part in enriching the family knots. In order to keep it simple and short, basically religious festivals help everyone to understand the authentic and deep culture and tradition. Festivals are a medium to understand ethics, traditions, and principles. Different religious festivals throw light on various aspects, such as love, tolerance, understanding, and enlightenment. It is a great way to celebrate the occasion and express gratitude to God on special events.

Seasonal Festivals:

Seasonal Festivals definitely reflect the inner voice and attitude of people towards nature and show gratitude towards the almighty. The festivals are important as they are somewhere also related to the food supply. Human Beings eventually adore nature and acknowledge the benefits and advantages. In simpler terms, the main ideas of celebrating all festivals are associated with harmony, peace, prosperity, and enlightenment.

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