Friday, July 30, 2010

Spiritual Calendar August 2010

6th August: Kamika Ekadasi is on a Friday. Please have your last meal on Thursday night and break your fast with grains on Saturday morning.

The story of Kamika Ekadashi from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana is as follows: The saintly king Yudhishthira requested Lord Krishna to narrate glories of the ekadashi which occurs during the dark fortnight of the Shravan Month (July-August).Krishna said that once Narada Muni asked Lord Brahma the name of this ekadashi,the deity who was to be worshipped, the process to be followed and its merits.Lord Brahma happily agreed because just hearing about the Kamika Ekadashi is equivalent to performing a horse sacrifice.

One who worships Lord Vishnu attains greater merit than bathing in the Ganges,having darshan of Lord Kedarnath in the Himalayas,bathing at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, donating earth in charity, taking a dip in the Kali Gandaki River or Godavari River on full moon. Observing Kamika Ekadashi bestows the same merit as donating a milk-cow and her calf along with their fodder. Oh Narada, Lord Krishna himself confirmed that the one who fasts on Kamidka Ekadashi is more blessed than a person studying the spiritual texts and does not have to suffer future births.

Lord Krishna affirmed that this sacred day nullifies the sin of killing a brahman or an unborn child in the womb and transports one to Viakuntha, where Lord Vishnu forever dwells.

7th August: Shiva Pradosha Fast is on a Saturday

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight for propitiating Lord Shiva. With his blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment.It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.

Generally people observe Pradosha Vrata on every trayodashi tithi (13th lunar day falling in Krishna and Shukla Pakshas) in the evening.

Worship of Shiva throughout the night, bathing the Shivalinga with panchamrta (milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey), homa, japa or chanting of the mulamantra (Aum Nama Shivaya) and praying for forgiveness are the other religious observances. At the end of the vrata one must do parana (break the fast by partaking the offerings).

Shri Radha Ramanji in a Phool Bangla in Vrindavan

10th August: Hariyali Amavasya is on a Tuesday. It is a monsoon festival celebrated on Amavasya in the Shravan month in North India.Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day for wealth, prosperity and a good harvest.Grand fairs are held in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Hariyali Amavasya is celebrated with enthused fervour in Dwarkadhish temple of Mathura, Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavan and other temples of Lord Krishna and Shiva.

This day culminates the Phool Bangla Utsav in Banke Bihari Temple of Vrindavan, during which a house of flowers is made daily in the evening. Great importance is give to the green colour in this festival since it reflects the greenery of nature after the first showers of monsoon.

12th August: Hariyali Teej is on a Thursday.The first of the three main Teej festivals is observed three days after Hariyali Amavasya. Vrindavan is certainly worth a visit on this day since Shri Bihariji is posited on a jhoola sinhasan, religious hymns are chanted and lilas of Radha-Krishna are narrated. Saint Ushaji's Thakurji is already resplendent on a swing from 4 to 6 pm for the entire month of Shravan.

15th August: Kalki Jayanti is on a Sunday when Lord Kalki will take birth in this Kaliyuga. Observed on Shukla Paksha Sashti in the month of Shravan it is the most auspicious time to purchase a new house or car.In Hinduism, Kalki is the tenth and final incarnation of Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction. Kalka in Sanskrit refers to ignorance and hence denotes the "destroyer of darkness". Other similar derivations from Sanskrit - include one simply meaning "White Horse". In South India Kalki Jayanti is to be celebrated in the month of Bhadrapad on 10th September,2010.

15th August: Shri Hari Kirtan is at Mr.Kuldeep Rai Chadha's residence from 5 to 7 pm. It has been preponed to Sunday for the devotees' convenience and all are requested to attend.

16th August: Goswami Tulsidasji's Jayanti is on the third Monday of Shravan, the month of Lord Shiva. On this day we celebrate the appearance of Shri Goswami Tulsidas, the great devotee of Lord Rama and the writer of 'Shri Ramcharitmanas', a great Hindu scripture and poetic classic. He was born on the Shravan Shukla Saptami in 1498 AD in Rajpur, Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh and was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth.

He intensely loved his wife Buddhimati and she explained that if he loved Lord Rama half as much as her he would attain eternal bliss. Thereafter Tulsidas became an ascetic. He got a vision of Lord Rama through Hanumanji and began composing the Shri Ramcharitmanas. On Tulsidas Jayanti one must read or hear the Ramcharitmanas, visit shrines of Lord Rama and Hanumanji and feed Brahmins.

Lord Vishnu

20th August: Putrada Ekadashi is on a Friday. It is observed during the waxing phase of the moon in the months of July-August in Gujarat, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In North India Putrada Ekadashi is observed in the Paush Month or December-January. It is said that by fasting on Putrada Ekadashi one is pardoned of all sins committed.

The significance of this ekadashi was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira and is found in the 'Bhavisyotara Purana'. There is a popular belief that married couples with no offspring will be blessed with children if they observe the Putrada Ekadasi.Most devoteess of Lord Vishnu fast on this day and some do not sleep.Those fasting partially abstain from food made of rice.

24th August: Rakhi or Purnima is on a Tuesday. According to the Hindu Calendar Rakhi falls on the Shravan Purnima (full moon day) which corresponds to July-August as per the English Calendar. In Mumbai the festival is called Narial Purnima or coconut full moon and people of Kerala term it as the Avani Avittam.

Krishna and Draupadi: An incident concerning Krishna and Draupadi from the epic Mahabharata is centred on this festival. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip off her silken sari and tied it around Krishna index finger to stop the flow of blood. Krishna was so touched that he promised to repay the debt and did so during the Vastra Haran of Draupadi. In the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhishthir lost her in gambling, Krishna indefinitely extended her saree, to save her pride.

The legend of Lord Yama and his sister Yamuna: Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Yama, the Lord of death and Yamuna his sister. Yamuna tied a rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality. Yama was so moved that he declared that whoever got a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection would become immortal.

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