All dates given below are as per the Banke Bihari Panchang of Vrindavan.
1st May, 2011: Monthly Shivratri is on a Sunday.The fast of Shivratri is observed on every month’s Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha, as per the Hindu calendar. Lord Shiva is worshipped on this occasion. He is fondly called Bhole Nath because he is easily pleased with a bit of worship and fulfils his devotees' wishes.
2nd May, 2011: Somvati Amavasya The day of conjunction of the sun and moon, on the fifteenth day of the dark half of a lunar month. Amavasya or the new moon, is the last day of the waning moon. Though Amavasya occurs every month, Hindus believe it to be the most auspicious when it falls on a Monday. Amavasya is important for performing rituals for departed ancestors. Somvati Amavasya is associated with the new moon which occurs on a Monday.
The significance of Somvati Amavasya was narrated to Yudhishtra by Bhisma in the Mahabharata . It is said twho ever takes a bath in the sacred rivers on this day becomes prosperous, free of diseases and grief. There is belief that the souls of ancestors will rest in peace if the children and relatives take a dip in the sacred river Ganges at Haridwar, Triveni and other places.
Women worship the peepul tree and tie thread round the trunk of this tree 108 times. Peepul is the most sacred tree in India and is regarded as the dwelling site of the Hindu Trinity-Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The women circumambulate around the tree,108 times, with their hands folded. They pour water and milk on its roots and offer sandal paste, vermillion, wet rice and flowers.
Devotees Take a Dip in River Yamuna
3rd May, 2011: Bhowmati Amavasya is when many devotees bathe in the holy Yamuna, Ganges and other rivers. Many throng to Sri Banke Bihari Temple as Akshay Teej is round the corner.
Sri Shukdev ji, Srimad Bhagwat Mahapurana
3rd May, 2011: Jayanti of sage Sri Shukdev ji, of Srimad Bhagwat Mahapurana. When Sri Sukhdev ji's yagnopavith had not been done, nor had the time for other worldly responsibilities come, he decided to take sanyas.
Once during Srimad Bhagvad Katha, Muni Shonak ji said: Soot ji, you remove ignorance. How do Vaisnavas get rid of maya and worldly desires and what will help us attain Sri Krishna. Soot ji said:
Shonak ji, In this Kaliyug Sri Sukhdev ji has preached the Srimad Bhagvad katha to get rid of this yuga's torments.Nothing is better than this narrative for the purification of mind. When a human's good deeds from previous births accumulate, one gets to know this scripture.
Charan Darshan of Shri Banke Bihari ji, Vrindavan
6th May, 2011: Akshay Teej is on a Friday. It is the sole occasion when Lord Bankey Bihariji gives His charan-darshan once in a year, with millions of people thronging the temple.
6th May, 2011: Sri Parshuram Jayanti Parashurama is the sixth avatar of Vishnu and belongs to the Treta yuga, and is the son of Jamadagni, a Brahmin and Renuka, a Kshatriya . He received an axe after undertaking austere penance to please Shiva, from whom he learnt warfare and other skills. Fighting back the advancing seas, he thus saved the lands of Konkan and Malabar. Parashurama is said to be the first warrior saint. A temple of Parashurama is situated at Akhnoor, 18 km away from Jammu. Every year, in May, an enormous fete in the form of a parade, with hundreds of tableaux, throngs through the main city of Jammu to celebrated Parshuram Jayanti.
Shri Manohar Baba
7th May, 2011: Jayanti of most revered Manohar Baba, a lovable saint of Vrindavan. In his honour, the monthly kirtan is being held from 5 to 7 pm at Vatsji's home. Everyone is requested to attend the group singing of devotional songs for Sri Hari.
Revered Baba Manohar Das ji had truly religious qualities like knowledge (understanding the identity of the self with the ultimate Brahman),asceticism and discernment.He renounced the world like vomit and sought the refuge of Shri Maharj ji, a truly virtuous guru.
By Maharaj ji's grace, Baba crossed over the toughest of spiritual stages and was resolute in his perennial quest for union with the divine.
Sri Adi Shakaracharya
8th May, 2011: Sri Shankaracharya Jayanti Adi Shankara was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. His teachings are based on the unity of the Atman and Brahman—non-dual Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes.
Shri Radha Krishna Kripakataksha Stotra is the most renowned hymn of praise written by Adi Shankracharya ji. He revived the Sanatan Dharma as ritualistic frauds were misguiding innocent people. Shankaracharya ji is known to have written some of the most beautiful commentaries on 'Bhagavad Gita', 'Srimad Bhagawatam and many stotras praising Lord Krishna and goddess Yamuna.
Sri Surdas & Child Krishna
8th May, 2011: Sri Surdas Jayanti He wrote about the most beautiful childhood lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna. He is one of the astachhap kavis or eight poets of the Pushti Marg Sampradaya.
The bhajan site of Surdas who was revered as a ship of the Pushti Marg, Sur Kuti and Sur Samadhi lie within the periphery of Vallabhacharyaji's Baithak.
Shri Nath ji, was Easily Perceptible by Surdas
Shri Nathji being a svarupa or living presence of Lord Krishna was clearly perceptible and manifest for the poet. The padas (devotional hymns) sung in praise of Nathji are compiled in the text 'Sur Sagar'. Through his poetic creations, Surdasji enhanced the beauty of worship, giving bhakti a new more intimate direction. Remaining a Krishna devotee, he did not lose sight of the Lord's romantic nuances and was therefore able to bring both religious and aesthetic truths to his compositions.
9th May, 2011: Sri Ramanujacharya Jayanti. He is one of the 4 main Acharyas known as Ramanujacharya. Seen by Vaishnavas as the third and most important teacher of their tradition (after Nathamuni and Yamunacharya), he is regarded by Hindus in general as the leading expounder of Viśiṣṭādvaita. Ramanuja's philosophy is referred to as Vishishtadvaita because it combines advaita (oneness of God) with vishesha (attributes).
10th May, 2011: Ma Ganga Saptami
Vaishakh Shukla Saptami is known as Ganga Saptami. People come to take a holy dip in the Ganges and relieve themselves from their sins and mental agony. Mother Ganga cleanses them and absolves their sins. The river covers a distance of 1500 miles and keeps the adjoining areas green and fertile. Ganga Saptami is celebrated to make people know her significance on the spiritual plane.
Ma Sita, is the Shakti of Prabhu Ram
11th May, 2011: Sri Sitanaumi is on a Wednesday.The day is observed as the birth of Sri Sita or Janaki Devi, the wife of Lord Ram. Sri Sita is considered an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi just as Lord Ram is Lord Vishnu Incarnate.
In the Ramayana, Sri Sita Devi is best remembered for her penance in finding her perfect marriage partner. It was her father, King Janak's condition that whoever could lift the divine bow and arrow gifted by Lord Shiva would marry his daughter. And as per destiny, Sita ji's choice was made after years of austere penance to Devi Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva.
Sri Sita Naumi is not celebrated with as much fanfare as Sri Ram Naumi is in the month of Chaitra. However without Sita, worshipping Lord Ram's would be inadequate because she is Shri Ram's divine feminine energy or shakti.
Sri Sita Devi is also remembered in the Ramayana as setting a role model for Hindu society, particularly in her devotion to Lord Ram during the 14-year exile.
King Janaka Unearths Baby Sita who is Born of the Earth Goddess
Sri Sita was born as Janaki or daughter of King Janak but later renamed as Sri Sita Devi by Maharishi Naradh Muni.She was actually given to King Janak by the Earth Goddess or Bhuma Devi whilst he was ploughing a piece of land during a prolonged period of drought in the Treta Yuga He unearthed a golden casket in which he found a beautiful baby girl. Overjoyed he named her Sita because land ploughed by a yoke is called sita.
Just read verses 200-250 of Baalkand wherein the dhanush yagna is going on and Saint Tulsidassji is explaining the beauty of Mata Sita, Lord Rama, Bharat-Shatrughan-Laxmanji, Lord Hanuman, sage Yagvalkyaji and Goswami Tulsidas.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
13th May, 2011: Sri Sri Ravishankar ji's Appearance Day
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and courses of The Art of Living.
Sri Hitharivansh ji
14th May, 2011: Sri Hitharivansh ji Jayanti He established the Sri Radhavallabh Temple and Sect in Vrindavan. After Sri Banke Bihari Temple the next in fame is the temple of Thakur Sri Radhavallabh in Vrindavan. Sri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu, being an incarnation of the Holy Flute (Vanshi Avatar) relished the spiritual nectar while intimately serving the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna, as a close acquaintance of the sacred couple in their sweet love. The conception of Sri Radha is completely misconceived by most people, and Sri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu had shown the path. He adored Radha first and Krishna after her.
Let us humbly bow at the holy feet of Mahaprabhu Hit Harivanshji and chant
govind gopinath gopijan vallabh |
dehi pad pallav, jai radha vallabh ||
Which means Thakurji or Lord of Hit Harivansh ji, bless us with thy grace, divine Love and holy feet.
Lord Vishnu as Mohini
14th May, 2011: Mohini Ekadasi, the day Lord Vishnu incarnated Himself as Mohini to take away nectar from the demons. Mohini in Hindu mythology, is the name of the only female avatara of Lord Vishnu. She is portrayed as an an enchantress, sometimes leading lovers to their doom. Mohini is introduced in the narrative epic of the Mahabharata. Here, she appears as a form of Vishnu, acquires the pot of Amrita (an elixir of immortality) from thieving asuras (demons), and gives it back to the Devas (demi-gods), thus helping them retain their immortality.
Lord Shiva's Pradosh Fast
15th May, 2011: Lord Shiva's Pradosha Fast
Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept for propitiating Lord Shiva. With his blessings one's desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment. Generally people observe the Pradosha Vrata on every trayodashi tithi (13th lunar day falling in Krishna and Shukla Pakshas) in the evening. Please offer plain water and bel patra to Lord Shiva. The bel patra or leaf of the wood-apple tree represents the three eyes of lord Shiva and the three gunas.
Sri Narisingh Bhagwan
16th May, 2011: Sri Narsingh Jayanti Lord Vishnu became Narsingh Bhagwan to kill Hiranyakashipu and save Bhakta Prahalada. One of the ten famous incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Narsingh Bhagwan appeared on earth to kill Hriniyakashipu, the king of asuras or demons. If Lord Rama and Krishna are hailed as Purnavtars or full incarnations, the rest eight of them are, Narasingh Avataras.
Sri Narsingh Bhagwan was the family deity or ishtdev of Sri Manohar Baba who used to keep a fast in celebration of His Deity's appearance day or Narsingh Jayanti. He along with all his devotees used to visit Sri Narsingh Temple in Vrindavan. Its location is near the temples of Sri Banke Bihariji or Radharamanji. In this honour, a book of letters written by Sri Manohar Baba may be launched in celestial Vrindavan.
17th May, 2011: Buddh Purnima. Vesak or Buddha Jayanti is a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha.
Thakur Radharaman ji in Vrindavan
17th May, 2011: The appearance day of Lord Radharamanji of the Chaitanya Mahaprabu tradition at Vrindavan. Sri Radharamana's lotus face is like Sri Govindaji's, His chest is like Sri Gopinath's and His lotus feet are like Sri Madanmohanji's. By sighting Thakur Radharaman one simultaneously receives the darshan of these three primary deities. The Deity of Sri Radharaman manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami's salagram-silas on a full moon day of Vaisakha (April/May) in 1542.
This event is celebrated every year (May) by bathing the Deity with 100 litres of milk and other auspicious items. Gopal Bhatta Goswami's other salagram-silas are also worshiped on the altar. There is no deity of Radharani with Radharaman ji, but gomati-cakra is worshipped on the altar to His left.
18th May, 2011: Sage Narada Jayanti. Sri Narada Muni, a great devotee of Sri Radha, is a disciple of Sri Sankadik Maherishi (four Kumaras) and the guru of Sri Nimbarka Acharya. He is known to play the veena while he sings. Narada is a divine sage from the Vaisnava tradition, who plays a prominent role in a number of Puranic texts, especially the Bhagavata Purana, and Ramayana. Narada is the author of the Pāñcarātra, a standard text for Vaisnava's priests. The sage is portrayed as a travelling monk with the ability to visit distant planets or lokas. He carries a tampura or musical instrument, which he uses for singing of hymns, prayers and mantras in devotion to his Lord Vishnu.
Van Vihar & Vrindavan Parikrama
18th May, 2011: Van-Vihar (a visit to the forest groves) and parikrama of Sridham Vrindavan at night with Temple Musicians (Samaj) plus singing devotional songs in attendance, is performed with great serenity.
Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Fast
20th May, 2011: Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Fast. Ganesha, the foremost god of the Hindu pantheon is beheld as the most auspicious God of new beginnings and widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Devotees of Lord Ganesha, who intend to observe a fast on Ganesha Chaturthi, wake up early in the morning and take a bath. After wearing laundered clothes, they head towards the nearest temple or perform a small puja at their home, to offer prayers to the deity.
When people are on a fast on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, they may opt for either the nirjal vrat (a stringent, waterless fast) or phalahar vrat (a diet). Generally the devotees who are fasting are allowed to have sweets including til ke ladoo , gajak and rewari along with tea and coffee. In order to concentrate, the devotees chant mantras invoking Lord Ganesha and sing bhajans in his praise. It is believed that if one observes a fast on Ganesha Chaturthi with sincerity, one is blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.
Sri Anandamayi Ma
24th May, 2011: Sri Anandamayi Ma Jayanti
Sri Anandamayi Ma was a Hindu spiritual teacher and guru from Bengal, considered a saint and hailed as one of the prominent mystics of the 20th century. Anandamayi was a name given by her disciples in the 1920s to describe her habitual state of divine bliss. During her life, she attracted thousands of followers who saw her not only as a teacher and guru, but as a manifestation of God, or Devi.
Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj
24th May, 2011: Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaji's entry into Golok, the eternal nikunja(where Lord Krishna forever dwells).Sri Maharaj ji was considered as Lord Chaitanya of the 20th century. Saint Ushaji inspired me to have darshan of great saint Sri Maharaj since she was associated with him for more than 30 years. I would simply state authoritatively that Sri Sri Balkrishandass Maharaj was one of the rarest saints which the 20th Century produced, being the divine companion (Sakhi or Ali ) of Lord Krishna. He represents the finest tradition of Braj's madhurya bhava or sentiment of sweet love which Lord Chaitanya exhibited 500 years ago.
Maharaj ji was born on the holy Gita-Jayanti Ekadasi. At the tender age of 17, he was inspired by Swami Ramkrishan Paramhansa to renounce this world and travel widely from 1935 to 1938 . Finally he, had the initial darshan of Lord Krishna in Braj Chaurasi ( Nandgaon ). His divine communication with Svami Lakshman Joo,a saint of Kashmir, Gorakhpur ( Bhaiji , Sri Radha Baba ), Goverdhan (Gayaparasad Pandit ), and his renowned works like' Adbhut Shyam Tamal' before entering Golok in 1995, all are great events in the spiritual world.
Revered Maharaj ji had implicit faith in Naam-Sankirtan. When he chanted the mahamantra it was as if he was dancing in front of Sri Radha-Krishna and the gopis.
'Charit Vaibhav,' his biography has rare snapshots of Maharaj ji's bhaav-samadhis and details of his leelas, painstakingly noted by Manohar Bhaiya.
Shri Vijay Bhaiya
24th May, 2011:In memory of Vijayji (19th Dec 1938 - 24th May , 2008)
Boboji here refers to Saint Ushaji of Vrindavan and Vijay ji was her student since the age of 16. During this long span of 36 years from 1972 till he left for Golok on 24th May, 2008 ,Sadhu Vijayji widely journeyed all over Braj. He wrote the ‘Braj Bhoomi Mohini’. There is something strikingly enchanting about the text as it describes the celestial land of dreams and Lord Krishna's divine play. When Saint Ushaji, his ideal and Guru, wrote the foreword of this text, she was actually laying the foundation of a Devotee-writer in Vijayji. Later on he edited several of Her works. Of late, ‘Shri Krishan Leelalok’ was the latest 21st book to be published while ‘Shri Krishan Karnamrit’ is still in the press.
28th May, 2011: Achla Ekadashi
Achla Ekadashi falls in the month of Jayestha (May-June) and is also known as 'Jayestha Krishna Ekadashi'. Achla Ekadashi is the giver of good deeds, destroyer of sins and one who observes the vrat with a full fast on this day attains great esteem in this world.
Sri Sri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj
28th May, 2011: Mahotsav of Sri Sri Balkrishandas Maharaj ji's punya-tithi at Venu Vinod Kunj in Vrindavan.
Som Pradosh Fast
30th May, 2011: Som Pradosh Fast for Lord Shiva. Pradosh means the dusk of an early night or evening tide. This fast is observed in the evening twilight, and is called Pradosh Vrat. The fast is observed on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight. It is to propitiate Lord Shiva, in order to obtain his blessings and for spiritual evolvement.Those who practice it with implicit faith are bound to possess wealth, health, happiness.
Satyavan & Savitri
30th May, 2011: Savitri Chaturdashi is a festival particularly celebrated in Bengal; for married women who fast for a happy married life. Associated with Sati Savitri and Satyavant, the legend reveals how Satyavan got rid of death and regained his kingdom with the dedicated devotion of his wife Savitri. The Puranas propagate that the story of Savitri is an inspiration for every married woman. In some States the Vat Savitri Fast starts culminating on 1st June,an Amavasya.
30th May, 2011: Monthly Shivratri fast