Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spiritual Calendar June, 2011

Swami Sivanand ji Maharaj

1st June,2011: The day of Sannyasa Diksha when Sri Swami Sivanand ji Maharaj was initiated into the Sannyas Order. Known as Dr. Kuppuswamy, he reached Rishikesh on the 8th of May, 1924. On the 1st of June, 1924, there came His Holiness Sri Swami Visvananda Saraswati. After a brief exchange of words, Dr. Kuppuswamy was initiated into the Sannyas order by Swami Visvananda. The Guru named the doctor Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Swami Visvananda wrote the necessary instructions about Sannyas Dharma from Benares while Swami Sivanandaji stayed at Swargashram for Sadhana.

With some money from his insurance policy that had matured, Swamiji started a charitable dispensary at Lakshmanjula in 1927. He served the pilgrims and saw Narayana in them.

In the year 1936, he began The Divine Life Society on bank of the holy Ganges in Rishikesh. The Society grew im1936 and is now the headquarters of a world-wide Organization having a large number of Branches within the country and abroad. He got the Divine Life Society Registered as a Trust in the year 1936. The publication of the monthly journal, 'The Divine Life', was started in September 1938, to coincide with the celebration of his birthday. The world was in grip of the 2nd world-war and in order to help the distressed minds of the people, he started the Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan on the 3rd of December 1943, and also instituted the Lord Sri Visvanath Mandir with three-time regular worship, daily, on the 31st December 1943.

1st June: Amavasya or Vat-savitri fast

Vat Savitri Puja

Vat Savitri Puja or Vat Savithri vrat is an auspicious day in Hinduism when married women fast and pray for their husband's health and longevity of life. The fasting is named after Savitri, who brought back her husband from the clutches of Yama ( god of death). One of the important rituals of the day is tying threads on the Vat or banyan tree.

The fasting takes its name from Vat Vriksha and Savitri. The Banayan Tree symbolically represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The root of Vat Vriksha is Brahma, the stem is Vishnu and the upper portion is Shiva. On the day of puja the Banyan tree also represents Savitri and the incident covered in the Mahabharata.

Savitri Saves Satyavan from Yama

Legend has it that Princess Savitri, the daughter of King Ashwapati of Bhadra Kingdom, fell in love with Satyavan, a woodcutter. But Satyavan was destined to die within a year and Savitri warned of this fact by Rishi Narada. But Savitri decided to get married to Satyavan and live with him in the forest.

As predicted, Satyavan fell from a tree and died within a year. Yamraj, the god of death, arrived to carry him away. Savitri made it clear to Yamraj that she will follow Yamraj along with her husband. Yamraj tried several ways to deter Savitri from following him but all his efforts were in vain and Savitri was adamant.

Finally, Yamraj was moved by Savitri’s devotion and he brought Satyavan back to life.It is believed that Satyavan spend his last moments under a vat or banyan tree on the full moon day in the month of Jyeshtha. Yamraj appeared here and Savitri pleaded to Yamraj under the Banyan tree. Women go around the Banyan tree 108 times, tying threads and fasting for the health & longevity of their husbands.

Ganga Snan at Varanasi

2nd June, 2011: Sri Ganga Snan starts on 2nd of June, on pratipada of Shukla Paksha in the month Jyeshtha.

Since time immemorial there is a belief that Ganga frees us of all sins. Taking bath in the Ganges on religious festivals and donating has been considered auspicious. Having a dip in the Ganges on this day frees the person of all sins committed unknowingly. People worship in the temples of Ma Ganga situated on the bank of the Ganges.

Lord Krishna

11th June,2011:The next Shri Hari Kirtan is on Ganga Dussehra at 'Thakurji's Kripa' near 32 milestones at Malviyaji's residence. All are cordially invited. Every member of the parikar is equally important. On being conveyed the time and date of group singing of bhajans, we should not wait for a formal invitation but focus on making the Hari Kirtan a grand success.

Goddess Ganga

11th June,2011: Ganga Dussehra During this festival ten days of the month are devoted to the worship of Holy River Ganga venerated by the Hindus as a mother and as a goddess.

Places such as Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh-Mukteswar, Prayag, Varanasi and others where the Ganga flows, hold a special significance on this day. Devotees flock to these places & Varanasi with its many ghats situated on the west bank of the Ganga, to touch the river water, bathe in it and take the river clay home to venerate.

In Haridwar, 'aartis' are performed at twilight and a large number of devotees meditate on riverbanks.The river Ganga rises at Gangotri, high in the snow-clad Himalayas. Cascading down mighty boulders, it flows into the hot plains of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and finally merges with the sea in the Bay of Bengal.

At Allahabad, the Ganga meets with the river Yamuna and the mythical river Saraswati. The confluence of these rivers, known as Prayag, is considered one of the most sacred spots on earth.

Regarded as a celestial river originating in the heavens, Ganga was gifted to mankind in answer to the great sadhana undertaken by Bhagirath, after whom she is also called Bhagirathi. Bhagirath, a descendant of the Sagara dynasty, prayed for the Ganga to descend onto the parched earth and bring life. But the torrential waters of the Ganga were a mighty and destructive force.Brahma and Vishnu asked Shiva to accept the Ganga into his matted locks. Confined in Shiva's hair, Ganga lost the wild force of her flow and became a placid, life-giving river.

Despite its pollution, the Ganga is a symbol of purity. Its water bestows salvation to the dying and new life to the living.Unusual images of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balaram and sister Subhadra are ceremonially pulled in the grand chariots at Puri.

Lord Vishnu

12th June, 2011: Nirjala Ekadashi falls in the month of Jyestha, during the Shukla paksha (June).It is also called 'Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi' or 'Bhimsani Ekadashi' (Bhim Sen, the second Pandav Brother, had kept this difficult fast). Amongst the 24 Ekadashi's , the vrata on Jyeshtha Shukla Ekadashi is considered most beneficial, said to give the fruits of 24 Ekadashis observed throughout the year.A complete fast is kept on this day with not a drop of water being allowed to drink. People worship Lord Vishnu to ensure happiness plus prosperity, and forgiveness of transgressions and sins. On the preceding day that is on the 10th lunar day, Sandhya (evening prayer) is performed and only one meal is taken.

We ought to donate liberally pure drinking water, pots, watermelons, fans , water-coolers , sharbat , cool and sweet milk to the needy & deserving in this scorching heat.And have piyoos installed and wells bored for pure drinking water in crowded places and villages.

Lord Shiva

13th June, 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.

Poornima or Full Moon

15th June , Poornima or full moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. More precisely, a full moon occurs when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees; the Moon is then in opposition with the Sun. As seen from Earth, the hemisphere of the Moon that is facing the earth (the near side) is almost fully illuminated by the Sun and appears round. Only during a full moon is the opposite hemisphere of the Moon, which is not visible from Earth (the far side), completely unilluminated.

Full Moons are traditionally associated with temporal insomnia, insanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic). Psychologists, however, have found that there is no strong evidence for effects on human behavior around the time of a full moon. They find that studies are generally not consistent, with some showing a positive effect and others showing a negative effect.

For latest news on the lunar eclipse which will last from 23.53 pm to 3.33 am please watch TV news channels and read newspapers. Chant the Mahamantra to nullify any negative effect :--

हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे

Chandra Sarovar at Parasauli, in Govardhan

17th to 23rd June ,2011:The Mool Srimad Bhagwat Saptah in Sanskrit begins by Pt. Gopal Prasad Upadhyay at Hari: Vrinda Dham with an hour long Nandotsav on 21st June, 2011, from 6 to 7 pm. He runs the Sur Shyam Gaushala and brings out the Surbhi-Saurabh magazine annually on every Gopashtmi (after Diwali)f rom Chandra Sarovar , Parasauli in Goverdhan, the birthplace of great poet Surdas ji.

Lord Krishna Loved Cows

This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to do Gau Seva.Protecting the cows in the sweltering heat by getting a sun shade built for them, arranging water which they can drink and for bathing them. We can go to the gaushala and seeing the arrangements made for the cows with our own eyes and offer our active support in so many other ways.

Sri Ganesh

19th June,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.

Lord Vishnu

27th June,2011 :Yogini Ekadashi occurs during the waning phase of the moon in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June – July) as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. The importance of this Ekadasi was explained to Yudhisthira by Lord Krishna. Fasting on this Ekadashi helps in overcoming the remorse caused by committing sins and also helps in achieving ‘moksha.’

The significance of Yogini Ekadasi is mentioned in Brahma Vaivarta Purana. The Purana narrates the tale of a gardener named Hemamali who overcame a curse, which made him a leper, by observing a fast on Yogini Ekadasi. The gardener was instructed by sage Markandeya about the Ekadashi.

All the usual rules associated with Ekadasi fasting are observed on the day. The fast begins with the sunrise on Ekadasi day and ends with sunrise on the next day.

Shiva Pradosh

28th June, 2011: 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.

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