Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spiritual Calendar, September, 2011

1st September,2011: Sri Ganesh Charurthi

Sri Ganesh Chaturthi
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.

On Ganesha Chaturthi Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, grants his presence on earth for all his devotees. Also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi it is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, starting on shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon) sometime between August and September. The festivities last for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi. An annual festival it is particularly celebrated in Mumbai and ends with chants of, "Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudcha Varshi Laukar Ya!" (Hail Lord Ganesha, return soon again next year).

Do not look at the moon on this night. But in case you do, you must read about the theft of the Syamantak Mani as described in the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam (chapter 56 & 57).The episode narrates the blot of Satybhama 's father on Lord Krishna .

From 1st to 3rd September, 2011:The 700th Sri Ram Katha by Murari Bapu

Murari Bapu
at Kailash Mansarovar, the abode of Lord Shiva. As it's in alien land ( a part of Tibet but now occupied by China) a live telecast is not allowed. Aastha is showing this divine Katha from 26th Aug to 3rd Sept 2011 from recorded cassettes, for the benefit of devotees.
2nd September, 2011: Rishi Panchami

Rishi Panchami
The fast on the fifth day(Pancahmi) of the waxing moon (shukla paksh)of Bhadrapad is undertaken by both men and women, to expiate sins.

After a bath in the sacred water, the devotees should clean his/her hands 108 times, rinse the mouth 108 times and listen to the story of Ganesh, Navagreh, Saptarishi and worship Arundhati. Fruits are to be eaten only once in a day by virtue of which all sins are expiated.

On Rishi Panchami homage is paid to the Sapta Rishis or seven sages – Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadhvaja, Vishvamitra, Gauthama, Jamadagni and Vashishta.
3rd September, 2011: Sri Lalita Jayanti at Uncha Gaon near Barsana in Braj.

Shri Lalita Devi
Lalita Devi is the prime ashtasakhi and the eldest amongst Krishna's gopis. As per astrological calculation, Shri Lalita Jayanti or the date of her birth falls on the day before Sri Radhashtami.Though a close confidante of the divine couple, she is more inclined to Sri Radhika.

An intimate companion of Radharani, Lalita is the khandita with a contradictory and hot-tempered nature. Her complexion is bright yellow and garments the colour of peacock feathers. Her mother is Saradi Devi and father is Vishoka. Her husband is Bhairava, who is a close friend of Govardhana Malla, the husband of Candravali.

3rd September, 2011: Golokgaman Day of Shri Manohar Baba (as per the English Calendar)

Shri Manohar Baba
Manohar Bhaiya was born on the night of Akshay Teej in May, 1919 (Vaishakh shukla chaturthi). Maheshwar situated on the holy banks of the Narmada River, in Nimar District of Madhya Pradesh, has the honour of being his birthplace. His father was the family priest of Rani Ahilyabai and hence a learned pandit.

The great moment of renunciation surfaced in 1945. A saint came to Maheshwar and chanted the Hare Rama Hare Krishna mantra just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It motivated Manohar Baba to leave for Shri Banke Bihariji temple in Vrindavan, right away.
Manohar Baba reached Vrindavan after eight days.Totally exhausted and famished, he was reluctant to beg for alms since he came from a rich background. However the ordeal got over because Shri Balkrishan Dasji Maharaj was waiting to embrace him for all times to come.

5th September,2011: Sri Radhashtmi
is on a Monday

Shri Radha Rani or Kishori ji
As Krishna is the source of all manifestations of God, Sri Radha his consort is the source of all shaktis or feminine manifestations of cosmic energy. She is thus the supreme deity in Gaudiya tradition, for it is said that she controls Krishna with her love and that perfect spiritual life is unattainable without her grace.

The most revered occasion for the denizens of Barsana, its celebration begins with chanting the lilas or divine play of Sri Radha with thousands of padas being sung in her honour.

The festive occasion is observed 15 days after Janmashtami of Lord Krishna. It falls on the eighth day of the Bhadrapada Month in the Hindu calendar, in the waxing phase of the moon somewhere between (August-September). Sri Radha was born in Barsana, a suburb of Mathura, as the daughter of Vrashabhanu and Kirti.

Though Radhastami is on 5th September, this year, the kirtan at Gaura Colony in Vrindavan will be held on Sunday night of 4th September because the abhishek (ceremonial bathing of an idol) of Kishoriji is at 4 am, just before sunrise. During revered Bobo's time everyone used to celebrate Radhashtami with joyous abandon in Barsana.They would do jaagran for the entire night and have darshan of Radha Rani's abhishek in the temple of Sriji, next morning.

5th September, 2011: Sage Dadichi Jayanti

Maharshi Dadichi
Dadhichi Jayanti is dedicated to Sage Dadhichi an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and a descendent of Sage Angira. Sage Dadhichi was born on the Shukla Ashtami day (waxing phase of moon) in the Bhadrapad month (August – September).

Legend has it that the devas who were losing a battle to the asuras were advised to use weapons made of Sage Dadhichi's bones to win the battle. Devas requested Sage Dadhichi for his bones. The humble saint readily agreed and went into deep meditation as his soul merged with Brahman. That is when the devas made use of the bones of Sage Dadhichi to fight the Asuras and triumphed.

In the Dadhichi Samaj special pujas are held on the day.

8th September, 2011: Padma Ekadasi or Deva-Sayani Ekadasi is on a Thursday

Padma Ekadashi
Lord Sri Krishna told Yudhisthira, " I shall gladly tell you a wonderful historical event that Lord Brahma once narrated to his son Narada. One day Narada asked his father, 'What is the name of the Ekadasi that comes during the light part of the month of Ashadha'.

'Fasting on this Ekadasi purifies one of all sins and fulfils all desires. Just to please the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day.'

'Oh son, there was once a saintly king in the Surya Vansha (Sun dynasty) whose name was Mandhata.Once, however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years. The great sage Angira Muni then said, "Oh king Mandhata, you should observe a fast on the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha. This auspicious day is named Padma Ekadasi, and by its influence plentiful rains and grains will surely return to your kingdom."

Lord Sri Krishna concluded, "My dear Yudhishthira, Padma Ekadasi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. Oh Pandava, one who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadasi, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekadasi.

8th September, 2011: Appearance Day of Sri Shivanand ji Maharaj

Svami Shivanand ji
Shivananad ji of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh (8th September,1887 to 14th July, 1963). In the year 1936 he started the Divine Life Society on banks of the holy Ganges in Rishikesh with the main objectives of dissemination of spiritual knowledge and selfless service of humanity.
9th September, 2011:Vamana Jayanthi

The Vamana Incarnation of Vishnu
The appearance day of Lord Vamana, the fifth and dwarf avatara of Lord Vishnu,is observed on Shukla Paksha Dwadashi (12th day in bright half) of the month of Bhadrapad.The main purpose of the Vamana incarnation was to restrain the demon king Maha Bali and to restore the rule of Gods on the earth. That is the chief reason why Vamana sent Bali to Pathala Loka.
9th September, 2011: Lord Shiva's Pradosham Fast

Lord Shiva
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. 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).
11th September, 2011: Anant Chaturdashi is on a Sunday

Shri Radha Rani or Kishoriji

Anant Chaturdash has been celebrated since ages to please Lord Adi Narayan or Lord Shri Hari after the appearance of Kishoriji in Braj on Bhadra Shukla Ashtami. The whole of Braj celebrates it as the chhathi of Sri Kishoriji and thus the badhai gaan of Sri Radha Asthami continue to be sung in joyous abandon till this date.

Anant Chaturdashi
On the night of Anant Chaturdashi large processions are taken out and idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water.

Once when grieved Yudhistra of the Mahabharata, was wandering in the forests, Lord Krishna suggested, “Oh! Yudhistra, you should worship God Anant (Vishnu) ritually. Your problems will be over and you will get back your kingdom. ”.

He narrated the story of Saint Kaunidney,who was married to a godly daughter of a brahmin Sumantu. Once at night she saw a number of women going for worship. She asked the importance and they explained that they were worshipping Anant (Vishnu) and that an armlet with fourteen knots, tied on the arm, blessed the devotee with indefinite happiness.

11th September, 2011: Monthly Sri Hari Kirtan

Lord Krishna
is at Dr Khare's home from 5 to 7 pm. All are requested to attend and plans of Raas from 29th to30th Oct, 2011 will be discussed. The monthly sankirtan of Shri Hari was begun by revered Manohar Baba.

In the Shrimad Bhagwat (11/14/24)Lord Krishna says, “ Vaag Gadgada...Punaati ” which means,” Those who take my name purify not only themselves but the whole world!" Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “Geetava tu mam...ch Arjun” or “Oh Arjuna! Those who dance on taking my name, in fact, do really exchange me for good!”
12th September to 27th September, 2011: Poornima and Oblations Start

Purnima or Full Moon Day

The full moon day in a traditional Hindu calendar is known as Purnima. Some devout Hindus observe a fast on this day from morning to evening. The Bhadrapad Purnima in September is of great importance and marks the beginning of the Pitrupaksha. The next fifteen days are dedicated to observing rituals for dead ancestors, parents and relatives. Some communities start the Shradh rites from the Purnima day.

Shradh is a ceremony in honour and for the benefit of deceased relatives, observed at fixed periods. The ritual is performed every year on the anniversary of the death of a person as per the Hindu Calendar during the dark fortnight called Pitru Paksha in the month of Ashwin. A ritualistic custom unique to Hindu religion, the Mahalaya Shradh Pitru Paksh fortnight begins with Purnima in the Ashwin month. It is believed that the Shradh performed during this period reaches deceased relatives, instantly making their souls rest in peace.

Shradhs are to be performed for

Poornima on 12th September, Monday
Pratipada on 13th September,Tuesday
Dwitya on 14th September, Wednesday
Tritya on 15th September,Thursday
Chaturthi on 16th September, Friday
Panchami on 17th September, Saturday
Chhati on 18th September,Sunday
Saptami on 19th September, Monday
Ashtami on 20th September, Tuesday
Navami on 21st September, Wednesday
Dashami on 22nd September, Thursday
Ekadashi on 23rd September, Friday
Dwadashi on 24th September, Saturday

23rd September, 2011: Indira Ekadashi

Lord Vishnu
The Ekadashi of Ashwin Krishna Paksha is called the Indira Ekadashi. On, this day, Shaligram is worshipped and a fast is kept which expiates all sin. It is believed that this fast grants salvation to soul of ancestors who received hell, after death. Just by hearing the story of this Vrata, a person gets the same fruits as performing a Yagya.

The Tale of Indira Ekadashi Fast
In the ancient golden age, there lived a glorious ruler Indrasen in the city of Mahishmati. He was blessed with ason, grandson, wealth and used to easily destroy his enemies. When Maharishi Narad came there,the king stood up immediately and welcomed him with ardhya.
Narad said “ Once I went to Yamlok and saw your father who was a wise, generous and religious person but he gave up the fast of Ekadashi in between.

Your father has sent a message said “my son’s name is Indrasen and he rules over Mahishamti. If he observe the fast of Indra Ekadashi of Krishna Paksha, Ashvin Masa, then I shall get salvation. By the fruits of this Ekadashi, I will leave this place and reach heaven.” Hearing this, Indrasen was upset and asked the procedure of Indira Ekadasi fast from Maharishi Narad.

23rd September, 2011: Golokgaman of Sri Ghanshyam Bhaiya( 11th Septemer, 2011 is the date as per the English Calendar)

The Raas Lila
Ghanshyami enacted the role of Sri Krishna in the Rasa Dance.His samadhi lies in the cottage near Madan Mohan Temple. Bobo, a renowned saint of Vrindavan said about him," He used to play the part of Thakurji in the raas mandali (a type of popular drama dealing with the exploits of Krishna.) He was very spontaneous and teasing, and his compassionate expressions while acting out Krishna's playful dalliances drew me. Ghanshyam recites the padas beautifully but is very mischievous," she added.

25th September, 2011:Lord Shiva's Pradosham

Lord Shiva
27th September, 2011: Pitri Amavasya

The Sarvapitra Amavasya
Sarvapitri Amavasya is intended for all ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died and is the most important day of the Pitru Paksha. Those who have forgotten to perform shraddha can do so on this day. A shraddha ritual performed on this particular day is considered as fruitful as one conducted in the holy city of Gaya which hosts a fair during the Pitru Paksha period.

28th September to 5th October, 2011:The Holy Navratris

Goddess Durga
Navratri means nine nights and in northern India the festival is called Navratra. A nine day religious festival, Navratri is celebrated to propitiate Goddess Durga, the Mother Goddess.

In Hindu mythology Durga is Shakti, the divine feminine energy. As per a legend, Lord Brahma granted a boon to Mahishasur, the buffalo demon. As of now, the asura created havoc in the universe, and no one could dare defeat or kill him. He became so atrocious, that he started terrorizing the deities as well. One fine day he headed to Swargaloka for killing Indra, the King of the Gods. Indra and other deities begged Lord Shiva for help. Enraged, Lord Shiva along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, released their energies. The shaktis of the gods flashed forth and fused together, bringing to life a magnificent Goddess resplendent with many arms.

The armed Durga rode a Lion and fought a fiercely bloody battle with Mahishasur, raging for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day, Durga trampled him under her foot and Mahishasur was killed, saving the universe from his reign of terror. The Goddess’s triumph symbolizes the victory of good over evil and these nine days are solely devoted to propitiation of the Mother Goddess or Shakti Incarnate.

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