Monday, April 30, 2012

Spiritual Calendar, May 2012

2nd May, 2012: Mohini Ekadashi

Lord Vishnu Incarnates as Mohini
The day Lord Vishnu incarnated as Mohini to take away nectar from the demons. Mohini is the name of the only female avatara of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology. 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.

At  nav-Vrindavan in the NCR there is a  proposal of having sankirtan in front of Thakur Sri Radha Radha Kantji on every ekadashi. This has been possible by the help of Govind Parbhu of ISKCON. The devotees' will  and active participation  shall reaffirm revered Bharti & Vikasji's resolution and kind gesture. 

2nd May, 2012: Sri Hitharivanshji Jayanti

Sri Hitharivansh ji Prabhu
 He established the Sri Radhavallabh Temple and Sect in Vrindavan. After Sri Banke Bihari Temple the temple of Thakur Sri Radhavallabh in Vrindavan is the next in fame. 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

Thakur Shri Radha Vallabha ji

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.

3rd May,2012: Lord Shiva's Pradosha Fast

Propitiating Lord Shiva
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.012 The bel patra or leaf of the wood-apple tree represents the three eyes of lord Shiva and the three gunas.

4th May, May 2012: Shri Narsing Jayanti

Narsingh Bhagwan an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu
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. 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.
6th May, 2012: Vesak or Buddha Jayanti

Siddhartha Gautam Becomes Lord Buddha
It 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.

6th May, 2012: The Appearance Day of Thakur Radharamanji 

Thakur Radharaman ji 
In the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tradition, 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 the gomati-cakra is worshipped on the altar to His left.

6th May, 2012: Sage Narada Jayanti

Sage Narada
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.

6th May, 2012: Van-Vihar

Van Vihar & Parikrama of Vrindavan
Van-Vihar (a visit to the forest groves) and parikrama or circumambulation of Sridham Vrindavan at night with Temple Musicians (Samaj) plus singing devotional songs in attendance, is performed with great serenity.

9th May, 2012: Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Fast

Ganesha, the Foremost God of the Hindu Pantheon
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.

13th May, 2012: The Appearance day of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Tera May  (I am yours ) or 13th May. 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. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the head of the Art of Living Foundation which conducts workshops of varying durations for all age groups.

16th May, 2012: Achala Ekadashi

Lord Vishnu
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.

16th May, 2012: Mahotsav of Poojyashri Sri Sri Balkrishandass ji  Maharaj's  Punya-Tithi

Sri Sri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj
at Venu Vinod Kunj, Vrindavan. A rare  opportunity to listen to Brajbhasha Saint Sri Rajenderdassji on Bhaktmaal from 13th to 15th May at Tamal Kunj.

17th May, 2012: A bhandara in Memory of Sri Sri Maharajji

18th May, 2012: Lord Shiva's Pradosha Fast

Shiva Pradosham
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 to propitiate Lord Shiva, in order to obtain his blessings and spiritual evolvement.Those who practice it with implicit faith are bound to possess wealth, health, happiness.

19th May, 2012: Savitri Chaturdashi

The Legend of Savitri & Satyavant
It 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 20th May, an Amavasya . On May 19th is Savitri-chaturdashi when a fast is kept and bhoga is offered to Gauri or Savitri.

 Lord Shiva
19th May, 2012: Monthly Sri Shivratri Fast

24th May, 2012: Sri Ganesh Chaturthi  Fast

Ganesha, the Most Auspicious God of New Beginnings
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.

24th May: Sri Anandamayi Ma Jayanti

Sri Anandamayi Ma
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.

 24th May, 2012: Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaji's Entry into Golok 

Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj
Golok or 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.

Sri Radha-Krishna & the Gopis
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.

Revered Lalji and  Gopi Bhai invite all for the divine Sr Sri ji Utsav at their  NCR residence from 10 am to1 pm followed by  prasadam.  Kindly attend the same on May 24th.   The Dress code is white which stands for purity.

24th May, 2012: Remembering Vijayji (19th Dec 1938 - 24th May, 2008)

Revered Vijay Bhaiya
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’, a strikingly enchanting 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.

25th May, 2012: Dharam Bahenji's Punya Tithi

Dharam Bahenji

Dharam Bahenji was a famed saint of Vrindavan who was born on 2nd April, 1927 and left for Golok (the abode of Lord Krishna) on 25th May, 2001.

'Giridhar ki Meera'
Right from the age of six she used to fluently chant the Bhagavad Gita and at the tender age of eleven wrote the renowned play 'Giridhar Ki Meera,' a beautiful composition on Meera, the bhakti poet-saint of Rajasthan.

Revered Usha Bahenji fondly known as Bobo & Dharamji
She was a teacher in Delhi ( BA , Prabhakar ) but after meeting Saint Ushaji in 1950, she shifted to Ambala. This was pre-destined because from 1954 onwards, the arrival of Sakha ji (a siddha from Golok) had become a regular practice.

Saint Usha ji & Sushila Bahenji
Hence the trio of Ushaji-Susheelaji-Dharamji used to relish the lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna, as friends.Only when Usha ji renounced the world for settling in Vrindavan on 17th November, 1959, Dharam ji joined her job in Delhi. In fact, her divine experiences with Thakurji reveal that a sort of Vallabhacharya -Tulsidas- Surdas Bhakti-Yuga was re-enacted in Bobo's era as well. 
When great devotees of Krishna are born they generally come together as a parikar or divine group so that the time on earth is not wasted in worldly affairs but spent in singing the glories of the Lord. For example we had Bhai Poddarji-Radha Baba-Sethji of Gorakhpur.

31st May, 2012: Ganga Dussehra

The Birth of the Ganga
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 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 the 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 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.

Bhagirath Prays for the Ganga to Descend 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.

PS: Dates given above in the Spiritual Calendar of May 2012 are as per the Sri Banke Bihari Panchang (2012-2013) and the Gita diary published by http:/

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