Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spiritual Calendar: August 2013

2nd August, 2013:  Kamada Ekadashi Vrata

Lord Vishnu

The story of Kamika Ekadashi from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana is as follows: 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.

3rd August, 2013: At the Holy Feet of revered Santosh Bahinji (1923-2004) who left for Gaulok on 3rd August 2004 


 Santosh Bahenji

The waters of Jhelum abound with love tales of Laila Majnu and Shiri Farhad. Born in a Sikh family of those environs of Kashmir and impressed by Gandhi's principles, Santosh Bahenji, daughter of an affluent father, got Shaligramji ( Lord Vishnu's form ) from a sage when she was very young. Longing for Krishna In 1942, she came to the holy site of Vrindavan at the tender age of 19 and met great saints like Sri Sri Maharaj ji, Manohar ji, Bobo ji & Sushila Bahenji who influenced her life. Sarla Bahenji was her constant companion. The book 'Sri Krishna Anuragini Santosh Bahenji' was published in 2005 and showcases her experiences with Shri Bihariji, Vrindavan, Yamunja ji, the Yugal Sarkar of Saint Ushaji and the parikar in Vrindavan.


4th August, 2013: Shiva Pradosh Vrata


 
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. It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.

Worship of Shiva throughout the night, bathing the Shivalinga with panchamrta (milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey), homa, chanting 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).

6th August, 2013:Hariyali Amavasya


Phool Bangla of Shri Banke Bihari ji

Hariyali Amavasya 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.

9th August, 2013: Hariyali Teej

Saint Usha ji's Yugal Sarkar on a Jhoola

The first of the three main Teej festivals is observed on the third day of the shukla paksha of Shravan.  Vrindavan is certainly worth a visit on this day since Shri Prabhu Banke Bihariji is posited on a jhoola sinhasan, religious hymns are chanted and lilas of Radha-Krishna are narrated. Saint Ushaji's or Bobo ji's Thakurji is already resplendent on a swing from 5 to 6 pm for the entire month of Shravan.

Women fast on this day. Married woman fast for their husbands and  a happy married life. Unmarried girls fast in order to get a good husband in the future. This festival is known as Hariyali Teej in the eastern part of the country. Nature can be seen flourishing and women enjoying themselves with songs, swings etc.

The Teej in the Shravan month is of great religious importance. According to a legend, Parvati kept fasts during this period to impress Lord Shiva. These fasts helped Parvati in marrying Lord Shiva. It is also believed that on this day, Parvati completed hundred years of her austerities.


9th August, 2013: Eid-ul-Fitr



 Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr

Lakhs of Muslims, dressed in the best of finery, greet each other, exchange gifts and enjoy special sweet dishes, particularly sewaiyan. Eid which means happiness in Arabic is one of the most important festivals of the Muslims. Eid al-Fitr also called the Feast of Breaking the Fast, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan. Therefore, the day of Eid falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day when Muslims around the world show a common goal of unity.


10th August, 2013: Vinayaki Shri Ganesh Chaturti Fast


Lord Ganesha & Baby Krishna

When people fast on Ganesh Chaturthi, they either opt for the nirjal vrat (a stringent, waterless fast) or phalahar vrat (a diet). Devotees 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, he is blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.


11th August, 2013: Naag Panchami


Lord Krishna Vanquishes Kalia Naag

Naag Panchami is a festival during which religious Hindus in some parts of India either worship images or live Nagas on the fifth day after Amavasya of the Shravan Month. Traditionally, married young women visit their premarital households to celebrate the festival. Particularly in the villages of India, a traditional aspect of the celebration involves young women swinging joyously on swings temporarily hung on tree branches.

According to Puranic mythology, Brahma’s son Kashyapa had four wives. The first wife gave birth to Devas; the second, to Garudas; the third --named Kadroo--, to Nagas; and the fourth, to Daityas. Nāgas were the rulers of Patal-Loka.

Lord Krishna had conquered Naga Kalia and put an end to his evil deeds on Naga Panchami. As per a myth, the Kathmandu Valley used to be a vast lake. When human beings began draining the lake to make space for settlements, the Nagas were enraged. To protect themselves against the wrath of Nagas, people gave the latter certain areas as pilgrimage destinations, thus restoring the harmonious balance of nature.

13th August, 2013: Shri Goswami Tulsidas Jayanti


Goswami Tulsidas

Gosain ji was a dedicated devotee of Lord Rama and the writer of 'Shri Ramcharitmanas,' a great Hindu epic. He was born on Shravan Shukla Saptami of 1498 AD in Rajpur, Chitrakoot district and was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth.
Tulsidas ji intensely loved his wife Buddhimati and she enlightened him by saying 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 plus Hanumanji, and feed Brahmins.

15th August, 2013: Independence Day


Wishing all Indians at home & those living abroad, a very happy independence day.

17th August, 2013: Pavitra Ekadashi Vrata
  

Lord Vishnu Being Propitiated
This Ekadasi is specially observed by married couples for getting healthy children. A popular legend mentioned in the Puranas indicates that a King was able to beget a son by observing Putrada Ekadashi. After bathing early in the morning, the idol of Lord Vishnu should be bathed with  curd, milk and water. Prayers should be done using roli, chandan, dhoop and deep.

It is also highly commendable to feed poor children and old people on the day.

The significance of Putrada Ekadashi was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna and is found in the Bhavisyotara Purana.

Ekadasi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th day of the waning and waxing phase of moon in the traditional Hindu calendar.

18th August, 2013: Pradosh Vrata


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. It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.

21st August, 2013 : Raksha Bandhan



Lord Krishna Saves Draupadi's Honour

Rakhi is a very famous festival for brothers and sisters. At  Vrindavan, the one-month long sawan stuti of Lord Shiva and jhulan utsav of Thakurji that started on Guru-Poornima comes to an end.

According to the Hindu Calendar Rakhi falls on  Shravan Purnima (full moon day) which corresponds to July-August as per the English Calendar.


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.

24th August, 2013: Shri Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata


Lord Ganesha with Baby Krishna

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 fast on Ganesh Chaturthi, they either opt for the nirjal vrat (a stringent, waterless fast) or phalahar vrat (a diet). Devotees 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, he is blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.

26th August, 2013: Hal Shashti or Balaram Jayanti


Lord Balram or Haldhar

This is the appearance day of Lord Balarama, the first expansion of the dark-hued Krishna. Devotees offer special prayers to Balarama, the icon of duty, honesty and simplicity to receive spiritual strength from Him.He incarnated on the full moon day of Shravana.

Balaram, Balarama and Sankarsana are some of Lord Baldev's other names. Balaram had incarnated as Lakshman in the Treta Yuga which came before Dwapar.

He is considered the incarnation of Sheshnaag, the thousand-headed snake on whom Lord Vishnu sleeps throughout periods of dissolution of the world.Because he was drawn from Devaki's to Rohini's womb, He is known as Lord Sankarsana. It is a common belief that he bestows riches on this materialistic world.

Balaram is also famed as Haldhar, the god of the farmers.They devotedly worship the plough, his weapon, before undertaking any task.

28th August, 2013, Lord Shri Krishna Janamashtami


 badhai ho, badhai ho, badhai ho sabhi ko bhagwan shri krishna ke janamotsav ki badhai ho !

Celebrations are to be held at Sri Banke Bihari ji Temple, all the temples of Vrindavan, Gokul, Mahavan, Mathura, ISKCON and the world over.


Lord Vishnu Takes Birth as Krishna

The main purpose of the Lord’s incarnation is for the salvation of saints, destruction of evil and installation of righteousness as explained in the 'Bhagwad Gita.' Towards the end of the Dwapar Era, in the Hindu month of Bhadra, Mathura had the great fortune of witnessing Lord Krishna’s birth on Krishan Ashtami. Atrocities were on the rise, religion had become a mere farce and the deities were great pained. King Kansa terrified of his own death had imprisoned Vasudev and Devki, having killed six of their earlier children. The seventh child was to be the Lord Himself.


Shri Radha- Krishna, our Yugal Sarkar at Gaura Colony, Vrindavan

Parampoojaya Susheela Bahinji shall lead the utsav at Gaura-Colony in front of our Yugal Sarkar or Thakurji.The search of the impassioned soul for union with god is centred within earthly Vrindavan. Its enraptured village girls representing Krishna's hungering devotees are passionately drawn to his lyrical softness, innocent pranks, beautiful adornments and serene sensuality which add to his madhurya or sweet love.

Krishna's playful dalliance is nitya or eternal. One aspect of Lord Krishna’s enigmatic persona which distinguishes him from all other deities is his lila or divine play which makes him both human and divine at the same time, and becomes him ,most of all.Delighting in play he endears himself and brings joy to all his devotees.

29th August, 2013:Nandotsav


 Thakur Radha Raman ji on Nandotsav

Krishna Janamashtami is followed by a day full of pomp and joyous abandon where Nandotsav or Nanda Mahotsav is observed in various temples all over the country. In the morning after Janamashtami or navami, Bihariji continues to sit in the jagmohan showering his blessing and loving tenderness to all. Priests and devotees distribute sweets, fruits, clothes, toys, utensils and coins as part of the celebrations. Devotional songs congratulating Nand Baba on the birth of Krishna are delightedly sung in unison.Everybody feels that the dark-hued Krishna has been born today and revels with enthused exultation.


 Footprints of Child Krishna

The ladies of the house mark the entrance of their homes with rice paste so as to form small feet of infants. They are always made pointing towards the house which is believed to mark the entry of child Krishna in their abodes and bring prosperity along with happiness.

1 comment:

Minakshi Aggarwal said...

very informative calender with unique
pictures,specially designed for Vrindavan & sh.Thakur's loveseekers.
Thank you for this kind work.
KEEP IT UP!!
MINAKSHI.