Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spiritual Calendar: October 2013

2nd October, 2013 : Pradosh Vrata is on a Wednesday

Lord Shiva Pradosha

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept 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.

4th October, 2013: Sarvapitra Shradh / Pitra Visarjan is on a Friday

Sarva Pitra Shradh

Sarva Pitra Shradh is observed on the Amavasya (new moon day) of Ashwin Krishna. If Shardh has been missed or someone’s Shradh tithi (date) is unknown, Shradh can be done on the same day. In the evening,poori (fried bread) and special dishes (Kheer, Halwa etc.) are kept on the door so that our pitras or ancestors do not go back hungry, similarly lighting signifies brightening the way of ancestors.

Ashwini Amawasya is also called Pitra Visarjan. By a feast and donating to the brahmans, ancestors are being satisfied on this day. It is a belief that at the time of Visarjan ancestors blessed their sons.

5th October, 2013: Shardiya Navratris Begin

Goddess Durga

In Hindu mythology Durga is Shakti, the divine feminine energy. The Goddess’s triump over Mahishasur, the buffalo demon symbolizes the victory of good over evil. These nine days are solely devoted to propitiation of the Mother Goddess or Shakti Incarnate.

13th October,2013: Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra

                                         Lord Rama Killing Ravana

On this day in the Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, killed the demon king, Ravana who had abducted Sita. Ramayana, a great epic, records how Rama, his brother Lakshman, Hanuman and their troops of monkeys battled to rescue Sita from Ravana's Lanka.

                              Lord Rama Invokes the Blessings of Durga

Rama had performed Chandi Homa and invoked the blessings of goddess Durga. She blessed Rama with knowledge of the secret means of killing Ravana.

                Effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath being Burnt

On Dussehra, effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghnath are erected and burnt with joyous abandon at sunset, marking the victory of good over evil.This event gets rid of a household's ten vices represented by ten heads of Ravana namely,lust, anger, delusion, greed, arrogance, jealousy, mind, intellect, will and ego.

On Vijayadashami, Arjuna took back his weapons which he had hidden in a Vani tree so that he could live in disguise during the promised exile.It is said that one who begins his learning to work on Vijayadashami will be a grand success as Arjuna was in the war of Kurukshetra.

15th October,2013: Papankusha Ekadashi is on a Tuesday


Fasting on Ekadashi (comes twice a month). One should not consume any grains or meat on this day.

Lord Krishna says that if a person fasts on Ekadashi, “I will burn up all his sins. Indeed this day is the most meritorious day for destroying all kinds of sins.” In the katha of Papankusha Ekadashi from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana,Yudhishthira Maharaj says, “ Oh Madhusudana, what is the name of the Ekadashi that comes during the light fortnight of the month of Ashvina? Please be merciful and disclose this truth to me." 

LordKrishna goes on to reveal the glories of the Papankusha Ekadashi which expiates all sins.

16th October, 2013: Pradosh Vrata is on a Wednesday

Lord Shiva

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept 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.

18th October, 2013: Sharad Purnima is on a Friday

                                                    The Raas Lila

On Sharad-Poornima, Vrindavan devotees celebrate the divine union of the ascending soul with the descending God. The miracle of the Raas Lila: that supreme moment of Krishna’s manifestation as human lover and divine incarnate dancing with the gopis in the forest of Madhuvana.

                        Lord Krishna Bathing with Gopis in the Yamuna

and bathing with them in the flowing waters of the Yamuna on the radiant night of Sharad Poornima, the autumnal full moon, enchants us.

                                               Shri Banke Bihari ji

In celestial Vrindavan the most popular deity Shri Bihari ji is majestically decked with mormukut, katikachini and vanshi on Raas Poornima. Millions of devotees from all over Punjab, Delhi, UP and the entire world throng to have his radiant darshan which is possible only once a year!

 22ndOctober, 2013: Karvachauth is on a Tuesday

                                                  Karwa Chauth

Karwa Chauth is a traditional Hindu festival wherein married women observe a fast and worship the karwa filled with water (or make an offering of a karva filled with sweets). As the name signifies, karwa means an earthen pot with a spout, used in prayers. Chauth corresponds to the fourth day leading to the name Karwa Chauth. The event falls on chaturthi tithi after the full moon in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar, about nine days before Diwali.

It is customary for married women to fast the entire day without food or water for the longevity of their husbands’ lives, well-being and prosperity. A woman who keeps this vrat or fast is acclaimed as Saubhagyavati (a joyous state of wifehood). In the evening they listen to the Karva Chauth katha and the fast is over after moonrise.

22nd October, 20123: Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata is on a Tuesday

                                                  Lord Ganesha

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.

27th October, 2013: Ahoi Ashtami is on a Sunday

Goddess Ahoi

Celebrated in autumn on Ashtami (eighth day of a lunar fortnight), the Ahoi Ashtami is a festival before Diwali when women pray for their children. The ritual is usually celebrated in the Karthik month (October-November)of the Hindu calendar.

Very similar to Karva Chauth, although not overly popular, the Ahoi Ashtami is a fast specifically observed by mothers for the well-being of their sons.It is performed mostly by people living in Northern India when pure water is offered to stars in the evening by mothers praying for the long life of their sons.Families having children do worship goddess Hoi and seek her blessings for a fruitful Diwali which is just a week away.

30th October, 2013: Rama Ekadashi
It is observed on the eleventh day in Krishna Paksha of the Kartik month according to the North Indian calendar.

                                              Brahma Vaivarta Purana

An account of the legend and the significance of Rama Ekadasi is given in the Brahmavaivarta Purana.

In a conversation held between dark-hued Krishna and Yudhistira, Lord Krishna details the story of prince Shobhana who attained salvation in his next life by keeping the fast of Ramaa Ekadasi.Shobhana ruled a kingdom on Mount Mandarachala and his wife Chandrabhaga finally enjoys marital bliss with him.

No comments: