2nd September, 2014: Shri Radha Ashtami
Shri Radha Rani
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 playful dalliances of Sri Radha with thousands of padas being sung in her honour.
The festive occasion is observed 15 days after the 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 (AugustSeptember). Sri Radha was born in Barsana, a suburb of Mathura, as the daughter of Vrashabhanu and Kirti.
2nd September, 2014: Janamotsav of Swami Shri Haridas
Swami Shri Hari Das
On this day after the rajbhoga aarti in the evening at 4 o' clock there is rasa lila in the temple of Shri Banke Bihari ji. Svami Shri Hari Das realized God in the form of Shri Bankey Bihari, starting the tradition of and initiating his disciples into rasopasna bhakti. He is also known as Adya Acharya of Raas Leela tradition.
Lord Krishna Braids Shri Radha's Hair
Nidhivan as well as the Banke Bihari temple are beautifully decorated with flowers, flags and buntings. In the afternoon, around 4:30 PM, the Rasa Lila is enacted in the courtyard of the temple, only once a year. The theme of the lila is veni guthan, that is, Krishna makes up the hair of Radha and ties it into a lovely nice braid. The lila is based on one of the compositions of Swami Haridas from Shri Kelimal:
In the evening a grand procession, called chav, is taken out from the temple. It consists of several brass bands, other musical performing groups, decorated elephants, high flags and kirtan mandalis. Goswamis participate in a group singing devotional songs, celebrating the birth of Swami Haridas in a style known as samaj gayan. Many gifts such as the prasad of Bihariji are carried to be presented to Swami Haridas. It is as if Bihariji is going to greet Swami Haridas on this auspicious occasion.
The procession heads for Nidhivan, the place of Swami Haridas’s penance and appearance of Bihariji. On arriving here the prasad sent by Bihariji is offered and the Rasa Lila is enacted late into the night; the only day when devotees can stay in Nidhivan so late in the evening. On the conclusion of Rasa Lila, there is aarti performed and devotees disperse chanting:
'jai jai shri kunjbihari shri haridas, jai jai shri vrindavan nidhivan vaas |'
2nd September, 2014: Maharshi Dadhichi Jayanti
It is 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.
5th September, 2014: Padma Ekadashi Vrata
Lord 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'.
Lord Brahma replied,'It is known as Asadha Shukla Ekadasi and fasting on this day purifies one of all sins and fulfils one's 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 Krishna concluded, "My dear Yudhishthira, Padma Ekadasi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. Oh Pandava, who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadasi, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekadasi.”
6th September, 2014: Vamana Jayanti
The Vamana Incarnation
Vamana Jayanthi is the appearance day of Lord Vamana, the fifth and dwarf avatar of Lord Vishnu. This is the first complete human incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu. It 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 main reason why Vamana sent Bali to Pathala Loka.
6th September, 2014: Shani Pradosh Vrata
Is an auspicious fast dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is observed on the thirteenth day of every fortnight (Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha) in the Hindu calendar. Shivalinga puja at the time of pradosha time and fasting are the main rituals of Pradosham.
In all Pradosha vratas, Shani Pradosha which falls on a Saturday and Soma Pradosham which falls on a Monday are important days.
8th September, 2014: Anant Chaudas
Lord Vishnu is Anant (Infinite)
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. You should observe a fast, in reverence to God Vishnu”.
He narrated the story of Saint Kaunidney,who was married to a godly daughter of brahmin Sumantu. Once at night she saw a numbr 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.
Idols of Ganesha Immersed in Water
On Anant Chaudas large processions are taken out and idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water.Brilliantly crafted idols of Ganesha have been brought home about ten days in advance on Ganesh Janam Utsav which marks the birth of Lord Ganesha.There He sits in state till Anant Chaturdashi
Purnima or Full Moon Day
The full moon day in a traditional Hindu calendar is known as Purnima, or Poornima. Some devout Hindus observe a fast on this day from morning to evening. The Purnima in September is the Bhadrapad Poornima or Bhadra Purnima and is of great importance. This Purnima marks the beginning of the Pitrupaksha . The next fifteen days are dedicated to observing rituals and rites for dead ancestors, parents and relatives. Some communities start the Shradh rituals from the Purnima day.
8th September, 2014: Manohar Baba's Punya Tithi
Shri Manohar Dasji
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 the Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh, has the honour of being his birthplace. His father was the family priest of Rani Ahilyabai and was a learned brahman or pandit.
The grasping prowess of Manohar Baba in the fields of Yajurved, Karamkand and Ayurveda was so sharp that he passed the ‘Kavyatirtha Examination’ in Sanskrit with flying colours. In 1935 the RSS requested him for social work and various philanthropic activities. Quitting the RSS in 1942, he concentrated on daily worship of the Shivlinga by 108 belpatras, learnt Yoga from Guru Rangnaath, imbibed Gayatri paath under the instructions of Great Mahatma Kulkarniji and performed many other religious observances.
The great moment of renunciation surfaced in 1945. A saint came to Maheshwar and chanted the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra with such enthused exultation like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that Manohar Baba left for Shri Banke Bihariji temple in Vrindavan, right away.
Shri Balkrishna Dasji Maharaj
Dredging up old memories, I vividly remember that it was Saint Ushaji of Vrindavan who urged me to bow at his holy feet ever since childhood and I am eternally grateful to her for this noble act.
8th September to 24th September, 2014: Shradh
Shradh is a ceremony held in honour and for the benefit of deceased relatives, observed at fixed periods,and on occasions of rejoicing as well as of mourning. The ritual is performed every year on the anniversary of a person's death as per the Hindu Calendar during the dark fortnight called Pitru Paksha in the Ashwin Month. It is believed that the Shradh performed during this period is highly auspicious as it reaches the deceased relatives instantly, making their souls rest in peace. Expiating all sins of our ancestors it helps them attain moksha or salvation.
12th September, 2014: Shri Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata
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.
19th September, 2014: Indira Ekadashi Vrata
The Ekadashi of Ashwin Krishna Paksha is called the Indira Ekadashi. On, this day, Shaligramji is worshipped and a fast is kept which expiates all sin. It is believed that this fast grants salvation to soul of ancestors who went to 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 golden age, there lived a glorious ruler Indrasen in the city of Mahishmati. He was blessed with a son, grandson, wealth and he used to easily destroy his enemies. When Maharishi Narada came there, the king stood up immediately and welcomed him with ardhya.
Narada 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, “My son’s name is Indrasen and he rules over Mahishamti. If he observes 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 method of Indira Ekadasi fast from Maharishi Narada.
21st September, 2014: Bhaanu Vaara 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.
When the Pradosh Vrat falls on a Sunday, it is known as Bhaanu Vaara Pradosha. If Pradosh Vrat falls on this day and is observed by the devotees, it results in attaining peace and longevity.
24th September,2014:Sarvapitra Shradh / Pitra Visarjan Amavasya (amavasya tithi begins on 09:45 am on 23/Sep/2014 and ends at 11:44am on 24/Sep/2014)
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.
25th September, 2014:Shardiya Navratris Begin
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.
28Th September, 2014: Vinayak Chaturthi Vrata
Lord Ganesha Being Blessed by Shiva & Parvati
According to Hindu scriptures Chaturthi Tithi(s) belongs to Lord Ganesha. The Chaturthi after Amavasya or new moon during Shukla Paksha is known as Vinayaka 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. 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 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, 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.
29th September, 2014: Upang Lalita Vrata
Lalita Panchami is a fasting day for Goddess Lalita and also known as Upang Lalita Vrat. Upang Lalita Vrat is observed on the fifth day of Sharad Navratri. Goddess Lalita is also known as Tripura Sundari and Shodashi, and is one of the 10 Mahavidhyas.