Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spiritual Calendar: April, 2015


1st April,2015: Pradosh Vrata
 


Lord Shiva

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 and fasting are the main rituals of Pradosham.

2nd April, 2015: Dharam Behanji's Birthday



Saint Dharam Behanji

Dharam Bahenji (2nd April, 1927 till 25th May, 2001) 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.



'Girdhar Ki Meera'

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

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



Saint Ushaji & Sushila Bahenji
 
Hence the trio of Ushaji-Susheelaji-Dharamji used to relish the lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna, as friends.

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.

2nd April, 2015: Shri Mahavir Jayanti



Lord Mahavir

In Jainism, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is the most important religious holiday. It celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. On the Gregorian calendar, the holiday occurs either in March or April.

Lord Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of the waxing moon of Chaitra. Chronology places Mahavir's birth in 599 BCE. He was born into royalty as the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. It is said that when Trishala finally gave birth to Mahavir, Indra bathed the newborn with celestial milk, a ritual which marked him as a Tirthankar.

Shri Surdas wrote about the most beautiful childhood lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna. He is one of the astachhap kavis of the Pushti Marg Sampradaya.

The bhajan sites of Surdas are Sur Kuti and Sur Samadhi which lie within the periphery of Vallabhacharyaji's Baithak.

Shri Nathji being a svarupa or living presence of Lord Krishna was clearly perceptible for the poet. The padas sung in praise of Nathji are compiled in the text 'Sur Sagar'. Through his poetic creations, Surdasji enhanced the beauty of worship, giving bhakti a new more intimate direction. Remaining a Krishna devotee, he did not lose sight of the Lord's romantic nuances and was therefore able to bring both religious and aesthetic truths to his compositions.

Celebrations: Local statues of Mahavir are given the abhisheka or ceremonial bath. During the day, Jains are engaged in some charitable act in the name of Mahavir while others go to temples for meditation and prayers. Typically lectures are held in temples to preach the path of virtue as defined by the Jain doctrine. Donations are collected to promote charitable missions like saving cows from slaughter or feeding the poor.

4th April, 2015: Hanuman Jayanti


Baby Hanumana, a Great Devotee of Lord Rama

 Hanuman Jayanti Is an important festival of Hindus and celebrates the birth of Lord Hanuman during the month of Chaitra.Sri Hanuman is worshipped all over India either alone or together with Lord Rama. Hanuman is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and born of the Wind-God and Anjani Devi. A symbol of strength and energy, He is the living embodiment of Ram-Nam, a great devotee and an exceptional celibate. He did what others could not do-crossing the ocean simply by uttering Ram-Nam, burning the city of Lanka and bringing the sanjeevini herb for restoring Lakshmana to life again.

On Hanuman Jayanti people read the Hanuman Chalisa, fast and spend the whole day chanting the name of Ram. The devotees visit temples and apply a tilak of sindoor to their foreheads from Hanuman's idol as a symbol of good luck.

4th April, 2015: Chaitra Purnima



The Full Moon on Chaitra Purnima
 Chaitra Purnima is sacred for taking a dip in holy rivers and doing charity. Chaitra Purnima marks the end of Chaitra Mahina in North Indian Hindi calendar. Chitragupta Puja is also celebrated on Chaitra Purnima in some North Indian castes.

7th April, 2015:Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata



Lord Ganesha

Sankashti Chaturthi also known as Sankata Hara Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This day is celebrated in every Lunar month or Hindu calendar month on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha (dark lunar phase or the waning phase). On this day, the devotees observe strict fast. They break the fast at night after having darshan/auspicious sight of the moon preceded by prayers to Lord Ganesha.

Sankashti means deliverance during troubled times, hence observing this fast is believed to reduce your problems as Lord Ganesha symbolizes the remover of all obstacles and supreme lord of intelligence.

Before moonlight the Ganapati Atharvashesha is recited to summon the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Each lunar month in Hindu calendar has two Chaturthi Tithis which belong to Lord Ganesha. The Chaturthi after Amavasya or new moon during Shukla Paksha is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and the one after Puranmasi or full moon during Krishna Paksha is known as Sankashti Chaturthi.

14th April, 2015: Mesh Sankranti



Mesha Sankranti

Mesha Sankranti is also known as Maha Vishuva Sankranti. According to Vedic astrology the Sun enters Mesha Rashi or the Aries Zodiac on this day.It marks the beginning of the New Year in most Hindu Solar Calendars.

14th April, 2015: Vaisakhi



Celebrating Vaisakhi

The Vaisakhi harvest celebration is an occasion of dancing, singing, music, wearing of festive garments and religious praise in India. The festival marks the start of the New Year in the Nanakshahi solar calendar and recognizes the Sikh religious faith.

15th April,2015: Shri Vallabhacharya Jayanti



Shri Vallabhacharya

 Shri Vallabhacharya is one of the five main Acharyas of the Hindu Religion. (The other four being Shankaracharya, Shri Ramanujacharya, Shri Madhavacharya and Shri Nimbarkacharya.) He propagated the philosophy of Shudhadvaita and founded the Pushtimarg, a sect of the Hindi religion around 1500 AD.


Lord Krishna appeared as Shri Nathji in front of him and ordered him to propagate the pushti kind of devotion among the chosen ones and bring them back in their original state to Golok-dham.Shri Nathji assured him that with brahamasambandha, (relationship with God) whichever soul gains entry into the Pushti Marg, its impurities will refrain from obstructing the soul's relation with the Divine and the soul will be eligible to pursue His bhakti.

15th April,2015: Varuthini Ekadashi



Lord Krishna Talks About Varuthini Ekadashi to Yudhishtira

 Varuthini Ekadashi Is observed on the eleventh day of Krishna Paksha or waning phase of the moon in Chaitra/Vaisakha month. It is believed that observing Varuthini Ekadasi makes a person fortunate, prosperous, expiates his sins and helps him in attaining moksha. The greatness of fasting on this Ekadasi was narrated to Yudhishtira (the eldest of the Pandavas) by Lord Krishna and is mentioned in the Bhavishyottara Purana.

16th April, 2015: Pradosh Vrata

Lord Shiva

 It is an auspicious fast dedicated to Lord Shiva and 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.

18th April,2015: Vaishaka Amavasya



Devotees Bathing in the Ganges

Many devotees bathe in the holy Yamuna, Ganges and other rivers. Several devotees throng to Sri Banke Bihari Temple as Akshay Teej is round the corner.

20th April, 2015: Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti



Lord Parshuram

 Lord Parshuram is the sixth avatar of Vishnu and belongs to the Treta yuga. He is the son of Jamadagni, a Brahmin and Renuka, a Kshatriya . He received an axe after doing austere penance to please Shiva, from whom he learnt warfare and other skills. Fighting back the advancing seas, he thus saved the lands of Konkan and Malabar. Parshurama is said to be the first warrior saint. A temple of Parshuram is situated at Akhnoor, 18 km away from Jammu. Every year, in May, a grand fete in the form of a parade, with hundreds of tableaux, throngs through the main city of Jammu to celebrate Parshuram Jayanti.

21st April,2015: Akshay Tritiya



Charan Darshan of Thakur Banke Bihariji in Vrindavan

The only occasion when Lord Bankey Bihariji gives His charan-darshan once in a year, with millions of people thronging the temple.


Akshyay means something that does not perish and the acts performed on this day become perennial in nature.


Our revered Lord Shri Banke Bihari ji Maharaj is extra generous on this particular day. One can meditate on His lotus feet today for which saint Surdas had sung: 
 


bandaun charan kamal hari raie |
jaki kripa pangu giri langhe, andhe ko sab kachhu darsaie ||
bahiro sune, mook puni bole, rank chale sir chhatra dharaie |
surdas swami karunamaya, bar bar bandaun tehi paie ||

which means:

'By the grace of the lotus feet of Shri Banke Bihariji all impossible things become possible in the world. The lame can cross high mountains, the blind can see every thing, the deaf can hear, the dumb can speak and the poor can become rich and move with a chhatra (ceremonial umbrella, generally used in grand processions). The poet says my lord is so kind, full of kindness; I bow to His Lotus Feet! Bow To His Lotus Feet! Again and again. '

22nd April, 2015: Jayanti of Shri Manohar Baba



Baba ManoharDasji

 Revered Baba Manohar Dasji had truly religious qualities like spiritual knowledge (understanding the identity of the self with the ultimate Brahman),asceticism and discernment. He renounced the world like vomit and sought the refuge of Shri Bal Krishan Dasji Maharaj, a great virtuous guru.

By Shri Maharajji's grace, Baba crossed over the toughest of spiritual stages and was resolute in his perennial quest for union with the divine.

In His honour, a monthly kirtan is being held for the past so many years in Gurgaon. Everyone is requested to attend the group singing of devotional songs for Sri Hari.

22nd April, 2015: Vinayak Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata


Lord Ganesha

 The fast is kept to please Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is called Vighanharta and a puja begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha.

Each lunar month in the Hindu calendar has two Chaturthi Tithis which belong to Lord Ganesha as per the Hindu scriptures. The Chaturthi after Amavasya or new moon during Shukla Paksha is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and the one after Puranmasi or full moon during Krishna Paksha is known as Sankashti Chaturthi. 

23rd April, 2015: Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti



Adi Shankaracharyaji

Adi Shankaracharya was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. His teachings are based on the unity of the Atman and Brahman—non-dual Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes.

Shri Radha Krishna Kripakataksha Stotra is the most renowned hymn of praise written by Adi Shankracharyaji. He revived the Sanatan Dharma as ritualistic frauds were misguiding innocent people. Shankaracharya ji is known to have written some of the most beautiful commentaries on the 'Bhagavad Gita', the 'Srimad Bhagawatam' and many stotras praising Lord Krishna and goddess Yamuna.

23rd April, 2015: Shri Surdas Jayanti



Shri Surdasji

Shri Surdas wrote about the most beautiful childhood lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna. He is one of the astachhap kavis of the Pushti Marg Sampradaya.

The bhajan sites of Surdas are Sur Kuti and Sur Samadhi which lie within the periphery of Vallabhacharyaji's Baithak.

Shri Nathji being a svarupa or living presence of Lord Krishna was clearly perceptible for the poet. The padas sung in praise of Nathji are compiled in the text 'Sur Sagar'. Through his poetic creations, Surdasji enhanced the beauty of worship, giving bhakti a new more intimate direction. Remaining a Krishna devotee, he did not lose sight of the Lord's romantic nuances and was therefore able to bring both religious and aesthetic truths to his compositions.

24th April, 2015: Shri Ramanujacharya Jayanti

Shri Ramanujacharya

He is one of the four main Acharyas known as Ramanujacharya. Seen by Vaishnavas as the third and most important teacher of their tradition (after Nathamuni and Yamunacharya). Ramanujacharya is regarded by Hindus as the leading expounder of Vishishtadvaita.

His philosophy combines advaita (oneness of God) with Vishesha (attributes). In Ramanuja’s system of philosophy, the Lord (Narayana) has two inseparable prakaras or modes, the world and the souls. These are related to Him as the body is related to the soul and have no existence apart from Him. Matter and souls constitute the body of the Lord whereas He is their in dweller and controlling Reality.They are termed Viseshanas or attributes while God is the Viseshya or that which is qualified.

25th April, 2015: Shri Ganga Saptami


Ma Gange
 Vaishakh Shukla Saptami is known as Ganga Saptami. People come to take a holy dip in the Ganges and relieve themselves from their sins and agony. Mother Ganga cleanses them and absolves their sins. The river covers a distance of 1500 miles and keeps the adjoining areas green and fertile. Ganga Saptami is celebrated to make people know of her significance on the spiritual plane.

27th April, 2015: Shri Sita Navami


Ma Sita, the Energy of Lord Rama

The day is observed as the birth of Sri Sita or Janaki, the wife of Lord Ram. Sri Sita is considered an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi just as Lord Ram is Lord Vishnu Incarnate.

In the Ramayana, Sri Sita Devi is best remembered for her penance to find a perfect marriage partner. It was her father, King Janak's condition that whoever could lift the divine bow and arrow gifted by Lord Shiva would marry his daughter. As destined, Sri Sitaji's choice was made after years of austere penance to goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva.

Sri Sita Naumi is not celebrated with as much fanfare as Sri Ram Naumi is in the month of Chaitra. However without Sita, worshipping Lord Ram's would be incomplete because she is Sri Ram's divine feminine energy or shakti. Sri Sita Devi is also remembered as setting a role model for Hindu society, particularly in her devotion to Lord Ram during the 14-year exile in the Ramayana.


King Janaka Unearths Baby Sita who is Born of the Earth Goddess

Sri Sita was born as Janaki or daughter of King Janak but later renamed as Sri Sita Devi by Maharishi Narada Muni.She was actually given to King Janak by the Earth Goddess or Bhuma Devi whilst he was ploughing a piece of land during a prolonged period of drought in the Treta Yuga. He unearthed a golden casket in which he found a beautiful baby girl. Overjoyed, he named her Sita because land ploughed by a yoke is called sita.

29th April, 2015: Shri Mohini Ekadashi Vrata


Lord Vishnu Incarnates as Mohini

This is the day when 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 (elixir of immortality) from thieving asuras (demons), and gives it back to the Devas (demi-gods), thus helping them retain their immortality.

30th April,2015:  Shri Anandamayi Ma Jayanti



Shri Anandamayi Ma 
 
Shri Anandamayi Ma was a Hindu spiritual teacher and guru from Bengal. She was 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.  

1 comment:

Divya Narang said...

Thank u for such a detailed calendar. Looking forward for the rest.
Radhey Radhey