Thursday, December 31, 2015

Spiritual Calendar: January, 2016

5th January,2016: Safala Ekadashi Vrata

Safala Ekadashi

Safala Ekadashi is observed on Paush Krishna Paksha Ekadasi day as per North Indian calendars. The vrata helps devotees to attain success in every sphere of life.

The spiritual importance of Safala Ekadashi is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana as the conversation between Lord Krishna and Yudhistira. The legend of Safala Ekadashi is associated with King Lumpaka who was sinful by nature but after keeping the Ekadasi Vrat he was blessed with a blissful life and attained salvation after death.

7th January, 2016: 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.

9th January, 2016: Shradh ki Amavasya


 The last day of the waning phase of the moon is called Amavasya. Amavasya is the end of the Krishna paksha of the Hindu month.There are many Hindus who undertake a complete fast on Amavasi. Some Hindu communities take a single meal on this day which is considered apt for doing Tarpan and Shradh for dead parents and other relatives.

13th January, 2016: Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata

Lord Ganesha

It is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha and falls on the 4th day of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon) of a lunar fortnight or on the fourth day after Purnima or full moon. Ganesha devotees observe a fast on Vinayak Chaturthi.

13th January, 2016: Lohri

Punjabis, irrespective of their religion, continue to practice their Punjabi Folk Religion. Respect to the seasons and the natural elements of fire, wind, water and the earth is very important. Lohri is a festival dedicated to the end of the Winter season whereas Teej (known as Teeyan in Punjabi) is dedicated to the rain/Monsoon season and Basant is dedicated to Spring .

Over time, people have associated Lohri to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. The central character of most Lohri songs, Dulla Bhatti was a Muslim highway robber who had converted from Sikhism. He lived in Punjab during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Regarded as a hero in Punjab, he robbed the rich and rescued Sikh and Hindu girls being forcibly taken to be sold in the slave market of the Middle East. He arranged their marriages to Sikh and Hindu boys with the proper rituals and provided them with dowries. So every other Lohri song expresses gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.

14th January, 2016: Makar Sankranti

Worshipping the Sun God

Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. The movement of the earth from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the Sun moves into the Capricorn Zodiac it is known as Makar in Hindi.

Bathing in the Ganges on Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase and any sacred ritual can be sanctified in a Hindu family from this day onwards.Sankranti marks the termination of the winter season and the onset of spring.

At Vrindavan, Rishikesh and Allahabad, millions of devotees will take a dip in the holy River Yamuna or the Ganges on this pious day. Invariably they will give charity to the needy.

Bhagwan Surya-Narayan is considered the ancestor of Lord Ramji and the very first disciple of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavat Gita, and He will be worshipped with joyous abandon.

Shri Radha Vallabha Thakurs in Vrindavan

Today a bhoga of khichdi will be offered to Sri Yugal Sarkar particularly at the Radha Vallabhji Temple at the holy dham of Vrindavan. We must also offer khichdi bhoga to our ishtdev or family deity and liberally donate it to brahmins and the needy.

16th January, 2016:Birth Anniversary of Shri Radha Baba

Shri Shri Radha Baba

 In 2012-2013, the birth centenary of Sri Sri Radha Baba (16th January 1913-13th October 1992) was  celebrated at His birthplace, Gorakhpur, Kolkatta and Delhi to spread the message of love. In quest of the divine, Shri Shri Radha Baba came in contact with Shri Hanuman Prasad Poddar through Jai Dayal Ji Goenka, a spiritual personality and the founder of Gitapress.

In 1987, highly revered Bobo sent the aunties of Vrindavan, her inner circle of devotees and me for his darshan.Today we feel truly blessed because we had stayed at Gita Vatika for full one week, in the year 1987.

16th January, 2016: Shattila Ekadashi

Lord Vishnu

This ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of Krishnapaksh in the month of Paush.Til means sesame seeds and shat stands for six. The entire offering of six types of sesame seeds on Shat Tila Ekadasi is considered highly meritorious. Reciting the Vishnu Sahasra Nama Stotram (the thousand names of Vishnu) and worshipping Lord Vishnu is a must for devotees.

Please offer til-ladoos to Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, your family deity, the child form of Krishna or Lord Rama at home. As til is considered beneficial for the cold winter months, kindly give sesame seeds to needy students and the poor, this season.

16th January,2016: Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti

Guru Gobind Singh

A Sikh festival that commemorates the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. It is a religious celebration in which prayers for prosperity are offered.

Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Sikh Guru of Nanak. He was born at Patna, Bihar, India, on December 22, 1666.

Guru Gobind Singh was the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who gave his life to protect religious freedom. He succeeded his father and became a Guru at nine years of age. In his lifetime, he stood against the Mughal Rulers and fought against injustice. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh took five men from the lower caste of society and baptized them as His Five Beloveds. It was his dedication to God, his fearlessness and his desire to protect the people from being oppressed that led Guru Gobind Singh to establish the Khalsa, a military force of saint-soldiers which he baptized.

Before his death in 1708, he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, which is Sikhism’s Holy Scripture, to be the permanent Sikh Guru.

20th January, 2016: Putrada Ekadashi Vrat

Putrada Ekadashi

 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.

21st January, 2016: 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).

24th Janaury,2016: Paush Purnima

Paush Purnima Snan

Paush Purnima is the full moon day of the Paush Month. It is considered very auspicious as the Magh Mela and its Snan starts at the Allahabad Prayag Triveni Sangam.

Hindus believe that taking a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, or any other location of holy rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery and Brahmaputra is very auspicious and expiates the sins committed in their lives.

The festivals of Shakambari Jayanthi and Shakambari Purnima are celebrated on Paush Purnima and it is the last day of Paush Navratras.

Mount Goverdhan

Our friends in Dubai can mentally do the parikrama or circumambulate Mount Goverdhan. Shri Giriraj is blessed because it here that Lord Krishna spreads His joy and expresses His love. If one does parikrama of the mountain just once he is expiated from all sins. Finally attaining His favoured deity, goes to Vaikuntha because Shri Radha's Pranvallabha or Lord Krishna adorns the peak of Shri Govardhan.

26th January,2016: Happy Republic Day

27th January, 2016: Ganesh Sankatahara Chaturti

Lord Ganesha

This day is dedicated to Hindu God Ganesh. Sankashti Chaturthi January 2016 date is January 27, Wednesday and the Chandrodaya or Moon rise time is 8:57 PM (IST). Ganesha devotees observe Sankashta Chaturti day from sunrise till the sighting of the moon. The day falls on the fourth day during the waning phase of moon or Krishna Paksha in a Hindu lunar month.

The importance of Sankashta Chaturthi Vrata is found in the Narasimha and Bhavishaya Puranas. The greatness of the Vrata was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers.

31st Janaury, 2016: Swami Vivekananda Jayanti

 Swami Vivekananda

 Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863–July 4, 1902),was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and founded the Ramakrishna Mission. He introduced the Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America, and brought Hinduism to the status of a world religion by end of the 19th century. Swami Vivekananda was born in an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta in 1863. While searching for someone who could directly demonstrate the reality of God, he came to Ramakrishna and became his disciple. Ramakrishna taught him the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta or non-dualism and that service to man was the most effective worship of God.

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