Monday, February 29, 2016

Spiritual Calendar: March, 2016

2nd March, 2016: Shri Sita Ashtami

Ma Sita

Sita Ashtami, or Janaki Janma, is believed to be the day when Mata Sita appeared on earth as per traditional calendar and Panchangs followed in North India. Sita Ashtami is observed on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) of the Phalguna month (February – March). Mata Sita is an embodiment of purity and wifely devotion and the consort of Shri Ram in the Ramayana.

King Janaka Ploughing His Field

 Ma Sita was adopted by King Janaka when he found her as he was ploughing his field.

5th March, 2016: Vijaya Ekadashi Vrat

Lord Brahma & Narada

It is observed during the Krishna Paksha of the Phalgun Month as per the North Indian calendar. Those who observe this Ekadasi are said to triumph. This fact is highlighted in the Skanda Purana and narrated by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada.

Lord Rama Wanting to Cross the Ocean

Legend has it that Lord Rama and His army comprising of monkeys and bears was searching for a means to cross the ocean to reach Lanka.That is when Lakshman spoke of a great Saint living nearby, who could provide them with a solution. It is this sage who raved about Vijaya Ekadasi and said that observing it would make Lord Rama victorious.

6th March, 2016: Pradosh Vrat

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 all gods and goddesses assemble on Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva on this day. The Pradosh which falls on a Monday is of special significance.

7th March, 2016: Mahashivratri Vrat

Maha Shivrati

Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the krishna paksha or waning phase of the moon in Phalgun. Along with keeping a fast, cold water and bel patra (leaves of the wood apple tree) are offered to the lingam during the day. The festival is celebrated by traditional offerings such as bathing Shiva in milk, panchamruta (milk,curd,ghee,sugar and honey [the symbols of sustenance]), in quick succession; or anointing the lingam with vermilion (kumkum), white consecrated rice and askshata, (symbols of fertility or creation), when Shiva is worshipped as the god of dissolution.

The three principal reasons for Shivratri are: 

Sadashiv, the Cosmic Form of Shiva

1] Sadashiv, the cosmic form of Lord Shiva, appeared as 'Lingodbhav Moorti' precisely at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why all Shiva devotees keep vigil during the night of Shivratri and do abhishek of the Shivalingam (the form in which Shiva is worshipped). It is the night when Shiva performed the tandava nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

Lord Vishnu is Born as Krishna

It is believed that Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna, was born in Gokul in the middle of the night on Janamashtami, 180 days after Shivratri. Amazingly the circle of one year is divided into two by the festivities of Shivratri and Janamashtami. Marriage of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati

Lord Shiva is Married to Goddess Parvati

2] Lord Shiva was married to Goddess Parvati on Shivratri. Shiva without Parvati is an absolute 'Nirgun Brahman' (formless static God), whereas with Parvati, or purna-shakti, the most complete form of divine feminine energy, He becomes the 'Sagun Brahman' for His dedicated devotees. 

Shiva as Neelkantham

3] On Shivratri, Lord Shiva became 'Neelkantham' or the blue-throated one by swallowing the deadly poison, halahala, that came up when the devas and asuras churned the sea to obtain the nectar of immortality. Even a drop of the poison would have annihilated the entire world but Shiva held it in His neck, which turned blue with its impact.Ever since Shivratri is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting us from destruction.

The Yugal Sarkar of Saint Usha Bahenji

At highly revered saint Sushila Bahinji's Gaura Colony the festival is celebrated with Thakurji.

9th March,2016:Phalguna Amavasya

Day of the New Moon

Amavasya is the day of conjunction of the sun and moon, on the fifteenth day of the dark half of a lunar month. Amavasya or the new moon, is the last day of the waning moon.

9th March,2016: Surya Grahan

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse, will take place on March 9, 2016 in – early morning hours in . According to NASA the Surya Grahan is a Total solar eclipse and is visible in India, eastern parts of Asia and Australia. The greatest eclipse will be taking place on the Islands in Pacific Ocean.

10th March, 2016::Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa Jayanti

Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Great Devotee of Goddess Kali

Swami Ramakrishna Paramhamsa was born on 18th Feb 1836 in West Bengal in Kamarpukur, some 70 miles from Calcutta. Later Swami Vivekananda, Brahamanada and others became his disciples and set up Ramakrishna Missions, Ramakrishna Maths and hospitals all over India and the world. He lived in this mundane world for 50 years and worshipped Goddess Kali. Swami Ramakrishna also practised Christianity and Muslim rituals to endorse that all religions lead to one God if one is sincerely unbiased, in his commitments. 

A great saint inspired by Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa to  renounce this world was Sri Sri Balkrishan Dasji Maharaj of Vrindavan. He had experienced the highest ideal of religious rapture by relishing Shri Radha-Krishna's madhurya or sweet romance.

12th March, 2016:Shri Vinayaka Chaturthi

Lord Ganesha

Each lunar month in Hindu calendar has two Chaturthi Tithis. The Chaturthi after Amavasya or new moon during Shukla Paksha is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and the one after Purnimasi or full moon during Krishna Paksha is known as Sankashti Chaturthi.

16th March, 2016: Holashtak Begins


Holashtak witnesses the arrival of Holi. Looking at the literal meaning of Holashtak means eight days before Holi, that is Holashtak. Basically, we can see that holi is a festival of nine days instead of a single day. On the day of Dhulendi this festival comes to an end with colours and gulal.

17th March, 2016: Lathmar Holi in Shri Radha Rani's Barsana

Lathmar Holi of Barsana

Men from Nandgaon, the land of Krishna, arrive to play Holi with the women of Barsana and hope to raise their flag over Shri Kishori ji's temple. But, instead of colours they are greeted with sticks by the gopis. Thus Holi in Barsana is called Lathmaar Holi. The men are smart enough and come fully padded, knowing fully well that they will not be allowed to retaliate on this particular day. In this mock battle they try their best not to be captured. However,those who are unlucky are forcefully led away and get a thrashing from the women. Further, they are made to don a female attire and dance in public.

Lord Krishna Dancing Before the Gopis

Renowned poets like Surdas, Nand-Das, Kumbhan-Das and others have beautifully described how Lord Krishna was forced to wear a sari and make-up, and dance before being set free by the gopis.

18th March, 2016:Lathmar Holi of Nandlala's Nandgaon

Lathmar Holi of Nandgaon

The following day, the play of Holi manifests itself in Nandgaon, Krishna’s village. Men of Barsana retaliate by invading Nandgaon and drenching the women in colours of kesudo, naturally occurring orange-red dye, and palash. Whereas the women of Nandgaon reign supreme over the men of Barsana, beating the invaders in joyous abandon in yet another day of Lathmar Holi.But the beatings are much gentler, since Radha’s side remains the more powerful one during Holi.

Nandgram is the village of dark-hued Krishna's foster father, Shri Nandrai ji. Highly revered by Vaishnavas, the place invokes their devotional service. Bhaktimati Usha Bahenji says, “ Delightedly, Sri Krishna-Balram along with their sakhas daily go to graze cows, the wealth of their tiny village. Their mother splendidly decks the two brothers, packing chhak or their midday meal.”

20th March, 2016: Pradosh Vrata

Lord Shiva

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept for propitiating Lord Shiva. With his blessings one's desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment. Generally people observe the Pradosha Vrata on every trayodashi tithi (13th lunar day falling in Krishna and Shukla Pakshas) in the evening. Please offer plain water and bel patra to Lord Shiva. The bel patra or leaf of the wood-apple tree represents the three eyes of lord Shiva and the three gunas.

23nd March, 2016: Holika Dahan

Bhakta Prahlad is Safe during Holika Dahan

Bonfires are lit on the eve of Dhulendi, on Holika Dahan. After this observance prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape of young Prahlad when demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, escaped unhurt.

23rd March, 2016:Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabu Jayanti

Shri Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

(1486-1533) the celebrated Vaishnava saint and mystic, and chief exponent of the Gaudiya Vasihnavism movement in eastern India. Theologians of his school claim that Chaitanya was fair-complexioned because he was Radha's incarnation, yet internally he was Krishna. Since Lord Gauranga appeared nearly 600 years ago on Phalgun Poornima, our own Saint Ushaji used to bow to Him in Vrindavan on every Holi.

He specifically worshipped the forms of Radha and Krishna and popularised the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra. ISKCON established by Prabhupad ji is popularizing the famous Naam-sankirtan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare ||

23rd March, 2016: Appearance Day of Shri Hari Baba

 Sri Hari Baba

The main attraction which drew everyone to Shri Maharaj, a saint of the early twentieth century was the bhakti bhava of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the propagation of sankirtan. Impressed by his strict discipline of self-denial and conscientious observance of sankalp, Bhaktimati Usha Bahenjii had once raved, "He was a such a great devotee that the earth was blessed, the era was honoured and followers were enlightened by his calibre. Several festivals of Vrindavan were graced by his presence."

23rd March, 2016:Appearance Day of Shri Anand Dasji Baba of Vrindavan

Shri Anand Dasji Baba

Highly revered Shri Anand Das ji Baba, a great devotee of Lord Hanuman, was a close associate of Manohar Baba. His dedicate devotion is renowned the world over.

24th March, 2016::Dhulendi on Phalgun Purnima, Dol Utsav

Holi is Played all Over the Country

Holi celebrations peak in Vrindavan as well as in the temple of Bihariji. As per tradition, Bihariji does not play Holi on this day but merely watches the devotees playing Holi.

27th March, 2016: Sankashti Chaturti 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.

31st March, 201`6: Sheetala Ashtami

Ma Sheetala

Ma Sheetala is worshipped on Sheetala Ashtami. She is the goddess of small pox, who is always accompanied by Jwarasura. Devotees do not cook food in the house, they are prohibited to light the stoves. Food is cooked the before day and eaten on Sheetala Ashtami which is famous in North India.

1 comment:

Minakshi Aggarwal said...

Har din ki importance pata chal jati hai.Ragular read karne se yaad ho jata hai ki kab kaun sa din imp. hai.
Keep on telling...