Posts made in September, 2014

Navratri – The nine days of contemplation

Posted by on Sep 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Navratri – The nine days of contemplation

“Navratri” is a Sanskrit word derived from conjunction of two different words – “Nav” which means nine and “ratri” which means night. Hence the word navratri means nine nights. It is one of the longest festivals in Hindu tradition which goes on for 9 days and is dedicated to goddess “Durga” who is also known as the “Shakti”( Meaning power, energy). Why worship energy in form of Goddess only It is because mother is the original aspect of the supreme. The abstract absolute (Shiva – consciousness) can be known only through the world of attributes (Durga – energy) – journey of indefinite through definite. Singnificance of Navratri This festival is celebrated to get the blessing in different aspects of person’s life from all the goddesses which are known for their symbol of energy. As we all know, according to Newton’s law, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another. This is exactly what we do in these nine days. The energy within us is invoked and transformed for the betterment. According to Bhagvad-Gita, the cosmic matter is made up of three basic energies/forces: Sattva Rajas Tamas Sattva arising from knowledge, is that part of matter, which when rules an individual, makes him steady minded leading him to peace and happiness. He develops a harmony with the environment. Rajas arising from desire is that part of matter, which when rules an individual, makes him disturbed and passionate when he sees the matter of desire, leading him to act restlessly and aggressively. He has the strength but gets worried because of his desires. His mind is generally in equilibrium, but he loses its equilibrium when sees the matter of desire & works with full strength to get the desired matter. Tamas, arising from ignorance, is that part which when rules makes an individual egocentric. He loses his sense of right & wrong and does things just for himself & not for the betterment of the society, thus leading to discontent & frustration. It is believed that every individual has all the three psychological forces. These nine days are used to invoke within us these powers to bring out the heavenly quality in us. One can acquire divinity only with the help of “Sadhana” for which these nine days are devoted. The celebration of nine days is progressed accordingly : Day 1 – Day 3 Goddess Durga, who is also known as “Shakti” is worshipped which destroys all the negative tendencies within us. However worshipping temporarily will not let one attain permanent solution. And so the seeds of positivity are supplanted on the first day( sowing of seeds on a bed of mud), which invokes the Sattva in us. Day 4 – Day 6 Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and desires is known to bestow blessings according to one’s needs. She invokes one with the difference between desire & needs, thus leading to Rajas negativities destruction. Day 7 – Day 9 Goddess Saraswati also known as goddess of knowledge & wisdom, bestows ones with wisdom which guides one in his rights & wrongs, thus leading to destruction of negativities of Tamas. Thus one is lead to the supreme truth. Thus by the end of the festivities, one if filled with good thoughts & deeds for betterment of society & thus himself. The tenth day being Vijaydashmi, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, the moment when truth is drawn within. Significance of Fasting People generally fast during these nine auspicious days of Navratri to gain the blessings of goddess Durga. This festival...

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Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Ananth Chaturdashi Ananth is a Sanskrit word which actually means “eternal” in English. This day, although being more famous as the final day of Lord Ganesh Festival : the day when the ganesh idols are immersed in water, is actually a day dedicated to the worship of Vishnu – The eternal lord. People fast this day for the fulfillment of their worldly desires and that is why this fast is known as “Kamya vrat”. Mythological Tales During Mahabharata, after Yudhishtir lost all his wealth to Kauravas, all pandavas were asked to live in exile for 13 years. During this period, when Lord Krishna visited Pandavas, Krishna advised them to keep the Ananth Chaturdashi Fast so that they could regain all their wealth and power. On this when Yudhishtir inquired who this Ananth was, Krishna told him that it is the other name for Lord Vishnu – The Immortal one. During the “Bhadrapad” month, Lord Vishnu rests on abode – Sheshnag. In him reside the 14 Lokas & the 14 Indras. So if one offers prayers to him, he bestows all the wealth & power. Listening to this, Yudhishtir inquired about the details of how to perform the fast and also inquired about who had done this fast earlier. So Krishna recited: “Rishi Bhrigu’s daughter – Deeksha was married to a Brahmin boy called Sumanta. They had a beautiful girl named Susheela. Susheela lost her mother when she was young. Worried, Sumanta remarried.Sumanta seconf wife,Karkashe, made Susheela’s life miserable.Inspite of all the varsities, Susheela matured into a fine lady. She was married to Kaundiya Rishi. After marriage, Kaundiya accompanied by his wife left for their home. During their journey, they passed through bank of a river. The day being Anath chaturdashi, Susheela saw many Brahmins & their wives wearing red and worshipping Ananth Padmanabh. Curious , Susheela inquired what they were doing. They told her that it was Ananth fast today and the fruits of the fast were Ananth ( infinite). Hearing this,even she showed her interest in performing the rituals & the fast . At which they told her that the fast is to be performed for 14 years each day on Bhadrapad shukla chaturdashi. The fast has to be performed by eating food without salt i.e. having fuits & milk only. After taking bath & wearing clean cloth she has to decorate the altar & then keep the kalash in south position of the latar. One has to take the vow of fasting for 14 years & performing the puja to regain the lost prosperity. Yamunapujan is done with 16 substances : By offering Yamuna a seat , washing her feets by giving her Arghya, bathing her with 5 substances, offering turmeric & vermillion, putting unbroken rice in the Kalash & concluding the puja by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to yamunaji one is awakening Sri Vishnu) Sheshnag with seven faces is made with sprouts of a grass named Darbha. The deity is invoked in the grass, he is offered the seat, his foot are washed by offering the Arghya,body worhip is done, his faces are worshipped, his name is worshipped & finally the puja is concluded by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to Sheshnag one is inviting Sri Vishnu) After this the worhip of the thread with 14 knots, the symbol of Sri Vishnu is done.The thread is purified by reciting holy prayers (mantras) & hence Sri Vishnu is invoked.The two...

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