“Devotion, Service, Knowledge, and Yoga are the pathways to gain self- awareness which eventually lead to liberation”

- Rushivarji

VIJAYA EKADASHI VRAT -2018

Vijaya Ekadashi is celebrated on the Krushna Paksh of Phalgu maas , it is on the 11th February , Sunday 2018.
 
 Offerings of PEDA are made to Shri Thakurji 
 
 Vijaya Ekadashi because of the mythological events associated King Yudhisthira. Once asked Lord Shri Krushna about the importance of Ekadashi that comes at the the Krushna Paksh of Phalgun maas told Maharaj Yudhisthira that observing vrat on the auspicious day will be helpful in cleansing all the sins of all those who remain devoted.
 
 Narada Muni also once asked the same question to Lord Brahma asking about the importance of Vijaya Ekadashi. Lord Brahms replies that all those people who observe fast on the day are known to get rid of all the sins committed during the previous instances. Perhaps, it is because of the victorious result that the name "Vijaya Ekadashi" has been coined in an eventual manner for that auspicious day. Numerous people are known to throng temples in order to offer their sacred prayers to the God with utmost respect.

Lord Rama went to the forest for fourteen years of exile along with his beloved wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshman. They led a beautiful life in Panchavati on the banks of River Godavari for some period. After king Ravana kidnapped Sita Devi and fled to Lanka, Rama created a team of monkey soldiers with the intention to cross Indian Ocean. However, it proved to be a herculean task for him to obtain the desired results. Eventually, he had to approach sage Bakadalbhya. In response, the sage informed Rama that Ekadashi is the most auspicious day to cross the ocean to which Rama heeded and was able to emerge victorious over Ravana. Hence, the day is referred to as “Vijaya Ekadashi”.

Celebrations of Vijay Ekadashi-

It is highly believed that all those people who observe fasts or listen to victorious stories related to mythology on Vijaya Ekadashi will be able to achieve immense success for sure. In fact, they are bound to obtain the same result as that of Vajapayee sacrifice. Apart from the day being dedicated to Lord Rama, it is possible to obtain numerous benefits to ensure that the austerity is maintained on an overall. 

 

JAYA EKADASHI VRAT 2018

Jaya Ekadashi is in the Shukla Paksha of Maagh Maas on the 28th January Sunday 2018. As all ekadashi it is also celebrated in the honour of Lord Shri Hari Vishnu.

Offerings to be made on this Jaya Ekadashi is Sugar Cane or Sherdi to Shri Thakurji.

Rituals on the Jaya Ekadashi:

  • Devotees keep Nirjala Vrat from the sunrise of ekadashi until the sunrise of ‘dwadashi’ tithi. While fasting, the person must not let the feelings of anger, lust or greed enters their mind. This vrat is meant to purify both the body and the soul. The observer of this vrat must offer foods to respected Brahmins on the dwadashi tithi and then break their fast. One who keeps the vrat should not sleep all night and sing bhajans praising Lord Vishnu.
  • For people who cannot observe complete fasting, can even keep partial fast on milks and fruits. This exception is meant for elderly people, pregnant women and for those suffering from serious body ailments.
  • Even those who do not wish to fast on Jaya Ekadashi must abstain from eating food made from rice and all forms of grains. Applying oil on body is also not allowed.
  • Lord Vishnu is worshipped with complete dedication on Jaya Ekadashi. Devotees get up at sunrise and take an early bath. A small idol of Lord Vishnu is kept on the place of worship and the devotees offer sandalwood paste, sesame seeds, fruits, lamp and dhoop, to the lord. Reciting ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ and ‘Narayan Stotra’ is considered propitious on this day.
  • Significance of Jaya Ekadashi:
  • The importance and story of Jaya Ekadashi is mentioned in the ‘Padma Purana’ and ‘Bhavisyothara Purana’. Shri Krushna also described the greatness and way of observing this auspicious ekadashi vrat to King Yudhisthira, the eldest of the five Pandav brothers. Jaya Ekadashi vrat is so powerful that it can free the person from the most heinous sins committed, even ‘Brahma Hatya’. Jaya Ekadashi vrat holds double significance for the fact that ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the month of ‘Maagh’ in which it falls is auspicious for Lord Shiva puja. Therefore this ekadashi is very important for devotees of both, Lord Shiva and Vishnu.

SHAT TILA EKADASHI VRAT 2018

Shat Tila Ekadashi is observed during the Krushna Paksh of Maagh maas it is on the 12th of January Friday 2018. Shat Tila Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Shri Hari Vishnu ,devotees can end all their miseries and misfortunes by observing a fast on this day. 

"Sattila Ekadashi’ is derived from the word ‘shat’ implying ‘six’ and ‘til’ meaning ‘sesame seeds’. Sesame seeds are used in six different ways. Use of ‘til’ is considered to be very auspicious on this day as it provides both, religious merits and spiritual purification. There is a great implication of donating sesame seeds to the poor and hungry. On Shat Tila Ekadashi there is also a custom of offering sesame seeds and water to the forefathers or ancestors. This ekadashi also has the supremacy to wash away all the evil deeds or sins of a person, committed during one’s lifetime

 

Rituals during Shat Tila Ekadashi:

  • On the day of Shat Tila Ekadashi there is great significance of taking a bath with water that is mixed with sesame seeds. Devotees also consume ‘til’ on Shat Tila Ekadashi. On this day, devotees must only have spiritual thoughts and do not let greed, lust and anger take over their thoughts.
  • Devotees keep a religious fast on Shat Tila Ekadashi and refrain from eating or drinking all day long. If however, you are unable to keep complete fast, partial fasting is also allowed. This is so because affection to Lord is more significant than strict fasting rules. However there are specific foods that all must avoid on the day of ekadashi like grains, rice and pulses.
  • Lord Vishnu is the main deity on Shat Tila Ekadashi. The statue of the lord is bathed in Panchamrit, to which sesame seeds should definitely be mixed. Later various offerings are made to please Lord Vishnu.
  • On Shat Tila Ekadashi, devotees stay awake all night and chant Lord Vishnu’s name with immense devotion and perseverance. In some places, devotees also organize yagna on this revered day in which sesame seed preparations constitute an important ingredient

Significance of Shat Tila Ekadashi:

The greatness of Shat Tila Ekadashi is explained in the ‘Bhavishyottara Purana’ as a conversation between Pulastya Muni and Sage Dalbhya. It is believed that a person observing Shat Tila Ekadashi will be bestowed with infinite wealth and good health. As per the Hindu legends they will attain salvation and get freedom from the continuous cycle of rebirth. By donating sesame seeds or ‘til’ on Shat Tila Ekadashi, devotees will be liberated from all their sins done knowingly or unknowingly in their present or past life. Furthermore by offering sesame seeds mixed with water one can even provide solace to the dead ancestors.

Maagh Maas 2018 .

 Maagh maas is sacred and fortunate month stating from 2nd January to 31st January 2018 .. there are some 'tithies' which bear special significance, various rituals are performed by the saints and kalpwasis. The name itself suggests the transit of sun from Sagittarius  to Capricorn, Makar Sankranti is preceded by a number of important smaller events, Sankashta Har Ganpati / Til Chauth Vrath ,fasting, bathing and offerings to the priests. The Ekadashi of this fortnight is considered significant for fasting, prayers and offerings. Important event of the Maagh maas is Mauni Amavasya.

Bathing, offerings, prayers and fasting are all considered important on this day as it is believed that the Hindu gods and goddesses descend to take a holy dip at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati - the Sangam .

Maagh maas finally concludes on Purnima when sun enters the Shravan Nakshaktra. On this day Kalpwasis observe fast and perform rituals marking its conclusion.

Giving aways alms of woollens , sweets, seasam seed, foods to the poor .

PUTRADA EKADASHI / VAIKUNTH EKADASHI 2017

Putrada Ekadashi falls on the Shukla Paksha of Pausha maas,on the 29th of December Friday 2017. ‘Putrada’ means ‘giver of sons’ and so it is known as ‘Pausha Putrada Ekadashi’. This ekadashi is mainly observed by couples who desire to be blessed with a son. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with complete dedication and zeal on this day. The Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is also known as ‘Vaikunta Ekadashi’.

Rituals during Pausha Putrada Ekadashi:

  • The Pausha Putrada Ekadashi vrat is mainly observed by women who desire to give birth to a son. On this day Lord Shri Hari Vishnu is worshipped devotedly to be blessed with a male child. Couples also pray to their deity for the well-being of their offspring. No food is eaten at all during the ekadashi and the fast continues for a period of 24 hours. Even those who do not observe the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi, must abstain from consuming cereals, rice, beans, grains and specific spices and vegetable on this day.
  • On the day of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi the couple should avoid sleeping during the time and keep a ‘jagaran’ by singing bhakti songs of Lord Vishnu. Reciting ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ and other Vedic mantras is also believed to be auspicious. The devotees also visit the nearby temples of Lord Vishnu as on this day special puja and bhajan kirtans are organised.

Importance of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi:

In the Hindu society, bearing a son is extremely important as he is the one who looks after the parents during their old age. Also in the Hindu customs, a son is only entitled to offer ‘shraddha’ ritual to his ancestors. Therefore this day of ‘Pausha Putrada Ekadashi’ is dedicated to bestow the couples with a male progeny. There is a total of 24 ekadashis in the Hindu year, with each one having a specific goal. But the power of blessing a couple with a male child is present only in the two ‘putrada’ ekadashis, with one of them being the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi. Also by observing this sacred fast, all the sins of the person will be pardoned and the observer will enjoy a happy and prosperous life. The greatness of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is mentioned in the ‘Bhavishya Purana’ as a discussion between King Yudhisthira and Lord Shri Krushna. It is known that the virtue of the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is even more than performing 100 Raja Suya Yagyas or 1000 Ashvamedha Yagyas.

 
 

PUTRADA EKADASHI / VAIKUNTH EKADASHI 2017

Putrada Ekadashi falls on the Shukla Paksha of Pausha maas,on the 29th of December Friday 2017. ‘Putrada’ means ‘giver of sons’ and so it is known as ‘Pausha Putrada Ekadashi’. This ekadashi is mainly observed by couples who desire to be blessed with a son. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with complete dedication and zeal on this day. The Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is also known as ‘Vaikunta Ekadashi’.

Rituals during Pausha Putrada Ekadashi:

  • The Pausha Putrada Ekadashi vrat is mainly observed by women who desire to give birth to a son. On this day Lord Shri Hari Vishnu is worshipped devotedly to be blessed with a male child. Couples also pray to their deity for the well-being of their offspring. No food is eaten at all during the ekadashi and the fast continues for a period of 24 hours. Even those who do not observe the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi, must abstain from consuming cereals, rice, beans, grains and specific spices and vegetable on this day.
  • On the day of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi the couple should avoid sleeping during the time and keep a ‘jagaran’ by singing bhakti songs of Lord Vishnu. Reciting ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ and other Vedic mantras is also believed to be auspicious. The devotees also visit the nearby temples of Lord Vishnu as on this day special puja and bhajan kirtans are organised.

Importance of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi:

In the Hindu society, bearing a son is extremely important as he is the one who looks after the parents during their old age. Also in the Hindu customs, a son is only entitled to offer ‘shraddha’ ritual to his ancestors. Therefore this day of ‘Pausha Putrada Ekadashi’ is dedicated to bestow the couples with a male progeny. There is a total of 24 ekadashis in the Hindu year, with each one having a specific goal. But the power of blessing a couple with a male child is present only in the two ‘putrada’ ekadashis, with one of them being the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi. Also by observing this sacred fast, all the sins of the person will be pardoned and the observer will enjoy a happy and prosperous life. The greatness of Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is mentioned in the ‘Bhavishya Purana’ as a discussion between King Yudhisthira and Lord Shri Krushna. It is known that the virtue of the Pausha Putrada Ekadashi is even more than performing 100 Raja Suya Yagyas or 1000 Ashvamedha Yagyas.

 
 

DHANURMAAS 2017-2018

Dhanurmas begins on December 16, 2017 and ends on January 13, 2018. Dhanurmas is considered inauspicious in some regions. Only prayers and godly functions are performed during the period. The importance of Dhanurmas is mentioned in the Dhanurmas Mahatmya of Pancharatragama, Agneya Purana and also in a scripture called Smruti Muktavali.
 
Dhanur Mas is basically the period the sun shifts from the Sagittarius / Dhanur rashi to Makar rashi and it ends on the Capricorn / Makar Sankranti.

 
Worship of Shri Hari Vishnu during the morning hours in Dhanurmasa is considered highly auspicious. Vishnu Sahasranama is chanted during the period. Other important mantras chanted are those dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi.
 

The most popular offering made to Shri Hari Vishnu in the month is Moong dal, Bhog smagri prepared out of Moong Dal.

 
There is a belief that worshiping Shri Hari Vishnu on a single day during Dhanurmas is equal to worshiping him for 1000 of years. 

 
In Pancharatragama, the greatness of Dhanurmas is presented in 4 chapters, as a conversation between Shri Hari Vishnu in the form of a Swan and Brahmaji. The dialogue between them is narrated by Sage Suta in response to a query by Sage Shaunaka. 

 
The greatness and holiness of Dhanurmas and the rewards one gets by observing austerities in the holy month is found in the first chapter. The story of the King Satyasandha and the holiness he achieved by observing Dhanurmas Vrata is mentioned in the second chapter. The third chapter talks about the importance of giving alms during the Dhanurmas. Numerous pious deeds a devotee can perform are mentioned in the chapter. The final chapter talks about feeding the poor. It is said that the best way to reach the feet of Shri Hari Vishnu is by feeding the hungry and poor. 

SAPHALA EKADASHI VRAT 2017

Saphala Ekadashi is observed during the Krushna paksh of month of ‘Paush’ on 13th December Wednesday 2017.  The day of Saphala Ekadashi is sacred  as it is believed that by fasting sincerely on this day, the devotees can wash away their sins and also enjoy a blissful life. 

The word ‘saphala’ in Hindi means ‘to prosper’ and therefore this ekadashi should be observed by anyone who desires success and happiness in all the fields of life. Saphala Ekadashi is therefore a means to open the doors of abundance, success, prosperity and fortune.

Rituals during Saphala Ekadashi:

  • On Saphala Ekadashi day, devotees observe a strict fast in the honour of Lord Vishnu. The fast begins from the dawn of ekadashi and continues till the sunrise of the next day, ‘dwadashi’. While keeping the Saphala Ekadashi vrat, only ‘saatvik’ food is eaten by the devotees. For people who are not capable to keep the complete fast, can even fast observe partial fast or fast for just half day.
  • Lord Vishnu is the main deity of the Saphala Ekadashi. Vaishnavas worship Lord Vishnu with devout hearts to invoke His love and affection. Offering Tulsi leaves to Lord Vishnu on this day is believed to remove all the sins of an individual. Devotees please Lord Vishnu by offering incense sticks, coconut, betel nut and other aromatic objects. Lighting of diyas during the evening will make it more rewarding.
  • On the day Saphala Ekadashi, the observer of the vrat, should not sleep whole night. 
  • On Saphala Ekadashi one must donate money, food and other essentials to the Brahmins and needy.
  • Bhog samagri made from Seesam seed / Til must be offered to Shri Hari Vishnu .

Significance of Saphala Ekadashi:

The importance of Saphala Ekadashi is mentioned as a conversation between Dharamraja Yudhisthira and Lord Krishna in the ‘Brahmanda Purana’. According to the Hindu scriptures, it is said that even 100 Rajasuya Yagas and 1000 Ashvamedha Yagas are not as beneficial as observing a sacred fast on the day of Saphala Ekadashi. The day of Saphala Ekadashi is rightfully described as a day that transforms bad luck into rewarding fortune by ending all the miseries of life. Saphala Ekadashi has powers to help a person accomplish his/her desires and dreams in reality. Besides it also give satisfaction and inner peace to the observer of the Saphala Ekadashi fast.

MOKSHDA EKADASHI / GITA JAYANTI 2017

Mokshada Ekadashi is observed in the Shukl paksh of month of Margashirsha - 30th November Thrusday. Hindus, particularly Vaishnavas observe fast in honour of the Parmatma Shri Krushna, poornaavatar of Shri Hari Vishnu to get rid of all your sins and to achieve moksha or Salvation.

 

Offerings of Rajgiro / Rajgra to be made to Shri Thakurji.

 

 Gita Jayanti is the Birthday of Shrimad Bhagwat Gita...the day when Shri Krushna sung the holy sermon to the Pandu Putr Arjuna, in the Mahabharata. The 700-verse Bhagavad Gita told at the beginning of the climactic Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas at Kurukshetra, deals with a variety of Hindu philosophical ideas, a true science of behaviour at Jyotisar lake in Kurukshetra.

 

The legend about Mokshada Ekadashi is narrated by Parmatma Shri Krushna to the Pandava King Yudhishthira in the Brahmanda Purana. Once, a saintly king called Vaikhanasa ruled in the city of Champakanagar with total compassion treating the subjects as his own children. His subjects belonged to the Vishnu-worshipping Vaishnava sect and were very erudite in Vedic knowledge. Once in the night, the king had a dream and saw his late father being tormented in Naraka, ruled by Yama, the god of death. The king was highly anguished and related this nightmare to his council the next day. He sought their advice as to how to free his dead father and his ancestors from tortures of Hell and grant them moksha /salvation. The council advised the king to approach the omniscient saint, Parvata Muni . The sage meditated and found the reason for the torture of the king's father. He mentioned that his father had committed the sin of quarrelling with his wife and having coitus with her in her menstrual cycle, in spite of her strong protests. As a solution to rectify the situation, the sage suggested to the king to observe vrata of the Mokshada Ekadashi day. On Moksha Ekadashi, the king observed the vrata with a complete fast along with his wife, children and relatives with full faith and devotion. The king's religious merit pleased the gods of heaven, who carried the king's father to heaven. Mokshada Ekadashi is compared with the chintamani, the gem that yields all desires and special merit is achieved by the vrata, by which one can elevate someone from hell to heaven or attain salvation himself.

 

The complete fast from sunrise on Mokshada Ekadashi to the dawn the next day is observed. People who cannot fast for that period observe a partial fast. Only vegetarian food, especially fruits, vegetables, milk products and nuts, are consumed. Eating rice, beans, pulses, garlic, and onions is prohibited on this day.

Like most ekadashis, the rites involve worship and prayers to Vishnu. On this day, the avatar Krushna is also worshipped. Devotees properly observing the fast are believed to attain moksha after death.

UTTPATTI EKADASHI VRAT 2017

Utpatti / Utpanna Ekadashi is the Birthday of Ekadashi mata falling in the Krushna paksh of Margashirsha maas - dated 14th November , Tuesday 2017.

The day signifies the birth of Ekadashi tithi...please offer ALMONDS / BADAM in the bhog samagri of Shri Thakurji .

Utpatti Ekadashi is a highly auspicious day dedicated to worship of Lord Vishnu to get rid of all sins and problems.

Those Vaishnavs who want to start the EKADASHI VRAT ACHARYA must indulge in fasting from Uttpatti ekadashi .

Utpatti Ekadashi Vrat Katha :

According to legends, during satyuga, there was a powerful demon named Mur Danav. He had defeated all devta’s and had captured Swargaloka. He started harassing devas who soon approached Lord Vishnu for help.

Lord Vishnu decided to help devta’s. Soon a battle started between Devta’s under leadership of Lord Vishnu and Mur Danav and his huge army. The battle continued for years.

In between, feeling tired, Lord Vishnu wanted to rest. So he went inside a cave named Sinhvati in Badrikashram. Mur Danav followed him and when Lord Vishnu went to sleep, Mur Danav decided to attack Lord Vishnu to kill him. Suddenly a beautiful women emerged from the divine senses of Lord Vishnu.

Looking at her, Mur Danav got lost in her beauty and asked her to marry him. The women replied, “Oh no! It is not that easy to marry me. I have a condition that whoever wins me in a battle will marry me.” Blinded in beauty of the woman, another battle started between that beautiful lady and Mur Danav. Eventually Mur Danav was killed at hands of that beautiful lady.

Soon Lord Vishnu awoke from his sleep to find the dead body of Mur Danav and a beautiful lady standing next to it. Lord Vishnu asked the lady, “Who are You?” She replied i am Ekadashi Mata and i have incarnated from your divine body and i have killed this demon.”

Upon hearing this Lord Vishnu replied, “I am very pleased with you. Ask for a book and I shall give it to you.”

Ekadashi humbly replied, “O Lord! If you are pleased then bestow the boon that one who fast on Ekadashi (my incarnation day) should be cleansed from all sins and should reach your adobe without fail.”

Lord Vishnu replied, ” One who worships you and me on Ekadashi Tithi Day would surely reach my adobe.” and then he disappeared.

Utpatti Ekadashi Puja Vidhi :

The Puja Vidhi performed during Utpatti Ekadashi is similar to that followed during other Ekadashi’s.

On the day of Utpatti Ekadashi, devotees worship Lord Vishnu with great devotion and chant his name or his mantra throughout the day.

Devotees observe a strict fast which is broken on the next day, i.e., on dwadashi day during the parana time. Those who are unable to keep a whole day fast keep a partial fast by consuming fruits and milk and avoid eating rice and other grains for the whole day.

Utpatti Ekadashi Mantra :

You can chant any one of these Vishnu Mantra and Slokas on this auspicious day of Utpatti Ekadashi – Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya Mantra, Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram or Vishnu Ashtottaram.

GOPMAAS VRATAACHARYA - 2017

Margashirsh month in traditional way is observed as Gop maas in Braj, Vrundavan and by several Krushna sects especially Pushtimarg. Gopmaas is from November 5th to December 3rd 2017 . The month is considered dear to Shri Krushna.
 
Staunch Krushna devotees offer daily prayers in Krushna Temples. Braj Gopikas when young wanted Nand Baba's son Shree Krushna as their husband / pati so they observed Katyayani Vrat on the banks of Shri YAMUNAJI ...performing ritual bathing and poojan of Katyayani Mata .

Parmatma Shree Krushna says - one who bathes in Yamuna River in this month , attains me easily . That is why Braj Gop Kumarikas observed fast and worshiped KATYAYANI MATA on the banks of Yamuna ji in Braj - according to 10th Canto, 22nd Chapter of Bhagavat Puran.

om katyayani maha maye , maha yogini dheeshwari 
Nand Gopsutam devim , pati me kurute namah _/\_

 
A unique feature of the month is the taking care of domestic animals especially cow and ox.
 
Once Shri Ramchandraji was passing through one Ashram situated in Dandakaranya inhabiting 16,000 Rushis, Rushis mesmerized by the divine charming personality of Shri Ramchandraji. They requested Ram to accept them as His beloved. Ram promised to satisfy them in Krushna avatar. Rushis became 16,000 Kumarikas in Krushna avatar. Inorder to attain Shri Krushna as their husband Kumarikas observed Vrat and Yamuna Snaan from the first day of the dark half of Margshirsh maas known as Gopmaas.

In Pushti Marg, the four main sakhis (Shri Radha, Shri Lalita, Shri Chandravali and Shri Yamuna) serve the Lord during the year. Each sakhi’s term of service lasts three months. During the winter months of Kartik, Maghsar and Poosh, Shree Lalitaji serves the Lord.

Maghsar or Gop Maas :

Maghsar-mas is also known as the “Gop-Maas” or "Gopya Maas", where the leela in this month is gopya i.e. secret.

In this month, the kirtans of Vratcharya (time when gopies performed special penances) are especially sung before Shree Prabhu and we also celebrate the "Chappanbhog", a veritable feast with innumerable delicacies being offered to the Lord. Margshirsh month is considered to be "Sarvottam" i.e. the best, amongst all the months. This is mainly due to what the Lord Himself said in the 11th Skandh of Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran i.e.

"Masanam Margashirshoham NakShattranaam Tathabhijitam" (11-16-27)

In the Vibhuti Yog of Shrimad BhagwadGita, Shree Krushna also states that, "Masanam Marghashirshoham Rutunam Kusumakar".

Hemante Prathame Maase Nand Vraj Kumarika ||

Cherurhvishyam Bhujjanam Katyayaniarchayanvratam||

In the first month of Hemant Rutu (winter), the Vraj Kumarikas (little girls of Vraj) performed the Vrat (penance) of Katyayani devi. The Vrat consisted of them waking up before dawn to take a dip in the holy waters of Shri Yamuna Maharani ji . They sang the praises of Hari as they went towards the sacred river. On the banks of the holy river, they made an idol of the Devi was made from the sacred sand (valuka ) of Shree Yamune Maharani and worshiped it with flowers and food. They did this Vrat to obtain Shree Prabhu as their husband.

At the end of the Vrat, Shree Prabhu did the "Vastraharan" Leela of the Vraj-kumarikas, snatching their clothes and jewels as they bathed in Shri Yamuna. The Lord returned these once the girls had unreservedly declared their love for Shri Hari, openly and publicly !

The color of Shrungar during this month is generally dark i.e. “Shyam”.

After the “Gop-mas”, comes the Poosh, also known as “Dhanur-mas”, and the season of festivals continues.

MAARGSHIRSH MAAS SIGNIFICANCE -

Margashirsha Significance -

 

Margashirsha month is full of devotion and dedication.There is a great importance of Lord Krushna worship in this month. Visiting and performing Tarpan at religious places is considered favorable . It is believed that performing pitra puja  gives peace and salvation to the soul of ancestors. Those who were not able to perform shraddha can do tarpan on the amavasya  for salvation of dead ancestors.

As per the ancient scriptures, it is very important to please dead ancestors before the almighty god. People who have pitra dosha in their kundali, devoid of pleasure of a child, or when Rahu is debilitated in the ninth house should definitely observe fast on this amavasya. Fulfillment of this fast gives desirable results. According to Vishnu purana, by observing this fast all the deities Lord Brahma, Indra, Rudra, Ashwini kumar, Surya, Agni, birds, animals, and evils can be pleased along with dead ancestors by observing this fast.

 In Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krushna himself says that he is the Margashirsha month out of all the months. In Satyug, Devas considered the first day of Margashirsha month to be the beginning of the year,baths should be taken in rivers and Tulsi and roots of Tulsi plant should be used. Namo Narayanaya mantra or Gayatri mantra should be recited while taking a bath. Devotees can be seen involved in Bhajans, Kirtans etc. throughout the month. There are Prabhat Feri of these devotees which can be seen early morning.

Just like other months including Kartik, Magh, Vaishakh etc. taking baths in river Ganga is also considered sacred. Margashirsha Purnima is considered very important. Lord Satyanarayana should be worshipped on the day of Margashirsha Purnima as it relieves of all problems and sins. Donations and charities are considered important in the month of Margashirsha amavasya. The observers should worship Lord Satyanarayana on this day. Reciting Satyanarayan katha gives pleasurable results. Annpoorna Jayanti is observed on the Poornima day.

The onset of Margashirsha month is said celebrated in the devotion of Lord Krushna. This month is related to the onset of Mrigasira star. According to the astrologers, the purnima tithi of this month begins from Mrigashira nakshatra. This is the reason why this month is known as Margashirsha maas. This month is also known as Magsar, Agahan and Agrahayan. Donations, baths etc are of great importance during this month. Lord Krushna told the importance of this month to Gopis and said that taking a bath in the Yamuna river during this month gets a person closer to him. Hence, taking baths in a river is considered extremely sacred during this month.

  1. Kalabhairav Jayanti - Kalabhairav Jayanti is the birth anniversary of fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation.

  2. Utpanna Ekadashi - Utpanna Ekadashi is one of the twenty four Ekadashi vrats which are observed to seek blessing of Lord Vishnu.

  3. Vivah Panchami - On Vivah Panchami day Lord Rama and Goddess Sita were married and this day is celebrated as marriage anniversary of Rama and Sita.

  4. Gita Jayanti - Gita Jayanti day symbolizes the birth of Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus.

  5. Mokshada Ekadashi - Mokshada Ekadashi is one of the twenty four Ekadashi vrats which are observed to seek blessing of Lord Vishnu.

  6. Dattatreya Jayanti - Dattatreya Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Hindu deity encompassing the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, collectively known as Trimurti.

  7. Annapurna Jayanti - Annapurna Jayanti is observed annually on Purnima in the month of Margashirsha as per Hindu lunar calendar.

Prabodhini Ekadashi Vrat - 2017

The auspicious day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi / Prabodhini Ekadashi in 2017 is on October 31, in the Shukl paksh of Kartik Maas. Dev Uthani Ekadashi helps to attain liberation, commences the marriage season, and gives immense benefits to the devotees.

Offering of Kachori is a must to Shri Thakurji on this day. From this day woollen bedding is offered to Shri Thakurji .

 The occasion of Dev Uthani Ekadashi marks the end of the period of four months of Chaturmas. The period of four months, before the Dev Uthani Ekadashi, is considered to be the sleeping period of Lord Vishnu. It is said that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep called the Yoga Nidra, on Devshayani Ekadashi and wakes up after the four month duration,

Before going ahead and completing all the traditional rituals of Prabodhini Ekadashi or Dev Uthani Ekadashi, let’s have some more knowledge about this glorious day.

Significance Of The Day-

Dev Uthani Ekadasi holds a lot of significance amongst the Hindus. It is said to be the start of an auspicious timing, as it ends the time of Lord Vishnu’s sleep and he wakes up on this very day. People observe fast on Prabodhini Ekadashi. It is believed that if someone observes fast on the day of Dev-Prabodhini Ekadashi, his/her sins get abolished, even though, the sins were committed in past life.

It is said that those who do not consume food at all on the day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi, get rid of the sins of past seven births. It is firmly believed that observing the Dev Uthani Ekadashi fast, helps in attaining liberation and gives immense benefits. It is considered highly meritorious and purifying to take bath on the day of Prabodhini Ekadashi, which is not even received by taking bath at a pilgrimage.

Legend Of Dev Uthani Ekadashi-

As per the legend of the Dev Uthani Ekadashi, Goddess Lakshmi was quite unhappy with the unusual sleeping of Lord Vishnu. Sometimes, Lord Vishnu used to sleep for numerous days and sometimes, he remained awake for so many days. Goddess Lakshmi told Lord Vishnu that she is not happy with this and needs Lord Vishnu to find a solution. She also told him that even the Devas, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, had to wait for long to meet him. Lord Vishnu assured Goddess Lakshmi at that time that he would find a solution to this problem.

After few days, the Devas (demigods) and the saints reached Lord Vishnu and complained that a demon named Sankhyayan, has stolen the Vedas. He had done so as he wished that human beings should get deprived of the knowledge of the religious literature. He also wanted that the epitome of evil should spread all around. Lord Vishnu promised all of them that he would bring back the Vedas. Lord Vishnu had a fight with Sankhyayan and defeated him. He took over all the Vedas from the demon and returned them back to the Devas. He also said to Goddess Lakshmi that now he will go for a continuous sleep of four months. Hence, this durations is called the Chaturmas.

 Rituals Of The Day -

The observer of the Prabodhini Ekadashi fast should wake up early in the morning. After taking bath, the devotees offer prayers to Lord Vishnu. Also, on the day of Devuthani Ekadasi, the famous Pandarpur Yatra is carried at the Lord Vitthal temple. Along with this, as a part of the rituals, the devotees conduct the marriage of the Tulsi plant and Lord Vishnu, in form of Shaligram, which is known as Tulsi Vivah.

The ritual of Tulsi Vivah is completed on the next day of Dev Uthani Ekadashi. So, on this Dev Uthani Ekadashi or the Prabodhini Ekadasi, do follow all these rituals and conduct the Tulsi Vivah, to bring happiness in married life.

RAMA EKADASHI VRAT 2017.

Rama Ekadashi is in the Krushna Paksha of ‘Kartik maas ' on 15th October 2017 Sunday Rama Ekadashi falls four days before the celebrations of Diwali, the festival of lights. This ekadashi is also referred as ‘Rambha Ekadashi’ or ‘Kartik Krushna Ekadashi’. It is a popular conviction that Hindu devotees can wash away their sins by keeping a sacred fast on this day. Remember to offer Banana in the bhog samagri of Shri Thakurji .
 
Rituals of Rama Ekadashi:
  • Fasting is an important ritual on the day of Rama Ekadashi. This ritual starts from ‘dashami’, a day before the actual ekadashi. On this day too devotees refrain from certain foods and consume only ‘saatvik’ meal once, before sunset. On ekadashi, they do not eat at all. The end of the fasting ritual called as ‘Parana’ occurs on the ‘dwadashi’ tithi. Even for those not fasting, consuming rice and grains on any ekadashi is strictly prohibited.
  • On the day of Rama Ekadashi devotees get up early and take a holy bath in any water bodies. Lord Vishnu is worshipped with devotion on this day. Fruits, flowers, incense sticks and dhoop to Lord Vishnu. Devotees prepare a special ‘Bhog’ and offer it to their deity. An aarti is performed and then the ‘Prasad’ is distributed among the family members.
  • ‘Rama’ is another name for Goddess Lakshmi. Therefore on this auspicious day, devotees also offer prayers to Devi Lakshmi along with Lord Vishnu to seek the blessings of prosperity, health and happiness.
  • The observer of the Rama Ekadashi fast maintains vigil all through the night. They contribute in the bhajans or kirtans organised on this day. Reading ‘Bhagavad Gita’ on this day is believed to be auspicious.

Significance of Rama Ekadashi:

According to ‘Brahma-Vaivarta Purana’, it is believed that one who observes the sacred Rama Ekadashi fast will be freed from all his/her sons, even those that are the same to killing a Brahmin. A person who hears the glories of Rama Ekadashi will attain salvation and reach the supreme abode of Sri Hari Vishnu. It is also believed that the merits of observing Rama Ekadashi are even more than performing 100 Rajasuya Yagyas or 1000 Ashvamedha Yagyas. By worshipping God Vishnu with devotion on the day of Rama Ekadashi, the person will be able to overcome all the obstacles in his/her life and achieve immense success.

KARTIK MAAS 2017

The auspicious month for austerities Kartik maas - starts from 5th October - 4th November - 2017 
 
Sutaji said to the great sages: "The sin-destroying month of Kartik is said to be endowed with divine influence. It is ever so dear to Lord Vishnu and is the bestower of both worldly pleasures and moksha (salvation)."
 
 Various Hindu sacred texts have mentioned the list of basic rituals and customs of Kartik maas. Kartik is the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar.Kartik Maas is described in the scriptures as the best among months for performing austerities.
 
some festivals in Kartik maas -
 
Karwa Chauth , Ahoi ashtami , Ekadashi , Vaagh Baras , Dhanteras , Narak Chaturdashi , Diwali , Govardhan Pooja ,Annkoot, Bhai Duj, Labh Panchami ,Surya Shashthi , Ekadashi , Kartik Poornima .
 
The rituals are as follows:
 
Bathing in Bramh Mahurat - performing Shri Hari Vishnu poojan , reading SHRI VISHNU SAHASTRANAAM is meritorious.
 
Damodar worship - recital of Damodar ashtakam is recommended.
 
Gopi Geet recital during evenings is advised - as Braj Gopikas sang it after Shri Krushna vanished from their company.
 
One  who happily reads the Bhagavad Gita in the month of Kartik does not return to the world of birth and death. 
 
One who for the entire month of Kartik eats only once a day, becomes very famous , powerful and heroic.
 
Japa - chanting the holy names of the Lord. As per our scriptures, if somebody performs even a little worship of Lord Shri Hari in this month, He offers that devotee His own abode.
 
Deep Daan (offering lamps) - Worship the Lord by offering lamps (diyas), flowers, incense, food, etc. Lighting a diya before the Lord is called as "deep-daan" and affords immense religious merits when performed during the Kartik month.
 
In the Padma Purana, Kartik Mahatmya, there is a very famous story of a mouse.
 
In a temple of Lord Vishnu, there was a mouse who used to eat the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by devotees to Him. One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished. While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth. Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Lord's Deity form and thus died due to fire. But Lord Sri Vishnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His aarti. In the end, He gave her liberation, the highest destination. 
 
If somebody lights a lamp in the temple of Lord Shri Hari even for a short time (in the month of Kartik), then whatever sins, he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed."
 
Of all gifts, the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal."
 
The Pushkar Puran states, "The person who lights the lamp of sesame (til) oil in the name of Lord Shri Hari in the month of Kartik (during Sandhya) gets unlimited prosperity, beauty, blessedness and wealth."
 
Brahmacharya - During Kartik month, one should refrain from indulging in sex and should practice Brahmacharya.
 
Worship of Tulsi Devi in Kartik is the bestower of innumerable virtues. As per our scriptures, the religious merits obtained from bathing at Prayag, death in Kashi, and study of the scriptures are acquired simply through the worship of the Tulsi plant. During Kartik month, one should specially light a diya with ghee near the Tulsi plant. Applying tilak on the forehead using Tulsi ji's mitti (sand) in Kartik bestows good fortune (saubhagya).
 
Give Charity (daan) of woollen blankets , grains etc.
 
Perform austerities - Lord Shiva said to His son Kartikeya , "Dear son ! One who takes a bath before sunrise in the month of Kartik is absolved of all sins." A bath during the Brahma-murat in this month at home as well affords the same religious merits as bathing in holy places of pilgrimage like Gangaji, Kashi, etc. By sleeping on the ground during Kartik, one is entitled to the same religious merits as obtained by donating a piece of land to Brahmins during the solar and lunar eclipses.
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