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Showing posts from August 19, 2008

Mahalaya Shradh – Pitru Paksha Shraddh in 2008

Update - You can find details of Pitru Paksha Shradh 2010 in this article. Pitr Paksh Shradh, or Pitru Paksha Shraddh, is the annual rituals dedicated to dead parents, relatives and ancestors that are performed in the Krishna Paksha (dark phase) of the Ashwin month in Hindi calendar and on Bhadrapad in other regional calendars. The Mahalaya Sharadh Pitru Paksh fortnight begins with Purnima in Ashwin month. It is believed that the Shradh performed during this period is highly auspicious as it reaches the dead relatives immediately and therefore their souls rest in peace. In 2008, Pitru Paksha Shraddh begins on September 15 and ends on September 29 with Mahalaya Shradh. It must be noted here that Mahalaya Shradh begins in the afternoon on September 28 and ends on noon on September 29. Mahalaya is usually performed in the early morning and therefore most people will be performing the rituals on September 29 morning. September 29 is also Somvati Amavasi. Amavasi on Monday (Somvar). This m…

Jhapan Festival – the Snake Festival Dedicated to Goddess Manasa in Bankura District in West Bengal

Jhapan festival is observed on the last day in the Shraban month (July – August) in Bengali calendar and is dedicated to the snake Goddess Manasa. It is a sort of continuation of the Nag Panchami festival observed a few weeks earlier. Jhapan is today mainly noted for the live display of Nagas or snakes in Bishnupur or Vishnupur, which is around 200 km west from Kolkata. In its true sense, Jhapan is a form of Nature Worship. Jhapan is observed mainly in the western parts of West Bengal and is largely of tribal origin. Goddess Manasa or Manasha, the snake goddess, is worshipped throughout the region. Special idol of Goddess Manasa is made and on the festival day it is carried around the villages. There are several folk tales dedicated to Goddess Manasa and most of them extol of the need for man to live in harmony with nature.The day is of great significance for snake chambers in the region and they display their snakes on the day. Some even show their affection by kissing it. Jhapan f…

Shri Krishna Jayanti Celebrations in Braj Bhumi – the birthday of Lord Krishna in Mathura and Vrindavan

Krishna Janmashtami or Shri Krishna Jayanti is celebrated in India and around the world. But none of it will be able to match the celebrations held at Mathura and Vrindavan. Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir or the two temples at Sri Krishna Janmashthan, the exact place Shri Krishna was born, is the main center of celebrations in Mathura. It is also known as Brij Bhumi and thousands of people converge here on the day of Lord Krishna's birth anniversary. In 2017, Krishna Janmashtami in Mathura and Vrindavan is on August 15. In RanganathTemple at Vrindaban the birthday celebrations will be observed on August 15. Then there is the Latta Ka Mela celebration onAugust 26.

The main Krishna Janmashtami celebrations are held at Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Nandgaon and begin at midnight. The entire area is also referred as Brij Bhumi or Braj Bhumi.

Idols of Lord Krishna in the various temples in Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Nandgaon will be decorated with new Jardozi cloth and orname…

Hartalika Teej Vrat 2008

Hartalika Teej Vrat is an important Hindu fasting dedicated to Goddess Parvati in North India. It is one among the three Teej festivals observed in North India. The other two are Hariyali Teej and Kajari Teej. Hartalika is observed mainly in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and is some parts of Maharashtra. There is a widespread belief that by observing Hartalika Teej Vrat unmarried women will get desired husband. In 2008, the date of Hartalika Teej Vrat is September 2. Hartalika Teej Vrat is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women observe the Vrat for a happy married life. Hartalika Teej is based on the intense austerities (tapas) observed by Goddess Parvathi to get Lord Shiva as her husband. It is believed that Goddess Parvati will bless those women who observe the Vrat. The fasting rules of Hartalika Teej Vrat are very tough and some women even don’t drink water during the fasting period. You may also like to readHow to do Hartalika Teej…

Shri Ramakrishna on Avatar or Divine Incarnation

Think not that Rama and Sita, Krishna and Radha are mere allegories and not historical personages, or that the scriptures are true only in their inner or esoteric meaning. Nay, those personages were human beings of flesh and blood just as you are; but because they were divinities, their lives can be interpreted both historically and allegorically. The Avataras are to Brahman what waves are to the ocean.
Shri Ramakrishna