Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Hanumath Jayanti Festival

                                                 Hanumath Jayanti Festival

Hanumath Jayanti  is celebrate the birthday of Lord Hanuman on the 15th day of Shukla Paksha, during Chaitra month also known as (the Chaitra Purnima). Lord Hanuman also known as the Vanara god's birthday is widely known as Hanuman Jayanti or Hanumath Jayanti.
 Shri Hanuman is regarded as the God of power, strength and knowledge. He is known as the ‘param bhakt’ of lord Rama and is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He was born to Kesari and Anjani on the Chaitra Shukla Purnima (Chaitra Shukla Purnima is the Full Moon Day on the Hindu Calendar Month of Chaitra) that is why, he is known as ‘KESERI NANDAN’ and ‘ANJANEYA’.

In India, there are hundreds and thousands of temples dedicated to Hanuman. In all the Vaishnava temples, there is at least a shrine dedicated to him. Devotees worship and pray to him to remove the obstacles in the path of their devotional service. In our temple there is a small shrine for the Deity of Hanuman near the entrance of Prahlada Narasimha Temple.
In various parts of the country, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on different days. In some places (especially in Maharashtra) it is observed on Chaitra Purnima. In Tamilnadu and Kerala, it is celebrated in the month of Margazhi (December – January). As per the Odiya calendar it is celebrated on the first day of Vaishaka month. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh it is celebrated on Vaishaka Krishna Dashami, the 10th day of the waning moon in the month of Vaishaka. In our temple, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated as per the local tradition on Vaishaka (May) Krishna Paksha Dashami (May 21, 2017).
The celebration starts in the morning with a special abhisheka for the Deity of Hanuman. After the abhisheka, Hanuman is adorned in a special alankara with butter and dry fruits. A garland made of vada (a doughnut shaped south-Indian snack made of urad dhal) is also offered.

How to Celebrate Hanuman Jayanti Festival:-

Celebrations on Hanuman Jayanti began early in the day with special puja being performed by devotees. Devotees perform holy Puja in temples dedicated to Sree Hanuman or at Home. People in India organize special prayers for Lord Hanuman to get rid of evil spirits. The God is known for its magical powers. Prayers and Hymns are sung all day long in various Hanuman temples dedicated to the lord. Hanuman is considered as a symbol of Power and great strength in Hindu mythology. He is believed to have carried a whole mountain in his shoulder. On auspicious day of Hanuman Jayanti, People apply red Sindur from Lord's feet on their foreheads. This is considering being a ritual for good health and good luck.
Some of the important puja rituals include offering red vermillion with ghee to the idol of Hanuman. Red flowers, rui leaves with areca nut, fruits especially bananas, ladoos are offered and diyas are lit. Devotees recite the Hanuman Chalisa and Bajrang Baan and perform ‘arti’. It is believed that Hanuman was born at sunrise, so recitations and poring over religious texts is done at dawn and later ‘prasad’ distribution ceremony is held.
In Western India, the practice of fasting a day before the Hanuman Jayanti is prevalent, whereas in Northern India, the general practice is to observe fasting on the day Hanuman Jayanti is held. Also, it is far more popular among males, especially wrestlers and bodybuilders. It is believed that chanting the Hanuman Chalisa hundred times for hundred days can help one attain the four tenets of Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha.
Hanuman Jayanti is an occasion to remember Lord Hanuman's unbridled devotion to Lord Rama and his feats of daring. In their quest to fight against Ravana, Lord Hanuman led a monkey army and built a bridge to Lanka. He also carried a whole mountain of magic herbs on his shoulders to restore the life of Lakshman. Thus, the ubiquitous standing statue of Lord Hanuman with his heart stretched out open is at once a metaphoric as well as literal illustration of his infinite devotion to Lord Ram, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman.
In the epic tale of Ramayana, the extraordinary role of Lord Hanuman, an exemplary devotee of Lord Rama, is very well detailed out in situations requiring strength, will-power and courage. Lord Hanuman's character is lyrically elaborated in Tulsidas's 'Hanuman Chalisa'. Also invoked as 'Sankat Mochan', Lord Hanuman can avert any ill-effects posed by the nine planets to one's life as well as save one from the influence of evil spirits. In India, Tuesdays and Saturdays are dedicated to the worship of Lord Hanuman to get his blessings for progress, wisdom and fearlessness.
Incidents in Shri Hanuman’s life and their significance
 To provide assistance for the establishment of the Divine Kingdom: The main objective of Shri Hanuman’s life was to destroy obstacles in the establishment of the Divine Kingdom by providing the required warrior element. As a result, the embodied souls who would assist in the establishment of the Divine Kingdom were protected.
 For this reason itself Shri Maruti manifests Himself in various forms during different Yugas. His task in the manifest-unmanifest form never ceases. Shri Maruti has humility in serving (i.e. Dasyabhav) to the extent of 100%. Thus He is constantly active.
 Assisting embodied souls in performing spiritual practice: Shri Maruti has always helped embodied souls do spiritual practice in various Yugas. In the Tretayuga Shri Maruti taught the right path of spiritual practice to the monkeys and helped them.
 Liberating many souls: The embodied souls with an intense desire for spiritual practice were granted liberation by Shri Maruti even at the cost of His own powers. He liberated many souls from existence in their cursed class by using His mace.
 An example of a perfect Sevak: Shri Maruti presented an example of a perfect sevak. As a result, many embodied souls attained Final Liberation by following the same path i.e. Dasyatva. Due to His humility only He was able to narrate the good qualities of Shri Rama to Ravan and when Ravan denigrated Shri Rama, Maruti burnt Lanka and returned safely.

Ritualistic worship:-

1. Ritualistic worship of Shri Hanuman (Maruti) There is a specific science to the ritualistic worship of each Deity. This means that, actions done in a particular way during the ritualistic worship, have a specific underlying science. Just by following these actions, we can get maximum benefit of that Deity’s Principle. The following questions and answers contains the divine knowledge received by the seekers regarding exactly how some routine actions should be performed during the ritualistic worship of Shri Hanuman (Maruti).

Knowledge received about the ritual

1. Applying sindoor
How should a worshipper apply sindoor before starting the ritualistic worship of Maruti?

Sindoor should be applied with the ring finger.

2. Offering flowers
Which flowers should be offered?
 In what number?                         
 What is the method of offering the flowers?

Flowers and leaves of calotropis (ruee)
 Five or multiples of five
 The stems of flowers should be turned towards the Deity

3. Waving incense sticks
Incense sticks of which fragrances should be used?
 How many incense sticks should be used?
 What is the method of waving?

Kewda, Chameli (Jasmine) and Ambar
 Holding them between the index finger and thumb of the right hand, the incense sticks should be waved thrice, in a clockwise direction, in a full circle.

4. Circumambulation
How many circumambulations should be performed around Maruti?

Minimum five but if a worshipper wants to perform more, then they should be in multiples of five.

 Saade-saati of Saturn (Shani) and the ritualistic worship of Shri Hanuman
While enduring a Saade-saati of Saturn, Shri Hanuman is worshiped to reduce the distress caused by Saturn. The ritual is as follows:
Oil is taken in a bowl and 14 black urad grains are put in it. Thereafter one sees the reflection of his face in the oil. The oil is then offered to Shri Hanuman. The method of worship remains the same even when a person is sick and cannot visit a temple. The reflection of negative energy also takes place along with the reflection of ones face. When such oil is offered to Shri Hanuman, the negative energy therein gets destroyed. A true oil-merchant does not sell oil on Saturday because the negative energy causing distress to a person, who is going to offer the oil to Shri Hanuman, is likely to attack the oil merchant. Therefore one should not buy oil from the vendors sitting outside the Shri Hanuman temple but should bring it from his own house instead.

Use of Brahmatej and Kshatratej as required:-

The sacred thread (Janeu) on Hanuman’s left shoulder is a sign of Brahmatej. Since Shri Hanuman is an incarnation of Shri Shiva He has destructive powers too. Yet, because of His devotion to Shri Rama, Vishnu-tatva developed in Him. Since Shri Hanuman adorns Brahmatej and Kshatratej during wars, He can use both as required. During the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Shri Krishna seated Shri Hanuman on Arjun’s chariot (He can be seen on the flag at the top of Arjun’s chariot). Hanuman destroyed the weapons, directed at Arjun and his chariot, in mid-air itself.

Install the warrior posture idol of Shri Hanuman:-

To get the benefit of the gross, manifest and destroyer element, we should avoid installing an idol of Shri Hanuman in the seated posture. Amongst the seven higher Deities (Shiva, Ganapati, Rama, Krishna, Datta, Maruti and Durga), Shri Hanuman’s element (tatva) is of a gross, manifest and destroyer nature. The word ‘Hanuman’ means – ‘One whose ‘roar’ cannot be fathomed even by the Gods’. When Gods perform a destructive activity, they use the ‘Maruti’ element (which moves at the speed of wind) as a medium to appear in the Universe. Hence He is referred to as Shri Hanuman. The roar of Shri Hanuman is capable of activating the element of any higher Deity in the Universe who is engrossed in deep meditation. Similarly, it also possesses the power to shake all the fourteen planes (Saptalok and Saptapatal).
Shri Hanuman in seated posture depicts the unmanifest form of power. Shri Hanuman in a warrior posture depicts the manifest form of power. To obtain the benefit of the gross, manifest and destroyer element, we should avoid installing a seated idol of Shri Hanuman in a temple. Shri Hanuman in a seated position implies He is in deep meditation, wherein His motor organs are in a dormant, inactive state. Thus, the common man will be able to derive very little benefit from this posture of Shri Hanuman. When the spiritual level of an embodied soul is above 60%, it is capable of activating the element present in an idol in meditation, through his devotion.
Blasphemous paintings of Shri Hanuman by MF Hussain !
The modern Ghazhani MF Hussain has painted Shri Hanuman in very blasphemous form along with Sree Sita and Shri Ram. Following are some paintings by Hussain. Shri Hanuman is a symbol of devotion and Divine power. Hindus worshipping Shri Hanuman should take note of his strength and wake up to destroy these despicable modern forms of Rawan, then it will be the true worship of Hanumanji.

Become a Rambhakta and save Hindu Dharma :-

Hindu Dharma is now in great danger due to growing attacks on it from anti-Hindus, socialists, Muslims and Christians. Hindu Dharma is now in search of warriors to protect it from these attacks and to take it very high. You can do it in various easy ways. Because ‘changes do not occur by big miracles, but due to acts well within the common man’s reach’

Pre-birth Story of Hanumath :-

 Once Angira rishi visited Indra in Swarg. Indra welcomed him by arranging a dance by a damsel named Punjiksthala. As soon as she commenced dancing, the rishi closed his eyes to meditate on Paramatma. When the dance ended, the rishi remained silent. Indra then asked him, "O rishi! How was the dance?"
"We were absorbed in meditation of the Almighty. Such dance does not interest us." Indra felt ashamed. However, the ego-filled damsel sneered, "How can such a (fickle) rishi appreciate dancing in Swarg?" Hearing this, Angira cursed her, "Behold! You shall degrade to earth from Swarg. You will be born as a female monkey in the mountain forests."
The whole of Swarg plunged into consternation. The damsel greatly regretted and repented. She repeatedly begged for forgiveness. Finally, the merciful rishi solaced her, "A great devotee of Paramatma will be born to you. He will forever serve Paramatma."

This damsel was the daughter of Kunjar, the king of the monkeys. She married Kapiraj Kesari of Mount Sumeru.
Therefore, Hanumanji manifested as a result of five divine factors:
1. Angira rishi's curse and subsequent blessings
2. Anjani's prayers
3. Shri Mahadevji's (Shiva's) blessings
4. Attainment of Shiva's divine shakti by Vayu deva and
5. The fruit of a Putreshti Yagna
The Shiva Puran cites that since Shiva could not serve Shri Ram in his present form, he inspired the birth of one Rudra from his 11 Rudras, as a monkey, Hanumanji.
Once when Hanumanji was young Surya deva (Sun deity) imbued him with knowledge of countless weapons and mantras. However, his hyperactive nature induced him to think of swallowing the `red, ripened fruit' - the Sun! Before he succeeded, Indra hit him with his Vajra and persuaded him not to. On being hit by the Vajra, his beard - hanu-, became slanted. Therefore he also became known as Hanuman. The "ji" suffix after any name accords respect. Indra then blessed him that he will eternally remain undefeated, victorious. Hanumanji also obtained boons from Varuna deva (water deity) and Yama - deity of death, victory and immortality. From Brahma he obtained the power of inducing fear in enemies, of destroying fear in friends, to be able to change his form at will and to be able to easily travel wherever he wished. From Mahadevji he obtained the boons of longevity, scriptural wisdom and ability to cross the ocean (Padma Puran, Patal Khand, 114, Uttar Khand, 66, Narad Puran, 1.79).
Now Hanumanji attained a supremely formidable form. However as such, he began harassing rishis. Therefore Bhrugu rishi and Angira admonished him that he would forget the ability to use his formidable power and only a divine personality will later guide him to use it appropriately.
Henceforth Hanumanji lived an ordinary simian life in Kishkindha, on Mount Hrushyamuk as Sugriva's advisor. Only when Shri Ramachandra and Lakshman arrived in search of Sita, did the two first meet. (Valmiki Ramayana Kishkindha 1-4). Thus his life turned a new course. Ramchandraji asked him who he was. Gleaning his identity, Hanumanji humbly replied, "O Prabhu! From the body's point of view, I am your das (servant) and From the jiva's view, I am your bhakta."
Pleased with his wise reply, Shri Ram accepted his seva. Hanumanji and Sugriva then gathered and sent a mighty army of monkeys to aid Shri Ram in search of Sita. (V.R.Kishkindha 40-41).
When Hanumanji struck southwards towards Lanka, Ramchandraji gave him his ring. In case he met Sitaji, he would need to show it to prove that he was Shri Ram's envoy. Accompanied by Jambuvan, they all arrived on India's southern shore. Jambuvan graced Hanumanji. This resulted in him recalling his phenomenal power. Uttering "Jai Shri Ram!" Marutsut leaped high across the ocean towards Lanka!

Here, at night, assuming a subtle form, he entered Lanka. He combed through Ravan's palace, yet failed to locate Sitaji.
However during his search his phenomenal level of brahmacharya manifested.
Bhagwan Swaminarayan singularly highlights this in Vachanamrut Jetalpur 2. He avers that while searching for Jankiji (Sitaji), Hanumanji looked at every demoness in Ravan's palace, including Mandodari, Ravan's wife. After leaving, he wondered whether glancing at so many women would affect him (his brahmacharya) adversely? He then realized that he had done this to look for Jankiji by Ramchandraji's command. Additionally, his senses and consciousness by Ramchandraji's grace had not faltered. He then continued his search. In the midst of such allurements, one who remains unallured like Hanumanji, remarked Bhagwan Swaminarayan, is known as a yati.
Throughout the Ramayan one observes that whenever a vexing problem arose warranting diplomacy, Valmiki lauds Hanumanji as a confluence of such virtues as: integrity, valor, intelligence, strength, patience and wisdom. Hanumanji resolved such problems with finesse and devotion. When he finally located Sitaji, to first soothe and gain her trust, since more than likely she'd be frightened and would take him as one of Ravan's mayic form, he began to recite the glory of King Raghu's lineage while hidden among the trees. He then further recited Ramchandraji's glory. Sitaji's misery, loneliness and distress vanished. Charged with joy, she then requested the deity who sang the glory to present himself!

When Ravan's son Indrajit used his miraculous weapons, rendering Shri Ram and Lakshman unconscious, Hanumanji's supreme devotion as the ideal devotee manifested. Advised by the Ayurvedic physician Sushena, to fetch the four types of herbs on mount Dronachal to revive the two, Hanumanji flew there. Not recognizing the herbs, he returned with the whole mountain! This miraculous power arose from his unalloyed devotion to Shri Ram and his brahmacharya.
During Shri Ram's coronation, Sitaji gifted her invaluable pearl necklace to Hanumanji in jubilation. Being a detached and loyal devotee, he cracked a few pearls with his teeth. Not discovering his master inside, he discarded the necklace!
In a packed assembly, when somebody questioned him whether he really had Sita and Ram in his self, he literally tore open his chest to reveal both, in his heart! Seeing such zealous devotion, Ramchandraji embraced him and granted a boon. "Wherever my katha is being recited, you shall always be there... I shall never ever be estranged from you!"
Shri Ramchandraji further added, "O Hanuman! You have helped me countless times. Even if I give my life for you repeatedly, I cannot repay your debt. What then can I give you?" After pausing a few moments he added, "I give you what I possess; I gift you my love and grace!" He then embraced Hanumanji! Such occasions are a true devotee's supreme moments of fulfillment.
Another virtue of Hanumanji that Valmiki lauds is Buddhimataam Varishtham - the supreme among the wise. One well known episode reflects his wisdom. Once Mahadevji visited Shri Ram's court in Ayodhya. Ramchandraji welcomed him by offering a grand seat. He then requested Hanumanji to fetch milk. On fetching the milk, Hanumanji experienced a slight dilemma. Being a pativrata devotee (supremely loyal) of Shri Ram, how could he offer the milk to Mahadevji? Instantly he handed the bowl to his Master. Therefore Ramchandraji pointed out, 'O Hanuman. The guest is Mahadevji. Why do you offer me the milk?'
 Instantly Hanumanji replied, "Prabhu! Mahadevji is such a lofty guest that it would not be fitting for a lowly servant as me to offer him anything. It would only be appropriate for you to offer him the milk!"
 Bhagwan Swaminarayan lauds his glory as: one who has Pativrata - unalloyed bhakti towards Shri Ram (Gadhada III.16), being ideal in dasatva bhakti (Gadhada II.62) and as supreme yati (Jetalpur 2). Muktanand Swami accords him the titles jitendriya - one who has mastered his indriyas and naishthikendra - one who is a naishthik brahmachari. In the Hindu Dharma, he is rightfully venerated as a deva who is an ideal devotee of Ramchandra Bhagwan. The appellation "monkey god" by non-Hindu writers is a flagrant misnomer, depicting their ignorance. This too applies to Shri Ganeshji, who is also a deva and not an elephant god.
In the Vachanamrut then, Bhagwan Swaminarayan exhorts every devotee to imbibe Hanumanji's three foremost virtues of the ideal bhakta; pativrata bhakti, Dasatva bhakti and Naishthik brahmacharya.
In the Shikshapatri, Bhagwan Swaminarayan advocates Hanuman pujan on Aso vad 14 (Kali Chaudash) and enjoins those afflicted by evil spirits to chant the Hanuman Stotram (Shik. 127, 85).
In all the mandirs of the Swaminarayan Sampraday Hanumanji and Ganeshji are consecrated in their own special shrines in the front of the mandir. He is offered special pujan on Saturdays with oil and white ankada flowers( Calotropis gigantea - Swallow wart )

Hanuman Mantram:-

Manojavam Maruttulyavegm
Jitendrium Buddhimatam Varishtham
Vatatmajam Vanarayuthmukhyam
Shri Ramdutam Sharanam Prapdye.

Hanuman Aarti:-

Aarti Kije Hanuman Lala ki, Dustdalan Raghunath kala ki
Jake bal se giriwar kanpe, Rog dosh jake nikat na jhanke
Anjani putra maha bal dayee, Santan ke prabhu sada sahayi
De beera Raghunath pathaye, Lanka jaari seeya soodhi laye
Lanka so koti Samudra Si khaayi, Jat pawansut bar na layee
Lanka Jaari asur sanghare, Seeya Ramjee ke kaaj saware
Lakshman murchhit pare Sakare laye Sajeewan pran ubaare
Paithi patal tori jam kare, Ahiravana ki bhuja ukhare
Baaye bhuja asur dal mare, Dahine bhuja sant jan tare
Sur nar muni jan aarti utare, Jai jai jai Hanuman uchare
Kanchan thal Kapoor lou chhayi, Aarti karat Anjana mayi
Jo Hanuman ji ki Aarti gawe, Basi Bakuntha parampad pawe.


Shri Guru charan saroj raj, nij man mukur sudhari
Varnau Raghubar vimal jasu, jo dayak phal chari
Buddhihin tanu janike, sumiro Pavankumar
Bal buddhi vidya dehu mohi, harahu kalesh vikar.

Jay Hanuman gyan gun sagar, jay Kapis tihun lok ujagar.
Ramdut atulit bal dhama, Anjani putra Pavansut nama.

Pavantanay sankat haran, Mangal murati rup
Ram Lakhan Sita sahit, hriday basahu sur bhup.

Hanuman Chalisa:-

Mahavir vikram Bajrangi, kumati nivar sumati ke sangi
Kanchan baran viraj suvesha, kanan kundal kunchit kesa
Hath vajra aur dhvaja biraje, kandhe munj janeu saje
Shankar suvan Kesrinandan, tej pratap maha jagvandan
Vidyavan guni ati chatur, Ram kaj karibe ko atur
Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiya, Ram Lakhan Sita man basiya
Sukshma rup dhari siyahi dikhava, vikat rup dhari Lanka jarava
Bhim rup dhari asur sanhare, Ramchandra ke kaj sanvare
Laye sanjivan Lakhan jiyaye, Shri Raghubir harashi ur laye
Raghupati kinhi bahut barai, tum mam priya Bharathi sam bhai
Sahas badan tumharo yash gave, asi kahi Shripati kanth lagave
Sanakadik Brahmadi Munisha, Narad Sarad sahit ahisha
Yam Kuber Digpal jahan te, Kavi kovid kahi sake kahan te
Tum upkar Sugrivahin kinha, Ram milai Rajpad dinha
Tumharo mantra Vibhishan mana, Lankeshvar bhaye sabh jag jana
Jug sahasra yojan par bhanu, lilyo tahi madhur phal janu
Prabhu mudrika meli mukh mahi, jaladhi langhi gaye achraj nahin
Durgam kaj jagat ke jete, sugam anugraha tumhare tete
Ram duare tum rakhvare, hot na agya binu paisare
Sab sukh lahai tumhari sarna, tum rakshak kahu ko darna
Aapan tej samharo apai, tino lok hank te kanpe
Bhut pisach nikat nahin ave, Mahabir jab nam sunave
Nase rog hare sab pira, japat nirantar Hanumat bira
Sankat te Hanuman chhudave, man kram bachan dhyan jo lave
Sab par Ram tapasvi raja, tinke kaj sakal tum saja
Aur manorath jo koi lave, soi amit jivan phal pave
Charo jug partap tumhara, hai parsidh jagat ujiyara
Sadhu sant ke tum rakhvare, asur nikandan Ram dulare
Asht siddhi navanidhi ke data, us var din janki mata
Ram rasayan tumhare pasa, sada raho Raghupati ke dasa
Tumhare bhajan Ram ko bhave, janam janam ke dukh bisarave
Antakal Raghuvar pur jai, jahan janma Hari bhakta kahai
Aur devta chit na dharai, Hanumat sei sarva sukh karai
Sankat kate mite sab pira, jo sumre Hanumat balbira
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman gusain, kripa karahu gurudev ke nai
Jo shat bar path kar soi, chhotahin bandi maha sukh hoi
Jo yah padhe Hanuman chalisa, hoi siddhi sakhi gaurisa
Tulsidas sada Hari chera, kije nath hriday mahan dera.

Other benefits of Hanuman Chalisa and Bajran Baan path are:-

- It helps in reducing the effects of Sade Sati
- You can get rid of daunting thoughts by placing Hanuman Chalisa under your pillow.
- It helps in getting rid of the bad deeds which a person has done in this birth or even the previous birth
- It helps you in overcoming all the troubles and hurdles in your life
- It removes all the negativity from your mind and soul
- It bring happiness and peace in the family members
- You can overcome Mangal Dosh with Lord Hanuman’s blessings
- Lord Hanuman being the savoir will help your get relief from any kind of physical illness.
- You can overcome any Black Magic or Tona totka with this puja

With Astrospeak, show you true dedication to Lord Hanuman and get a Hanuman chalisa and Bajrang Baan puja done by us on your behalf. This is going to take place on December 28, 2016.

Learned pandits will perform this puja and will adhere to all the Vedic rituals and rules. We will also send you a link through which you can attend this puja virtually. On the completion of the puja, Prasad will be couriered to you on the address provided.

Prasad will include:-

- An energized reel of “Kalava” or a holy string
- Orange vermilion (Sindoor) offered to Lord Hanuman
- Prasad offered to Lord Hanuman will also be sent
- An energized idol of Lord Hanuman.

How To Observe Hanuman Jayanti Fast:-

 Hanuman Jayanti Vrat, also known as Hanuman Jayanti Upvaas, is observed on the Chaitra Purnima day, that is, a full moon day in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. While in Maharashtra and other western parts of India, Hanuman Jayanti Vrat is observed on the day prior to Hanuman Jayanti, people in North India fast on the actual Hanuman Jayanti day. Unlike most Hindu fasts and vrats that are practiced by women, Hanuman Jayanti Vrat is observed mostly by men, particularly the wrestlers and body builders. Preparations for the festival and fast begin early in the morning. Homes are thoroughly cleaned and idols, body or pictures of Lord Hanuman are purified. These are then smeared with Sindoor and a lamp is lit next.

 Prayers are chanted and sweets and bananas are offered. Devotees recite the Hanuman Chalisa. Depending upon the caliber of a devotee, the Chalisa is repeated several times. The recitation of Hanuman Arati, or Aarti Bajrangbali Ki, marks the end of the prayers. People who opt for observing vrat or upvaas on Hanuman Jayanti keep it from sunrise to sunset. However, people who observe a partial fast consume fruits and milk, with some exceptions of eating Sabudana Kihichdi. The fast is broken by offering puja in the evening or visiting a Hanuman Temple in the neighborhood. However, there are devotees who end their fast only on the next day in the morning.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Baisakhi (or) Vaisakhi - The Harvest Festival


Baisakhi is popular harvest festival celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in Punjab. Celebrated on 13th April every year, it is a celebration for harvesting of the rabi crop( winter wheat crop). It also marks the beginning of a New Year in North India, especially the state of Punjab. The festival is also celebrated as the founding day of Khalsa by 10th Guru of Sikhs, the revered Guru Govind Singh. The festival is a time for relaxation and feasts. It is accompanied with lots of cultural programs and dances. Baisakhi is a state holiday in Punjab. It is celebrated with lot of fervor in the state of Haryana. Men and women buy new clothes, jewellery and organize fairs. It is a time of communal celebration and thanksgiving.

Baisakhi, the harvest festival is also considered as the action of commemorating brotherhood in Sikhism. On this day the Grant Sahib scriptures are placed on a throne and then read out loud.This is usually followed by Kada Prasad being distributed to all the people who have gathered. People also go to the Golden temple, on this day to seek blessings. Baisakhi is celebrated by the Sikh Diaspora all over the world, with traditional dance forms like Bhangra and Gidda along with folk music and feasts.
Beautiful and lively atmosphere at the traditional fairs thanks to the amazing wrestling bouts, acrobatics and other such activities are another reason for the family and loved ones to come together to celebrate the festival. Those celebrating Baisakhi visit Gurdwara for special prayers where the Holy Book is taken for a parade called Nagar Kirtan.
While the Northern state of Punjab pulsates with festivity, the same day is celebrated in the Southern states of Tamil Nadu (Puthandu) and Kerala (Vishu) as well as in the Eastern states of West Bengal (Nabo Varsho) and Assam (Bihu). Even though Baisakhi is essentially a Sikh festival, this is yet another occasion that serves as proof of how much commonality is there in the diversity that is India.
 the harvest festival holds the same significance for the farmers. The celebration is grand and huge. The ladies and gents sing, dance (Giddha and Bhangra), and there are many more sporting events that take place throughout the day. This day holds the same significance like in the ancient times, as it marks the new beginning of the Sikh calendar, where praying, worshiping in Gurdwara, and thanking God for the harvest are done by the followers.
The holy teachings led by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji are still prevalent and practiced across the Sikh community. Langar (the free food) is the part of his teachings, which served free of cost in the Gurdwaras..
Now, you know everything in brief about this glorious festival of Baisakhi, but we don’t stop here because this festival also has special significance in other religions too. Let's read more to make Baisakhi more special.

About Baisakhi Festival:-

Baisakhi has special significance for two of India's major religious groups. For the Hindus, it is the start of the New Year, and is celebrated with requisite bathing, partying, and worshipping. It's believed that thousands of years ago, Goddess Ganga descended to earth and in Her honor, many Hindus gather along the sacred Ganges River for ritual baths. The action is centered in the holy cities along the Ganges in north India, or in Srinagar's Mughal Gardens, Jammu's Nagbani Temple, or anywhere in Tamil Nadu. Hindus plant poles (wrapped in flags of god-embroidered silk) in front of their homes, and hang pots of brass, copper or silver on top.
This day of Baisakhi is otherwise also significance for the Hindus as it was on this day in 1875 that Swami Dayanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj - a reformed sect of Hindus who are devoted to the Vedas for spiritual guidance and have discarded idol worship. Besides, Baisakhi day is of relevance for the Buddhists as Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.
 In Kerala, the festival is called 'Vishu'. It includes fireworks, shopping for new clothes and interesting displays called 'Vishu Kani'. These are arrangements of flowers, grains, fruits, cloth, gold, and money are viewed early in the morning, to ensure a year of prosperity. In Assam, the festival is called Bohag Bihu, and the community organizes massive feasts, music and dancing.
Major attraction of Baisakhi celebrations in villages is the performance of energetic bhangra and gidda folk dance by men and women respectively. This very popular traditional folk dance is performed in-groups on the fast beat of dhol. Dancers perform everyday farming scenes of sowing, harvesting, winnowing and gathering of crops through zestful movements of the body to the accompaniment of ballads.

Significance of Baisakhi in Sikhism:-

Baisakhi is of major importance for the people following Sikh faith. As it was on a Baisakhi Day, in the year 1699 that the Tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh founded Khalsa Panth or the Order of Pure Ones and gave a unique identity to Sikhs. The Sikhs are the only people who celebrate their birthday because they were born on that day as a new nation. There is hardly any group in the world that can boast such a privilege.
On this day the Guru Gobind Singhji administered Amrit (nectar) to his first batch of five disciples making them Singhs, a martial community. The tenth Guru initiated the five Sikhs (Panj Piaras)  who in turn baptised the Guru. Thus distinction between the Guru and disciple was fused and the Guru undoubtedly became the father of the Khalsa nation The duality in spirituality between the Master and disciple (Chela) is observed when the disciple adheres to the Master’s teachings and discipline. The men took on a common surname, Singh ('Lion'), a reminder to be courageous, which they still do to this day. Women take on the name Kaur ('Princess'), to emphasise dignity. The Sikh Gurus exceeded this relationship by giving their followers to adopt their form.
Khalsa is my form.
In the Khalsa do I reside (Guru Gobind Singh)

.By doing so, he eliminated the differences of high and low as people of all classes and castes came forward to adopt this new religion; especially those who had been depressed and despoiled for generations under an obstinate social system. After adopting Sikhism as their new faith they could now discard the stamp of inferiority and attained equality with the highest in the land. Thus Guru Gobind Singhji established that all human beings were equal.

The creation of Khalsa nation gave rise to 3 important aspects of Sikhism namely the Khalsa civilisation; the Sikh form and the manner of implementing the philosophy of Guru Nanak as prescribed – Shabad surat abyass:

Suraṯ sabaḝ bẖav sĝgar ṯarī▫ai Nĝnak nĝm vakẖĝṇe.

By Surat-Shabad do thou cross the ocean of phenomena
By uttering His Nam, O Nanak

The mission of Guru Nanak was achieved after the sacrifices of the Gurus, sacrifice by the four  sons of Guru Gobind Singh and numerous sacrifices by shahid Singhs. These three aspects encompassed and protected all that was achieved during the 314 years.

Baisakhi is celebrated across the globe wherever there are Sikh people. They are reminded of the great baptismal ceremony of 13th April 1699 when the first five Sikhs were initiated into the Khalsa Order. Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi by participating in special prayer meetings organized at gurdwaras. They also carry out joyful Baisakhi processions to mark the day.

If the Sikh religion had not been created   the work done for 314 years would have been dissipated and at the most the followers of the Gurus would have been dubbed Nanak panthis similar to Kabir panthis. The message of the Gurus would have been lost. And Nanak would have become another object of worship. The Sikhs would have been prey to pseudo Gurus. This scenario is evidenced by the fact that even today some non-practicing Sikhs have gone astray and adopted fake Gurus and others digressed almost into idol worship  and forfeiting their faith in gurbani – Bani is Guru and the Guru is Bani.

History of Baisakhi  Festival:-

The Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, installed himself as the Emperor of India in 1657. To achieve his aim he had annihilated almost all his family opposition. Immediately after consolidating his power he embarked on a policy of religious persecution and set upon the process of Islamization of India. The Brahmins were his primary target. He levied unethical religious taxes against Hindus, and shut their temples and places of learning. He had been convinced by his clerics that once the Brahmins accepted Islam the others would follow. The Brahmins, particularly the inhabitants of Kashmir, looked for some dynamic leadership to fight this subversion.  Going to Battle!
Painting of Guru Teg Bahadhur ji The Brahmins of Kashmir approached Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675), the ninth in the line of Sikh Gurus, who was on the throne of the Sikh religion. They asked him for guidance on combatting the atrocities committed by the Mughal Emperor.
At the time of their meeting, Guru Tegh Bahadur's nine year old son, Gobind Rai, was sitting beside him. As Guru Tegh Bahadur went into a deep state of contemplation, his young son asked the reason of his repose. Guru Tegh Bahadur said that the matter was of vital importance; the world is aggrieved by oppression; and no brave man had yet come forward who was willing to sacrifice his life to free the earth from the burden of' Aurangzeb's persecution of Hindus. Young Gobind Rai replied: "For that purpose who is more worthy than thou who art at once generous and brave." So after entrusting the Guruship to Gobind Rai, Guru Tegh Bahadur proceeded towards Delhi, the seat of the Mughal Empire.

Upon reaching Delhi, the Guru and his loyal attendants were immediately imprisoned by Aurangzeb. While in prison, Guru Tegh Bahadur foresaw the beginning of his ecclesiastic journey. To test his son's courage and capability to carry on the Guru's mission, he wrote him saying, "My strength is exhausted, I am in chains and I can make not any efforts. Says Nanak, God alone is now my refuge. He will help me as He did his Saints." In reply young Guru Gobind Rai wrote: "I have regained my Power, my bonds are broken and all options are open unto me. Nanak, everything is in Thine hands. It is only Thou who can assist Thyself."
Guru Teg Bahadur offered his life for the freedom of conscience and conviction of anyone belonging to a faith other than his own. His spirit of sacrifice and courage was kindled into the heart of Gobind Rai.
Hundreds of people gathered around the place where Guru Tegh Bahadur was martyred in Delhi. The executioner abandoned the Guru's body in the open. No one came forward openly to claim the body to perform religious rites. Even ardent disciples withdrew unrecognized. Taking advantage of the stormy weather that followed the execution, two persons covertly took the body of Guru Tegh Bahadur for cremation. This cowardice fomented in Gobind Rai an urge to endow his Sikhs with a distinct identity.

With the criteria of courage and strength to sacrifice, Gobind Rai became the tenth Sikh Guru. He wanted to instill these principles in his downtrodden followers. He wanted to uplift their morale to combat the evil forces of injustice, tyranny, and oppression.
He was 33 years old when he had Divine inspiration to actuate his designs. Every year at the time of Baisakhi (springtime), thousands of devotees would come to Anandpur to pay their obeisance and seek the Guru's blessings. In early 1699, months before Baisakhi Day, Guru Gobind Rai sent special edicts to congregants far and wide that that year the Baisakhi was going to be a unique affair. He asked them not to cut any of their hair -- to come with unshorn hair under their turbans and chunis, and for the men to come with full beards.
On Baisakhi Day, March 30, 1699, hundreds of thousands of people gathered around his divine temporal seat at Anandpur Sahib. The Guru addressed the congregants with a most stirring oration on his divine mission of restoring their faith and preserving the Sikh religion. After his inspirational discourse, he flashed his unsheathed sword and said that every great deed was preceded by equally great sacrifice: He demanded one head for oblation. Guru Gobind Singh asking for a head....After some trepidation one person offered himself. The Guru took him inside a tent. A little later he reappeared with his sword dripping with blood, and asked for another head. One by one four more earnest devotees offered their heads. Every time the Guru took a person inside the tent, he came out with a bloodied sword in his hand.

Thinking their Guru to have gone berserk, the congregants started to disperse. Then the Guru emerged with all five men dressed piously in white. He baptized the five in a new and unique ceremony called pahul, what Sikhs today know as the baptism ceremony called Amrit. Then the Guru asked those five baptized Sikhs to baptize him as well. He then proclaimed that the Panj Pyare-- the Five Beloved Ones -- would be the embodiment of the Guru himself: "Where there are Panj Pyare, there am I. When the Five meet, they are the holiest of the holy."
He said whenever and wherever five baptized (Amritdhari) Sikhs come together, the Guru would be present. All those who receive Amrit from five baptized Sikhs will be infused with the spirit of courage and strength to sacrifice. Thus with these principles he established Panth Khalsa, the Order of the Pure Ones.
At the same time the Guru gave his new Khalsa a unique, indisputable, and distinct identity. The Guru gave the gift of bana, the distinctive Sikh clothing and headwear. He also offered five emblems of purity and courage. These symbols, worn by all baptized Sikhs of both sexes, are popularly known today as Five Ks: Kesh,unshorn hair; Kangha, the wooden comb; Karra, the iron (or steel) bracelet; Kirpan, the sword; and Kachera, the underwear. By being identifiable, no Sikh could never hide behind cowardice again.
Political tyranny was not the only circumstance that was lowering peoples' morale. Discriminatory class distinctions (--the Indian "caste" system--) promoted by Brahmins and Mullahs were also responsible for the peoples' sense of degradation. The Guru wanted to eliminate the anomalies caused by the caste system. The constitution of the Panj Pyarewas the living example of his dream: both the high and low castes were amalgamated into one. Among the original Panj Pyare, there was one Khatri, shopkeeper; one Jat, farmer; one Chhimba, calico printer/tailor; one Ghumar, water-carrier; and one Nai, a barber. The Guru gave the surname ofSingh(Lion) to every Sikh and also took the name for himself. From Guru Gobind Rai he became Guru Gobind Singh. He also pronounced that all Sikh women embody royalty, and gave them the surname Kaur(Princess). With the distinct Khalsa identity and consciousness of purity Guru Gobind Singh gave all Sikhs the opporunity to live lives of courage, sacrifice, and equality.
The birth of the Khalsa is celebrated by Sikhs every Baisakhi Day on . Baisakhi 1999 marks the 300th anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh's gift of Panth Khalsa to all Sikhs everywhere.

When did Baisakhi Celebrated:-

 According to Nanakshahi or Sikh Calendar, Baisakhi Festival is celebrated on the first day of Vaisakh month (April-May). According to English calendar, the date of Baisakhi corresponds to April 13 every year and April 14 once in every 36 years. This difference in Baisakhi dates is due to the fact that day of Baisakhi is reckoned according to solar calendar and not the lunar calendar. Baisakhi is celebrated throughout the country with different names and with variant rituals. Baisakhi date coincides with 'Rongali Bihu' in Assam, 'Naba Barsha' in Bengal, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and 'Pooram Vishu' in Kerala.

 Rituals Follewed in Baisakhi:-

In the morning of Baisakhi, people take part in a big nahan (bath) at all the rivers and tanks. From early morning there is a great rush of people. Dressed in festive attire, people go to temples and gurdwaras with mithai and money (which is supposed to be one-tenth of the total produce or whatever they are capable of donating). They give 'thanks' for their fortune and pray for a better crop the next year. The day is considered very auspicious and big melas (fairs) of cows and buffaloes are organised in the village grounds, where many financial transactions take place. Also, fun melas enliven the landscape in every town and village. Here the old and the young in colourful clothes and turbans come to enjoy the mela. The giant wheels and the merry-go-rounds (set up in virtually no time since they are portable and every village has hand-manoeuvred contraptions) provide great entertainment and joy. Eating is the order of the day, and chaat, ice-cream, flossy sugar lollipops and other delicacies are in great demand. Balloons and all varieties of wooden and clay toys are displayed for sale. People take other household or daily requirement articles like pots and pans to sell and buy and the hustle and bustle attracts almost everyone to the fair.

Sometimes, a new-born baby is taken to the temple or gurdwara and the first drink of water is given to it with a rose petal. (Of course, if the baby is a few days old, one is not supposed to deny water to a baby for long.) For the Sikhs, Baisakhi represents a very sanctified day. It is on this day that Guru Gobind Singh initiated the Tanch Piyara' (the five loved ones). He decorated the Khalsa (Khalsa-Sajaya) at Anandpur Sahib near Chandigarh and gave these five people (all from the scheduled castes, and from different provinces of India, e.g., from Punjab, from Uttar Pradesh, from Andhra Pradesh and from Bihar) the first sermon on being a true Sikh. He made them promise not to cut their hair or beard; to always keep a comb; always wear an iron bangle on one arm; always wear an underwear; and always carry a kirpan (a small sword so as to be ever-ready for battle). (Guru Gobind Singh was then fighting the invading Muslims.) Baisakhi becomes a really sacred and pious day for the Sikh community and a true 'Khalsa' rejoices in it.
One of the most sacred pilgrimage centres for the Punjabis, especially for the Sikhs, is Arnritsar, where the Golden Temple is situated. This temple is known as 'Hari Mandir\ It has a huge tank all round the temple and anyone bathing in it is purified, and his or her sins are washed away. On Baisakhi day, water is brought from all the sacred rivers of India and poured into this sarouar (mini-ocean).
Every household teaches its children to give dhaan on Baisakhi day which is the first day of the solar calendar, so that throughout the year the feeling of charity remains in the heart.

Baisakhi Celebrations – Welcoming the Festival of Joy and Happiness:-

Baisakhi is celebrated with great pomp and extreme happiness, especially by the Sikhs. The gurdwaras are cleaned and decorated. Many people throng to the gurdwaras to offer prayers and seek the blessings of the almighty for the prosperous year ahead. Overall, the Baisakhi celebrations are carried out by the Sikhs in a very well planned manner.
Morning Prayer in the Gurdwaras
 In the morning, the Sikh people take bath and wear the new clothes. The Sikh families then assemble at the gurdwaras to attend a specially organized prayer in the morning. After the prayer is over, the devotees are distributed a sweet known as the ‘Kada Prasad’.

Langar is organized for the Worshippers baisakhi festival:-

 In the afternoon, around lunch time, a langar (vegetarian food) is organized for the devotees in the gurdwara. All the people whether they are rich or poor are equally served the same food. There is no discrimination followed in the gurdwara.

Procession of Guru Granth Sahib:-

 One of the most prominent aspects of Baisakhi celebrations among the Sikh community is a procession (a kind of parade or yatra) of Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture for the Sikhs. During the procession, the devotees dance and sing special prayers.

Worshippers Dance their Heart Out:-

 Any Baisakhi celebration is termed to be incomplete without the memorable dance performances. There are two prominent forms of dance that are performed by the Sikhs – bhangra and gidda. Bhangra is essentially a high energy dance that involves plenty of jumping. It is generally performed by both men and women. Gidda is another folk dance traditionally performed by the women. The dance reflects the celebratory mood of the women and their joyful spirits.

Dress Worn by Men:-

 During the prominent festivals, there is a tradition among the Sikh community to wear the bright color outfits. Men wear the kurta, pajama or lungi and a turban on their heads.

Dress Worn by Women :-

 The Sikh or Punjabi women have two choices when it comes to getting ready for the festival. They can either wear a salwar-kameez or lehenga –choli.

Lip-Smacking Dishes to Eat:-

 Sikhs are very fond of eating scrumptious food. On this day, they prepare various kinds of dishes like the potato curry, sarson ka saag, makki di roti, poori, paneer tikkas, vegetable pakora and lots of delicious dishes.

Traditional people give charities on this day to the Brahmin and the poor in order to get better returns in the following year and a place in the heaven.
 For the Sikh community, Baisakhi represents a very sanctified day. It is on this day Guru Gobind Singh initiated the Panch Piyara (the five loved ones) from different casts and different parts of India. He also made them promise the five �Ks� that the Sikhs must wear: Kesh (hair), Kacha (a special undergarment), Kripan (dagger), Kangha (comb), and Kara (bangle). There are many Sikhs who cut off their hair and are called Mona Sikh. Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikh religion.
It is the time when the Sikhs remember all the promises they made when they joined the brotherhood of Sikhs. It is also the time when new members join the religion. As they join, they are baptized with sweet water known as amrit. They agree to take a new name. All Sikh men become known as Singh, which means lion, and all Sikh women take the last name of Kaur, which means princess.
 Before the ceremony there are prayers and readings from the holy book, the Granth Sahib. The ceremony is followed by a feast of vegetarian meal in a special room in the temple.

Five Holy “Ks” Of The Sikh Community :-

The 5 “Ks” of the Sikh community mark the real significance of Sikhism, a real Sikh is a promising soldier, a warrior who works for the protection of others and lives a spiritual life. It is believed that a real Sikh is the one who adopts these 5 “Ks” and follows them throughout his life. These 5”Ks” are as follows:-
•Kesh (Hair) - the first “K” signifies the value of one’s identity. Growing one’s hair signifies that the strength lies in one’s own hands.
•Kanga (Comb) - the second “K” signifies that it is not just growing your hair, but to keep them clean, covered and well maintained.
•Kada (Bangle) - the third “K” symbolises the cyclical nature of life that is the Kada in one’s hand, which also states that the person is responsible for his own deeds and what goes by comes back too.
•Kachhera (the undergarment) - the fourth “K” signifies the dignity, control over one’s sexual desires and modesty for the one who wears it.
•Kirpan (sword) - the fifth “K” states that the Sikh should always protect and help the people around.
As per the Sikh community, it is believed that a real Sikh is the one who works selflessly towards the betterment of the community and follows the path of equality. The biggest example is their surname 'Singh' for males and 'Kaur' for females. Baisakhi is a festival in which every Sikh irrespective of the place - stays in, visits the Gurdwara, and offers Seva (cooking, cleaning and washing the utensils) towards mankind.
Similarly, Baisakhi is considered to be a new start for the farmers, especially in the Northern part of India i.e Punjab. So, be a part of this holy celebration on Baisakhi to get the pleasure of serving humanity.

Baisakhi Celebrations in Various Parts of India:-
Baisakhi in Kerala:-

 In Kerala, this festival is known by the name Vishu. It is considered as a festival of happiness, vibrant colors and light. On this day, the farmers celebrate the good harvest and offer prayer to the God for an excellent year ahead. It is considered to be a tradition to get Vishu Kai Neettam (gift) from the elder members of the family.

Baisakhi in West Bengal:-

 Baisakhi is considered as a very propitious day in the Bengali calendar.  The day is considered as very auspicious by the merchants or traders to open a new business. Bangla Sangeet Mela is organized to discover the budding musicians and singers of the state.

Baisakhi in Assam:-

 In Assam, the Baisakhi festival is known by the name Rongali Bihu, celebrated for seven days. The very first day of the festival is called Goru Bihu. On this day, the cows are worshipped. It is also considered important to wear the new clothes and seek the blessings of the elderly people in the family.

Baisakhi in Bihar:-

 In Bihar, the festival is locally called as Vaishakha. It is basically celebrated by the people to welcome the New Year. It is considered extremely auspicious by the people to offer the prayers to the Surya Devta (Sun God).
Thus we can see that as most of us previously thought that Baisakhi is the festival of Punjabis only, it holds a special place in the hearts of people belonging to other religions and countries, too.

Traditions and Celebrations of Bhaisakhi:-

In Punjab, Baisakhi is celebrated with the utmost fervor and exuberance. The Punjabis celebrate by dancing the Giddha and Bhangra in gay abandon in the fields. On this auspicious day, traditionally, the Sikhs pay a visit to the Gurudwara and pay their respects. Religious discourses and kirtans are held at gurudwaras, and karah prasad is distributed. Langar or community lunch is also held at gurudwaras. Volunteers serve meal to the public.
On Baisakhi Day, in honor of the Panj Piaras, religious procession is set out in which five men walk in front of the holy book, with sword in their hands. These men are the religious heads who are second only to the gurus. Devotional music is played during the procession, and hymns are sung, both along the way and at gurudwaras.
Dressed in their distinct folk attire, both men and women express their joy by dancing the Bhangra and Gidda.

Bhangra Costumes:-

Bhangra is traditionally performed by men. Though the norm is to wear a white kurta with a colorful lungi, men can be seen sporting a wide array of colors. The major elements of the ensemble are Turla, Pag, Kaintha, Kurta, Lungi (or Chadar), Jugi and Rumaal.

Gidda Costumes:-

Gidda costumes are traditionally in the form of salwar kameez . The main elements of the ensemble consists of dupatta, kameez, salwar, maang tikka, jhumka, paranda, suggi phul, raani haar, haar-hamela, baazubandh and paizabs. Alternatively, women can also opt for a lehenga choli instead of a salwar kameez. The colorful attire is complemented by heavy costume jewelry.
Baisakhi Mela
At the Baisakhhi Mela, besides folk songs and dance performances, number of stalls are set up. Trinkets and traditional costume jewelry, Bhangra and Gidda costumes or their individual elements, traditional salwar kameez and handicraft items such as phulkari ka kaam (phulkari work) on dupattas and other ensembles are showcased at these stalls.

Bhaisakhi  Message:-

Beyond the commemorations, celebrations, and proud recounting of glorious legacy and legends of the historic Baisakhi of 1699, the struggles and sacrifices since, and the unimagined achievements of the Sikhs on the world stage in recent decades, there remain formidable challenges of Sikhs knowing so little about their own faith.  Sikhs and their faith continue to be mistakenly identified by other cultures and communities around the world as something that they are not.  Going forward, we must make a commitment, that our challenge is not just to dispel unfounded stereotyping, but to recognize that imaginative initiatives and innovative engagements with other communities and institutions is among our most urgent unexplored frontier to be successful citizens in new lands.  Our significant multi-level efforts are making a difference

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Chaitra Navaratri (or) Vasant Navaratri

                                                                Chaitra Navaratri

Navratri’ meaning ‘nine nights’ is a significant Hindu festival, which is celebrated twice a year - ‘Chaitra’ or ‘Vasant Navratri’ (March-April), and ‘Sharad Navratri’ (October-November). Both the celebrations center on the worship of Goddess Shakti.

In Gujarat, Navratri festival celebrates the worship of Goddess Jagdamba, while in West Bengal, Durga Puja is the reason to rejoice. Though, every region in India celebrates this festival in its own way, Navratri Festival is dedicated to the 3 avatars of Goddess Shakti - Durga (the warrior Goddess), Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth), and Saraswati (the Goddess of knowledge).

 Chaitra Navratri is noticed when Mother Nature goes through an important global warming. It also marks the beginning of summer season months. There is a popular perception that the going on a fast during Chaitra Navrati is to prepare the body for the coming summer season months.
 Chaitra Navratri is more popular in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and in other areas of Northern Indian. Some of the most essential forehead festivals in the Shakti Wats or temples in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand take position during this interval.

Legend :-

The immemorial custom of goddess worship has been prevailing in India since ancient times. There are a number of beliefs and legends of Navratri festival which have been around for ages.
Legend says that when Mahishasura, the spiteful demon, who was a devotee of Lord Shiva, acquired unbeatable powers of eternity, he started taking away innocent lives. In order to stop him from taking over all the three lokas, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh of the Hindu Trinity united their supreme powers and created a warrior goddess Durga who entered a war with Mahishasura. This war extended for nine days and on the tenth day she beheaded him. These nine nights signify the festival of Navratri.

As per Hindu mythology, Uma, daughter of King Daksha , married Lord Shiva against the will of her father. In order to take revenge, King Daksha arranged a yagna where he invited all the deities except Lord Shiva. The story goes that when Uma visited her parents to take part in the yagna, her father offended Lord Shiva. Unable to bear the insults meted on her husband, Uma jumped into the agnikund, which is why she is also known as Sati. In her rebirth, she married Lord Shiva and also made peace with her parents. It is said that Sati comes to stay with them for nine days, which is celebrated as Navratri.
It is also said that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga in all her nine forms, for nine days, in order to gather all the powers required to vanquish Ravana the demon, and release his wife Sita from his clutches. Those nine days imply Navratri, and the tenth day when he killed Ravana, came to be known as Vijaydashmi and is celebrated as Dussehra.
The history of Navratri also takes us to the assumption which states that in prehistoric times, the Kshatriyas used to drive themselves out from participating in any warlike activities all through monsoon season. As soon as monsoons got over they would worship Devi for nine days and set off with their war activities. These nine days are today celebrated as Navratri.

Mythology behind the celebration of Chaitra Navaratri:-

While most people associate Navratri with nine days of fasting, it is important to know the significance of the festival. Navratri is a festival dedicated to Goddess Durga. According to legend, Prince Sudarsana of Kosala fled away with Manorama after the Manorama’s father was killed by King Yudhajit.  Sudarsana was blessed with the grace of the Divine Mother following a chance incident. The prince Sudarsana had fled with Manorama as well as a Eunuch and was being sheltered by a Rishi. The son of a hermit who happened to be passing by the Ashram where Sudarsana had taken shelter, called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name Kleeba. The prince Sudarshana only caught on to the syllable Kli and instead pronounced it as Kleem. Kleem, incidentally, is a sacred Mantra. Repeated recitation of this mantra gave Prince Sudarsana peace of mind and the Divine Mother’s grace. The Goddess appeared in front of the prince Sudarsana and gave him divine weapons along with her blessing.
Goddess Durga also appeared in front of King Yudhajit, and instead of bowing to her, Yudhajit mocked her. As a result Yudhajit was turned to ashes by the Goddess. This made Prince Sudarsana, the then King of Kosala, to start worshipping the Devi in a grand ceremony every year. That tradition has been carried on to this day, when people worship the Divine Mother during Chaitra Navratri.
Maa Durga being worshipped during Chaitra Navaratri
The nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on nine different days. People all over the country gather in huge numbers to worship Goddess Durga with ardent devotion. While most people relate Navratri with nine days of fasting, one can even find images of Goddess Durga decorated over beautifully decked pandals. Temples dedicated to Shakti conduct special ceremonies during Navratri, with followers of the Divine Mother taking part in special pujas. Devotees forget their differences and worship the Goddess. It is the time where devotion fills the air and also an occasion for some events, competitions, games and entertainment.
To know more about each Goddess signifying each separate day of Navaratri and her role, her blessings, please refer to these –
Navratri Day 1 – Maa Shailputri
Navratri Day 2 – Maa Brahmacharini
Navratri Day 3 – Maa Chandraghanta
Navratri Day 4 – Maa Kushmanda
Navratri Day 5 – Maa Skandamata
Navratri Day 6 – Maa Katyayani
Navratri Day 7 – Maa Kaalratri
Navratri Day 8 – Maa Mahagauri
Navratri Day 9 – Maa Siddhidatri

Significance of Nine Days of Chaitra Navratri :-

Navaratri (Nava= 9 and Ratri= Night) is the nine day long festival to worship Goddess Durga in her nine incarnations. Each of the day in Navratri is dedicated to one of the forms of Goddess Durga.
◾Goddess DurgaFirst Navratri Day – dedicated to ‘Shailputri’, considered to be the daughter of the Himalayas. She is the form known as Goddess Shakti (Goddess of Energy)
◾Second Navratri Day – dedicated to ‘Brahmacharini,’ representing ‘Tapa’ or penance. She is also a form of Mata Shakti (Grand Energy).
◾Third Navratri Day – dedicated to the goddess ‘Chandraghanta’- she represents beauty and bravery form of the Goddess.
◾Fourth Navratri Day – dedicated to the goddess ‘Kushmandas’- Amba the mother of the entire Universe.
◾Fifth Navratri Day – dedicated to the Goddess ‘Skand Mata’– believed to be the mother of the chief warrior of the army of Gods- Skanda.
◾Sixth Navratri Day – dedicated to the goddess ‘Katyayani’ having three eyes and four hands.
◾Seventh Navratri Day – dedicated to the Goddess ‘Chandika’ – Chandi’ who makes all her devotees fearless.
◾Eighth Navratri Day – dedicated to ‘Parvati’- Maha Gauri who represents calmness and wisdom.
◾Ninth Navratri Day – dedicated to ‘Siddhidatri’– believed to be equipped with all the eight siddhis and worshiped by all the Rishis and Yogis (sages).
All the above incarnations of Goddess Shakti represent three different forms of womanhood – those of a child, young girl and a mature woman.

Procedure and vidhi vidhan of Navaratri Puja:-

 Laghu Anushthana sadhana of Gayatri is recommended as most suitable for the Navaratri period. It consists of twenty-four thousand japa (repeated rhythmic chanting) of the Gayatri Mantra with meditation on the rising sun and adoption of certain self-control disciplines. Mental or upanshu japa of twenty-seven rosaries (malas) needs to be completed every day for this purpose. This can be done in about three hours' duration by the people who are used to daily practice of the japa of this mantra. Completion in one sitting in the early morning (by commencing the japa two hours before dawn) is the best. However, depending upon one's constraints, it could be completed in two to three sittings at convenient times. But the regularity of timings and place where the japa is carried out should be maintained. Ideal sitting posture is sukhasana with erect spinal column. One should not sit directly on the earth. Sitting on kusha mat or cotton cloth is most suitable.
 Depending upon one's health and level of self-control, the fasting could be observed by consuming only milk or fruits once or twice a day; taking tasteless (without salt and sugar) food; or taking simple and light vegetarian food only once a day, etc. The other common disciplines include - austere life-style; sleeping on a mat on the floor or on plain wooden cot; attending to one's personal tasks by oneself; observing honesty and humility in conduct. The advanced devotees may also adopt some higher level disciplines that serve the dual purpose of cleansing and purification of the body and the mind and thorough practice of self-restraint.

 Navratri is separated into places of three days to really like three different factors of the superior goddess or actresses. During Navratri, different types of Mom Goddess are worshipped. On the first three days Durga or Goddess of Power is worshipped. The next three days are dedicated to Lakshmi or Goddess of Prosperity and the last three days to Saraswati or Goddess of Information. On the fifth day, it is conventional to praise Saraswati to produce our soul and data.
 On the 8th and 9th day, Yagna (sacrifice provided to the fire) is conducted to respect Durga Mata and bid her goodbye. The event of Navratri indicates in Mahanavami. On this day Kanya Puja is conducted. Nine areas comprising the nine types of Goddess Durga are worshiped. In some areas a younger boy also comes with them who indicate Bhairav; he is regarded as guard against all evils. Quickly, it is noticed by enthusiasts during all the nine days of Navratri. Wishes are also provided for greater wellness and success. Navratri, besides being an interval of more self examination and filtration, is also regarded an excellent time for beginning new projects.

Chaitra Navratri Tantrik Anusthan:-

During these Chaitra or Ram navratri auspicious days, extensive prayer is offered to request earnestly Goddess Durga for blessings. In the period of Navratri consecrated chants of Durga Saptashati are done which is a part of Markandeya Purana. The mantras in the book narrate how Goddess Durga was empowered and provided with divine weapons by our Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) to decimate Mahishasura and various other demons. Vamtantra conducts tantrik anusthan of Shri Durgasaptshati, Shrimad-devi Bhagwat, Devi Mahaatmya and other texts invoking Goddess Durga are cited by vamtantra during this period of nine days.
 By keeping fasts, chanting shlokas and mantras, the devotees show their regard for the Goddess. It is believed that during Navratri, the Goddess promptly heeds to devotees and fulfill wishes. She is worshipped in the three forms of the divine femininity, as the remover of vices, as the bestower of wealth and prosperity and as the Goddess of wisdom.

Benefits of Chaitra- Vasant Navratri puja :-

When done unconditionally without any expectations, Chaitra Navratri vrat and puja can give the ultimate benefit of salvation upon the performers.
This vrat has the power to remove afflictions and fears and boost up the courage and confidence of individuals.
Scientifically, the Chaitra Navratri falls during the commencement of summer and therefore the vrat cleanses the system and prepares for the summer season.

Fasting Rules of  Chaitra Navaratri :-

During the course of the nine days of the puja, the devotees must eat only Satvik food or those that are not spicy (ex. Garlic and onion). Some of the most popular choices for the special diet include potatoes, curd, milk and fruits. Non-vegetarian foods are strictly prohibited. The fast starts on the Pratipada day and lasts till the last day of the nine day puja. The fasting is concluded after partaking the Prasad. In a stricter form of vrat, the devotees eat only one meal a day over the nine days.
Chaitra Navratri Vrat Benefits
When done unconditionally without any expectations, Chaitra Navratri vrat and puja can give the ultimate benefit of salvation upon the performers.
This vrat has the power to remove afflictions and fears and boost up the courage and confidence of individuals.
Scientifically, the Chaitra Navratri falls during the commencement of summer and therefore the vrat cleanses the system and prepares for the summer season.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Significance of Chaitra Masam(or) Madhu Masam

                                                   Chaitra Masam

Chaitra is a Sanskrit word meaning a temple or a memorial. It is the first month as per hindu calendar.It is believed that lord Brahma has created the universe on this day which is celebrated as Ugadi or Gudi padwa or Cheti chand. It is also a sacred month for commencement for Vedic learning. That’s why it is one of the auspicious and sacred months for performing Upanayana that marks the formal eligibility to commence the study of Vedas and Upanishads.

Chaitra month is considered very auspicious as Brahma created the universe on the day of Sukhla paksha of this month.The devotees who performs the pooja and rituals of chaitra month are blessed with Good health and wealth.

 Lord Sri Rama was born on the 9th day of bright fortnight which is celebrated as Sri Rama Navami. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Mastya avathara, the very first avatar of Lord vishnu took place in this month.
What better season to start the New Year, when Krishna himself has said in the Srimadbhagwadgita (10.35): “Among the seasons, I am Vasant (spring)…”

 In the Tamil calendar, Chitterai begins with the Sun's entry into Aries in mid-April, and is the first month of the year. The full moon day of chaitra is known as "chithira pournami" in Tamil which is an auspicious day for Amman.
Chaitra is considered to be a very auspicious month in which the creation of the universe was started.
"Chaitra" can also be used as a name, with the meaning of "Spring" or "Aries Sign"

Importantce of Chaitra Masam:-

"Chaitramasi jagadbrahma sasarju prathamehaani
Shukla paksha samagranthu thadaa suryodaye sathi
Pravarthayaamaasa thatha kaalasya gananaamapi
Grahantaaraan ruthoonmaasaan wathsaraanwathsaraadhipaan".

According to the Sloka Chaturvarga Chintamani, the god Bramha created the universe on the first day of Shukla paksha (first fortnight / first half of the month) in the month of Chaitra. He also gradually included planets, stars, ruthu (seasons), years and lords of years.
In this month, the fifteen days in Shukla paksha are dedicated to fifteen deities. Each day of the month is dedicated to a different god.

Chaithra maasam also known as Madhu maasam marks the beginning of spring season known as Vasantha Ruthu first among the Hindu seasons. Madhu means honey and Chaithra maasam is as sweet as honey. In Bhagawadgeeta, Vibhoothi Yoga (canto#10 sloka#35) Lord Sri Krishna says that He is the Vasantha Ruthu among the seasons “Ruthunaam Kusumaakarah” All pervading supreme Lord, Kaala Purusha, Lord Vishnu is the presiding Deity (Maasa Niyaamaka) of Chaithra maasam and hence this month is also known as Vishnu maasam.

It is so auspicious that it is the month when Lord Brahma had commenced the creation and to commemorate that day we celebrate Ugaadi festival.  Chaithra maasam is the sacred month in which Maryaada Purushottama; Lord Sri Raama was born on the 9th day of bright fortnight that is celebrated as Sri Raama Navami. It is the most sacred and auspicious month in which highly meritorious and powerful Thaaraka manthra RAMA took birth. It is the sacred month in which Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsyaavathara (Giant Fish) the very first among the Dasaavatharas and restored the lost Vedas that day is celebrated as Matsya Jayanthi on Chaithra sukla Trutheeya. It is said as per scripts that it was the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaithra Maasam that Lord Sri Krishna’s Niryaana took place that is marked as the beginning of Kaliyuga. 

It is the sacred month when Sun God transits into first house of the zodiac viz. Aries (Mesha Raasi) where Sun gets exalted. That day known as Mesha Sankramana is celebrated as Vishu festival in some parts of South India. Chaithra maasam is the sacred month in which the mighty God, Lord Hanuman was born that is celebrated as Hanuma Jayanthi on the full Moon day. It is the sacred month in which the sixty year cycle of Hindu Calendar Samvatsara had begun, starting from Prabhava and ending with Akshaya.
Full Moon day during Chaithra maasam known as Chittraa Poornima or Maha Chaithri is the day Moon will be at or nearer to the constellation of Chitta and hence the name Chaithra maasam.  Mars (Kuja) is the star Lord of Chitta constellation and star Deity is Lord Subramanya. Third day of the bright fortnight in the lunar month of Chaithra maasam is known as Gouri Trutheeya when Goddess Gouri and Lord Shiva are specially worshipped. Starting from this day for a period of one month Goddess Gouri & Lord Shiva and Lord Sri Rama along with other Deities are offered with special pooja ritual known as Dolotsava (Aandolini Vratha). While Chaithra Sukla Trutheeya and Pournami are Manvaadi days the days Manvanthara had begun, Chaithra sukla Panchami is known as Kalpaadi the day Kalpa had commenced.

Like we celebrate Devi Navarathri during Aaswayuja maasam known as Sharannavarathri which falls in Dakshinaayana, a nine day festival known as Vasantha Navarathri is celebrated during Chaithra maasam starting from Ugaadi day during Uttaraayana.  During this nine day period Goddess Durga is worshiped in some parts of the country while in some other parts, it is known as Sri Raama Navarathri worshiping Lord Sri Raama. During this period sacred texts like Ramayana, Sundarakaanda, and Devi Bhaagavatham are read.

With so much of significance attributed to Chaithra maasam, almost all the Deities are worshiped during the bright fortnight of this month apart from Lord Sri Rama, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva and Goddess Gouri.

•On the first day (Paadyami) Lord Brahma,
•on second day (Dwiteeya) Lord Shiva & Goddess Gouri,
•on fourth day (Chaturthi) Lord Ganesha,
•on fifth day (Panchami) Naaga Devathas,
•on sixth day (Shasti) Lord Subramanya,
•on 7th day (Sapthami) Sun God,
•on ninth day (Navami) Goddess Durga and
•on 15th day (Full Moon day) all the Deities are worshiped.
Chaithra is a Sanskrit word meaning a temple or a memorial.  It is the month to commemorate so many auspicious and sacred events including the commencement of creation (Srushti). It is also a sacred month for commencement for Vedic learning. That’s why it is one of the auspicious and sacred months for performing Upanayana that marks the formal eligibility to commence the study of Vedas and Upanishads.

Rituals Followed in Chaitra Masam:-

Prapadaanam (chalivendram) :-

Donating water during Chaithra maasam starting from Ugaadi day for 4 months (summer months) is said to be very auspicious and sacred.

Prapeyam SarvaSamanya Bhoothebhya: prathipaditha
PradanathPitharasarve Thrupyanthucha Pithamaha
Anivaarya Mithodeyam Jalammaasa Chathustayam

We would have come across voluntary organizations erecting spots called Chalivendram during summer months where passersby are served with drinking water stored in earthen pots covered with cloth. It is believed that conducting/sponsoring such activities gives immense pleasure and satisfaction to forefathers.  

Udakakumbha daanam:-

Udaka means water, Kumbha means pot.  Giving charity of water stored in a pot made up of Copper, Silver, or at least earthen pot (made up of mud) covered with a new cloth to a Brahmin during this period is said to be very sacred and highly meritorious.

Yesha DharmaGhato Dhattoh Brahma Vishnu Sivathmaka
Asya Pradhanathsakalam mamasanthu manoratha

Meaning: This water pot called Dharma Ghata signifying the trinal lords (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) bring unto me fulfillment of all desires.

Taking bath in sacred rivers, arranging of water and shelter to the travelers and people walking in the Sun, Anna Daana (food) to the hungry and needy are some of the maasa dharma prescribed during Chaithra maasam.

Celebrations in Chaitra Masam:-

1) Gudi Padwa / Cheti Chand – New year day.
2) Chaitra Navratri – Nine day celebration of Maa Durga as this month is significance of rituals, fasting and devotions.
3) Sri Rama Navmi – Birth of Lord Ram.
4) Hanuman Jayanti – Birth of Lord Hanuman
5) Ugadi – Yug(era)+ Aadi( beginning). Ugadi derivedd frm sanskrit word YUG aadi.
6) Thapna – Rajasthan
7) Cheti Chand – The Sindhi community celebrates the festival of Cheti Chand in honour of the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the patron saint of the Sindhis. The Sindhi community prays with jyot or oil lamp, misri or crystal sugar, phota or cardamom, fal or fruits, and kalash or water jar.
8) Baishakhi – Sikh devotees generally attend the Gurdwara before dawn with flowers and offerings in hands on the occasion of Baisakhi. Rural areas of Punjab celebrate the festival by performing the bhangra dance.

Govinda Dwadasi or Narasimha Dwadasi

                                            Govinda Dwadashi

Gobinda Dwadasi (Govinda Dwadashi), considered highly auspicious by Vishnu devotees, falls on the 12th day during the waxing phase of the moon in Phalguna (Falgun) month.

This rare combination in Hindu Almanac associated with Gobinda Dwadai at Puri Jagannath Temple gives the special power to taking a holy dip at Mahodadhi Teerth and visit Jagannath Temple. Mahodadhi Tirth is a six kilometer long stretch of the Puri Seacoast. Over half a million devotees are expected. A Holy Dip in Ganga Gives more benefits on this day.

The god Narayana should be worshipped on the occasion, by repeating the Mantra which runs as "Obeisance to Narayana," whereby he would be the happy possessor of all earthly possessions. The form of the vow known as the Govinda Dwadashi, should be practised on a similar Tithi in the month of Phalguna, while the form known as the Vishoka Dwadashi should be practised in the month of Ashvina, on the day of the twelfth phase of the moon's increase, wherein the god Hari should be worshipped.

Govinda dwadashi importance:-

Falgun dwadashi Baras day vow of Govinda. The vow is worship, cleanliness, continence, pure morality - the idea, chastity, etc. special significance. The Dvadasa that Baras is due date, if vrddhitithie pradosa times in two days during the second day pradosa be manavavi. Like other vratoni Govinda dwadashi vow of wealth, grains and sukhathi karanarum is accomplished.

It is incurable diseases karavanar procurement of destroyers and Vaikuntha. The vow vratine happiness - giving status and wealth kaliyugan karanar sins of mitigation. The Brahmins donation vow, pitrtarpana, Havana, yajna, etc. is more important. Vratio follow these observances with the faith and spirit. The day that poor Brahmins various types of donations, Havana, yajna is also special significance.

The story of Lord Narasimha:-

Long back, there was a demon called Hiranyakashipu who was terribly angry with Lord Vishnu since He had killed Hiranyakashipu’s brother named Hiranyaksha. Hiranyakashipu had banned the worship of Lord Vishnu in his empire and had ordered that none should even say Vishnu’s name under his rule.
The divine child Bhakta Prahlad
Hiranyakshipu performed a severe penance and obtained a boon from Brahma that would make his death a rare phenomenon. When Hiranyakashipu was engaged in penance, Saga Narad sheltered his wife Khayadhu in his hermitage as she had conceived a child. On a daily basis, Sage Narad would narrate to her the divine stories and glories of Lord Vishnu, which were keenly listened by the baby inside her womb. Upon the return of Hiranyakashipu from penance, he found his wife delivering a baby and lovingly named the boy Prahlad.

Troubles shall never touch the devotees of Lord Vishnu
 By birth, Prahlad was highly devoted to Lord Vishnu and constantly chanted Vishnu’s name day and night. Angered by this behavior, Hiranyakashipu ordered him to stop it and the boy would not listen. With the anger for Vishnu dominating his love for Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu ordered for the death of Prahlad. Lord Vishnu protected the child from the deadly form of death punishments inflicted on the child.
Lord Narasimha incarnates
Losing his patience, Hiranyakashipu asked Prahlad whether Lord Vishnu exists at all. Prahlad said He is the essence of creation and so Lord Vishnu is verily present in every atom of the universe. When Hiranyakashipu asked whether Vishnu was present in a pillar that he pointed out, Prahlad affirmed and Hiranyakashipu broke that pillar with his mace. Lord Vishnu emanated from the pillar in a highly ferocious Man-Lion (Narasimha) form, tore Hiranyakashipu to pieces and blessed the divine child Prahlad profusely.

Puja procedure For Govinda Dwadashi:-

Wake up early in the morning, take a holy bath and wear clean clothes. Set up the altar at your puja room and install the images or pictures of Lord Narasimha and Mother Lakshmi. Do puja chanting the mantras of Narasimha and offer fruits, flowers, sweets, Ganga water and coconut. Chant the following mantra of Lord Narasimha at least one hundred and eight times and conclude the puja.

"Ugram Veeram Mahavishnum Jvalantam Sarvato Mukham
Nrusimham Bheeshanam Bhadram Mrutyur Mrutyum Namamyaham"

Repeat the puja once again on the morning of Dwadashi and conclude the vrat.

Fasting rules:-

The fasting for Narasimha Dwadashi starts on the Ekadashi day (one day before Dwadashi) with the puja performed in the morning. The devotee fasts for the whole day without eating and drinking water. A milder form of vrat allows taking fruits and milk with water. On the next day of Dwadashi, the puja is repeated in the morning and the fasting is concluded during Parana.

Benefits of Narasimha Dwadashi Vrat:-

Those observing the Narasimha Dwadashi vrat can overcome all the obstacles in their lives and get the divine protection of the Lord. The blessings of Narasimha shall remove all the afflictions and vanquish the fears of individuals giving them enormous levels of self-confidence and the courage to face their lives bravely.