रविवार, 13 सितंबर 2009

पित्र पूजा - पित्र पक्ष

The dark fortnight of Ashvina (September-October) is known as Pitr Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha. This is an occasion to perform rites for the departed ancestors to keep their souls indebted for years. Pitra Paksha is performed for the departed immediate relatives usually up to 3 preceding generations.Pitra Paksha is performed from the 1st day / tithi of the Ashwin month and goes up to the following Amavasya day. Each of these 15 days is dedicated to the Sraddha of those ancestors who had met eternity on that particular day/tithi.

Pitrapaksha is the occasion to repay debt to our departed ancestors by satisfying their souls by performing rites. For this purpose “Shraddha” is performed with a belief that the dead ones would alive amongst us. Yamaraja, the Lord of death allows the souls to come down to the earth and receive offers from their descendants.

Across the Hindu religion it is believed that after death, the soul incarnates into a new form and embodies as animal, bird, reptile, human or any other form depending on the Karmas (deeds) in one’s past life.Pitr-Puja is obligatory in Hindu tradition:In Hindu tradition the 13th day after the cremation is termed as “Sapindi”, or “Tervi”. It is after these 13 days of ceremonies that Pitr-Puja becomes must for every son. There are three debts that every human being is supposed to pay, which are:

1 ) Indebt ness towards the Supreme lord.
2 ) Indebt ness towards Rishis.
3) Indebt ness towards one’s forefathers/ ancestors.

As according to Bhagwad Gita"Just as one removes old clothes and puts on new ones, so does the Jivatma abandon an old body and obtain a new one"
Thus, it is only the house and body that the soul changes, but whatever we as children are indebted to our ancestors should be repaid, because the soul never dies. The pitr-Puja performed by the sons and grandchildren in memory of their ancestors, is preceded with the thought that: "O Pitrs in whichever form you may be, wherever you may be, we wish to remember and pray for your peace and welfare".The Puja reaches to one’s ancestors only if it is performed with due dedication and intensions.

रविवार, 6 सितंबर 2009


जय माँ दुर्गे

Durga Puja, ‘Worship of Durga’, also referred as Durgotsab , ‘Festival of Durga’, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates worship of Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi , Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Bijoya Dashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to traditional Hindu Calendar and the fortnight corresponding the festival is called Debi Pokkho , ‘Fortnight of the Goddess’. Debi Pokkho is preceded by Mahalaya , the last day of the previous fortnight Pitri Pokkho, ‘Fortnight of the Forefathers’, and is ended on Kojagori Lokkhi Puja, ‘Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on Kojagori Full Moon Night’.

Durga Puja is widely celebrated in West Bengal, Assam , Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura where it is a five-day annual holiday. Not only it is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout the State, but also the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengali society. Apart from Eastern part of India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi , Gujrat , Punjab , maharashtra , Kashmir , Karnataka and Kerela. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Durga Puja includes the worships of Lord Shiva, Goddess lakshmi , Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati Ma and Lord Kartikeya also. Modern tradition have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted idols of Durga, exchange of Bijoya Greetings and publication of Puja Annuals.

In Bengal, Durga Puja is also called Akalbodhan , 'untimely awakening of Durga' , Sharadiya Puja , ‘autumnal worship’, Sharodotsab, ‘festival of autumn’, Maha Puja, ‘grand puja’, Maayer Pujo, ‘worship of the Mother or only referred as Puja or Pujo. In East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Durga Puja used to be celebrated as Bhagabati Puja. It is also called Durga Puja in Bihar, UP, Delhi and MP.

Durga Puja is called Navratri Puja in Gujrat, Punjab, Kerela and Maharashtra, Kullu Dussehra in Kullu Valley , Himachal Pradesh, Mysore Dussehra in Mysore, Karnataka and Bommai Kolu in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.


जय माँ दुर्गे
Navratri as per meaning signifies Nine nights which are dedicated to the Divine Mother or Shakti. This festival is celebrated in the month of Ashvin Sud for nine days. Navratri is the longest celebrated Indian festival. This year it is from 19th September to 27th September 2009.Navratri History The practice of goddess worship was prevalent in India since the time immemorial even before the advent of Aryans. Our ancestors have always placed Devi or Stree (as she was referred to) into the highest pedestal of the prevalent social system at that time and they worshipped her as Shakti. There are references in our Shastras which confirms the existence of such practices.

There are several myths and legends associated with celebration of this Navratri Festival.
1) As per one legend Mahishasura the mighty demon worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained the power of eternity. So he started to kill and harass innocent people and set out to win seven lokas. Intimated by his power all the gods from swargaloka appealed to Lord Shiva to tame the demon. Then Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar (Shiva) united their supreme powers and created a divine being called Shakti or Durga the Warrior Goddess. Mahishasura who happened to see this divine beauty Durga got mesmerized by her beauty and approached her with the intention of marriage. Goddess Durga agreed to marry him but in one condition that Mahishasura should win over her in duel. Mahishasura who was proudy of his power agreed for the duel. The duel went on for 9 nights and the end of 9th night Goddess Durga beheaded Mahishasura. So the nine nights for which the war was fought is called Navrathri. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashmi.

2) According to other legend King Daksha of Himalayas had a beautiful and Virtuos daughter Uma who had a wish to marry Lord Shiva. As a result she worshipped Lord Shiva and pleased him. Lord Shiva married Uma. Once Uma visited her parents to participate in a Yagna conducted over there, during that time King Daksha insulted Lord Shiva unable to bear the insults meted on her husband Uma decided to end her life by jumping into the agnikund where she was united with the eternity. Henceforth she was also known as Sati. Sati was reborn again and peace was restored between her and parents. In that birth also she married Lord Shiva and lived happily thereafter. It is believed that Sati comes to stay with her parents for 9 days in every year and that time is celebrated as Navarathri.

3) One hypothesis states that in ancient times Kshatriyas debarred themselves from participating any warlike activities during monsoon season. Once monsoons got over they found the time to start afresh with their war activities. So before the start of their war journey these Kshatriyas worshipped different aspects of Devi for 9 days which is today celebrated as the Navratri.

4) According to one legend Lord Rama who wanted to release Sita from the clutches of mighty demon king Ravana prayed Goddess Durga in nine aspects for nine days in order to gather the strength and power to kill Ravana. Those nine nights became to be known as Navrathri and on the tenth day Rama killed Ravana that day is called Vijayadashmi or Dashera.

Nine different manifestations of Durga are worshipped during Navratri they are
1) Durga :goddess beyond reach
2) Bhadrakali the auspicious power of time
3) Amba or Jagdamba: mother of the world
4) Annapurna: giver of food and plenty
5) Sarvamangala: auspicious goddess
6) Bhairavi: terrible, fearful, power of death
7) Chandika or Handi: violent, wrathful, furious
8) Lalita: playful
9) Bhavani: giver of existence.

मंगलवार, 1 सितंबर 2009

Teachings of Life

Once upon a time, there was this girl who had four boyfriends.
She loved the 4th boyfriend the most and adored him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.
She also loved the 3rd boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.
She also loved her 2nd boyfriend. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.
The girls 1st boyfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first boyfriend. Although he loved her deeply, she hardly took notice of him.
One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone.'
Thus, she asked the 4th boyfriend, I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you.. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'No way!', replied the 4th boyfriend, and he walked away without another word. His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.
The sad girl then asked the 3rd boyfriend, 'I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company? 'No!', replied the 3rd boyfriend. 'Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to marry someone else!' Her heart sank and turned cold.
She then asked the 2nd boyfriend, 'I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!', replied the 2nd boyfriend. 'At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.' His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the girl was devastated.
Then a voice called out: 'I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go...' The girl looked up, and there was her 1st boyfriend.. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the girl said, 'I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!.
In truth, you have 4 boyfriends in your lives:
Your 4th boyfriend is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die.
Your 3rd boyfriend is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others. Your 2nd boyfriend is your family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.
And your 1st boyfriend is your Soul. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, your Soul is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you.
Thought for the day: Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray.