Monday, October 31, 2011

Govardhan Parvat and Lord Rama

The Govardhan Parvat(hill) is one of the most sacred manifestation of Lord Krishna worshipped by his followers. This sacred hill has a close linkage with Lord Rama also due to involvement of boon given by him to this hill. It is believe that when Lord Rama ordered to built bridge across ocean to Lanka, Hanuman too went to Himalaya mountain ranges to fetch some rocks necessary for building bridge. Hanuman was flying back to Rama after taking one hill,called Govardhan then he came to know that he was too late as the bridge was already built during that time and no more rocks or mountains were needed. This was very disappointing for the Govardhan Hill as he was too eager to have glimpse and divine touch of holy feet of lord Rama. When Lord Rama came to know about this incident, he blessed Govardhan hill that, in Dwapar Yug, he himself would hold Govardhan in his hand and people will worship him.The blessings given by Lord Rama proved true in Dwapar Yug  when he himself incrnated as Lord Krishna and held Govardhan on his little finger for 7 days and nights.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Curse of Sage Bhrigu

During the fight between gods and demons, at one stage gods overpowered demons. Sensing the massive defeat ,the demons reached the ashram of Sage Bhrigu who was not present at that time. His wife greeted the demons as they were came for the help and she promised to provide shelter to demons. On the other hand, Indra who was chief of gods came to know about the hideout of demons. Indra reached the ashram and threatened demons to surrender before him. But wife of Sage Bhrigu stood in between them and drove Indra away. Indra rushed to Lord Vishnu for the help. To assist Indra he went to ashram where the demons were hidden. Again, the wife of Sage Bhrigu came to rescue demons. Finally, Lord Vishnu killed her with his Sudarshan Chakra in order to ensure win for gods. At this point Sage Bhrigu returned to ashram and shocked to see the dead body of his wife. When he came to know that it was Lord Vishnu who was responsible for the death of his wife, he cursed Lord Vishnu that he too would have to suffer the pain of separation from his wife on earth like him . Lord Vishnu accepted the curse with dignity. Due to curse he was born as Lord Rama(an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and had to suffer the grief of separation from his wife Sita.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

16 Shringaar

'Adornament' means something which add beauty. Indian classics depicts 16 steps of adornament for a married woman. This ritual is generally performed on the wedding day or some festival ,but it is very significant as married woman is a representative of goddess Lakshmi for her husband who in turn is a symbolic representative of Lord Vishnu. The following 16 ornaments are used
1) Bindi
2) Sindoor
3) Teeka
4) Kajal
5) Nose Ring
6) Necklace
7) Earings
8) Mehndi
9) Bangles
10) Armlets
11) Ring
12) Choti
13) Kamarband(waistband)
14) Payal/Toe ring
15) Itra
16) Red Saree

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The beauty of Karwa Chauth: Its Rituals

Every woman is a part of ‘ Shakti’, the goddess. Fasting(Vrat) is a kind of tapasya(deep meditation) through which the hidden powers are invoked. The Karwa Chauth vrat is one of the method of invoking the inner powers of woman. There are many rituals associated with this vrat. Following are the key rituals and some important points which should be kept in mind  –

1)The first Karwa Chauth should never be missed.

2)Never wakeup any other person

3)Not to use knife in kitchen.

4)Don’t put thread in the needle for sewing.

5)Donot make any agreement with annoyed person.

6)In a pre dawn meal(called sargi), 7 kinds of food has to be eaten.

7)A shape of crescent is drawn with Haldi(turmeric) on the wall (munder) and water is offered at the start of vrat.

8) Sargi(pre dawn meal) has to be prepared by mother in law.

9)The ‘sargi’ has to be consumed before sun rise.

10)The Evening pooja before the sun set is very significant

11)A thali(plate) consisting of sweets called “Baya” is prepared to be given to Mother in law.

12)Prepare a corner with the help of rangoli for pooja called “Chowk”

13)Place the deity in the centre of the chowk
14)Then the ‘shakti’ is invoked by mantras in the deity.

15)Place Karwa(a small pitcher of clay) filled with water with the ‘Thaali’

16)All the women sit around the image and exchange the ‘thaali’ seven times.

17)Then comes  the sensitive time when an old lady re narrates the story of Karwa chauth, which has to be listened very carefully.

18) The’Thaali(baya)’ is offered to mother in law to seek blessings. This process is called “mansana”

19) In a house where a daughter in law give ‘Baya’ to mother in law , it is prohibited for a spouse(of daughter in law),her children or other male children of younger age to eat the things given in ‘Baya’.

20)After the pooja, at the moon rise first ardhya(water offering) has to be given to moon through the sieve. It is important to note that the fast has to be broken only after offering water to the moon. (As all Chaturthi fast is linked with moon as per blessings of Lord Ganesha)

21) Parikrama(turn full circle standing at one place) has to be done while breaking the fast.

22)The woman has to touch the feet of the husband and husband inturns blessed her by offering water in karwa to drink.

23) It is custom to cook unbroken pulse(sabut daal) and it is auspicious to prepare any thing which requires Kadai(a kind of utencil) after the fast. Its a mark of "barkat"

This marks the completion of fast.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Legend Of Karwa Chauth

Karwa Chauth is the most important festival for a Hindu married woman. This festival falls on 4th day of Krishna Paksha of Kaartik month. For the longevity of her husband a tough fast is observed by women.   To begin the fast one has to wake up early in the morning and after bathing the food has to be consumed before the sun rise. This food is called as “sargi”(pre dawn meal). No food and water is consumed through out the day. The fast is broken only after offering water to the reflection of moon. There are many rituals and legends associated with this fasting. Every ritual has a special meaning. One must know it before keeping fast.This fast is dedicated to Savitri who was a sati ( total devotee to her husband). The legend associated with this fast is as follows-
Savitri was a beautiful daughter of a powerful king. All the efforts of the parents of choosing a bridegroom for Savitri went in vain. One day while roaming in forest Savitri fell in love with a poor young man,Satyavan. Despite opposition she chose  Satyavan as her husband. She even ignored the warning of an astrologer that Satyavan had a very short life span and he would going to die within one year of marriage. Still Savitri was adamant on her decision.. They got married. Exactly after one year , Satyavan fainted in forest and died.Savitri saw Yamraj, the god of death came to take away the soul of Satyavan to his kingdom. Savitri was determined and followed Yamraj to his kingdom. This was against the law of nature. So Yamraj granted three wishes to Savitri. As a first wish she asked the restoration of the lost kingdom of her father in law. In lieu of second wish she asked for the  eyes for her blind parents in law. The two wishes were too easy for Yamraj to fulfill. But the real dilemma occurred when Savitri demanded third wish. She demanded to become mother of a virtuous sons. Since Savitri was a sati , so without a husband it was not possible as she can not marry second time. Yamraj was in a fix. Yamaraj had to spare the life of Satyavaan in order to keep his words. This was the power of  true devotion of a wife towards her husband.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Wealth of Goddess Lakshmi

The goddess Lakshmi is worshipped as deity of wealth and fortune. Here the word wealth does not represent only money. For a sick man the wealth is his health.Simliarly for a dying man the wealth is his life. The word wealth changes its meaning regarding the context. She is the possessor of 16 types of wealth as follows
1) Money
2) Intelligence
3) Health
4) Children
5) Grains
6) Beauty
7) Knowledge
8) Courage
9) Happiness
10) Long life
12) Fame
13) Spiritual Joy
14) patience
15) Victory
16) Strength

This is the reason why goddess Lakshmi is worshipped as 8 forms called Ashta Lakshmi to get all the above 16  wealth by HER.