Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kaal Bhairav Ashtami

Kaal Bhairav Jayanti, also known as Maha Kala Bhairava Jayanthi or Kaal Bhairav Ashtami is believed to be the appearance day of Lord Kaal Bhairav, the fierce form of Lord Shiva. It is observed on the 8th day during the Krishna Paksha in the month of Margashirsha in North Indian calendars. In 2010 Kaal Bhairav Jayanti date is November 28th in traditional Hindu calendar.

Kaal Bhairav Ashtami is dedicated to Lord Shiva and on this day he is worshipped as Kaal Bhairav is the God of Time. Kaal means ‘time’ and ‘Bhairav’ the manifestation of Shiva. All krishna paksha ashtamis are dedicated to Bhairav ji, but out of the 12 krishna ashtamis in a year, the one which falls in the month of Margashirsha is very auspicious. It is believed that on this day, Lord Kala Bhairav appeared on Earth.

Kaal bhairav is a terrific manifestation of Lord Shiva. He is the protector of the pious city "Kaashi" (
Varanasi). He is worshiped by the tantrik cult and is considered to be an easy to please deity. In Astrology he is worshiped for the pacification of Rahu and Shani. All Devi sadhaks have to worship him and take permission from him before they actually start there Devi sadhana.

The legend or the story of Kaalbhairav and his divine avatar is mentioned in the Shiva Maha Purana. Legend has it that Lord Shiva cut the fifth head of Lord Brahma on this day and performed penance. In this form Shiva is believed to punish the sinners. Another Myth is that once a controversy arose among Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma that who was the greatest of them. Lord Shiva, infuriated by a chance remark of Brahma, took the form of Kaal Bhairav and cut off one of the faces of Lord Brahma.

Devotees of Lord Shiva observe special prayers and rituals on this occasion. On this day, Lord Kaal Bhairav is worshipped in all temples and his vehicle dog is fed with milk and sweets. Fasting undertaken on this day is considered to wash away all sins and save one from the havoc of time. This day is beneficial for Tantra puja, Security puja, Kalsarpa puja, Black magic removing puja, Shakti puja. Pitra dosha nivarana puja, Sharddha. Kaal Bhairav is pleased with deep daan. Chant the following mantra while worshiping Kaal Bhairava :

Om hreem kaal bhairavaye hreem namah

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tulsi Vivah or Tulasi Shaligram Vivaha

‘Tulsi vivah’ refers to an age-old ritual of Tulsi Devi’s marriagewith lord Vishnu or his incarnation Krishna. Tulsi Vivah is an auspicious ritual observed in Kartik month of Hindu Calendar. Tulsi vivah is performed by Hindu communities during different period. Any day starting from the Ekadasi (after Amavasi) in Kartik month to Purnima (the full moon day) in Kartik Month is chosen to perform Tulsi Vivah. Majority of the people perform Tulsi Vivah on the Ekadasi day. On this day Tulsi is married to Saaligram. This year, Tulsi Vivah will be celebrated on 17th November 2010.

Tulsi vivah is an important ritual observed in the month of Kartik (October – November). It is the symbolic wedding of Tulsi devi to Shaligram shila. Tulsi vivha marks the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season. Popular belief is that performing the wedding ceremony of marrying Tulsi to Vishnu considering her as their daughter is equal to performing Kanyadan.

Tulsi is worshipped as a deity. She is considered as an incarnation of Sri Mahalakshmi who was born as Sri Vrinda. Tulsi devi is also known as an exalted devotee of Lord Krishna. The glories of Tulsi devi are mentioned in Skanda purana, Pdama purana and other devotional literature of Hindus.

Legend and celebrations of Tulsi vivah :

When Tulsi devi was on the earth, she was married to demon Jalandar. He was the king of oceans and had immense powers. When demoniac people get powers they exploit it by harassing others. Demon Jalandar did the same thing. He started exploiting everyone around. But as he was married to a great devotee, with the result that no god was able to harm him. However on the request of the other gods, Lord Vishnu took the form of Jalandhar and stayed with the unsuspecting Tulsi. When the truth emerged after Jalandhar's death, Vrinda crused Vishnu and turned him to stone (Shaligram) and collapsed. From her body emerged the tulsi plant. That is why Vishnu pooja is considered incomplete without tulsi leaves. As per a blessing by Vishnu to marry Vrinda in her next birth, Vishnu in form of Shaligram – married Tulsi on Prabodhini Ekadashi. To commemorate this event, the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah is performed.

Another minor legend narrates that Lakshmi – the chief consort of Vishnu – slew a demon on this day and remained on earth as the Tulsi plant.

The very name Tulsi, that which cannot be compared, the "incomparable one", has spiritually uplifting qualities. Tulsi has been found to possess extraordinary powers of healing. Tulsi, or the Holy Basil, is the sacred plant of the Hindus and symbolizes purity and is famous for its medicinal properties.

Happy Tulsi Vivah

Vrindaayai Thulasee Devyai,
Priyaayai KesavyasyaCha,
Kesavaarthe sinomi
Dhwaam Varadhaa bhava sarvatha

Om Tat Sat

Devuthan Ekadashi ~ Prabodini Ekadasi

Ekadasi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Vishnu on the 11th day of every lunar fortnight in traditional Hindu calendar. On the 11th Day (Ekadashi) of Shukla Paksh in the month of Karthik, the festival of Devuthan Ekadashi is celebrated. lt is also called Prabodini Ekadasi or Hari Bodhini Ekadasi or Uthwana Ekadashi or Kartiki Ekadashi. It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu had woken up after a rest of four months. Hence, this day marks the end of Chaturmaas.

This day is considered as a very auspicious day and marriages take place on this day all over India. All auspicious work that could not be done during the Chaturmaas are started on this day. In 2010 Devuthan Ekadashi will be celebrated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010.

Majority of the people perform Tulsi Vivah on the day of Karthik Ekadashi. On this day Tulsi is married to Saaligram.

Bhisma Panchak is also observed on 17 Nov 2010 continued to 21 November 2010.