Friday, January 27, 2012

Vijaya Ekadasi

Vijaya Ekadasi

Literal meaning of Ekadshi is, the 11th day of lunar month as per Hindu calendar. There are two Ekadasis celebrated in every lunar month. So, there are overall 24 Ekadashi in a year. The year of Adhimasa have 26 Ekadashis. Moon month have two parts (Paksha). The 11th date of both the Paksha is called Ekadashi. It is believed that result of observing Ekadasi Fast is even more than the fruits earned by donating gold, land, cereals and cow. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on the day of Ekadshi

Vijaya Ekadashi occurs during the waning phase of moon (Krishna Paksha) in February – March. In 2012, the date of Vijaya Ekadashi is February 17. The greatness of this Ekadasi is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Observing of Vijaya Ekadasi helps in removing all the guilt associated with sins committed and also helps in attaining victory. It is believed that Lord Ram observed Vijaya Ekadashi to cross the ocean to reach Lanka to defeat Ravana.

Bhisma Ekadashi ~ Jaya Ekadashi

Ekadasi is a Sanskrit word, which means 'the eleventh'. It refers to the eleventh day of a fortnight belonging to a lunar month. There are two fortnights in a lunar month—the bright and the dark. So, Ekadasi occurs twice in a month, in the bright fortnight and the dark fortnight.

Bhisma Ekadashi, or Bheesma Ekadasi, is observed in the Magha Month (January – February). In 2012, the date of Bhishma Ekadasi is February 3. It is believed that the Vishnu Sahasranama Stothram was revealed to the Pandavas on this day by Bhisma, who was lying in a bed of arrows after the Great War in Mahabharat. It is believed that Bhishma chose this period to leave his body and merge with the Supreme Soul (Brahman). It is also known as Jaya Ekadashi. Observing Jaya Ekadashi Vrata gives the devotees the opportunity to get rid of the sins and to get salvation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vasant Panchami ~ बसन्त पंचमी

Vasant Panchami is the Hindu festival that highlights the coming of spring. This festival is usually celebrated on fifth day of Shukla Paksha of Magh Mass, which is between the months of January and February in Gregorian calendar. On this day Lord Vishnu, God Krishna-Radha and Goddess of education Mata Saraswati is worshiped with yellow flowers, Gulal, water offerings, incense, lamp etc. In the Puja, as per the tradition, yellow and sweet rice and yellow colored Halwa is offered to God and then eaten as Prasadam. In the year 2012, the festival will be celebrated on 28th January.

Panchami is also celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. Dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of learning and Brahma's wife. Goddess Saraswati is the mother of wisdom and music.This festival is specially significant for lovers of art and education. The goddess Sarasvati, sitting on a lotus, symbolizes her wisdom. She is also well-versed in the experience of truth. When the goddess is seen sitting on a peacock, it is a reminder that a strong ego can be held back by wisdom.

The day of Vasant Panchami is considered as the beginning of life, arrival of happiness, the season of rebirth and renewal. Vasant Panchami is included in the Abujh muhurat. Vasant Panchami is a favorable day for auspicious works like marriage, construction of house, beginning of a factory etc. and considered as of a favorable Muhurat for inauguration of an educational institute.

KUMBH MELA ~ कुम्भ मेला

'Kumbh Fair' takes place when the planet Jupiter enters Aquarius and the Sun enters Aries. The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is held every 6th years at Haridwar and Prayag (Allahabad), the Purna (complete) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every twelve years at four places Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik.

-Prayag (near the city of Allahabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

-Haridwar (in the state of Uttaranchal Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas.

-Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of Ksipra river.

-Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 'Purna Kumbh Melas', or 144 years, is held at Prayag.

Kumbh Mela is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Jupiter and the sun. When Jupiter and the sun are in the zodiac sign Leo during the Hindu month of Bhadraprada (August-September) it is held in Trimbakeshwar (Nashik); when the sun is in Aries and Jupiter is in Aquarius during the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) it is celebrated at Haridwar; when Jupiter is in Aries or Taurus and the sun and Moon are in Capricorn during the Hindu month of Magha (January-February) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag (Allahabad); and Jupiter and the sun are in Scorpio the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain. In 2013 the Purna Kumbh Mela will be held on Allahabad which occurs after every 12th years.

Next Kumbh Mela

2013 Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad (January 27 to February 25, 2013).

2015 Kumbh Mela in Nashik (August 15 to September 13, 2015)

2016 Kumbh Mela in Ujjain (April 22 to May 21, 2016)

Dates of Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad 2013

27 January to 25 February 2013

Main Bathing Dates 2013:

Paush Purnima – 27 January 2013

Ekadashi Snan – 6 February 2013

Mauni Amavasya Snan – 10 February 2013: MAIN DATE

Basant Panchami Snan – 15 February 2013

Rath Saptami Snan – 17 February 2013

Bhishma Ekadasi Snan – 18 February 2013

Maghi Purnima Snan – 25 February 2013


Kumbh means pot or pitcher. Mela means festival or fair. Hence, the Kumbh Mela means festival of the pot. It specifically relates to the pot of nectar in Hindu mythology. Legend has it that the gods once lost their strength. In order to regain it, they agreed with the demons to churn the primordial ocean of milk for amrit (the nectar of immortality). The Mandara Mountain acted as the churning rod and Vasuki (king of serpents) was used as a rope for churning. Kumbh was the pot which consist the nectar of immortality and was recovered from Samudramanthan. This was to be shared equally between them. They churned the ocean for 1000 years, where demons were holding Vasuki’s head and Gods were holding its tail. Finally after this entire churning process, Dhanwantari appeared with Kumbh in his palms. To prevent the amrita (elixir of immortality) from demons, its safety was entrusted to Gods Brahaspati, Surya, Shani and Chandra. After learning the conspiracy of the Devtas, demons turned vicious and attacked them. However, a fight broke out, which went on for 12 human years. During the battle, the celestial bird, Garuda, flew away with the Kumbh that held the nectar. Drops of nectar are believed to have fallen in the places that the Kumbh Mela is now held -- Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain.

It is believed that these drops gave mystical powers to these places. It is to make oneself gain on those powers that Kumbh Mela has been celebrated in each of the four places. Pilgrims who attend the Kumbh Mela come to see and listen to these men, in order to gain spiritual enlightenment. The main ritual performed at that Kumbh Mela is the ritual bath. Hindus believe that submerging themselves in the sacred waters on the most auspicious day of the new moon will absolve them and their ancestors of sin, thus ending the cycle of rebirth.