Mahashivratri - 27th Feb 2014

Shivratri or the 'night of Shiva' is celebrated with both austerities and festivities. This auspicious holy night falls in the month of Phalgun, a night before Amavasya night. 

You can  offer jal (water or Ganga water), kachcha dudh (raw or unboiled milk), Dhatura, Bilva leaves, Sandlewood paste, Panch Amrit (milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar, honey) etc. to Lord Shiva. Shiva is quick to please and even a little 'jal abhishek' or pouring water on the Shivling suffices. Incase nothing is available, a pure hearted prayer, chanting the Shiva Mantra is also enough to please Bholenath or Lord Shiva.

Usually, one fasts on Shivratri day from dawn till the next day's dawn. The night is spent in chanting, meditation, prayers, and bhajan. It is a night of introspection and realizing the deep connect with Parmeshwar.

Lord Shiva is an ideal householder God and guides one in fulfilling their domestic responsibility with gratitude and care. Devotees seek his blessings for a happy married and family life. Nothing is impossible at the feet of 'Devo ke Dev' or the God of all Gods - Shiva or Mahadev. He blesses his devotees with every fortune and opens the door of enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge to everyone.


Angarak Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi

Angarak Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi Vrat

Chaturthi is the fourth day of the Hindu lunar calendar and comes around twice in a month. Chaturthi is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Ganesh devotees observe vrat or fast on Chaturthi day from dawn to dusk and break their fast only after sighting the moon. 

The Chaturthi that comes after Purnima or full moon night is called Sankashti Chaturthi. This is considered very auspicious for fasting and fulfilment of wishes or ‘manokamna’.  The Chaturthi that comes after Amavas or new moon night is called Vinayaki Chaturthi.

On rare occasions in a year, the Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi happens to fall on a Tuesday. This day has a special name called ‘Angarak Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi ’. This is considered very potent and auspicious day for praying to Lord Ganesh. 

Ganesh is the god who is ‘Shubh karta’ and ‘Mangalkari’ or one who makes anything auspicious. He is also ‘vighnharta’ or one who rids all obstacles. He grants knowledge, wisdom, wealth, and fortunes to his devotees.

In 2014, Angarak Sankashti Ganesh Chaturthi falls on 18th February, 15th July, and 9th December.

One also prays to Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman, Lord Mangal Grah on Tuesdays.


Saraswati Puja 2014

Saraswati Puja 

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa, Yaa shubhra-vastra'avritaa
The one who is fair like the Kunda flower, white as the moon, who wears a garland made of Tushar flowers, and the one who wears white garments

Yaa veena-vara-danda-manditakara, Yaa shweta padma'asana
The one who is decorated with the Veena in her hands and the one who sits on the pristine white Lotus flower

Yaa brahma'achyuta shankara prabhritibhir Devai-sadaa Vanditaa
The one who is prayed to by the Trimurti, namely Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva along with all other Gods

Saa Maam Paatu Saraswati Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadya'apahaa.
That Bhagwati Saraswati Devi (Ma Saraswati), please remove our ignorance and grant us knowledge, wisom and intelligence

Vasant Panchmi  is celebrated as Saraswati puja today. Vasant or Basant means spring and Panchmi is the fifth day of the Magh month of the Hindu lunar calendar. This day is important since it heralds the spring season after the bitter cold winter. The days are brighter, weather is pleasant, and trees are decorated with lush foliage and colorful buds.  Today mata Saraswati came into existence.

When Lord Brahma was asked to create the ‘Shrishti’ or world, he did so but was not satisfied with what he saw. It was bland. He then created Goddess Saraswati. Sarawati played the Veena (a stringed musical instrument) and at once the world came alive with music. People laughed and sang, the wind whistled, the birds chirped, and the water bubbled and gurgled. Everything had a sound.

Saraswati is regarded as the goddess of knowledge, skills, art, music, beauty, intelligence and wisdom. She is known as the mother of the Vedas. She also influences’s speech. Saraswati is symbolized as holding the Veena which plays the music of life and love. She rides a gracious swan, symbolizing the ‘satvic gunas’ or virtues of purity and righteousness. She is also known as ‘Bagishwari’, ‘Bhagwati Sharda’, and ‘Veena Vadini’.  She gives impetus and growth to our talents and abilities.  Praying to her today enhances our brilliance and mental growth.

Today also, people adorn themselves with yellow clothes. Yellow is the color of sunshine, newly ripe fruits, love, abundance and the beautiful fields filled with crops.  People also eat and distribute yellow sweets and fruits today.

Basant or Spring is also the time for love and romance.  Kamdev, the God of love is also worshiped today along with his wife Rati. It is believed Lord Krishna did most of his merriment and pranks-play with the gopis, during this season..

Jai Ma Saraswati

Shri Shukta

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Shri Shuktam

'Om Hiranyavarnaam harineem suvarnarajatsrajaam Chandraam hiranyamayeem Lakshmeem Jaat Vedo Ma Aa Vaho.'

Lakshmi is invoked in the hymn Shri Shukta or Shree Sukta of the Rig veda. She is described as the goddess of opulence with richness in feminine form, with beauty, clothes and jewellery. Her image is full of grace and her adornment of red saree, gold, and precious stones fills us with aspirations to reflect in her blessings.

The hymn, dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi describes her as glittering as the moon. Seated on a lotus, her skin also like the lotus and she wears a garland of the Lotus. Her ornaments are of gold and silver, and she bestows upon her devotees fame, prosperity and abundant food.