Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

jay hanuman gyaan gun sagar
jai kapis thihu lok ujagar
ram doot atulit baldhama
anjani putra pavan sut nama
mahabir bikram bajrangi
kumati nivar sumati ke sangi

kanchan baran biraaj subesha
kaanan kundal kunchit kesha

haath bajra au dhvajaa biraajai
kandhe muj janru saajai

shanker suvan kesharinandan
tej prataap mahaa jag vandan

vidyaavaan gunni chaatur
raam kaaj karibe ko aatur

prabhu caritra sunibe ko rasiyaa
ramlashan sita man basiya

sukshma roop dhaari siyaahi dhikhaava
vikat roop dhaari lanka jaraavaa

bhim roop dhaari asur sahaare
ramchandra ke kaaj savaare

lay sajeevan lakhan jiyaaye
sri raghubir harashi ur laaye
raghupati kinhi bahut badhayee
tum mam priya bharathisam bhai
sahas badan tumharo yash gaavay
as kahi shripathi kanth lagaavay

sanakadik brahmaadi munisha
naarad sharad sahit ahisha

yam kuber digpaal jahate
kavi kovid kahi sakai kahate

tum upkaar sugrivahi kinha
ram milay rajpad dinha

tumharo mantra vibhishan maanaa
lankeshwar bhaye sab jag jaanaa

yug sahasra yojan par bhaanu
lilyo taahi madhur phal jaanu

prabhu mudrikaa much maahi
jaladhi laadhi gaye acharajnaahi

durgam kaaj jagath ke jete
sugam anugrah tumhaare tete

raam duare tum rakhvaare
hoth na aajna bin paisaare

sab such lahai tumhaari sarnaa
tum rakshak kaahuu ko darnaa

aapan tej samhaaro aapai
teeno lok hankte kanpey

bhoot pisach nikat naahi aavai
mahaabir jab naam sunaavai

naasai rog harai sab peera
japt niranthar hanumat beera

sankat se hanuman chudaavai
man kram bachan dhyaan jo laavai

sab par ram tapasvi raja
thinke kaaj sakal tum saajaa

aur manorath jo koi laavai
soi amit jeevan phal paavai

chaaro yug parataap tumhaara
hai parasiddh jagat ujiyaara

saadhu santh ke tum rakhavaare

asur nikandan ram dulaare

ashthsiddhi nav nidhi ke data
as bar deen jaanaki mata

ram rasayan tumhare paasaa
sadaa raho raghupati ke daasaa

tumhare bhajan ramko paavai
janma janma ke dukh bisaraavai

anth kaal raghupati pur jaaii
jahaa janma hari bhakta kahaai

aur devataa chittha na dharayee
hanumat sei sarva such karayee

sankat harai mitai sab peeraa
jo sumirai hanumat bal beeraa

jai jai jai hanuman gosaayee
kripaa karahu gurudev kee naayee

jo shat path kar jooyee
chootahee bandi mahaasukh hoii

jo yah padhai hanuman chalisa
hoy siddhi saakhi gaurisaa

thulsidaas sadaa hari cheraa
keejay naath hriday mah deraa


Hanuman Jayanti is the birthday of Lord Hanuman and it is observed on the full moon (Purnima) day in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March – April) as per traditional lunar Hindu calendar. In 2010, the date of Hanuman Jayanthi is March 30. In 2010 it is doubly auspicious as the Jayanti day falls on Tuesday or Mangalwar which is dedicated to Hanuman. Lord Hanuman is also known as Bajrang Bali and Anjaneya and is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism. He is a Chiranjeevi – one blessed with immortality.

In Andhra Pradesh, Hanumant Jayanti is observed after a 41-day Deeksha which begins on Chaitra Purnima and in 2010 the date is June 7. In Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is observed during the Margazhi month (December – January). Another popular day dedicated to Hanuman is the Hanumantha Vrata observed in Margashirsh month (November – December) in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Jai Bajrang Bali

Lord Hanuman symbolizes strength and unparalleled devotion and selfless service. He is the greatest devotee of Lord Ram and he is a Brahmachari (celibate) and humility is his hallmark.

The greatness of Hanuman is explained by Lord Ram in the Ramayan

Lord Ram said to Hanuman, ‘I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero. You did marvelous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. … you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita.

How can I repay my debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you.

I give you the boon of everlasting life. All will honor and worship you like myself. Your idol will be placed at the door of my temple and you will be worshipped and honored first. Whenever my stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!’

Devotees chant Hanuman Chalisa and Hanuman Ashtak on the day. Most Hindu devotees also fast on the day or on the previous day. Hanuman Jayanthi Vrat is observed on March 29, 2010 in some regions.

Hanuman Jayanti observed during Different dates in a year

It must be noted here that Hanuman Jayanti is observed during different period by different communities. In Andhra Pradesh, Hanuman Jayanti is observed as a 41-day Hanuman Jayanti Deeksha and it begins on Chaitra Purnima.

In Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is observed during the Margazhi month (December – January).

In some regions, Hanuman Jayanti is observed on the day before Diwali.

The Relevance of Hanuman Today

In today’s society of convulsions, inertia, selfishness, moral and social, spiritual and ethical decay, Lord Hanuman has become the standard bearer and the embodiment of courage, self-control, power, selfless service, bravery, integrity and humility.

ABOUT VISHUvishu-kani
Vishu is a Malayalum festival held in the state of Kerala (and adjoining areas of Tamil Nadu) in Indian on the first day in the Malayalum month of Medam (April-May). Festival of Vishu is also known as the Malayalum New Year day and thus it becomes all the more important for the Malayalees regardless of their religion or sect. Simmilarly this festival is celebrated in almost all the places in India by the Hindus but by the different names. In Assam this day is called Bihu, in Punjab Baisakhi and in Tamil Nadu Puthandu.

vishu2007-001The Vishukani or the auspicious sight is the arrangement of ‘konna pua’, a yellow laburnum flower, fruits like jackfruit and mangoes, vegetables like gourds and snake gourds, ornaments made of gold, bell metal mirror with a white, pleated cloth tied to it’s handle (supposedly used by Goddess Parvati), the traditional bronze vessal’Uruli’ filled with rice, items used for daily worship (asthamangalam), clothes with pure gold zari, a split coconut, some coins in a silver cup, some water in ‘od ‘, a traditional vessal and a ‘grantha’, which is a palm leaf manuscript or the Bhagwat gita.

Ram Navami
rama-navami2Ramanavami celebrates the birth of Rama or Ramachandra. On the ninth day of the first fortnight of Chaitra the birth of Rama is commemorated. The story of Rama was first written by Vaalmeeki in about the 4th century B.C. Rama is supposed to have lived during the 8th or 7th century B.C. The epic known as the Ramayana. In some parts of India, it is a nine-day festival, coinciding with the Vasanta Navaratri (see also Navaratri).

The public worship starts with morning ablutions, chanting Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu, and offering flowers and fruit to the god. People keep a fast throughout the day, breaking it only at midnight with fruit. In some parts of India, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, public gatherings called satsangs are organised to commemorate the birth of Rama. Excerpts from the Ramacharitamanas, extolling the glory of Rama, are recited. People of all castes and creeds participate in these gatherings to listen to the stories and their explanations offered by the learned
Rama’s Birth:
The country of Kosal was situated on the banks of the river Sharayu. Ayodhya was the capital founded by the king rishi Manu. During the reign of king Dasarath, Ayodhya reached a period of great prosperity. But Dasarath faced a big problem: he had no children. Therefore he decided to perform a sacrifice known as “ashvamedh”, or horse-sacrifice. Elaborate and difficult rituals had to be observed. A very holy man, rishi Rishyashring, was chosen to conduct the sacrifice with the utmost accuracy. The performance of this sacrifice was a great event in Ayodhya. At the end Rishyashring recited a mantra and made an offering to the fire. Then the gods, gandharvas, siddhas, and rishis present arid began to pray to Brahma.birth-rama1
At that time Ravan, king of Lanka, was terrorizing the people, and all were longing for liberation from his menace. Ravan had acquired great power because he had obtained from god Brahma the boon that he would never die at the hands of gods, or gandharvas, or yakshas (demigods) or demons. As he was not afraid of men he did not care to include men in the list of his potential slayers. So Brahmadev declared that Ravan would die at the hands of a man. Then the gods went to Vishnu with the request, “Dasarath is a glorious king. Please, take birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different degrees of your divinity.”
When Dasarath’s sacrifice came to an end a shining figure appeared over the sacrificial kund, and offered the king a divine beverage called “payasam” to be given to his queens Kausalya, Kaikayi, and Sumitra. In due time Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikayi to Bharat and Sumitra to Laxman and Shatrugna. Rama was born at noon of the bright ninth day of Chaitra. He was believed to be the embodiment of half degree of Vishnu’s divinity, (ardha ounsh).
Four storeys – even the original Ravana may not have been so tall. But this is the Kali Yuga, when evil is supposed to assume an even more terrifying form. Ravana has his moments of glory, and that too, on Rama Navami, the birthday of Rama.

The effigy of the ten-headed Ravana swaggers through the town, wearing a gaudy crown and exaggerated moustache, with shouting hordes following. But once Ravana reaches the open ground that is his final destination, he is suddenly deserted by most of his “followers” – because the noble Rama has made his appearance.

In the end, righteousness does triumph, even in Kali Yuga. Rama engages him in battle, and finally pierces him with a potent arrow. And the huge effigy of Ravana, filled to bursting with firecrackers, is set alight, and explodes into a thousand bits amid loud cheers from the crowd and shouts of Jai Shri Ram. This ritual is an important part of the Rama Navami celebrations in most parts of North India.

Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of the shukla paksha, or bright phase of the moon, in the lunar month of Chaitra (April-May). The first day of Chaitra , or Ugadi, also marks the beginning of the Indian year.

Rama is one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, and one of the two most popular, along with Krishna. Consequently, Rama Navami is widely celebrated, though not on the scale of festivals like Diwali or Dussehra.

According to legend, Rama was born at noon. Rama is the epitome of perfection, the uttama purusha, fulfilling all his duties towards both family and subjects.

Rama was the first of the four sons of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. When it was time for Rama to be made crown-prince, his stepmother, Kaikeyi, got Dasharatha to send him to the forest for 14 years. His wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana also accompanied him. In the forest, Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Rama, together with Hanuman and the monkey army, built a bridge to Lanka, killed Ravana, and brought Sita back.

It is believed that listening to the story of Rama cleanses the soul. Meditating on the noble Rama and chanting his name is believed to ease the pains of life and lead one to moksha, or liberation. It is also common practice to chant the name of Rama while rocking babies to sleep.
Though Rama Navami is a major festival for Vaishnavites, it is widely celebrated by worshippers of Shiva, too.It is considered auspicious to undertake a fast on the day in the name of Rama. The more devout fast for nine days, from Ugadi to Rama Navami. The objective of the fast is not to ask for special favours of the deity but to seek perfection as a human being. Devotees perform elaborate pujas and chant the name of Rama. Temples of Rama have special services and bhajan sessions through the day.

One significant and popular element of the celebration is the Ramayana parayana, a discourse on the Ramayana, by a pundit or a professional story-teller. It usually lasts nine days, beginning on Ugadi and ending on Rama Navami. A skilled story-teller who can liven up the event by weaving in contemporary events attracts massive crowds.

Since Rama is also one of the most sung-about deities in Indian classical music and literature, week-long (and sometimes, month-long) musical programmes are organised.

Sacred places associated with Rama, like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram, draw tens of thousands of devotees. In Rameshwaram, thousands take a ritual bath in the sea before worshipping at the Ramanathaswamy temple.

Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.

Ugadi significance

Festivals are celebrated every year in the remembrance of past events. All the major Hindu festivals have their own purpose and significance, i.e., to show their relevance and importance in the context of the eternal world cycle of history. India’s rich heritage with its numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year, provides succor and faith, as each occasion has its own distinct value, beauty and ritual practice. Amongst the numerous festivals of India, Ugadi is celebrated with festive fervor in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in A.P. and Karnataka, in Maharashtra it is known as Gudipadava”. 

Hindus have always given pride of place to festivals, as it is a time for getting together as families. The occasion can be based on a seasonal change, a social or religious theme. The New year festival or Ugadi comes close on the heels of Holi. While the strong colors of Holi start fading away. Holy is the purification of the soul by imbibing Godly knowledge, inculcating the divine virtues. The aim is to replace the vices with Virtues. Symbolically, it signifies thanks giving to celebrate bounteous crops as well as signaling the end of an old era and the beginning of a new era.

Ugadi name has been changed from Yuga Aadi (Yuga + Aadi means “Beginning of New age”). The ages starting from a major reference point are Golden age, Silver age, Copper age and Iron age and also known in Hindi as Satyuga or Krutha yuga, Treta yuga, Dwapar yuga and Kaliyuga. The very end of Iron age i.e. the Kaliyuga is refer to hell or “Naraka” or the age of ignorance, which our Puranas or even in Srimath Bhagavath Gita mentioned that the Kaliyuga is “the night of the Brahma, the creator of new world and the Satyuga is the Day of Brahma”.

It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day – Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya’s calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants (barren until now) acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdant fields and meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and well-being.

It is believed that the Ugadi (Beginning of the yuga – Satyuga) will be the next age of the Eternal World Drama Cycle, i.e. after the Kaliyuga. The eternal world drama cycle repeats every 5000 years with 1250 years for each yuga as per the teachings of Prajapita Brahma kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya. It is the wonderful and colourful festival, because after the Holi (the purification of the soul by imbibing Godly knowledge, inculcating the divine virtues by replacing the vices with virtues) the New age, New yuga, and New era will be start. So, it is the time to change ourselves or to purify ourselves by inculcating the divine virtues.

Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon’s orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchanga shravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples. Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement. It is said in Srimath Bhagavath Gita that the Body is the Cloth for the Soul, the eternal being, which takes many birth in the cyclic world drama (four yugas). When the eternal, imperishable soul takes new birth, i.e., takes new body as a kid, it is said that the soul wears a new cloth. Let us celebrate the Ugadi as a beginning of New age – Satyuga- of the world cycle.

On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after which they decorate the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The significance of tying mango leaves relates to a legend. It is said that Kartik (or Subramanya or Kumara Swamy) and Ganesha, the two sons of Lord Siva and Parvathi were very fond of mangoes. As the legend goes Kartik exhorted people to tie green mango leaves to the doorway signifying a good crop and general well-being. In Spiritual terms it is said that the Lord Shiva, the Supreme Soul refer to the “Trimurthi Shiva” and also believed “Paramatma Shiva”, the one who is the Supreme Lord of even for Brahma, Vishnu, Shankar (Trimurthi) and all other deities. As the Spiritual Father of all souls, we are the one who have right to get Peace, Prosperity, Health, Wealth and Happiness through the festival of Ugadi by changing ourselves or replacing the vices with divine virtues with the help of Spiritual or Godly knowledge.

It is noteworthy that we use mango leaves and coconuts (as in a Kalasam, to initiate any pooja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods. People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colorful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God, invoking his blessings before they start off with the new year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too.

Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures. And they will take jaggery and Neem leaves also today because Jaggery represents joy and happiness and Neem leaves represents sorrow. So those souls who come in the entire cycle of World drama can celebrate Ugadi, because Jaggery represents Krutayuga and Tretayuga which is full of purity, prosperity and peace. Neem leaves represents Dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga which consists of sorrow, chaos and impurity.

July 2018
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