Sometimes Pisces can seem as though they’re living on another planet but have you ever stopped to wonder what it is exactly that makes Pisces so unique? Those are born under the Pisces sign can get labeled as everything from total genius through to downright nutcase. But to truly get a sense of what the Pisces personality is all about you just need to take a closer look at the many distinct traits and characteristic that make up this one of- a-kind zodiac sign. Pisces probably have the most distinctive characteristics of all the 12 signs of Zodiac. If you’re not convinced, take a look at the Pisces nearest to you or read these 6 things below to figure out!
1. Pisces have a knack for reading a person’s true intentions : Pisces , You cannot stress enough upon the fact that you are unbelievably intuitive. Every Piscean is born with this sixth sense. Pisces have an intuitive and psychic ability more then any other zodiac signs. They trust their gut feelings and if they do not, they quickly learn to because they realize that their hunches are usually correct. They are frighteningly perceptive. Many Pisceans have a strong psychic ability or sixth sense or just an innate sense of intuition. Could be why they often prefer to be alone than with people who are not worth their time. You’ll sometimes be shocked at how accurately they can read people; since Pisceans are a unique blend of both an extrovert and introvert, they rely on their own internal instincts and logic to make decisions and form beliefs.
2. Pisces has an incredibly giving and generous nature : A Pisces truly has the most generous and compassionate soul, because they give and give even when they have
nothing left to give. The Pisces personality tends to be extremely generous and it’s very much in their nature to want to give back in life and share their good fortunes with others. They are givers of gifts, attention, thoughts, and of love. If you are in any type of relationship with a Pisces, be prepared to be showered with love and kindness. They are quite popular in their social circles for being a genuine friend to everyone. They value human relations the most and put the people she/ he love above everything else.
3. They are easy going in every sense of the word. They are okay with almost anything and everything. When plans are being made, they are usually lost in their own thoughts : Pisces are very easy going, down to Earth, and generally very easy to get along with.They tend not to make any waves, often just going with the flow. The quality associated with Pisces is Mutable, of which their easy-going and fluid nature is often attributed to. Pisces: you’ve been told you’re easy to talk to and you enjoy being someone others can turn to when they need help overcoming life’s obstacles. Pisces is very easy-going. Pisces isn’t about ‘Me’ or ‘You’ or even ‘Us’ or ‘Them’ Pisces is about everything and nothing. Pisces isn’t open or closed, it’s just there. Their emotions are their own, other people’s, and the universe’s, as are everyone else’s emotions through Pisces eyes. Ideally, Pisces accepts this aspect of their existence. They are ultimately going with the flow because they realize on some level that they are ultimately everything and nothing. Pisceans have a soothing and calm presence. They don’t hold grudges. They deal with an issue when it comes up but forgiveness is their forte. They believe in the best in people and will go out of your way to help people, even if it means great sacrifice.
4. Pisces can be maddeningly indecisive sometimes : Pisces sees both sides of every situation. Sometimes this can make it difficult to make a decision and sometimes
they’re seen as indecisive or wishy-washy. Pisces can be incredibly indecisive at times and can struggle to come to a final decision agonizing over everything for fear of making the wrong decision. Pisces struggle with balancing logic and emotion when making decisions. There is a reason behind Pisces being indecisive. In making the same
decision, a Sagittarius may only consider two consequences; however a Pisces would think of up to 10 consequences because he/she really worries too much. To make it simple, Pisces would think of the different effects that could be caused by the ‘situation’, whether or not it will cause misunderstandings etc. Because of this they constantly revisit their decisions in search of equilibrium between the two.
5. Pisces fears rejection and the idea of winding up alone : Pisces have a lot of love to give and when they commit to a relationship they do so with all of their heart. Pisces takes everything to heart. They’re very sensitive and can get their feelings hurt easily. No one can throw a pity party like they can. Pisces craves companionship and they have a strong desire for a deep and meaningful relationship, however finding love isn’t always so easy for them. One of their biggest fears however is that they won’t be able to find someone that will be able to reciprocate that love. They sometimes suffer from low self esteem leading them to doubt their odds of finding their perfect match. Pisces downfall is their sensitivity and their inability to reject another person. They do not like rejection, fear of ending up alone/never falling in love and they try to treat others the way they want to be treated so they will rarely say no for fear of hurting them.
6. Pisces have a competitive side that can take people by surprise : People often underestimate the competitive side of a Pisces. Few realize just how competitive the Pisces can be when they are presented with a challenge. Pisces is not known to be aggressive or cutthroat. They are not known to be business types, but they are successful when they are given the chance to express themselves creatively, like through the arts, and given a chance to express their compassion towards humanity. Don’t be fooled by their seemingly aloof nature because they actually kinda love to win. Pisces are competitive and give their best at every opportunity, always believing that attitude, more than ability, promises success. If you’re silly enough to underestimate them then they will try twice as hard to kick your ass!
Meditation is relaxation. It is not about concentration, it’s actually about deconcentration. It’s not about focusing one’s thoughts on one thing, but instead on becoming thoughtless. While you are meditating and trying to clear your mind, have you ever found yourself wondering what are the benefits of meditation?
6 Health Benefits of Meditation
With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (energy). These results in joy, peace, enthusiasm as the level of prana in the body increases. On a physical level, meditation :
> Lowers high blood pressure
> Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
> Decreases any tension -related pain, such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia etc.
> Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
> Improves the immune system
> Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
10 Mental Benefits of Meditation
Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. It cleanses and nourishes you from within and calms you, whenever you feel overwhelmed, unstable, or emotionally shut down. With regular practice of meditation :
> Anxiety decreases
> Emotional stability improves
> Creativity increases
> Happiness increases
> Intuition develops
> Problems become smaller
> Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
> A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
> An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
> The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection.
Meditation makes you aware – that your inner attitude determines your happiness.
3 Spiritual Benefits of Meditation
Meditation doesn’t have a religion and can be practiced by anybody regardless of the faith they follow. By practicing meditation :
> Effortless transition from being something to merging with the infinite and recognizing yourself as an inseparable part of the whole cosmos.
> In a meditative state, you are in a space of vastness, calmness and joy and this is what you emit into the environment, bringing harmony to the Creation/planet.
>Meditation can bring about a true personal transformation. As you learn more about yourself, you’ll naturally start discovering more about yourself and love yourself.
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There are really more than 10 reasons why yoga is so good for you, and the physical, psychological, and subtle benefits of this practice could fill books. But following is a brief highlight of some of the reasons you should consider adding yoga to your world. Here are 10 health benefits of yoga adding to more reasons why you should make it a part of your daily routine.
1. Strength, Agility and Flexibility are all increased : Many sports will give you strength. Others will give you more agility, but few practices will increase strength, agility, and flexibility all at once. It has been seen professional athletes overcome injury by increasing their range of motion with yoga. Nothing really compares for repairing the body and making sure that the ligaments and connective tissues are just as strong and pliable as the muscles themselves.
2. Yoga Enhances Memory & Cognitive Functioning : It may seem strange that a practice which involves breathing and stretching can enhance your cognitive functioning, but yogis could really be better at learning, have increased memory capacity, and retain high levels of concentration. Many of these benefits are attributed to meditation – arguably the goal of all yogic practice, but it can also help you at school or on the job by improving your brain functioning.
3. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown : Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by ‘squeezing and soaking’ areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up.
5. Body Weight Normalizes – More Health Benefits of Yoga : While doing an hour of hatha yoga, or even power yoga won’t likely burn as many calories as doing a high intensity interval workout, yoga has a way of normalizing body weight by restoring hormonal balance in the body. Stress is known to cause obesity and fuel virtually all disease, and yoga is a perfect countermeasure.
6. Yoga Naturally Reduces Pain : There are countless studies proving that yoga can be very effective at relieving pain. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis, or migraine headaches, yoga has been proven to effectively reduce pain from all these ailments. And if you are one of the millions of people that suffer from back
pain – yoga can make that pain practically disappear.
7. Mental Health is greatly enhanced : Yoga offers so many benefits in the psychological department it is difficult to name them all in a brief overview, but among them are an improved overall mood and sense of well-being, more connectedness with others, lowered depressive states, less hostility toward the self and others, less anxiety, feelings of self-actualization increase, motivation increases, and more.
8. Makes you happier : Feeling sad? Sit in Lotus. Better yet, rise up into a backbend or soar royally into King Dancer Pose. While it is not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an
enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol.
9. Helps you focus : An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and recall information better—probably because they are less distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like an endless tape loop.
10. You Can Do Yoga Anywhere : Perhaps one of the most convenient health benefits of yoga is that you can experience them just about anywhere. I’ve done yoga in studios, at the airport, in my home, at a friend’s home, in hotel rooms, outdoors in parks and forests, even on top of rocks, or on the rooftops of tall buildings in a busy city. You
don’t need anything except a yoga mat but even that isn’t really necessary to do yoga.
In the auspicious month of Phalgun, as the spring is arriving, a joyful festival is about to begin. On the 14th day of every lunar month, the auspicious festival of shivaratri is celebrated. There are 12 Shivaratris in a year and 1 Maha shivaratri. On the night before the new moon in the month of February or March, the Night of the Lord Shiva, Mahashivratri, with utmost spiritual significance is celebrated. Mahashivratri is on 13th February this year.
In Indian yogic tradition and some tradition of Tantra, Shiva is not treated as a demigod like other demigods in his worldly form known as Shambhu, Shankar, Mahesha or Mahadev. He is rather known as the teacher of all the teachers as the first guru, the one from which all the knowledge has descended onto the humanity and the yogic tradition began from him. The yogic tradition is not only the one with all the yoga and asana, but also the path of the self-realization.
Thus, Mahashivratri is celebrated in various forms by various categories of people. Worldly person celebrate Mahashivratri as the anniversary of Shiva and Goddess Parvati. A person with some spiritual sense celebrates this day as the day when Shiva attained victory over all of his enemies.
History behind Mahashivratri
Generally Mahashivratri is celebrated as the anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati as the night of their wedding but, there are many stories in various text and scriptures describing why Mahashivratri is celebrated.
One of the story from Shiv Puran (Vidhyeshwar Samhita Chapter 6) states that when Lord Brahma woke up from his deep meditative slumber, he wished to find out who was greatest and the supreme. Later on, Lord Brahma saw Lord Vishnu, and they both begin to argue with each other about who is supreme and creator of each other. This argument took a furious from and seeing that, Lord Sada Shiva emerged in the form of a giant fiery Jyoti linga and a voice came from it saying that whoever will find the top or bottom of this Jyoti linga will be considered as the supreme in all. Hearing this, Lord Vishnu and Brahma agreed. Lord Vishnu took the form of a varaha and Brahma took the form of swan and decided that
one will go upwards while the other will go downwards to search the bottom and top of this Jyoti linga.
Lord Vishnu decided to go downloads to find the base of the Jyoti linga and Lord Brahma decided to ascend upwards to find the top of the Shiv linga. Millions of years had passed but no one was able to find the top or the bottom of Shiv linga. Lord Vishnu had understood that whoever is this Jyoti linga is the supreme in us and decided to rest his journey to find the bottom of the lingam returning back to the place where he started where as Brahma saw the flower named as Ketaki and thought that he would use this flower as a witness to prove that he had found the top of the Jyoti linga and so he said to Ketaki that you have to be my witness and clarify that I have found the top of this Jyoti linga. Ketaki agreed and Lord Brahma begin to go down backwards from the point where the both started.
Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat and said that I couldn’t find the base of this Jyoti linga while Brahma laughed at him and said that he has found the top of this Jyoti linga and here is my witness this Ketaki flowers which I found at the top of this Jyoti linga. As soon as Brahma said this, a raging voice came from the Jyoti linga and Shiva emerged in his glorious form of Shambhsadashiva.
Brahma saw Shiva and said that he is the one who found the top of this Jyoti linga and here is my witness. Shiva became furious and told him that he is telling lies. Being angry on Brahma, Shiva cursed Brahma that he will never be worshipped by any human in temples and Lord Shiva also cursed the flower Ketaki that you will never be used in my worship.
Lord Shiva blessed Lord Vishnu and gave him a boon that he shall always be the highest to be worshiped by all. As the day on which Shiva manifested in this form was the 14th day of this lunar month thus after that, this day was known as Mahashivratri.
Another story states that on this day, Shiva drank the poison from the Samudra Manthan and saved the word from devastation. That is why this day is celebrated as Mahashivratri.
In Shivaism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performed the glorious dance of creation and that is why this day is celebrated as Mahashivratri.
Whatever might have happened in the history behind the celebration of this day and stories may differ but, the procedure of celebration is almost the same everywhere. Everyone observes the fast, worship and chant the sacred hymns and mantras of Lord Shiva on this day. Shiv linga is worshipped by pouring water on this day and a proper fasting is observed whole night long. In Shiva yogic traditions, meditation and chanting is done to please Shiva in hopes to attain boons from him for the whole period. This is the night to purify oneself from all the unwanted things or sins that have been done in ignorance unknowingly or out of understanding.
Science behind Mahashivratri
As per the scientific reasons, on this day, the northern hemisphere of the Earth is in such a position that the energy or the centrifugal force of the Earth begins to move upward and that’s why in yogic tradition, it is stated that no one should sit, lie or sleep with their spine bent and not straight upwards on the night of Mahashivratri so that everyone can have the benefits of this upsurge of energy.
How Mahashivratri is celebrated
According to Garuda Purana, one should worship Shiva before the Shivratri on the 13th (Trayodashi) of the month and on the 14th (Chaturdashi) one should observe fast on Mahashivratri.
According to Shiva Purana and Garuda Purana, one should offer bael leaves, flower of Aak, leaves of marijuana or bhang on Shiva Lingam on this day.
There are many ways in which Mahashivratri can be celebrated in various traditions with different styles. The most general tradition of celebrating Mahashivratri is to observe fast on the day and night and break the fast on the next day after sunrise at the time of its paran (time when Chaturdashi/period of fasting ends).
People should get up early and get pure by having a bath. After that, they must visit Shivalaya, the Shiva temple and perform sacred rites of simple Rudrabhisheka (watering the Shiva Lingam) with different things, various kind of fruits and especially with bael leaves which are offered on Shiv linga. People chant the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” as much as possible the whole day and night. There are many other people who chant sacred hymns of Lord Shiva, Puranas and
Upanishad related to Lord Shiva and meditate upon his names through Shiva Sahasranama Stotram. Those who cannot observe the whole day and night fast can observe the night fast while meals of fruit or juices, falahar can be taken.
Traditional way: In Hindu cosmology, a day is divided into 8 segments known as prahar, each having 3 hours. Thus 4 units/segments are of the day and 4 are of the night.
Mahashivratri is celebrated in the 4 units of the night. Each prahar contains 3 hours in which we have to perform worship of Lord Shiva’s various forms. The worship is done 4 times in the whole night in each prahar with the help of simple Rudrabhisheka and prayers.
Simple and Household Pooja Samagri Items needed: 1. Pure cow’s ghee 2. Cotton wick and earthen/metal lamp 3. Fruits 4. Flowers (excluding Ketaki) preferably white 5. Panchamrita (Ghee, Sugar, Honey, Milk and Curd) 6. Gangaajal 7. Bael leaves 8. Unbroken rice 9. Bell and incenses 10. Prasad (cooked items in purity without garlic and onions) 11. Any of these items: Supari, Mishri, Honey, Rudraksha, White chandan etc.
Puja Vidhi: One should get up early in the morning and have a bath, then should go to a Shiva temple or in case performing Puja at home, keep the items in front of a Shiv linga placed facing the east direction. Shiva Lingam placed in home should not be more than the size of the first part of the thumb of house owner.
One should do normal worshipping of Lord Shiva in the morning with his prayers or mantras such as the panchakshri mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra etc.
One can recite various hymns and texts related to Shiva, the Shiva chalisa, Shivashtakam, Shiva Stavan, Shivaarti etc.
Timings of the each Prahar may differ from place to place and timings for Pooja can also differ from place to place the city is advised to check online the timings of your place for each Prahar.
In the first prahar at the evening:
*Either you go to the Shiva temple or if you are performing the Pooja at home gather all the items in front of Shiva Lingam placed in a bronze or copper plate.
*Light the incense and pure ghee lamp, ring the bell and keep the prasad beside the Shiv linga.
*Read the prayers, Stotram, Chalisa or whatever you wish to chant/read except the Aarti if you wish to perform the worship in all 4 Prahars otherwise if you are going to offer just one time worship at the evening, it is better to end it with the Aarti.
After that the simple mantra of the first prahar can be:
श्री शिवाय नमः Shree Shivaya namah
Offer a little water on Shiv linga while chanting the mantra with happy and calm mind.
Offer one by one all the items: *Chandan *Unbroken rice *Flowers *Incense *Ghee lamp light *Naivedya (little Prasad and fruits and all other edible items)
Remember that this Naivedya is strictly forbidden to be taken to eat for the self, except for the prasad kept beside the Shiv linga out of which a little part should be offered of each item to the Shiv linga.
Then offer the small bath of Gangajal and Panchamrita on Shiv linga.
Dispose everything in a bucket and keep it outside of your home and clean the Shiv linga and then perform simple Rudrabhisheka by watering the Shiv linga. And put that water in the bucket.
Now keep chanting this mantra as long as possible for 3 hours while doing your normal day work.
2nd Prahar: With same procedure, carry on the worship of Shiv linga with this mantra:
श्री शंकराय नमः श्री साम्भसदाशिवाय नमः Shree Shankarai Namah Shree SambhSada Shivaya Namah
3rd Prahar: With same procedure, carry on the worship of Shiv linga with this mantra:
श्री महेश्वराय नमः Shree Maheshwaraay Namah
Last Prahar: With same procedure, carry on the worship of Shiv linga with this mantra:
श्री रुद्राय नमः Shree Rudraya Namah
Now when it is the time to break the fast perform the final worship and prayer to Lord Shiva offer him the fresh food which you are going to break your fast with and then break your fast after performing the Shiv Puja and Aarti. First distributing the Prasad to everyone and then breaking your fast with the prasad and food.
Dispose all the items offered to Shiv linga whole night some place where people may not get in contact with it for some time under a tree or plant.
Shastric Puja Vidhi
The shastric puja Vidhi for Lord Shiva’s Mahashivratri includes Shri Kalash Sthapan, Sri Shiv linga Sthapana, Avahan, Swastivachan, Shodashopchar Puja, Maha Rudrabhisheka, Sri Shiva Sahasranama Paath, Sri Rudri Paath, Sri Rudra Puja, Sri Shiv Parvati Puja, Purnahuti, Homa and Visarjan.
Mantras for Maha Shivratri
A few of the short prayers for Lord Shiva are:
1) नागेंद्रहाराय त्रिलोचनाय भस्मांग रागाय महेश्वराय नित्याय शुद्धाय दिगंबराय तस्मे न काराय नम: शिवाय:॥
मंदाकिनी सलिल चंदन चर्चिताय नंदीश्वर प्रमथनाथ महेश्वराय मंदारपुष्प बहुपुष्प सुपूजिताय तस्मे म काराय नम: शिवाय:॥
शिवाय गौरी वदनाब्जवृंद सूर्याय दक्षाध्वरनाशकाय श्री नीलकंठाय वृषभद्धजाय तस्मै शि काराय नम: शिवाय:॥
अवन्तिकायां विहितावतारं मुक्तिप्रदानाय च सज्जनानाम्। अकालमृत्यो: परिरक्षणार्थं वन्दे महाकालमहासुरेशम्।।
2) ॐ वन्दे देव उमापतिं सुरगुरुं, वन्दे जगत्कारणम् l वन्दे पन्नगभूषणं मृगधरं, वन्दे पशूनां पतिम् ll वन्दे सूर्य शशांक वह्नि नयनं, वन्दे मुकुन्दप्रियम् l वन्दे भक्त जनाश्रयं च वरदं, वन्दे शिवंशंकरम् ll
3) ॐ मृत्युंजयाय रुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय शम्भवे l अमृतेशाय शर्वाय महादेवाय ते नम: ll
Puja Timings for Mahashivratri
The puja for Mahashivratri can be done throughout the day as Lord Shiva doesn’t take any offenses done in his puja. The best time would be in Brahma Muhurtam i.e. 5:40 AM to 07:10 AM on 13th February 2018 and from the sunset i.e. 07:10 PM onwards till 07:10 AM of 14th February 2018.
It’s the little things that you do each day that add up to being healthy and fit. While we do what we can to be as health-conscious as we can, it is always a work in progress since there are many elements to a healthy lifestyle. Use these tips as a guide on your journey on the path to good health.
Kick Your Bad Habits
Well, some of them at least. The other ones you might just be able to cut back on. Habits in the ‘quit’ category would be smoking, drugs, and other unhealthy addictions. There’s just no way to do any of these in a ‘health’ way. It might take some time, but it’s worth it if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, there are some habits that are not so bad, but can easily become a problem if taken too far. These include alcohol, sugar, caffeine and junk food. These things in moderation or on a ‘once-in- a-while’ basis are doable, as long as the majority of your choices are mindful and healthful.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously, and many of us do not get enough. Sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously, and many of us do not get enough. Lack of sleep adversely affects metabolism, mood, concentration, memory, motor skills, stress hormones and even the immune system and cardiovascular health. Sleep allows the body to heal, repair and rejuvenate itself in a way it simply cannot when a person is awake.
Even if you just get out for a walk a few times a week, exercise is important for being fit and healthy. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, strength training helps to strengthen the muscles and stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility. Exercise also improves circulation and body awareness, and regular exercise can help combat depression.
Eat Healthy and Drink Lots of Water
Get as many fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet as possible and make them the main part of your overall diet. Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, tofu and beans. Eat balanced meals and do not overeat. Stop eating before you become completely full and give yourself a chance to digest your food. Snack on whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and nuts. Avoid highly processed foods that contain artificial sweeteners or colors, hidden sugars or excessive fat. Water is the most natural cleanser for our organs and digestive system. Being hydrated is crucial for the brain as well as for helping to flush toxins out through the skin (perspiration) and urine.
Stress can cause a myriad of problems, from heart trouble to digestive problems. This should not come as a surprise. What many people do not know is what to do about it, how to manage their stress. Exercise, meditation, doing what you love, appropriate boundaries, spirituality, being in nature, and enjoyable hobbies all help alleviate the harmful effects of stress on the body. Don’t overwork. Take breaks (vacations, mini-vacations, days off) and surround yourself with people who support you.
Keeping emotions bottled up inside can cause mental and emotional stress as well as physical symptoms. Unexpressed feelings can lead to depression, sleep problems, eating disorders, and even physical pain. Learn to talk about your feelings, or express them through some sort of art. Even writing thoughts and feelings down is a good way to express things you find hard to say.
Consistency and Moderation
In order to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, it’s important to have some sort of consistency when looking at the big picture result. Make changes one at a time, and don’t make too many changes at once or you will risk relapsing into old habits. Making these choices a part of your daily life will help you to reach your health goals. Avoid extremes in any capacity. Exercise moderation when it comes to fitness, food and fun.
Vaastu Shastra is a traditional Hindu System of architecture which literally translates to ‘Science of Architecture’. Vaastu is the science of directions that combines all the five elements of nature and balance them with the man and the material. Vaastu Shastra is creating a congenial settings or a place to live or work, in most scientific way taking advantages of the benefits bestowed by the five elements called ‘Paanchbhootas’ of the nature thereby paving the way for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity and happiness in an enlightened environment.
The Significance of different directions as per Vaastu : According to Vaastu Shastra, each direction of the house holds a certain kind of significance – it is said that if we follow specific directions for each corner of the house, then not only will our house remain happy and prosperous, but we will attain mental peace as well. Read on to know more about the importance of direction in the house.
The Money Corner : It is said that the North-West corner of the house is said to be the hub of positivity and prosperity. One should not leave this area of this house dark. If you do that, it will leave to negativity in the house.
South Direction : It is said that the ruler of the South direction of the house is Yamraaj. This area of the house should neither have a door nor a money locker constructed. Doing this can lead to fights between the family member of the house or even a sudden death in the family.
South – East : If you have an older person in your house (known as the head of the family), then his or her room should not be constructed in the South East direction of your house. This will lead to negativity in the house. If you live in a nuclear family, then your room too should not be constructed here.
North – East : It is said that your kitchen should not be constructed in the North East direction of your house. If you do that, there are chances that your financial budget will go way over plan and you will soon face a financial crunch in the family.
West : For the West corner of your house, use colors such as white and yellow. This is also a good direction to place all your money in. For your safes, you should ideally use a round shape. Use the south west zone of your home to study or construct a library.
For years, it has been a tradition in India to celebrate every important or non-important event of the world. The residents of Bharatvarsha are termed as the merriest people who associate every celestial event with a festival. Be it the harvesting of sugarcane in the form of Lohri festival or be it the observance of fast during the transition of seasons as Navratri, every single event has been associated with a scientific reason as well as a way to be happy and jolly.
After going through with the festivals of farmers i.e. Lohri in the previous night, the people of India prepare themselves for Makar Sankranti. This festival marks the transit of Lord Suryadev to the zodiac sign of Capricorn.
Therefore, this holy day is revered by all Indians as the day to worship Lord Surya and ask him for his blessings. Lord Suryadev controls happiness, character, life, nature, possessions, paternal relations and many other important aspects of a person’s life. So by offering reverential respects to him, the people are blessed with a happy life.
Makar Sankranti falls on 14th of January every year. But this date is consistent for some 100 years or so. In the 17th century, Makar Sankranti was around 9th January and in the 27th century, it shall be around 23rd January. It keeps on shifting, which is contrary to the belief that it stays on the same day.
History behind Makar Sankranti
The celebration of this event can be traced back to millions of years. As per the authority of puranas, there is an injunction which asks the people to take bath in holy rivers and perform pujas on this day to propitiate Lord Suryadev.
As per the traditions and customs prevalent in India, people used to visit holy rivers, temples and sun temples and used to offer oblations and worship to the deities.
Lord Suryadev transits in all the 12 zodiac signs throughout the year and this transit is termed as Sankranti. Every transit is important but the transit in Makar Rashi or Capricorn is especially meaningful since it is considered as the most important day to worship him with all paraphernalia associated with him.
The most eventful day which is mentioned in the shastras is the simultaneous occurrence of Uttarayan i.e. the day when sun goes to the northern hemisphere and Makar Sankranti in Dwapara Yuga and this very day Bhishmadeva left his body for the spiritual abode.
Customs and traditions
The festival of Makar Sankranti has been celebrated in India over ages. Since ages, the festival has been associated with various customs and traditions which people follow and pass over the same to the upcoming generations.
People know this festival by various names all over India. The list is as follows:
1. Makara Sankranthi : Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala
2. Shishur Saenkraat: Kashmir Valley
3. Khichdi: Western Bihar
4. Uttarayan: Gujarat
5. Makar Sankranti: Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan
6. Poush Sangkranti: West Bengal
7. Tila Sakrait: Mithila 8. Maghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
9. Magh Bihu : Assam
Since water changes every ten miles and food every fifteen, the traditions associated with Makar Sankranti are numerous. Every state has a different name and hence, a different way of celebration. In some places, it is celebrated by flying kites in the sky and somewhere, it is celebrated by huge veneration programs and big feasts.
In North India, people generally make khichdi and other items of jaggery and sesame seeds. People visit their relatives and send them “Sakraat”, a collection of dal, rice, grains, sweets, jaggery, sesame seeds and other items. People in Gujarat and Rajasthan celebrate this festival by flying kites and exchanging gifts and celebrate it as a festival.
In Central India like Maharashtra, people make sweets of sesame seeds and jaggery. They make laddoos out of it and give it to everyone and say, “tilgul ghya, ani goad-goad bola”. This means that eat this sesame sweet and speak out as sweet as the laddoo.
In South India, people celebrate it as Pongal. They have a 4 days festival which is organized in a grand way. Each day is dedicated to some auspicious work, generally cleaning the house on the first day, making offerings and bhoga to Lord Suryadev on the second day, worshipping the cattle on the third day and visiting the relatives on the fourth day.
In areas like Uttar Pradesh where there is confluence of a holy river, people go to take a holy dip in the Ganges and after taking bath, they offer prayers and bhoga to Suryadev and other demigods. They usually fast on this day and spend time in listening to Hari Katha and feeding the Brahmins.
Science behind Makar Sankranti Puja
As per the Ayurvedic shastras, the Makar Sankranti falls in the Shishir Ritu, the season of biting cold. Since the influence of harshness has already been established in the atmosphere after the winter solstice, the general populace needs more protection.
Therefore, they are given items of sesame seeds, jaggery, sweets, rice, dal and other heavy items which they can prepare and eat nicely. And as people observe a fast on this day to render it all auspicious, they exchange items for making khichdi, which should be consumed to open the fast next day.
Importance of Makar Sankranti
This festival is itself in it, a great boon for the people who can pray and give offerings to Lord Suryadev on this day. As per Brahma Samhita (5.52)
yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
The sun who is the king of all the planets, full of infinite effulgence, the image of the good soul, is as the eye of this world. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda in
pursuance of whose order the sun performs his journey mounting the wheel of time.
The sun has been adorned as the eye of the supreme person. In the Purusha Sukta (Rig Veda 10.7.14), it’s said
chandrama manaso jataha
chakshoh suryo ajayata
mukhad indrash chagnishcha
From his mind was born the moon, sun from his two eyes, Indra and Agni from his mouth and Vayu from his breath.
Since the sun god holds such an esteemed position, it is very nice on the part of the person to offer oblations and respect to him. As per the Vedic injunctions, we are advised to offer arghya to the sun daily before starting our routine.
This transition has got a lot of effect on the life of the common man and therefore, this is the best time to worship and propitiate the sun god by the help of authentic mantras and powerful brahmins.
It comprises of Shri Kalash Sthapan, Shodashopchar Puja, Suryadev puja, Suryadev Shanti Yagya, Go puja, Ganga Puja, 1008 Surya Gayatri Japa, Brihad Aditya Hriday Strota path, Sarva Shanti Puja, Purnahuti, Homa and Visarjan.
It is advised in the shastras to feed the brahmins and cows as well on the same day so as to get the maximum benefit out of the puja.
The puja samagris includes
1. Purified Mango wood
2. Surya Shanti samagri
9. Havan Samidha
10. Shodash Matrika
15. Durva dal
16. Surya yantra and so on..
This year, the Shubh Muhurat for Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2018 is divided into two portions
1. Punya Muhurtam: The all auspicious time is from 2 P.M. to 6:16 P.M.
2. Mahapunya Muhurtam: The highest auspicious time is from 2 P.M. to 2:24 P.M.