This is the story of a money lender who has always devoted to performing yajnas etc. So liberally did he gave donations that even he was not left with anything to support himself. Then his wife said, In the neighboring villages lives a rich man who buys Merits. So go to him and bring some money by selling some of your merits so that we might pull on any how then the man agreed to go there. His wife baked four chapatti and gave them to him to be eaten on the way. He approached the city. There was a tank at the place. When he sat down to eat, a bitch came up there, she and her younger ones had nothing to eat for the last three days. Seeing the hungry bitch he offered one of the chapatti to her. She ate up to the chapatti, Then he gave the another one which too was eaten by. Thus he gave all the four chapatti to her one by one. The bitch appeased her hunger. Thus having forgone his food he approached the rich man. Approaching him he told his intention of selling his merits. The rich man said that he should come in the afternoon.
Now the wife of the rich man was inordinately devoted to her husband. He asked his wife which merit is the best worth being purchased. The wife said only that merit is worth which he has earned this day by feeding this hungry bitch while he was sitting on the bank of the tank.
The man came to the rich man on the appointed time and said-Which of my merits would you like to purchase? He rich man said – I want to go in for the same yajna that you have earned today. I have not performed any yajna today because I didn’t have any money then how? At the rich man said- I want to purchase the same merit that you have earned by offering the four chapattis to the bitch. The man said – how could you know that/ the rich man said – My wife is devoted to me so she who told me. then the man said- very well, you may take the desired merit. But tell me what price you are going to pay for it. The rich man said I shall give u pearls and diamonds equal in weight of chapattis. The man consented to it and as agreed upon by him and making four chapattis roughly equal in weight to his chapattis. Put them on one of the scales and put peals and diamonds on the other but in the spite putting a number of them, the scales containing the chapattis did not rise from the ground. At this the rich man said I will give you more jewels. When the man noticed this miraculous effect of his merit. He said- he would not to sell.
Thereafter the man left and gathering some pebbles and pieces of glass at the bank of the same tank and tying them up in a piece of cloth returned home. On reaching home he handed over the small bundle to his wife. When she opened the bundle she found in it diamonds, emeralds and rubies etc. she was much pleased. She asked to her husband – From where did you get so many diamonds and emeralds. The man said – ‘why are you jesting’ wife said – I am not jesting. I have opened the bundle and seen with my own eyes.
Then the man said fetched here! Let me see it. He was astonished to look at them. He considered it to be the effect of that meritorious work. Then he explained everything to his wife.
There is intended to convey to the readers is that the donation given to a distressed person who is in dire necessity of it, multiplies innumerable times. By the grace of God even pebbles and pieces of stones turn into diamonds and emeralds.
Though the entire year and months are a blessing for being to learn, grow, cherish and experience bliss; yet some particular time of the year holds special significance. Especially according to Hindu calendar every month has their unique significance and comes as a special grace for the devotees. Like the sacred month of Kartik is believed to be auspicious due to the visit of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva on Earth.
Rituals of Kartik Maas:
Kartik maas usually occurs in the October and November month as per the English calendar. Kartik Mahina is named after the Hindu god Kartikeya and in the Vaishnava calendar, God Damodara governs this month. This month is considered sacred not only due to religious and mythological tales, but as it is this month is a relief after the scorching heat and humid season. The rituals performed during this month are: Snaan (holy bath), Daan (charity), Tara Bhojan (star meal), Vrat (fasting), buying and donating of Suvarna (Gold), Rajat (Silver), Bhumi (Land), Vastra(Clothing), Tapasya, Japa, Homa, Yagna, Annadaan (donating food), Puja with Tulsi leaves, Deep daan (offering lamps), Abhishek of Vishnu’s Idol with holy Ganges water, Shodasopacharas to Deities, Veda- parayana, Purana Shravan, Bhajans, Deva Stutis, Visits to temples, ‘Jaagarans’ (keeping awake in the night singing hymns), Guru seva and etc.
This time of the year is the transition phase from Sadhana to Kaivalya i.e. from sowing and cultivating the seeds of devotion by noble deeds, now is the time to experience the bliss and fruitful results from it. As the entire year devotees are involved in adoring and pleasing the Lord by performing sacred acts and this month is a celebration to live the joyous result of the dedication. Therefore this is the month of all happy festivals of Karva Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami, Dhan-Teras, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, Bhai Duj,Tulsi Vivaah, Kartik Purnima and so on.
This year the Kartik maas begins from 28th October, 2015 and ends on 25th November, 2015. May all the devotees light the lamp of love within and create a beautiful ambience of peace and humanity!
The various rituals performed during Shradh or Pitru paksha are a way of seeking forgiveness from the departed souls. This can also be termed as a way to confess our guilt about the inefficiency to serve our elders. Also if knowingly or unknowingly we had performed actions of hurt or pain for them. Shradh is a period of introspection and overcoming our own weaknesses.
Scientifically we may say that our services in the form of food or pind daan may not be received directly by our ancestors; but our noble intentions for them are surely received. Our humility and love is transmitted to the souls and moreover in order to adore them, we feed the needy and poor people.
By offering charity and donations for the happiness of our ancestors, we make an effort to contribute something for the welfare of humanity. Thus this period of shradh is actually an eye opener where people contribute their time, effort, wealth and even love to those who need it, in the reflection of their dead ancestors.
Moreover performing fast during this period is purely a healthy act of rejuvenation. This reveals that shradh is purely an occasion of performing noble and humble acts, in honour of our loving departed souls.
An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when one object in the sky moves into the shadow of another. In case of Lunar Eclipse, moon becomes partly or fully invisible due to the Earth blocking sun rays to it and casting shadow on it. It takes place on Purnima (full moon night) only, yet it’s not necessary to have eclipse on all Purnima.
Researchers have proven that at the time of eclipse the level of Raja- Tama component increases and the Sattva component decreases. They may have detrimental effects on the beings as the negative energies become quite dominant then the positive energies.
Why one should not eat during eclipse time?
No cooked food should be consumed during the stages of lunar eclipse because the food turns poisonous; when it is affected by the ultra violet rays during lunar or solar eclipse. Therefore the Hindus follow the tradition of keeping a kusha (a grass serving as non- conductor of electrical waves) and tulsi leaves (anti-bacterial) on cooked food and generally observe fasting.
Why to take bath after the eclipse?
One should take bath in the holy Ganges, sacred rivers, and ponds or even at home as a symbol of cleanliness and purity. It is believed that after eclipse the water exposed to the process becomes totally pure- like of river Ganga. Thus having a bath with pure water cleanses our body and soul.
Why to give charity during eclipse time?
As mentioned before, the effect of negative energies become dominant so to get rid of its effect, the noble deed of charity is good to the weaker section of the society. People may donate food, clothes, coins, lands, and copper or silver or good metal, as per their choice.
Why is it advised not to see the eclipse?
One should not see the eclipse with naked eyes as the Ultraviolet rays can seriously damage the eyes. We may turn blind or face damaging impact on the retina of the eye.
Message from the Lunar eclipse:
The blocking of the Moon’s reflection of the Sun’s light by the Earth suggests that our material viewpoint stands in the way of our “seeing the light”. It serves as a reminder that we need to realize how we are held in the dark by virtue of our perspective. Thus this is an excellent time to let go of the past and welcome the positive thoughts and behaviours.
(The lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015 is a total eclipse. This event is visible from Europe, Africa, the Americas, the eastern Pacific and western Asia.)