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The illuminating month of Kartik

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shubhpuja.comThough 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.

Special Significance:

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!

Message of Shradh

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shubhpuja.comThe 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.

Pitru Paksha Period- The dos and don’ts

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shubhpuja.comThe auspicious 15 days ‘Pitru paksha’ period or shradh is a form of attachment or guilt within us that restricts us to lead a normal day to day life. It disturbs and haunts us day and night in our thoughts as we have a feeling of regret within us for the dead person. Thus shradh ceremony or any such offerings are the ways to fulfil the unfulfilled desires of our ancestors.

Certain things have to keep into consideration during this period to faithfully and ritualistically please our ancestors.

The Dos-

  • Stand on the mat during sunrise and chant ‘Gayatri mantra’ to strengthen the position of Sun in your horoscope.
  • In the south direction of your habitat, hang portraits of your ancestors and greet them with fresh flowers garland.
  • Feed cows with ghee and rice balls every Saturday.
  • Use of barley, Kaangani- a type of millet, peas, sesame seed and mustard in Shradh puja are considered highly auspicious and fortunate.
  • Shradh karma should not be performed on land occupied by others therefore river banks and holy pilgrimages are preferred.
  • Helping the poor and disabled and remembering your ancestors is an easy path to receive blessings for them.
  • Respect and seek blessings from the elders at our home, as their blessings are the only way to receive peace and happiness.
  • Offer regular donations to hospitals or temples in the name of our ancestors and if possible, assist in the education and marriage of orphan girls.
  • Recitation of Garuda Puraan i.e. the passage of the departing soul, Nachiketa story from Upanishads and Ganga Avataran chapter from Ramayan are done to ensure the satisfaction of our ancestors.
  • Perform fasting on Ekadashi and if possible organize the Agni Homa or Havan during this period.

 

The Don’ts-

  • Gram, lentil, black gram, horse gram, barley, radish, black cumin, Bauhinia, cucumber, black gram, black salt, gourd, large mustard, leaf of black mustard and stale, rotten fruit or grain, are prohibited in Shradh puja.
  • Avoid consumption of non-vegetarian food, alcohol and other such tamasic edibles along with outside food.
  • Avoid starting anything new, even something seemingly as insignificant as buying and wearing new clothes, washing hair, cutting hair and even shaving are proscribed during the period.
  • Important events like shifting to a new house, marriage, birth ceremonies of a child, inauguration of new business and other such significant celebrations should be avoided during this period.