Hanuman Jayanti is the pious day on which Sri Hanuman descended on earth in order to serve the purpose of his eternal master, Lord Ram. He, being an unalloyed devotee of Sri Ram is revered by all Ram bhakts.
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Lohri 2018: History, Importance and Why it is Celebrated
Lohri is one of the most commonly celebrated festivals in India and it is a way to spread the joy of seeing the sparkling pearls of Rabi crops amidst traditional folk songs, dance and food.
Bhishma panchaka or Vishnu panchaka are the five days of the last month of Chaturmasya i.e. the four months of austerities to be practised by spiritual seekers. They are the last five days of the auspicious month of Kartik. They are Kartik Shukla Ekadashi, Dwadashi, Trayodashi, Chaturdashi and Purnima.
As per Mahabharata, Bhishma deva observed a strict fast during last five days in order to prepare for his death. As a result of his austerity, Lord Krishna became very pleased with him and blessed him with pure devotional service.
Benefits of Fasting
For the one who is observing chaturmasya vrata for the four months should intensify the austerities or these five days and one must observe fast from grains for the last five days.
Most of us find it irresistible to cuddle a small baby with his eyes smeared with kajal. Somehow or the other, our hands extend automatically to the face of the child and we end up cuddling the baby. But, it has been a practice of years by out grandparents to apply kajal on the night of diwali to everyone’s eyes, be it a baby or the grandparents themselves.
As per the shastras, Diwali night is considered to be the night of black magic as well as Devi Lakshmi. All the shaktis wander in the night time of Diwali which can be caught by the person who wants them and to hurt a person from whom they are sent forward.
The kajal, being emenating from the wick of a sanctified lamp is said to protect the person, especially the eyes which cause “Buri Nazar” to affect the individual.
There is a cutom of lighting a great earthen lamp on the night of diwali which burns the whole night and people pile up some earthern lamp on the top of the wick to collect the kajal. This kajal is used by the grandparents to apply in everyone’s eyes.
On the night of Diwali, there is high level of pollution as well as the small insects which fly to the light, the glow worms and the small insects which have a short span of lifetime, practically the night only. They die in the morning. This creates problems in the eyes of the people. And due to the cold and dry winds, the eyes start to pain a lot and lacrimate a lot. This excessive tears cause burning sensation in the eyes, itching and scratching.
The kajal or collyrium is cool in nature. As per Ayurvedic sciences, applying kajal keeps the eyes fit and protect it from cold and other seasonal factors which effect the longevity of the eyes.
Whenever we hear about hawan or homa, the picture of a fire emitting smoke all around comes in our mind, but in a reverential manner since it is meant for deity. We have seen or heard numerous times that by doing hawan, one invites peace to his house.
As stated by the lord in Bhagwad Gita (Chapter 5 Verse 29)-
gyatva mam shantim rchchhati||
The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.
Since the supreme personality of godhead Sri Krishna is the ultimate benefactor of all hawans, he provides the person who is doing yagya and the person for whom yagya is done both with peace and tranquility.
Homa or Hawan or Yagya, as people call it in India is a vedic tradition which is coming down or the last billions and trillions of yugas. The famous yagyas which are mentioned in the Vedic literature are Ashwamedha Yagya of Maharaj Dashratha, Rajsuya Yagya of Maharaj Yudhishthir etc.
Doing Yagya was yuga dharma (Supreme prerogative and duty) of Treta yuga and people used to see the lord being satisfied by that when he used to appear in the yagya kund.
What is hawan or homa?
Yagya comprises of igniting a holy fire using pure wood and pure cow ghee and cow dung cakes and with the chanting of mantras, the hawish is poured into the fire with the word “Swaha!”. The hawish comprises of Indian Cow Ghee and mixture of Herbs called Hawan Samagri along with some other pure materials.
- Seeing the Hawan with scientific paradigm, the ancient sages used to say that by doing yagya, Sattva gun increases which is symbolized by cleanliness, peace and purity.
- The cow ghee and cow dung cake react to release tonnes of oxygen ad other gases which make the atmosphere pure.
- The small quantities of sulpher and nitrogen oxides get rid of harmful bacteria and their inhalation causes lacrimation, which relieves the eyes of all impurities and cough which arises clears the nasal and respiratory passage.
- All the harmful microbes and pathogens are cleared due to the smoke emitted by burning of herbs which acts as a natural detoxifier.
- The natural herbal smoke purifies the mind as well as the body.
- The ash which is remaining from the Hawan kund is asked to put into plants which acts as a very good fertilizer.
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Why it is not prescribed to eat sweet and go outside?
Most of us have been perturbed and irked by the sudden jostle from our parents or specifically grandparents when we go outside home after eating something sweet. This sudden irk becomes more prominent during the night time, when they will give some salt in the hands and ask the person to lick it and them go.
The Garuda Purana states about the things to which the ghostly species are attracted to. They are attracted to pleasant as well as putrid smell of any form which works as a food for them. So, whenever someone eats a sweet item of any kind, the pleasant smell of the sweet attracts these species and hence, they become prone to attack by them. The attack may be subtle or gross, depending upon the level of piety of the individual. Pious persons are safeguarded by the destiny as well as supreme lord whereas impious may have to face certain strange happenings.
Salt, on the other hand is a pure substance. In Garuda Purana, the supreme lord Sri Krishna states to Garuda, “Know that sesame seed comes from my sweat and the salt originates from my body”. Salt, being pure and stronger than all other tastes, subdues the effect of sweet and hence, stops the pleasant as well as putrid smell coming from our mouth.
The eating of sweets after brushing one’s teeth increases the chances of tooth decay. And the more time elapses after brushing one’s teeth, the more are the chances. Also, sweet items are the most nutritive in nature. Due to high content of sugar, they act as the best medium for growth of bacteria. Whenever we move out, we are in contact with billions and trillions of them. These bacterial infections can cause variety of oral as well as digestive system diseases.
Salt, being strong and piercing in nature, makes the mouth saline and stops the bacterial growth to a very high extent. It acts an oral cleanser and mouth refresher, completely eliminating the chances of any of such diseases.