Fasting

Kanya Pujan: Divine concluding ceremony of Navratri

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Goddess Durga is the divya-shakti, which can be a bounty of love and care as well as the source of destruction too. She symbolises the power of divine mother as even the Gods pay homage to her strength. Adoring Ma durga during nine days by keeping fasts and worshipping her is the perfect way to realize our upmost goal and motive of existence, which gets blur in the magical world of materialism.

Kanya Pujan marks the ending ceremony of the auspicious Navratri and is conducted on Ashtami or Navami day of Navratri. It is also known as ‘Kumari puja’, a ritual of worshipping young girls symbolising Goddess Durga. Homage is paid to nine small girls and one boy through this ritual. Special food is prepared according to the varied rituals among family, which is offered to the nine girls in the form of nine devis. Certain dakshina or new utensils are also offered to them. Then the prasadam is consumed by the family to break their fast and mark the completion of auspicious navratri.

Devotees should read the last chapter of Durga Saptashati and chant mantras to welcome the kids. The ceremony should begin by washing their feet and then tying ‘mauli’ (red thread) on their wrists. Special puri, halwa and chana are offered to them along with fruits. People should touch their feet and seek blessings from them by pleasing these young kids.

Worshipping the kanyas helps the devotees to receive wisdom, moksha, strength, wealth and dharma. Mantra for kanya pujan is as follows:

मंत्राक्षरमयीं लक्ष्मीं मातृणां रूपधारिणीम्।
नवदुर्गात्मिकां साक्षात् कन्यामावाहयाम्यहम्।।
जगत्पूज्ये जगद्वन्द्ये सर्वशक्तिस्वरुपिणि।
पूजां गृहाण कौमारि जगन्मातर्नमोस्तु ते।।

 

 

Navratri Puja Samagri

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shubhpuja.comNavaratri– the nine days of joy, enthusiasm, fun and celebration to cherish the victory of good over evil is beginning from 13th October 2015. Literally ‘Nav’ refers to nine and ‘Ratri’ is night, so Navratri is the nine nights and ten days period to receive the powerful grace of Ma Durga. Adoring Ma durga during nine days by keeping fasts and worshipping her is the perfect way to realize our upmost goal and motive of existence, which gets blur in the magical world of materialism.

So to perform the puja during these auspicious nine days, Shubhpuja has made your work easier by providing you the puja samagri for Navratri. The list of samagri is as follows:

  • Agarbatti/ Incense sticks
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Coconut
  • Kapoor
  • Kumkum
  • Moli/ red thread
  • Roli/ sacred vermillion powder
  • Gulal
  • Sandalwood
  • Areca nuts (Supari)
  • Saffron/ kesar
  • Mishri
  • Diya and Batti
  • Durga Saptashati book
  • Gangajal
  • Green bangles
  • Red cloth

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.

Why strict No to Non-Veg food during Navratri?

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navratri food shubhpujaMany of us believe in the philosophy of quitting their favourite edible or avoiding materialistic luxuries to please the God and receiving blessings in return for fulfilment of the desired wish. This concept is prevalent during the seven or eight days of fasting of Navratras. Yet if you are not one of those who can fast, still you have to abide by the rituals of food pattern in the house.

Remember- Strict NO to Non-Vegetarian food!

All of us are aware about the prohibition of non-veg food items and even onion and garlic during Navratri festival; so let’s explore the cause behind it.

*NAVRATRI occurs during the two major changes of season i.e. fall into winters and then winters into spring. This period has the highest probability of affecting our immune system; and such changes in the nature and environment around us also brings alterations within us. Thus it is better to go for easily digestible edibles which are healthy and nourishing and also activates the positivity within you.*

Other reasons for avoiding non-veg:

  • Non vegetarian food is high in Tamasic content that consumes a much longer time for digestion and creates an aura of irritation and negativity.
  • The animals are slaughtered inhumanely which leads to a cover of pain and distressing eneno to meat shubhpujargy around the meat; which keep on growing as we consume them.
  • Certain issues like respiratory diseases, heart diseases, indigestion and even cancer can be caused due to excess of proteins.
  • The Sattva-guna begins to decline within one, over powered by the violent and ferocious
  • Lack of positivity disturbs the spiritual experience of an individual and he deviates from his motive of life.

Though all these points mentioned above will compel you to think about it at least once, but there is no law against it and it is not a sin to eat meat. Yet those of us who prefer Sattvik over Rajasic or Tamasic are able to reach the spiritual destination, much quicker and easily.

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

Loving bond between Couples: Karva Chauth and its Scientific Relevance

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The warmth of festive season is at its peak. Beautifully attired women, with henna applied on their hands offering prayers to Moon for the long life span of her partner (Pati-parmeshwar), is a long known tradition in Hinduism. Yea I am talking about the pious fasting of Karva-Chauth, where married women fast for the long life of their husbands and maintain peace and prosperity among the family relations. Numerous beliefs and sentiments have been attached to this festival, varying as per geographical relevance and traditions.

When is Karva Chauth celebrated?shubhpuja.com

Literally ‘Karva’ mean earthen oil lamp and ‘Chauth’ means four; thus this festival falls on the fourth day of the Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar. It is generally observed eight days after Dussehra. This is also the time when the onset of Rabi crops begin, so people used to gather together to wish and pray for a good harvest in this season.

Origin of Karva Chauth:

The initial significance of fasting on the day of karva Chauth was entirely different than what it has emerged with years. This festival was celebrated to symbolise the loving relationship between the bride and other women in her in-laws, who would be best-friends or sisters for life. As the girl was away from her parents and could not share her emotions with anyone in her in-laws, so she searched for her support and became friend with another lady. Now she could freely discuss her marital life as well as other stories, which leads to a strong bond between them. This festival was a signal to celebrate and honour their friendship between god-friends or god-sisters. Later the sentiments of fasting for the longevity of her husband were attached to this.

Scientific relevance of Karva Chauth:

The association between fasting by wife and increased life span of the husband is treated differently by various people. Few of them follow it because of traditional values and others might be reluctant and do it by force. So the clear picture is always a question wandering in our heads. Scientifically fasting has a biological relevance due to higher detoxification and protein synthesis in the body. As per the study of starvation-resistant biological program, it is proven that the stem cell potency and reproductive potential is preserved during the process. Whereas the high orgasmic frequency among human beings increase their span of living. Now if we attach both the results together, it is clear that fasting leads to longer reproductive capability among females and thus more sexual activity during her long life. It directly affects her partner, thus increasing his life expectancy.shubhpuja.com

Along with this, praying to Moon during Kartik month has extra benefits as the coolness and calmness provides us with better body metabolism. The heat and energy in the body is controlled which in turn is concerned with the digestive, enzymatic, and endocrine systems.

Thus the nirjalahaar (without food and water) vrat along with ‘sargi’ (food before observing fast) and ‘baayna’ (gifts offered to in-laws) results in maintaining a precious bond between families. It provides will power to the females and reciprocates their love for her husband. The mythological importance has also been mentioned in Mahabharata, where Draupadi inquires about the fast from Lord Krishna.

 

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

Why you should fast during Navratri – Scientific and spiritual reasons?

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Many of us believe in the philosophy of quitting their favourite edible or avoiding materialistic luxuries to please the God and receiving blessings in return for fulfillment of the desired wish. This concept is prevalent during the seven or eight days of fasting of Navratras. During the seven or eight day period, the devotees performs complete (Nirjal or Nirahar) fast or partial fast for pleasing Goddess Durga and seeking her divine grace.

The devotee performing fast wake up early and after having bath they worship the deity. Certain people consume the food just once a day while others prefer a specific diet. High energy (tamsic) food like meat, egg, alcohol, grains, pulses and any kind of spices and salt are avoided in the diet. Beverages like milk, juices, coconut water and tea can be taken along with diet consisting of potato, sago or vrat-snacks. Common salt is replaced by rock salt (sendha namak) during these days.

People observe these fast for either regular seven or eight days and many of them keep it for few days only. The eighth day (Ashtami) or ninth day (Navami) is reserved for paying homage to nine small girls and one boy through kanya pujan or Kanchika Pujan. Special food is prepared according to the varied rituals among family, which is offered to the nine girls in the form of nine devis. Certain dakshina or new utensils are also offered to them. Then the prasadam is consumed by the family to break their fast and mark the completion of auspicious navratri.

Scientific Relevance:

Fasting is a natural healer as during this process the energy is utilised for maintaining the metabolic rate and restoring the immune system. It heals the dead cells and damaged tissues of the body along with burning away the extra toxins. Fasting is also recommended as it helps in maintaining the salt balance in the body as extra salt and deficiency of salt, bshubhpuja.comoth are harmful for us.

Thus the seven or eight day of fasting is a way of expressing the faith and devotion in Goddess Durga. As time is changing, so does the patterns of fasting but in any way you perform it, your faith should be intact. Whether you hold a wish within you or not, Ma Durga will surely bestow her blessings and love upon your family.

For recieving immense blessing of Ma Durga this Navratri, book your puja package now- http://www.shubhpuja.com/Navratri-puja-depid-359796-page-1.html

 

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

Fasting- The New Cool!

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Chiming bells and sandalwood aroma,the air smells of faith. Faith had many shades, of which fast and fasting are of the brightest hues.

For ages,people have believed in fasting, from saints to common man to politicians, I’ve always wondered why would people believe in it in the first place.

As ayurveda puts it, fasting helps in detoxification of the body. It is a normal body process eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colour, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, glands and skin. This process is prReligious fasting shubhpujaecipitated by fasting because when food is no longer entering the body, the body turns to fat reserves for energy. When fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, it releases chemicals from fatty acid into a system which are then eliminated through the above mentioned organs. Chemicals that are absorbed from environment like DDT are also excreted through urine during fasting.

Second prescribed benefit, is the healing that begins in the body during a fast. During a fast, energy is diverted away from digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. Healing process during a fast is precipitated by body’s search for energy sources. Abnormal growth like tumors in body, do not have full support of body’s supplies and thus are more prone to autolysis (self-destruction). Also, production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer mistakes are made by the RNA/DNA (genetic controls), which governs the process. A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs.

There is a decrease in core body temperature which is a direct result of slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the BMR is reduced to conserve as much energy within the body as can be provided. Growth hormones are also released during a fast due to greater efficiency in hormone production.

Finally, most advantageous is the feeling of rejuvenation and extended life expectancy as an anti-aging hormone along with growth hormone are produced more efficiently during fasting. “The only way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is by strengthening the immune system, which also increases life expectancy and feeling rejuvenated and young.

 Religion holds the view that in a while one needs to get rate of every materialistic thing that are an integral part of our life and get closer to god.

So, fast to fast up your body and life.