The Ancient City of Haridwar (Hardwar) is the gateway to the Holy Shrines on the mighty Himalayas in Garhwal and Kumaon. The River Ganges, after flowing for 253 kilometers from its source at Gaumukh at the edge of the Gangotri Glacier for the first time enters the Indo-Gangetic Plains at Haridwar (to begin its march to the Bay of Bengal), which gave the Haridwar its ancient name, Gangadwára. It is one of the oldest living cities in the World.
Haridwar finds mention in the ancient Hindu scriptures and is held as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus. Samudra manthan mentions Haridwar,Ujjain, Nashik and Prayag (Allahabad) are the four places where Amrit, (elixir of immortality), spilled over accidentally from the pitcher while being carried by “Garuda”. Thus the Kumbha Mela, is celebrated every 12 years in Haridwar.
Archaeological findings show that terra cotta culture between 1700 BCE and 1200 BCE existed in Haridwar region. Haridwar came under the Maurya Empire (322–185 BCE) and later under the Kushan Empire (1st–3rd centuries AD). Haridwar is mentioned by the Chinese traveler, Huan Tsang in his writings, who visited India in 629 AD, during the reign of Harshavardhan (590–647). Haridwar fell to the Uzbek conqueror Timur Lang (1336–1405) in January 1399.
During his visit to Haridwar, Guru Nanak (1469–1539) bathed at ‘Kushawart Ghat’, where the famous, ‘watering the crops’ episode took place. Ain-e-Akbari, of Abul Fazal written in 16th century during Akbar’s reign, refers to Haridwar as Maya (Mayapur), known as “Hardwar on the Ganges”.
Hindus believe that there are within Haridwar, the ‘Panch Tirth‘ (Five Pilgrimages) within Haridwar, are “Gangadwar” (Har ki Pauri, the fulcrum of religious activities in Haridwar), Kushawart (Ghat in Kankhal), Bilwa Tirtha (Mansa Devi Temple) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi Temple), apart from several other temples and ashrams located in and around the city. Also, alcohol and non-vegetarian food is not permitted in Haridwar.
Contributed By: Dr. Amitava Mukharjee
(He is the most renowned world economist on poverty alleviation and empowerment today. He has long association with United Nations for launching their initiatives on fight against hunger and providing micro assistance to most marginalised societies. He is a great scholar and has been teaching in University of London and Stanford University. He has travelled over 130 Countries and written numerous books. Deeply religious he has visited various holy shrines. We bring you glimpses of his travelogue.)
**नमामि गंगे तब पाद पंकजं सुरारसुरैर्वन्दित दिव्यरूपम्।
भुक्तिंच मुक्तिञ्च ददासि नित्यं भावानुसरेण सदा नराणाम्||**
गंगा दशहरा की आप सभी को बहुत बहुत बधाई एवं शुभकामनाएं!!!💐🌺🌿🌹
🌊आज ही के दिन 🙏मां गंगा🙏का पृथ्वी पर अवतरण हुआ था..!!!
हर हर गंगे||
The fifth month of the Hindu calendar is called ‘Shravan’ which means ‘to hear’. This is one of the sacred months dedicated to Lord Shiva. As per Astrology, the Shravan constellation is visible in the sky; hence the name is appropriate for the month. The divine and pious month is the best occasion to appease Lord Shiva and her consort Goddess Parvati, which can bring numerous blessings and success among the lives of devotees. In 2016, Shravan month is from 20th July to 18th August.
Story behind Shravan month:
As per renowned stories, the auspicious ‘Samudra Manthan’- war between Gods and demons, took place in this sacred moth. Lord Shiva drank the poison ‘Halahal’ to save the entire humanity from evil destruction; and stored it in his throat. It is also said that to reduce the effect of the poison, all the Gods (Devs) offered the holy water of Ganges to Lord Shiva.
Since then the Shivling, which radiate immense energy gathered during samudra manthan, is offered Ganges water by the devotees throughout the month. It is believed that offering water to Lord Shiva’s symbol leads to the relaxation of the high negative effect of the consumed poison and it pleases Him. As you shower water on the Shivling, the malefic effects of the high radiated heat is prevented on the worshipper.
Significance of each day in Shravan month:
- Monday is the day of Lord Shiva worship.
- Tuesday Goddess Parvati is worshipped by females for the good health of their family.
- Wednesday are dedicated to Vithala, avatar of Lord Vishnu.
- Thursday is the day to worship Lord Buddh.
- Friday Devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi and Tulsi.
- Saturday is for Saturn (Shani). It is also known as Shravan Saturdays, with the object of object of obtaining wealth. These days are known as Sampat Sanivara (wealth Saturdays).
- Sundays are for worshipping the Sun god.
Fasting and adoring Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is considered highly propitious during Shravan month. Performing Rudrabhishek Puja and chanting Maha Mrityuanjay mantras dispels ignorance by spreading the light of knowledge, and blesses the beings with wisdom and happiness.
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The beautiful festival of light is an occasion of celebration of positivity and the time to receive the shower of blessings. The devotes seek for humility from Lord Ganesh, intellect from Goddess Saraswati and material comforts from Goddess Lakshmi; by performing the deepvali puja at home, offices and all the work places. Therefore, the proper way of worshipping can please the God and Goddesses to such an extent that they can stay at the devotee’s place for a considerable time. Package includes:
- Ganesh Laxmi Idol
- Cotton Wicks
- Kamal Gatta
- Dhoop Stick
- Keel Batasha
- Pilli Sarson
- Black Till
- Chandan Powder
- Diwali poojan Book
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The Goddess of Shakti- Ma Durga is worshipped during the sacred nine days for receiving pious blessings. The devotees seek for love, peace, happiness, kindness and all the natural qualities of the soul, which are hidden under the glitters of material world. Goddess Durga bestows her devotees with the strength to revive back the original traits and protect them against the negativity.
To perform the puja adhering to the customs, it is important to follow a proper procedure.
Kalash Sthapana/ Ghata sthapana:
- Put the layer of clean soil in an earthen pot and then sow barley seeds into it. Sprinkle water on it and repeat the process for a second layer. Sprinkle more water to set the soil.
- Take a kalash made of copper or earthen and fill it with Gangajal. Put scent, flowers and coins in it. Tie mauli or red scared thread on the neck of the kalash. Place mango leaves on the mouth of the kalash and cover it with a lid. Put rice over the lid and a dry coconut wrapped in a red cloth.
- Put the prepared kalash on the earthen pot of barley and this completes the ghata sthapana. This kalash should not be touched during the nine days.
- One diya is lit close to this Kalash which is supposed to burn endlessly for nine days. This is known as Akhand Jyoti.
- As the name suggests, the puja is performed with five things- Scent, Flower, Dhoop, Deepak and Naivedya. Offer the five puja samagri to the deity with complete faith and humility.
Chowki Sthapana :
- The idol of Now Goddess Durga is installed, by spreading the red cloth on chowki and tying Mauli around it. Now place idol or picture of Goddess Durga on the chowki.
Invoke Goddess Durga and request the goddess to accept your prayers and to oblige you by residing into the Kalash for nine days. The prayers must be offered whole heartedly and the devotees must pray all the nine days and read Durga Saptashati.
‘Shiv’ means the destroyer of bad karmas and ‘linga’ means to mark or sign which symbolize the Supreme God. So literally ‘Shivling’ is referred as the sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. In real terms, Shiv-Linga is a symbol or sign of duality (dual character) of the pious Shiva and his cosmic universal energy. It is a process defining the creation of mortals within the omnipresent and omnipotent Universe.
Shivling is known for its purity, thus it consists of immense energy and radiates it when adored. The worshipping of shivling by washing it with water and chanting the mantras is commonly called as Rudrabhishiek or Shivling Abhishek Puja. This is especially done from pure milk, curd, ghee, sugar, mustard oil etc; significantly during the Hindu month of Shravan.
Why to perform Rudrabhishiek Puja?
The Shivling releases frequencies of Knowledge (dhyan), devotion (bhakti) and detachment (vairagya) which is experienced during puja. It is said that this energy has been gathered through ‘sagar manthan’ in which Lord Shiva consumed the dangerous poison Halahal to save the humanity from destruction.
Performing Rudrabhishek Puja and chanting Maha Mrityuanjay mantras dispels ignorance by spreading the light of knowledge, and blesses the beings with wisdom and happiness.
How to perform Rudrabhishiek Puja?
Devotees worship Lord Shiva and his ‘Shivling with devotion and faith to seek the grace and happiness. Let’s make the Shivling Abhishek easy for you by just following few steps.
- The size of lingam for home puja should not exceed the breadth of your three right hand fingers joined together, accompanied with snake and Nandi.
- The place from where the water is poured on the shivling and is drained must be facing North or East.
- The devotee should start the puja by chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaye’.
- Use bel leaves and not tulsi while offering to the lingam.
- The panchamrit is offered made from any five ingredients out of- Gangajal, honey, sugarcane juice, milk, yogurt, ghee, sea water, coconut water, milk, fragrant oils, rose water or other precious liquids.
- After doing Panchamrit Abhishek, the lingam is cleaned by pouring Gangajal over it.
- Then trident is made on the shivling using normal sandal wood paste or asta gandha.
- After that sweets, coconut, flowers and fruits are offered to the Lord and camphor and incense sticks are also are lit and ‘arati’ is conducted.
- If you keep a Shivling at home it should be accompanied by a constant flow of water or jaldhara, to maintain the serene and cool environment around it.
- Finally, ringing of bells indicates the end of Puja and fruits, sweets and coconut are distributed as ‘prasadam.’
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