The Hariyali Teej festival is celebrated to remember the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the day when Lord Shiva accepted Goddess Parvati as his wife. Goddess Parvati fasted and was austere for many years and was accepted by Lord Shiva as his wife in her 108 birth. Hence, Teej is celebrated to honor the devotion of Parvati, who is also known as Teej Mata. Teej also welcomes the monsoon and observed in the month of Shravan.
Celebration of Teej
While ritual fasting is central to Teej, the festival is marked by colorful celebrations, especially by the womenfolk, who enjoy swing rides, song and dance. Swings are often hung from trees or placed in the courtyard of homes and decked with flowers. Young girls and married women apply mehendi or henna tattoos on this auspicious occasion. Women wear beautiful sarees and adorn themselves with jewellary, and visit temples to offer their special prayers to goddess Parvati. A special sweet called ‘ghewar’ is prepared and distributed as Prasad or divine offering.
The month of Shravan or Saawan is considered to be most dear to Lord Shiva, an exalted devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. As per Brahma Samhita (5.45)
क्षीरं यथा दधि विकार-विशेष-योगात्
सञ्जायते न हि ततः पृथग् अस्ति हेतोः |
यः शम्भुताम् अपि तथा समुप्ऐति कार्याद्
गोविन्दम् आदि-पुरुषं तम् अहं भजामि ||
Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Shambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction.
In Adi Puran, Lord Shiva tells her wife Uma that out of all the worships, the worship of Lord Vishnu is supreme and superior to the same is the worship of his dear devotee. Therefore, in order to get the blessings of a happy life, one must worship the devotees of Lord Hari, i.e. Lord Shiva who is the master of the dull headed and fallen people of the age of hypocrisy. Those who don’t have faith in Lord Hari’s Holy name, they must pray to Lord Shiva to bless them and guide them.
In the month of Shravan, lord Shiva becomes especially merciful towards his devotees and by a little sincere devotion to him, one can easily please him. Simply by offering him the things dear to him, he can be pleased very easily and his blessings can be sought.
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Savan Somwar Vrat Katha
किसी नगर में एक साहूकार रहता था। उसके घर में धन की कोई कमी नहीं थी लेकिन उसकी कोई संतान नहीं थी जिस वजह से वह बेहद दुखी था। पुत्र प्राप्ति के लिए वह प्रत्येक सोमवार व्रत रखता था और पूरी श्रद्धा के साथ शिवालय में जाकर भगवान शिव और पार्वती जी की पूजा करता था। उसकी भक्ति देखकर मां पार्वती प्रसन्न हो गई और भगवान शिव से उस साहूकार की मनोकामना पूर्ण करने का निवेदन किया। पार्वती जी की इच्छा सुनकर भगवान शिव ने कहा कि “हे पार्वती। इस संसार में हर प्राणी को उसके कर्मों के अनुसार फल मिलता है और जिसके भाग्य में जो हो उसे भोगना ही पड़ता है।” लेकिन पार्वती जी ने साहूकार की भक्ति का मान रखने के लिए उसकी मनोकामना पूर्ण करने की इच्छा जताई। माता पार्वती के आग्रह पर शिवजी ने साहूकार को पुत्र-प्राप्ति का वरदान तो दिया लेकिन साथ ही यह भी कहा कि उसके बालक की आयु केवल बारह वर्ष होगी।
माता पार्वती और भगवान शिव की इस बातचीत को साहूकार सुन रहा था। उसे ना तो इस बात की खुशी थी और ना ही गम। वह पहले की भांति शिवजी की पूजा करता रहा। कुछ समय उपरांत साहूकार के घर एक पुत्र का जन्म हुआ। जब वह बालक ग्यारह वर्ष का हुआ तो उसे पढ़ने के लिए काशी भेज दिया गया।
साहूकार ने पुत्र के मामा को बुलाकर उसे बहुत सारा धन दिया और कहा कि तुम इस बालक को काशी विद्या प्राप्ति के लिए ले जाओ और मार्ग में यज्ञ कराओ। जहां भी यज्ञ कराओ वहीं पर ब्राह्मणों को भोजन कराते और दक्षिणा देते हुए जाना।
दोनों मामा-भांजे इसी तरह यज्ञ कराते और ब्राह्मणों को दान-दक्षिणा देते काशी की ओर चल पड़े। राते में एक नगर पड़ा जहां नगर के राजा की कन्या का विवाह था। लेकिन जिस राजकुमार से उसका विवाह होने वाला था वह एक आंख से काना था। राजकुमार के पिता ने अपने पुत्र के काना होने की बात को छुपाने के लिए एक चाल सोची। साहूकार के पुत्र को देखकर उसके मन में एक विचार आया। उसने सोचा क्यों न इस लड़के को दूल्हा बनाकर राजकुमारी से विवाह करा दूं। विवाह के बाद इसको धन देकर विदा कर दूंगा और राजकुमारी को अपने नगर ले जाऊंगा।
लड़के को दूल्हे का वस्त्र पहनाकर राजकुमारी से विवाह कर दिया गया। लेकिन साहूकार का पुत्र एक ईमानदार शख्स था। उसे यह बात न्यायसंगत नहीं लगी। उसने अवसर पाकर राजकुमारी की चुन्नी के पल्ले पर लिखा कि “तुम्हारा विवाह मेरे साथ हुआ है लेकिन जिस राजकुमार के संग तुम्हें भेजा जाएगा वह एक आंख से काना है। मैं तो काशी पढ़ने जा रहा हूं।”
जब राजकुमारी ने चुन्नी पर लिखी बातें पढ़ी तो उसने अपने माता-पिता को यह बात बताई। राजा ने अपनी पुत्री को विदा नहीं किया जिससे बारात वापस चली गई। दूसरी ओर साहूकार का लड़का और उसका मामा काशी पहुंचे और वहां जाकर उन्होंने यज्ञ किया। जिस दिन लड़के की आयु 12 साल की हुई उसी दिन यज्ञ रखा गया। लड़के ने अपने मामा से कहा कि मेरी तबीयत कुछ ठीक नहीं है। मामा ने कहा कि तुम अन्दर जाकर सो जाओ।
शिवजी के वरदानुसार कुछ ही क्षणों में उस बालक के प्राण निकल गए। मृत भांजे को देख उसके मामा ने विलाप शुरू किया। संयोगवश उसी समय शिवजी और माता पार्वती उधर से जा रहे थे। पार्वती ने भगवान से कहा- प्राणनाथ, मुझे इसके रोने के स्वर सहन नहीं हो रहा। आप इस व्यक्ति के कष्ट को अवश्य दूर करें| जब शिवजी मृत बालक के समीप गए तो वह बोले कि यह उसी साहूकार का पुत्र है, जिसे मैंने 12 वर्ष की आयु का वरदान दिया। अब इसकी आयु पूरी हो चुकी है। लेकिन मातृ भाव से विभोर माता पार्वती ने कहा कि हे महादेव आप इस बालक को और आयु देने की कृपा करें अन्यथा इसके वियोग में इसके माता-पिता भी तड़प-तड़प कर मर जाएंगे। माता पार्वती के आग्रह पर भगवान शिव ने उस लड़के को जीवित होने का वरदान दिया| शिवजी की कृपा से वह लड़का जीवित हो गया। शिक्षा समाप्त करके लड़का मामा के साथ अपने नगर की ओर चल दिए। दोनों चलते हुए उसी नगर में पहुंचे, जहां उसका विवाह हुआ था। उस नगर में भी उन्होंने यज्ञ का आयोजन किया। उस लड़के के ससुर ने उसे पहचान लिया और महल में ले जाकर उसकी आवभगत की और अपनी पुत्री को विदा किया।
इधर भूखे-प्यासे रहकर साहूकार और उसकी पत्नी बेटे की प्रतीक्षा कर रहे थे। उन्होंने प्रण कर रखा था कि यदि उन्हें अपने बेटे की मृत्यु का समाचार मिला तो वह भी प्राण त्याग देंगे परंतु अपने बेटे के जीवित होने का समाचार पाकर वह बेहद प्रसन्न हुए। उसी रात भगवान शिव ने व्यापारी के स्वप्न में आकर कहा- हे श्रेष्ठी, मैंने तेरे सोमवार के व्रत करने और व्रतकथा सुनने से प्रसन्न होकर तेरे पुत्र को लम्बी आयु प्रदान की है।
जो कोई सोमवार व्रत करता है या कथा सुनता और पढ़ता है उसके सभी दुख दूर होते हैं और समस्त मनोकामनाएं पूर्ण होती हैं।
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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Nose rings are one of the ancient jewellery and has been widely worn by females, since 16th century. Some observe that nose stud was not used during ancient times and it was introduced by invaders during the 11th century. So whenever it came to India, it is widely popular even today.
Symbol of Marriage:
Nose ring or stud is worn by married and unmarried girls, yet in few Hindu societies it is a symbol of marriage. It is considered as one of the 16 sringar for married women. Various Indian communities have a tradition of wearing nose ring during marriage ceremonies. Though the position of the nose may vary from culture to culture like left side, right side or septum (between the nostrils).
It is said that the left side of the nostril is associated with the reproductive organs of the females. So the piercing in this side of the nose makes the delivery or child birth easier. It also reduces the menstrual cramps every month.
Apart from the cultural value, the nose piercing is considered as a gesture to adore and honour Goddess Parvati. Being associated with marriage and love towards her spouse, the women wear nose ring to please the Goddess.
Nowadays people have started wearing this ornament as a fashion statement. The acceptability of nose stud is widely increasing among the people of west and also in the work culture. It also makes the women look appealing and beautiful.
The pious fasting of Karwa-Chauth, where married women fast for the long life of their husbands and maintain peace and prosperity among the family relations is considered a huge event. Numerous beliefs and sentiments have been attached to this festival, varying as per geographical relevance and traditions. The women perform the auspicious karwa chauth puja before breaking the fast and the following story is narrated.
Long time ago, in the city of Indraprasthapur there was a Brahmin named Vedsharma married to Leelavati. They both had seven sons and one daughter named Veeravati. Being the only sister of seven brothers she was highly pampered by everybody in the family.
As she got matured, she was married to a suitable Brahmin boy. After marriage, when Veeravati was with her parents, she observed Karwa Chauth fasting for the long life of her husband along with her sisters-in-laws. During the fasting of Karwa Chauth Veeravati couldn’t bear the hunger; and due to weakness she fainted and fell on the ground.
The brothers couldn’t bear the miserable condition of their little sister. They knew that Veeravati, a Pativrata, would not take any food unless she sights the moon even if it costs her life. All the brothers collectively made a plan to trick the sister to break her fast.
Two brothers went to the forest and burnt cow dung coal. The other two brothers went home and informed his sister that the moon has risen. Veeravati believed that the moon has risen and made offerings to the fake moon. When Veeravati sat for her meal she could feel all sorts of bad omen and she immediately got the news that the king was dead.
Goddess Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived but would be ill.
When she reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles inserted in his body. Each day, the queen managed to remove one needle from the king’s body. She faithfully served his husband and adored Goddess Parvati for the wellness of his husband. Next year, on the day of Karwa Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king.
The queen observed a strict fast that day and when she went to the market to buy the karwa for the puja, her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid.
However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karwa Chauth vrat. Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. The queen asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king obliged and the queen kept singing a song ” Roli ki Goli ho gayi… Goli ki Roli ho gayi (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).
On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen to her royal status. It was only the queen’s devotion and her faith that won her husband’s affection and the blessings of Goddess Parvati.
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“The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India, born in Allahabad on the Ganges
The reverend river Ganga or Ganges is known for its purifying effects, where one gets rid of his past sins and attains a peaceful position in heaven. The river is adored as a mother and she is the bestower of grace, humility, healer of sickness (both internal and external) and freedom from the vicious cycle of birth and death. From Gangotri glacier to Bay of Bengal, the river makes it way for thousands of devotees, remaining calm, peaceful and stern.
- According to the ‘Vishnu Purana,’ Ganga was created from the sweat of Lord Vishnu’s feet. Hence, also known as ‘Vishmupadi‘ – the one flowing from the foot of Vishnu or his mighty locks. She resides on the top of Shiva’s head as his consort.
- It is also said that Ganga was devoted to Lord Krishna in heaven, which made his lover Radha jealous, who cursed Ganga to go down to earth and flow as a river.
- The point where Ganga meets Saraswati and Yamuna River in Allahabad is the central point of Kumbh Mela celebration for Hindus.
- Water from the Ganga has the unusual property that any water mixed with even the smallest quantity of Ganga water becomes Ganga water, and inherits its healing and other holy properties.
- Apart from the spiritual significance, River Ganga is the major source of irrigation for wide variety of crops and creation of goods. It is essential for industrial and agricultural use and also as drinking water.
- It inspires us to imbibe the trait of ‘giving without expecting’ and remaining calm, peaceful and grounded.
Thus Ganga Ma is the sacred body which acts as a saviour from the continuous trap of rebirth and permits us to take advantage of all the special holy traits that it bears, which leaves us with a huge responsibility of keeping it safe and healthy for our future generations too, as they can grab the same opportunities like us. It’s contradictory to say, but we are destroying our own sacred mother and still flaunting to be true Indians.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
To cherish the glories of reverent Goddess Durga and her different forms on each day, the nine days are dedicated to her nine avatars. The first three days, Goddess Durga is worshipped to praise her divine energy which terminates the existence of evil energies in the form of demon. Her ferocious and raging form personifies the energy of mother that erupts actively when positive and righteous powers are at stake.
These nine days is a journey to discover our true conscious and realize the divine path of success. It offers an opportunity to get acquainted with Lord Almighty through the path of seva, satsang, meditation and Guru’s blessings.
The first day of navratri is dedicated to goddess Shailputri, daughter of Parvatraj Himalaya (King of Mountains). She is beautifully adorned with half-moon on her head, holding trident and lotus in her hands, riding over her bull (nandi). Goddess Shailputri puja is a divine way to worship Goddess Parvati, who is an epitome of love and state of awareness (from Sati to Parvati). Worshipping her on the first day signifies the beginning state of spirituality, keeping the mooladhar in mind as Shailputri is the mooladahar Shakti of discovering oneself.
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