With the Dust of the Lotus Feet of Sri Gurudeva, I Clean the Mirror of my Mind.
I Narrate the Sacred Glory of Sri Raghubar (Sri Rama Chandra), who Bestows the Four Fruits of Life (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha).
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।।
Though every character mentioned in our mythological text hold their unique significance, yet few of them capture our attention and become eternal. They become the epitome and inspiration of our daily life and also provide us the strength to connect with Supreme power. Shabari was one such character who is still known for her innocence, immense devotion and shraddha and saburi. Oblivious to the customs and traditions of the high society, she spent her entire life in the forest wandering and waiting for her Shri Rama.
To appreciate and adore the faith of this divine lady, Shabari Jayanti is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Saptami in the month of Phalguna, as per the north Indian lunar calendar. The day holds great significance among the Kol Community.
The day Lord Rama reached the doors of Shabari, she was overwhelmed with joy and tears rolled down her cheeks. She couldn’t believe that her Rama was there to meet her after years of patience and faith in the Lord. In her innocence and bounty of love, she started tasting the fruits before offering them to lord Rama. She never wanted to offer any sour or poisonous fruits to him.
Shri Rama happily accepted the half eaten fruits and proved that it is not the condition or value of the offering that matters but devotion of the devotee who offers it. When Sri Rama asked her, “Shabari what boon would you like“? Shabari says, “With my Guru’s blessing I was blessed to have your darshan today. I do not desire anything else now. Please give me the permission to give up my mortal body and attain salvation.”
1st March 2016 is celebrated as Shabari Jayanti this year to remember her love and devotion towards her guru. This day inspires the devotees to be faithful and true towards the lord and focus more on the devotion rather than the offerings.
We have commonly observed a choti or shikha i.e. the tuft of hair, prominent among the Sanatan Dharma. The Shastras declare that any religious rite such as a yagna or homa is fruitless without a shikha (Katyayan Smruti). When the Gurukul system of education prevailed, the pupil was eligible to study only after having a shikha.
All the religious act should be performed after tying the tuft but only the funeral and death anniversaries are performed with tuft untied or with dishevelled hair. It is very inauspicious to remain with dishevelled hair. It is done only diin times of great sorrow or calamity. Like Draupadi took an oath in the assembly of the Kurus when she was molested by Dussasana that she would remain with dishevelled hair until the enemies were properly revenged. Also, Kaikeyi remained with dishevelled hair in her apartment with the object of getting two boons from Dasaratha which were detrimental to the interests of Rama, the favourite of Dasaratha.
Significance of ‘choti’ or ‘shikha’:
- There is a common belief that a choti allows the almighty to pull us easily from this ‘material world’ as it is the nexus of all nerves.
- The Brahmarandhra is the seventh chakra (also known as the Sahasrara chakra), the highest one in the human body which represents a thousand- petaled lotus.
- It is considered the seat of wisdom and the knotted shikha protects this spot.
- When the fully enlightened being attain jeevan mukti or salvation, the soul is said to depart the human body from this chakra.
- The knotted shikha helps boost this center and conserve its subtle energy known as ojas.
- Sun i.e. the primary source of clean energy, when falls on the rest of the head is soaked by the brain and helps in reviving the body and soul energy.
“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
“Na ca saknomy avasthatum bhramativa ca me manah nitmittani ca pasyami viparitani kesava”; meaning- O Krishna, I am unable to keep composed; my mind is unsteady, and I see dire indications of inauspicious omens.” The supreme Krishna guided the perplexed Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and the direct gospel from the lips of Lord Krishna holds significance in our daily lives and provides solutions to everyday troubles.
The 700 shlokas across 18 chapters as a part of epic Mahabharata highlights the Vedantic views, which needs to be imbibed in our lives. The core philosophies of karma, dharma, reincarnation, atman, brahman, maya and moksha forms the basis of the teachings of Krishna.
In the beginning of the chapter, the act of knowing your true self i.e. leaving apart the physical body and materialistic possessions that are delusion, identify your higher self or eternal soul. When man is free from the effect of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, anxiety and other such emotions; then he completely connects with the supreme power and stays neutral and contented at every situation in life.
Be in the moment:
Gita explains about the relevance of cherishing the journey more than the final destination. Whatever field you have mastered in, the pleasure of creating yourself up to that level is more inspiring and beautiful than the final end of creation. So be it any phase of life, if you live in that very moment without being judgemental about results, the greed and curiosity for more, vanishes.
Gita highlights the necessity of weighing everyone at the same level, be it friends or foe. “He alone sees truly who sees God in every creature he does not harm himself or others.” If the Supreme father doesn’t discriminate among all his kids, then how can we mortal beings perform against the law of nature? As the feelings of acceptance indulges the flower of love blooms within us and provides the strength to treat everyone as One human family.
Be cautious about your actions:
Lord Krishna explains Arjuna that every situation in our life is the result of our prior actions; fate and destiny need not to be blamed. Think about what you are doing right now, as your present actions decides your future results. The beautiful life is a gift of God, utilise it now and get rid of your flaws within time.
Have faith on HIM:
Almighty is infinitely more, beyond what can be seen, felt, heard by our physical senses; so it’s pointless to be thoughtful about every action on this planet. Have faith on his supreme blessings and say ‘I am in you and you are in me’. This bestows you with strength that prevents you to get trapped in the vicious circle of life.
Perform your duty:
“You might like another’s duty, and dislike yours. But still, do your own duty, and not another’s, even if you can do another’s duty very well. Or you’ll go on being caught up in the field of opposites. And there will be no end to your suffering.” It is much easier to become a hermit and stay in forest, leaving your family and responsibilities; but the true challenge is to perform your duties within the world of illusion and stay connected to the true self every second.
Act good, the lord is watching:
As a watch keeper, the Lord is aware about every act you perform. We can fool other mortals but not the supreme power. So be true to yourself and act wisely, without expecting the fruitful results, as it is your journey that matters. Gita says that you keep doing your duty in the best way you can and there will always be bigger power that will protect the truth. In short, never stop your war against injustice just because your enemy look so formidable. ‘In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of truth, I advent Myself time to time.’
The elements of Bhagvad Gita has been inspiring from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to Robert Oppenheimer, so why not you. Each one of us is Arjuna on the karmic battlefield of life, and the teachings of Lord guide us to win the battle against our own blood relations.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Sixth day is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, who showers the prosperity and wealth on her devotes. She bestows with divine energy and fulfils the need of her worshippers so that they can lead a serene and contented life ahead.
Sage Katyan performed severe penance to Ma Bhagwati for having Ma Durga as his daughter. Finally his wish was granted and Ma Katyani took birth in her clan due to which she is referred by this name. She is the powerful and fierce form of Goddess Durga, who took birth to end the misery created by demon Mahishasura in the abode of Gods. Devi Katyani, having three eyes and four arms is a perfect way to achieve Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Devi Katyani is also called as the Queen of Braj as she was worshipped by the gopis to get Lord Krishna as their husband.
To receive the immense blessings of Goddess Katyani Mata, book your puja package now: http://shubhpuja.com/maakatyaninavratri6-id-769044.html