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 nine blissful days of navratri boosts the devotees with positivity and strength. These days finally comes to an end by celebrating the glory of positivity over negativity and praying for retaining these blessings throughout the year. The auspicious festival of Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra is a reminder of getting rid of evil traits and inculcating the positive sanskars.
Apart from the huge history of Ram-Ravana battle and victory of goodness over evil, the festival inspires us to quit our deviation towards material world. In the busy world of materialism all of us are running after external comforts and achievements. We are far away from focussing on our internal health and comfort. Due to this shift in focus, the world has turned upside down.
These nine days followed by the festival of Dussehra marks the victory of a devotee where the focus is returned back to the base. The devotees seek forgiveness for their mistakes and realize the power of goodness within them. The Goddess Shakti bestows the devotee to choose the path of positivity and live with internal and external bliss. The self-purification process makes this process easier and also inspires the sadhaks to retain this divinity around and within.
May Goddess Durga bless each one of us with supreme grace and may these blissful days become our style of living.
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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.
Marriage being an important and crucial affair in India is a tie-up between two families and commitment of love, care and belongingness. Imagine if this commitment or relationship is affected just due to disharmony among the placement of areas in the house; many of us might disagree with it but as per Vastu, the bed and bedroom are very important areas to maintain love and harmony of a relationship.
- Ideal place for bedroom is in the south-west, south, west or between north and north-west. Never have your bedroom in south-east zone as it causes frictions and clashes in relationship.
- It is recommended to use a queen size bed, without boxes and preferably with a ‘single’ mattress. You can also get the mattress stitched to appear as one or place a foam fitted sheet to cover the whole bed.
- The area under the bed should be kept clean and dust-free to avoid negativity in the room. Avoid shoes, slippers and etc inside the bedroom, especially under the bed.
- Prefer light and soothing colours in the bedroom to bring more love and understanding in your life.
- Avoid sleeping under a beam running lengthwise, to overcome this problem hang two crossed bamboo flutes from the beam facing downwards.
- A pair of doves or swans along with happy memories pictures must be displayed in the south-west corner of the room.
- The pointed objects like nails, iron spikes or sharp-edged furniture should not be pointed towards the bed. Dustbins and brooms must be out of sight.
- An L-shaped bedroom creates a sharp corner from the intersection of the two walls pointing across the room. Make sure that the corner is not pointing to the bed as the occupants would ultimately suffer from health issues.
- Do not keep an open mandir or create temple area in the bedroom.
The universe and its magical existence have a full-fledged influence on our lives, whether you believe it or not. People often wear stones or pearls to get rid of their issues and attract the positivity towards them. One of the rarest existences, in this dominant gem world is ‘Gajamukta’ or ‘commonly known as ‘elephant pearls’. It is a yellowish-white, oversized egg shaped stones. It can also be brownish in tone, depending upon the formation. Gajamukta is the rarest pearl, known to exist in one out of the millions elephants. Its formation is exclusive, like its existence, i.e. from the calcified masses of ivory and tusk of the elephant. It is classified as a Mani that is rare in existence.
Possessing magical and medicinal values, Gajamuktas are rare thus highly expensive and valuable and were owned by few of our great Kings of India during that era.
Significance of Gajamukta:
The revered and valued stone of gajamukta has divine and magical existence. It is widely renowned as a stone that keeps you away from all the negativity and stress. The stone has a cool and peaceful radiation as the natural pearls have moon dominant qualities. It is a sure shot jackpot for the owners, who possess this stone as he never has to worry about finance; therefore it was owned by Maharajas in the earlier time. They have unique feature of curing acute diseases and can even bless the barren women with the ability to conceive. Major problems like arthritis and joint pains have been cured by this extra ordinary pearl. It not only has a scientific relevance but is also a divine healer as you feel a change in your inner self. The vibrations of your surroundings transform tremendously and your lost peace is regained by achieving silence.
Mythological and Scientific Relevance:
The ancient Buddhist texts consist of the magical relevance of elephant stone and is still revered and adored by them. “According to the scientific researches, an elephant lives for approximately 125 years, so these pearls takes more than 75 years to be formed. It begins from a tiny grain sized to different sized stone, according to the tusk of the elephant.” This rare gem is only found in Airavata race and has adjoining sentiments of gaining wealth, fame and curing diseases. The Hindu text believes that this pearl is a symbol of Lord Ganesh’s soul and therefore considered fortunate and lucky.
Gajamukta is known to possess unique qualities that make it differentiate from others.
- When two elephant stones are placed together, they are attracted towards each other but they do not hold any magnetic traits.
- The water turns milky, if Gajmukta is put into clean water.
- Bubbles are produced, when the stone is kept in coconut water and the level of the water decreases, eventually.
- By placing the elephant stone on a betel leaf (Paan patta), it starts vibrating.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja