The most sacred color for hindu is saffron. It represents fire and as impurity are burnt by fire, this color symbolizes purity. It also represents the religious abstinence. It is the colour of holy men and ascetics who have renounced the world.Wearing the color symbolizes the quest for light.
The sacred plant of Tulsi or Ocimum Basilicum is considered as a must have plant in almost all the Indian homes. From holding medicinal to divine values, tulsi is known for its magical traits. Even our holy scriptures gives a special mention to this plant. Significance of Tulsi is as follows:
- It is firmly believed that Vishnu propitiation is incomplete without offering him the sacred Tulsi leaves. During the ritual of ‘Tulsi vivaah’ in kartik month, Tulsi is married to Lord Vishnu.
- The Vedic scriptures say, “Krishna gives Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a Tulsi leaf and a palm full of water.”
- Tulsi is known for the self-purification value and therefore widely used in holy puja ceremonies. It is also reused in puja without creating any impurity.
- The Tulsi plant is extremely sensitive and aware, and quickly able to register the vibrations around her. Therefore Tulsi fades away in negative or unhygienic surroundings.
- Tulsi is known as the Mother of Ayurveda and is widely used in fever, insomnia, mental tension, skin problems, and the treatment of cancer and diabetes.
- The antibiotic and anti-allergic properties of Tulsi help to cure coughs and colds, sore throats, whooping cough in children etc.
- Tulsi plant releases oxygen all the time i.e. both day and night, which makes it unique from the other plants.
- The dried wood, stem and branches of Tulsi are used to make japa malas, which are considered calm and serene in nature.
- Tulsi is widely worshipped for happiness and prosperity. It is also adored by unmarried girls in virtue of good husbands.
- Keeping Tulsi plant at home prevents insects and mosquitoes from entering the house. It is said that snakes do not dare to go near a Tulsi plant.
The beginning of propitious celebration is incomplete without the soothing tune of the conch or shankh. The trumpet sounds so peaceful to the ears and is purely a sign of brilliant and auspicious beginning. In Indian mythology, God Vishnu, the God of Preservation, is shown with a shankh in one hand and a chakra in the other. The shankh symbolizes positivity over negativity and it is blown as a ray of hope. During puja, shankh is also used as a container of holy water.
- Shankh is considered as one of the most auspicious objects that emerged from the sea during the Sagara Samudra Manthan.
- Whenever conch shell is blown, it is said to eliminate the evil effects and purify the environment.
- The natural vibration or cosmic energy of the Earth gets magnified on entering the conch shell, which can be heard as the gentle humming sound of ocean.
- When the conch is blown, the sound emanated from it is a symbol of creation, as it contains the five elements of nature
- The vibration from the conch has the power to heal the ozone hole in the ozone layer, a major cause of global warming.
- The positive vibrations enhance the positive feelings around like courage, willpower, determination, hope and love.
- By blowing the shankh the frequencies consisting raja–tama particles are destroyed and at the same time the saviour and destroyer principle of a deity is awakened.
- Shankh is a sign of good luck, wealth and prosperity for the inmates of the house as it keeps the negative energies away.
- While performing Lakshmi Puja, conch shell is filled with milk and then it is poured over the idol. Water collected in shankh is offered while worshipping sun.
The infinite faith and devotion in God leads us to surrender ourselves in His holy feet. By touching the feet of a deity or spiritual Guru, we release our ego and get rid of all the negative energies, as our real identity is realized. When the holy feet have been given upmost importance in our Vedas, then how can we overlook the magical power of ‘nectar from the feet of God’. The sacred and valuable ‘Charnamrit’ meaning, Charan- feet and Amrit-holy nectar from Gods; has always been consumed by us at religious places, yet very of us thought about its importance.
Significance of the ingredients:
Charnamrit is commonly composed of five main ingredients i.e. milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar. Water and tulsi (basil) leaves are also added by few to this holy mixture. All these ingredients which are commonly used by us in the daily routine, combine together to create a divine nectar that bestows us with bliss and purity.
- Milk – for purity and piousness.
- Curd- for prosperity and progeny.
- Honey- for sweetness in our nature.
- Ghee- for victory.
- Sugar- for happiness.
- Water- for purity.
- Tulsi- for immunity.
Apart from the sacred importance and divine nature, Charnamrit is also efficient for our body and resolves our body issues. The holy nectar is generally prepared and kept in the copper or brass vessel that provides an added advantage for terminating the infectious germs inside our body and enhances our immunity power. Basil leaves acts as a strong agent against diseases and eliminates the chances of illness. It also enhances our memory power and provides strength.
Thus this holy nectar acts as a magical solution that not only showers us with positive benefits for our body but also for our soul. The nectar increases our faith and devotion on the spiritual path and takes us more close to our ultimate destination. Both inner and outer bliss is achieved by it.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Goddess Saraswati is the store house of knowledge and wisdom, and the lover of art and music. Lord Brahma, the divine consort of Goddess Saraswati, creates the beautiful Universe and Sarsawati ji completes the process by showering the knowledge required for comprehending the creation.
The pious and serene state of Goddess is depicted by her vahan i.e. swan. The pure white swan portrays the selfless realization of true knowledge and also the discrimination between the eternal and mortal. The Goddess is also accompanied with a peacock near her image that signifies the ignorant attitude and how one is tangled in the deceptive charm of beauty. By mounting on the peacock, Saraswati ji teaches that the external appearance is transitory and should not be given priority. It’s the divine inner soul that needs to be focused and revered.
Lord Vishnu: Serpent and Garuda
Lord Vishnu also known as Narayana is the maintainer who sustains the entire creation. Lord Vishnu is the strength to maintain goodness in the Universe and he is also the remover of darkness of illusion. The connection between Lord Vishnu and his ‘sesha naag’ is renowned where the Lord rests upon sesha’s form of snake. Sesha means ‘balance’, thus the Lord is laid upon him. Snake is a symbol of time, eternity and wisdom that shows the controller of time representing the absolute truth of life.
Garuda, the eagle god is also the Vahana of Lord Vishnu that is well known for its speed and mighty wings. At one instance, Garuda wanted a place even higher than Lord Vishnu but as he got acquainted of the powers of Lord Vishnu, he became his faithful devotee by surrendering himself as his vehicle. It symbolise the numerous flying thoughts of mortals and the way they are controlled by the Almighty.
Lord Shiva: Nandi bull
Lord Shiva is the embodiment of creating as well as destroying. He is worshipped for his supreme powers and signifies the union of duality with Goddess Shakti. The vehicle of lord Shiva, Nandi bull symbolise the brutal and aggressive attitude of humans. By mounting on the top of the bull, lord Shiva tames the evil energies and also controls the sexual impulses. Shiva controls the negative impulses by riding on its back and teaches the important lesson to mankind.
Goddess Durga: Lion
Goddess Durga, another form of Parvati ji is the ferocious depiction of powerful and warrior Goddess. She is the widely adored deity renowned for female energy or Shakti. Goddess Durga with three eyes and ten arms is mounted on the golden hairy lion that symbolise the removal of dark night through bright golden light. Defeating the demon Mahishasura, mounting on the lion represents the ferocious and wild nature of both the Goddess and her vehicle. The lion acts as the celestial vehicle and portrays the lordly powers of wild beast.
Lord Ganesha: Mouse
The one without whom every important work is incomplete and without whose grace our life is doomed is our own beloved Ganesha. The remover of all our obstacles, Ganesha is the store house of knowledge, wisdom and intelligence. Lord Ganesh is often seen riding the tiny moshika raj ‘mouse’ as his vehicle which is considered weak. Mouse is related with destructive traits that spoils the food and crops, especially. Here the mouse connotes the human mind that destroys the mental peace due to evil thoughts and energies, but by mounting on the devil energies, Lord Ganesha crushes them. The faithful devotion is depicted by bestowing a peaceful mind to the devotee and teaching us the power of goodness and faith.
Lord Brahma: Seven swans
Lord Brahma is the supreme deity known for creation of this Universe. He is upmost source of knowledge and his consort Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Brahma ji is known for the creation of Vedas that are the base of knowledge for this Universe. The four head and four armed God is the symbol of four vedas, four maha yugas and the fourfold social order. He is seen mounted on the chariot lead by seven swans as swan is the symbol of knowledge and discretionary powers. Swan is known for purity that teaches us to make right decisions in our life. Swan is also known for separating milk from the mixture of milk and water that reveals the characteristic trait of Lord Brahma to make fine distinction while creating the Universe.
Goddess Lakshmi: Owl
The Goddess of prosperity and wealth is the consort of Sri Mahavishnu and is highly revered by the Hindu devotees. She is the store house of wealth, good luck, fortune, beauty, charm and riches that defines her power of showering unlimited blessings. The vehicle of goddess Lakshmi, an owl or ‘uluka’ is often a negative connotation; therefore it is considered to be associated with Alakshmi (Goddess of inauspiciousness). It is believed that during the Samudra manthan, Lakshmi was born out of Amrit and Alakshmi emerged with Halahal. As owl is known for its nocturnal activity, it is associated with ill omen but for few the ability of owl to see only in darkness symbolise the capability of going from darkness to light i.e. materialism to spiritualism. The figure of owl with the Goddess is a reminder that the wealth and fortune are a trap and our inner conscious and wisdom keeps us away from the ‘adharmik’ use of that fortune.
Lord Indra: Airavata
The most powerful and excellent warrior, known as the King of Devas and also the God of War and Weather. The term Indra is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Ind’ meaning to be powerful and the one who defeats his enemy. He is even renowned for his arrogant traits, yet he is the chief deity in Rig Veda. To maintain dharma in all three lokas and fight against evil powers, Lord Indra is the heroic protagonist. The four tusked, white elephant is the vahana of this deity, which is said to have emerged during Samudra manthan. The mighty elephant is renowned for protecting the gates of paradise as well as other miracles. It is said that Airavata gathered water from the large lakes of Udaygiri Mountains and showers it in the direction of lord Indra; thus holding the ability of giving rise to clouds or pouring rain. The pious and spotless white creature is a symbol of purity and is known to be created during the beginning of life by Lord Brahma.
Lord Vayu: Thousands of horse
The great personification of wind, Lord Vayu is known as the initial partaker of soma juice. He is a dear friend of lord Indra and given equal respect and weightage. He is as swift as mind and also called as the God of Thoughts. He is one of the major elements of the five elements of the Universe and is also described as ‘Satata-ga’ (ever moving), ‘Pavana’ (wind), and ‘Gandha-vaha’ (the perfume bearer). He is the guardian of North West direction and the father of Lord Hanuman and Bheema. Vayu devta is often shown riding forty nine or thousand horses that helps to cover long distances swiftly within few seconds. Horse is known for its swift and mighty powers and is often symbolised as notorious and fast mind that flies from one thought to another in just few seconds. By climbing upon these horses, Lord Vayu tames the swift thoughts and brings stability and calmness in our mind. The white coloured horses that cover all the three lokas of the world are a symbol of victory over our evil and negative thoughts.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Owning a good house is perhaps the first material aspiration of a person. With blessings of God and good wishes of elders, man acquires a house wherein he wants to live in comfort and harmony with family and society. Every place has its own energies, through Vedic prayers; we synergize such cosmic forces for our peace and welfare. Moving to a new house is among the four most precious events of our life that include birth, marriage, first employment and dwelling.
Shubhpuja organizes this special puja to celebrate the occasion and seek the blessings of God for happiness of all the members of household and to save us from jealousy and evil eyes.
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