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.
Pitru Paksha is a special time period during the Hindu year when Hindus pay homage to the departed souls of their ancestors by performing Shradh rituals at holy locations. Few of such sacred locations are as follows:
Varanasi: Varanasi is one of the seven sacred spots for Hindus and is widely known as the ‘Religious capital of India’. Pindan puja or Shanti Paath in Varanasi helps the soul attain salvation through fulfilment.
Allahabad: Situated at the confluence of three holy rivers: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati; the city of Allahabad is piously sacred and important. To perform Pind Daan Kriya ceremony at the sangam ghat is considered highly auspicious for the departed souls; especially during Pitru Paksha Mela.
Ayodhya: Ayodhya is the birth place of Hindu God Shri Ram, said to be located above the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu. Bharata Kund is a sacred place for offering Pind Daan kriya. It is believed that the departed souls attain salvation if the Shradh rituals are performed here.
Ujjain: One of the religious destinations of India, the city has wide range of religious and spiritual interest. By performing Pind daan kriya in Ujjain, the unfulfilled desires and services can be provided to the departed souls.
Haridwar: Haridwar as a place is known for its importance in conducting puja towards all deities as well as towards our deceased ancestors. The pujas including Pind Daan and yearly shraddha ritual can be performed here and have high religious importance.
Mathura: The city of majestic temples and huge religious history is believed to be the sacred place for performing pujan and tarpan to the pitras.
Kurukshetra: The historic and religious importance is widely known by all. Performing shradh ceremonies on the bank of river Saraswati frees the departed soul from the cycle of birth and death.
Gaya: The ancient city in Bihar on the banks of the river Phagu is quite important in Hinduism and is eternally blessed by the power of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the holiest locations for performing Shradh rituals.
Jagannath Puri: Situated on sea shore of Bay of Bengal in State of Orissa, the city caters to the religious needs of lakhs of devotees. It is widely known for conducting shradh rituals for the departed souls.
Dwarka: Being one of the 4 dhams, the place is one of the known moksh-daayi cities. The city is highly auspicious for performing shradh rites, as it is the city of Lord Krishna himself.
The auspicious 15 days ‘Pitru paksha’ period or shradh is a form of attachment or guilt within us that restricts us to lead a normal day to day life. It disturbs and haunts us day and night in our thoughts as we have a feeling of regret within us for the dead person. Thus shradh ceremony or any such offerings are the ways to fulfil the unfulfilled desires of our ancestors.
Certain things have to keep into consideration during this period to faithfully and ritualistically please our ancestors.
- Stand on the mat during sunrise and chant ‘Gayatri mantra’ to strengthen the position of Sun in your horoscope.
- In the south direction of your habitat, hang portraits of your ancestors and greet them with fresh flowers garland.
- Feed cows with ghee and rice balls every Saturday.
- Use of barley, Kaangani- a type of millet, peas, sesame seed and mustard in Shradh puja are considered highly auspicious and fortunate.
- Shradh karma should not be performed on land occupied by others therefore river banks and holy pilgrimages are preferred.
- Helping the poor and disabled and remembering your ancestors is an easy path to receive blessings for them.
- Respect and seek blessings from the elders at our home, as their blessings are the only way to receive peace and happiness.
- Offer regular donations to hospitals or temples in the name of our ancestors and if possible, assist in the education and marriage of orphan girls.
- Recitation of Garuda Puraan i.e. the passage of the departing soul, Nachiketa story from Upanishads and Ganga Avataran chapter from Ramayan are done to ensure the satisfaction of our ancestors.
- Perform fasting on Ekadashi and if possible organize the Agni Homa or Havan during this period.
- Gram, lentil, black gram, horse gram, barley, radish, black cumin, Bauhinia, cucumber, black gram, black salt, gourd, large mustard, leaf of black mustard and stale, rotten fruit or grain, are prohibited in Shradh puja.
- Avoid consumption of non-vegetarian food, alcohol and other such tamasic edibles along with outside food.
- Avoid starting anything new, even something seemingly as insignificant as buying and wearing new clothes, washing hair, cutting hair and even shaving are proscribed during the period.
- Important events like shifting to a new house, marriage, birth ceremonies of a child, inauguration of new business and other such significant celebrations should be avoided during this period.
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.
Blessings, wisdom and wealth are the base of any new venture. Today most of the people prefer their own start-up works as it involves no bossy tensions and everything is done as per your wish. But the major factor of a new business is risk and lack of any pillar in your business leads to heavy crisis. Therefore to maintain the continuous success of any work and drive maximum out of it, the gracious blessings of Almighty are always needed apart from other requirements.
Before beginning any new work, Ganesh ji is praised to receive his auspicious blessings as he is considered the good luck charm. Wealth, fortune and prosperity are related to Goddess Lakshmi whereas Mata Saraswati provides us with knowledge and wisdom. So for achieving success in any work, all these blessings are a must and the lack of any of them will disturb the success. So Ganesh Lakshmi Saraswati puja, all together is a powerful tool to receive immense blessing for your new business and remove any kind of negativity from your way.
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About Ganesh Lakshmi Saraswati Puja:
This puja is a three in one way to seek the blessing of the three Gods and Goddesses together by receiving their blessings. Good luck wishes for your new enterprise, knowledge about your business and strategies along with hard work helps you achieve success in your work and it maintains the continuous growth of prosperity. Every new beginning is complete by the blessings of Almighty and our elders, so this puja is a way to attract success and lead a blessed life.
Why should you do this puja?
- Helps devotee to intellectually nurture himself
- Receive auspicious grace for the new venture
- Imbibe the positivity and tactics to deal with problems
- Gaining wealth
- Removal of obstruction and evil forces
- Enlightens one with not only “academic knowledge” but also with “divine knowledge” to seek salvation
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Every individual composed of mind, body and soul have specific identity but all are existent in this One cosmic energy. This omnipresent and omnipotent Universe is eternal and everybody is a part of it. As we blossom in this Universe and grow up within it, we get detached from our sole source and get deviated from our motive. So Navaratri is the period when certain changes are prevalent around us in the nature and environment. Similar alterations can be done within us during this period. It is the most active period when the shaktis of Goddess and Gods are increased and worshipping them can transform your being, both within and around you.
- While chanting mantras and reading the Vedic scripture, the soul is tranquilised and entire humanity is benefited.
- The energy produced during adoring the deities transforms the waves around us and spreads benevolence.
- The devilish or ‘asur shaktis’ can be terminated by realizing the illusion of material world and getting rid of its effects.
Apart from spiritual awakening and divine knowledge, praising Ma Durga during these nine nights and days also solves your worldly issues.
- Concentration level increases and comes back to the stable situation, which increases efficiency in any work.
- Wisdom and knowledge are imparted which takes away education related problems.
- Personal relations among family get stronger by getting involved in the righteous work collectively.
- Childless couples are showered with a baby and pregnancy related issues are solved.
- Disputes related to property and delayed court cases get resolved.
- The malefic effects of planets are removed from one’s life and birth chart.
- Unmarried people facing delay in marriages find the perfect life partner and lead a blissful life ahead.
- Acute diseases and occurrence of minute health problems will be resolved and cured.
- Fear from certain objects and being or disturbed sleep at night will be solved.
- Financial debts or wealth related problems will come to an end along with materialistic growth.
For receiving immense blessing of Ma Durga this Navratri, book your puja package now-
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
As we sow, so shall we reap; the saying is a direct indication of the fact that whatever deeds (good or bad) we perform during our journey, we get paid accordingly. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so similarly our ‘karmas’ affect our progress and failure, respectively. However, not everything is related to current Karmas and hence you may be affected by Pitra dosh.
Meaning of Pitras
‘Pitras’ refer to our ancestors, manes or anyone in our family who has departed this planet.
- If there has been a lack in our service towards our ancestors, when they were alive or existence of unfulfilled wishes in them, at the time of death; then ‘Pitra dosh’ may be bothering you.
- It also occurs when the departed soul do not achieve salvation.
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