Saturday, March 28, 2009

Significance of Hanuma Jayanti

Hanuma Jayanti (हनुम जयन्ति / ಹನುಮ ಜಯಂತಿ)

ಚೈತ್ರ - ಹುಣ್ಣಿಮೆ [ದವನದ ಹುಣ್ಣಿಮೆ] - ಹಸ್ತಾ ನಕ್ಷತ್ರ - ಬ್ಯಾಘ್ಯಾತಯೋಗ - ಭದ್ರ ಕರಣ

चैत्र - पौर्णमि - हस्ता नक्षत्र - ब्याघ्यातयोग - भद्रकरण

Chaitra - Full moon day

9th April 2009, Thursday, (Hasta star, byaghyaatayoga, bhadrakarana) the full moon day of this month of Chaitra, is the birth anniversery of the greatest devotee of Sri Raamachandra, Hanuman. Hanuman  was born at sunrise (6:16AM). This day is very significant. Hanuman's father was a great monkey by name Kesari, and mother Anjana Devi, a sadhvi. She begot Hanuman by obtaining permission from sages, and hence Hanuman also has the name Anjaneya {अञ्जना --> आञ्जनेय}(It is called aadivruddhi (आदिव्रृद्धि) in Sanskrit). Remembering Hanuman will instill great energy into us, and Hanuma jayanti is the day to remember him. We come across his prowess/valour during his life (avataara) in Treta yuga (त्रेता युग) from incidents in the Raamayana. Its important to remind ourselves every now and then about this great devotee of the Lord. Some of the benefits of remembering Hanuman as described in the sastras are as follows:

- For intelligence: Hanuman was known to be a very good linguist. He was known as Navavyaakarana pandita (नवव्याकरण पन्डित/ನವವ್ಯಾಕರಣ ಪಂಡಿತ)(Master of Grammar). He inspires us to speak in a very beautiful and meaningful way.

- For physical strength: He did literally fly over the Indian Ocean to get to Lanka from India. He also brought the Sanjeevini mountain from Himalaya to Lanka. He is said to have tried to swallow the Sun, thinking it to be a fruit. He also inspries us to overcome our laziness.

- For Mental strength: He was famous for brahmacharya. It is said that he wouldn't look at unmarried women in the face.

- and thus for overall success in life, especially in today's age where one is losing courage day by day for innumerable reasons.

ಬುದ್ಧಿರ್ಬಲಂ ಯಶೋ ಧೈರ್ಯಂ ನಿರ್ಭಯತ್ವಂ ಅರೋಗತಾ

ಅಜಾಡ್ಯಂ ವಾಕ್ ಪಟುತ್ವಂ ಚ ಹನುಮತ್ ಸ್ಮರಣಾತ್ ಭವೇತ್.

बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं निर्भयत्वम् अरोगता ।

अजाड्यं वाक्पटुत्वं च हनुमत् स्मरणाद् भवेत् ॥

Its advisable for everyone to say this sloka, especially on the occasion of Hanuma Jayanti. Right from kids to elders should think about Hanuman and say this sloka whenever they are going out for work as it will inspire them to do their work to the best of their capacity and also avoid the ill-effects of celestial bodies (the reason for this shall be made known later). Along with this, on Hanuma Jayanti, people should visit nearby temples and offer their prayers.

Significance of Raama Navami

Raama Navami (राम नवमि / ರಾಮ ನವಮಿ)

ಚೈತ್ರ - ಶುಕ್ಲ - ನವಮಿ

चैत्र -शुक्ल - नवमि

Chaitra - Bright fortnight - Ninth day

ರಾಮಾಯ ರಾಮ ಭದ್ರಾಯ ರಾಮ ಚಂದ್ರಾಯ ವೇದಸೆ |

ರಘುನಾಥಾಯ ನಾಥಾಯ ಸೀತಾಯಾಃ ಪತಯೇ ನಮಃ ||

रामाय रामभद्राय रामचन्द्राय वेदसे ।

रघुनाथाय नाथाय सीतायाः पतये नमः ॥

The day that Raama took birth on Earth also happens to be in this month of Chaitra. That day is called Raama navami (राम नवमि / ರಾಮ ನವಮಿ). Raama is said to have been born in the afternoon. Although he was born in the heat of the day he was as pleasant as the moon. Raama navami is celebrated all through the country with great joy and enthusiasm. People who have accepted Raama as their (family) diety light lamps during the first 9 days of this month of Chaitra, and it is refered to as Raama navaraatri (राम नवरात्रि / ರಾಮ ನವರಾತ್ರಿ).

(More information about this also will be made available shortly.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Significance of Gowri Truteeya

Gowri truteeya (गौरि तृतीया / ಗೌರಿ ತೃತಿಯಾ)

From the 3rd day of bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra to that of Vaishaka, the duration of one full month, Gowri is worshipped. Shiva-Parvati should be worshipped during this period. Especially on Tuesdays during this month this ritual is done in groups.

(More information about this will be made available shorly)

Significance of Yugaadi


ವಸಂತ ಋತು - ಚೈತ್ರ ಮಾಸ - ಶುಕ್ಲ ಪಕ್ಷ - ಪ್ರತಿಪದ

वसन्तर्तु (वसन्त ऋतु) - चैत्र मास - शुक्ल पक्ष - प्रतिपद्

Vasanta (Spring) - Month of Chaitra - Bright fortnight - First day

Significance of this day:

This yuga (kaliyuga / कलियुग / ಕಲಿಯುಗ) began on Yugaadi (युगादि / ಯುಗಾದಿ). That was the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra. This day is very significant. This is also the beginning of the new year according to the Indian calender. Just like night is follwed by day, darkness is removed by light. So is the new moon day (अमावस्ये / ಅಮಾವಸ್ಯೆ) followed by the new year. Also on this day people should pray for a prosperous year ahead. A new samvatsara (संवत्सर / ಸಂವತ್ಸರ) begins with this day. With this yugaadi coming in year 2009 A.D. starts the samvatsara named "virodhi" (विरोधि / ವಿರೋಧಿ). Let us discuss a little more about samvatsaras here.

In our tradition, every year i.e., samvatsara, has been given a name. There are 60 samvatsaras in all, coming one after another in a sequence. The previous samvatsara (till 26 March 2009) was named sarvadhaari (सर्वधारि / ಸರ್ವಧಾರಿ). Every samvatsara begins on the first day of the month of Chaitra and goes up till the new moon day (अमावस्य / ಅಮಾವಸ್ಯೆ) of the month of Phalguna (फाल्गुण / ಫಾಲ್ಗುಣ). If a person lives for 60 years, then he would have seen one full cycle of all samvatsaras. In such cases, some people, depending on their tradition celebrate what is known as "Shashtaadbi" (शष्ठाब्दि / ಶಷ್ಠಾಬ್ದಿ). The details pertaining to that shall be presented elsewhere.

Important activities to be performed on Yugaadi:

On the auspicious day of Yugadi, one should wake up early in the morning and obey the elders in seeing ones' face in ghee filled container and then in the mirror (The rationale for this will be put up soon). Then one should take oil bath / head bath along with relatives and friends, and worship gods, wear new clothes, and then listen to results / fruits of the year from learned men. However, others do listen to Panchanga after waking up. Both practices are acceptable. One also has to do the following things:

1. Worship the Panchaanga

2. Seek blessings of elders by serving them

3. All the family members should consume a small quantity of neem and jaggery. Neem, being bitter signifies suffering / pain while jaggery being sweet signifies joy / happiness. Hence, it signifies that we vow to take both pain and happiness, success and failure equally. 

4. One should necessarily take head bath / oil bath. The significance of oil bath is explained in Vashishta smriti as follows:

If a person doesnt take oil bath on the first day of Spring then that person will suffer in life and experience grave hell.

Significance of Chaitra maasa

The Chaitra maasa (चैत्र मास) which came in the Bhavishyottara purANa (भविष्योत्तर पुराण) is described as follows:

ವೈಶಾಖಾತ್ ಕಾರ್ತಿಕಃ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಃ ಕಾರ್ತಿಕಾತ್ ಮಾಘ ಎವ ಚ

ಮಾಘಮಾಸಾದ್ ವರಶ್ಚಾಯಂ ಚೈತ್ರಮಾಸೋ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತಿ.

वैशाखात् कार्तिकः श्रेष्ठः कार्तिकात् माघ एव च ।

माघमासाद् वरश्चायं चैत्रमासो भविष्यति ॥

The month of Kaartika (कार्तिक)is more important than Vaishaakha (वैशाख), Maagha (माघ) is more significant than Kaartika, and Chaitra is much more auspicious than Maagha.

All good deeds, alms given to the deserving, yajgna-yaagas (यज्ञ-याग) performed, baths taken in holi places, learning sastras in this month of Chaitra, will pay thousand times more rich dividends. Especially, if all these activites are performed in Ayodhya.

Being the first among the twelve months, this month of Chaitra grants to all living beings whatever pleases them and thus assumes the form of mother. Maryaada purushottama Sri Ramachandra was born in this month and upon his birth, the gods and the people who were satisfied by the avatara praised him with several various hymns along with music-instruments-dance. Praising the significance of the month of Chaitra, people requested Sri Rama to grant special boons to this month. A gracious Sri Rama said thus:

ಸರ್ವೇಷಾಮೇವ ಮಾಸಾನಾಂ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಾಶ್ಚಾಯಂ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತಿ

ಅಯೋಧ್ಯಾಯಾಂ ರಾಮತೀರ್ಥ ಸರಯಾಜಲ ಮಧ್ಯಗೇ

ಚೈತ್ರಸ್ನಾನಂ ಪ್ರರುರ್ವಾಣಾ ಸ್ತ್ರೀ ನರಾ ಮೋಕ್ಷಭಾಗಿನಃ

सर्वेषामेव मासानां श्रेष्ठाश्चायं भविष्यति ।

अयोध्यायां रामतीर्थ सरयाजल मध्यगे ।

चैत्रस्नानं प्ररुर्वाणा स्त्री नरा मोक्षभागिनः ॥

Being the embodiment of the mother of all the months, the month of Chaitra shall be most auspicious. Having blessed thus, Sri Rama himself took birth on this Earth in the very same month. For people who take bath in the Sarayu river in Ayodhya shall be saved from all difficulties which they will encounter.

The following deeds shall be done during the month of Chaitra

-arranging drinking water for travellers

-arrangement of shelter to people walking in the sun/heat

-arrangement of food for the hungry and poor

It is said in the sastras that if a person fails to provide water for the needy, such a person will be born as a Jataka bird in future birth and will have to suffer to get water. Wheat, bedding, jaggery, ghee, curd, nellikai, mango are considered very auspicious.

During the month of Chaitra, one should take bath in the Sarayu river and listen / read the Ramayana. A sloka in the sastras says thus:

ಸರ್ವ ತೀರ್ಥೇಷು ಯತ್ ಪುಣ್ಯಂ ಸರ್ವ ದಾನೇಷು ಯತ್ ಫಲಂ |

ರಾಮಾಯಣಸ್ಯ ಪಠಣಾತ್ ತತ್ ಫಲಂ ನವರಾತ್ರಕೇ ||

सर्व तीर्थेषु यद् पुण्यं सर्व दानेषु यद् फालम् ।

रामायणस्य पठनात् तत् फलं नवरात्रके ॥

That result / fruit (punya) which is be obtained by taking bath in all holi places, that (punya) which is obtained by daana of all kinds, can be obtained just by listening to the Ramayana.

The important days of this month are as follows:

1. Yugaadi - 1st day of the bright fortnight

2. Gowri truteeya - 3rd day of the bright fortnight

3. Raamanavami - 9th day of the bright fortnight

4. Ekaadashi - 11th day of either fortnight

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Prologue – What this is, to whom and what for?


Welcome to this web page and thanks for visiting.

As you all might know, Hinduism or Sanaathana dharma, as the name suggests, is centuries old. The Vedas form the foundation of this dharma / religion. Although Hinduism might have many sub-sects, and the followers of each sub-sect might have their own religious practices, but my feeling is that the central theme is "The Vedas". Hindus, or people having faith in the Vedas will do well to inculcate the teachings of the Vedas in their daily lives. Apart from prescribing ways of worship, they also guide us on ways of conducting our lives in the society. But, this centuries old tradition of knowledge and practice of Vedic doctrines is dwindling by the day. Either due to laziness or ignorance of people, the importance of Vedic principles is diminishing. Although people continue to practice their preaching, either it is not done as it ought to be, or the significance is not properly understood. As years have passed by, the importance given to the Vedas is diminishing and people are developing differences of opinion amongst themselves, and practicing in ways they feel suitable. Complementary to this, today’s lifestyle is slowly taking people’s mind away from celebration of festivals also. Today’s generation who travel to distant cities for studies, job or otherwise stay far away from their elders thus disabling the smooth flow of religion and culture in their lives and the involuntary knowledge transfer which otherwise would have happened. I am also a part of this generation, but I strongly feel that we need to know and practice these doctrines.

Another feature of our generation is that we question everything. We ask questions as to why a particular task needs to be done in the way prescribed. Without understanding it completely, we fail to do the task whole heartedly and with satisfaction. We question anyone who speaks about Hindu religion, tradition and customs, without realizing that this sanaatana dharma cannot be understood in a day. There are lots of issues concerning every aspect of life, which take years together to comprehend. Although we want answers to our questions, we can hardly spend so many years in learning. But, we still want answers – I am writing this blog hoping to answer some of these questions.

But, as said earlier, my knowledge in these aspects is hardly significant. But, being lucky by chance, and as they say, by God’s grace, I got to know Shri. Shreekanthaachaarya Bidarakundi, Sudha Pandit, Dharawad. I told this dharmagnaani about my thought and this blog. The acharya agreed to help me with this, by providing essential information for the blog. I am grateful to him for his help. Thanking him again, I hope that this blog will be useful to readers, and that they become more austere by reading this.

In this blog, the following items shall be covered:

1. Firstly, the festivals according to the Hindu tradition, their celebration and significance. This information shall be provided in the following format:

· Maasa (month), paksha (fortnight), and tithi (day)

· Significance of the particular day and its reference (in puranas or elsewhere)

· Do’s and don’ts of the festivals (along with some baseless blind beliefs and misconceptions that may be in practice today), and

· Significance of various aspects of the celebration

In addition to this, readers are most welcome to suggest any other type of information that can be put here. We shall try to provide as much information as possible.

2. Along with festivities, Vedangas like Jyotishya describe how the day-to-day activities ought to be done or even what time/day is better suited for some special or important activities.

Many people amongst us have misconceptions about Jyotishya. But it is actually a Vedanga, a part of vedas, and we feel that a lot of information provided there is very true and hence that will also be a part of this blog. But, we won’t describe things like raashi phala (one's future based on sunsign) here, but restrict ourselves to description of what activities are shubha and ashubha on particular days.

This information shall be put up in the order of their occurrence, and hence we will be starting with the first day of the new year according to Hindu calendar, that is Yugaadi. According to Hindu calendar, it is Chaitra maasa, shukla paksha (or bright fortnight), and prathama or pratipad (first day). Yugadi falls on 27th March 2009 according to the Gregorian calendar. We shall try and put up information related to that 2-3 days in advance, and if possible prior to that. Following Yugaadi, material regarding other maasas will be put up subsequently.

Please do visit this page again and again, learn new things and inform others as well. Please feel free to post your comments as well.

From the coming New Year (Yugaadi) onwards, along with the joy it brings, read this material and if you feel it acceptable, follow it, inculcate it and lead a more holistic life.

Request to readers: We request readers to communicate about this blog to relatives and friends, helping us in creating awareness among people.