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Devuthi-Prabodhini Ekadashi


Haribodhini or Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi 6/11/2011 Sunday
To Ashram.org

Haribodhini or Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi or Dev Jagi Dev uthi ekadashi is observed on the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon (Shukl Paksh) in the month of Kartik (October – November). On this day, Lord Vishnu wakes up from his Yoga Nidra (cosmic sleep) after the four holy months of the rainy season (Chaturmaas). This Ekadashi also marks the official end of Chaturmaas.

The greatness of observing a fast on Dev Prabodhini Ekadasi was narrated to Sage Narada by Lord Brahma and is found in the Skand Puraan.

Lord Brahma said to Narada Muni, “O best of the brahmanas, the merits acquired by bathing in the Ganges remain significant only as long as Haribodhini Ekadashi does not come. This sacred Ekadashi is more powerful in nullifying sin than one thousand Ashvamedha sacrifices and one hundred Rajasuya sacrifices.

The sins a person has accumulated over a thousand previous births are burned to ashes if he not only fasts but also remains awake throughout Ekadashi night, just as a mountain of cotton can be burned to ashes if one lights a small fire in it. Even if one does a small amount of pious activity on this day, following the rules and regulations, one will earn merit equal to Mount Sumeru in volume.

Anyone who observes Haribodhini Ekadasi is celebrated as highly qualified and makes his dynasty famous. As death is certain, so losing one’s wealth is also certain.Knowing this, O best of sages, one should observe a fast on this day so dear to Hari – Shri Haribodhini Ekadashi.

Haribodhini Ekadashi is the best Ekadashi. Nothing is unobtainable or rare in this world for one who fasts on this day, for it gives food grains, great wealth, and high merit, as well as eradication of all sin. Again I say to you, O Naradaji, whatever merit is earned by one who bathes in a place of pilgrimage, performs sacrifices, and studies the Vedas, is only one ten-millionth the merit earned by the person who fasts but once on Haribodhini Ekadashi.”

6 nov 2011 ravivaar
दीपावली के बाद आने वाली देव-जगी एकादशी के दिन , संध्या के समय कपूर आरती करने से आजीवन अकाल-मृत्यु से रक्षा होती है; एक्सीडेंट, आदि उत्पातों से रक्षा होती है |

If a devotee does “aarti” of Lord Shri Hari on this holy day with camphor (capoor) or with karpooram on this holy day of Deva Jagi ekadashi specially at the evening time, then s/he is protected “life long” by the Lord from untimely death (akaal-mrityu) due to accidents, bomb blasts, etc. In these times of uncertainty, all readers are requested to kindly benefit from this precept of our scriptures by performing the Lord’s “aarti” with camphor on this day.

It is like the Lord Himself giving us an accident cover for life…

As the famous saying goes,

जाको राखे साइयाँ, मारि सके न कोई |
बाल न बांका करि सके, जो जग वैरी होई ||

[Translation: The person, whose life is taken care of by the Lord Himself, can’t be killed by anyone; nobody can harm a single hair of his, even if the whole world has become his enemy.]

प्रबोधिनी एकादशी

भगवान श्रीकृष्ण ने कहा: हे अर्जुन ! मैं तुम्हें मुक्ति देनेवाली कार्तिक मास के शुक्लपक्ष
की ‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के सम्बन्ध में नारद और ब्रह्माजी के बीच हुए वार्तालाप को सुनाता हूँ । एक बार
नारादजी ने ब्रह्माजी से पूछा : ‘हे पिता !‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के व्रत का क्या फल होता है, आप कृपा करके
मुझे यह सब विस्तारपूर्वक बतायें ।’

ब्रह्माजी बोले : हे पुत्र ! जिस वस्तु का त्रिलोक में मिलना दुष्कर है, वह वस्तु भीकार्तिक मास के शुक्लपक्ष की
‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के व्रत से मिल जाती है । इस व्रत के प्रभाव से पूर्व जन्म के किये हुए अनेक बुरे
कर्म क्षणभर में नष्ट होजाते है । हे पुत्र ! जो मनुष्य श्रद्धापूर्वक इस दिन थोड़ा भी पुण्य करते हैं, उनका वह
पुण्य पर्वत के समान अटल हो जाता है । उनके पितृ विष्णुलोक में जाते हैं । ब्रह्महत्या आदि महान पाप भी
‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के दिन रात्रि को जागरण करनेसे नष्ट हो जाते हैं ।
हे नारद ! मनुष्य को भगवान की प्रसन्नता के लिए कार्तिक मास की इस एकादशी का व्रत अवश्य करना
चाहिए । जो मनुष्य इस एकादशी व्रत को करता है, वह धनवान, योगी, तपस्वी तथा इन्द्रियों को
जीतनेवाला होता है, क्योंकि एकादशीभगवान विष्णु को अत्यंत प्रिय है ।

इस एकादशी के दिन जो मनुष्य भगवान की प्राप्ति के लिए दान, तप, होम, यज्ञ (भगवान्नामजप भी परम
यज्ञ है। ‘यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि’ । यज्ञों में जपयज्ञ मेरा ही स्वरुप है।’ श्रीमद्भगवदगीता ) आदि करते हैं, उन्हें अक्षय पुण्य मिलताहै ।

इसलिए हे नारद ! तुमको भी विधिपूर्वक विष्णु भगवान की पूजा करनी चाहिए । इस एकादशी के दिन
मनुष्य को ब्रह्ममुहूर्त में उठकर व्रत का संकल्प लेना चाहिए और पूजा करनी चाहिए । रात्रि को भगवान
के समीप गीत, नृत्य, कथा-कीर्तनकरते हुए रात्रि व्यतीत करनी चाहिए ।

‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के दिन पुष्प, अगर, धूप आदि से भगवान की आराधना करनी चाहिए, भगवान को
अर्ध्य देना चाहिए । इसका फल तीर्थ और दान आदि से करोड़ गुना अधिक होता है ।

जो गुलाब के पुष्प से, बकुल और अशोक के फूलों से, सफेद और लाल कनेर के फूलों से, दूर्वादल से,
शमीपत्र से, चम्पकपुष्प से भगवान विष्णु की पूजा करते हैं, वे आवागमन के चक्र से छूट जाते हैं ।
इस प्रकार रात्रि में भगवान की पूजा करकेप्रात:काल स्नान के पश्चात् भगवान की प्रार्थना करते हुए गुरु
की पूजा करनी चाहिए और सदाचारी व पवित्र ब्राह्मणों को दक्षिणा देकर अपने व्रत को छोड़ना चाहिए ।

जो मनुष्य चातुर्मास्य व्रत में किसी वस्तु को त्याग देते हैं, उन्हें इस दिन से पुनः ग्रहण करनी चाहिए ।
जो मनुष्य ‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ के दिन विधिपूर्वक व्रत करते हैं, उन्हें अनन्त सुख मिलता है और अंत
में स्वर्ग को जाते हैं
Devuthi Ekadashi Mahima aur Pujan Vidhi ( देवउठी एकादशी महिमा )

प्रातः स्मरणीय परम पूज्य
संत श्री आसारामजी बापू
के सत्संग प्रवचनों में से नवनीत

एकादशी माहात्मय
एकादशी की रात्रि में श्रीहरि के समीप जागरण का माहात्मय

सब धर्मों के ज्ञाता, वेद और शास्त्रों के अर्थज्ञान में पारंगत, सबके हृदय में रमण करनेवाले श्रीविष्णु के तत्त्व को जाननेवाले तथा भगवत्परायण प्रह्लादजी जब सुखपूर्वक बैठे हुए थे, उस समय उनके समीप स्वधर्म का पालन करनेवाले महर्षि कुछ पूछने के लिए आये ।

महर्षियों ने कहा : प्रह्रादजी ! आप कोई ऐसा साधन बताइये, जिससे ज्ञान, ध्यान और इन्द्रियनिग्रह के बिना ही अनायास भगवान विष्णु का परम पद प्राप्त हो जाता है ।

उनके ऐसा कहने पर संपूर्ण लोकों के हित के लिए उद्यत रहनेवाले विष्णुभक्त महाभाग प्रह्रादजी ने संक्षेप में इस प्रकार कहा : महर्षियों ! जो अठारह पुराणों का सार से भी सारतर तत्त्व है, जिसे कार्तिकेयजी के पूछने पर भगवान शंकर ने उन्हें बताया था, उसका वर्णन करता हूँ, सुनिये ।

महादेवजी कार्तिकेय से बोले : जो कलि में एकादशी की रात में जागरण करते समय वैष्णव शास्त्र का पाठ करता है, उसके कोटि जन्मों के किये हुए चार प्रकार के पाप नष्ट हो जाते हैं । जो एकादशी के दिन वैष्णव शास्त्र का उपदेश करता है, उसे मेरा भक्त जानना चाहिए ।

जिसे एकादशी के जागरण में निद्रा नहीं आती तथा जो उत्साहपूर्वक नाचता और गाता है, वह मेरा विशेष भक्त है । मैं उसे उत्तम ज्ञान देता हूँ और भगवान विष्णु मोक्ष प्रदान करते हैं । अत: मेरे भक्त को विशेष रुप से जागरण करना चाहिए । जो भगवान विष्णु से वैर करते हैं, उन्हें पाखण्डी जानना चाहिए । जो एकादशी को जागरण करते और गाते हैं, उन्हें आधे निमेष में अग्निष्टोम तथा अतिरात्र यज्ञ के समान फल प्राप्त होता है । जो रात्रि जागरण में बारंबार भगवान विष्णु के मुखारविंद का दर्शन करते हैं, उनको भी वही फल प्राप्त होता है । जो मानव द्वादशी तिथि को भगवान विष्णु के आगे जागरण करते हैं, वे यमराज के पाश से मुक्त हो जाते हैं ।

जो द्वादशी को जागरण करते समय गीता शास्त्र से मनोविनोद करते हैं, वे भी यमराज के बन्धन से मुक्त हो जाते हैं । जो प्राणत्याग हो जाने पर भी द्वादशी का जागरण नहीं छोड़ते, वे धन्य और पुण्यात्मा हैं । जिनके वंश के लोग एकादशी की रात में जागरण करते हैं, वे ही धन्य हैं । जिन्होंने एकादशी को जागरण किया हैं, उन्होंने यज्ञ, दान , गयाश्राद्ध और नित्य प्रयागस्नान कर लिया । उन्हें संन्यासियों का पुण्य भी मिल गया और उनके द्वारा इष्टापूर्त कर्मों का भी भलीभाँति पालन हो गया । षडानन ! भगवान विष्णु के भक्त जागरणसहित एकादशी व्रत करते हैं, इसलिए वे मुझे सदा ही विशेष प्रिय हैं । जिसने वर्द्धिनी एकादशी की रात में जागरण किया है, उसने पुन: प्राप्त होनेवाले शरीर को स्वयं ही भस्म कर दिया । जिसने त्रिस्पृशा एकादशी को रात में जागरण किया है, वह भगवान विष्णु के स्वरुप में लीन हो जाता है । जिसने हरिबोधिनी एकादशी की रात में जागरण किया है, उसके स्थूल सूक्ष्म सभी पाप नष्ट हो जाते हैं । जो द्वादशी की रात में जागरण तथा ताल स्वर के साथ संगीत का आयोजन करता है, उसे महान पुण्य की प्राप्ति होती है । जो एकादशी के दिन ॠषियों द्वारा बनाये हुए दिव्य स्तोत्रों से, ॠग्वेद , यजुर्वेद तथा सामवेद के वैष्णव मन्त्रों से, संस्कृत और प्राकृत के अन्य स्तोत्रों से व गीत वाद्य आदि के द्वारा भगवान विष्णु को सन्तुष्ट करता है उसे भगवान विष्णु भी परमानन्द प्रदान करते हैं ।

य: पुन: पठते रात्रौ गातां नामसहस्रकम् ।
द्वादश्यां पुरतो विष्णोर्वैष्णवानां समापत: ।
स गच्छेत्परम स्थान यत्र नारायण: त्वयम् ।

जो एकादशी की रात में भगवान विष्णु के आगे वैष्णव भक्तों के समीप गीता और विष्णुसहस्रनाम का पाठ करता है, वह उस परम धाम में जाता है, जहाँ साक्षात् भगवान नारायण विराजमान हैं ।

पुण्यमय भागवत तथा स्कन्दपुराण भगवान विष्णु को प्रिय हैं । मथुरा और व्रज में भगवान विष्णु के बालचरित्र का जो वर्णन किया गया है, उसे जो एकादशी की रात में भगवान केशव का पूजन करके पढ़ता है, उसका पुण्य कितना है, यह मैं भी नहीं जानता । कदाचित् भगवान विष्णु जानते हों । बेटा ! भगवान के समीप गीत, नृत्य तथा स्तोत्रपाठ आदि से जो फल होता है, वही कलि में श्रीहरि के समीप जागरण करते समय ‘विष्णुसहस्रनाम, गीता तथा श्रीमद्भागवत’ का पाठ करने से सहस्र गुना होकर मिलता है ।

जो श्रीहरि के समीप जागरण करते समय रात में दीपक जलाता है, उसका पुण्य सौ कल्पों में भी नष्ट नहीं होता । जो जागरणकाल में मंजरीसहित तुलसीदल से भक्तिपूर्वक श्रीहरि का पूजन करता है, उसका पुन: इस संसार में जन्म नहीं होता । स्नान, चन्दन , लेप, धूप, दीप, नैवेघ और ताम्बूल यह सब जागरणकाल में भगवान को समर्पित किया जाय तो उससे अक्षय पुण्य होता है । कार्तिकेय ! जो भक्त मेरा ध्यान करना चाहता है, वह एकादशी की रात्रि में श्रीहरि के समीप भक्तिपूर्वक जागरण करे । एकादशी के दिन जो लोग जागरण करते हैं उनके शरीर में इन्द्र आदि देवता आकर स्थित होते हैं । जो जागरणकाल में महाभारत का पाठ करते हैं, वे उस परम धाम में जाते हैं जहाँ संन्यासी महात्मा जाया करते हैं । जो उस समय श्रीरामचन्द्रजी का चरित्र, दशकण्ठ वध पढ़ते हैं वे योगवेत्ताओं की गति को प्राप्त होते हैं ।

जिन्होंने श्रीहरि के समीप जागरण किया है, उन्होंने चारों वेदों का स्वाध्याय, देवताओं का पूजन, यज्ञों का अनुष्ठान तथा सब तीर्थों में स्नान कर लिया । श्रीकृष्ण से बढ़कर कोई देवता नहीं है और एकादशी व्रत के समान दूसरा कोई व्रत नहीं है । जहाँ भागवत शास्त्र है, भगवान विष्णु के लिए जहाँ जागरण किया जाता है और जहाँ शालग्राम शिला स्थित होती है, वहाँ साक्षात् भगवान विष्णु उपस्थित होते हैं ।

एकादशी व्रत विधि

दशमी की रात्रि को पूर्ण ब्रह्मचर्य का पालन करें तथा भोग विलास से भी दूर रहें । प्रात: एकादशी को लकड़ी का दातुन तथा पेस्ट का उपयोग न करें; नींबू, जामुन या आम के पत्ते लेकर चबा लें और उँगली से कंठ शुद्ध कर लें । वृक्ष से पत्ता तोड़ना भी वर्जित है, अत: स्वयं गिरे हुए पत्ते का सेवन करे । यदि यह सम्भव न हो तो पानी से बारह कुल्ले कर लें । फिर स्नानादि कर मंदिर में जाकर गीता पाठ करें या पुरोहितादि से श्रवण करें । प्रभु के सामने इस प्रकार प्रण करना चाहिए कि: ‘आज मैं चोर, पाखण्डी और दुराचारी मनुष्य से बात नहीं करुँगा और न ही किसीका दिल दुखाऊँगा । गौ, ब्राह्मण आदि को फलाहार व अन्नादि देकर प्रसन्न करुँगा । रात्रि को जागरण कर कीर्तन करुँगा , ‘ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय’ इस द्वादश अक्षर मंत्र अथवा गुरुमंत्र का जाप करुँगा, राम, कृष्ण , नारायण इत्यादि विष्णुसहस्रनाम को कण्ठ का भूषण बनाऊँगा ।’ – ऐसी प्रतिज्ञा करके श्रीविष्णु भगवान का स्मरण कर प्रार्थना करें कि : ‘हे त्रिलोकपति ! मेरी लाज आपके हाथ है, अत: मुझे इस प्रण को पूरा करने की शक्ति प्रदान करें ।’ मौन, जप, शास्त्र पठन , कीर्तन, रात्रि जागरण एकादशी व्रत में विशेष लाभ पँहुचाते हैं।

एकादशी के दिन अशुद्ध द्रव्य से बने पेय न पीयें । कोल्ड ड्रिंक्स, एसिड आदि डाले हुए फलों के डिब्बाबंद रस को न पीयें । दो बार भोजन न करें । आइसक्रीम व तली हुई चीजें न खायें । फल अथवा घर में निकाला हुआ फल का रस अथवा थोड़े दूध या जल पर रहना विशेष लाभदायक है । व्रत के (दशमी, एकादशी और द्वादशी) -इन तीन दिनों में काँसे के बर्तन, मांस, प्याज, लहसुन, मसूर, उड़द, चने, कोदो (एक प्रकार का धान), शाक, शहद, तेल और अत्यम्बुपान (अधिक जल का सेवन) – इनका सेवन न करें । व्रत के पहले दिन (दशमी को) और दूसरे दिन (द्वादशी को) हविष्यान्न (जौ, गेहूँ, मूँग, सेंधा नमक, कालीमिर्च, शर्करा और गोघृत आदि) का एक बार भोजन करें।

फलाहारी को गोभी, गाजर, शलजम, पालक, कुलफा का साग इत्यादि सेवन नहीं करना चाहिए । आम, अंगूर, केला, बादाम, पिस्ता इत्यादि अमृत फलों का सेवन करना चाहिए ।

जुआ, निद्रा, पान, परायी निन्दा, चुगली, चोरी, हिंसा, मैथुन, क्रोध तथा झूठ, कपटादि अन्य कुकर्मों से नितान्त दूर रहना चाहिए । बैल की पीठ पर सवारी न करें ।

भूलवश किसी निन्दक से बात हो जाय तो इस दोष को दूर करने के लिए भगवान सूर्य के दर्शन तथा धूप दीप से श्रीहरि की पूजा कर क्षमा माँग लेनी चाहिए । एकादशी के दिन घर में झाडू नहीं लगायें, इससे चींटी आदि सूक्ष्म जीवों की मृत्यु का भय रहता है । इस दिन बाल नहीं कटायें । मधुर बोलें, अधिक न बोलें, अधिक बोलने से न बोलने योग्य वचन भी निकल जाते हैं । सत्य भाषण करना चाहिए । इस दिन यथाशक्ति अन्नदान करें किन्तु स्वयं किसीका दिया हुआ अन्न कदापि ग्रहण न करें । प्रत्येक वस्तु प्रभु को भोग लगाकर तथा तुलसीदल छोड़कर ग्रहण करनी चाहिए ।

एकादशी के दिन किसी सम्बन्धी की मृत्यु हो जाय तो उस दिन व्रत रखकर उसका फल संकल्प करके मृतक को देना चाहिए और श्रीगंगाजी में पुष्प (अस्थि) प्रवाहित करने पर भी एकादशी व्रत रखकर व्रत फल प्राणी के निमित्त दे देना चाहिए । प्राणिमात्र को अन्तर्यामी का अवतार समझकर किसीसे छल कपट नहीं करना चाहिए । अपना अपमान करने या कटु वचन बोलनेवाले पर भूलकर भी क्रोध नहीं करें । सन्तोष का फल सर्वदा मधुर होता है । मन में दया रखनी चाहिए । इस विधि से व्रत करनेवाला उत्तम फल को प्राप्त करता है । द्वादशी के दिन ब्राह्मणों को मिष्टान्न, दक्षिणादि से प्रसन्न कर उनकी परिक्रमा कर लेनी चाहिए ।

व्रत खोलने की विधि :

द्वादशी को सेवापूजा की जगह पर बैठकर भुने हुए सात चनों के चौदह टुकड़े करके अपने सिर के पीछे फेंकना चाहिए । ‘मेरे सात जन्मों के शारीरिक, वाचिक और मानसिक पाप नष्ट हुए’ – यह भावना करके सात अंजलि जल पीना और चने के सात दाने खाकर व्रत खोलना चाहिए ।

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HariomHariomHariomHariomHariomHariomHariomHariomHariom

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Bhishma Panchak Vrat

From Hari Prabodhini Ekadashi to Kaartik Tripurari Poornima
To Ashram.org

Bhishma Panchak Vrat 6/11/2011 to 10/11/2011
कार्तिक शुक्ल एकादशी से पूर्णिमा तक भीष्मजी को अर्घ्य देने से वर्ष भर के व्रत – उपवास का पुण्य मन जाता है | निःसंतान को संतान की प्राप्ति होती है ……. * जो अपना प्रभाव बढ़ाना चाहते हैं , इस लोक में सुख और अगले जन्म में वैकुण्ठ चाहते हैं , वे भीष्म पंचक व्रत करें ..

This kind of 5 day fast is prescribed for the last 5 days of Kartika (Damodara) Month and it is known as “Bhisma Pancaka”. During that vrata puja offerings to the Lord are also prescribed. For Bhisma Pancaka, devotees may offer the following to the Deity form of the Lord:

“The last five days of Kartika month are known as Bhisma-Panacaka. Grandfather Bhisma fasted for these five days, preparing to give up his life. However one observes Kartika-vrata, he should intensify it for the last five days. The best way to observe the Kartika-vrata is to abstain from eating grains for the whole month, and to take only milk or water for the last five days. If one eats grains during the month, he should avoid them for the last five days. Also, one should only eat once a day. This is the proper procedure [for strict adherence].”

If someone observes this fast, he is considered to have observed all other fasts, because it is greatly meritorious and frees one from great sins. Therefore, everyone should make a great endeavor to fast on these last five days of Bhismadeva.

“The fast should begin by remembering Bhismadeva on the Ekadasi day and should end on Purnima [the full moon]. One should eat only vegetables or fruits and should worship Lord Krishna. If he needs to eat, he should do so only in the evening. A woman can also observe this fast by the suggestion of a twice-born, and if a widow observes this fast, she can also attain liberation and happiness.”

The exact details about the mahatmaya and the procedure to do the BhishmaPanchak Vrat can be heard in Divine Voice of Pujya GuruDev in the Video CD Ekadashi Mahatmya

To brief :
1. One should get up before Surn rise and take bath with water remembering the Holy Rivers and if possible mixing Til (Sesam).

2. After Bath, give Argya to Bheeshmaji, if possible by mixing Chandan and Til in the water, and saying “Gangaji ke Su-putra, Aajivan Bramhcharya Palan Karnewale Pitamaha Bhishma ko yeah Argya Arpan hain, Hame Bramhacharya mein Sahayta Karna” .

Mahatmya :
Pujya GuruDev says that “Who ever take early bath before sunrise during Kartik month’s trayodashi to Poornima (last 3 days), he/she will get punya of taking Karthik Maas bath of whole month. Those who want to get rid of Swapna Dosh/Dream falls disease should give Arghya to Bhishmaji on these 5 days.

“Bhishmaji ko Argya Dene se PutraHeen ko Putra Prapt hota hai”….Jisko Swapna Dosh ya Bramhacharya Sambandi takleefein hain (celibacy related problems & bad habits), wah in Paanch Dinon mein Bhishmaji ko Argya Dene se, Brahmacharya mein Su-Drudh banta hain. Hum Sabhi Sadhakon ko in Panch Dino mein Bhishmaji ko Argya Jaroor Dena Chahiye, aur Brahmcharya Raksha ke liye prayatna karna chahiye.

Gop Ashtami


To Ashram.org
Story Of Shri Krishna Behind Gop Ashtami(3rd Nov 2011)
On this day lord Sri Krishna became a qualified cowherd. Before this day, he was a keeper of the calves.
“Thus Sri Krishna, along with His elder brother Balarama, passed the childhood age known as kaumara and stepped into the age of pauganda, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground. Given charge of the cows, Krishna and Balarama traversed Vrindavana, purifying the land with Their lotus footprints.”(ch.15, Krsna-Supreme Personality of Godhead)

It is stated in the Karttika-mahatmya section of the Padma Purana: “The eighth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Karttika is known by authorities as Gopastami. From that day, Lord Vasudeva served as a cowherd, whereas previously He had tended the calves.”

Saubhagya Panchami

To Ashram.org
Labh Pancham or Saubhagya Panchami 31/10/2011
The final festival during the Diwali period is Labh Pancham on Kartik Sud Shukla paksha Panchami. It is also known as ‘Laakheni Panchmi’ and ‘Saubhaagya Panchmi.’
The final festival during the Diwali period is Labh Pancham on Kartik. Pancham is an auspicious day to commence business. Devotes celebrate Pancham or Panchami by worshiping their books and praying for more knowledge. business men worship Goddess Lakshmi and open their accounts.

Ritual
Those who have not performed Sharda Pujan on Diwali, perform pujan of their new ledgers today and ritually open their shops and businesses. In the days following Diwali including today, people visit friends and relatives, to renew solidarity. Sweets and other items are offered to guests, symbolically ‘sweetening’ relations.

‘Labh’ means benefit. People today usually wish for material ‘labh’ such as: a good job, good in-laws, riches and so forth. Yet the scriptures and Sants or Saints inform us that the greatest Benefit’labh’ is human birth itself. With this one should endeavor for God-realization. glory of associating with Sant Samagam.
‘If one possesses as many ‘Chintamanis’ – wishing gems, as there are stones, and as many ‘Kalpa Vruksh’ – wishing trees,, even then one would be better off burning them in order to do ‘Sant Samagam.’
The scriptures define ‘labh’ as:
Laabhasteshaam jayasteshaam kutasteshaam paraajayaha,
Yeshaam indeevarashyaam hrudayastho janaardanaha.
i.e. He is the true beneficiary and the truly victorious, who has installed the consort of Lakshmi, God, in his heart.

Diwali then, is a festival of inner enlightenment. It is an occasion to eradicate one’s inner darkness, by renouncing any addictions, bad habits and ‘doshas’ – base instincts, by obeying the Shastras and the God-realized One then becomes ‘Brahmarup’ and is subsequently graced with the ultimate enlightenment – Parabrahman.

Yama Dwitheya

Yama Dwithiya or Bhai Dooj

The second day of Shukla Paksh, the bright forthnight of Kartik is called Bhaiyaduj. There are various names of this Hindu festival. Known by the name of bhai-dooj  Bhai Tika Bhathru Dwithiya Bhatri Ditya yamadwitheya

The festival of Bhai Dooj has a mythological background.
Yamuna the river Goddess

Sri Yamuna Ji


Story of Brother Yama & Sister Yamuna

Yamuna is next only to the Ganga in her sacredness, for the Hindus. According to legend, Yamuna was a great favourite daughter of her father Surya, the Sun god. Her mother Sanjna or Samjana or Sandhya could not bear to look at her bright and dazzling husband. As she looked upon him with “samyama” (meaning restraint in Sanskrit) their son was called Yama. In spite of Surya asking her to keep her eyes open in his presence, they sometimes flickered, and so the daughter was called Yamuna.

In various old temples of Northern India, Yamuna is shown on her tortoise, a symbol associated with creation in the Vedas. Even today tortoises can be found on the banks of the Yamuna. Raksha Bandhan.

After the children were born, Samjna left her sister Chaaya (shadow) in her place pretending to be her, and returned to her parents’ home as she could not bear the Sun’s intense brightness. Once Chaaya bore children, she was not very compassionate towards Samjna’s children. One day, Yama, unable to tolerate Chaya’s cruelty any longer, stamped her foot hard. Enraged by this, Chaya cursed that him to lose his foot. Yamuna his beloved sister could not bear this injustice. She came to Earth and prayed for the curse to be revoked.

Yama Raja, the Hindu God of Death, visited his twin-sister Yami on the Ditya Day after a long period of separation. Yami gave a warm welcome to his brother. This she did by applying tilak on Yama’s forehead. She performed arti on him and treated him with a very delicious meal. Yama was highly pleased with the welcome meted out to him. He proclaimed that brothers who share a meal with their sisters on the auspicious ‘Dooj’ day will never face trouble in their lives. The tradition continues even today. Bhatri Ditya is religiously carried out by brothers and sisters in India. Brothers take bath in the Yamuna river and visit their sisters place for the Bhatri Ditya ceremony.

In memory of this profound love between brother and sister, bhai dooj is celebrated in various parts of the country. Sisters pray for their brothers to have a long life and brothers vow to look after and protect their sisters. This is when the “rakhi” is also tied.

According to popular legend in Hindu mythology, after slaying the evil demon Narkasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately adorned a tilak on Krishna’s forehead with due respect and love. Some believe this to be the origin of the festival. The auspicious celebrations of Bhai dooj reflects the rich cultural traditions of different region of India. Besides, this as this festival brings the whole family together bringing in prosperity, well being and luck, this festival is considered highly significant.

All the rituals and pooja held on Bhai Dooj is carried out in a festive pooja room or platform that is basically decorated for Diwali pooja. Sisters adorn their pooja thali with sumptuous sweets, mouth-watering ‘batashas’, roli and rice along with the coconut. Igniting the pooja lamp they perform all the rituals that involves applying a tikka made of sandalwood paste accompanied with lawn turf (dubbo) and holi chawal. After applying tikka, the sister pampers her brother with delectable eatables along with the sweets, coconut etc. In return, the brother gratifies his dear sisters with a wide variety of gifts

There are various distinct ways in which this beautiful festival is solemnized. But the features that are common in all rituals is the act of smearing a tilak of roli (vermilion), kesar (saffron) and rice on the brother’s forehead by their sister as a mark of their love and protection. 

Bhai Dooj festival is also known by the name of Yamadwitheya. We all know that this festival celebrates the beauty of the eternal bond of love and affection between a brother and a sister. The festival is the last day of the diwali celebrations. This falls on the second day after Diwali and the next day after new moon night. Dhanatrayodashi, Narakchaturdashi, Amavasya (Laxmi Pujan), Balipratipada and Yamadvitiya also called Bhai Dooj are the five days which comprise Diwali. Each day is associated with a religious significance.

Yamadwitheya Legend
One of the most commonly told legend of Bhai Dooj is the tale of Yamaraj, the Hindu mythological god of Death. The reason why the festival is also know as Yamadwitheya is from the legend of god Yama Raja himself. Story says that Yamaraj met his twin-sister Yami or Yamuna after a long period of separation. The day was ‘Dwitheya’ or ‘Dooj Day’ (second day after new moon). When Yami saw her brother after a long period of time, she was very happy and she welcomed Dharam Raj (another name for Yama) wholeheartedly. She applied red tilak on his brother’s forehead and treated him a sumptuous meal. Yamaraj was very happy receiving such a warm reception from his sister. It was due to this he announced that whosoever receives a teeka from his sister on the day of ‘Dooj’ will not be hurled to hell. Hence the day is also referred as Yamadwitheya.

Yamadwitheya Ceremony
Just as Yamaraj and his sister Yami met on that auspicious day, even today brothers, visit their sister on the ‘Dwithiya Day’ and have a meal with her. The custom is called ‘Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam’, which means ‘Having meal by the hands of the sister’. It is a ritual to worship Lord Yama and his record keeper, Chithragupta on this day. Many people consider it important to take a bath in the river Yamuna on this festival. Early in the morning, after taking bath and offering prayer to God, sisters perform arti of their brothers. They apply red teeka made of sindoor, chandan and kesar and give them a sweet to eat. While performing these rituals sisters also pray for their brothers long, healthy and prosperous life. Brothers in turn bless their sisters and as a token of love present them with gifts or some cash.

Yamadwitheya Celebration
Yamadwitheya of Bhai Dooj is quite a popular festival amongst Hindus in India. With full gusto, the festival is celebrated. Brothers and sisters have a get together on Yamadwitheya and strengthen their relationship, sharing childhood memories of togetherness. Gifts are exchanged as a token of love. In a complete harmonious environment, the best of festive food is relished.

Another name of this famous Hindu festival of Bhai Dooj Bhaiyya Dooj is Bhatri Ditya. To strengthen the beautiful bond shared between a brother and a sister, the festival Bhatri Ditya is celebrated. This is considered a part of Diwali celebrations. It is the the last day of overall Diwali celebrations in the Hindu month of Kartik, which is usually the month of October or November. ‘Ditya’ in the term ‘Bhatri Ditya’ implies that the festival falls on the second day after new moon. ‘Bhatri’ means brother. Sisters pray for their brothers’ long and happy life on this day and there is a spirit of harmony and bonhomie in the entire family because it is a kind of family get together on the auspicious occasion.

Govardhana Puja

The Worship of Govardhan Hill Govardhan Puja


Worship of govardhan Govardhan Puja
In few places, Goverdhan puja, also known as Godhan puja is performed on the last day of Diwali celebrations. Observed on the fifth day, Goverdhan puja is an occasion to worship Lord Krishna. According to Vishnu-Puran, the people of Gokul commemorated a festival in honor of Lord Indra and worshiped him after the end of monsoon season every year. In his young years, Lord Krishna once prohibited the people from offering prayers to Lord Indra. Angered Lord Indra sent a torrent to sink Gokul. Lord Krishna lifted the mountain and held it as an umbrella for the people and saved them.
To protect innocent poor villagers and animals from being carried away with flood water, lord Krishna lifted the Goverdhan parvat on his little finger. Since that day young Krishna got another name of Govardhandhari. By sheltering all men and beasts under mount Goverdhan, god Krishna made Indra feel that it is his duty to bless earth with timely rainfall. This legend has initiated the worshipping of goverdhan parvat for more than five thousand years. There are lots of rituals and traditions associated with this day. Some of them are:
People make mountain shape with cow dung and worship it with flowers, rice, roli, moli, sugarcane and other pooja samagri.
Deities are given milk bath, adorned with bright attires and precious ornaments.
Pious and Religious people prepared variety of food also known as Chhappan Bhog to Krishna. With traditional customs and prayers, the variety of sweets and food is raised in the shape of mountain as bhog to deities. Worshippers take this bhog as Prasad after offering it to the god. This ritual is called ‘Annakoot’.

The temples of Mathura and Nathadwara are especially decorated with flowers; lights and tight arrangement are done to manage the crowd of devotees coming for Govardhan puja from different locations.

Other Names of Govardhan Puja

Goverdhan pujan | Bestavarsh | Gudi Padava | Varsha Pratipada/ Pratipad Padwa | Annakoot | Bali Padyam / Bali Pratipada | Muharat Pujan

Govardhan is a small place that lies off the highway to Deeg. The place is situated towards the west of Mathura and at a distance of about 26 kms. The 8 kms sandstone hill is provided with a large masonry tank that lies along the edge of the Govardan. The place is an important pilgrim place for the believers of Hindu faith and is associated with the … of Lord Krishna. The town of Govardhan has been immortalized in the poems of famous princess Mirabai who was a pious devote of Lord Krishna. 

The sandstone hill, popularly known as Giriraj, is believed to have been lifted by Lord Krishna on his finger tip for seven consecutive days and nights so as to shield the people from the rains sent down by Lord Indra. Govardhan and the adjacent town of Mathura is believed to bear impressions of Lord Krishna and therefore makes up a sacred place to Hindus. The place as such witnesses a good number of devotes of Lord Krishna. 

The masonry tank that lies alongside Govardhan is called Mansi Ganga. The tank is believed to have been created by divine will. The tank enclosures and flight of stairs were built by Raja Bhagwan Das and Raja Man Singh respectively. Some five kms north of the place is the famous Radha Kund were Lord Krishna is believed to have stained the bull demon Arishtasura. 

At stone’s throw from Mansi Ganga is the famous temple of Haridev and the Kusum Sarovar

Regional Significance of Govardhan Puja

The celebration of Govardhana-puja or the worship of a special mountain in Vrindavan, Bharatham(the land of Krishna’s birth or appearance) which is considered non-different from Krishna. It is a festival of simple, though simple that teaches us many practical lessons about living in balance with Nature and God. For the festival a hill of sanctified food (prasadum) is created with Krishna on the top to recreate the hill. These festivities commemorate this occasion, and help us meditate on its meaning. We hear about what happened, along with plays reenacting it, worship of the cow, and circumambulating the hill as was done 5,000 years ago. also pray to enter into the deep, yet simple, essential message of this blessed event.

This worship of Govardhana Hill symbolizes the ideal life—both rural and simple—yet opulent in natural gifts, centered on cow protection, Vedic (spiritual) culture, farming and worship of God by showing gratitude for his many natural gifts. We are thus encouraged to live a healthy life centered upon love and service of Krishna in harmony with Nature. This pastime or lila of Krishna covers four chapters in the 10th Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. Through this and all the adventures or pastimes of Krishna we are given a glimpse of the eternal spiritual world.

It is Krishna’s special mercy that he comes here to teach us how his eternal associates live by loving and relating to him. When Krishna comes to protect his devotees from feeling acute separation in his absence and to reestablish religion he also accomplishes many tasks simultaneously. Krishna is the supreme multitasker, but only he can do this without anything lacking in his many purposes.

Some of the purposes leading up to and during the lifting Govardhan were to demonstrate that Krishna’s devotees don’t need to worship any other divinity or deva (empowered god) for their necessities. Indra, the king of heaven had become proud and conceited with his power (not recognizing that Krishna was God), and he was shown dramatically that his power was dwarfed by Krishnas.

When Indra heard that Krishna had stopped a ceremony to glorify him and was instead worshiping Govardhan hill, Indra tried unsuccessfully to destroy Vrindavana and its inhabitants by intense thunderstorms of wind and rain usually reserved for supreme devastation. It is described by Jiva Goswami that not even a leaf fell from a tree on Mt. Govardhan. Coming to his senses Indra offered praise of Krishna’s power and glory and prayers for forgiveness. This is a lesson for all of us about the possibility of forgetting that whatever we have is by the grace of God, and we should never think we are independently great and powerful.

prayers praising Govardhan hill, some of Indra’s extensive prayers, and Krishna’s reply from Shrimad Bhagavatam 10th Canto:

“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krsna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krsna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” SB 10.21.18

King Indra Prayed: “You are the father and spiritual master of this entire universe, and also its supreme controller. You are insurmountable time, imposing punishment upon the sinful for their own benefit. Indeed, in Your various incarnations, selected by Your own free will, You act decisively to remove the false pride of those who presume themselves masters of this world. Even fools like me, who proudly think themselves universal lords, quickly give up their conceit and directly take to the path of the spiritually progressive when they see You are fearless even in the face of time. Thus You punish the mischievous only to instruct them.” SB 10.27.6 & 7

After hearing Indra’s prayers Shri Krishna replied to him in a voice resonant like the clouds: “My dear Indra, it was out of mercy that I stopped the sacrifice meant for you. You were greatly intoxicated by your opulence as King of heaven, and I wanted you to always remember Me. A man blinded by intoxication with his power and opulence cannot see Me nearby with the rod of punishment in My hand. If I desire his real welfare, I drag him down from his materially fortunate position. Indra, you may now go. Execute My order and remain in your appointed position as King of heaven. But be sober, without false pride.” SB 10.27.15-17

Balipratipada


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Bali Pratipada Nava varsha or Vikram samvat nootan varsha
(Sanskrit: बालि प्रतिपदा or Kannada: ಬಲಿ ಪಾಡ್ಯಮಿ or Bali Pāḍyami) is the third day of Dipavali (Diwali), the Hindu festival of lights. It is celebrated in honour of the notional return of the king Bali to earth. Mahabali ( Devanagari: महाबली), also known as Bali or Māveli was a benevolent Asura King, and the grandson of Prahlada.

Vikram Samvat (Bikram Sambat, Vikram Samvat Vikram Samwat or Vikram’s Era, Devanagari:विक्रम संवत्, abbreviated “V.S.” or “B.S”) is the calendar established by Indian emperor Vikramaditya. It is a popularly used calendar in India and the official calendar of Nepal.

The Vikrama Samvat was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain following his victory over the Sakas in 56 BCE, it is popularly associated with the Chakravarthy king Chandragupta Vikramaditya. It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition ( Hindu calendar and Vedic time keeping). The Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the solar Gregorian calendar. For example, the year 2056 BS began in CE 1999 and ended in CE 2000. In Northern India the calendar starts with the first day after the new moon in the month Chaitra, which usually falls in March/April in the Gregorian calendar. Again in Western India the same era begins with the first day after the new moon in the month of Kartika which usually falls in October and November in the Gregorian calendar. In Nepal, it begins in mid-April and marks the start of the solar new year.

Bali Padyami falls in the Gregorian calendar months October-November. It is the first day of the Hindu month Kartika and is the first day of the bright lunar fortnight (day after new moon day) in the month. It is also called the Akashadipa (lights of the sky).it is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar,

According to Hindu mythology, Bali Padyami commemorates the victory of god Vishnu in his Vamana Avtaram, dwarf incarnation Vamana, the fifth incarnation of the Dashavatara (ten major incarnations of Vishnu) defeating Bali, and pushing him to the nether world. But Bali was bestowed a boon by Vishnu to return to earth for one day on this day to be honoured and celebrated for his devotion to the Lord and for his noble deeds to his people.


Rituals

The rituals observed on the Bali Padyami day have variations from state to state. In general, on this sacred festival day, Hindus exchange gifts, as it is considered a way to please Bali and the gods. After the ceremonial Oil Bath
, which denotes that oil is smeared over the body and then washed by soap or shikakai (means “fruit for hair” and is a traditional shampoo used in India), during bath] (considered essential as purification of selfish desires) by all the family members, wearing of new clothes is kind of mandatory. People decorate the main hall of the house with a Rangoli or Kolam drawn with powder of rice in different colours, thereafter Bali and his wife Vindhyavali are worshipped. Symbolically, seven forts are also built out of clay or cow dung to worship Bali. In the evening, as night falls, door sills of every house and temple are lighted with lamps arranged in rows. People remember Bali’s kingdom with the slogan: “Let the ideal kingdom of Bali dawn at the earliest on earth.”

Legend

According to Hindu mythology, Bali, an Daitya king was well known for his bravery, uprightness and dedication to god Vishnu. He was benevolent and his popularity was only marred by the actions of his kinsmen who involved themselves with depredations against the gods who stood for righteousness and justice. But Bali was also considered as arrogant and vainglorious and the godly people did not like him for this. Bali was also considered invincible since he was a great devotee of Vishnu. The gods, upset by the harassment meted out to them by the asuras, and jealous of the popularity of Bali – sometimes glorified as Mahabali (“the great Bali”), approached Vishnu to help them to get rid of Bali.
Vishnu took the form of a dwarf Vamana. Vamana is Vishnu’s fifth Avatar (incarnation), out of his ten avatars that he is believed to have assumed to triumph over evil and usher peace, prosperity and happiness in this world. Vamana, the dwarf Brahmin, then approached Bali seeking reverence and alms. Aware of the generous nature of Bali, Vamana appeared before him and sought a gift of three paces of land from the king. Bali readily agreed. The dwarf then assumed his huge universal form (vishwarupa or “all pervading”) and placed his first step forward, which occupied the entire universal space. With his second step he occupied the earth, except the space where Bali was standing. Since there was no other space available to put Vamana’s third step, Bali readily offered his own head for Vamana to put his third step, fully realising that the person who was asking for such gift was none other than Vishnu himself. Vishnu banished Bali to patalaloka, the nether-world.

Vamana as Tri-vikrama (victor of the three worlds) triumphing over Bali
Pleased with the generosity of Bali, Vishnu grants him a boon that he could return to earth for one day in a year to be with his people and light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. It is this day that is celebrated as the Bali Padyami, the annual return of Bali from the netherworld to earth. However, in Kerala, the Onam festival (August/September) – the Keralite new year – marks the homecoming of the demon-king Bali (Mahabali). It is believed that Mahabali’s kingdom is identified with present day Kerala. Vishnu, while banishing Bali to the netherworld, assured to keep him company as his spiritual mentor and preceptor. Another boon given to Bali was he would be the next Indra (King of gods), Purandara is the current Indra.
Another version of the legend states that after Vamana pushed Bali below ground (patalaloka), at the request of Prahlada (described as a great devotee of Vishnu), the grandfather of Bali, Vishnu pardoned Bali and made him the king of the netherworld. Vishnu also granted the wish of Bali to return to earth for one day for people to worship him. It is this day that is celebrated as Bali Padyami by lighting lamps and bursting crackers

Traditions

The farming community celebrates this festival, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, by performing Kedargauri vratam (worship of goddess Kedar-Gauri – a form of Parvati), Gopuja (worship of cow), and Gouramma puja (worship of Gauri – another form of Parvati). Before worship of cows, on this day, the goushala (cowshed) is also ceremoniously cleaned. On this day, a triangular shaped image of Bali, made out of cow-dung is placed over a wooden plank designed with colourful Kolam decorations and bedecked with marigold flowers and worshipped

The day is celebrated as Govardhan Puja in North India. It is celebrated to observe the lifting of Govardhana hill by god Krishna to save his kinsmen and cattle from rain and floods