Friday, November 30, 2012

Spiritual Calendar: December 2012

2nd December, 2012:Shri Ganesh Chaturthi Vrat

 Lord Ganesh

Ganesha, the foremost god of the Hindu pantheon is beheld as the most auspicious God of new beginnings and widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Devotees of Lord Ganesha, who intend to observe a fast on Ganesha Chaturthi, wake up early in the morning and take a bath. After wearing laundered clothes, they head towards the nearest temple or perform a small puja at their home, to offer prayers to the deity.

When people fast on Ganesh Chaturthi, they either opt for the nirjal vrat (a stringent, waterless fast) or phalahar vrat (a diet). Devotees are allowed to have sweets including til ke ladoo , gajak and rewari along with tea and coffee. In order to concentrate, the devotees chant mantras invoking Lord Ganesha and sing bhajans in his praise. It is believed that if one observes a fast on Ganesha Chaturthi with sincerity, he is blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.

6th December, 2012: Kal Bhairav Ashtami

 Kala Bhairava, a Manifestation of Lord Shiva
Kalashtami is an auspicious vrata dedicated to Lord Shiva observed on the ashtami after purnima in the Hindu calendar. Pitru daan and pitru darpan are performed to please the dead souls. It is a fast kept mostly in Maharashtra and other western parts of india.

Mahakal Bhairav Jayanti (Mahalkal Bhairav Ashtami) is the most auspicious Kalashtami because it is the jayanti of Kalbhairav. It is observed in the month of Kartik according to the Maharashtra calendar

9th December, 2012:Utpanna Ekadashi

 Shri Ranganatha on Utpanna Ekadashi

It is also known as Utpatti Ekadasi. It is observed on the eleventh day in the first half of the month of Margasirsha and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Puranas reveal that once the gods and their king Indra were driven out of swarga by demon Mura.The devas took refuge in Lord Vishnu and pleaded that He restore their lost kingdom. Lord Vishnu asked the devas to assemble at Chandravati to fight Demon Mura. The Lord easily defeated the demon army but could not defeat demon Mura.

After a while Lord Vishnu decided to rest in a cave at Badrikasrama and slept. Mura arrived to annihilate Lord Vishnu. All of a sudden,from the Lord's transcendental form emerged a goddess with eight arms, brandishing several weapons. She battled and killed Mura. When Lord Vishnu woke up He blessed her, stating that she was His energy. Since she had appeared on the 11th day of a lunar fortnight, she was named Ekadasi. Vishnu affirmed that those who worship Him and observe Ekadasi Vrat, their sins will be expiated and they will attain salvation. Lord Krishna advises his devotees to start their Ekadasi Upvas on Utpanna Ekadashi and break it on Dwadashi.

11th December, 2012: Bhauma Pradosh Vrata


When Pradosham falls on a Tuesday it is known as Bhauma Pradosha.The puja is observed in the evening on Trayodashi or 13th day in Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha of the Hindu month to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. It is auspicious to perform Shukra Graha Dosha Nivarana Puja on this day.

13th December, 2012: Kartik Amavasya

 Ma Kali & Krishna

It is the last day of the sacred Kartik Month. Usually people observe a fast on this day and worship the Devi. Being a highly auspicious day, any puja performed on this day is very fruitful. Also known as Amavasi or Amavas, it is the darkest day in a Hindu calendar and is referred to as the new moon day. In North India, it is the Margashirsh Amavasya.This day is chosen for performing Shradh and Tarpan by many Hindu communities.Some Hindu communities observe a partial fast and have meals once during the day.

15th December, 2012: Dhanu Sankranti

Dhanu Sankranti

On this day the Sun transits to Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius). Dhanu Sankranti marks the beginning of the Ninth month in the Hindu Solar Calendar.Dhanu Masam begins in Malayalam CalendarsMargazhi Masam begins in Tamil Calendars Maargazhi month in tamil calender, Dhanu masam in kerala calender starts on this Day.

Sankranti is highly auspicious for Dana and Puny. Only a certain time duration of Sankranti is considered auspicious. Dhanu Sankranti is of great significance in Orissa and special prayers are offered to Lord Jagannath on the day. God Sun (Surya) is also worshipped on this day.

16th December, 2012: Shri Ganesh Chaturhti Vrata

17th December, 2012: Shri Bihar Panchami

 Shri Banke Bihari ji on Bihar Panchami

also known as Bihar Panchami, is the day when Shri Bankebihari (Lord Krishna) appeared in Vrindavan for Swami Shri Haridas. The incident is 523 years old when Akbar reigned and Tansen was his darbari. Millions of devotees throng the Biharji Temple to revel in the festivities. This auspicious event is said to have taken place on the fifth day of the moon's waxing phase in the Margashirsh Month.

 Shri Lalita Sakhi

Swami Haridas, who was none other than Lalita sakhi;continuously meditated on Nitya Raas and Nitya Vihar of Lord Krishna at Nitya Vrindavan. He used to compose songs and sing them in praise of the Lord. He chose a secluded dense forest area in Nidhivan as his gateway to the Lord's nitya vihar and mostly sang and meditated there.

Swami Shri Haridas in Nidhi Van

His disciples wanted to know what was so special about that particular place. One day, which happened to be the birth day of Vithal Vipul, Swamiji called all  his disciples and asked them to enter the Kunj. Vithal Vipul led them to the interior of the kunj where they were almost blinded by a bright, intense light. Astonished, they all went to swamiji and counted their strange experience that the seemingly dark interiors of the kunj were so intensely illuminated. Swamiji prayed and the disciples followed with their eyes fixed on the kunj. 

And then moved by their dedication and the grace of Swamiji, the Lord appeared with His divine consort.
This image is revered as a svarupa or the living presence of God and called by different names: Bihariji, Bankey Bihari ji, Kunj Bihariji and many others.


Popularly known as Bankey Bihari Prakat Mahotsav, the entire premises of Nidhivan as well as the Bankey Bihari Temple are beautifully decked with flowers, flags, buntings and lights on this occasion. Special pujas and rituals are performed and another great attraction is the colorful processions taken out on this day.

Main celebrations of this day start at Shri Bankey Bihari ji Prakatya Sthal in Nidhivan. Abhishek is done here early in the morning and in full public view. The symbolic footprints of Shri Bankey Bihari ji Maharaj are given a ceremonial bath by milk, curd, honey, ghee and water. Thereafter the place is decorated with fine cloths, frills, flowers and jewellery. Finally panchamrit (i.e. Prasad of abhishek, a mix of milk, curd, honey, ghee and water) is distributed among the devotees.

Swami Shri Haridas with Shri Radha-Krishna

Later in the morning, a grand procession is taken out from Nidhivan to the Shri Bankey Bihari temple. The procession consists of several brass bands,musical  groups, decorated elephants, high flags and keertan groups. It is headed by three decorated chariots seating the images of Swami Shri Haridasji, Shri Vithal (Veethal) Vipul Devji and Shri Goswami Jagannathji Maharaj.The bhava is that Swami Shri Haridasji along with his disciples is going to greet Shri Bankey Bihari ji Maharaj on this auspicious occasion.

The procession passes through the main bazaars of Vrindavan and reaches Shri Bankey Bihari temple by the time of Rajbhog (12 in the noon). Images of the saints are taken inside the temple and then Rajbhog is offered to Bihariji. Devotees believe that Bihariji enjoys the meals offered by Swami Haridas ji with his own hands as he sits on his lap. After Rajbhog Art, prasad is distributed among the devotees.

17th December, 2012: Vivah Panchami of Lord Ram and Ma Sita

Shri Ram-Sita Vivah

 It is observed on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha in the Margashirsha month. The day is observed as the Vivah Utsav of Sita and Rama in temples and sacred places associated with Sri Rama in Mithilanchal region and North India.

Shri Anand Das Baba

Saint Ushaji used to say that he was Rambhakt Hanuman Himself. He would spend entire days and night at the sandy beaches of Sri Yamuna without food for days at a stretch and ardently longed for the divine love of Ramji. An amazing trait of His religious devotion was Baba's constant love for Vrindavan, where Lord Krishna forever dwells, even though he was a great bhakta of Lord Rama.

18th December, 2012: Skanda Shashti

Lord Kartikeya

Skanda is a Hindu god also known as Kartikeya or Murugan. Shashti Vratham is an auspicious fast dedicated to Lord Subramanya or Murugan. Devotees fast on Shashti day and worship Murugan with shodashopachara puja.

There are two Shashtis in a month and devotees of Skanda observe partial or full fast on the Shashti occurring after the new moon (Amavasya).

24th December, 2012:Janamotsav of Shri Balkrishan Das ji Maharaj

 Shri Balkrishna Das ji Maharaj

Maharaj Bal Krishna Das ji was a great saint of Vrindavan, who had experienced the highest ideal of religious rapture by relishing Shri Radha-Krishna's madhurya or sweet romance.

 The Janamotsav of Maharaj Shri Bal Krishna Das ji Of Venu Vinod Kunj, Vrindavan  and Shri Bhagavad Gita Jayanti coincide. Maharaj ji was born on the same day when Lord Krishna revealed the nature of time and duty to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, about 5225 years ago.The Gita Jayanti is observed on the eleventh day of the bright half moon (Shukla paksha) of the Margashirsha month (November – December).

Devotees from all over India are likely to converge at Shri Dham Vridavan from the 19th of December, 2012. Programme for the 6 day celebrations is as follows:

20th December,2012: Samaj
This is a musical programme. A vocal rendition of the traditional form as was sung by the great Saint and singer Shri Haridas Maharaj.He was the Guru of  Baiju Bawra It is ethereal to hear. The rhythm is superb and enchanting. You will feel that you have left this material world far behind and are in the presence of the Gopis and Lord Krishna.

21st to the23rd, 2012:Radha Sudha Nidhi
A discourse on this Holi book by Dr, Achut Lal Bhat.. Dr Bhat comes from a family of bhaktas who have profound knowledge of the 'Shrimad Bhagawa'.

24th December,2012:Moksha Ekadashi Vrata:  Abhishekh and Malaya Arpan, Select Bhajans from ' Bhav Nirjhar' are sung by the devotees, Bhav Nirjhar is a compilation of Poojya Maharaj jis poems and is sung in praise of His Lord and master Shi Krishna.

On this particular night the devotees stay awake the whole night and sing the mahamantra in different ragas

Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

25th December,2012:
A day to celebrate and rejoice.Young devotees dance and sing badhai. This is followed by a bhandara.

24th December, 2012:Mokshada Ekadashi

Mokshada Ekadashi

Its legend as taken from the Brahmanda Purana:

Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "What is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha (November-December) and removes all sins? "

Lord Sri Krishna replied, "This Ekadasi is famous as Mokshadaa because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshippable Deity of this all auspicious day is Lord Damodara.”

""There once was a beautiful city named Champaka-nagar and the best of saintly kings Maharaj Vaikhaanasa, ruled over his subjects as if they were his very own dear sons and daughters. The king had a dream one night in which his father was seen to be suffering torture in one of the hellish planets ruled over by Yamaraj.”

" ' O brahmanas,' the king addressed them, 'In a dream last night I saw my father suffering on a hellish planet. Now I have no peace in my mind, and even this beautiful kingdom has become unbearable to me.”

" The twice born brahmins replied, 'O king, in the mountainous forest not far from here is the ashram where a great saint Parvata Muni resides. Please go to him, for he knows the past, the present, and the future and can surely help you in your gaining relief from your misery.'

"Upon the advise of brahmins, the distressed king immediately set out for the ashram of sage Parvata Muni.

"Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king and said, 'Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin. In his previous life he quarrelled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually.'

"Parvata Muni replied, 'During the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha there occurs an Ekadasi called Mokshadaa'.

"Hearing this, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace to perform his vrata. He then perfectly and with full faith observed the Ekadasi fast with his wife, children, and other relatives and dutifully gave the merit from this fast to his father. The king's father was then escorted to the celestial region.'

Lord Krishna confirmed, "O son of Pandu there is no better fasting day than this Ekadasi and one goes back to Godhead, never to return to this material world."

Lord Shiva
25th December, 2012:Bhauma Pradosh Vrata

28th December, 2012: Purnima 

 Margashirsha Poornima

Margshirsha Poornima or full moon day. It is the last day in a month in the calendar followed in North India and is known as Pournami in South India. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is observed by some Hindus on Purnima.Purnima day is chosen by many Hindus for pujas like the Satyanarayan Puja. Dattatreya Jayanthi plus Annapurna Jayanti is also observed on this day.

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