Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spiritual Calendar: May 2014

1st May, 2014: Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti

 Bhagwan Parshuram

Lord Parshuram is the sixth avatar of Vishnu and belongs to the Treta yuga. He is the son of Jamadagni, a Brahmin and Renuka, a Kshatriya . He received an axe after doing austere penance to please Shiva, from whom he learnt warfare and other skills. Fighting back the advancing seas, he thus saved the lands of Konkan and Malabar. Parshurama is said to be the first warrior saint. A temple of Parshuram is situated at Akhnoor, 18 km away from Jammu. Every year, in May, a grand fete in the form of a parade, with hundreds of tableaux, throngs through the main city of Jammu to celebrated Parshuram Jayanti.

2nd May, 2014: Akshay Trithi

Charan Darshan of Thakur Banke Bihariji in Vrindavan
 The only occasion when Lord Bankey Bihariji gives His charan-darshan once in a year, with millions of people thronging the temple.

Akshyay means something that does not perish and the acts performed on this day become perennial in nature.

Our revered Lord Shri Banke Bihari ji Maharaj is extra generous on this particular day. One can meditate on His lotus feet today for which saint Surdas had sung: 

Bandaun charan kamal hari raie |
Jaki kripa pangu giri langhe, andhe ko sab kachhu darsaie ||
Bahiro sune, mook puni bole, rank chale sir chhatra dharaie |
Surdas swami karunamaya, bar bar bandaun tehi paie ||

which means:

'By the grace of the lotus feet of Shri Banke Bihariji all impossible things become possible in the world. The lame can cross high mountains, the blind can see every thing, the deaf can hear, the dumb can speak and the poor can become rich and move with a chhatra (ceremonial umbrella, generally used in grand processions). The poet says my lord is so kind, full of kindness; I bow to His Lotus Feet! Bow To His Lotus Feet! Again and again. '

3rd May, 2014: Jayanti of Shri Manohar Baba

 Baba Manohar Dasji

 Revered Baba Manohar Dasji had truly religious qualities like spiritual knowledge (understanding the identity of the self with the ultimate Brahman),asceticism and discernment. He renounced the world like vomit and sought the refuge of Shri Maharajji, a great virtuous guru.

By Shri Maharaj ji's grace, Baba crossed over the toughest of spiritual stages and was resolute in his perennial quest for union with the divine.

In His honour, a monthly kirtan is being held for the past so many years in Gurgaon. Everyone is requested to attend the group singing of devotional songs for Sri Hari.

3rd May,2014: Vinayak Chaturthi

Viganharta, Lord Ganesh
 The fast is kept to please Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is called the Vighanharta and a puja begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha.

Each lunar month in the Hindu calendar has two Chaturthi Tithis which belong to Lord Ganesha as per the Hindu scriptures. The Chaturthi after Amavasya or new moon during Shukla Paksha is known as Vinayaka Chaturthi and the one after Puranmasi or full moon during Krishna Paksha is known as Sankashti Chaturthi.

4th May, 2014: Adi Shankaracharya Jayanti

 Adi Shankaracharyaji

 Adi Shankaracharya was an Indian philosopher from Kalady of present day Kerala who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. His teachings are based on the unity of the Atman and Brahmannon-dual Brahman, in which Brahman is viewed as without attributes.

Shri Radha Krishna Kripakataksha Stotra is the most renowned hymn of praise written by Adi Shankracharyaji. He revived the Sanatan Dharma as ritualistic frauds were misguiding innocent people. Shankaracharya ji is known to have written some of the most beautiful commentaries on the 'Bhagavad Gita', the 'Srimad Bhagawatam' and many stotras praising Lord Krishna and goddess Yamuna.

4th May, 2014: Shri Surdas Jayanti

 Shri Surdasji

Shri Surdas wrote about the most beautiful childhood lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna. He is one of the astachhap kavis of the Pushti Marg Sampradaya.

The bhajan sites of Surdas are Sur Kuti and Sur Samadhi which lie within the periphery of Vallabhacharyaji's Baithak.

Shri Nathji being a svarupa or living presence of Lord Krishna was clearly perceptible for the poet. The padas sung in praise of Nathji are compiled in the text 'Sur Sagar'. Through his poetic creations, Surdasji enhanced the beauty of worship, giving bhakti a new more intimate direction. Remaining a Krishna devotee, he did not lose sight of the Lord's romantic nuances and was therefore able to bring both religious and aesthetic truths to his compositions.

5th May, 2014: Shri Ramanujacharya Jayanti

 Shri Ramanujacharya

 He is one of the four main Acharyas known as Ramanujacharya. Seen by Vaishnavas as the third and most important teacher of their tradition (after Nathamuni and Yamunacharya). Ramanujacharya is regarded by Hindus as the leading expounder of Vishishtadvaita.

His philosophy combines advaita (oneness of God) with Vishesha (attributes). In Ramanujas system of philosophy, the Lord (Narayana) has two inseparable prakaras or modes, the world and the souls. These are related to Him as the body is related to the soul and have no existence apart from Him. Matter and souls constitute the body of the Lord whereas He is their in dweller and controlling Reality.They are termed Viseshanas or attributes while God is the Viseshya or that which is qualified.

6th May, 2014: Ganga Saptami

Ma Gange

 Vaishakh Shukla Saptami is known as Ganga Saptami. People come to take a holy dip in the Ganges and relieve themselves from their sins and agony. Mother Ganga cleanses them and absolves their sins. The river covers a distance of 1500 miles and keeps the adjoining areas green and fertile. Ganga Saptami is celebrated to make people know of her significance on the spiritual plane.

8th May, 2014: Sri Sita Naumi

Ma Sita is the Energy of Lord Ram

 The day is observed as the birth of Sri Sita or Janaki, the wife of Lord Ram. Sri Sita is considered an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi just as Lord Ram is Lord Vishnu Incarnate.

In the Ramayana, Sri Sita Devi is best remembered for her penance to find a perfect marriage partner. It was her father, King Janak's condition that whoever could lift the divine bow and arrow gifted by Lord Shiva would marry his daughter. As destined, Sri Sitaji's choice was made after years of austere penance to goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva.

Sri Sita Naumi is not celebrated with as much fanfare as Sri Ram Naumi is in the month of Chaitra. However without Sita, worshipping Lord Ram's would be incomplete because she is Sri Ram's divine feminine energy or shakti. Sri Sita Devi is also remembered as setting a role model for Hindu society, particularly in her devotion to Lord Ram during the 14-year exile in the Ramayana.

King Janaka Unearths Baby Sita who is Born of the Earth Goddess

Sri Sita was born as Janaki or daughter of King Janak but later renamed as Sri Sita Devi by Maharishi Narada Muni.She was actually given to King Janak by the Earth Goddess or Bhuma Devi whilst he was ploughing a piece of land during a prolonged period of drought in the Treta Yuga. He unearthed a golden casket in which he found a beautiful baby girl. Overjoyed, he named her Sita because land ploughed by a yoke is called sita.

10th May, 2014: Shri Mohini Ekadashi Vrata

Lord Vishnu Incarnates as Mohini

This is the day when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Mohini to take away nectar from the demons. Mohini is the name of the only female avatara of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology. She is portrayed as an an enchantress, sometimes leading lovers to their doom. Mohini is introduced in the narrative epic of the Mahabharata. Here, she appears as a form of Vishnu, acquires the pot of Amrita (elixir of immortality) from thieving asuras (demons), and gives it back to the Devas (demi-gods), thus helping them retain their immortality.

10th May, 2014: Sri Hitharivanshji Jayanti

Sri Hitharivanshji Prabhu

He established the Sri Radhavallabh Temple and Sect in Vrindavan. After Sri Banke Bihari Mandir the temple of Thakur Sri Radhavallabh in Vrindavan is next in fame. Sri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu, being an incarnation of the Holy Flute (Vanshi Avatar) relished the spiritual nectar while intimately serving the lotus feet of Shri Radha-Krishna, as a close acquaintance of the sacred couple in their sweet love. The conception of Sri Radha is completely misconceived by most people, and Sri Hit Harivansh Mahaprabhu had shown the path. He adored Radha first and Krishna after her.

Let us humbly bow at the holy feet of Mahaprabhu Hit Harivanshji and chant:

Thakur Shri Radha Vallabhaji

govind gopinath gopijan vallabh |
dehi pad pallav, jai radha vallabh ||

which means:
'Thakurji of Hit Harivanshji, bless us with thy grace, divine Love and holy feet.'

12th May, 2014: Som Pradosh

Lord Shiva

 Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight for propitiating Lord Shiva.

With His blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment.It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble on Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva. The Pradosh which falls on a Monday is of special significance.

13th May, 2014: Shri Narsingh Jayanti

Narsingh Bhagwan an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu became Narsingh Bhagwan to kill Hiranyakashipu and save Bhakta Prahlad. One of the ten famous incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Narsingh Bhagwan appeared on earth to kill Hriniyakashipu, the king of asuras. If Lord Rama and Krishna are hailed as Purnavtars or full incarnations, the rest eight of them are, Narsingh Avataras.

Sri Narsingh Bhagwan was the family deity or ishtdev of Sri Manohar Baba who used to keep a fast in celebration of His Deity's appearance day on Narsingh Jayanti. He along with all his devotees used to visit Sri Narsingh Temple in Vrindavan. Its location is near the temples of Sri Banke Bihariji or Radharamanji. In this honour, a book of letters written by Sri Manohar Baba may be launched in celestial Vrindavan.

14th May, 2014: Kurma Jayanti

Kurma Avatara

Kurma, the second avatara of Vishnu belongs to the Satya Yuga like the Matsya Avatar. Vishnu manifested in the form of a half-man half-tortoise, the lower half being a tortoise. He was normally resplendent with four arms and sat on the bottom of the ocean after the Great Flood. A mountain was placed on his back by the other gods so that they could churn the ocean and find ancient treasures of the Vedic people.

14th May, 2014: Shri Radharaman Dev Prakatutsav

Thakur Radharamanji

In the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu tradition, Shri Radharamanji's lotus face is like Shri Govindaji's, His chest is like Shri Gopinath's and His lotus feet are like Shri Madanmohanji's. By sighting Thakur Radharaman one simultaneously receives the darshan of these three primary deities. The Deity of Sri Radharaman manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami's salagram-silas on a full moon day of Vaisakha (April/May) in 1542.

This event is celebrated every year by bathing the Deity with 100 litres of milk and other auspicious items. Gopal Bhatta Goswami's other salagram-shilas are also worshiped on the altar.

14th May, 2014: Vesak (Buddha Purnima/ Buddha Jayanti)

Siddharth Gautam Becomes Lord Buddha

It is a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha.

15th May,2014: Sage Narada Jayanti

Sage Narada

Shri Narada Muni, a great devotee of Sri Radha, is a disciple of Sri Sanatkumara (four Kumaras) and the guru of Sri Nimbarka Acharya. He is known to play the veena while he sings. Narada is a divine sage from the Vaisnava tradition, who plays a prominent role in a number of Puranic texts, especially the Bhagavata Purana, and Ramayana. Narada is the author of the Pāñcarātra, a standard text for Vaisnava's priests. The sage is portrayed as a travelling monk with the ability to visit distant planets or lokas. He carries a tampura or musical instrument, which he uses for singing of hymns, prayers and mantras in devotion to his Lord Vishnu.
15th May, 2014: Van-Vihar

Van Vihar & Parikrama of Vrindavan

A visit to the forest groves and parikrama or circumambulation of Sridham Vrindavan at night with Temple Musicians (Samaj) plus singing devotional songs in attendance, is performed with great serenity on Van Vihar.

17th May, 2014: Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Fast

Ganesha, the Foremost God of the Hindu Pantheon

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.

18th May, 2014: Ma Anandamayi Jayanti

Sri Anandamayi Ma

 Sri Anandamayi Ma was a Hindu spiritual teacher and guru from Bengal, considered a saint and hailed as one of the prominent mystics of the 20th century. Anandamayi was a name given by her disciples in the 1920s to describe her habitual state of divine bliss. During her life, she attracted thousands of followers who saw her not only as a teacher and guru, but as a manifestation of God, or Devi.

24th May, 2014: Bal Krishan Dasji Maharaj's Gaulok Gaman

Shri Bal Krishan Dasji Maharaj

Maharaj Bal Krishna Das ji was a saint who lived in Vrindavan and experienced the highest ideal of religious rapture by relishing Shri Radha-Krishna's madhurya or sweet romance. He propagated the Mahamantra and experienced various stages of religious rapture because of his love for the Divine. His biography 'Charit Vaibhav' is worth reading.

 24th May, 2014: Remembering Vijayji (19th Dec 1938 - 24th May, 2008)

Revered Vijay Bhaiya

 Boboji here refers to Saint Ushaji of Vrindavan and Vijay ji was her student since the age of 16. During this long span of 36 years from 1972 till he left for Golok on 24th May, 2008 , Sadhu Vijayji widely journeyed all over Braj. He wrote the ‘Braj Bhoomi Mohini’, a strikingly enchanting text as it describes the celestial land of dreams and Lord Krishna's divine play. When Saint Ushaji, his ideal and Guru, wrote the foreword of this text, she was actually laying the foundation of a Devotee-writer in Vijayji. Later on he edited several of Her works. Of late, ‘Shri Krishan Leelalok’ was the latest 21st book to be published while ‘Shri Krishan Karnamrit’ is still in the press.

th May, 2014: Achala Ekadashi

Lord Vishnu

Achla Ekadashi falls in the month of Jayestha (May-June) and is also known as 'Jayestha Krishna Ekadashi'. Achla Ekadashi is the giver of good deeds, destroyer of sins and one who observes the vrata with a full fast on this day attains great esteem in this world.

25th May, 2014: Dharam Bahenji's Punya Tithi 

Dharam Bahenji

 Dharam Bahenji was a famed saint of Vrindavan who was born on 2nd April, 1927 and left for Golok (the abode of Lord Krishna) on 25th May, 2001.


'Giridhar Ki Meera'

Right from the age of six she used to fluently chant the Bhagavad Gita and at the tender age of eleven wrote the renowned play 'Giridhar Ki Meera,' a beautiful composition on Meera, the bhakti poet-saint of Rajasthan.


Venerable Usha Bahenji & Dharam Bahenji

 She was a teacher in Delhi ( BA , Prabhakar ) but after meeting Saint Ushaji, fondly known as Bobo,in 1950, she shifted to Ambala. This was pre-destined because from 1954 onwards, the arrival of Sakha ji (a siddha from Golok) had become a regular practice.
Saint Usha Bahenji & Susheela Bahenji

 Hence the trio of Ushaji-Susheelaji-Dharamji used to relish the lilas or playfull dalliances of Lord Krishna, as friends.Only when Usha ji renounced the world for settling in Vrindavan on 17th November, 1959, Dharam ji joined her job in Delhi. In fact, her divine experiences with Thakurji reveal that a sort of Vallabhacharya -Tulsidas- Surdas Bhakti-Yuga was re-enacted in Bobo's era as well. 

When great devotees of Krishna are born they generally come together as a parikar or divine group so that the time on earth is not wasted in worldly affairs but spent in singing the glories of the Lord. For example we had Bhai Poddarji-Radha Baba-Sethji of Gorakhpur.

26th May, 2014: Som Pradosh Vrat

 Lord Shiva

Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept on the 13th day of each lunar fortnight for propitiating Lord Shiva.

With his blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment.It is said that on this day all gods and goddesses assemble on Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva. The Pradosh which falls on a Monday is of special significance.

28th May, 2014: Vat Savitri Vrat Pujan

The Legend of Savitri & Satyavant
Associated with Sati Savitri and Satyavant, the legend reveals how Satyavant got rid of death and regained his kingdom with the dedicated devotion of his wife Savitri. The Puranas propagate that the story of Savitri is an inspiration for every married woman.

Women Worshipping the Vat (Bargad) Tree
The Vat Savitri Vrat falls on the full moon day of the month of Jyeshtha, around May-June. Married Women observe Vat Savitri Vrat with the intention of preserving their husbands good fortune.On this day, women fast and worship the Vat (Bargad) tree to pray for the growth and strength of their husdand and families.All Hindu women observe this festival worshiping and propitiating Savitri as a Devi. On this day, early morning the women take  bath and wear new clothes, new bangles and apply vermilion on the fore-head and the hair-parting line. Then Ma Savitri is worshipped.

No comments: