Shri Balkrishan Dasji Maharaj
Maharaj Bal Krishna Dasji was a great saint of Vrindavan, who had experienced the highest ideal of religious rapture by relishing the lilas or divine play of Shri Radha-Krishna.
The janamotsav of Shri Bal Krishna Dasji Maharaj Of Venu Vinod Kunj, Vrindavan and Shri Bhagavad Gita Jayanti happen to fall on the same day. Maharajji was born on the day when Lord Krishna revealed the nature of time and duty to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, about 5225 years ago. 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 converge at Shri Dham Vrindavan to celebrate this occasion.
2nd December, 2014: Mokshada Ekadashi
This legend as taken from the Brahmanda Purana is as follows:
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 Mokshada because it purifies the faithful devotee of all sinful reactions and bestows liberation upon him. The worshippable Deity of this 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 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 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 brahmans 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 attaining relief from your misery.'
"Upon the advise of brahmans, 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 consequences of committing a great sin. In his previous life he quarrelled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually.'
"Parvata Muni said, '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 returned to his palace to observe the vrata. Then he 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.
Soon after, the king's father was 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."
4th December, 2014:Pradhosh Vrata
Pradosh means dusk and this fast is kept for propitiating Lord Shiva. With his blessings all desires are fulfilled and one attains spiritual enlightenment.Generally people observe Pradosha Vrata on every trayodashi tithi (13th lunar day falling in Krishna and Shukla Pakshas.) It begins at sunrise and ends during twilight in the evening.
6th December, 2014: Margashirsha Purnima & Dattatreya Jayanti
Margashirsha Poornima or full moon day 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 and this day is chosen by many Hindus for pujas like the Satyanarayan Puja and Dattatreya Jayanthi, and Annapurna Jayanti is also observed on this day.
Dattatreya Jayanti, is a Hindu holy day, commemorating the birthday celebration of the Hindu god Dattatreya (Datta), a combined form of the Hindu male divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Margashirsha (Agrahayana) month according to the Hindu Calendar (December/January) throughout the country, and particular in Maharashtra.
10th December, 2014: Shri Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata
According to Hindu scriptures Chaturthi Tithi(s) belongs to Lord Ganesha.
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 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, 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.
16th December, 2014: 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 Calendars and Margazhi Masam begins in Tamil Calendars.
Sankranti is highly auspicious for dana and punya. 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 this day.The Sun God (Surya) is also worshipped.
18th December, 2014: Safala Ekadashi Vrata
Safala Ekadashi is observed on Paush Krishna Paksha Ekadasi day as per North Indian calendars. The vrata helps devotees to attain success in every sphere of life.
The spiritual importance of Safala Ekadashi is mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana as the conversation between Lord Krishna and Yudhistira. The legend of Safala Ekadashi is associated with King Lumpaka who was sinful by nature but after keeping the Ekadasi Vrat he was blessed with a blissful life and attained salvation after death.
19th December, 2014: Pradosh Vrata
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 at Mount Kailash to worship Lord Shiva.
21st December, 2014: Amavasya
The last day of the waning phase of the moon is called Amavasya. Amavasya is the end of the Krishna paksha of the Hindu month. A few festivals like Diwali are celebrated on this day. Amavasya is considered sacred for ancestor rituals.
According to Amavasyant calenders it is called Margashirsha Amavasya. As per Purnimant calenders it is called Paush Amavasya.
It is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha and falls on the 4th day of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the moon) of a lunar fortnight or on the fourth day after Purnima or full moon. Ganesha devotees observe a fast on Vinayak Chaturthi.
28th December, 2014: Guru Singh Jayanti
A Sikh festival that commemorates the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs. It is a religious celebration in which prayers for prosperity are offered.
Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Sikh Guru of Nanak. He was born at Patna, Bihar, India, on December 22, 1666.
Guru Gobind Singh was the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who gave his life to protect religious freedom. He succeeded his father and became a Guru at nine years of age. In his lifetime, he stood against the Mughal Rulers and fought against injustice. In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh took five men from the lower caste of society and baptized them as His Five Beloveds. It was his dedication to God, his fearlessness and his desire to protect the people from being oppressed that led Guru Gobind Singh to establish the Khalsa, a military force of saint-soldiers which he baptized.
Before his death in 1708, he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, which is Sikhism’s Holy Scripture, to be the permanent Sikh Guru.