Thursday, September 3, 2015

Spiritual Calendar: September, 2015

1st September,2015:Angarki Sankashti Chaturthi

Lord Ganesha
Angaraki Chaturth is a Sankashti Chaturthi falling on Tuesday. It is considered highly auspicious among all Sankashti Chaturthi days.Sankashti Chaturthi is celebrated in every Lunar month or Hindu calendar month on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha.

4th September, 2015:Hal Shashti/Balaram Jayanti

Lord Baalram or Haldhar

This is the appearance day of Lord Balarama, the first expansion of the dark-hued Krishna. Devotees offer special prayers to Balarama, the icon of duty, honesty and simplicity to receive spiritual strength from Him.He incarnated on the full moon day of Shravana.

Balaram, Balarama and Sankarsana are some of Lord Baldev's other names. Balaram had incarnated as Lakshman in the Treta Yuga which came before Dwapar.

He is considered the incarnation of Sheshnaag, the thousand-headed snake on whom Lord Vishnu sleeps throughout periods of dissolution of the world.Because he was drawn from Devaki's to Rohini's womb, He is known as Lord Sankarsana. It is a common belief that he bestows riches on this materialistic world.

Balaram is also famed as Haldhar, the god of the farmers.They devotedly worship the plough, his weapon, before undertaking any task.

6th September, 2015:Lord Shri Krishna Janamashtami

badhai ho, badhai ho, badhai ho sabhi ko bhagwan Shri Krishna ke janamotsav ki badhai ho !

Celebrations are to be held at Sri Banke Bihari ji Temple, all the temples of Vrindavan, Gokul, Mahavan, Mathura, ISKCON and the world over.

Lord Vishnu Takes Birth as Krishna

The main purpose of the Lord’s incarnation is for the salvation of saints, destruction of evil and installation of righteousness as explained in the 'Bhagwad Gita.' Towards the end of the Dwapar Era, in the Hindu month of Bhadra, Mathura had the great fortune of witnessing Lord Krishna’s birth on Krishan Ashtami. Atrocities were on the rise, religion had become a mere farce and the deities were great pained. King Kansa terrified of his own death had imprisoned Vasudev and Devki, having killed six of their earlier children. The seventh child was to be the Lord Himself.

Yugal Sarkar at Gaura Colony, Vrindavan

Parampoojaya Susheela Bahinji shall lead the utsav at Gaura-Colony in front of our Yugal Sarkar or Thakurji.The search of the impassioned soul for union with god is centred within earthly Vrindavan. Its enraptured village girls representing Krishna's hungering devotees are passionately drawn to dark-hued Krishna's lyrical softness, innocent pranks, beautiful adornments and serene sensuality which add to His madhurya or sweet love.

Krishna's playful dalliance is nitya or eternal. One aspect of Lord Krishna’s enigmatic persona which distinguishes him from all other deities is his lila or divine play which makes him both human and divine at the same time, and becomes him ,most of all.Delighting in play he endears himself and brings joy to all his devotees.

7th September, 2015: Nandotsav

Thakur Radha Ramanji on Nandotsav

Krishna Janamashtami is followed by a day full of pomp and joyous abandon where Nandotsav or Nanda Mahotsav is observed in various temples all over the country. In the morning after Janamashtami or navami, Bihariji continues to sit in the jagmohan showering his blessing and loving tenderness to all. Priests and devotees distribute sweets, fruits, clothes, toys, utensils and coins as part of the celebrations. Devotional songs congratulating Nand Baba on the birth of Krishna are delightedly sung in unison.Everybody feels that the dark-hued Krishna has been born today and revels with enthused exultation.

Footprints of Child Krishna

The ladies of the house mark the entrance of their homes with rice paste so as to form small feet of infants. They are always made pointing towards the house which is believed to mark the entry of child Krishna to their abodes and bring prosperity along with happiness.

9th September, 2015: Aja Ekadashi

King Harishchandra & Taramati

Aja Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada (August – September).

As the legend goes once there lived a great King known for his truthfulness and popular as Satya Harishchandra. The King was passing through difficult times and sought shelter of the great Shri Gautam Maharshi.The sage asked the king to keep the fast of Aja Ekadsi with utmost devotion.

King Harishchandra observed the fast of Ananda Ekadasi. Soon after, he got back his wife, son and kingdom which he had lost in the past. Above all, the King ruled the kingdom happily and went back to God.

10th September, 2015: Pradosh Vrata

Lord Shiva & Parvati on Nandi

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. The Pradosh which falls on a Monday is of special significance.

13th September,2015: Pithori Amavasya:


Goddess Parvati with Son Ganesha

Pithori Amavasya is observed on amavasya or no moon day during the month of Bhadrapad. ‘Pith means flour thus leading to the name and married women, especially mothers, worship 64 Goddesses for their children's long life, health and prosperity. In the past, idols of these 64 Goddesses were made of ‘Pith' and special delicacies were offered to them. Saptamatrukas and Ashtamatrukas are also worshipped on Pithori Amavasa.

According to the Marathi calendar this amavasya is celebrated as Pola and falls on amavasya of the Sravan month. On Pithori Amavasya, performing Pitru Tharpan or Pinda daan to dead ancestors is highly meritorious.

16th September,2015: Hartalika Teej

Lord Shiva & Parvati

This is a three-day festival, celebrated by women in honor of Parvati, in the month of Bhadrapad. By praying to Parvati on these three days, unmarried girls hope to get a husband like Shiva. Married women pray to her for marital bliss. According to Hindu mythology, Parvati was in love with Shiva. Being an ascetic however, Shiva was not aware of her. Parvati performed penance in the Himalayas for many years before Shiva finally noticed her. Realizing the depth of her love and devotion, he agreed to marry her .Since then Parvati has been worshipped as Haritalika.

Women and young girls maintain nirjala vrata on these three days, and keep awake all three nights. This is symbolic of the penance which Parvati undertook to get Shiva as her husband. They offer food to Brahmins and young girls.

17th September,2015:Sri Ganesh Utsav

An Idol of Lord Ganesha

Brilliantly crafted idols of Ganesha are brought home about ten days in advance on Ganesh Janam Utsav which marks the birth of Lord Ganesha.There He sits in state till Anant Chaturdashi (8th Sept) when he is devoutly immersed in water.In almost every neighbourhood a brightly decorated Ganesha idol is made and worshipped for all of the ten days.On the day of the Ganesh festival laddoos and modaks which are Ganesha's favourite sweets are distributed and Ganesha temples are crowded with devotees.

19th September, 2015: Sri Lalita Sasti

Shri Lalita Devi, the Prime Ashtasakhi

Lalita Devi is the prime ashtasakhi and the eldest amongst Krishna's gopis. As per astrological calculation,Shri Lalita Sasti or the date of her birth falls on the day before Sri Radhashtami.Though a close confidante of the divine couple, she is more inclined to Sri Radhika.

An intimate companion of Radharani, Lalita is the khandita with a contradictory and hot-tempered nature. Her complexion is bright yellow and garments are the colour of peacock feathers. Her mother is Saradi Devi and father is Vishoka. Her husband is Bhairava, who is a close friend of Govardhana Malla, the husband of Candravali.

21st September,2015: Shri Radha Ashtami

Shri Radha Rani

As Krishna is the source of all manifestations of God, Sri Radha His consort is the source of all shaktis or feminine manifestations of cosmic energy. She is thus the supreme deity in Gaudiya tradition, for it is said that she controls Krishna with her love and that perfect spiritual life is unattainable without her grace.

The most revered occasion for the denizens of Barsana, its celebration begins with chanting the lilas or playful dalliances of Sri Radha with thousands of padas being sung in her honour.

The festive occasion is observed 15 days after the Janmashtami of Lord Krishna. It falls on the eighth day of the Bhadrapada Month in the Hindu calendar, in the waxing phase of the moon somewhere between (AugustSeptember). Sri Radha was born in Barsana, a suburb of Mathura, as the daughter of Vrashabhanu and Kirti.

21st September, 2015: Janamotsav of Swami Shri Haridas

Swami Shri Hari Das

On this day after the rajbhoga aarti in the evening at 4 o' clock there is rasa lila in the temple of Shri Banke Bihari ji. Svami Shri Hari Das realized God in the form of Shri Bankey Bihari, starting the tradition of and initiating his disciples into rasopasna bhakti. He is also known as Adya Acharya of Raas Leela tradition.

Lord Krishna Braids Shri Radha's Hair

Nidhivan as well as the Banke Bihari temple are beautifully decorated with flowers, flags and buntings. In the afternoon, around 4:30 PM, the Rasa Lila is enacted in the courtyard of the temple, only once a year. The theme of the lila is veni guthan, that is, Krishna makes up the hair of Radha and ties it into a lovely nice braid. The lila is based on one of the compositions of Swami Haridas from Shri Kelimal:

In the evening a grand procession, called chav, is taken out from the temple. It consists of several brass bands, other musical performing groups, decorated elephants, high flags and kirtan mandalis. Goswamis participate in a group singing devotional songs, celebrating the birth of Swami Haridas in a style known as samaj gayan. Many gifts such as the prasad of Bihariji are carried to be presented to Swami Haridas. It is as if Bihariji is going to greet Swami Haridas on this auspicious occasion.

The procession heads for Nidhivan, the place of Swami Haridas’s penance and appearance of Bihariji. On arriving here the prasad sent by Bihariji is offered and the Rasa Lila is enacted late into the night; the only day when devotees can stay in Nidhivan so late in the evening. On the conclusion of Rasa Lila, there is aarti performed and devotees disperse chanting:

'jai jai shri kunjbihari shri haridas, jai jai shri vrindavan nidhivan vaas |'

21st September, 2015: Maharshi Dadhichi Jayanti

Sage Dadichi

It is is dedicated to Sage Dadhichi an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and a descendent of Sage Angira. Sage Dadhichi was born on the Shukla Ashtami day (waxing phase of moon) in the Bhadrapad Month (August –September).

Legend has it that the devas who were losing a battle to the asuras were advised to use weapons made of Sage Dadhichi's bones to win the battle. Devas requested Sage Dadhichi for his bones. The humble saint readily agreed and went into deep meditation as his soul merged with Brahman. That is when the devas made use of the bones of Sage Dadhichi to fight the Asuras and triumphed.

In the Dadhichi Samaj special pujas are held on the day.

24th September, 2015: Padma Ekadashi Vrat

Lord Vishnu

Lord Krishna told Yudhisthira, " I shall gladly tell you a wonderful historical event that Lord Brahma once narrated to his son Narada. One day Narada asked his father, 'What is the name of the Ekadasi that comes during the light part of the month of Ashadha'.

Lord Brahma replied,'It is known as Asadha Shukla Ekadasi and fasting on this day purifies one of all sins and fulfils one's desires. Just to please the Supreme Lord Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, one should fast on this day.

'Oh son, there was once a saintly king in the Surya Vansha (Sun dynasty) whose name was Mandhata.Once,however, because of some sin in his kingdom, there was a drought for three years.

The great sage Angira Muni then said, "Oh king Mandhata, you should observe a fast on the Ekadasi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha. This auspicious day is named Padma Ekadasi, and by its influence plentiful rains and grains will surely return to your kingdom."

Lord Krishna concluded, "My dear Yudhishthira, Padma Ekadasi is so powerful that one who simply reads or hears its glories becomes completely sinless. Oh Pandava, who wishes to please Me should strictly observe this Ekadasi, which is also known as Deva-sayani Ekadasi.”

25th September,2015:Vaman Jayanti

The Vamana Incarnation

Vamana Jayanthi is the appearance day of Lord Vamana, the fifth and dwarf avatar of Lord Vishnu. This is the first complete human incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu. It is observed on Shukla Paksha Dwadashi (12th day in bright half) of the month of Bhadrapad.The main purpose of the Vamana incarnation was to restrain the demon king Maha Bali and to restore the rule of Gods on the earth. That is the main reason why Vamana sent Bali to Pathala Loka.

25th September, 2015: Pradosh Vrata

Lord Shiva

Is an auspicious fast dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is observed on the thirteenth day of every fortnight (Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha) in the Hindu calendar. Shivalinga puja at the time of pradosha time and fasting are the main rituals of Pradosham.

27th September,2015 8th September, 2014: Anant Chaudas

Lord Vishnu is Anant (Infinite)

Once when grieved Yudhistra of the Mahabharata, was wandering in the forests, Lord Krishna suggested, “Oh! Yudhistra, you should worship God Anant (Vishnu) ritually. Your problems will be over and you will get back your kingdom. You should observe a fast, in reverence to God Vishnu”.

He narrated the story of Saint Kaunidney,who was married to a godly daughter of brahmin Sumantu. Once at night she saw a numbr of women going for worship. She asked the importance and they explained that they were worshipping Anant (Vishnu) and that an armlet with fourteen knots, tied on the arm, blessed the devotee with indefinite happiness.

Idols of Ganesha Immersed in Water

On Anant Chaudas large processions are taken out and idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water.Brilliantly crafted idols of Ganesha have been brought home about ten days in advance on Ganesh Janam Utsav which marks the birth of Lord Ganesha.There He sits in state till Anant Chaturdashi.

27th September, 2015: Bhadrapad Purnima

Purnima or Full Moon Day

The full moon day in a traditional Hindu calendar is known as Purnima, or Poornima. Some devout Hindus observe a fast on this day from morning to evening. The Purnima in September is the Bhadrapad Poornima or Bhadra Purnima and is of great importance. This Purnima marks the beginning of the Pitrupaksha . The next fifteen days are dedicated to observing rituals and rites for dead ancestors, parents and relatives. Some communities start the Shradh rituals from the Purnima day.

27th September, 2015: Manohar Baba's Punya Tithi

Shri Manohar Dasji

Manohar Bhaiya was born on the night of Akshay Teej in May, 1919 (Vaishakh Shukla Chaturthi). Maheshwar situated on the holy banks of the Narmada River in the Nimar district of Madhya Pradesh, has the honour of being his birthplace. His father was the family priest of Rani Ahilyabai and was a learned brahman or pandit.

The grasping prowess of Manohar Baba in the fields of Yajurved, Karamkand and Ayurveda was so sharp that he passed the ‘Kavyatirtha Examination’ in Sanskrit with flying colours. In 1935 the RSS requested him for social work and various philanthropic activities. Quitting the RSS in 1942, he concentrated on daily worship of the Shivlinga by 108 belpatras, learnt Yoga from Guru Rangnaath, imbibed Gayatri paath under the instructions of Great Mahatma Kulkarniji and performed many other religious observances.

The great moment of renunciation surfaced in 1945. A saint came to Maheshwar and chanted the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra with such enthused exultation like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that Manohar Baba left for Shri Banke Bihariji temple in Vrindavan, right away.

Shri Balkrishna Dasji Maharaj

Manohar Baba reached Vrindavan after eight days.Totally exhausted and famished, he was reluctant to beg for alms since he came from a rich background.However the ordeal got over soon enough because Shri Balkrishan Dasji Maharaj was waiting to embrace him for all times to come. 'Charit Vaibhav' is a biography of Balkrishan Dasji Maharaj authored by our lovable Manohar Bhaiya.

Dredging up old memories, I vividly remember that it was Saint Ushaji of Vrindavan who urged me to bow at his holy feet ever since childhood and I am eternally grateful to her for this noble act.

27th September, 2015: Shradh Arambh


Shradh is a ceremony held in honour and for the benefit of deceased relatives, observed at fixed periods,and on occasions of rejoicing as well as of mourning. The ritual is performed every year on the anniversary of a person's death as per the Hindu Calendar during the dark fortnight called Pitru Paksha in the Ashwin Month. It is believed that the Shradh performed during this period is highly auspicious as it reaches the deceased relatives instantly, making their souls rest in peace. Expiating all sins of our ancestors it helps them attain moksha or salvation.

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