Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shravan Maas or Sawan Month or Shravan Mahina

* The month of Shravan, popularly known as Sawan, is the fifth month of the Hindu calender beginning from Chaitra, and is the most auspicious month of the Chaturmas. On Purnima or fullmoon day, or during the course of the month the star ' Shravan'  rules the sky, hence the month is called Shravan.
* Shravan Mahina, or Sawan Month or Shravan Maas (July – August) is one of the holiest months in a traditional Hindu calendar. Each region in India considers this month as holy and numerous vrats and rituals are performed during the period.
* Shravan Mahina, or Sawan Month or Shravan Maas, is dedicated to Lord Shiva in North India.
* Each Monday of this month, known as Shravan Somvar, is a special day in Shiva temples where the dharanatra hangs over the linga or the idol to bathe it with holy water, day and night.
* Devotees pile the linga high with Bel leaves and flowers and fast till sunset.
* It is considered highly auspicious to wear a rudraksha in Shravan month.
* All, Mondays or Somvars of Shravan month are specially observed with austerity. All Mondays are devoted to the worship of Shiva as this day is sacred to Lord Shiva. No other Mondays of other months are so greatly honored.
* The belief is that in Shravan month, offering milk to Lord Shiva earns a lot of punya.

The legend says that when the churning of oceans - Samudra Manthan - took place in the month of Shravan, fourteen different types of rubies came out. Thirteen of these were distributed amongst the demons, except Halahal (poison). Lord Shiva drank the Halahal and stored it in his throat. Hence the name Neelkantha (meaning blue throat) is attributed to Shiva.
To reduce the strong effect of poison, Lord Shiva wore the crescent moon on his head. All the Gods, thereafter started offering the Ganges water to  cool Lord Shiva and to alleviate the ill effects of the poison.
Since, this happened in the month of Shravana, since then the Shiva devotees offer the Ganges water in this month. 

Guru Purnima

Hindus attach paramount importance to spiritual gurus. Gurus are often equated with God and always regarded as a link between the individual and the Immortal. Just as the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun, and glorifies it, all disciples can dazzle like the moon by gaining from their Gurus.

What is Guru Purnima?
The full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August) is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Maharshi Veda Vyasa. All Hindus are indebted to this ancient saint who edited the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Vyasa even taught Dattatreya, who is regarded as the Guru of Gurus.

Significance of Guru Purnima
On this day, all spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honor of his divine personage and all disciples perform a 'puja' of their respective spiritual preceptor or 'Gurudevs'.
This day is of deep significance to the farmers, for it heralds the setting in of the much-needed rains, as the advent of cool showers usher in fresh life in the fields. It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual 'sadhana' from this day.
The period 'Chaturmas' ("four months") begins from this day. In the past, wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic discussions.

The Role of the Guru
Swami Sivananda asks: "Do you realize now the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the Guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Shivpur Rathyatra Mela

The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath on the traditional chariot on Wednesday commenced in the city under heavy security deployment.
Amidst traditional gaiety the devotees took out a procession with the idols of Lord Jagnnath, Subhadra and Balbhadra from the Jagnnath temple in Assi area. After three-day fair, held annually as a part of Rathyatra festival in Rathyatra Crossing, the procession culminated at Shivpur where the idols were placed on the beautifully decorated traditional chariot, after religious rituals.
The one-day fair, held annually as a part of Rathyatra festival , in Shivpur Varanasi City.