Monthly Archives: September 2012

Important herbs – Lemon balm

Herbs of importance – Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic).

Early herbalists and writers praised lemon balm for its medicinal and uplifting qualities. Eleventh century Persian physician and philosopher Avicenna was an early advocate for the use of lemon balm in treating depression/melancholy. According to an old Arabian proverb, “Balm makes the heart merry and joyful.

 

Medicinal uses of Lemon Balm

This plant has a very nice lemon minty scent. Crushed leaves can be used externally as well.
  • As a mosquito repellent.
  • Treating herpes.
  • To treat insect bites.
  • To treat soars.
Infusion of leaves with water are used to treat
  • cold.
  • fever.
  • indigestion due to nervous tension.
  • digestive upset in children.
  • headache.
  • mild insomnia.
  • hyperthyroidism.

The Ramayana story in pictures – Aranya Kand (3)

 The Ramayana – Aranya Kand

In exile, Rama, Sita and Laxman spent 13 adventurous years in the forest.While travelling, they met Sage Atri, Sage Sarbhang and Sage Agatsya before reaching Panchavati, where they stayed for most part of exile.

Jayant, son of Indra, took the form of  a crow and tested the lord. He suffered. Lord Rama used brahmastra on the crow.

Jayant , Rama and Sita

Rama, Sita and Laxman built cottages and they lived along the banks of Godavari. The place where they lived was called Panchavati.

In their 14th year of exile, a demoness Surpanakha, sister of Ravana, came to Panchavati. She got infatuated by Ram and his handsome appearance. She asked him to marry her, Ram refused saying that he was bound to Sita in wedlock, and asked her to approach Laxman instead.

Lakshmana also refused her, Surpanaka flew into a rage and rushed to kill Sita. Lakshama intervened and cut her nose and ears off.

Surpanakha, Rama, Sita and Laxmana in the Ramayana

Her brothers, Khar-Dushan marched towards Panchavati and attacked Ram. They were killed in the battle.

Khar and Dushan

The demon Akampan survived and told this story to Ravana in lanka.

Akampan narrating the story of death of Khar and Dushan

Ravan advises Mareecha to take the form of a deer. He wanted to abduct Sita.

Sita requests Rama to bring the deer for him. Rama initially rejects her appeal but subscribes later on. He asked Laxman to take care of Sita.

Maricha – golden deer

 

Sita asking Rama to fetch the deer

Ram follows and kills Maricha. Before being killed, He asks for help from Laxman in voice of Ram. Sita perplexed, sends Laxman for help. Laxman denies but yields to constant appeals from Sita.

Maricha’s killing by Rama

Laxman draws the Laxman rekha before following rama and advised Sita to do not cross in any eventuality.

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

Ravana, disguised as a brahmin, came for alms. He says that he cannot receive alms unless she comes out of the line drawn by Laxman.  Sita crosses Laxmanrekha.

Ravana and Sita

Ravana abducts Sita

Jatayu, the friend of Dashrath, also living in Panchavati, dies while fighting with Ravana.

Jatayu and Ravana – Aranya Kanda

Ravana takes Sita to lanka. Sita throws her ornaments to leave trace of the route.

Ravana taking Sita on Pushpak vimana

Gods are rejoiced that end of Ravana is close though they are also worried for Sita.

This is the end of the Aranya kand from the Ramayana.

A brief history of hindi movies

History of hindi movies

First hindi movie shown in india was Raja Harishchandra. This was produced by Dada Saheb Phalke. The apporximate length of the film was 40 minutes. There were no female actors and the cast was all male. This was a silent movie. Main cast was Dattatraya Damodar Dabke (Raja Harishchandra) and Vishwamitra (G.V. Sane ). This hindi movie was released in Mumbai in 1913.

 The first talking hindi movie was Alam Ara which was the first Indian talking film, on 14 March 1931. This was released by Ardeshir Irani.

in 1936, Achchoot kanya was released. This could be treated as the first blockbuster. Cast were Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani. This film was based on a social cause, a tabboo, which was instantly connected with movie goers. Perhaps people will connect  with Kasturi and Pratap as they would connect with Vijay or a Raj, but these were the household names at that time. This movie was directed by Franz Osten.

Achchut Kanya – Hindi movies – Ashok Kumar -Devika Rani

Golden age of hindi movies

The first coloured hindi movie was made by again Ardeshir Irani, of Alam ara fame. The name of this hindi movie was Kisan Kanya. coloured films did not click initially and they only became popular in late 1950s. Golden Period of Hindi Movies 1940 to 1960 is regarerded as Golden Age” of Hindi cinema. Many of the well known stalwarts have adorned the hindi movie space with their creations. Such was the relevance of their masterpieces that these movies are still remembered and watched in today’s times.

kagaaz-ke-phool

Kagaaz ke phool

Raj Kapoor’s Awaara and Shree 420, Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa and kaagaz ke Phool are some of them.Awaara presented the city as both a nightmare and a dream, while Pyaasa critiqued the unreality of city life. Then we have Mehboob Khan’s Mother India. This hindi movie was nominated for academy award for best foreign language film.

Mother India

Mother India

Mughal-e-Azam by K Asif is another evergreen favourite. Some of the most famous epic films of Hindi cinema were also produced at this time. Another noted addition was Madhumati, directed by Bimal Roy and written by Ritwik Ghatak, which  popularized the theme of reincarnation. Kamal amrohi and Vijay Bhatt also operated at the same time. Undoubtedly, some of the India’s finest talent was working in this period in hindi movies.Successful actors at the time included Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt, while successful actresses included Nargis, Vyjayanthimala, Meena Kumari, Nutan, Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha.

You may like to watch following collections.

Dhanteras festival

The festival of Dhanteras

Dhanteras festival is believed to mark the beginning of good times and celebrated a day before Diwali, a major hindu festival. Dhanteras holds special significance for the businessmen due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day. Dhanteras indicates the beginning of Diwali celebrations. It is on this day on which people purchase precious metals with a belief that they will bring prosperity. Dhanteras is also known as Dhantryaodashi or Dhanwantri Triodasi.

Dhanteras festival

Dhanteras festival

Dhanteras is observed differently by different communities. It is considered to be highly auspicious day to do new purchases and investment. Most people complete the Diwali shopping on the day. The first lamps of Diwali are lit on the day. People hang up paper lanterns with festoons and sends out the message of the arrival of Diwali.

Legend behind Dhanteras

An interesting story about this day is of the sixteen year old son of King Hima. As per the stars,  he was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that fateful day, his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband’s boudoir and lighted many lamps all over the place.

Yamraj

Yamraj

Then she went on telling stories and singing songs. When Yama, the god of death arrived there in the guise of a serpent, he got blinded by that dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the prince’s chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he went away without harming the boy.

The legend of Samudra Manthan

But as with almost any Hindu festival, there is more than one mythological tale behind it. Another version has it that when the gods and demons were churning the ocean in search of amrit, the elixir of life, Dhanvantari, the physician of all gods, emerged from the ocean with the amrit in his hands. That day became known as Dhanteras, and it marks the discovery of Ayurveda, the science of healing using natural ways. Explains Hemanand Joshi, another senior priest with Hanuman Mandir, “Dhanteras is the day of amrit sidhi yog. Also, an atte ka diya is placed outside the house for Yamraj pooja to avoid akaal mrityu (premature or untimely death)”.

Dhanvantri bhagwan

Dhanvantri bhagwan

During Samudra manthan (churning of ocean), it is believed that Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras.

Dhanvantri Stotram

Dhanvantri Stotram

The legend of Vishnu and Laxmi

Once Goddess Lakshmi wanted to accompany Lord Vishnu to the earth during one of His visits. Lord Vishnu agreed to take Her with him provided She will not will not look in the southern direction and fall for earthly temptations. But Goddess Lakshmi looked in the southern direction and she saw yellow mustard flowers and started dancing in the fields and decorated herself with the flowers. She fell for earthly temptations.Further south she saw sugarcane fields and started enjoying the sugarcane juice.

Lord Vishnu soon found out that Goddess Lakshmi had violated the conditions and said that now you will need to spend 12 years as laborer in the field of the person to whom the sugarcane and flowers belonged.

With the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi as laborer the farmer became very prosperous. Twelve years passed and it was time for Goddess Lakshmi to return.

But the farmer was not ready to relieve a good laborer. So he offered Goddess Lakshmi more wages. But Goddess Lakshmi still wanted to leave; the farmer offered more things and this denial and offers continued.

Finally, Goddess Lakshmi asked the farmer and his family to take a pilgrimage to Ganga River and they will decide on her future stay there on his return. Goddess Lakshmi also gave four small shells to the farmer to offer to Goddess Ganga. When the farmer was offering the shells to River Ganga, four hands came up and accepted the offering. Goddess Ganga then revealed that the woman at the farmer’s home is Goddess Lakshmi.

The farmer returned home happily realizing that it was Goddess Lakshmi who was staying in his house. He requested her not to leave. Goddess Lakshmi said that she cannot live on earth permanently and has to return. But she said that she will visit him on all Dhanteras day. She asked the farmer to keep the house clean and light and earthern lamp.The farmer said as directed by Goddess Lakshmi and he became very prosperous and people who came to know about the incident started performing the same ritual on Dhanteras day

 

The love story of Urvashi and Pururva ( or Puroorva)

The love story of Pururva and Urvashi

This article is about the love story of a mortal and a dancer from the heaven. Pururva was the king of lunar dynasty (or chandravansh)..Urvashi was a celestial nymphor apsara in Indra court. She was cursed by Maitre and Varuna that she had to spend some time on earth.

Once Pururva saw Urvashi on Mount Gandhamadan. She came from heavens to enjoy earthly pleasures such as feel the wet dew under her feet and the soft breeze against her body. When Pururva saw her, he fell in love with her. He asked her to become his consort. This love story was a conditional love story where Urvashi put forth three conditions before him:

1. Two sheep would always remain close to her bed. If by any chance , the sheep is not there, she would return to heaven.

2.  She would never see the king naked, and

3. She would be served ghee as her food.

She spent sixty thousand years with Pururva. Like all the good things, this love story had to end. Gandharva’s started feeling the absence of Urvashi. They knew the above conditions put forth by Urvashi to Pururva. One night they stole the two sheep. Urvashi cried for help when she did not find her sheep. Pururva was sleeping and he ran after the Gandharvas with no clothes on him. Gandharvas also knew to create fire and at the same time when the king was running naked, they lit the fire and thus second condition was also breached. During this whole commotion, she was also not given the ghee diet. Thus all conditions broken, she returned to heaven.

(This story is as per Vishnu Purana, there are variations to this story in various texts)

Urvashi and Pururava

The lineage of Pandavas and Kauravas

Urvashi delivered six sons to Pururva. Ayu, Amavasu, Vishwavasu, Shritrayu, Shataryu and Ayutaryu.

Manu – ( Buddha & Ila)PururvaAyuNahushaYayati 

Puru and Yadu were Yayati’s sons. Shantanu was a descendant of Puru. The lineage contnued with the help of Vyasa, because Vuchitravirya, son of Shantanu died childless. Satyavati’s son, Vyasa continued the lineage of Puru. If we see the  lineage of Vyasa, he  follows the Ikshvaku lineage. Ila, Purrurva parent, was the sibling of Ikshvaku.

Note: Ila kept alternating between a man and woman for a month, due to a curse from Lord Shiva. In her female form, she bore the son of Buddha, named as Pururva. Pururva is the father of lunar dynasty while Ikshvaku is the father of solar dynasty.

There is also a story of Urvashi’s curse of Arjuna, descendant of Pururva. This can be found here.

51 facts – The Ramayana

Interesting facts from the Ramayana

Some more facts added in 2015, July

Lord Hanuman is one of the 7 chiranjeevs. These immortals will live till the beginning of the next Satya Yuga.

The stripes on the back of squirrels is supposed to be Ram‘s caress for their dedication to help construct the bridge to Lanka.

Ravana once broke his arm to construct a musical instrument to sing songs of praise for Shiva. It was called the Ravan Hatta. While Ravan lay dying Ram asked Laxmana to go up to him to learn all that Ravana had to offer since Ravan was a Brahman.

Hanuman rejected a pearl necklace gifted by to him by Sita saying “I don’t accept anything that does not contain Ram.” To prove his point he ripped his chest to show the presence of Ram in his heart.

Sita’s name while in exile was Vaidehi.

Vashishtha and Vishvamitra both were Ram’s gurus. And both hated each other at one point of time.

Lakshman is the avatar of Shesha Naga. The mount of Vishnu.

The Ramayana, the most read epic in Hindu mythology contains some very interesting facts, known and unknown. The ramayana is not only the story of Rama, but this is also a story of other people also. For instance, Laxman, Bharat and Hanuman. We can’t forget Sita, Urmila, Vibheeshana alongwith Kaikeyi and Manthra.

Lord Rama

Lord Rama

1. Author of The Ramayana is Sage Valmiki. There are many more versions of this epic are available by various writers. Valmiki’s version is thus also known as Valmiki Ramayana. Another famous version is by Tulsidas, known as Ramcharitmanas.

2. This great epic is composed of rhyming couplets called ‘shlokas’, employing a complex meter called ‘anustup’. These verses are grouped into individual chapters called ‘sargas’, wherein a specific event or intent is told. The ‘sargas’ are again grouped into books called ‘kands’.

3 The whole story of the Ramayana is written in seven chapters, also known as kands. These are

Bal Kand – Rama’s boyhood.

Ayodhya Kand – Rama’s life in Ayodhya until his banishment.

Aranya Kand – Rama’s life in the forest and his abduction by Ravana.

Kishkindha Kand – Rama’s stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally Sugriva.

Sundar Kand –  Rama’s journey to Sri Lanka

Yudh Kand or Lanka Kand – Rama’s battle with Ravana, the recovery of Sita and their return to Ayodhya.

Uttar Kand – Rama’s life as king in Ayodhya, the birth of his two sons, Sita’s test of innocence and return to her mother, and Rama’s demise. This kand completes the story of the ramayana.

4 Rama ( the principal character of the ramayana), and his brothers were born as the result of putra-kameshti yagya by Dashratha. At the end of the yagya, a bowl of dessert was given to Dashratha, which was distributed among his wives. Sumitra was fed twice, so she gave birth to twins. Dasharatha was born in the line of Ikshvaku (“the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Solar Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India”).

5. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a dashavatar.

6 In their childhood, Rama and Laxman helped Vishwamitra and took care of Maricha and Subahu. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean

7. Sita is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. She is also believed to be the daughter of Bhoomi devi (earth).

8. Laxman or Lakshman is an incarnation of Sheshnaag or Adi Shesha. He also accompanied Lord Vishnu as Balrama in the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

9. Laxman never slept during the Rama’s exile. He is also known as Gudakesh, meaning, the one who has defeated “sleep”.

10. Laxman killed three sons of Ravana. While his killing of Meghnaad is more popular, other sons of Ravana were Prahast and Atikay.

11. Lord Shiva explained that Laxman would have escaped Shakti easily, but to respect the weapon, he took this on his chest.

12. The laxmanrekha episode is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. This is mentioned by Mandodri in Lanka kand in Ramcharitamanas.

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

Laxman draws Laxmanrekha

13. Laxman was the twin brother of Shatrughana. Their mother was Sumitra.

14. Lord Rama left this earth by taking the Jal Samadhi in Sarayu river.

15. During Sita Swayamvara, Rama broken the bow of Shiva to win her hand.

Lord Rama breaking Shiva Dhanush (bow) – The Ramayana

16. Parshurama challenged Rama to string the bow of Vishnu. Which Lord Rama easily did and asked him to tell him to where he should release the arrow. Parshuram realized that Rama is no ordinary man. This is worth noting that both of these warriors were incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

17. The shiva dhanush was easily moved by Sita during her childhood.  King Janak observed this and this incident set the condition of Sita swayamvar in the Ramayana.

18. Lord Rama helped Sugriva to get back the kingdom of Kishkindha. He helped Sugriva to defeat his brother, Vali. He later married Tara, Vali’s wife. Tara is one of the Panchkanya. Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, is also a panchkanya from the Ramayana.

vali-sugriva-rama-the-ramayana-indian-mythology

Battle between Vali and Sugriva – Rama about to kill Vali

19  Rama, Laxman and Sita spent the vanvaas in Dandakaranya forests.

20 Laxman’s wife was Urmila. There is not much written about her, but she also made a supreme sacrifice while staying back in Ayodhya, while Laxman accompanied Rana and Sita for vanvaas. Urmila was Sita’s younger sister. Urmila slept both his and her shares of sleep so that Laxman remained awake protecting Rama and Sita. She slept for the whole period of exile (14 years) and only woke up when Laxmana returned to Ayodhya.

21 Tara was an apsara produced from the churning of ocean. During the churning, Vali was from gods side.

Reading suggestion

51 facts – Mahabharata

 

22. Jambavantha was created by Brahma, to assist Rama in his struggle against Ravana. During a duel with Ravana, he hit Ravana and Ravana  became unconscious. He also reminded Hanuman of his prowess, so he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka.

Jambvant praises Hanuman

Jambvant praises Hanuman

23. Vali was famous for the boon that he had received, according to which anyone who came before him lost half his strength to Vali, thereby making Vali invulnerable to any enemy.

24. Vali had defeated Ravana as well. Once Ravana called Vali for a fight. He took Ravana in his tail and took him around all the world. Humbled, Ravana called for a truce.

25. Hanuman, because of boons from Surya, laghima and garima, could take various forms. He used them to defeat Sursa, Lankini, Cat in the Ramayana.

Hanuman and Sursa

26. Hanuman slain the demon Kalanemi, while fetching sanjeevani herb. Kalanemi was sent by Ravana.

27. Hanuman also defied Sun from rising before time as it would have killed Laxman.

28. Hanuman was also shot by Bharat while flying over Ayodhya. Hanuman accepted the arrow as Lord Rama was written over it. Since he was shot on a leg, he had a limp.

29.  Shatrughan is supposed to be the incarnation of Vishnu’s conch. Shatrughna was married to Shrutakeerti, the daughter of King Kusadhbojan and his wife. Shrutakeerti was the cousin of Sita, daughter of King Janaka.

30 Shatrughana killed Lavanasura, a demon who was the son of Madhu. It is believed that Madhu is where Mathura is situated today.

31. Bharat was the husband to Mandavi, daughter of King Janaka’s brother Kushadhvaja and thus a cousin of Sita, who was wife of Rama. They had two sons, Taksha and Pushka. Thus, in the Ramayana, wives of all brothers were related.

32. Bharat is considered to be born in the aspect of the Sudarshana Chakra, the most famous of Vishnu’s Panchayudhas.

Sudarshan chakra

Sudarshan chakra

33. Ravana’s grandfather was Pulastya, one of the seven great sages or Saptarishis. His father was himself a great sage Vishrava.

34. His mother was the princess of Daityas. Her name was Kaikesi. Kaikesi father was Sumali. Ravana was half Brahmin and half asura.

35. Kaikesi chose Vishrava as her husband in quest to mother a son who was incomparable.

36. Vishrava was the father of Kubera. Thus Ravana was the half brother of Kubera. Ravana conquered Sri Lanka from Kubera and became the King of Lanka.

37. Ravana was also an excellent veena player and the sign of his flag had a picture of veena on it.

38. Ravana had four brothers. Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna and Ahiravan and Mahiravan. Khara and Dushan are also believed to be his brothers.

39. Kumbhakarna was considered pious, intelligent and brave that Indra was jealous of him. Along with his brothers, Ravana andVibhishana, he performed a major yajnaand penance for Lord Brahma. When the time came for asking a boon (blessing) from Brahma, his tongue was tied by goddess Saraswati (acting on Indra’s request). So instead of asking “Indraasana” (seat of Indra), he asked for “Nidraasana” (bed for sleeping).

Kumbhakarna – The Ramayana

40. Kumbhakarna had two sons, Kumbha and Nikumbha, who too fought in the war against Rama and were killed.

41. Ravana also asked for absolute invulnerability from and supremacy over gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshas, serpents, and wild beasts. He did not ask for protection from mortal men, as he did not think that they would cause him any harm.

42. Rama and Laxman were abducted by Ahiravan. Ahiravan was the brother of Ravana and king of patala (netherworld).  The two brothers were saved by Hanuman.

43. Following the capture of Lanka, Ravana pleased Shiva with his penance. Shiva said to pinned Ravana with his toe, but he offered his ten heads to appease Shiva. Pleased with his resilience and devotion, Shiva gave to him the divine sword Chandrahas

44. Ravana was cursed by Nandi that Lanka would be destroyed by a monkey. Later Hanuman put Lanka into flames.

45 Hanuman defeated his son Makardhwaj when he was guarding Rama and Laxman and rescued the two brothers.

46. Hanuman killed Ahiravan and Mahiravan by taking his panchroopi form.

47. Ravana did severe penance to appease Brahma. Brahma blessed him with nectar which could keep him alive as long as it lasted.

48 Vibheeshana told this about to Rama when in the battlefield, everytime Rama cut his head, another head sprang up. On his advise, Rama first dried the nectar using Prasvapana and later killed him. This is important to know that the ramayana puts importance to Vibheeshana, who left his brother and helped the cause of Dharma.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

49. Sita remained with Agni when Ravana abducted her. When Ravana came to kidnap mother Sita and she saw him, she took shelter of Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sita, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Ravana. The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sita and brought her to the place of Parvati, goddess Durga. An illusory form of mother Sita was then delivered to Ravana. The original Sita went to the abode of the fire-god. During Agnipariksha, illusory Sita entered the fire. At that time Agni brought the original Sita from his abode and delivered her to Lord Ramachandra.

50. Sita summoned Bhoomi devi to take her back after completing the Agni pariksha.

51. Rama and all his brothers left their abode by taking Jal samadhi in Sarayu river. This completes the story of the Ramayana.

Reading suggestion – 51 facts from Mahabharat

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The festival of Teej

Teej festival

Teej is a widely celebrated festival across India. People celebrate this festival in dedication to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This festival is celebrated for marital bliss, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul.

This festival is celebrated usually in the month of July-August, so it is also called as ‘Sawan festival’. Jaipur city of Rajasthan is very famous for its Teej celebrations and tourists specially come here to enjoy the celebrations of this Teej festival.

Teej is a hindi word means “third”. Therefore Teej falls on the third day after the moonless night (Amavasya) and the third day after the full moon night of every month. However, the third day after the new moon or Amavasya of Shravana (श्रावण) month is the most important Teej. As Shravana (or Saawan) month falls during monsoon or rainy season when the surroundings become green, the Shravana Teej is also called Hariyali Teej (Green Teej).

This festival is quite similar to Karwa Chauth, where married women observe fast and worship gods for well being of their husbands.

Legend behind Teej festival

Parvati was Sati in her earlier life and Sati died when her father has insulted Lord Shiva.
Shiva was very sad, so Sati appears before Shiva, in her divine form, and reassures him that she will return as the daughter of Himavan.

Teej celebrations originated from a legend of Goddess Parvati. Hindu mythology states that Goddess Parvati reunited with Lord Shiva on this day. She went through hard-core tapasya or penance and took 108 births on the earth. The myth also states that she failed to have Lord Shiva as her husband till 107th birth. In her 108th birth, Lord Shiva realized her devotion and love for him and accepted as his wife.

In this birth, Parvati remembered this and wanted Lord Shiva as her husband. For this, she had observed great penance and was living only on air. Even then, Lord Shiva tested her love for him before accepting her as a wife.

Teej Customs and Rituals

Teej customs and rituals make the festival more interesting and full of colors. Women who observe fast for their husband take proper care that no carelessness is committed while carrying out the rituals. Teej festival calls for performance of all rituals seriously if one wants to be blessed with marital bliss.

Shrinjhara

To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Teej, women perform some serious rituals. It is customary for married women to return to their parents’ home at the time of Teej. Married women and engaged girls get lot of presents from their father-in-law as per Teej customs. A traditional gift package called ‘Shrinjhara’ or ‘Sindhare’ is gifted to their daughter-in-law. This traditional name originated from the Hindi word shringaar meaning adornment. Shrinjhara package consists of Ghewar (sweet), traditional laheria dress (tie & dye), henna and lac bangles. All these items are used by the ladies to adorn herself.

Baya

Baya is another traditional package given to women observing fast on Teej. It includes dry fruits, mathris, new clothes, bangles and jewelry. It is given by mothers of the newly wed girls on the Teej Festival day.

Teej Fast

The most important ritual of Teej Festival is Teej Fast. Women and unmarried girls keep fast for long and healthy life of their husband. Teej fast goes for 24 long hours. It is the most rigorous fast in which a woman neither drinks nor eat.

Tradition of Lighting a Lamp

As per the ritual of Teej fasting, a woman should keep an oil lamp lit all night. If the oil lamp dies away, it is considered a bad omen.

Goddess Parvati

The most important ritual of Teej is to bedeck Parvati Mata and carry out auspicious processions on the streets. Idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with fine jewelry and new colorful clothes. The fasting day of Teej is very vital as women pray to Goddess for marital bliss and happy life.

Women celebrating Teej

Women celebrating Teej

Swings

Last but not the least, swings are the common sight when Teej is near. Beautifully decorated swings are hung from trees in the garden and gaily dressed up women swing and sing traditional Teej songs. Some women also dance while singing the holy songs.