Monthly Archives: August 2016

बांके बिहारी की कथा – The story of Banke Bihari

बांके बिहारी के प्रकट होने की कथा

संगीत सम्राट तानसेन के गुरू स्वामी हरिदास जी भगवान श्री कृष्ण के अनन्य भक्त थे। इन्होंने अपने संगीत को भगवान को समर्पित कर दिया था। वृंदावन में स्थित श्री कृष्ण की रासस्थली निधिवन में बैठकर भगवान को अपने संगीत से रिझाया करते थे।

Banke Bihari Jee

Banke Bihari Jee

भगवान की भक्त में डूबकर हरिदास जी जब भी गाने बैठते तो प्रभु में ही लीन हो जाते। इनकी भक्ति और गायन से रिझकर भगवान श्री कृष्ण इनके सामने आ जाते। हरिदास जी मंत्रमुग्ध होकर श्री कृष्ण को दुलार करने लगते। एक दिन इनके एक शिष्य ने कहा कि आप अकेले ही श्री कृष्ण का दर्शन लाभ पाते हैं, हमें भी सांवरे सलोने का दर्शन करवाएं।

इसके बाद हरिदास जी श्री कृष्ण की भक्ति में डूबकर भजन गाने लगे। राधा कृष्ण की युगल जोड़ी प्रकट हुई और अचानक हरिदास के स्वर में बदलाव आ गया और गाने लगे-

‘भाई री सहज जोरी प्रकट भई, जुरंग की गौर स्याम घन दामिनी जैसे। प्रथम है हुती अब हूं आगे हूं रहि है न टरि है तैसे।। अंग अंग की उजकाई सुघराई चतुराई सुंदरता ऐसे। श्री हरिदास के स्वामी श्यामा पुंज बिहारी सम वैसे वैसे।।’

श्री कृष्ण और राधा ने हरिदास के पास रहने की इच्छा प्रकट की। हरिदास जी ने कृष्ण से कहा कि प्रभु मैं तो संत हूं। आपको लंगोट पहना दूंगा लेकिन माता को नित्य आभूषण कहां से लाकर दूंगा। भक्त की बात सुनकर श्री कृष्ण मुस्कुराए और राधा कृष्ण की युगल जोड़ी एकाकार होकर एक विग्रह रूप में प्रकट हुई। हरिदास जी ने इस विग्रह को बांके बिहारी नाम दिया।

बांके बिहारी मंदिर में इसी विग्रह के दर्शन होते हैं। बांके बिहारी के विग्रह में राधा कृष्ण दोनों ही समाए हुए हैं। जो भी श्री कृष्ण के इस विग्रह का दर्शन करता है उसकी मनोकामनाएं पूरी होती हैं। भगवान श्री कृष्ण अपने भक्त के कष्टों दूर कर देते हैं।

Uttara Swaminatha at Malai Mandir

Malai Mandir and festival of Skanda Sashti

Malai Mandir

Malai Mandir is a place to experience divine feelings, peace. Situated at the heart of Delhi, This temple complex houses the temples of Shri Swaminatha Swami, Shri Karpaga Vinayakar, Shri Sundareswarar, Devi Meenakshi, The Navagraha Sannidhi, Shri Idumban Sannidhi, Shri Adi Sankara Hall and Silpa Kala Mandapam.

Malai Mandir at New Delhi

Malai Mandir at New Delhi

This temple was erected to celebrate the conquest of Lord Murugan over the demon kings (the triumph of good over evil) . Skand Sashthi is the most important event here.

Abhishekam’s for various temples

The Maha Kumbhabhishekam for Lord Swaminatha was performed on the 7th of June, 1973. Later on, temples of Shri Karpaga Vinayakar, Shri Sundareswarar and Devi Meenakshi were consecrated and the Maha Kumbhabhishekam performed on the 13th June 1990.

Uttara Swaminatha at Malai Mandir

Uttara Swaminatha at Malai Mandir

The Navagraha Sannidhi along with a Sannidhi of Idumban was consecrated on the 7th of July, 1995. Shri Adi Sankara Hall was inaugurated on the 9th of November, 1997.

The third Punarudharana,Ashtabhandhana, Swarna Rajathabhandana Mahakumbhabhishekam of the temple was performed on the 27th of June, 2001.

Lord Swaminatha Temple

The temple of Lord Swaminatha has several unique features. This is the only temple where Brahmasthana Prathista has been done. Deities delineated in human form are not normally house in the Brahmasthana or the very centre of the garbha graha. Lord Skanda is an exception.

The shrine has become famous as Sahasrara Kshetra and has been sung by poets as the seventh Padai Veedu. The six important shrines of Lord Subrahmanya at Tiruchendur, Tirupparankundram, Swami Malai, Palani, Pazhamudircholai and Tiruttani represent the six centres (chakras) Mooladhara, Swadisthana, Manipuraka, Anahata, Visudhi, and Agyaya. The Sahasrara of Brahmarandhra Kshetra was missing all these centuries and Uttara Swami Malai has filled the void.

Temple’s important feature

One important feature of this temple is that this temple of Lord Swaminatha is assembled and not constructed. The 900 massive stones, some of them weighing three to four tons each, stand assembled together without the use of cement or mortar. Only the crevices have been filled with the time-tested adhesive material made of lime and sand, ground to a paste with molasses and fruit juice.

The Story of Skanda Sashti

Skanda Sashti is observed on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of the Tamil month of Aippasi (October – November). This day is dedicated to the second son of Lord Shiva – Lord Subramanya, also known as Kartikeya, Kumaresa, Guha, Murugan, Shanmukha and Velayudhan. It is believed that on this day, Lord Kartikeya has annihilated the mythical demon Taraka.

Devas requested Lord Brahma

The Story of Skanda Shasti is the story of the birth of Skanda or Kumara and the fulfillment of the purpose of His divine incarnation. All Devtas were at great pain at the hands of Tarakasura, and went to Lord Brahma for help.

Lord Brahma told that only Lord Shiva can help here. Upon Brahma’s suggestion, they sought the help of Parvathi and Kama (the god of love). Parvathi agreed to help and engaged herself in severe penance to attract Shiva’s attention. Kama also agreed to help and engaged himself in the Kama also agreed to help and engaged himself in the suicidal mission of arousing Shiva from His state of Samadhi. Kama shot his arrows of love at Shiva who was eventually disturbed and the fire of anger from his third eye burnt Kama into ashes.

Birth of Skanda

The penance of Parvathi and the sacrifice of Kama paid off. Shiva was aroused from his Samadhi. However, none could bear the sparks of His fiery seed. It fell into the mouth of Agni, and afterwards received by Ganges, who in turn threw it into Sara Vana (forest of arrow like grass). Thus Saravanabava was born. He was also Skanda – Shiva’s power of chastity preserved through penance.

Skanda was raised by the six mothers of the divine constellation of Krithikai (pleiades) .Kartikeya divided himself into six babies to be nursed by six mothers. When Parvathi came and gathered all the six babies, He became Shanmukha – the one with the six faces and one body.

Lord Shanmukha

Lord Shanmukha

Killing of Tarakasura

Shanmukha became Kumara – the powerful virile adolescent who was also the beautiful and the handsome (Muruga) . He was made the General (Deva Senapathi) of the God’s army. “….Of the army generals I am Skanda.”..(The Gita). Skanda received from his mother Parasakthi an all powerful Vel (lance). Hence He is also Sakthi Velan. He engaged the armies of Simhamukha, Surapadman and Tarakasura on a six day battle and vanquished all of them on the sixth day. The Asuras were annihilated and the Devas were liberated. The sixth day (Sashti) of the waxing moon (sukhla) in the month of Ashada (Oct/Nov) is celebrated as Skanda Sashti.

Killing of Demon by Lord Subramanya

Killing of Demon by Lord Subramanya

Quiz on Ramayana – 21 Facts, How many of them you can answer?

1. __________was the vaidya(doctor) who healed Lakshman.  Click here for details.

2.  Meghnaad was performing yagna to please the goddess ___________. Click here for details.

3. How Rama identified Vali from Sugriva, when the two brothers were fighting? Click here for details.

4. Who saved Rama and Laxman from Naagpasha? Click here for details.

5. Sita was imprisoned in __________ vatika. (This is easy).

6. Ravana contained amrit in his navel. Rama evaporated this by using _____________ weapon. Click here for details.

7. Who was Ravana’s wife? (This is easy)

8.  How many Kanda’s or books are there in Srimad Valmiki Ramayana?

9. Hanuman is said to be Brahmachari. Yet, he had a son. Can you name his  son? Click here for details.

10. There is one character in the Ramayana, who is also present in Mahabharata. Who is he? Click here for details.

11. Laxman was an incarnation of ____________. Click here for details.

12. First shloka of The Ramayana written by Valmiki is ___________________ This happened when the bird Krounch was killed by a hunter and Valmiki complained with above shloka.

13. Hanuman had two siddhis, garima and __________. With the help of these two, he could get past Sursa.

14. Rama intended to use Brahmastra couple of times, first, on Indra’s son, Jayant. On whom, he wanted to use this weapon second time?

15. Who was the teacher of the four princes, Rama, Laxmana, Bharata and Shatrughan.

16.  Name the wife of Bali (or Vali).

17. Rama took help of Sugriva and monkeys because he was cursed to this effect. Who cursed him?

18. After rejected by Rama, Sita lived in the hermitage of sage __________?

19. Indra’s son, in a form of bird, was annoying Rama and Sita. Rama intended to use brahmastra on him. In what form he (Indra’s son) was in? Click here for answer.

18. Who was the mother of Sita?

19. Rama, Sita and Laxman lived in ____________ forests during their exile.

20. While Jatayu lost his life trying to save Sita from cluthes of Ravana, his brother lived to tell the details of the abduction to Rama. Name him?  Click here for answer.

21. in Bal Kand, Rama let the wife of Sage Gautam come out of a curse. Who was she? Click here to know the answer.

Guru Nanak Jayanti

 Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurpurab)

Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab, is the most auspicious festival of Sikh community in India. Nanakpanthi hindus and other followers of Guru Nanak’s philosophy also celebrate this festival.  This festival is celebrated on Kartik Poornima, which is a very auspicious day for hindus. In the year 2013, the date is 17 November.

Guru Nanak Dev

Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in the month of April,but his birthday is known celebrated on Kartik Poornima known as Guru Nanak Jayanti. He was born in 1469 A.D. at Talevandi some 30 miles from Lahore. His anniversaries of Sikh Guru’s are known as Gurpurabs (festivals) and are celebrated with devotion and dedication.

Guru Nanak - Gurpurab

Guru Nanak – Gurpurab

Stories from his life give details of his divine awareness from a young age. At a very tender age, Nanak is said to have voiced interest in divine subjects. At age seven,  he started attending school. Some childhood accounts refer to strange and miraculous events about Nanak, once the sleeping child’s head was shaded from the harsh sunlight,  by the stationary shadow of a tree or by a poisonous cobra.

Cobra providing shadow to Nanak

Cobra providing shadow to Nanak

Rai Bular, the local landlord and Nanak’s sister Bibi Nanaki were the first people who recognised spiritual qualities in the boy. They encouraged and supported him to study and travel. It is stated that at around 1499, at the age of 30, he had a vision. After he failed to return from his ablutions, his clothes were found on the bank of a local stream called the Kali Bein.

The people of the town assumed he had drowned in the river; Daulat Khan had the river dragged, but no body was found. Three days after disappearing, Nanak reappeared, staying silent.
The next day, Nanak said that he had been taken to God’s court. There, he was offered a cup filled with amrita (nectar).From this point onwards, Nanak is described in accounts as a Guru. This historical event also marks the birth of Sikhism.

Guru Nanak’s teachings can be found in the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib, as a vast collection of revelatory verses recorded in Gurmukhi.

The celebration of Gurpurab

Prabhat Pheris are conducted at the festival. Prabhat Pheris are processions held in early morning. These start at the Gurudwaras and proceed around the localities singing religious songs. Before two days of festival, Akhand Path (a forty-eight-hour non-stop reading of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs) is held in the Gurudwaras.

A day prior to the birthday, a procession, referred to as Nagarkirtan, is organised. This procession is led by the Panj Pyaras (Five Beloved Ones). They head the procession carrying the Sikh flag, known as the Nishan Sahib and the Palki (Palanquin) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

On the day of the Gurpurab, the celebrations commence early in the morning at about 4 to 5 am. This time of the day is referred to as Amrit Vela. The day begins with the singing of Asa-di-Var (morning hymns). This is followed by any combination of Katha (discourse of the scriptures) and Kirtan (hymns from the Sikh scriptures), praising the Guru. Following that is the Langar, a special community lunch, which is arranged at the Gurudwaras by volunteers.

Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is celebrated by the Sikh community all over the world and is one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. The celebrations are especially colourful in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh.

Ekadashi vrata and its importance

The interesting story of Ekadashi vrata and its importance

The Ekadashi day is the most purifying of all days and observing fast on this day takes away all the sins. There is an interesting story behind the origin of Ekadashi narrates about the importance of Ekadashi. It is said that eating grains his forbidden on Ekadashi day and observing fast on this day is beneficial to the observer for a number of reasons.

There are 26 Ekadashi days fall in a year plus five days Ramnavmi, Shivratri, Vamana Jayanti, Narsingh Jayanti and Janmashatmi. It is said that observing fast and indulging in religious activities in these days, the person is benefited in number of ways.

There is a story as why grains are not eaten that day because, Paappurusha resides there. Devi Ekadashi is a manifestation of God as she was born of Eleven(ekadash) indriyas of Lord Vishnu and has following boons from lord:

[quote]1. That She always be the chosen one and lovable to him.[/quote]

[quote]2. That She be the highest of all the horoscopic dates (Tithi’s); That She be the destroyer of all sins; That She grant the strength to people to live more in their life.[/quote]

[quote]3. That She can grant good health, wealth and any wishes to those who complete a fast and follow the fast of  Ekadashi with the three boons.[/quote]

The Eleventh day of Kartik is the appearance (Utpati) day of Ekadashi.

Origin of Ekadashi

Once in the age of Satyug, the demon named Mur (son of demon Naadijang) won over the Kingdom of Swarag (Dev Loka) from the devtas.  He defeated all devas and ruled over them. Devtas, thus troubled by the demon went to Lord Vishnu and asked him to save them from the clutches of Mur. Lord Vishnu then reached the Mur’s capital, candravati and was attacked by other demons. Lord destroyed them immediately. At last, left alone, Mur started fighting with lord.

Mur used his mystic power to render useless whatever weapons the Supreme Lord Vishnu unleashed. Indeed, to the demon the weapons felt just like flowers striking him. When the Lord could not defeat the demon even with various kinds of weapons, he began fighting with his bare hands, which were as strong as iron-studded clubs. The Lord wrestled with Mura for one thousand celestial years and then, apparently fatigued, left for Badarikashram.

There Lord , the greatest of all yogis, the Lord of the universe, entered a very beautiful cave named Himavati to rest. That cave was ninety-six miles in diameter and had only one entrance. very tired, Lord went there  to take rest. and soon fell asleep. The demon followed him into that cave and, seeing him asleep, started thinking within his heart, “Today I will kill this slayer of all demons,  Hari.”

Just when Mur demon(danav) was about to strike Lord,  from the divine senses of God, appeared a beautiful woman with all sorts of divine artilleries in her hands.

Seeing her, Mur Daanav got entangled to her sensational beauty, lost his own senses and asked her to marry him. The woman said, “Oh no! It is not easy to have me in marriage. I have a condition that whoever wins me in a battle will marry me.” Blinded in the beauty of the woman, another battle started between them. Mur Daanav did not realise that one of the two has to die in order for the other to win. Ultimately, Mur Daanav was killed in the war.

Mur demon and Ekadashi

Mur demon and Ekadashi

Then the Supreme Lord woke up and saw the dead demo before Him,as well as the maiden bowing down to him with joined palms. His
face expressing His astonishment, the Lord of the universe said,”Who has killed this vicious demon? He easily defeated all the demigods, Gandharvas, and even Indra himself, along with Indra’s companions, the Maruts, and he also defeated the Nagas (snakes), the rulers of the lower planets. He even defeated Me, making Me hide in this cave out of fear. Who is it that has so mercifully protected Me after I ran from the battlefield and went to sleep in this cave?

The maiden said, “It is I who have killed this demon after appearing from You transcendental body. Indeed, O Lord Hari, when he saw You sleeping he wanted to kill You. Understanding the intention of this thorn in the side of the three worlds, I killed the evil rascal and this freed all the demigods from fear. I am Your great maha-sakti, Your internal potency, who strikes fear into the hearts of all Your enemies. I have killed this universally terrifying demon to protect the three worlds. Please tell me why You are surprised to see that this demon has been killed, O Lord.

Lord Vishnu and Ekadashi Devi

Lord Vishnu and Ekadashi Devi

” The Supreme Lord said, “O sinless one, I am very satisfied to see that it is you who have killed this king of the demons. In this way you have made the demigods happy, prosperous, and full of bliss. Because you have given pleasure to all the demigods in the three worlds, I am very pleased with you. Ask any boon you may desire, O auspicious one. I will give it to you without a doubt, though it be very rare among the demigods.”

 Why not to eat grains on Ekadashi

For the purpose of punishing the evil human beings, Papa Purusha was created. His form was the embodiment of the worst kinds of sin (Papa-purusha). His was a horrible personality embodying all sinful activities and vices was created. He inflicts extreme misery upon sinful persons.

In form of Ekadasi and by the virtue of his boons to her, sinful people find a way of reaching heaven if they followed Ekadasi vrata. Seeing this Papa-Purusha inquired Lord Vishnu that his existence is over as this vrata has the power to deny him. So where does he go.  It is through me that you wanted distress given to the living entities who are very sinful. But now, by the influence of Sri Ekadashi, I have become all but destroyed.

Pap purusha

Pap purusha

Lord Vishnu said –  I’ll tell you where you can stay on the lunar day of Ekadasi. On the date of Sri Ekadasi, which is the benefactor of the three planetary systems, you can take shelter of foodstuffs in the form of grains. There is no reason to worry about this any more, because My form as Sri Ekadasi will no longer impede you.’ After giving direction to the Papa-purusha, the Supreme Lord Vishnu disappeared and the Papa-purusha returned to the performance of his own activities. Therefore, those persons who are serious about the ultimate benefit of the soul will never eat grains on Ekadasi. According to the instructions of Lord Vishnu, every kind of sinful activity that can be found in the material world takes its residence in this place of (grains) foodstuff.

 

Various Ekadashi days

Utpana

Mokshada Ekadashi – on this all-auspicious day, Lord Shri Krishna spoke the Srimad Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, at the place now known as Jyotisha tirtha.  Anyone who gifts a Bhagavad Gita away to a deserving person on this day is bestowed profuse blessings by the Sri Krishna Bhagawan.

Saphala
Putrada
Sattila
Jaya / Bhaimi
Vijaya
Amalaki
Paapmochani
Kamada
Varutini
Mohini
Apara
Nirjala
Yogini
Sayana / Padma
Kamika
Pavitropana
Aja / Annada
Parvartini / Parsva
Indira
Papankusha
Rama
Haribhodini / Utthana
Adik maas – Padmini
Parama

Bhishma Ekadashi is one of the most auspicious days and it is celebrated to mark the origin of the most powerful and well known Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram. On this day Bhishma Pithamaha who was the oldest, wisest, most powerful, and the most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago) narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahsranaama to Yudhishtira who was the oldest brother of Pandavas.

Bhishma ekadashi

Bhishma ekadashi