Punchamukha Hanumanji Mandri

VRATA / VIRADHAM- FASTING0 Simple meaning & understanding

-His Holiness Swamiji Sri SelvamSiddhar

SHEETALASHTAMI

Celebrated In : The Dark Half of CHAITRA Masa Sheetlashtami is celebrated in the dark half of ChaitraMasa. People worship SHEETLA MATA this day and eat ...

THE STORY

Once there was an old lady in a village, who used to eat ======= meal after worshipping SHEETLA MATA on the day of BASODA. No one else in the village used to do so.When the King of the village heard about it, he called the old lady sending his secretary. When the lady reached in the court of king, the king asked him the reason after it. Then the old lady said him, "Maharaj, On the day of Basoda, i worship SHEETLA MATA before taking meal and take the meal made on the previous day. So by the grace of MATA, my hut is safe".Hearing it, the king announced in the village that every person of village worship SHEETLA MATA on the day of Basoda and eat the meal cooked on previous day.

HartalikaTeej

Celebrated In : September

THE STORY

This is a three-day festival, celebrated by women also 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 on 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 nirjalavrata 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. In Maharashtra, women wear green bangles, green clothes, golden bindis and kajal for luck. They distribute beautifully painted coconuts to their female relatives and friends and offer fresh fruit and green vegetables to the goddess as thanks giving. When the rituals are over, they eat a feast of jaggery and rice patolis steamed in banana leaves, a sweet made from coconut milk and rice, and mixed vegetables cooked with spices and coconut milk. Tender coconut water is the treat of this day.

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AMLA NAVAMI

Celebrated In : November

THE STORY

The ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kartika denotes AmlaNavami. Nature has always lured the imaginative contours of our minds and subconciously this also is seen in our ancient scriptures. The Amla has been given the status of the divine fruit by Lord Vishnu in the Maha Vishnu Purana.

Amla is used as a major ingredient in preparation of Ayurvedic medicine. The lemony part removes acidity, sweet portion diseffects ulcers and the bitter part cures cough. Its utilitarian pupose accords an important status in the various scriptures at par with Bramha, Vishnu, Maheswara.

On this occasion Lord Vishnu is bathed in Amla paste water by the Habisha or women who observe the KartikaVrata or fasting. They cook the offering to the Lord under an Amla tree and chant the name of God while moving around the tree. Protection of nature and compassion for fellow beings is the significance of this festival.

Pradoshvrata

Celebrated In : December

THE STORY

PradoshVrata is observed on the Trayodashi of both the fortnight (Shukla and Krishna Paksha).

This is observed with the aim of achieving progeny, prosperity and fortune etc. In the evening it is a custom to perform pooja (worship) of Lord Shiv and also perform Japa (Name recitation) and religious sacrifices (Yagya). The fast is broken the next day

RathaSaptami

Celebrated In : This falls on the 7th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Margaseersha (December-January).

THE STORY

This falls on the 7th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Margaseersha (December-January). People worship the sun in the early morning and recite the Surya Sahasranama. Good actions done on this day give manifold results. Brahmins become celestials if they fast on this day and worship God; Kshatriyas, that is, people of the warrior caste, become Brahmins; Vaishyas, the merchants, become Kshatriyas: and Sudras or men of the servant caste, become Vaishyas.

If women fast on this day, they attain knowledge and derive virtues. If widows fast on this day, they get rid of widowhood from the next birth onwards. Even the sin of slaying a Brahmin is expiated by the power of fasting on this day. He who takes a bath at the time of sunrise is purified like Mother Ganges. He can never become a poor man.

Fast on this day. Observe the vow of silence. Remain in a solitary place. Do Japa. Practise intense meditation with faith and devotion. You are sure to attain God-realisation on this very day!