Friday, October 18, 2013

Valmiki Jayanthi 2013

The birth anniversary of the great sage Maharishi Valmiki who authored the epic Ramayana is celebrated as Valmiki jayanti. It falls on the full moon day of the Ashwin month according to the Hindu calendar.

In 2013 Valmiki jayanti is on Friday October 18.

Valmiki is also known as Adi Kavi or the first poet because it was he who composed the first verse or Hindu sloka which set the foundation for Sanskrit poetry. The story of Lord Rama written by him is called Valmiki’s Ramayana and is the first epic of Sanskrit literature. Ramayana is also the first kavya.

Saint Valmiki was one of the most popular sage of ancient times. He he is well known for his contributions in ancient literatures. The epic scripture, Ramayana was composed by him. This is the reason that the original Ramayana is popularly known as Valmiki’s Ramayana by people around the world. Ramayana is based on the life story of Lord Rama and related incidents, that depict various duties and responsibilities of a human towards life.

Saint Valmiki is well known as a composer of Ramayana. Sage kashyap had a son named, Varun/Aditya. Once Varun was sitting under a tree in a deep meditation. Soon, an anthill grew around him. After a long penance, a divine light came upon him and said that he was free from all sins, and that he was to be called "Valmiki" from then

Maharshi Valmiki : The legend

Valmiki was born to a Brahmin family and was named Ratnakara. At a very small age he got lost and was brought up by a family of hunters. Later on he became an unnamed robber who used to rob people for a living. One day when he ran into Shri Narada Muni and tried to rob him. But when Narada muni asked whether his family was also a part of his sin and when they refused to be part of it he realised his mistake and begged Narada muni for divine mercy. That is when Narda Muni asked him to chant Lord Rama’a name. He was so immersed in chanting that ant hill or Valmika grew around his body during his poised state of penance. Pleased by his dedication Ratnakara was bestowed with honour of Brahmarshi and he got the name Valmiki.

How Ramayana Was Written

After Narada Muni recited the entire story of Ramayana, immersed in the story Valmiki left to take bath in Ganges. On his sway he came across a stream named tamsa. When he was looking for a suitable place to take bath he saw two happy birds. As he looked one bird was hit by an arrow which was shot by a hunter. The other bird’s agony melted his heart and he spontaneously uttered a curse which came in the form of a sloka and thus he turned into a poet.

The male bird dies that leaves the female bird shattered and upset. Listening to the rhythmic sound of the female bird, Valmiki realized his ability to create rhythmic verses. He started singing the shlok, “ Ma Nishad Pratishtha Twamgam Shashvati Samah | Yatkronchamithunadekam Avadhi Kammohittam ||, which became the base of Ramayana.

This is the first sloka that was created. Then with blessings lord Brahma he wrote the Ramayana in slokas. Another fact is that Valmiki was a contemporary of lord Rama. It was Valmiki who received the banished Sita to his hermitage and he also taught the slokas to Luva and Kusa the sons of lord Rama.

Why Valmiki Jayanti is Celebrated?

Saint Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with zeal and fervor around the nation every year. Special pilgrimages are organized on this day. Devotees can be seen reciting Ramayan with affection, and respect. Ramayan depicts the feelings of sacrifice, love, success and penance. Valmiki aimed at enlightening the minds of people through his composition.

On this day, the Valmiki temples are decorated beautifully. Devotees visit the temples and take part in religious and spiritual activities. Enthusiastic young people can be seen dancing and yelling in front of the jhanki carried in devotion of Lord Rama.

In order to honour his unparalleled contribution in the form timeless epic Ramayana, Valmiki’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Valmiki jayanti. The day also holds great significance in the north and is called pragat diwas. This day is to remember a great saint who rose above his limitations and through his teachings encouraged people to stand against social injustice and to remember a man who personifies benevolence and penance.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dasara Navaratri 2013

Happy Devi Navaratri Wishes!!

Hi Friends,tomorrow,October 5th -October 13th  onwards Saran Navaratri starts and every one will be performing pooja to Goddess Durga,Lakshmi ,Saraswati.

Various Alamkaranas ,Avatarams are done at temples and variety of Naivedyams are offered and partaken.During this Navaratri time people belonging to  some regions follow to celebrate Bommala Koluvu (arranging dolls in a theme),Batukamma,hosting Lalitha Sahasranamam and Devi poojas.

Bommala Koluvu.

Here the Link to follow the Dasara Alamkaram  2013  and it may help you also friends!!

Click on the Avataram, we can get the Slokam,Naivedyam etc!!

Bhakthi Samacharam also helps in Knowing more information regarding this festival.

Among the popular festivals celebrated in India, Navaratri is among the longest.

Like the other festivals of India, Navaratri is rich in meaning. At one level, Navaratri signifies the progress of a spiritual aspirant. During this spiritual journey, the aspirant has to pass three stages personified by Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Then, he or she enters into the realm of the infinite, wherein one realises one's Self. Navaratri, which literally means 'nine nights,' dedicates three days each to worshipping the Divine in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The tenth day, though, is the most important; it is known as Vijayadashami, the 'tenth day of victory.'

The reason behind the worshipping of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati lies rooted in the philosophy that the attributeless absolute can only be known through the world of attributes—the journey is from the known to the unknown. Hence it is said that Shiva, who symbolises pure consciousness, can only be known through Shakti, who represents divine energy. That is why people worship Shakti, also known as Devi, in Her various manifestations.

Inner Meaning of Navaratri Worship
Sri Durga Devi Sri Saraswati Devi Sri Lakshmi Devi

The different stages of spiritual progress are reflected in the sequence of celebrations during Navaratri. During the first three days, Durga is worshipped. She personifies that aspect of shakti which destroys our negative tendencies. The process of trying to control our senses is akin to a war for the mind which resists all attempts at control. So the stories in the Puranas symbolically depict Devi in the form of Durga as waging war and destroying the asuras.

However, getting temporary relief from the clutches of vasanas does not guarantee permanent liberation from them. The seeds of the vasanas will remain within in latent form. Therefore, we should supplant them with positive qualities. The Bhagavad Gita refers to these qualities as daivi-sampat, literally "Divine wealth." Correspondingly, we worship Lakshmi during the next three days. Lakshmi is not just the giver of gross wealth or prosperity; She is the Mother who gives according to the needs of Her children.

Only one endowed with daivi-sampat is fit to receive the knowledge of the Supreme. Accordingly, the last three days of Navaratri are dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the embodiment of Knowledge. She is depicted as wearing a pure-white sari, which symbolises the illumination of the Supreme Truth.

The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami, or the festival of victory, symbolising the moment when Truth dawns within.

Thus, the significance of each stage of worship has clear parallels in the different stages of sadhana (spiritual practices): first, negative tendencies need to be controlled; second, virtues need to be ingrained; third, after gaining the necessary mental purity, spiritual knowledge needs to be acquired. Only then will the sadhak (spiritual aspirant) attain spiritual illumination. It is significant that Vijaya Dashami is considered auspicious for mantra initiation; advanced spiritual aspirants are also initiated into Sannyasa (vow of renunciation) on this day.
Significance of Navaratri for Householders

However, Navaratri is not only significant for spiritual aspirants; it has a message for those who lead a worldly life as well. They should invoke Durga's help to surmount obstacles, pray to Lakshmi to bestow peace and prosperity, and contemplate upon Saraswati in order to gain knowledge. These three ingredients are just as necessary for a full and complete worldly life. In reality, when we pray like this, we are but invoking the Shakti that is within ourselves.

Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are not different entities, but different facets of the singular Divinity.

Some of the spiritual practices associated with Navaratri include fruit and milk fasts, japa (mantra chanting), chanting of hymns dedicated to Devi in Her different forms, prayer, meditation and recitation of sacred texts including the Devi Mahatmya, Sri Lalita Sahasranama and the Durga Saptashati.
Ayudha Puja

The ninth day is also the day of the Ayudha Puja. The Ayudha Puja is a worship of whatever implements one may use in one's livelihood. On the preceding evening, it is traditional to place these implements on an altar to the Divine. If one can make a conscious effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses each day, it will help one to see one's work as an offering to God. It will also help one to maintain constant remembrance of the divine. (In India it is customary for one to prostrate before the tools one will use before starting one's work each day; this is an expression of gratitude to God for helping one to fulfil one's duties.)

Children traditionally place their study books and writing implements on the altar. On this day, no work or study is done, that one might spend the day in contemplation of the Divine.
Saraswati Puja and Vidyarambham

The tenth day is called Vijaya Dashami. Devotees perform a Saraswati Puja (ceremonial worship) to invoke the blessings of Saraswati. Some devotees also perform pujas dedicated to Durga to mark Her victory over the demon, Mahishasura.

At another level, Navaratri also highlights the principles elucidated by the Ramayana. This is hinted at in the other name by which Vijayadashami is known in India, Dussehra.

Wishing you all a very Happy Saran Navaratri!!