Saturday, June 13, 2009


Puja is our dedication towards God. Act of puja always satisfy man's internal power. It's an act of showing reverence to a god. God is supreme power and man can have blessing of God by making spiritual connection with the God through puja, which can be, through invocations, prayers, songs and rituals. Its possible to reduce suffering due to unfavourable position of planets through sincere reliance on God, the one, who controls the planets.

Puja is a focal point for honouring and communicating with the God. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with divine. There are many kinds of puja, which people can do for specific events, such as 'Garah Pravesh', 'Starting of a business' or the beginning of a journey'. Puja has power to remove all the obstacles. Puja are performed on behalf of an individual on his request.

How Can The Benefits Be Taken From Puja
 According to our sacred texts, puja –

  • It controls divine
  • It gives energy to the worshiper
  • It gives mental peace
  • It is the remedy of all the problems

How The Puja Should Be Performed
Our holy book says man should be pure from body and mind. The Puranas lay more stress on the quality of devotion and good behaviour than on rigid puja procedures. Buddhist and Jain influence that preaches non-violence, consequently, the killing or sacrifice of animals was discontinued and with the development of iconography, idol worship and puja took the place of sacrifice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Diwali New Year

Diwali New Year

Diwali or Deepawali, is not only festival of lights, but also marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. It is one of the most important Indian national celebrations as it is believed that the Hindu goddess of good luck visits homes that are brightly lit. Children make "deeps" which are small clay lamps to light and bring the good luck goddess to their home so they can receive new clothes and toys. The first day of Diwali is also a New Year of Business. All companies pay off debts and their cars are decorated with flowers and palm leaves to bless the vehicles to run well in the new year.

The customs of wearing new garments and exchanging gifts and greetings have come to be associated with Diwali, probably because of this New Year celebrations. Accordingly most of the traditions of a New Year celebration are all present. The occasion sees the spring-cleaning and white-washing of houses; decorative designs or rangolis are painted on floors and walls to greet the new year.

Fresh flowers, exchanges of gifts, new clothes, meeting with friends and family, and feasting are part of the colorful festival. Each region of India celebrates Diwali in its own way, but the lighting of many small earthenware oil lamps is common throughout the country, setting homes and gardens aglow with twinkling lights. The lamps are symbolic of the victory of the light of goodness and knowledge over the darkness of evil and ignorance. The lighting of the lamps is also a way for people to show thanks for the good things in their lives.


Diwali Ganesh Puja

Ganesh Puja

Ganeshji is a must for Diwali pooja as he is to be worshiped in all pujas before any other god or goddess. Traditionally on Diwali night, Ganesh shares the altar with Lakshmi. Shree Ganesh is the god of good beginnings and the fabled remover of obstacles. In the Hindu pantheon, the two are unrelated, Ganesh being the son of Shiva and Parvati. However, when placed side by side, Lakshmi Ganesh hold out promise of a year of fulfillment, free from wants.

During the Ganesh puja, the idol of goddess Lakshmi is placed on the left and Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed god is kept on the right. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity and also personifies beauty, grace, and charm. She is normally depicted seated on a lotus with gold coins. Lord Ganesh has many functions in the Hindu pantheon. He is the Lord of Wisdom and the remover of obstacles.

Hindus believe that he must be kept happy to ensure smooth passage on the road to accomplishments. For this reason, he is worshiped together with Lakshmi during Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Then, Lakshmi is worshiped for wealth and prosperity, while Ganesh is worshiped first to ensure that any obstacles to obtaining wealth and prosperity are removed.

Shri Laxmi-Ganesh Puja takes place on Diwali by placing their idol on a platform, making various offerings of sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume(itr), haldi, kumkum, abeer, gulal, garland of cotton beads, flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree). Incense stick and dhoop is lit and offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul are made. At the end of pooja, aarti dedicated to Lord Ganesh is sung by the devotees.


Lakshmi Pooja

Lakshmi Pooja

Lakshmi was the daughter of the sage Bhrigu and took refuge in the ocean of milk when the gods were sent into exile. Lakshmi was reborn during the Churning of the Ocean. As soon as the gods saw Lakshmi, they all fell in love with her beauty. Shiva claimed Lakshmi as his wife, but since he had already taken the Moon, her hand was given to Vishnu, whom Lakshmi herself preferred.

Lakshmi is the goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. While Laxmi is generally worshiped to achieve success, she does not reside long with anyone who is lazy or desire her only as wealth.

Steps of Lakshmi Pooja
Spread a new cloth on a raised platform: Place a handful of grains in the center and, on this, place a kalash (pitcher) made of gold, silver, copper, or terracotta. Fill three-fourth of the kalash with water and place a betel nut, a flower, a coin, and some rice grains in it. Arrange five kinds of leaves or mango leaves in the kalash . Place a small dish on the kalash and fill it with rice grains. Draw a lotus with turmeric powder ( haldi ) over the rice grains and place the idol of goddess Lakshmi over it, along with coins.

Place the idol of Ganesha: In front of the kalash, on the right (South-West direction), place the idol of Ganesha. Also place ink and books related to your business or occupation on the platform. Light a lamp and begin the puja by offering haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the platform on which the kalash is placed. Then offer haldi, kumkum, and flowers to the water that is to be used for the puja. Invoke the river goddesses to be part of this water.

Invoke goddess: Lakshmi by reciting the Vedic mantras addressed to her. One can also recite the mantras mentioned in the Puranas or simply take some flowers in your hands, close your eyes, and think of goddess Lakshmi being showered with gold coins by two elephants standing on either side of Her and chant Her name. Then offer the flowers to the idol.

Place the idol of Lakshmi: Place the idol of Lakshmi in a plate and bathe it with water, panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee or clarified butter, honey, and sugar) and then with water containing some gold ornament or a pearl. Wipe the idol clean and place it back on the kalash. Alternately, you can just sprinkle water and panchamrit on the idol with a flower.

Offerings: Offer sandal paste, saffron paste, perfume ( itr ), haldi, kumkum, abeer, and gulal to the goddess. Offer a garland of cotton beads to the goddess. Offer flowers, especially the marigold flowers and leaves of Bel (wood apple tree). Light an incense stick and dhoop. Make an offering of sweets, coconut, fruits, and tambul. Make an offering of puffed rice and batasha. Pour some puffed rice, batasha, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds over the idol. Safe where you keep money and jewelry; Worship this safe as a symbol of Lord Kuber.

Aarti: Finally, perform the aarti for goddess Lakshmi. Always remember that She abhors loud noise. So the aarti should be accompanied only by a small bell. Do not clap hands, as is the practice when performing aarti for other gods. A peaceful and sublime atmosphere should prevail during the pujan. Do not light crackers while the puja is on or immediately after it.


Diwali Puja Process

Diwali Puja Process

Diwali is the festival of Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visit everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all. On the night of Diwali "Lakshmi-Pujan" is performed in the evenings. A traditional Pujan is performed after sunset in all the homes.

Five pieces of ghee diyas (lamps) are lit in front of the deities, naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess and devotional songs are sung in praise of Goddess Laxmi. After Deepawali Puja people light diyas (lamps) in their homes to usher in light and clear the darkness from the world.

In villages cattle are adorned and worshipped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south, cows are offered special veneration as they are supposed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and therefore they are adorned and worshipped on this day.

Step By Step Diwali Pujan:
  • First clean the Puja room and then Bathe each Deity (Lakshmi & Ganesh) first with water, then with panchamitra/or rose water, followed by water once more
  • Now put Deepak (Lamp) in front of the Deities - As the tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits
  • Make a Panchamitra with 5 ingredients of milk, curd, ghee (clarified butter), sugar & Honey.
  • Place Few mithais, snacks & fruits as a prashad.
  • Make offerings of flowers, Abir (red colour), Sindoor (vermillion) and Haldi (turmeric). Light the Agarbatti (incense sticks) and lamps filled with Ghee.
  • Now make offerings of Fruit, Sweet dishes (mithai), Salty snacks (Mathis, Ghathia, Namakpare) and offer Dakshina (token money), which could be given to the poor. In the end offer paan (betel leaves), cloves. Now pray to the deities to seek their blessings.
  • Ganesh Pooja : Ganesh Puja is a must for Diwali Puja. (Lord Ganesha is to be worshipped in all pujas before any other God or Goddess.) (Ganesh Aarti is sung)
  • Laxmi Pooja : Place Lotus and other flowers at her feet as an offering. A silver coin is placed in front of the Goddess during the puja. Now perform Aarti with flowers in hand (Lakshmi Aarti is sung). After Deepawali Pujan have the Prasad and go out to burst Diwali Crackers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hindu Festivals in March 2009

Dates of important festivals associated with Hinduism in 2009 March – based on major Hindu calendars used in India.

March 2nd – Sashti Vratam

March 6th – Phagu Dasami in Orissa

March 7th – Ekadashi – Papanasini Ekadasi - Amalki Ekadashi

March 8th – Pradosha Vrata

March 9th – Masi Magam in Tamil Culture

March 10th – Pournami in South India… in all place full moon day begins on March 10 and continues into March 11

March 10th – Holika Dahan

March 11th – Holi – playing with colors

March 11th – Dola Purnima

March 11th – Poornima full moon day

March 12th – Chaitra Month begins in Traditional North Indian calendar

March 12th – Sant Tukaram Jayanti

March 12th – Holi in Orissa

March 14th – Sankashti Chaturthi – Sangadahara Chaturthi

March 19th – Sheetalashtami

March 22nd – Papamochani Ekadasi

March 24rd – Pradosha Vrata

March 26th – Amavas no moon day

March 27th – Saka Era – New Year in the Calendar followed by Government of India.

March 27th – Ugadi – Yugadi – New Year in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh

March 27th – Gudi Padwa – Maharashtra New Year

March 27th – Chaitra Month begins in Marathi and Gujarati Calendar

March 27th – Vasant Navaratri Begins

March 29th – Matsya Jayanti

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