Monday, September 28, 2009


Dussera/Vijya Dashmi

When Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman were fulfilling the promise given to His mother Kaikeyi, demon Ravan kidnapped Sita. The battle between the armies of Lord Ram and Ravan ensued. This battle lasted 9 days without any conclusive result. On the tenth day, Lord Ram killed Ravan. This day is celebrated as "Vijya Dasmi" - the victory day. It signifies the victory of good over evil. After losing everything in the game of dice, Pandavs have taken shelter, in disguise in the Kingdom of Virat. Duryodhan was trying his best to unmask the Pandavs. He declared war on kingdom of Virat in the hope that Pandavs will come to assist the king of Virat and in doing so, they would be recognised. Arjun took up the challenge and went to fight. Before going to the battlefield, he retrieved his weapons from a secret hideout and performed the Puja of his weapons. This day also happened to be Dussera. On this day warriors worship their weapons.



DhanTeras: Many of India's festival are based on and have significance in agriculture. Cattle are very important part of agriculture. On DhanTeras farmers worship their cattle. The horns of cattle and oxen are coloured red and prashad made from sesame seeds is distributed as sesame symbolises the productivity.

Kali Chaudas: Kali Chaudas is known as NarkiChaturdashi. Lord Krishna killed demon Narkasur today and liberated 16,100 maidens from his prison. To save their honour, Lord Krishna later married all these maidens and took them to Dwarika. In verse 127 of Shishapatri, Lord Swaminarayan has asked Acharya MaharajShree to perform ritual worship of Hanuman on this day. To keep this in mind, Hanumanji is worshipped in all our temples on this day. Legend has it that on the eve of the first anniversary of His coronation, Lord Ram was giving appropriate and suitable gifts to all who helped Him in the battle against demon Ravan. Lord Ram gave a very expensive pearl necklace to Hanuman. On receiving the necklace, Hanumanji started breaking open all the pearls. On being asked why, he said he is looking for Lord Ram in each pearl as he did not want anything which is devoid of Lord Ram. Sitaji asked him if his body has Lord Ram in it. Hanuman opened his chest by his hands and showed Lord Ram in his heart. Lord Ram was very pleased with this devotion and asked hanuman for a boon. Hanuman asked to be always present wherever and whenever the Leelas of Lord Ram are being sung. As people are still singing Lord Ram's Leela till today, Hanuman has become immortal. This day is considered the second birth of Hanuman as a great devotee. Since then Hanumanji is worshipped on the day Kali Chaudas.

Diwali: This is the day when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya from 14 years of exile in forest. Residents of Ayodhya decorated their homes and city with lights. They let go of fireworks in pleasure. Since that day we celebrate Diwali in similar fashion. The darkness of moonless night of Diwali symbolises our ignorance and lightening of lamps the knowledge. We should look inwards in our hearts and remove our ignorance. On this day we also worship Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Traders do symbolic Puja of their account books.

New Years Day: This day marks Lord Ram's coronation after His triumphant return to Ayodhya. We greet each other and wish them a happy and prosperous New Year. Children like receiving monetary gifts today. To show the gratitude towards mountain, which sustains rural agricultural society, Lord Krishna organised special Puja of Govardhan Mountain. The mountain of different varieties of food was offered in worship. The word "AnnaKoot" literally means the mountain of food. Today, we offer food to God as a thanksgiving service.