Spiritual Philosophy from Hindu Ancient Scriptures

Blog about Spiritual Philosphoies of various Ancient Hindu Scriptures and philosophies of various Yugpurushas, Sadgurus and Saints. Aim of the Author is trying to search the various Scriptures and spread the light on the real ancient Spritual knowledge alongwith Ultra Science information with various Sadhanas and Yogas also with the searching of Various Ancient Temples, Ashrams, Sampradayas & Akharas etc.

Basant Panchami Mahotsav & Madhav Mission English Book Innauguration held at Laxmi Trust, Jagadhri

Welcome to all of you, I'm back.  For a long time, I was not available on this blog as I was quite busy for my personal spiritual progress and also for searching a special pujan paddhati from our scriptures and you will be happy to know that I got success and create a spcial kind of Saraswati pujan.  Not only this, I served this pujan among the students of Luxmi Infotech & Education Point, Jagadhri by the order of Hon'ble President & Chairman of Laxmi Trust, Jagadhri and the students got results within 48 hours.  I also got surprised.  Not only single or some but mostly students got results that's why I am publishing the photographs of this "Basant Panchami Mahotsav Programme" photographs on my another blog i.e. of Laxmi Trust's Blog.  You can visit and see the report and photographs on the blog i.e. :
the link of this programme is :

See and enjoy

Bhaiya Dooj

Bhai Phota
A ritual involving brother and sister, Bhai Phota is observed by Bengalies that is almost similar to the north Indian Bhai Dhooj. However, sometimes due to specific timings according to Hindu calendar, Bhai Phota may be celebrated on the third day of the month of Kartik, instead of the second. On Bhai Phota sisters apply tilak to brother's foreheads with mantras for long and happy life.

On the day of Bhai Phota, both brothers and sisters are decked in finery. Sisters apply a sandalwood paste ' tilak' or mask known as Phota on the forehead of their brothers, place some paddy grass known as "Dub" or "Dubya" on their heads and chant a verse for the siblings long life. Then they place a sweet in the brother's mouth. Of course, the ceremony is rounded off with a grand meal and the exchange of gifts. The merriment of Bhai Phota is increased amid the resounding of conch shells in every Bengali household.

Bhaubeej / Bhav-Bij
In Maharashtra and Goa, the festival of Bhaubeej or Bhav-Bij is very popular. The essence of this festival is similar to that of Raksha Bandhan except that the reasoning behind it is different. On this day the sister worships her brother with a Arati. The brother stands for Krishna who did the noble deed of killing the demon Narkasura.

A special square shaped space is created on the floor, lined with various designs in corn powder, to worship the brother. Before stepping into this square shaped puja place, the brother taste a particular bitter fruit ( Karith in marathi ) which Krishna is said to have tasted before setting out for the kill.

On Bahu beej, every brother visits his sister who performs aukshan, wishes him a long & healthy life and offers him sweets with warmth. Brother in exchange offers a present as a token of love & affection. The sister asks the Lord for the well-being of her brother, who is her Protector. Those who do not have a brother perform a sort of puja to the Moon-God. The Bhau-beej puja is performed in any case. Basundi-poori or shrikhand poori is the special sweet prepared for the occasion.

Yamadwitheya / Bhathru Dwithiya
In many parts of India, the fifth day of the Diwali festival is called as Yama Dwitheya that celebrates the unique relationship shared by a brother and his sister. On this day brothers treated to lavish feasts by their sisters. On this day, the sisters worship berry trees and wish welfare for their brothers, offer them sweets and apply tilak on their forehead. The brothers visit their sisters and thousands of brothers and sisters join hands and have a sacred bath in the river Yamuna.

According to legend it was on this day that the Yamuna river and her brother Yama were re-united after a long period of separation. Yama Raja (Dharam Raja) and Yamuna (Children of God Surya) are worshiped on this auspicious day. It was on this day the Yama raja visited his sister Yamuna of Gokul. The brother, who after bath in Yamuna or some other sacred river, visits her sister, no longer gets terror stricken by the thought of Yama Raja, the God of death.

This day symbolizes the society's respect for all women. The day gives every man the noble outlook to consider every woman as mother or sister. People also pray to the almighty Lord to grant the strength and wisdom to continue to follow path of truth and ask Him to enlighten the lives.

Gummatapura is a tiny village situated in the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, where Gorehabba is celebrated a day after Balipadyami. Gorehabba is celebrated by splashing cow dung on each other. Before the villagers start playing with the cow dung, there are a few interesting rituals which are followed.

Starting early morning, men, women and children begin collecting cow dung from all over the village and dump it in a place designated for it, behind the Beerappa temple. Later, half naked children go all around the village collecting oil and butter for offering pooja at the temple. After the required oil and butter are collected, they offer pooja at the Karappa temple which is about one km away from the Beerappa temple. Once the pooja is done, the villagers come back in a procession. On the way back, one person is designated as a Chadikora (sneak). He is then fixed with a mustache and beard made of grass, seated on a donkey and brought to the temple in a procession.

After reaching the temple, the Chadikora's mustache and beard are removed and buried in the pit where the heap of dung has been deposited. Pooja is offered to the heap of cow dung and then starts the fun! Immediately after the pooja is offered, a handful of cow dung is splashed on the priest which is the green signal for the others. Every single person in the village is pushed into the pit and smeared with cow dung. Thousands of people from the nearby villages gather to watch the game.

Later, an effigy of the Chadikora is made and taken to the Kondigekara Gudda (a hillock nearby) to be burnt. A chicken too is burnt along with the effigy. The villagers clean themselves in the lake, come back to the village and abuse the Chadikora. It is also believed that participating in the cow dung splashing game cures people of all kinds of disease, which is one of the reasons for keeping the tradition alive, even after hundreds of years.

Bhatri Ditya
A day dedicated to the pious relationship shared between a brother and his lovely sister, Bhatri Ditya is a special festive occasion for a family. It is a day when a sister expresses her love and pray for the well being of her brother. On this day, all sisters and brothers in a Hindu household commit to protect each other and maintain this special relationship for rest of their life.

Bhatri Ditya is celebrated by sisters wishing a long life for the brothers and placed Tika on Brothers' forehead signifying placement of a barrier against any undesirable occurrences. Observed in Kartik on Shukl Ditya, the festival of Bhatri Ditya, aims to establish and maintain mutual love between the brother and the sister. On this day, the sisters worship berry trees and wish welfare for their brothers.

Bhatri Ditya being being the last day of Diwali celebration, Hindus observe this day with full zest and spirit. Except in Bihar, where Chath festival is still to be celebrated, for many, this is the last major festival. Thus, the festive mood of Bhatri Ditya fills the air with great excitement, joy and happiness.

Bhathru Dwithiya
On the last day of Diwali festival, known as Bhathru Dwitheya, it is customary for the brothers to go their sisters' house and have food there. This particular custom is named Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam (meals). It is being followed by people in the name of 'Yama' who went to his sister's place to have food. Yama and his record keeper Chithraguptha are worshiped on this day.

Apart from the legend of Yama, other equally significant legends are Lord Krishna and Lord Mahavir. It is said that after Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasur, he visited his sister Subhadra on dooj day. She gave him a traditional, affectionate welcome by anointing him with tilak. After Mahavir attained nirvana, his brother, Raja Nandivardhan, felt depressed and dejected due to his long absence. He was comforted by Sudarshana, his sister.

With such important events related to this unique festival, Bhathru Dwithiya is completely dedicated to the caring spirit of sisters. The sisters apply a tilak of roli (vermilion), kesar (saffron) and rice on their brother's forehead as a mark of their love and protection. With this the Deepavali festivities comes to an end.

Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja

The puja performed on the fourth day of Diwali is called the Govardhan Puja. The origin of this day goes back to the Dwapara Yuga, and to Lord Krishna. According to legends, he lifted mount Govardhan on this day and hence the day is dedicated to the worshiping the mountain. Goverdhan puja is offered as a tribute to Krishna's heroic feat. In parts of north India, people make cow dung replicas of the fabled mound, decorate it with flower petals and offer prayers.

The people of Mathura, where Krishna lived, were basically farmers and had a practice of offering yearly puja's to Lord Indra. The worship was a means of thanking for a good produce and all the celebrations happened at mount Govardhan, near Braj. One particular year, as usual the residents of Mathura started their journey towards the mountain and Krishna accompanied them.

People were preparing to carry out the pooja to please Indra, when Lord Krishna approached them and questioned their belief practice. He told them to worship the fields where they grow their produce and the cattle which are help in planting the crop, instead of Lord Indra. The elders in the community said that it would displease Lord Indra and bring disaster. But, Krishna was persuasive and they yielded to his argument.

The people of Mathura under the guidance of Krishna made all the preparations for worshiping the cattle and the fields, when terror struck. Lord Indra angered by the insult of created a storm which threatened to blow away not only the cattle but also the people. The scared people ran to Krishna for help and he lifted the mountain Govardhan with his little finger. The people and the cattle took shelter under the mountain and were saved from the storm. Humbled by this act, Lord Indra, approached Lord Krishna to apologize.


The day after the Lakshmi Puja, most families in Gujarat celebrate the new year as Bestvarsha. This day is celebrated by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewelery and visiting family members and business colleagues to give them sweets, dry fruits and gifts. This day is more popular among the business communities as on this day the new business year begins. Besta varsa is also considered auspicious for shopping, inaugurations of new homes, business deals or for starting any new ventures and projects.

On the occasion of Bestavarsh, people usually do not cook food and eat the various delicacies such as Mathias prepared a day before. A unique ritual is performed by young boys who observe this day. Early in the morning, before sunrise, young boys in every household come out on streets and sell salt. The salt is called Sabras, meaning all good things in life. There is as such no commercial significance attached to this rituals, it is more of a thanksgiving to god for fulfilling their necessities and wishing the same for the coming year. It is auspicious to sell as well as buy salts before sunrise on day of Bestavarsh.

Gudi Padava

The word Padwa is etymologically quite close to the Sanskrit word for crop which is Pradurbhu. Padava might be a corrupted form of the original word for "crop" which was used to term the new year festival. The term 'padwa' or 'padavo' is also associated with Diwali, another New Year celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season, thus substantiating the agricultural link to the festival.

On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow dung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colors mirroring the burst of color associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.

For Farmers, this is a festival marking the end of one Harvest and the beginning of another, was a festival heralding the beginning of a New Year. Gudi Padava is also looked upon as a new year in some parts of India such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra occurs in the month of Chaitra ( March-April).

Varshapratipada/ Pratipad Padwa

The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day Karthik Masa of the Indian calendar. It is known as Varshapratipada or Pratipad Padwa. VarshaPratipada that marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day. Newly wed females are invited over to their parents place along with their husbands. On this day, businessmen open their account books afresh, every kind of transaction, receipt or payment and business is postponed. On this day, many people try the their luck of gambling. This day is looked upon as the most auspicious day to start any new venture.

In many Hindu homes it is a custom for the wife to put the red tilak on the forehead of her husband, garland him and do his "Aarathi" with a prayer for his long life. In appreciation of all the tender care that the wife showers on him, the husband gives her a costly gift. This Gudi Padwa is symbolic of love and devotion between the wife and husband. On this day newly-married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals and given presents. In olden days brothers went to fetch their sisters from their in-laws home for this important day.


Annakoot is celebrated in observance of the episode in Sri Krishna's childhood, in which He gave protection to the cowherd clan of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra and humbled Indra in that process. The cowherds, their wives, children and cattle jubilantly surrounded Sri Krishna. They were awed by His superhuman accomplishment and celebrated Sri Krishna's feat with a sumptuous feast. Thus began the tradition of Annakoot.

Srimad Bhagwatam says :-
"After lifting of the huge Sri Goverdhan Parvat for continuous seven days prior to Diwali, the Lord put it back on earth & asked the citizens to worship the mountain. Sri Krishanji, then appeared in two forms. One as Sri Goverdhan hillock itself, i.e., deity to be worshiped and as second as resident to offer food to Him.

After the prayers, traditional worship & Aarti, innumerable varieties of delicious sweets/ all cookings / 56 bhogs were ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before the deity as "Bhog" and after Lord had it full , now it was citizens turn to approach the Mountain of Food and take Prasad from it. It was a Great Feast for residents of Goverdhan & they all enjoyed it thoroughly .

Thus on this day, the devotees offer their gratitude to Lord Krishna for his blessings in making their lives complete. In temples, on this day, the deities are given milk baths, dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones. After the prayers and traditional worship innumerable varieties of delicious sweets are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before the deities as an offering.

Bali Padyam / Bali Pratipada

Balipadyami or Bali Pratipada is the day on which 'Bali' is worshiped. Following Deepavali, there is a story behind celebrating this festival. When Vishnu was born as vamana (the dwarf), he crushed Bali into the under world. Then Prahlada, the grandfather of Bali pleaded Vishnu to pardon Bali. Then Bali was made the king of the under world. On Bali's request, Vishnu granted a boon that people on earth would remember him and would worship him. That is the reason for Balipadyami. On that day also people burst crackers and celebrate in the name of Bali.

There is also a story to tell that on Balipadyami 'Gambling' (Judam) should be played. Once on this padyami day, Shiva and Parvathi played the dice game. Shiva lost to Parvathi. Kumaraswami then played dice with Parvathi and won. Then Lord Ganesh played with Lord Kumaraswami and won. Since then, it has been customary for the family to be involved in gambling on this day. Farmers celebrate this day in a different way. They perform puja to cow, and is known as Gouramma puja. This ritual is being followed still in Tamilnadu.

Muharat Pujan

Muharat pujan is held on the fourth day of Diwali and is meant for those devotees who had missed their Chopda Pujan or Sharda pujan. The symbolism of Muharat Pujan is same as Chopda Pujan and Sharda Pujan, as this puja is very relevant for anyone who uses and earns money, not just businessmen. It encourages people to respect money and also teaches us to pray to obtain more empowerment to use surplus income for good causes and not just to hoard it.

Thus, businesses and every Hindu households perform Muharat pujan to clean up the accounting. On this day also, the worship of Laxmi continues to seek her blessings for success and happiness. Muharat Pujan is also taken upon as a puja that is auspicious for starting any new venture. During this puja, all family members are dressed up in new clothes, wearing fine jewelery.

Muharat pujan is very popular among the business communities of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. All business establishments and families perform Muharat pujan ie, veneration of their books. Stock brokers do mahurat trading or symbolic auspicious business deals.


Laxmi Pujan

Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu deity worshiped on the Hindu's biggest festival Diwali, symbolizes wealth, fortune, power, luxury, beauty, fertility, and auspiciousness as per the Hindu mythology. The deity is the key to material fulfillment and contentment. Every year thousands of worshipers pay homage to the deity on this auspicious day.

Shri is the sacred name of the goddess which carries an underlying current. It evokes grace, affluence, authority, abundance, holiness & is used often before starting an auspicious work, such as written on top of documents, spoken before addressing a god, teacher holy man to name a few. She embodies the ethereal beauty of nature. Also known as Bhoodevi, the earth-goddess, Laxmi is the nurturer who bestows power, pleasure and prosperity on her devotees.

The goddess, like Durga, has eight forms, known as Ashta Lakshmi, commonly worshiped by Hindus, each bestowing one form of wealth to her devotees. These are namely : Aadi Lakshmi, Santhana Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Dhana Lakshmi, Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Veera Lakshmi, Aiswarya Lakshmi. The swarna-hasta meaning golden-handed, is the better half of Lord Vishnu. She showers prosperity in every aspect, be it material or the moral and ethical values, the nobler aspects of life, the power of the mind and intellect.

Diwali is synonymous with “Laxmi Pujan”, since, she brings peace and prosperity to all. The Devi is worshiped on the night of diwali where traditional rituals are performed to honor the Goddess. After sunset, atleast five pieces of ghee diyas (lamps) are lit in front of the deities to usher in light. She is offered traditional sweets & it is followed by devotional songs in praise of the deity.

Chopda Pujan

Diwali is a festival of Hindus, but especially of the Businessmen, On this day they do puja of Account books and start writing their new accounts. This is called as "Chopda Pujan" or "Sharda Pujan" or "Muharat Pujan" meaning puja of account books. Chopda pujan is a day for everyone not only to reconcile one's financial books but also the spiritual books. People should pray to God to forgive us for all the mistakes this past year and to give the wisdom and strength to not make them the next year.

The Chopda Pujan/ Sharda Pujan/Muharat is a ceremony when ledgers and new account books are opened by the mercantile community following a special prayer and worship before the idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi to earn their blessings. All the traditional Vedic rituals or Maha Puja is performed and all the devotees have a prosperous new year and there be peace throughout the world by performing Chopda Puja.

In Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharastra, Diwali represents the start of a new business year so all businesses close their accounts and present them to Lakshmi and Ganesh during the Chopda Pujan. Inside their account ledgers they write 'Subh' (auspiciousness) and 'Labh' (merit) to invoke the two deities. Thus,Diwali is the festival when the new business year begins it is said that Diwali is the "Time to shop or start new ventures".

Deva Divali

The full moon day in Kartik, the first month of the Indian calendar brings in the festival of Dev Diwali. For the Jains, it is the day of 'Nirvana' of Lord Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara. To them it is the Deva Diwali when Lord Mahavira is worshiped, Agams (Jain holy books) are read and homes and temples are illuminated. Lamps are lit under the moonlight sky and a family feast celebrates this day.

Thousands of Jain pilgrims from all over India flock to the sacred Mount Girnar in Gujarat where special celebrations are held on this day. It is said that the first scriptural reference to Diwali is found in the Jain scripture Harivamsha Purana, by Acharya Jinasena. None of the principal Hindu scriptures mention the festival in particular. This has made some believe that , Diwali was originally a Jain festival and later adopted by Hindus as a festival of their own.

Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Thirthankaras, said to have attained Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri. Accoriding Jain legends the first disciple of Mahavira, Ganadhar Gautam Swami also attained complete knowledge on this very day, thus making Diwali a really special occasion for the Jains to celebrate.

The way Jains celebrate Diwali is different in many respect. There is a note of asceticism in what ever the Jains do and the celebration of Diwali is not an exception. The Jains celebrate Diwali during the month of Kartik for three days. During this period, devoted Jains observe fasting and chant the Uttaradhyayan Sutra which contain the final pravachans of Lord Mahavira and meditate upon him.


Deepawali is one of the oldest rituals for Kashmiri Pundits. That can be find a mention of its celebrations in Nilmat Puran. It was then celebrated as Sukhsuptika which literally means sleep with happiness. The celebration would start from Ekadeshi and last on Amavasya. On Amavasya elders of family would keep a fast and worship goddess Laxmi after sunset. Earthen lamps were placed in temples, on the road crossings, cremation grounds, banks of rivers, streams and lakes hills houses, at the foot of trees, cow sheds, court yards and shops. People would wear new clothes and listen to music.

With the passage of time some of these things have become obsolete but the tradition is still there. Since we were not used to eating Sweets in Kashmir, we substituted sweets with sweet puris and offered the same to Lord Narayan (incarnation of Lord Vishnu). On the whole we do not celebrate Diwili with the same gusto as is done by our Hindu brethren outside Kashmir. This could be due to the fact that we are Lord Shiva worshipers. Diwali is primarily a worship of Lord Vishnu who is very popular in the plains of India.

On Kartika Amavasya all except the sick and the children keep fast in Kashmir. In the evening Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth is worshiped. Lamps are placed in temples, on crossings of roads, cremation grounds, banks of rivers, streams and lakes, hills, houses, at the foot of trees, cow-sheds, courtyards and shops. Shops are decorated tastefully. Feast is arranged in the evening in which friends relatives, Brahmins and servants participate. On the next day people with new clothes on, gamble and listen to vocal and instrumental music.

Kaumudi Mahostavam

In the olden days of South India, Deepavali was once called as 'Kaumudi Mahostavam'. In those times the kings used to supervise the festivities of Diwali during the nights. The rituals and customs of those days are still followed such as black gram leaves are eaten even today. Lamps are distributed. Late in the night, women bring out their household weapons like dustpans, mops, etc, to drive away 'Jyesthadevi', the Goddess of penury.

It is believed that on Amavasya (no moon day), Goddess Lakshmi is present in sesame oil, and Gangadevi is present in all wells, lakes, and ponds. Sesame oil is used for taking bath. Plants like Uttarani, Anapa and Prapunnatamu are circled around the head before taking bath. Yama is worshiped facing South. It is believed that this helps in combating untimely death and in giving peace to the departed souls. In the evening, lamps are lightened almost everywhere in the town including the temples, hills, graveyards, etc.


For Gujaratis Diwali is known as Badhausar. It is their belief that on this day Goddess Lakshmi descends from the heaven to the earth to live in a clean and tidy house. This a general belief of having clean house. Flowers of different hues and colors decorate the households. Girls of the all household go around in groups to each and they are traditionally dressed in the full bright colors that they are known for. The girls offer Mera, a prayer in front of each household and invoke God to bless each member of the family.

Rangoli is a floral design and use of flower is custom on the day of Badhausar. On the next day all the girls of the village prepare the sweets and personally take the sweets from house to house and deliver it with good wishes. They also carry earthen lamps (diyas) through the village in the evening on the second day making the entire atmosphere picturesque devotional fun enduring.

Balindra Pooja

Balindra Pooja is observed in the morning of the thirteenth day of the dark half of Ashwija. First the puja is offered to water. Next morning at moon rise, a pooja offering oil to Krishna is performed. On the New Moon day, Pooja is offered to the image of Bali, which is artistically drawn on the ground in front of the gopuram. This is a popular puja done in the household of most of the South Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

On the next day puja is offered to the cows after they are washed, decorated and fed with special sweets etc. Then, the cows are taken in a procession. A Balindra is molded out of cow dung in a square shape. Shavanthi flowers are stuck on to it. This is worshiped as Balindra. A large number of wick lamps are lighted on this occasion.

In the evening there is an elaborate aarati of Varalakshmi, Mangal Gowri and Swarna Gowri. The objects needed for the aarati which are placed on a thaal (plate)are akshata, (rice grains) haldi, paan and chuna (lime paste) Alternatively, it can also be performed by lighting camphor on a silver plate or with a silver ghee lamp. The day marks the beginning of one month of lighting of the Kartika deepa at the door or threshold. The entire house is lit up and decorated with lamps of til oil and crackers are burst.

Karthigai Deepam

Kaarthigai Deepam is a festival of lights, celebrated in the Tamil month of Kaarthigai. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kaarthigai month which coincides with Krithikai star. It is also considered as the extension of the Deepavali festival. In some houses, they double the number of lamps every day from the day of Deepavali and this way, they end up with a number of lamps on the day of Kaarthigai Deepam.

It is celebrated in a special manner in Thiruvannamalai. Lord Shiva asks Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to find out the exact location of his head and his feet. Since Lord Shiva takes a gigantic form, they are not able to find out anywhere. Then Lord Shiva takes the form of a jyothi (light of fire) on the hill of Thiruvannamali. Therefore, this festival is also known as Annamalai Deepam. Here, a special torch is lighted on the zenith of the hill and it is believed that Lord Shiva's jothi will be visible on this day.

Lord Muruga took the form of six babies in a lake called "Saravana Poigai". On this day, all his six forms were united by Parvathi(his mother) and this way, he had six faces. Special poojas are performed to Lord Muruga.

On this day, people clean the houses. In the evening, they draw kolams (rangoli) in the front of the house and also place some lamps on it. The lamps(Agal) are placed in the pooja and lighted. Then the Deeparathana is done in which the lamps are moved to different places in the house. The lamps glow all over the streets on this day. The lamps are arranged near the doors and windows and also in the balconies. In this way, people of Tamil Nadu celebrate Kaarthigai Deepam for three days.

Thalai Deepavali

Deepavali is especially special if it is "Thalai Deepavali"- the first one after the wedding. Newly weds are pampered by family members and showered with gifts. The newly-wed are invited for the first Deepavali and are provided 'Seer,' a part of the dowry, as per the custom. During the first year after marriage, the girls are also given 'Thalai Karthikai' as a gift. The celebrations include a visit to the temple, gifts of clothes and jewelery, gorging on sweets and receiving blessings of elders. The groom's parents, brothers and sisters come down to join in the celebrations.

Among the usual Diwali customs and rituals, is the extra special, once-in-a-life event: The first Diwali after marriage. In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Thalai Deepavali. During Thalai Deepavali, the newly weds go to the bride's parental home for revelry. The day starts very early, around 3.30 - 4 in the morning, with the ritual of the early morning oil bath. The music of Nadaswaram and Mrudangam floats on the fresh morning air. After the bath the bride and groom accept their new clothes, kept at the feet of God and also the Lehiyam (a form of medicine). Taking blessings from the elders, they burst the first crackers of the day. Usually a vast range of crackers is bought, with costs running into thousands of rupees.

Sharda Pujan

Sharda pujan is performed on the third day of Diwali and it is also the last day of Hindu year. On this day devotees light diyas and decorate the house with brightly colored lights. To ensure success, traders worship their new account books; non-traders also do pujan of their saving books. The businessmen balanced their previous years accounts. This pujan is known as Sharda poojan and is generally performed by the eldest member of the family. Hindus, especially students offer pujan to books during Sharda pujan as Sharda is the other name of Ma Saraswati, the goddess of learning. Goddess Sharda is symbolic of conquest over one's self.

A Rangoli, an intricate artistic design using bright colored powders, is created at the entrance of homes. This is to welcome people who visit or come to home. Various sweets are offered to the Lord and served as Prashad. During Sharda Pujan, vedic rituals are also held to welcome the Hindu new year. Since it is the last day of the year people resolve all personal conflicts forgiving and forgetting misdeeds of the past year and start the New Year afresh. After Sharda pujan, firecrackers and fireworks are lit at night.

Bandi Chhor Diwas

Not only Hindus, but Sikhs also celebrate Diwali as Bandi Chhor Diwas, an important festival. More for historical reasons than religious, has acquired a very special significance in the Sikh tradition. It is said that the foundation stone for the Golden Temple was laid during the time of Diwali in 1577. The occasion of Bandi Chhor Diwas prompt the followers of Sikhism to celebrate the day with joy and happiness.

Diwali played an important role in the life of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs. When Jehangir, the Mughal emperor, arrested Guru Hargobind and put him in a prison in Gwalior, gloom descended upon Sikhs. But later Jehangir relented and let the Guru go. Accompanied by his followers and to the joy of many Sikhs, the Guru returned to Amritsar and made an appearance before his followers. Thus, this day is very significant for people following Sikh religion. This festival can be best described in these words:

Hey Waheguru! "Raaj Na Chaahayu, Mukti Na Chaahyu Man Preet Charan Kamlaare"

Oh Wonderful Lord! I neither desire for empire and material realm nor liberation or mukti, my soul longs for the love of your lotus feet.

Celebrating Diwali and Lightening a Deeva in true sense is acquiring divine knowledge and being selfless, tolerant, humble, kind and sweet spoken. That leads one to become one with Waheguru (god).

Pray to God on this beautiful occasion of Diwali to give us light, to give us understanding, so that we may know what pleaseth thee, and may all (all whole mankind) prosper by the Grace.

Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa, (Hail God's Khalsa)
Waheguru ji ki Fateh. (Victory be to God)


The Festival of Diwali among Sindhis is known as Diyari. While the most of the customs for the celebration of Diayri are similar to othwers, Sindhis have also developed over a period of time, some special functions such as they wash Gold/ Silver coins in unboiled milk and water. During Laksmi pooja, sweet in form of Chikki made of jaggery and peanuts is aoffered. After the Laksmmi aarti, Sindhis follow the custom of picking one coin from the lot and gently hitting the teeth with it. During this ritual, following phrase is spoken "Laksmi aayi, Danat vaai" meaing Goddess Laksmi has arrived and poverty has gone away. This also has a message that after all you cannot eat the wealth. They keep their house open throughout night to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.

On the day of Diyari, Sindhis do not indulge in cleansing exercise and the broomstick and vaccum cleaner are not used. To make up perhaps, decorations begin well in advance and the entire household is cleared, cleaned and washed. However on the festival day of Lakshmi pooja the broomstick is not put to use. Many Sindhi households also have three matkas in which sweets, dry fruits etc., are kept symbolizing the need to save. Sai Bhaji ( a delicious dish of spinach and Gram Dal ) with rice, sweet with jaggery is a must in the Sindhi household on Diyari.

Narak Chaturdashi, Roop Chaturdashi, Kali Choudas, Mahanisha/Kali Puja, Divvela Panduga

Choti Diwali / Narak Chaturdasi

The day before Diwali is celebrated as Chhoti Diwali / Narak Chaturdasi or 'small Diwali'. It is Diwali on a smaller scale, with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst. The morning after Choti Diwali, the women of the house make beautiful, colored rangoli in the doorway and courtyard. Tiny footprints made out of rice paste are a special feature of the rangolis made for Diwali. In Hindu homes, Chhoti Diwali celebrations involve a ritual puja to Goddess Lakshmi and also to Rama in the evening. Songs in honor of the god are sung and aarti is performed.

Legends behind Chhoti Diwali

The story goes that the demon king Narakasur ruler of Pragjyotishpur (a province to the South of Nepal) after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess (the ruler of Suraloka and a relative of Satyabhama, Lord Krishna's wife) and imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of the gods and saints in his harem.

On coming to know about this, Satyabhama was enraged by Narakasura's malevolence towards women, and she appealed to Krishna to give her the golden chance to destroy Narakasura. The legend also says that Narakasura was given a curse that he would be killed by a woman. Krishna granted Satyabhama a boon to fight with Narakasura. With Krishna as the charioteer, Satyabhama entered the battle field. During the war, Krishna swooned for a while, a preordained divinely act adopted to empower Satyabhama to kill the demon. After Narakasura was beheaded, the imprisoned women were released, and Krishna accepted to marry them.

So on the day previous to Narakachaturdashi, Lord Krishna's divine intervention led to the killing of the demon, Narakasura and liberation of the imprisoned damsels as well as recovery of the precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon king's blood. Krishna returned home in the very early morning of the Narakachaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice specially in Maharashtra.

It is interesting to note that Bhudevi, mother of the slain Narakasura, declared that his death should not be a day of mourning but an occasion to celebrate and rejoice. Since then, Deepavali is being celebrated by people every year with joyous celebrations with lot of fun and frolic, and fire works.

In South India that victory of the divine over the mundane is celebrated in a very peculiar way. People wake up before sunrise prepare a paste by mixing Kumkum in oil, symbolizing blood and after breaking a bitter fruit that represents the head of the demon King that was smashed by Krishna, apply that mixture on their foreheads. Then they have an oil bath using sandalwood paste.

In Maharashtra also, traditional early baths with oil and "Uptan" (paste) of gram flour and fragrant powders are a `must'. All through the ritual of baths, deafening sounds of crackers and fireworks are there in order that the children enjoy bathing. Afterward steamed vermicelli with milk and sugar or puffed rice with curd is served.


Celebrated as the second of the auspicious Deepavali days, Narkachaturdashi originates from days of Lord Krishna. God Yama is also worshiped on this day to get over the fear of demon Narakasura. Lamps with four wicks are lighted at various places. People make an effigy of Narakasura, carry it to the outskirts, and burn it. Later, they take bath and burst crackers. This is the day of Narakasura's death and hence a celebration for all.

There are many popular stories associated with this day, but the most widely accepted one is that of Satyabhama (Krishna's wife) and Narakasura. Narakasur was a demon king, ruling Pragjothishyapur, a southern province in the present day Nepal. He gained a boon from Brahma that he shall die only in the hands of a woman. Armed with the boon, he became a cruel king. Narakasura was infamous for his wicked ruling and high disregard for gods and women.

Addicted to power, he defeated Lord Indra (king of gods) and stole the earrings of Aditi (the heavenly mother goddess). Aditi was a relative of Satyabhama. When she heard of the injustice being done to women in general by Narakasura and his behaviour with Aditi, she was enraged. Satyabhama went to ask Lord Krishna, permission to wage a war against Narakasura, Krishna not only agreed, but also offered to drive her chariot in the Warfield.

On the day of the war, both the armies fought bravely and the war continued for some time. Satyabhama fought Narakasura bravely, but she was no match to his trained war wisdom. After some days, when Narakasura got a chance, he took an aim at Krishna, hurting him lightly. Krishna fainted and made Satyabhama furious. She doubled her attack on the demon king and killed him finally. Her victory on Narakasura translated into freedom for all his prisoners and honoring of Aditi.

To announce the death of Narakasura, Krishna smeared the demon's blood on his forehead and returned the very next day along with Satyabhama to his kingdom. On their arrival, preparations were made to cleanse Krishna of the demon's blood. At dusk, the whole city was lit with lamps and fireworks were displayed to rejoice in peace after the death of the demon king. Thus, came Narakachathurthasi as a celebration of the death of the evil king.

Roop Chaturdashi

Roop Chaturdashi is a Soundarya Siddhi Diwas i.e. on this day one can perform some Sadhana for gain of beauty and magnetism. Just as flowers and leaves cannot appear on a dry tree similarly a person who is deprived of handsomeness, joy and vigor cannot rise in life. He remains angry, tense and troubled throughout life. In life beauty and good looks are just as important as good health.

Over the ages people forgot the significance of this day and businessmen used the occasion to perform worships for the expansion of their business. This is not the real purpose of this wonderful days. The rituals performed on the Roop Chaturdashi lay stress on the point that it is the duty of every human to take care of one's body and maintain its good looks. Keeping the physique fit and healthy and also improving one's appearance through external means are equally important. Roop Chaturdashi is the day when one can pray for both these boons i.e. a healthy and beautiful body.

Roop-Chaturdashi in the north is mainly a day of rejoicing and is heralded with firecrackers. In all north Indian States, such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhaya Pradesh, the second day of Diwali is also known as Roop Chaturdashi. On this day, Hindus takes a ritual bath and perform Sadhana (Meditation). On Roop Chaturdashi day, one can pray for both these boons i.e. a healthy and beautiful body. In Maharashtra also, traditional early baths with oil and "Uptan" (paste) of gram flour and fragrant powders are a `must' on this day.

Kali Choudas

Kali means Dark (evil) and Chaudas - Fourteenth. Thus, celebrated 14th day of Ashwin, Kali Chaudas is the day allotted to the worship of Maha-Kali or Shakti and is believed that on this day Kali killed the wicked Raktavija. Also referred to as Narak-Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas is day to abolish laziness and evil which create hell in our life and shine light on life. The strength to protect others is referred as Kali, and if its used for God's work it is called Mahakali.

Kali Chaudous is also attached to the legend of Lord Hanuman. Hanumanji as a baby was very hungry. Whilst lying down he saw the sun in the sky and thought it was a fruit and went to pick it. He flew into the sky and put the whole sun in his mouth causing darkness throughout the entire universe. Lord Indra requested that Hanumanji return the sun. When Hanumanji refused, Lord Indra unleashed his vajra and knocked Hanumanji down to earth releasing the Sun.

On this day we offer poojan to Hanumanji as our Kuldev to protect us from Evil. The poojan is performed with oil, flowers, chandan and sindur. Coconuts are also offered to Hanumanji and prashad of Sesame seed, ladoos and rice with ghee and sugar.

The rituals of Kali Choudas is strongly suggestive of the origin of Deepavaali as an harvest festival is performed. On this day delicacies are prepared from pounded semi-cooked rice (called Poha or Pova). This rice is taken from the fresh harvest available at that time. This custom is prevalent both in rural and urban areas especially in Western India.

On this day, a head wash and application of kajal in the eyes is believed to keep away the kali nazar (evil eye). Some say that those who are into tantra, learn their 'mantras' on this day. Alternatively, people offer Nived (food) to the goddess that is local to where they are originally from. This goddess is called their 'Kul Devi', in order to cast off evil spirits. Some families also offer food to their forefathers on this day. The second day of Diwali is known as Kali Choudas in Gujarat, Rajasthan & few part of Maharashtra. This reverence is called "Kali Chaudas or Kal Chaturdasi".

Mahanisha / Kali Puja

Kali puja is the day when Divine mother grace the humanity. Shakti, the Goddess personifying divine power is worshipped in three forms - Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The festival of Diwali in Bengal is celebrated by worshiping Mahakali and devotees also call this day as Mahanisha. It is believed that Maha Kali appeared on this day, accompanied by 64,000 yoginis.

Kal means Darkness; thus Kali takes away the Darkness that surround our life. She takes away the darkness from every individual who strives in the path of perfection by performing the spiritual disciplines of purifying austerities. Worship to Her brings peace and mental satisfaction - a devotee is always helped by the cosmic power. It is good to have faith and to offer the prayer on Kali puja to any temple or to pray at home.

Kali Puja is known as Mahanisha because the puja is held at night amidst the sound of dhol. Devotees remain awake throughout the night to worship Ma. After Durga Puja, Kali Puja is another major draw of Bengal. This puja is also held in a mass scale. There are prizes and gifts galore during this puja.

Before performing elaborate puja, the verandah of the house is specially decorated with colorful drawings in form of Alpana. The puja starts with a worship of the Guru and Ganesha, the removers of obstacles. The puja symbolizes the surrender of the devotee to Ma Kali. Each element is represented by a material symbol, such as flowers, or light etc. During the entire puja the temple resonates with the continuous chanting of the holy names of Kali. The puja ends with the offering of the arati flame, symbolic of consciousness and sweet pudding, symbolic of union with God to the devotees.

Divvela Panduga / Divili Panduga

Divvela Panduga, the Festival of Lights is a very popular festival and is celebrated throughout the Indian Continent. In Andhra Pradesh this festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil when Lord Krishna, with the help of his wife Satyabhama, destroyed Narakaasura, a demon king, and established his rule, the law and order and saved women from the Narakaasura's custody.

Divvela panduga is also known as Naraka Chaturdasi, because that was the Chaturdasi (fourteenth day) of the fortnight that ends with Amavasya (New Moon Day). All through this fortnight, people decorate their homes with oil lamps and on the dark night of Amavasya is celebrated with fire works. The dark night becomes a brightly-lit night with rows of lights everywhere and fire works.

On the day of Divili Panduga, religious Telugus wake up early in the morning and take special ritual showers. They wear new clothes on this day and parents invite their daughters and sons-in-law to their home and present them new clothes. For merchants and business communities of Andhra Pradesh, Divvela panduga is worship of Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, and is the beginning of a New Year.

Dhan Trayodashi


Dhan means wealth and trayodashi is the 13th day of the weaning moon in the month of Ashwin. Thus, on the day of Dhanatrayodashi all the sources of wealth are worshipped. Apart from this, Dhanatrayodashi is taken as a day to learn from the experience of one's past deeds and pay homage to memory of ancestors from whom one inherits these traditions.
The farmers worship their cattle and their weapons. Women buy something in metal especialy silver, good for the house. On this day, doorways are hung with torans, garland made of mango leaves and marigolds and decorated with Rangolis drawn to welcome guests.

On this day, Dhanvantari, the God of health and welfare is worshipped by performing acts such as cleaning the entire house, buying new clothes, new vessels etc. Shri Dhanvantari is worshipped on this day because this is the day that he arose from the ocean during the famous Samudra Manthan. The God of Health is worshiped first because Hinduism gives tremendous importance to physical well being.


Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan and lamps are kept burning through the night in reverential adoration to Yama - and prayers offered to him to keep away death and despair. A very interesting story about this day is attached to the sixteen year old son of King Hima. As per his horoscope he was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage.

On that fateful fourth day of his marriage his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband's palatial room and lighted infinite numbers of lamps all over the place. After all these, she went on telling stories and singing songs so that her husband is not able to sleep.

When Yam, the god of Death arrived there appearing in form of a Serpent his eyes got blinded by the dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince's chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away.

Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of "Yamadeepdaan" and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in remembering Yam, the god of Death.

Thirteen lamps made of wheat flour and lit with oil are placed outside the house, facing southwards (direction of Lord Yama), in the evening. A lamp is never kept facing southwards except on this day. Then, reciting the following mantra one should offer obeisance: "I offer these thirteen lamps to the son (Lord Yama) of the Sun deity (Surya), so that He liberates me from the clutches of death and bestows His blessings."

Dhan Teyras

The first festival of Diwali, Dhan Teyras falls on triyodashi of Kartik Krishna Paksha, two days before Diwali. Two legends are worshiped on this day. One of Lord Yamaraja, the other of Dhanvantri holding a pot of Amrit (immortal juice). Lord Yamaraj is worshiped to avoid untimely death Dhanvantri is worshiped for good health.

On Dhan Teyras, fast is kept and the worship is done by lighting an earthen lamp on the main entrance of the house and offering water, vermilion, rice, jaggery and flowers to Yamaraj. Dhanvanti is the physician of the gods. He appeared out of the churning of the ocean, as one of the fourteen jewels emerged from the churning. He came out of the sea, holding a pot full of Amrit (immortal juice). He is worshiped on Dhan teyras day, as advised by Yama and in order to be free from disease and fear of death.

On this day, "Bhajans" devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are also sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with Jaggery and offer as Naivedya. In villages cattle are adorned and worshiped 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 worshiped on this day.

Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi / Dhantheran

Observed two days before Diwali, Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi signifies the importance of money in our life. We cannot move not even inch without money. Everybody knows that without money, it is very difficult to survive. Thus for attaining money, people to pray Lord Kubera on the day of Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi. This day is also known as Dhana Trayodasi or Dhanteras.

The Lord of finance is Kubera. Thus, if devotees pray sincerely on the Dhana Trayodasi with utmost faith, one need not worry for finance. The Kubera Mantra is recited on this day. The mantra is:

"Om Yakshaya, Kuberaya, Vysravanaya, Dhanadanyathipatiye, Dhana Dhanya Samruthideye, Dehi Dapaya Swaha"

On the day of Asweyuja Bahula Trayodasi, the devotee has to place the Kubera Yantra or Photo in the Pooja room. At the outset, one has to pray the Lord Vigneswara and then start performing pooja to the Lord Kubera and seek his blessings. One has to place Honey, Jaggery and Dry dates before the photo or Yantra and light the lamp with pure ghee.

On Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi, all businesspersons whitewash their shops and close their accounts. They worship goddess Lakshmi and the accounting books with coins. Some organise a doll show also. Lamps are lighted and placed at the entrance after dusk in order to combat untimely death.

Sharad Poornima

First of all, Sorry for late. I am late for uploading this article due to personal reasons. But anyway, this is for all of you.

Sharad Poornima is that Divine night when Radha Krishn revealed the supreme Bliss of maharas to uncountable Gopis in Vrindaban about 5,000 years ago. It is the full moon night which falls in October. This day is very precious in our lives for an additional reason as well: our beloved Shree Maharajji appeared on that night in 1922 in Mangarh, India. Whereas the devotees in Mangarh participate in a procession (yatra) with Shree Maharajji seated on an elegantly decorated chariot (rath), here at Barsana Dham we have a procession with Shree Radha Rani seated on a flower adorned chariot.

By the time the autumn full moon is ready to rise on the dark horizon, Dussera festivals are over and the eyes of merrymakers are turned towards shops full of fireworks and sweets for Diwali. Sharad Purnima occurs exactly a fortnight before Diwali. This is a harvest festival where Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity, visits all homes to bring fortune and good luck to all people, young and old.

Kojagiri, as this special night is called, is celebrated with ice-cold, saffron-flavoured sweet milk, shared in the cool moonlight. The full moon night is called Navanna Purnima or the moonlit night of new food. The newly harvested rice is offered to the gods and lamp; are lit before the full moon.

Maharishi Ved Vyasji in ‘Shrimad Bhagwat ‘ in the 10th episode has described the night of ‘Sharad poornima’ as the night of the Raasotsav(raas celebrations)of the incarnation of Lord Krishna on the earth, because unlike the moon showering the cool nectar Lord Krishna too, showered ‘Bhakti ras ‘ on the earth.thousands of fortunate Gopis enthrilled themselves by enjoying the bhakti ras in the accompaniment of the Yogehwar Lord Krishna ,the memory alone of this event fills the hearts of the devotees with love for the lord.

About Sharad Purnima

On this night, Lord Krishna invited his faithful devotees, the Gopis of Vrundavan, to play the Maha Raas (traditional folk-dance) with him. They had earned his grace by overlooking society’s disdain on them (`loklaaj’), to offer him unalloyed devotion. When they left their homes in Vraj and arrived in Vrundavan, Shri Krishna welcomed them. Yet to further test their love for him, he averred: ‘Women of character such as you, should not leave home to meet another man in the middle of the night!’ These words seared the Gopis’ hearts. In extreme grief, they uttered: ‘Our feet will not budge the slightest from your lotus-feet. So how can we return to Vraj?’ Pleased with such immutable love for him, Shri Krishna initiated the Maha Raas, by assuming as many forms as there were Gopis. At this point, they beamed with pride that, ‘Nobody’s devotion can excel ours, by which the Lord favored us.’ Instead of accepting the Maha Raas as the Lord’s grace, ego marred their devotion. Therefore he instantly vanished from the Raas mandal! Now filled with remorse, the Gopis repented.

Recalling Shri Krishna’s divine episodes - ‘lila’, they lamented their pangs of separation, and sang kirtans known as ‘viraha geet’: ‘Jayati te-dhikam janmanaa vrajaha. (Shrimad Bhagvat 10/31/1) Describing the ‘lila’ in the Bhagvat (10/30/25), Shukdevji narrates to king Parikshit: ‘O Parikshit! Of all nights, that night of Sharad Punam became the most resplendent. With the Gopis, Shri Krishna roamed the banks of the Yamuna, as if imprisoning everyone in his lila!’

On this auspicious day Kshir or Khir (milk thickened with rice and mixed with sugar, candy, etc.) is especially prepared in the temples and homes, and offered to Hari amidst ringing of the balls and chanting of the hymns, then it is given in the morning as prasad to the devotees. The recipe is kept in the moonshine all the night so that it may absorb the amrit falling from the moon. Such khir is considered to possess many qualities. At night Moon-god is also worshipped and offered naivedya.

The moon is very close to the earth on this day and its bright rays has its own curative properties,the rays fall on the food or drinks that are consumed,and help in curing the disorder of Pitt avoids many other trivial diseases and makes the body healthy.


One derivation of the word Dasera is from dashhara. 'Dash' means ten and 'hara' means defeated. Nine days before Dasera, in the nine days of Navaratri, all the ten directions are saturated with the female deity's (devi's-Shakti) energy. 'Shakti' has control over creation in all the ten directions (dikbhav), attendants (gan), etc. That is why this day is known as Dashhara, Dasera, Vijayadashami, etc. This is one amongst the three and a half auspicious moments (muhurts) of the year. This falls on the tenth day (dashami) of the bright fortnight of Ashvin. The immersion of the Navratri (female deity) is done on the ninth day (navami) or the tenth day. Four rituals namely crossing the territory (Simollanghan), worship of the Shami tree (Shamipujan), worship of the deity Aparajita (Aparajitapujan) and worship of instruments (Shastrapuja) should be performed on this day.

Rituals to be performed on Vijayadashmi

1. Crossing the territory (Simollanghan)

In this ritual the territory of a village is crossed in the north-east direction in the third part ('prahar') of the day, that is in the afternoon. And one should stop at a Shami or Apta tree.

2. Worship of the Shami tree (Shamipujan)

The Shami tree is worshipped with the recitation of the following prayer.

Shami Shamayate papam shami lokhitkantaka l

Dharinyarjunbananam Ramasya priyavadini ll

Karishmanyatraya yathakal such mya l

Tatra nirvighanktri twam bhav Sree Rampujite ll

Translation: The Shami tree cleanses sins. Its thorns are reddish in colour. It is Lord Rama's favourite tree and in such a tree Pandavas hid their arms. O Shami, Lord Rama has worshipped you. I now embark upon my journey to victory. May you make it pleasant and free from obstacles.

The Apta tree is worshipped with the following mantra:

Ashmantak Mahavruksha Mahadoshnivaran l

Istana darshanm dehi kuru shtruvinashnam ll

Translation: O great Apta (also known as Ashmantak) tree, you are the one who overcomes great defects. Unite me with my friends and destroy my foes.

Then rice, a betelnut and a gold coin (copper coin as a variant) are placed near the roots of that tree. After circumambulating the tree, some mud from its base and some of its leaves are brought home. Leaves of the Apta are offered as 'gold' to God and friends. Conventionally, gold should be gifted by the young to the old. In Maharashtra, there is a custom of gifting gold to family members and friends on Dasera. This has a historical significance too. After a military expedition, the brave Marathas would bring home the plundered booty from the enemy's territory. These victorious warriors were welcomed by their wives or sisters with Arti (a prayer sung with the waving of a lamp). In return the warriors would give some gold ornaments from their plunder. The warriors then placed their loot before the deities in the temple of the house and offered obeisance to God and elders seeking their blessings. Nowadays, this is commemorated by distributing leaves of the Apta tree, symbolizing gold.

3. Worship of the deity Aparajita (Aparajitapujan)

During the worship of the Shami tree, eight petals (Ashtadal) are drawn on the ground and an idol of the deity Aparajita is placed on it and worshipped by chanting the following mantra:

Haren tu vichitren bhaswatkankamekhala l

Aparajita bhadrarta karotu vijayam mam ll

Translation: O deity Aparajita, You who adorn a necklace, a glittering golden girdle and who blesses devotees earnestly, bestow victory upon me.

In some places, this worship is also performed before leaving for the ritual of crossing the territory.

4 . Worship of instruments (Shastrapuja)

On this day soldiers and the feudal princes clean their weapons, arrange them in a row and worship them. Farmers and artisans too worship their respective implements or instruments. Some also perform this ritual on the ninth day of Navaratri.

The royal way of celebration : Since Dasera is a festival of triumph, on this day special rituals have been recommended for nobles and kings. This is a festival signifying victory and valour. Before Arjun went into hiding (adnyatvas), he placed all his weapons in the hollow of the Shami tree. But on this day when the Kourav army was herding away King Virat's cattle, Arjun pulled out his weapons from the Shami tree and confronted the army and defeated them. It is believed that Lord Ramachandra too slayed Ravana and emerged victorious on this day. To signify these events, this day has been named Vijayadashmi. Actually this festival was celebrated even in ancient times. At that time it was a festival of the peasants. A peasant would celebrate it after bringing home his first monsoon harvest. During the Navaratri, on the day of installation of the pot (ghatasthapana) nine types of food grains are germinated in the altar (sthandil). On the day of Dasera the sprouted grains are pulled out and offered to the deities. In several places the main door of the house is decorated with sheafs of rice grains. This custom also depicts that it is a festival of the peasants. With the passage of time this festival became religious in nature and in the historical ages, it became a political one. (Ref: Bhartiya Sanskritikosh, Volume 4, Page no.319,320)
- with the help of Hindu-Jagriti

Suryaputra Shani Dev

First of all, I want to say Happy Birthday to Shri Shani Dev Maharaj as today is “Shani Dev Jayanti.” This is about Shri Shani Dev with a request to Shri Shani Devi that He may bless me at every moment of my life.

Astronomical facts

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and is also the second largest planet, with a radius of 37,366 miles. It is said to have a small core of rock and iron, then a layer of ice and lastly topped by a deep layer of liquid hydrogen.

Saturn is different from other known planets for the rings it has. No planet in this solar system has rings like Saturn does. The rings consist of small pieces of ice and rock, are 62,000 kilometers wide but just 100 meters thick. The rings are actually made of thousands of closely spaced ringlets, looking like a gramophone record disk.

Saturn has 22 known natural satellites, more than any other planet does.

Vedic Astrological view

From the Vedic point of view, the physical Saturn is only a representation of Shani Dev / Shanaischaram (Saturn God). By the movement of the physical Saturn, we understand the intention of Saturn God (Shani) about us. Saturn God is the natural ruler of karma, and to understand our karma, we must first understand Shani.

Shani is one of the three children of Sun and Chaya Devi. From the Vedic texts, we can learn a lot about Shani. Many times the power of his gaze have been mentioned in the classics. We learn that right after Shani was born, his gaze caused Sun's charioteer to fall down and break his thigh; Sun's horses to get blind; and Sun himself caught vitiligo for Shani's powerful gaze on him. They were healed only when Shani moved his gaze away and looked at somewhere else.

This clarifies the power which Shani has in his gaze.

In Jyotish, Shani is considered a very malefic planet. The nine planets are the incarnation of Lord to bestow us the result of our karma - which are the lessons we need to learn. And most of the times, the toughest lessons are taught by Shani. In our school, we always have different teachers for different subjects like Math, Physics, Language etc. Just like that, different planets teach us different kind of lessons, and most of the times the teacher Shani teaches us very painful lessons. This is not something to doubt when we learn from the BPHS that Shani is the natural giver of grief.

In general, Shani is considered the most malefic planet, and the most problematic, painful yogas involve Shani most of the times. When Shani maleficly affect something, he slows the matter down, and causes obstructions and delays in it's fruitfulness. Shani also rules separation, he hurts us by taking things away from us. When we face a painful separation from our parents, spouse, friends or anyone we care for, Shani is always a possibility for that. Ketu also causes separation as he rules non-attachment, but separations and delays are among the main significations of Shani. He's association with Venus / 7th lord causes separation from spouse most of the times. Though the final comment should be made seeing Shani's strength, placement and lordship, as for Taurus and Libra natives Shani is a functional benefic being a Yoga karaka. But even then Shani will not forget to remind his nature sometimes. That is my personal view on this.

Shani is a planet of Tamasic quality. He is a planet of extreme nature. When he favours someone, he gives very favourable effects. Oppositely, when anyone receives his curse, indescribable pain and miseries he or she faces in life. Shani purifies a person by giving immense sorrow and pain, as fire purifies the gold.

Favourable effects of Shani on one's nature include in-depth knowledge, sensibility, wisdom, justice, broadness of mind, honesty, patience, ability to work hard etc. In life, he may give wealth, fortune, long life etc. when auspicious and well placed.

On the other hand, when badly afflicting a person's nature, Shani can make one sadistic, greedy, lazy, dishonest, fearful, irresponsible and even addicted to drugs. Shani causes obstruction, delay, grief, poverty, short life etc. He makes a person totally lonely, helpless and can make one suffer from enmity, theft, lawsuits etc. Shani can also give imprisonment since he rules obstruction, loneliness and grief.

When causing diseases, Shani generally gives chronic diseases as the person suffers for a long time - by this he again shows his nature of slowness and delays.

When badly effecting one's profession, Shani makes one work very hard but does not give the proper reward he deserves. That is why social servants and people who earn their living by physical labour are ruled by Shani. For the same reason Shani rules the Sudras (4th caste) and abodes in filthy places.

For the power of his gaze, Shani has a tremendous afflicting ability by his mere aspects, which he casts on 3rd, 7th and 10th houses from his own position.

Among other planets used in Vedic Astrology, Saturn is the last one counted from Sun's position. That is why Shani Dev rules 'The last' or 'The end' of anything. He is the 'Last Answer' in anything. In our material world, death is the end of everything, and that is why, Shani rules death and longevity issues. He is the natural significator of 8th house in astrology. We know that 8th house deals with sorrows, shock, pains, depressions and also - occult. That is why Shani also deals with Magic, Tantra, Jyotish etc.

Shani was lamed by another son of the Sun, named Yama (God of death) when he hit Shani in his leg. So Shani is always very slow in his movement. One name of Shani, as I already mentioned, is 'Shanaischaram' which means the slow mover. He takes around 2.5 years to pass through a sign, thus he takes around 30 years to complete the travel over the whole zodiac. So he rules slowness and delays; And he teaches us how to tolerate slowness and delays, by patience. He is generally pleased with people having patience.

The great phase (Maha Dasha) of Shani lasts for 19 years. Even than the Maha Dasha, Shani gets the strong hold of a person by his transit over the 12th, 1st and 2nd signs from his or her natal Moon. This is called 'Sade Sati' since it lasts for about 7.5 years.

Shani lords over the signs Capricorn (Makara) and Aquarius (Kumbha) with Aquarius being his Mooltrikona sign. He is exalted in Libra and debilitated in Aries. His natural friends are Mercury, Venus and Rahu, while enemies are Sun, Moon, Mars and Ketu. He has neutral relationship with Deva Guru Jupiter. He is ruler of the three nakshatras named Pushya (8), Anuradha (17) and Uttara Bhadrapada (26). He rules 8 in the numbers, Saturday in the weekdays, and aqua, blue and black in colours. His favourite gemstone is blue sapphire wearing which strengthens Shani's effect on a person.