Vat Pournima

 

 

 

Vat Pournima

 

Contents

  • 1. Introduction

     

  • 2. Vatasavitri Vrat

  • 1. Introduction

    Vatasavitri is a vowed religious observance performed by married women on the full moon day (pournima) of Jyeshtha  to prolong their wifehood. Lord Brahma along with Savitri is the main deity while Satyavan, Savitri, Narad and Yama are the subordinate deities this vowed religious observance. Among the famous, chaste women (pativratas) in India, Savitri is considered the ideal. She is also considered the symbol of eternal wifehood.

    The story of Sati Savitri has been mentioned in the Mahabharat. While the Pandavas were in exile, Jayadratha abducted Draupadi. After the Pandavs freed her and returned, they were all sitting with some sages. At that time Sage Markandeya narrated story of Savitri. The importance of Savitri can be understood now as her story was told to Draupadi, who is included among the five great women of virtue of India.

    1.1 Choosing Satyawan

    Once, Devarshi Narad came to King Ashwapati’s court. He was felicitated by the king and they started conversing. Soon after that, the king’s daughter Savitri came in. She greeted her father and Sage Narad. On seeing her Sage Narad asked as to why she was still unmarried? To this the king answered that Savitri had been sent to find and chose her own husband. During this there had been an incident. On being asked Savitri narrated the story. She said, “Once there was a famous and righteous king named Dyumatsen in Shalvadesh (the name of his kingdom) who became blind. When that happened, his son was still quite young. Thus, a neighbouring king attacked and took over his kingdom. The king, along with his queen and son went to the forest and started leading an ascetic life.

    His son is a handsome and kind young man now. I feel that he is ideal and so I have mentally accepted him as my husband.” Upon hearing Satyawan’s qualities Narad commented, “He has been named “Satyawan” as he is the son of righteous and truthful parents. However, there is sorrowful news. One year from today, Satyawan will die.” Savitri remained undisturbed. Noticing this, Narad said, “O king, your daughter Savitri has a lot of resolution.No one can distract her from her decision. Since no one else has the same qualities, I think that you should marry your daughter (give kanyaadaan) to Satyawan only.” Thus the wedding (vivah-sanskar) of Satyawan and Savitri was accomplished at an auspicious time (shubh-muhurta). Savitri, emulating her in-laws, stopped wearing her expensive clothes and ornaments. Everyone was impressed by her qualities of humility, service (seva), patience, politeness, etc. She made her husband happy by serving her in-laws. All was well for a while.

    1.2 Removal of Satyawan’s soul

    Savitri had not forgetten Narad’s words. One day she realised that only 4 days were now remaining till the day that Satyawan was fated to die. For the next three days and nights she underwent a vowed religious observance by sitting still the entire time. On the final morning, she gave offerings to the Fire Deity. That day when Satyawan went to the forest to fetch fire-wood and fruits, Savitri accompanied him. While in forest, Satyawan told her that he was feeling tired and wanted to rest. Savitri sat down next to him and took his head on her lap. Soon she saw a man nearby. He was wearing red clothes, had a crown on his head and had red eyes. He also had a noose in hands. He looked terrible. She noticed that he was looking at Satyawan. Savitri stood up. Her heart was throbbing. With great sorrow she joined her hands, bowed and said, “You look like a Deity. If you wish, kindly tell me who you are and what you expect to do?”  The deity said, “Savitri since you are virtuous, I will speak to you.  I am Yamraj (Deity of death).  Satyawan’s life has ended and since he too was righteous, I myself have come to take him.” Saying that, Yamraj took a thumb-sized man from Satyawan’s body, tied it to his noose and started headed south. Savitri, overwhelmed with sorrow, followed him.

    1.3 First blessing from Yamdharma

    After some distance Yamraj said, “Savitri now you have to return. Carry out the after-death rituals for Satyawan. Now you are freed from your husband’s service.” Savitri said, “I should stay with my husband wherever he is. This is the only Sanatan Dharma. No one can stop me due to my worship, devotion towards Guru, love, righteousness and your grace.’ Yamraj was pleased by her determination and said, “I shall grant you a wish. Ask for anything, except your husband’s life.” At that time, she asked for vision, strength and radiance for her father-in-law. Yamraj granted her the wish and asked her to go back, again. Instead of thinking of herself she had asked for her father-in-law. What a great sacrifice!!

    1.4 Second blessing from Yamadharma

    Savitri continued to follow Yamraj and remained firm in her wish to be with her husband. On being asked to go back yet again, she said, “The company of a holy person is beneficial even for a moment and it is even greater to be his friend. It is never unworthy.”

    On hearing her auspicious thoughts Yamraj granted her another wish. Again, it was to be anything except her husband’s life. Savitri wished that the lost kingdom of her father-in-law be restored to him and for him to not give up his righteous ways. Yamraj granted this wish also by saying tathaastu (let it happen) and requested Savitri to return. With this wish, Savitri’s loyalty towards righteousness became apparent!

    1.5 Third blessing from Yamadharma

    As they went forward, she said to Yamraj, “You are known as ‘Yama’ because you maintain the equilibrium of all living beings regularly and also grant them their wishes. The Sanatan Dharma of a holy person is to treat all living beings with love through mind, speech and deeds as well as grace them and grant their wishes. Every living being tries to behave lovingly with others according to their capacity however holy men bestow love upon their enemies too.” Yamraj appreciated her words and granted her a third wish. Savitri asked for a 100 children for her father because she had realised that her father would not have anyone else to take care of him after she was gone. And she had made a firm resolution to go with Satyawan. A daughter is said to be Duhita as she is a well-wisher of both her parents as well as her in-laws. What an ideal way Savitri found, to carry out her duties to both! 

    1.6 Fourth blessing from Yamadharma

    On going further Savitri said, “Due to the company of my husband, I do not feel this distance to be much. My mind runs ahead of me, so please listen to what I say. You are the brave son of Vivaswan (Sun) and hence you’re also called ‘Vaivaswat.’ You are also known as ‘Dharmaraj’ (follower of righteousness) as you give equal justice to either friend or enemy.” Impressed by these words, Yamraj granted her a fourth wish. This time Savitri asked for a 100 courageous children (sons) to amplify her family.  Yamraj was pleased to grant this wish and asked her to return as she had come very far. This was the first time she had asked for something for herself.

    1.7 Yamadharma releasing Satyawan’s soul!

    Savitri continued to follow Yamadharma. She said, “The attitude of Holy men is always righteous. They are never sad or depressed. With the strength of truthfulness and the radiance of worship they can face even the Sun and the Earth. Realising the fact that this Sanatan (eternal) righteous conduct is adopted by holy persons, they do their deeds without expecting the outcome.” Hearing this righteous quote, Yamraj agreed to grant her a fifth wish. This time Savitri concluded, “O Dharmaraj, you have already granted my wish to have a 100 children. But this wish cannot be accomplished in the absence of my husband, hence I desire that my husband be granted his life. I do not desire any happiness other than my husband.

    I don’t even wish heaven. Not only this but I do not even want to be alive without my husband. You have blessed me with many children yet you are taking my husband away. Grant me this wish so that your blessings come true.” On hearing this, Yamraj was very pleased and said, “Tathaastu.” He released Satyawan’s noose and said, “O noble lady, I have released your husband. From now on he will always be healthy. All his desires will be fulfilled. He will live with you for 400 years. He will follow righteousness and become famous. You will have 100 children with him.” As Yamaraj started leaving, Savitri bowed and offered gratitude to him for his grace. Savitri then returned to the dead body of Satyawan and put his head on her lap again. Slowly chaitanya (life) spread throughout his body and he woke up! This is how Savitri got her husband back from the dead with her righteous speech.

    Today many people are unaware of the fact that ‘nether regions* (parlokas) and other subtle worlds exist. Some of those who are aware cannot see them. 

    2. Vatasavitri Vrat

    1. Tithi: Jyeshtha Pournima (Full moon day of the month of Jyeshtha)

    2. Objective: This vrat was started by married women to prolong their married life, like Savitri did.

    3. Importance of Savitri: Among the famous, chaste women in Bharat, Savitri is considered a role model. She is also considered the symbol of eternal married life.

    4. Deity of the Vrat: Brahma, along with Savitri is the main Deity while Satyavan, Savitri, Narad and Yama are the subordinate Deities in this vrat.

    5. Importance of the banyan tree: When Yama took away Satyavan’s life, his wife Savitri debated on the scriptures with Him for three days. Appeased with her, Yama brought Satyavan back to life. The discussion took place below a banyan tree. Hence, the banyan tree is associated with Savitri.

    A. ‘The banyan tree survives even the Dissolution of the Universe. It lives on with time.

    B. During the Dissolution of the Universe, a child Mukunda slept on a banyan leaf.

    C. In Prayag, Ram, Lakshman and Sita rested under the everlasting banyan tree.

    D. A banyan tree is the resting place for Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Narasimha and Madhav.

    E. The Banyan, Pipal (Bo tree), Audumbar (Cluster fig tree) and Shami (Indian Mesquite tree), are considered sacred and are used in sacrificial fires. Amongst these trees, the life of the banyan is the longest. Besides, it spreads extensively by means of its aerial roots.

    F. Cataract is cured if the mixture of cotton crushed into gum of banyan tree is put into the eyes.

    6. Method of performing the vrat

    A. Sankalp: First, the married woman should make a sankalp thus – “May my husband and I have a healthy and long life.”

    B. Worship: Shodashopchar-puja of the banyan tree should be performed. After the ritual of abhishek, a thread should be tied thrice in a clockwise direction around the trunk of the banyan tree. At the end of the puja, one should pray thus to Savitri and Brahma, “Let me have a happy, uninterrupted and joyous married life, let me get the same husband in every birth, let there be prosperity with food and the family.”

    C. Fasting: Women should fast the entire day.

    7. The Divine knowledge received by a seeker doing spiritual practice per Gurukrupaayoga: Following is the information given by ‘one scholar’ to the seeker receiving knowledge, Seeker.

    Compiler: Do we get the same benefit by worshipping a branch of the banyan tree compared to worshipping the tree itself?

    Divine Knowledge: The main trunk of the banyan tree contains the Shiva principle. Hence worshipping the banyan tree with spiritual emotion (bhav) helps us to gain 30% of the benefit of the worship, compared to only 2-3 % gained by worshipping it’s branch. Since the branch is separated from the main trunk and hence from it’s life, it has very negligible capacity to attract and transmit Divine consciousness (chaitanya). Bringing such a branch home and worshipping it, does not give much benefit. In the vicinity of nature, life exists in abundance and hence the fruits of Divine consciousness (chaitanya), can be derived in higher proportion.

    Compiler: It is said that this kind of vowed religious observance (vrat) of Vatapaurnima is to be observed only after visiting Kashi (also known as Banaras, one of the holiest cities in Bharat). The oldest married lady of the house, who started observing this vrat after visiting Kashi, passes the tradition on to her eldest daughter-in-law after the demise of her husband. What is the purpose behind this practice?

    Divine Knowledge: This is just an established tradition.

    8. The spiritual experience of a seeker about Vatpournima worship: On 11th June 2006, I could not go and physically worship a banyan tree. So I worshipped the banyan tree by drawing it’s picture on a piece of paper. I prayed to the banyan tree “My dear Lord, I could not go out. I am worshipping you, with the spiritual emotion (bhav) that you are present here.” At that time I could actually see the banyan tree with it’s parambya (aerial roots) hanging down. After that when I went close to Parampujya’s(Gurudev) photo, I could see a large banyan tree. At that time, a thought came to my mind “Parampujya Gurudev, this is only due to your blessing and grace” and I experienced overwhelming spiritual emotion. For two to three days before this incident, I had been experiencing bliss from within. – a seeker, Miraj, India.

    * Based on divine knowledge received by some seekers doing sadhana per Gurukrupaayoga.

    (Members of the Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti consider ‘Vatpournima’ as a farce. How great is the Hindu Dharma, which considers that God exists in every particle of the Creation and teaches us to worship trees as Deities, and how petty are these so called intellectuals, heretics and communists, who consider the Hindu Dharma a farce! – Compiler)

     

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    Rishipanchami

    Bhadrapad Shukla Pratipada 5111
     

    Contents


     

    1. Rushipanchami

     

    1.1 Definition of the word ‘Rushi

    The Rushis, that is, the sages, are at a level between the human beings and the deities. Detachment and spiritual knowledge is achieved through long-term sadhana. The person acquires the highest state of seekership. The persons who achieve this state are called sages.

    1.2 Special features of the ancient sages and their importance

    The sages are the adornment of Bharat and Hindu Dharma.

    A. Intense spiritual curiosity to comprehend God: The ancient sages had intense yearning to comprehend God. Due to this they conducted subtle research on the origin of the universe, its function etc. and established with evidence the meaning of deities, the Principles and their functions. They showed with the help of their research that it is beneficial to invoke a specific deity to achieve a specific task successfully.

    The theories that science proves within its limited sphere and many other theories that are of subtler and superior level have been proved with evidence by the ancient sages thousands of years ago.

    B. Rigorous penance and intense yearning for God realisation: Due to highly rigorous penance and intense longing for God-realisation, the sages obtained rare and infinite knowledge about Spirituality. The ancient sages had infinite love for the entire Creation. That is why they made available to the world the treasure of knowledge they obtained by the grace of God.

    It is because of them alone that the information about the three gunas, various stotras, mantras, shloks and various kinds of penance and vrats are available to the world. The blessings of God and the resolve of the sages are inherent in the vrats. Hence the entire human race will always be benefitted by observing them.

    The sages have provided invaluable guidance on higher level sadhana to man through their conduct, thoughts and every action. It is due to this that it is possible for man to live in today’s Kaliyug.

    To express gratitude to the sages who have contributed to the welfare of humanity, there is an important vrat that falls on Bhadrapad Shukla Panchami called Rushipanchami

    1.3 Worship of Rushipanchami

    The sages (Rushis) are the symbol of spiritual knowledge and intellect and Gouri is the bestower of supernatural powers. For this reason after the worship of Sri Ganesh, the worship of sages, that is, Rushipujan and the worship of Gouri, that is, Gouripujan are performed.

    • 1. On the day of Rushipanchami after having a bath, the seven sages, Kashyap, Atri, Bharadwaj, Vishwamitra, Goutam, Jamadagni and Vasishtha along with Arundhati, are worshipped.
    • 2. Eight heaps of rice are made on a wooden seat or low wooden stool and a betel nut is placed on each of heap as a symbol of the seven sages and Arundhati.
    • 3. Before commencing the worship, to overcome the defects due to touching something consciously or unconsciously during menstruation, a resolve is made before the worship.
    • 4. Thereafter the seven sages are worshipped along with Arundhati with sixteen substances.
    • 5. In this worship, the leaves of Tulasi, Chichada, Bel, Rui, Shami and Dhatura are used as offering to the seven sages
    • 6. After the worship, the betel nets which are the symbol of sages are immersed in flowing water.

    कश्‍यपोऽत्रिर्भरव्‍दाजो विश्‍वामित्रोऽथ गौतम: ।
    जमदग्‍निर्वसिष्‍ठश्‍च सप्‍तैते ऋषय: स्‍मृता: ।।
    गृह्‍णन्‍त्‍वर्घ्‍यं मया दत्तं तुष्‍टा भवन्‍तु मे सदा ।। – पूजासमुच्‍चय

    Meaning: Kashyap, Atri, Bharadwaj, Vishwamitra, Goutam, Jamadagni and Vasishtha are the seven sages. These sages are requested to accept my oblation of water and let me forever be graced by You

    With this prayer to the sages the oblation of water is offered to them. In this vrat, on the day of Rushipanchami the scriptures have prohibited consumption of grains produced by the toiling of oxen. This vrat is observed for 12 years.

    1.4 Reason for consuming roots on the day of Rushipanchami

    In ancient times, the sages lived a life totally devoid of any hoarding tendency (aparigrah). They did not accept anything obtained through the labour of others. It is important to consume roots on the day of Rushipanchami to remember their aparigrah attitude.

    1.5 Benefits of of Rushipanchami vrat

    During the monthly menses period, the proportion of raja guna increases in women, which adversely affects the person or the object touched by her. To remove this defect, women observe this vrat.

     

    Sree Krushna Jayanti

    Content –                                      

    1. Introduction
    2. Sattvik Image
    3. Significance and Celebration
    4. Series of Articles on Lord Krushna
    5. Defamation of Lord Krushna by MF Husain and others


    Introduction

    Synonyms:Krushnajayanti, Krushna Jayanthi, Janmashtami, Janmashtam, Gokulashtami, Shri Krushna Jayanthi, Krushnashtami, Kalashtami, Gopalkala.

    The birth of Lord Krushna is celebrated at midnight on Sri Krushna Jayanti. This year it falls on 1 st September 2010.

    According to the Hindu lunar calendar, Lord Krushna was born on the eighth day (ashtami) of the second (dark) fortnight of the month of Shravana. Five thousand years ago, He incarnated, at the end of the third cosmic era, ‘Dwapar Yuga‘ and the beginning of the present era, ‘Kali Yuga‘. The divine principle (tattva) of Lord Krushna is most active on this day of the year.

    At midnight, the ritual of waving lit lamps (aarti) is performed. Krushna Jayanti is especially significant from the viewpoint of establishing Righteousness (Dharma), and surrendering unto The Lord.

    Sattvik Image of Lord Krushna

    This image is made by seekers of Spiritual Sanstha.

    Sattvik image of Sri Krushna prepared by Seekers of Spiritual Sanstha

    Sattvik image of Sri Krushna prepared by Seekers of Spiritual Sanstha

     

    Significance and Celebration

    Subtle effect of Sri Krushna Janmashthami

    Following points provide information about Janmashtami. For details about Lord Krushna, please refer the series of articles.

    According to Numerology

    The number eight is a reducing number (kshayaank). According to numerology the number eight is responsible for generating revolutionary thoughts. It would not be wrong to say that Sri Krushna‘s entire life was an era of revolution.

    Celebration

    Rangoli for Krushna Janmashthami

    1. The birth of Lord Krushna is celebrated at midnight on Krushna Jayanti. At midnight, the ritual of waving lit lamps (aarti) is performed.

    2. His statue is placed in a swing and devotionally offered many sumptuous food dishes, in particular kheer (a sweet dish made from milk, sugar and rice/vermicelli) or halva/sheera (a sweet dish made from semolina, ghee and sugar).

    3. People incorrectly think that Lord Krushna loved butter and so offer butter to Him. In fact, He ate butter because the evil king Kansa taxed the people, and in order to pay their taxes, they were forced to sell butter. To prevent these civilians from suffering and caving into the unrighteous demands of the king, Lord Krushna would eat or spill their butter. In doing so, He taught the people to develop a fighting spirit (kshatravrutti) and not to tolerate injustice in any capacity.

    4. One should fast the whole day before the celebration at midnight. The fast is ended either at midnight by eating the Holy sacrament (prasad) or the next morning by eating an offering of a mixture (dahikala) of curd (yogurt with enzymes retained) with various eatables, milk and butter. When grazing the cattle along with the cowherds at Vraj (a city in ancient India – in modern day North India), Shri Krushna mixed the lunches of His companions with that of His own and ate it along with them. In keeping with this story, later it became customary to prepare dahikala and break a hanging pot containing curd on the day after Gokulashtami.

    5. Temples are decorated for the occasion. Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krushna. At Mathura (a city in North India, near the birthplace of Lord Krushna), special spiritual gatherings are organized at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings.

    Fasting on this day as well as observing Rushipanchami, a vowed religious observance (vrat), reduces the effects of menses, impurity and touch on women. [The effects on men are reduced by performing acts of repentance (prayashchitta karma), such as shaving the head, etc. Performing the ritual of Udakshanti reduces the effects on the premise.]

    Significance behind the celebration

    Krushna Jayanti is especially significant from the viewpoint of establishing Righteousness (Dharma), and surrendering unto The Lord.

    Establishing Righteousness

    Where there is Krushna, there is Dharma, where there is Dharma, there is victory. Since Duryodhana, leader of the Kauravas, did not observe dharma, he did not have Krushna. No Krushna, no victory.”- Sage Ved Vyas

    His teachings in essence

    During the Mahabharat war Lord Krushna uttered 700 shlokas (holy verses) in the form of the ‘Bhagavat Gita‘ to convince the reluctant Arjuna to fight his own kith and kin to reinstate Righteousness (Dharma). The Lord finally uttered the essence of His teachings in the following verse (18/66) : “O Arjun! Forsake all your personal beliefs and surrender to me. Do not lament, for I shall deliver you from all sins.”

    Devotion Increasing

    Not only is His principle (tattva) most active on Krushna Jayanti, but in present times His energy is 100% manifest, and He rushes to the aid of the devotee who surrenders unto Him. His devotee long to feel closer to Lord Krushna every day and not just on Sri Krushna Jayanti. To invoke Lord Krushna’s principle the best solution is to repeat Lord Krushna‘s Name as follows: “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” continuously through every action.

    Deriving maximum benefit

    Chanting(repetition) of His Name invokes His presence within oneself as The Lord and His Name are one. All of the qualities that reside in The Lord are there in The Name. Thus, repeating His Name will surely herald His presence and blessings in life.

    Therefore, to derive maximum benefit from Krushna Jayanti, devotees can daily make conscious efforts through chanting and prayer to surrender at the Lord’s lotus-feet. Such spiritual practice would equip one to participate in establishing Righteousness by spreading the importance of Spirituality to others, removing misconceptions about it and helping curb incorrect practices.

    Series of Articles on Lord Krushna

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    Sree Krushna janmashtami

    Contents


    1. Importance of the tithi of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee

    Sattvik image of Sri Krushna prepared by Seekers

    Sattvik image of Sri Krushna prepared by Seekers

    Bhagwan Sreekrushna is Absolute Incarnation (Purnavatar). He was born in 3185 B.C. on the midnight of Shravan Krushna Ashtamee, under Rohinee Nakshatra (constellation). As per the Vikram samvat this tithi falls on Bhadrapad Krushna Ashtamee. Hence Sreekrushnajanmashtamee is celebrated on this tithi in North Bharat. On this day, the principle is active a thousand times more than on other days.

    Spiritual experience of getting the vision of the vast form of Sreekrushna in the sky through colours, on the day of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee: On the morning of Janmashtami, the first thought in my mind was ‘Today is Sreekrushna’s birth day’. Thereafter, I saw blue and pink colour resembling the colour of Sreekrushna and His upavastra respectively in the sky. At that time, I felt as if I had the vision of His vast form. – Sadhak, Canada

    Spirituality is a science of experience. Sreekrushna principle is more active on the tithi of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee, is confirmed through above Sadhak’s spiritual experience.

    Subtle effect of Sri Krushna Janmasthami

    2. The method of celebrating Sreekrushnajanmashtamee

    Sreekrushnajanmashtamee is celebrated all over the world with much zeal. This is a religious festival, vrat and a celebration too.

    2.1 Festival of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee

    Sattavik Rangoli for Sri Krushna Janmasthmi

    This religious festival is specially celebrated at Gokul, Mathura, Vrundavan, Dwaraka and Puri. In Vrundavan dolotsav is celebrated. In various other regions this religious festival is celebrated in the temples of Sreekrushnajee. Some people celebrate at home by making a model of Gokul Vrundavan. In the Vaishnav temples, religious programmes like worshipping the lamp, processions, krushnaleela, reciting the Bhagawat, keertan, bhajan, singing and dancing are observed from Shravan Krushna Pratipada to Shravan Krushna Ashtami.

    2.2 Sreekrushnajanmashtamee vrat

    This vrat is observed on Shravan Krushna Ashtamee and concluded on Shravan Krushna Navamee with parana. The fruits of this vrat are obliteration of the sins, enhancement in the happiness, children, wealth and attaining Vaikunth.

    Sreekrushnajanmashtamee vrat resolve (sankalp): On the morning of Shravan Krushna Ashtamee after completing the ablutions in the morning the vrat resolve (sankalp) is made by sitting facing East or North and taking water, flower and sandalwood paste in hand.

    ममाखिलपापप्रशमनपूर्वकसर्वाभीष्‍टसिध्दयेश्रीकृष्‍णजन्‍माष्‍टमीव्रतमहंकरिष्‍ये ।

    Meaning: I observe this Sreekrushnajanmashtameevrat for the obliteration of all my sins and so that everything becomes auspicious.

    This way reciting the sankalp, the things taken in the hand are placed in the copper platter.

    The fast of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee: On this day, a complete fast is observed. If observing a fast without consuming food (Nirahar) is not possible then one can observe the fast by having fruits (Falahar).

    2.3 Ritualistic worship of Bhagwan Sreekrushna

    Bhagwan Sreekrushna was born at midnight. That is why, special ritualistic worship is done by bathing at midnight on Sreekrushnajanmashtamee.

    The preparation for ritualistic worship: Picture of Bhagwan Sreekrushna is placed on a short wooden stool.

    Importance of Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

    The items required for ritualistic worship: Metal pot (Kalash), copper platter, small glass (fulpatra) and spoon, lamp, vick, oil, lamp with a stand, incense stick, camphor, karpurarti, small wooden stool, basil leaf (tulsi), flower, a garland of tulsi for the image of Sree Krushna if available, sandalwood, turmeric powder, vermillion, bell, lamp for arti, the platter used for regular worship, coconut, puffed rice as offering, curd, fruits like bananas if possible etc. A rangoli design of Sreekrushna principle is drawn around the short wooden stool

    Actual ritual of worship:

    • 1. A sip of water is taken (achaman).
    • 2. Then some water is dropped in the copper platter saying “I perform this worship for the obliteration of all the sins”, and a resolve is made.
    • 3. Now, one meditates on Bhagwan Sreekrushna.
    • 4. Turmeric and vermillion are applied on the picture of Sreekrushnajee. For this offering thumb and the index finger are used. Sandalwood scent is offered to Sreekrushna
    • 5. The Krushnakamal is elliptically offered in the multiples of three and basil leaf with its stem towards to Sreekrushnajee.
    • 6. Two lighted incense sticks are waved thrice in clockwise direction.
    • 7. Lamp is waved.
    • 8. Naivedya is offered.
    • 9. Betelnut and money (dakshina) are offered.
    • 10. Arti of Sreekrushnajee is performed. If possible, after ritualistic worship, minimum three or in multiples of three parikramas of Bhagwan Sreekrushna is done.
    • 11. Prayer is offered after paying obeisance with the spiritual emotion of surrender.
    • 12. At the end prasad partaken with everybody.

    The important point to note is that the ritual of worship may differ to some extent as per sect, region and tradition.

    2.4 Spiritual experiences during ritualistic worship

    Getting the vision of a huge figure of Sreekrushnajee and getting the answer that He is a form of Sreevishnu: On 15th August 2006, Sreekrushnajanmashtamee was celebrated in the hermitage of Spiritual Sanstha at 12 o’ clock midnight. At 11.45 p.m. when the ritualistic worship of the picture of Sreekrushna started, I saw the huge body of Sreekrushna from neck to chest at the place of worship. The colour of His body was bluish. I felt, “Sreekrushna is yet to be born then how is He so huge?” At that time the answer came from within, that this form is not of Sreekrushna, but of Sreevishnujee, He will now be born in the form of a baby as Sreekrushna. – Sadhak

    The associated deity principle reaches the place of worship where the deity is worshipped as per spiritual science.

    Experiencing bliss and coolness around the body: On 26th August 2005, throughout the ritualistic worship on Sreekrushnajanmashtamee, I was experiencing lightness in my body. I felt immense bliss and was experiencing coolness around my body. – Sadhak, Maharashtra

    During celebration of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee, having tears of bliss, getting a vision of the deity and experiencing the presence of Sreekrushna at the time of the consecration (abhishek): On 4th September 2007, on the day of Sreekrushnajanmashtamee we went to have a darshan of Swami Vishwanandjee in Europe. There, I experienced bliss after looking at the picture of Sreekrushna. Tears of bhav started flowing from my eyes. I was in that state for 15 minutes. When I looked around, I saw deities in place of the people present there. At the time of the abhishek on Sreekrushna, I was experiencing His presence. My bhav towards Him was enhanced. – Sadhak, Europe

    To get a spiritual experience of Bhagwan Sreekrushna neither place nor religion is a barrier. Due to pure spiritual emotion Bhagwan comes close to the devotee. Janmashtamee is celebrated by staying awake all night with programmes like katha, kirtan, dance, singing etc.

    3. The achars of the day after Sreekrushnajanmashtamee

    On Shravan Krushna Navamee, panchopachar worship of Bhagwan Sreekrushnajee is performed in the morning. The fast is concluded by partaking the prasad of daheekala. If the idol of Bhagwan Sreekrushna is earthen, it is immersed in water; metal idol is placed in the home temple or donated to the priest.

    4. Daheekala

    On Shravan Krushna Navamee, daheekala is prepared by mixing various food items, curd, milk, butter etc. Bhagwan Sreekrushna used to prepare and eat daheekala along with His fellow gops and gopees. He would also go to the houses of gopees and by breaking the vessels of curd hung at a height eat the curd and butter therein. As a symbol of this, the tradition of preparing daheekala and breaking of daheehandee on the day after janmashtami has started. From the spiritual perspective, daheekala is associated with nirgun Chaitanya and is indicative of the function of Krushna.

    4.1 Main components of daheekala and their implied meaning

    • 1. Puffed rice (pohe): Symbol of the objective devotion of the gop.
    • 2. Curd (dahee): Symbol of the punishing maternal devotion as per the situation with the spiritual emotion of motherhood.
    • 3. Milk : Symbol of the simple, sagun madhurabhakti of the gopees. Madhurabhakti is the devotion of God in the form of a lover.
    • 4. Buttermilk : This is the symbol of the virodhbhakti of the gopis. Virodhbhakti is the devotion consisting of the behavior resulting from expectation of love from Bhagwan Sreekrushna like sulking, expressing displeasure etc.
    • 5. Butter : This is the symbol of the nirgun devotion towards Sreekrushna.

    On this day, the high speed flowing frequencies in the form of the Absolute Water Element (Aptattva) of the Krushna principle arrive in the universe. The components of daheekala are able to receive these frequencies.