Know About Goddess Kali and Significant Kali Puja Rituals

Maa Kali, the Hindu Goddess signifies “Shakti” Power and considered as the divine feminine energy of the Universe. According to the Hindu calendar or traditional Bengali calendar, Kali Puja is observed on the Amavasya tithi/day during the month of ‘Aashwin’. Generally, Kali Puja occurs during late October-mid November. Kali Puja is also known as Shyama Puja. People from West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, and Eastern India celebrate Kali Puja widely.

Most of the puja rituals connected with Kali Puja start generally at midnight. As Goddess Kali is associated with dark and demon worship, devotees perform the rituals strictly with great dedication.

Puja Preparation:
In eastern India, the devotees observe this puja with great devotion and worship immense idols of Goddess Kali. On this day pandals, streets, houses are decorated with lights and flowers, and Kali puja is celebrated as a communal festival. Devotees must coordinate with the Pandit firstly and organize the puja samagri by late evening. One should assemble the puja materials in the puja place prior to starting the puja in the midnight.

A brief Puja Process:
If you’re doing Kali Puja at home then you don’t have to follow all the Vedic rituals. But if you’re a part of communal Kali puja then you should follow all the rituals.

Once the puja area is cleaned, establish an idol or image of Maa Kali, and to sit comfortably facing the image. Arrange all the puja samagri on the Puja Thalis and sprinkle some holy water and akshata to purify them.

Now perform the invoking process by using incense, incense sticks, and perfume. Start worshipping by using red sandal wood paste, and flowers. Perform Nyasa, sound the bell or gong, and meditate for Maa Bhagwati.

Now, one can offer clothes, aachman, holy thread, sandalwood paste/powder, Akshatha, prasadam, to the Goddess.

After the puja is done, offer food along with Dakshina to the Brahmins who took part in the puja and distribute the prasad among devotees.

How To Observe Chhath Puja and Celebrate The Festival?

Chhath Puja or Dala Puja is mostly about worshipping the Sun God or Surya. As per traditional Hindu calendar Chhath Puja is celebrated in the month of Kartik in the lunar fortnight on the 6th day or ‘Shasthi’. According to English Gregorian calendar, Chhath Puja falls in the month of October – November, exact six days after Diwali, the festival of lights.

This year Chhath Puja will take place on November 17. Sandhya Arghya evening puja will take place on November 17 during sunset, and Suryodaya Arghya morning puja will take place on November 18 during sunrise.

Puja Preparation:-
The major Chhath puja riverside rituals take place in the river ghats or riverbanks. Devotees come to complete their riverside rituals during at dawn and dusk. The significant Chhath puja rituals include rigorous fasting, and offerings to Lord Surya. Devotees should arrange all the puja samagri prior to the puja day.

Chhath puja samagri mostly include these items:-

1. Deity or picture of Lord Surya, Chhathi Maiya Calender
2. Akshata (Raw Unbroken Rice), Curd, Milk, Roli, Moli / Mauli, red and yellow Sindoor (Vermilion)
3. Wheat for Prasadam, Banana Ghaur, Dry Fruits, Fruits, Jaggery, Sugar, Sugar Candy, Coconut, Clove, Honey, Red and Yellow Flowers, Vegetables
4. Grind white Rice, Pots and Bamboo Baskets (Dalhiya/Dala), Bamboo/Brass Soop, Copper Pot/Kalash, Brass Bowl
5. 11 Betel Nuts, Betel Leaves, Arteek Leaves or Paat, Durba Grass
6. Red/yellow cloths for covering all items in the basket, Holy Water(Ganaga Jaal), Hawan items, Sandalwood, Incense Sticks, Dhoop, Camphor, Earthen Lamps, Mango Leaves, Branches, and Woods, Teel seeds both black and white
7. Coins & Money for Worship, Donations, Saffron, Milk, Wheat, Pistachio, Almonds, Dry/Green Grapes, Cashew, Cardamom, Chestnut, Lotus Seeds for Offerings
8. Mustered Oil, Pumpkin, and Bottle Gourd for Nanha Kha / Naha Kha date, Rose Water, Kevara Jaal (Screw Pine Water), Gram Pulse, Glass Bangles, Blanket

You can also check out Pujashoppe’s premium puja kit to get all the mandatory ingredients for this puja.

Puja Vidhi/ Process:-

Devotees observe this prosperous Chhath festival for the welfare of the family. Both women and men can observe the fast and follow the rituals.
The primary day of Chhath Puja is celebrated as Nanha Kha or Nahai Khai. This day is dedicated to basic puja preparation, and purification.
The next day of Chhath Puja is known as ‘Kharna’ fasting. Devotees observe fast on this particular day, which is believed as ‘Kharna’, and break the fast in the evening after performing a puja at home. Sweets, kheer, fruits, and dry fruits can be offered during this time to the deities, and then the prasad can be distributed among the members of the family.
However, devotees commonly break this fast usually on the fourth day morning.

On the third day of Chhath, the devotees perform ‘Sandhya Arghya’ in the evening. on this auspicious day devotees must observe the fast devoid of consuming water until sunrise on the next morning. By standing in knee-deep water in the river, pond, lake, devotees should offer ‘Arghya’ along with ‘soop’ to the setting sun (Lord Surya).

‘Argh’ and ‘soop’ are offerings, which include flowers, fruits, sacred items, diyas, sugarcane, jaggery, coconut, milk, sweets, and vegetables. One should perform evening puja at home for Lord Agni, the fire god.

Fourth day of Chhath Puja is acknowledged as Chhath ‘Suryodaya Arghya’. On the fourth day morning, devotees perform this ritual by repeating all the sacred rituals they executed on the third day for the rising Lord Sun. The existing offerings are distributed among devotees after the Chhath Puja ends.

Significance of Mahalaya and the Story behind It

Durga puja is on the verge now. It is the time of biggest festivity of Bengali. You must be planning for spending the four great days with your loved ones and friends. You are probably thinking about getting up in the morning of Mahalaya to listen to the age old and timeless chanting on the radio. This day of Mahalaya is an auspicious one since it denotes the day of worshipping and offering food to the ancestors.

This year the Mahalaya amavasyaa is on 12th October. When you are waiting for the day and accumulating puja samagri for the rituals of the day take a look to know about the significance of the day. There is a huge mythological significance that says about the win of good over evil and woman power.

The Story of Asura, Parvaty and Significance:-

Asura, the symbol of evil, and his followers were dangerous and evil. They became immortal with the blessings of Brahma and Lord Shiva. They were fearless and they were making it difficult for the devatas to rule in heaven. Lord Shiva has blessed them saying that only a woman will be able to destroy them. Asura found the idea ridiculous since they were sure that no woman will ever dare to fight them, let alone, kill them.

When Deavatas, scared of the increasing power and devilish ways of Asura went to Lord Shiva, he started thinking about destroying the Asura. Lord Shiva got married to Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya and asked her go for deep meditation. She gathered power and blessings from all Devatas. Parvati was a part of Shiva himself. After the meditation when she gathered all the power, Shiva and Parvati took the shape of Ardh Narishwar. They symbolized that man and woman are equal. If man signifies the physical strength, woman signifies the inner strength or Shakti.

On the day of Mahalaya, Devi Parvati or her avatar Durga amassed weapons from all lord and went to banish Asuras and save the earth and heaven from evil.

Parvati went to fight Asura. She was given a proposal for marriage. In fact her husband Lord Shiva was insulted in his absence. That infuriated Durga and she fought Asura for nine days. It is celebrated as Navaratri in the whole country. She defeated the army of Asura on the day of Mahalaya. For Bengalis, Mahalaya denotes the beginning of Devi Paksha.

Worship goddess of Shakti and seek her blessings on the auspicious day.

Gift Your Loved Ones a Piece of Divinity this Diwali

Diwali is on the verge. It is the time when you are going to meet your loved ones. You will exchange good wishes and seek blessings from the divine providence to make your path brighter with the light of wisdom. It is the time when you are going to gift your loved ones that are going to be the symbols of your good wishes, blessings and love.

When you are thinking about gifting your loved ones you can always think about the divine gifts. Take a look of the following gift ideas that will make your Diwali an auspicious one.

Statuestudio LaxmiLakshmi Idol :-

Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. That is why people worship Lakshmi on the auspicious day of Diwali. The idol of Lakshmi in brass and of any other material can be the perfect gift for such an occasion. It will not only be an asset in your mandir or worship room of worshipping but also a perfect adornment for your room too.

Ghasitaram Silver GaneshGanesha Statue :-

Ganesha is also worshipped with Lakshmi on the auspicious day of Diwali. Gifting your loved ones with the Ganesha statue signifies that you are welcoming peace and harmony. Ganesha also removes obstacles and is considered lucky and auspicious.

Lakshmi Card Wallet :-

Bring the blessings of the Goddess of wealth, abundance and prosperity in your card wallet. A lakshmi or Ganesh card wallet will be perfect to hold your cash and cards. It will not only show what a big devotee you are but also will be a chic accessory too.

Gift these divine gifts to your loved ones and let them welcome the blessings of God.

 

Celebrate Vamana Jayanti on 24th, September 2015

According to Indian mythology it is believed that Vaman dev was the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Vamana Jayanti is considered as the birth anniversary of Vaman Dev, and the day is observed on the twelfth day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadra/Bhadrapada month (August-September). This year, Vamana Jayanti will take place on 24th September, 2015.

Significance :-

According to deep-rooted Indian myths, Vamana Dev appeared as a dwarf on earth during Treta Yuga to give moksha to Asura King Bali, the grandson of Prahlada. He also helped Devas (Demi gods) who had lost their strength to Asura King Bali.

On this auspicious day, devotees worship Lord Vishnu with complete devotion. It is accepted that, the one who performs this puja with a pure heart; he/she gets freedom from all the sinful reactions, aberrant sufferings, and triumph over salvation. Thus, if one truthfully wishes sovereignty from the harsh world, one should observe Ekadashi fast on Vamana Jayanti.

Lord Vishnu temples organize special puja on this fortunate day. Devotees, specially Vaishnabas celebrate the festival by observing a fast, and night watch invoking Vaman avatar and offering 52 sweets, offerings and alms.

Rituals followed on Vamana Jayanti

• Devotee should organize a puja and get the required puja kits before the Ekadashi day.
• One should observe ‘nirjala’ fast throughout the day.
• The idol of Lord Vishnu should be washed grandly with holy water and panchamrita.
• Initiate the puja by chanting Beej mantra followed by presenting a seat (Asana) to the Lord Vishnu.
• One can offer rice and curd to satisfy Lord Vishnu, as it is considered auspicious.
• While performing the puja, devotee should chant ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ and ‘Narayana Mantra’ for 108 times.
• While offering flowers, diyas, incense and naivedyam, one must chant 108 recitation of Lord Vishnu’s name with great devotion.
• In the evening, devotees listen to the mythological story ‘Vamana Katha’ along with family members. After that prasad is distributed among the devotees.
• For positivity and good luck one can donate foodstuff to Brahmins.

Divine Gift Ideas to make your Auspicious Occasions Special

If you love and care for someone, there can be no better way of showing it than gifting. It is the power of gift that can really bind two hearts. When you are going to gift someone with a divine touch it becomes quite special and significant for them. You not only show them that you care but also it signifies the good luck and fortune that is coming your way.

Divine gifts

Divine Gifts‬ to give pleasures to your near one :-

It is the divine gifts that can make your loved one belief that you care. You can discover a completely new genre of gifting. Let’s explore.

Classy Ganesha Statue :-

Lord Ganesha is the most worshipped deity in the whole country. He is the symbol of prosperity and wealth. When you are gifting your loved one with a dainty statue of Ganesha you are gifting them with the utmost symbol of well being.

The Statue of Radha Krishna :-

Celebrate the love of the eternal pair of lovers, Radha Krishna. Their bond shows their love and faith for each other. In fact placing a Radha Krishna statue in your home makes it a blissful refuge. It strengthens the bond between relationships. It makes the love stronger in people. The good vibe and blessings that the Lord and the Lady give, helps you to make your path of life enlightened.

Saraswati Statue :-

Saraswati is the Devi of knowledge, art and learning. Invoking her opens the path of knowledge and belief. In fact she also blesses us for creativity and art. She is the other name of worshipping knowledge and learning.

Buddha Statue :-

Lord Buddha had been the worshipper of peace, wisdom and calmness. Placing a Buddha statue signifies that you are the worshipper of peach and seeker of wisdom. Gift your loved ones a statue of Lord Buddha and let them know that care.

Divine gifts are the best gift option these days. Bring and gift well being and good luck to your loved ones.

Things Devotee Should Know about Ganesha Chaturthi and Puja Vidhi

Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is a sacred Hindu festival celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha is the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and Lord Ganesha is believed as the figure of wisdom, prosperity and good luck. During Shukla Paksha the chaturthi after Poornima (full moon) is celebrated as Vinayaka Chaturthi.

This year Ganesh Chaturthi will take place on 17 September 2015. Chaturthi Tithi begins at 20:01 on 16th September, and it will end at 22:20 on 17th September, 2015.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi is considered very auspicious for Hindus all over India and there is a strong belief that, Lord Ganesha takes away all the obstructions and difficulties from our lives.

While organizing Ganesha puja at home and observing a fast, devotee should maintain few things. Read below to know the particulars.

Devotees should observe fast from sunrise on this day, worship the sculpted figure of Ganesha, and finish the puja on the Chaturthi evening.

Fasting is observed when Chaturthi Tithi exists during midday. As fasting for Vinayaka Chaturthi depends on sunrise and sunset timings, one might has to observe fast on Tritiya Tithi, one day before Chaturthi Tithi.

Depending on Chaturthi Tithi, sighting of moon might be prohibited for two following days. According to Vedic tradition, while Chaturthi Tithi exists, moonrise or moonset should not be viewed by devotee(s).

Arrange these essential ingredients before the puja :-

Lord Ganesha idol/murti, plantain leaf (kela patta), one metallic plate, 2- 3 cups rice for enunciating lord’s turmeric vigraha (optional), ghanta (bell), haldi (turmeric), kumkum (vermilion), akshata, flowers, garlands, two full coconuts, 6 bananas, modak (jaggery filled sweet), red chandan paste (red sandalwood paste), betel leaves (paan), betel nuts (supaari), durba grass, panchaamrita (honey, milk, ghee, curds, sugar – all in one cup), clay or metallic diyas or lamps, incense sticks (agarbatti).

Devotee can do the puja himself or the puja can be done by Vedic priests. The strict rituals of this puja are meant for Vedic priests/temples. While you are performing Ganesha Puja at home, you can always be flexible. All you need to be careful is to perform the puja with a clean body and clean mind.

Here is the simple guideline and puja vidhi you can follow to perform the puja.

You can start the puja by cleansing yourself, and keep the surroundings, puja place decorated, clean & tidy.

The most significant thing about Ganesh Puja is ‘Shodashopachara Puja’. There are sixteen steps included in the whole puja process.

Before initiating the puja ‘Deep Prajawalan’ and ‘Sankalpa’ are done which are not part of core sixteen steps of Shodashopachara Puja.

The Lord Ganesha idol should be placed on a clean platform. Put a clean plate or betel leaf facing the Lord.

Placing Lord Ganesha at Home or Work Place

After placing the Lord Ganesha, pray to him by chanting mantras from Rig Veda. Offer seat and scented water to the God. Sprinkle some holy water on him.

Place kumkum on the plate, and decorate it with flowers. You can keep the coconut in front of the idol or break in two parts which is believed as a sacred factor.

Offer fresh fruits, 21 modaks as prasad, after that offer 21 blades of Durba/Durva grass, red flowers to Lord Ganesha. Apply a tilak to the God using red sandalwood paste. The number 21 indicates the five organs of perception, actions, five vital airs (pranas), five elements, and the one mind.

Fold your hands in Namashkaar form, sit comfortably, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and start chanting ‘Om’. Sign the following mantras: “Vakratunda mahaakaaya soorya koti samaprabha/ nirvighnam kuru me deva sarva kaaryeshu sarvadaa”.

In the evening, light a clay diya or lamp with ghee/coconut oil, start reciting the 108 names of Ganesha or chant slokas. Offer the coconut, banana, milk as prasad/naivedya along with flowers to the Lord Ganesha.

Celebrate Vishwakarma Puja with Joyfulness

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Introduction :-

As stated by traditional Hindu calendar, Vishwakarma Puja occurs on the last day of the month Bhadra/Bhadrapaba. The day is also recognized as Bhadra Sankranti. According to Hindu myths, it is believed that Lord Vishwakarma is the divine architect of the universe. The proprietors & business persons would grow and prosper by organizing this puja. Most of the industries, factories, and workstations celebrate this auspicious day. This year Vishwakarma puja will take place on 17th September, 2015.

Continue reading Celebrate Vishwakarma Puja with Joyfulness

Krishna Janmashtami: The History and Festival

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Janmashtami or Krishnastami is considered as the birthday of Lord Krishna. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna is the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu, have been born on this auspicious day. As per the myth, Lord Krishna appeared in this world on the 8th day of Krishna Pakshya in the month of Shravana around midnight to terminate the devil King Kansha. This year, according to Gregorian calendar Krishnashtami or Janmashtami will take place on September 5, 2015.

Continue reading Krishna Janmashtami: The History and Festival

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