How Saraswati puja is celebrated in Bengal?

Its February time and with board exams round the corner in March and April, every mother would think of celebrating saraswathi puja at their homes, so that her children’s can invoke the blessings of the goddess.

This puja is celebrated in the month of phalgun month (January to February), and is celebrated popularly in the eastern region and is mostly celebrated by the youth in colleges, schools etc.

Moreover, this festival is observed during different times in different parts of India.

In south India, this puja is celebrated during Navratri, which is also called the Mahanavami day, also observed as Ayudha puja and Saraswati puja.

Keep these things in mind during puja celebration:

The essential puja samagri used during this puja are

  • Image or idol of Goddess Saraswati
  • A white cloth (vastram)
  • Flowers – louts, lilies or jasmine.
  • Mango leaves or other decorations
  • Turmeric
  • Kumkum
  • Rice
  • Bananas
  • Locally available Fruits

Continue reading How Saraswati puja is celebrated in Bengal?

Makara Sankranti – Religious and Spiritual Significance and Festivity

Makara Sankranti is one of the most prominent festivals celebrated in India by Hindu. It has some deep spiritual and religious significance. That is why it has been one of the most popular festivals in the whole nation. Generally it is celebrated on 14th January in every year. Makar Sankranti is a solar event. According to Hindu philosophy sun is the power that drives away all the darkness and illusions. Sun is the symbol of wisdom and goodness. It has the significant glory that can banish darkness of conventions, orthodoxy and superstitions.

Makar Sankranthi
Makar Sankranthi

Makar Sankranti is on one hand a festival of banishing the evil on the other it is the fest of harvesting. The name is derived from Sankraman or movement. In Hindu philosophy movement is the source of life. Makar Sankranti is about the movement of sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius) to Makar (Capricorn). The significance of this day is that the day becomes longer and the night becomes shorter. It also signifies that winter is also subsiding. The festival is also called Uttarayan as due to the movement of earth, Sun starts travelling north.

God Surya Picture courtesy : google
God Surya Picture courtesy : google

There are many reasons that has been stated in the the Purana. Some of them are given below.

  • Makara symbolizes the union of father and son. Sun, the father of Shani, the lord of Makar rashi goes to visit his son. Though they do not get along well but they prefer to stay together for a month. That is why this day is quite significant for the celebration of the bond between parents and children.
  • Uttarayan is significant as it is the mark of the day of Devatas. All the auspicious things are supposed to do during this time.
  • Purana also says that it is on this day, lord Vishnu ended the terror of Asura at Mandar Mountains. The day signifies the win of good over the evil.
  • The other significance of this day is Bhagiratha paid tarpana with Ganges water to liberate the soul of his unfortunate ancestors.

Different states celebrate this festival in their different way. As it is quite intricately oriented with harvest, Tamil Nadu celebrates it as Pongal, Andhra Pradesh celebrates it as Padunga, Punjab celebrates it with Lohri and Magi followed by their dance bhangra. This is the auspicious time when pilgrims come from various corners of India to celebrate Makara at the coastal areas. That is why Ganga Sagar mela happenes this time in West Bengal.

Celebrate Makara Sankranti today. Banish the darkness of evil and let the light of wisdom come and make your life brighter.

Express You Care with Personalized Corporate Gifts

Gift can be the best gesture to show that you love and care. It is the best expression of affection. It can be all the more special when it is given to the employees by their bosses and authorities. The importance of gift in corporate sector is quite prominent. It is the employees who keep on delivering their hardest when it comes to keep the impression of a brand quite high.

If you are thinking in the same line choose corporate gifts. They are classiest way to express that you care. Corporate gifts can be considered as an expression of appreciation as well. It will convey to your employee that you appreciate their effort and have put quite a lot of thought about the gift. If you are in such a predicament when you have a nice occasion t shower your good wishes think about these gifts.

Green Leaf Ganesh ji
Green Leaf Ganesh ji

Personalized Items

Personalized corporate gifts are quite welcome always when it comes to the employees. It shows that the employer value their effort that they are putting for their firm. Think about gifting them with the personalized items. Personalized pens, notebook or folios are great. You can in fact gift your employees with personalize pen stand or coffee mug too. Personalized items are always perceived as thoughtful. So when you are choosing it they will understand that you have put quite a thought about it.

A Touch of Divine Blessings

If you are going to gift your employees on the day of some auspicious event think about giving a divine touch to it. Bring blessings of God in their life with Ganesh ji and Lakshmi ji figurin, statue of Lord Shiva or footprints of Lakshmi ji. They are perfect gift to denote that you are wishing well being for them.

Value the Time

Nothing can be a perfect gift as a watch. It will make them feel that the time that they are giving to your firm is worthy of your appreciation.

Use these gift ideas while gifting your employees and show them that you care.

Seek Blessings from Lord Ganesha on Sankashti Chaturthi

According to Hindu calendar, each lunar month has two Chathurthi Tithis. It is celebrated every month during Krishna Pakhsha, on Chathurthi day. When Sankashti Chathurthi is on Tuesday it is known as Angaraki Sankatahara Chathurthi, and this day is considered highly auspicious for the Hindus. Sankatahara Chathurthi or Sankashti Chathurthi is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed that Lord Ganesha can eradicate all the obstacles, and difficulties. This puja is considered very auspicious day for the Hindus. They observe fast from sunrise, worship the sculpted figure of Ganesha, and finish it after observing the moon rise.

Ganesha
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Additional information

Preparations:

  • One can initiate the puja after talking bath, and keep the environment clean. Place a clean plate or betel leaf before the Lord. Place kumkum on it, and decorate it with flowers, place fresh fruits as prasad.
  • Fasting on Sankatahara Chathurthi is believed very fortunate, and extremely beneficial.
  • By having a complete fast Sankatahara will be broken after observing the moon rise, followed by a puja to Lord Ganesha.

Ingredients:

  • Lord Ganeshamurti, Plantain leaf (if available or a plate), and rice for enunciating Lord’s Turmeric Vigraha.
  • One plate (preferably a metallic one), and some rice (2-3 cups).
  • Ghantaa (bell), Haldi, kumkum, akshata, flowers, garlands.
  • Two coconuts, bananas.
  • Betel leaves, betel nuts (supari), Druva Grass blades.
  • Panchaamrita (honey, milk, ghee, curds, sugar – all in one cup).
  • Two small lamps/Diyas.
  • Agarbatti/Incense Sticks

Vidhi or the Process:

  • Put the vibhuti mixed with water on your forehead.
  • Offer 21 blades of Druva Grass, 21 modakas, red flowers.
  • You can apply a tilak using red Sandalwood paste.
  • You can keep the coconut or break it in front of the idol.
  • Fold your hands in Namashkaar form, sit comfortably, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and start chanting ‘Om’.
  • Chant the following mantras: “Vakratunda mahaakaaya sooryakoti samaprabha / nirvighnam kurume devasarva kaarye Shusarvadaa’’.
  • In the evening, light a lamp with Ghee/Coconut oil, start reciting the 108 names of Ganesha or slokas. Offer the coconut, banana, milk as prasad/naivedya along with flowers to the Lord Ganesha.

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 pujas with a clean body and clean mind.

Satyanarayan Puja, Vidhi and Samagri

Satyanarayan puja is the most popular puja or Hindu ritual in India. Satya means truth and Narayan means the highest being. Satyanarayan is the God who is the chief embodiment of truth. Since the ancient days devotees are performing this ritual to invite well being and prosperity at home. It is said that if the puja is done with all faith and devotion, the problems and obstacles get resolved.

Satyanarayan Puja, Vidhi and Samagri
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Satyanarayan puja is widely popular amongst the devotees. It is a simple puja with not too many rituals. You can perform this puja in any age. This puja is perfect to portray that it is not the God who matters but the faith and the love of devotees that matters the most. Though it can be performed any day and any time, especially when you are starting something auspicious. However, the devotees generally choose the Purniam and Ekadashi to perform the puja.

If you start looking for a spiritual significance of Satyanarayan puja you will be amazed to find how big role it plays in the life of Hindu devotees. Satya means truth and Narayan is the highest being. Satyanarayan signifies the worshipping of highest embodiment of truth.

Satyanarayan Puja Samagri
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Samagri:

• Charanamrit
• Fresh fruits (Bananas are must)
• Dry fruits
• Fresh flowers
• Pan leaves
• 1 Kalash
• Diya
• Agarbatti
• Coconut
• 1 cup akshat (rice mixed with haldi)
• Kumkum
• Haldi
• Thali for arti
• Mauli (red thread)
• Image of Satyanarayan

Vishnu and Laxmi ji Resting on Sheshnag
Vishnu and Laxmi ji Resting on Sheshnag

Vidhi:

• Every puja should start with the utterance of Gayatri mantra.
• Then it is customary to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesha

• Then comes the consecrating of water on puja items and devotees for shuddhi.
• Then breaking a coconut and offering to God is customary
• Read the Satyanarayan katha to invoke blessings
Follow these vidhi and welcome prosperity in your life and in your home.

 

Know the Significance of Gita Jayanti and the Puja Procedure

According to traditional Hindu calendar, Gita Jayanti occurs in the month of Margashirsha month, during the Shukla Ekadashi Tithi, on the 11th day of the waxing moon. This is also known as Moksha/Mokshada Ekadashi.

Happy Gita Jayanti
Happy Gita Jayanti

Gita Jayanti symbolizes the birth of Srimaad Bhagawad-Gita, which is considered as the sacred manuscript of the Hindus. As per Gregorian calendar, Gita Jayanti falls during the month of November or December. Moksha Ekadasi fast on Gita Jayanti is a significant Ekadashi fast. It is believed that fasting on Moksha Ekadashi benefits to accomplish ‘moksha’. Knowingly or unknowingly people suffer from guilt, they should observe this fast to get their sins erased.

Bhagawad-Gita contains eighteen chapters and it is a resource of immense knowledge for humankind. It is believed that, Sri Krishna represented the “Bhagawad Gita” as a divine gift to Arjuna in the battleground of Kurukshetra, which is in Haryana, India at present.

This year Gita Jayanti/ Moksha Ekadashi will occur on December 21, 2015. Ekadashi Tithi begins at 03:30 on December 21, and it ends at 01:11 on December 22, 2015.

The Puja Preparation:

It is a momentous fasting day for devotees. Devotees offer prayers to Vishnu and Krishna and observe religious rituals by reading the divine chants from Bhagawad Gita. People who are observing fast/vrat must maintain clarity & purity from the day before Ekadashi, which is called Chaitra Shukla Pakshya Dashami. The person who is observing the fast should sleep on the ground, on Dashami Tithi night, before the Ekadashi day starts. The period of this vrat/fast is for one day, and the devotees follow all the rituals since Dashami itself. A devotee needs to get up early in the morning for a soil bath, and after that, the observer is supposed to perform all the rituals of the puja and worship Lord Vishnu/ Satya Narayana.

Ingredients for the Puja:

Vishnu and Laxmi ji Resting on Sheshnag
Vishnu and Laxmi ji Resting on Sheshnag

• A Picture of the Lord Vishnu/ Idol of Lord Vishnu
• One Bhagawad Gita – The sacred book
• Fruits, Flowers (white, red & yellow)
• Chowki/ Puja Platform
• Copper or Silver Kalash
• Akshata – (Unbroken Raw Rice)
• Sacred Thread (Moli), Roli, Holy Water
• Yellow clothes for Offering (Vastra)
• Special prasad offering for Lord Vishnu – Panjiri, Halva, Kheer
• Deepak/Diyas, Two Big Brass Lamps (with Wicks, Oil/Ghee)
• Incense Sticks (Agarbatti)
• Camphor (Karpoor), Kumkum, Sandal Wood Powder/Paste (Chandan), Turmeric (Haldi)
• 108 Basil Leaves & Garlands (Tulsi)
• Naivedyam, Coconut, Coconut Water
• Rice, Gold or Silver Coin, Gold Chain
• Extra Kalash (pot), Trays, Vessels
• Betel Nuts & Betel Nut Leaves (Paan)
• Banana Leaves & Banana, Mango Leaves
• Panchaamrita – (Honey, Milk, Ghee, Curd, Sugar – All in One Cup)
• Sweets & Dakshina for Bramhins
• Jaap Mala & Puja Book

Puja Vidhi/ Process:

According to the rituals, devotees take early morning bath and observe a fast/vrat on this auspicious day. Puja is performed by decorating idols of Vishnu with new clothes and jewelry. Devotee should read Moksha Ekadashi Vrat Katha and worship Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, present Gita path and perform aarti.

• One should collect all the listed things at Puja place or in the temple.
• One can also keep images or idol of Lord Vishnu.
• Place the idol of Lord Vishnu on the decorated chowki.
• Put chandan tilak on Lord Vishnu’s forehead.
• Present Holy Basil (Tulsi) to Lord Vishnu especially.
• Light the incense sticks, diyas, offer flowers, water, fruits & sweets as prasad to Lord Vishnu.
• Light up camphor (Karpoor), and offer it to the Lord Vishnu in a clockwise mode which is called Aarati, and Nirajanam.
• Pray or meditate for few minutes and perform the Aarati offering the earthen lamps, dhoop stick. After lighting the diyas sprinkle holy water, roli, kumkum, haldi, rice and panchamrita on the idol.
• Sing Vishnu Sahasranama, along with the holy texts from Bhagawad Gita, Satya Narayana Vratakatha, and Vedic chants.

www.iskcondesiretree.com
Source: www.iskcondesiretree.com

The main observance of this day is the Ekadashi Vrat. The person is observing the fast cannot have any grains like-barley, wheat, rice, moong daal and consumption of salt, garlic, onion is totally prohibited. Devotees can consume fruits, curd, nuts and milk. The Vrat/fast is for 24 hours, though you can opt for a partial fast because of health problems.

Devotees observing partial fast should avoid grains, oil, and salt, and eat curd, milk, fruits as well. While observing Moksha Ekadashi, devotee should stay away from alcohol, and non-vegetarian food.

Nirjala Moksha Ekadashi Vrata is considered one of the most significant Vratas from ancient times. As Lord Vishnu holds the position of a great spiritual idol and source of divine inspirations, people follow all the rituals of this day with great enthusiasm & devotion.

The day is observed by devotees all around the world with the analysis of Bhagawad Gita. Several seminars are organized on the day. The Hindu temples conduct extraordinary pujas on this auspicious day to dedicate Lord Vishnu and Sri Krishna. One can celebrate Gita Jayanti is by reading at least one verse from the Sri Bhagawad Gita.

On this auspicious day, the temples make doorway like structures for devotees to pass through. So, you should visit temples, perform Puja and offer prasad.

Brass Krishna With peacock (Gold Polish)
Brass Krishna With peacock

Devotees should break the fast within Dwadashi Tithi, next morning of Ekadashi before the Dwadashi ends. This vrat is observed from Ekadashi morning until the Dwadashi morning on the next day after taking bath and Morning Prayer to Lord Krishna . Fast is broken on the next day after taking bath and offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. Complete self-restraint from food on Ekadashi provides blissful consequences. Give a donation to Bramhins or any deprived person.




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Make Your Employees Happy with Amazing Gifts on this New Year

It is the festivity again. New year is banging on the door now. It is time to spread love and care. It is time when you should show the people associated with you that you love and care. Your employees are not exception either. It is time to make them feel that their effort for your business is valued. You are an employer who believes in loving your employees. Reflect that in your choice of gifts.

When you are thinking about surprising your employees with some corporate gifts you can use these gift ideas.

Ganesha with Mandir
Ganesha with Mandir

Personalized Folder:

Personalized gifts will make your employees understand that for you they matter. Putting a little bit though over this isn’t really a bad option. Gift them with the token of personalized folders. As it will contain some special message it will be the perfect gift to make the feel that you care and you have put some thought while gifting.

Watch and Clocks:

What can an employer expect from his employees more than being punctual? Express your expectation as well as gift them something classy. Gift them watch or clock that will make them understand how much you value time and what you expect. Along with being useful it will be a classy gift too.

Ganesh and Lakshmi Statue:

How about a little touch of good luck in the beginning of the new year? Nothing can bring good luck the way a Ganesh and Lakshmi statue does. This divine gift is the perfect thing that can bring the touch of divine bliss and good luck in your home. Gift them with this and help them welcome good luck on this new year.

Think about these gift ideas when gifting your employees and make them feel that you care.

Know about Jagaddhatri Puja and the Puja Rituals

As per Hindu calendar, Jagaddhatri Puja is observed in the Kartik month on the ninth day of the waxing phase of the moon. Jagaddhatri puja is mainly observed in Chandannagar and Krishnanagar area in Bengal where it was originated. Generally, Goddess Jagaddhatri is referred as a different appearance of Maa Durga. According to literal denotation, the word ‘Jagaddhatri’ means ‘Holder (Dhatri) of the World (Jagat)’. This year Jagaddhatri Puja will take place on November 20, 2015.

A brief idea about the puja rituals:

Actual Jagaddhatri Puja rituals are celebrated for four days, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami similar to Durga Puja. Devotees can get all the puja samagri before the main puja day. You can also get puja samagri, havan samagri online these days.

During the four days of the festival, the puja area should be cleaned prior to the puja days, decorated with lights and garlands. While beginning the Puja, the idol of Goddess Jagaddhatri is established.

On the day of Saptami, the goddess Jagaddhatri is worshipped as a sign of Yoga along with Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh and Vedic mantras along with flowers, naivedyam, and other offerings. On Ashtami day, the Goddess is worshipped as a source of affluence, nourishment, prosperity, and good luck. Prasad are distributed among devotees and in the neighborhoods.

The major celebration happens on the day of Nabami. At some places, animal sacrifices are arranged as a ritual. However, this ancient ritual now has been replaced with sacrifices of banana, cucumber etc. On Nabami day, in some places, havan or yagna is arranged. Dashami is the last day when the deity is immersed in a local pond or river.

The Essentials and Puja Rituals of Govardhan Puja

The legend behind Govardhan puja is an interesting leela (story) of lord Krishna. Lord Vishnu incarnated in Dwapar Yuga, as a son of Vasudeva and Devaki. However, Nandji and Yashoda fostered him to keep him safe from his evil maternal uncle Kansha. It is believed that, Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger to protect ‘Brajwasi’ from downpour. Devotees also perform ‘Gou- puja’ on this day where they worship Cows and feed them.

This puja is also recognized as ‘Annakut Puja’. Devotees offer food made of wheat, rice, gram flour, and vegetables in a huge quantity, so it takes the structure of a mountain. This year Govardhan Puja will be celebrated on 12 November, on Thursday. The most significant Govardhan Puja takes place in Mathura. On this promising day, thousands of devotees execute Govardhan Parikrama on the day.

Preparation and Ingredients:
Devotees should put together all the Govardhan puja samagri before the main puja date. Some people van observe complete or partial fast depending on health condition. One should get all these following puja samagri for this puja.

1) Decorative items for Lord Krishna
2) Sugarcane Sticks, Two
3) Batasha, Chawal, Grains, Ghee, Dhal
4) Roli, Moli (Sacred Thread)
5) Brass/Copper Kalash, Earthen Lamp
6) Cow Dung or Mud
7) Payesam & Naivedyam
8) Akshata (Raw unbroken rice mixed with turmeric)
9) Paachamrita (Milk, Sugar, Ghee, Honey, Curd)
10) Betel Leaves, Betel Nuts, Mango Leaves
11) Different types of sweets including Puri, Halava, Sandesh, Rasagulla and Laddu
12) Silver Coin, Money for Dakshina
13) Krishna Puja Book

How to do Govardhan puja at home?

i) This puja is mainly performed in the morning. Using garden soil, devotees make a dummy/structure of Govardhan parvat (mountain). You should decorate it as if you are embellishing lord Krishna. After invoking the lord offer two sticks of sugarcane, curd, milk, and sweets followed by akshata, roli, moli, kumkum, and naivedyam to the Lord Vishnu.
ii) Initiate the aarti with earthen lamps, incense, and camphor. Perform minimum three parikrama around the form of mountain. After the puja is done, devotees should read the story of Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parvat and distribute prasad.
iii) Offer money as dakshina to the Bramhins who performed the puja.
iv) Significantly, the women of the residence eat the payesam first and consume the fresh cooked food.

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.

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