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August 7 is Rakshabandhan: Hindu Festival that Celebrates Brother-Sister Bond can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization

If we browse through the pages of history, we will understand that the festival is 6,000 years old and there are lots of evidence which proves that  

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Rakshabandhan , Rakhi
Rakshabandhan means celebrating brother sister bond. Wikimedia

August 7, 2017: Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year in India and across the globe. Brothers and sisters treat each other with unconventional surprises to show how important and special that bond is. This year the Hindu festival is celebrated on August 7 and if you have brothers or sisters at home, delicious treats and lovely gifts are inevitable.

Though the enthusiasm to celebrate the festival is at its peak, but only a handful of people are aware of the history behind celebrating this custom. This festival is quite old and can be connected to the ancient Indus Valley civilization. In fact, the tradition of Rakshabandhan was cast by those sisters who were not real.

THE MANTRA

Yen Baddho Bali Raja Danavendro Mahabalah|
Ten Tvaamabhibadhnaami Rakshe Maachal Maachal||

The meaning of Raksha Mantra is as following –
“I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don’t move and keep fixed throughout the year.”

THE HISTORY

If we browse through the pages of history, we will understand that the festival is 6,000 years old and there are lots of evidence which proves that.
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The earliest evidence of the introduction of Raksha Bandhan is of the Queen Karnavati and Emperor Humayun. There was a struggle between Rajputs and Muslims in the medieval era, when the widowed Queen of the King of Chittor, Karnavati did not see any way to protect herself and her kingdom from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, then she had sent Rakhi to Humayun and he protected her and gave her the status of a sister. There are lots of other stories of Lord krishṇa and Draupadi, Bali and Lord vishṇu in reference to this festival.
 THE RITUAL
The sister ties a beautiful thread on the wrist of her brother’s with the hope that he will protect her in every twist and turn of her life. But nowadays, our relationships, festivals, and rituals have also changed. Rather, that feeling of celebrating the festival is not the same anymore. Now many new threads have been added in the thread that is tied to the desire of ‘Sister’s protection’.
– Happy Rakshabandhan to All! –
-by Nidhi Singh of NewsGram. Twitter @NidhiSuryavansi

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Chhath Puja 2017: 5 Interesting and Lesser Known Facts about Hindu Festival Chhath Puja

Here are 5 interesting facts that you should know about the most ancient festival of Chhath Puja.

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Chhath Puja Ritual
Chhath Puja Ritual. Wikimedia commons
  • The festival of Chathh Puja is Celebrated for four days where women fast for 36 hours. 
  • On this festival, God Surya is worshipped for sustaining life on earth and granting Health, Prosperity & Abundance.

Chhath Puja 2017: This year Chhath Puja will be Celebrated from 26 October

Chhath is considered to be an ancient Hindu festival.On Chhath Puja various rituals are performed for Thanksgiving Sun God for sustaining life on earth and granting Health, Prosperity & Abundance.

The word “Chhath” symbolizes the number 6 in Hindi language and the festival begins on the sixth day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik.The festival continues for four days during which people, especially women, follow diligent rituals including fasting for 36 hours.

Here are 5 interesting facts which you need to know about Chhath Puja:

Chhat Puja is the only Vedic Festival of India: Chhath Puja is considered to be one of the most ancient festivals of India surviving on earth.This puja first finds mention in the Rig Veda which contains hymns worshiping the Sun God and describes similar rituals.

The rituals performed during Chhath have scientific reasons: Rituals in Chhath Puja increases absorption and conduction of solar-bio-electricity in a human body. The processes and the rituals of the Chhath puja aim at preparing the body and the mind of the devotee for the process of cosmic solar energy infusion.

Also Read: Hindu Festival Chhath Puja gives great message to Society, says PM Narendra Modi

Four days rituals are designed in such a way that it benefits the health of the devotee: During the Puja, standing in the river Ganges allows the absorption of energy from the sun which moves along the spine and cleanses the body. This helps in better functioning of the body and calms down the mental state of the devotee. It reduces anger and negativity from the life of the devotee.

Worshipping Sun God on Chhath is prevalent in the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations of the world: Chhath puja has its international significance as it also celebrated in other countries like Mauritius, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago etc. as a part of their own traditions & customs.

Chhath Puja hails back to the time of the Mahabharata: Draupati is also considered to be the devotee of Sun God apart from Karna. Due to her devotion toward Surya, she was gifted with the unique power to cure even the deadliest diseases. Through this power gifted by her, Pandavas survived and won the Kurukshetra Battle over Kauravas and regained their kingdom back.

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Navratri 5th Day, The Tales That Speaks About Mother-Son Relationship

Goddess Skandamata, the 5th form of Goddess Durga and also the mother of the commander in chief of the devatas, Lord Kartikeya.

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Goddess Skandamata
Goddess Skandamata Source: Wikimedia Common

New Delhi, September 25, 2017: Goddess Skandamata shows up during the 5th day of the Hindu festival Navratri. The 5th form of Goddess Durga and also the mother of the commander in chief of the devatas, Lord Kartikeya.

Devi Skandamata is portrayed as a Goddess holding her infant, Lord Kartikeya, with her right arm and a lotus in her above two hands. The left arm of Devi is in a posture to grant blessings to her devotees. She has four hands, 3 eyes with a beautiful bright complexion. Skandamata is also called as Padamasani since she is portrayed in her idol being seated on a lotus flower. She is also seen with a lion as her vehicle. Goddess Skandamata is worshipped in the form of Parvati, Maheshwari and Mata Gauri.

It is strongly believed that Devi Skandamata is a Goddess of salvation, prosperity, power, and treasures.

The legend says that Tarkasur, a great demon who used to torture and massacre the people on earth wanted the immortality power. To please Lord Brahma with his devotion he went through extremely tough forfeitures. In return for his devotion, he asked Lord Brahma his blessings to make him immortal. However, Brahma denied his request, but Tarkasur acted smart and asked Brahma to give him boons which say that only the son of Lord Shiva can bring him to death since he thought that Shiva would never get married to have any children.

Nevertheless, Lord Shiva got married to Parvati and with her 5th form, Goddess Skandamata, Lord Kartikeya was born. As he grew, he came to know about the boon given by Lord Brahma to Tarkasur and that only he can kill him and bring peace to the earth.

The Gods gave Kartikeya their blessings with special powers and weapons, and he killed demon Tarkasur on the battlefield.

Devi Skandamata is the symbol of mother-son relationship.

People worship her to get immense love and affection from her as a blessing.

Here is the mantra to worship Goddess Skandamata

 

सिंघासनगता नित्यम पद्माश्रितकरद्वया |

शुभदास्तु सदा देवी स्कन्द माता यशश्विनी ||

Siṅghāsanagatā nityama padmāśritakaradvayā |

śubhadāstu sadā dēvī skanda mātā yaśaśvinī ||

 

ALSO READ: Navratri Day Four Is Dedicated to ‘Maa Kushmanda’, Goddess who Governs the Sun

Navratri is the Hindu festival that holds immense importance in Hinduism. It is believed from the tales that during the festival, Goddess Durga descends on earth. She blesses her devotees with happiness and prosperity and brings an end to the evil.

Devotees believe in worshipping and fasting for all nine days which can bring a change to their lives and make their wishes come true.

– Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire

 

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Navratri Day 3, Is Dedicated to ‘Maa Chandraghanta’ the Goddess of Feminine Power

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worship maa chandraghanta
Source: Wikimedia Common

New Delhi, September 23, 2017: The celebration for Navratri continues for the third day. Tritiya, as it’s named suggest the third day is devoted to Maa Chandraghanta, the married form of Goddess Parvati. The ten day long festival of Sharad Navaratri is the celebration of the feminine divine power Goddess Durga.

Maa Chandraghanta, which means “one whose bell is shaped like half-moon” is worshipped with a belief to be free from any ill effects of Shukra (Venue), one of the nine planets. Shukra is believed to be the controller of our sense organs and empower us to achieve name and fame.

In the religious manuscript the goddess is represented with the deity mounting over a tigress. Chandraghanta is portrayed with ten hands with each carrying mace, trishul (trident), sword, water pot, bow, arrow, rosary, and two hands with the blessing posture of Varadamudra and Abhayamudra. She has her third eye, always open, which symbolise her to be ever ready for war against the evil.

People worship her to get rewarded with her grace, and courage. It is believed that with her grace the evil doing, sins, physical and mental suffering are all destroyed.

What the legend of Maa Chandraghanta says?

When we come to the legend of our Hindu God and Goddess, the tales are never ending. A story tells that Lord shiva, the destroyer, promised Parvati that he will not marry any woman. However, Parvati’s devotion overwhelmed Lord Shiva and so, he agrees to marry her. On the day of their marriage, Shiva march along with other Gods, mortals, ghost, Aghoris, ghouls and Shivaganas to King Himavan’s Palace to take away his daughter, Parvati. The terrorized form of Shiva traumatized Parvati’s mother. This is when Parvati transform into Goddess Chandraghanta to protect her parents.

Chandraghanta persuaded Lord Shiva to reappear in his original form. Shiva appeared as a prince ornamented with jewels, and soon Parvati and Lord Shiva gets married.

The day starts with early morning prayers where devotees chant mantra ‘Om Ayam hreem Chandraghantaya namah’ to worship Maa Chandraghanta. Later, an offering of Goddess favourite jasmine flowers, sindoor (vermilion), kheer (sweet rice), and cow milk is made, followed by prayers to Lord Shiva.

The festival holds immense importance in Hinduism. It is believed from the tales that during the festival, Goddess Durga descends on earth to bless her devotees with happiness and prosperity and bring an end to the evil.

Devotees believe that by fasting for all nine days can bring a change to their physical life and also make their wishes come true.

Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire