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Dattatreya Jayanti: All you need to know about the Hindu Festival!

Dattatreya is a sanyasi and one of the lords of yoga in Hinduism.

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Lord Dattatreya. Wikimedia

Delhi, Dec 13, 2016: Dattatreya Jayanti which is also known as Datta Jayanti is celebrated every year to mark the birth of the Hindu God Dattatreya. God Dattatreya is a combination of the three majestic entities ie. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Here are some interesting facts about the Dattatreya Festival:

  1. Lord Dattatreya happens to have acquired knowledge from twenty-four masters in his lifetime.The Datta community is said to have originated because of him. Many different temples are dedicated to him across India but are more prominent in Southern India.
  2. Dattatreya Festival does not have any fixed date.
  3. It usually happens to be celebrated in December on the full moon day. This year, it falls on 13th of December.
  4. There are certain important day timings for the festival:

Sunrise                                    07:03 AM

Sunset                                     17:38 PM

Purnima Tithi begins                  09:16 AM

Purnima Tithi ends                     05:35 AM

4. Many temples hold a seven-day festival that is dedicated to God Datta. Temple Manik Prabhu is one of them.

5. Celebrations take place from Ekadashi to Purima wherein many aartis take place. The initiation of the festival is marked by the recitation of the Shri Gurucharitra. The recitation of the Shri Gurucharitra starts a week prior to the festival.

6. There are certain rituals attached to the Dattatreya Jayanti which are religiously followed by the devotees. These rituals include:

  • The devotees have to wake up early, take bath in holy water bodies and observe a fast for the day.
  • Devotional books like Avadhuta Gita and Jivanmukta Gita are read during the performance of the puja and flowers, incense stick, lamp, and sweets are offered to the God Dattatreya.
  • The devotees have to take seven circles around the Lord Datta’s idol and then distribute the prasad to everyone in the puja.
  • The usual rituals of applying sandalwood paste, vermillion, and turmeric to the idol or photo of the deity is also followed by the devotees.
  • Mantras like “Shree guru dattatreyaya namah” or “Om Shri Gurudev Datta”is also an auspicious ritual.

    prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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“Visit Strengthens Further Internal Cohesion and Unity”: Pope Francis Meets Leaders of North Macedonia

Ahead of his visit, Francis praised the mix of cultures, religions, and ethnicities in North Macedonia, and said he was traveling there to "sow these seeds" of solidarity.

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Pope Francis
Pope Francis greets the crowds in Skopje on May 7. RFERL

Pope Francis, who is on a historic first trip to North Macedonia, has met with the country’s leadership and held Mass in the main square of the capital, Skopje.

Francis was welcomed by the outgoing president, Gjorge Ivanov, and other government officials.

He has sought to encourage the country’s drive toward integration into the EU and NATO after its name change resolved a decades-long dispute with Greece last year.

Like neighboring Bulgaria — Francis’s first stop on his three-day Balkan tour — North Macedonia, a small Balkan country of 2.1 million, is mainly Orthodox Christian.

But the country has a large community of ethnic Albanian Muslims, who make about one-quarter of the population. North Macedonia is home to an estimated 15,000 Catholics.

In meetings with Ivanov and with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the presidential palace, Francis praised North Macedonia’s multiethnic and multifaith culture, calling it an example of peaceful coexistence and a bridge between East and West.

“These particular features are also highly significant for increased integration with the nations of Europe,” he said.

Christian
Like neighboring Bulgaria — Francis’s first stop on his three-day Balkan tour — North Macedonia, a small Balkan country of 2.1 million, is mainly Orthodox Christian. VOA

“It is my hope that this integration will develop in a way that is beneficial for the entire region of the Western Balkans, with unfailing respect for diversity and for fundamental rights.”

In his speech, President Ivanov complained about delays in accepting Macedonia in the Euro-Atlantic family.

“You come at a time when [North] Macedonian society is deeply divided, and the [North] Macedonian [nation] is heavily wounded by broken promises, unfulfilled expectations and faltering trust in the international community,” he said.

Viktor Dimovski, state secretary of North Macedonia’s Foreign Ministry, told the media on May 6 that the pope’s historic visit comes at a crucial moment as the country seeks entry into the European Union and NATO.

“The pope’s visit strengthens further internal cohesion and unity, and brings messages of reconciliation and solidarity,” he said.

The pope’s visit also included a prayer at the memorial of North Macedonia’s most famous native daughter, Mother Teresa, who was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in 1910 in Skopje when it was still part of the Ottoman Empire.

Francis was surrounded by Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity nuns in praying before the memorial. Mother Teresa was canonized by Francis in 2016.

Ahead of his visit, Francis praised the mix of cultures, religions, and ethnicities in North Macedonia, and said he was traveling there to “sow these seeds” of solidarity.

“Living together is not always easy, we know that,” the pope said in a video message. “But it’s worth struggling toward, because the most beautiful mosaics are the ones that are richest in colors.”

muslims
But the country has a large community of ethnic Albanian Muslims, who make about one-quarter of the population. Pixabay

With the name dispute with Greece now resolved, North Macedonia, which has been an EU aspirant since 2005, hopes to get a clear signal for the start of accession talks in June. Skopje also expects to become the 30th NATO member at the end of the year.

Also Read: Puppeteers Bring Message of Harmony, Love, Tolerance in Pakistan’s Karachi

Stevo Pendarovski, who was elected president in a runoff election on May 5, said he saw his victory as a “ticket for NATO and EU.”

Six Western Balkan countries — Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia — are in various stages of the accession process to join the EU. (RFERL)