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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
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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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Puja for The Spiritualism, Not for Vulgar Entertainment

The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures" and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books" only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!

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Hinduism
he westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"

By Salil Gewali

Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.

Hindusim
Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.

 But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever.  Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.

What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.

Hindusim
Sadhu Sanga Retreat, 2016

 One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”

Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong?  One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.

Hinduism
Hinduism is expected to be observed with a complete purity of action

Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus?  I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.

Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.  It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.

However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.

Twitter:@SGewali.