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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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Hindu Icons Which Have Spiritual Significance

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

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rangoli
Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home. Pixabay

Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.

Hindu Sacraments worn on the body

Hindu icons all year round

bangles
Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item. Pixabay

Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed

  1. Nose stud – essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
  2. Yajnopavit/Janaue – essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
  3. Sindoor/Mangalsutra – essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  4. Choti/Shikha – small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
  5. Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head) – touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
  6. Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.

Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer

  1. Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
  2. Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
  3. Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
  4. Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
  5. Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
  6. Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets
  7. Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions

    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles. Pixabay
  1. Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
  2. Teeka, Tilak, Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
  3. Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
  4. Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
  5. Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
  6. Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
  7. Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
  8. Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.

Hindu icons in a Hindu home

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

  1. Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
  2. Home shrine

(Originally Published: Hindu Council of Australia)