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By- Devakinanda Ji
OṀ (AUM)-PRA-KRU-TI-POO-JA-NA-BHOO- MYAI—NA-MA-HA
ॐ प्रकृतिपूजनभूम्यै नमः
(Prakruti: Nature, origin, source; Pūjana: Worship, service to a deity)
There are many meanings to prakruti like 'the natural', 'original principle', and 'that which produces effects'. In the most basic sense, it means nature or a natural quality.
In Vedic sacrifices, it means a model yāga-like the Darśa (full moon) or the Pūrṇamāsa (full month) and others based on it being called vikritis. In grammar, it represents the basic form of a word. In the Sānkhya Darśana, it represents pradhāna, the basic material cause of the universe, comprising the three guṇas. This concept has generally been accepted by almost all the schools of Vedānta. In AdvaitaVedānta it stands for Māya at the cosmic level and avidya (ignorance) at the individual level. In VisiṣhṭādvaitaVedānta it is called aċit (the unconscious principle) and accepted as a permanent reality, but under the control of Īśwara or God. The Dvaita Vedānta considers it as having two aspects: the ċitprakruti (conscious entity same as Lakshmi, the divine consort of Vishṇu) and the aċitprakruti or the unconscious basic material cause of the world.
In the Śākta tantras, prakruti is the Divine Mother who appears in five forms: Durga, Rādha, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, and Sāvitri. These five goddesses are responsible for creation.
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In Āyurveda (health sciences), it stands for the general condition of the body.
In Vedic sacrifices, it means a model yāga-like the Darśa (full moon) or the Pūrṇamāsa (full month) and others based on it being called vikritisWikipedia
The Bhagavadgīta describes prakruti as representing two aspects of the Lord's power, the aparā (lower) and the parā (the higher). The former comprises eight unconscious material objects and the latter, the conscious jīva (individual soul).
In political science, the word stands for the seven rājyāngās or constituents of the state. In Sanskrit poetry, it is the name of a particular meter with 21 letters or syllables per line.
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Parabrahma is beyond the three guṇas and prakruti is comprised of the three guṇas with which it is the cause of the material world. All matter that is created including human-beings is the combination of these three guṇas. Just like our mother, who brought us into this world and nourished us; prakruṫi is the mother of everything in this universe because the five basic elements of the universe- space, air, fire, water and earth- constitutes the universe. For giving us everything without asking, what else can we call Prakruṫi other than Māta? For that reason, every Hindu worships Prakruṫi as mother in the form of goddess Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati.
That's why our motherland is ' Prakruṫipūjana Bhūmi'.
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, who is known as Lord Shiva's and Goddess Parvati's son. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha represents new beginnings and removes all obstacles.
Every year Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with full zeal and zest. The festival will take place from September 10 till September 21.
It must be noted that this festival is celebrated majorly in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Devotees of these states celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with full enthusiasm, and they even start preparing for this festival from months ago.
Generally, the festival begins with Pran Pratishtha of Lord Ganesha's idol. This is a ritual in Hinduism, wherein an idol is placed in the temple. Then, for the next 10 days, devotees of Lord Ganesha worship him and pray for prosperity. Devotees, at the same time, also offer Modak, which is a kind of sweet, to Lord Ganesha. On the last day of the festival, the idol of Lord Ganesha is immersed in a waterbody like a pond or a river, which is known as Ganpati Visarjan, with much glitz. This ritual marks the return of Lord Ganesha to his holy abode.
According to the Hindu mythology, it is believed that worshipping Lord Ganesha helps end all troubles and hurdles. This is the reason why he is also known as Vinayaka and Vighneshwara, both the terms mean “remover of obstacles".
Keywords: Ganesh Chaturthi, India, Hinduism, Festivals, Temples
As Hinduism is a unique religion, it must be understood in an efficient manner. Therefore, in order to understand the practices and concepts related to the religion, read the below mentioned books written by renowned authors.
Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices by Jeaneane Fowler
To start with knowing and understanding Hinduism, this is one of the basic books. In this book, the author views Hinduism as a way of life and a major Indian phenomena, and most importantly, all the beliefs and practices which are associated with this religion. All-in-all, this book is an eye-opener, and throws light on a lot of concepts and myths related to Hinduism.
An Introduction to Hinduism by Gavin Flood
This book throws light on the historical and thematic introduction related to Hinduism. At the same time, this book traces the development of the religion from the ancient origin to its modern structure. One of the specialty of this book is that it lays stress on rituals and southern influence on Hinduism.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism by Linda Johnsen, Jody P. Schaeffer, and David Frawley
Considered as one of the ideal books on Hinduism, it offers an outstanding introduction and overview of the religion. Not only this, but this book also explains various practices and beliefs related to Hinduism, and also includes tales from history and literature to interest the reader more. All-in-all, this book tells about Hinduism in a very candid manner.
The Hindu Mind by Bansi Pandit
This book is written by keeping in mind the history of Hinduism. Not only this, but this book also talks about the fundamentals of Hindu religion, philosophy related to it, and beliefs and practices related to the religion. Clearly, this book is written in a very systematic manner, keeping in mind all the aspects of Hinduism.
Am I a Hindu? by Ed Vishwanathan
Interestingly, this whole book is written in the form of dialogues. In this book, the conversation is happening between father and son, and the father answers his son's every question which is related to Hinduism only. This book is written in a very simple manner as the reader can easily read the question and then its answer, and easily understand about Hinduism.
Keywords: Hinduism, Books, Authors, Religion