Archive | September, 2009

Dussehra and related stories

29 Sep

Dussehra also known as Vijayadashami is celebrated across India, Nepal and some Asian countries. This festival is celebrated on the Dashami (tenth day) of the Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Asvin of the Hindu calendar. This festival starts on Padyami (first day) of the Shukla Paksha and is celebrated for nine days which is also referred as Navratri (nine nights)

               Durgastami (the eight day in the series), Navami (ninth day) and  Vijaya Dashimi (the tenth day ) are the most important days of the festival. There are couple of stories related to Dussehra. On this day of Vijayadashimi, good wins over wickedness.

Lord Ramas Victory over Ravana:

          In the great epic of Ramayana, Rama lived in forests for 12 years with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. During his stay in the forests Ravana kidnapped Sita and took her away to his kingdom in Lanka.

   Rama fights a successful war against Ravana. In this war against Ravana, Lord Rama took the help of Vanaraas, the monkeys led by Hanuman and Sugreeva and fought against the wicked Ravana and his soldiers. In the war which lasted for a long time, Rama, symbolizing the good, killed Ravana, the symbol of wickedness, on the day of Vijayadashami.  It is usually celebrated in form of a drama ending in burning of effigy of Ravana, commonly this termed as Ram-leela (act of rama).

Death of Mahishashura:

Often some of the Asuras (the demons) had great powers and tried to take over the heaven from the Gods. One such Asura was Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a very powerful asura and   he tried to conquer the complete world including the heaven. He wanted to get many more powers and wanted to lead the world. Underestimating the power of a woman, Mahishasura took a boon from Lord Shiva that he should not be killed by any male.

   As the powers of Mahishasura increased, the problems in the world increased and it appeared to  Devatas (Gods)  like there was no end for this tyranny. Lord Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu and other devtas combined their energy to form a single power called “Lordess Durga” who was a female incarnation.

      Lordess Durga fought a fierce battle with Mahishasura for nine days and nights and killed Mahishasura on the tenth day that is on the Dashami which is celebrated as Vijaya Dashami.

 

These are just a few of the many more important stories related to the Hindu festival occasion of dussehra.

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Celebration of Ganesha Festival

1 Sep

Celebration of Ganesha Festival

Ganesh Chathurthi, the birth day of Lord Ganesha, falls on  fourth day of the moons bright fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada of the Hindu calendar. This festival is celebrated for five days, 7 days, ten days or 21 days varying based on  the local sentiments.

Birth of Ganesha

               The story of creation of Ganesha is a fascinating one. When Lordess Parvati was alone at home, she created a son for herself from the sandalwood she used for her bath. She instructed her son to guard her while she was bathing. On return of Shiva, the little son of Parvati stops Shiva from entering the house and Shiva gets furious at him and slashes the head of Ganesha. Later, Ganesha was given rebirth by giving life to the head of an Elephant. The details of the birth of Ganesha can also be found at the location  http://indianmythology.com/finish/seestory.php?storyID=24 .

Avoiding misfortune on Ganesh Chaturthi

                  Ganesha was very fond of food. There is an interesting story where the moon god laughs on seeing Ganesha with a huge stomach. As per the mythology, one needs to hear this story of Moon laughing at ganesha, on Ganesh Chathurthi to avoid running into a misfortune. The story can be viewed at http://indianmythology.com/finish/seestory.php?storyID=25 .

Race around the World

Lord Ganesha is also known as Vigneswara (the god who removes all obstacles). The story behind this is about a race between Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya. The one who wins this race was to be declared as Vigneswara – one who destroys all the problems and the one who is to be prayed before starting any deed. More details of the story can be viewed at http://indianmythology.com/finish/seestory.php?storyID=26  

                 After the puja, the statue of Ganesh is immersed in a water body like a lake. A popular belief is that this immersion of Lord Ganesh in water is done as a symbol of sending him to his parents Shiva and Parvati.  Yet another belief talks of the “anant” (neverending) promise of praying to Ganesh year after year.