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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Odisha: Jagannath Rath Yatra begins in Puri, over 12 lakhs devotees throng to Puri

Hi Friends,

I am gonna tell you about an Indian Festival Called "Jagannath Rath Yatra" today.

Ratha Yatra (Oriya: ରଥଯାତ୍ରା) or the Car Festival is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India.

This annual festival is celebrated on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashad month). In 2012 it falls on the 21st of June.[1]

The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath's annual visit to Gundicha mata's temple via aunt's home (Mausi Maa Temple which is near Balagandi Chaka in Puri).

Report by Zakir Ali, Puri: Nine-day-long majestic Jagannath Rath Yatra beginning in Puri today with tight security. Nearly 15 lakh devotees gathered in Puri to see this festival of Ratha Yatra.

As per the rituals and the festival programme announced by the Sri Jagannath Temple administration, the pahandi (bringing the deities to the chariots) begins about 9 am after observance of Mangal Arati, Surya Puja and offering of Gopal Bhog to the deities. The pahandi completed by 12 noon. Then, the deities would wear chita, a special ornament for the divine forehead.

Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Divyasingh Dev would come in a ceremonial palanquin and perform chherapahanra (sweeping of the deck of the three raths) which is scheduled to begin by 1 pm and be over by 2 pm. Thereafter, the wooden horses would be harnessed to the chariots and the pulling, if everything moves as per the programme, would begin by 3 pm.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of Ratha Yatra. The Coast Guard ships will patrol the sea coast as part of integrated control management to thwart any possible intrusion of terror elements into the pilgrim town. Similarly, Special Intelligence Police will be pressed on duty to track terror network during the festival.

This apart, two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been requisitioned to guard chariots. While 107 platoons of armed police forces will be deployed in the town, about 2000 Home Guards will be deployed to maintain law order on the road. In addition, 500 police officers from the neighbouring districts will be on duty during the 9-day festivity, the SP informed.

To track the activities of anti-social elements, close circuit television camera (CCTV) will be installed near Lion's gate, Town Police Station, Gundicha Temple, Temple Office and Circuit House along the Grand Road (Bada Danda) including some important locations.

The East Coast Railway has made arrangements for the safety and convenience of passengers during the Yatra and is running 62 special trains during Rath Yatra festival period to and from Puri to cater to the numerous devotees from across the country.


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Monday, June 4, 2012

Nirjala Ekadasi

According to Markandeya Purana, the Harivansh canto influences the greatness of Ekadashis. There are twenty four ekadashis those are observed throughout the year within the Shukla (bright) and Krishna (dark) phases of the months. The Ekadashi that falls during the bright half of Jyeshta month is considered as the most auspicious “Nirjala Ekadashi. The fast performed during this day is most strict as even drinking water is prohibited while performing it and that is why the day is called Nirjala Ekadashi. The word Nirjala – is made of 2 hindi words Nir which means NO and Jal means Water. It is said that by performing this single Ekadashi’s fast, the advantage of all other Ekadashis corresponds.

During the era of Mahabharata, once Maharishi Vyas visited the Pandavas and Bhima asked a question to him that all his four brothers and mother Kunti and wife Draupadi observed the fast of all Ekadashis and asked him also to perform the same but he showed his inability and requested Maharishi Vyas to forgive him from all the twenty four Ekadashis fasts as by not performing those he would be part of immoral act. Then Maharishi Vyas said that, there is a fire named “Brik” inside him and was not satisfied until he ate enough food to beat hunger. Therefore he can perform only one Ekadashi of Jyeshta month despite of all the twenty four Ekadashis of the year and will get the fruit of all the occasions but he need to keep this Nirjala Ekadashi throughout the life. Bhima performed the fast with an ease but on the morning of very next day he became unconscious. Then he offered water of river Ganga with Tulsi to end up his day long strict fast. Since then it is also observed as the “Bhimseni Ekadashi”.

In general terms, while performing the fast of Nirjala Ekadashi, Jagran or night prayer is observed in most of the temples in the country. Ceremony of “Jaldan” (donate water through camps) starts from the day of Ekadashi itself where devotees organized the camps of syrups, soft drinks and water on the roads in burning heat of Jyeshta month. Married women also perform the fast with full devotion and belief.

As per the Hindu mythological observations, fast of Nirjala Ekadashi should be observed by all the people of society with full belief and dedication. On this day after the rituals of bathing etc one should sit in an isolatedplace in order to make concentrations of Lord Vishnu, lying on Shesh Shaiya and do recitation of “Om Namah Bhagvate Vasudevay Namah”. Being dehydrated throughout the day, one should perform Bhajans andmeditations in night which is inevitable. Sleeping in night should be completely denial on this particular day and after performing night vigil person should take bath on next day morning of twelfth day. After bath, donate food, clothes, fruits, sherbet, milk etc. then person can break fast by drinking sherbet once theendowment of all items done.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Indian Festivals 2012 Calendar

Jan 14, 2012SaturdayMakarsankranti / Pongal
Jan 28, 2012SaturdayVasant Panchami
Feb 20, 2012MondayMaha Shivaratri
Mar 08, 2012ThursdayHoli
Mar 23, 2012FridayHindi New Year
Mar 23, 2012FridayTelugu New Year/ Ugadi
Apr 01, 2012SundayRamanavami
Apr 06, 2012FridayHanuman Jayanti
Apr 13, 2012FridayTamil New Year
Apr 13, 2012FridayBaisakhi / Vishu
Apr 14, 2012SaturdayBengali New Year
Apr 24, 2012TuesdayAkshaya Tritiya
May 05, 2012SaturdayVaisakhi
May 21, 2012MondaySavitri Pooja
Jun 21, 2012ThursdayPuri Rath Yatra
Jul 03, 2012TuesdayGuru Purnima
Jul 24, 2012TuesdayNag Panchami
Aug 02, 2012ThursdayRaksha-bandhan
Aug 10, 2012FridayKrishna Janmashtami
Aug 29, 2012WednesdayOnam
Sep 19, 2012WednesdayGanesh Chaturthi
Sep 30, 2012SundayPitr-paksha Begins
Oct 15, 2012MondayPitr-paksha Ends
Oct 16, 2012TuesdayNavaratri Begins
Oct 21, 2012SundayDurga Puja Begins
Oct 23, 2012TuesdayNavaratri Ends
Oct 24, 2012WednesdayDusshera
Oct 29, 2012MondayLakshmi Puja
Nov 03, 2012SaturdayKarwa Chauth
Nov 12, 2012MondayDhan Teras
Nov 13, 2012TuesdayDiwali
Nov 28, 2012WednesdayKartik Poornima

Hindu Calendar - 2011



Jan 14FridayMakarsankranti / Pongal / Tamil New Year / Magha Bihu
Jan 20ThursdayThaipusam
Feb 08TuesdayVasant Panchami / Saraswati Puja
Mar 03ThursdayMaha Shivaratri
Mar 19SaturdayHoli
Apr 04MondayHindi New Year
Apr 04MondayTelugu New Year/ Ugadi / Gudi Padwa/ Cheti Chand
Apr 12TuesdayRamanavami
Apr 14ThursdayBaisakhi / Vishu
Apr 14ThursdayTamil New Year
Apr 15FridayBengali New Year / Bohag Bihu
Apr 18MondayHanuman Jayanti
May 06FridayAkshaya Tritiya
May 17TuesdayBuddha Purnima / Vaisakhi Purnima
Jun 15WednesdaySavitri Pooja
Jul 03SundayPuri Rath Yatra
Jul 15FridayGuru Purnima / Asadha Purnima
Aug 04ThursdayNag Panchami
Aug 13SaturdayRaksha-Bandhan
Aug 22MondayKrishna Janmashtami
Sep 01ThursdayOnam
Sep 01ThursdayGanesh/Vinayak Chaturthi
Sep 13TuesdayPitr-Paksha begins
Sep 27TuesdayPitr-Paksha ends
Sep 27TuesdayMahalaya
Sep 28WednesdayNavaratri begins
Oct 03MondayDurga Puja begins (Maha Saptami)
Oct 05WednesdayNavaratri ends
Oct 06ThursdayVijaya Dashami/Dusshera
Oct 11TuesdayLakshmi Puja / Sharad Purnima
Oct 16SundayKarwa Chauth
Oct 25TuesdayDhanteras
Oct 26WednesdayDiwali
Oct 26WednesdayKali Puja
Oct 28FridayBhai Dooj / Bhai Phota / Bhav-Bij
Nov 10ThursdayKartik Poornima
Dec 06TuesdayGita Jayanti

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