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Holy Festivals, Religious Festivals and Vowed Religious Observances

Holy Festivals, Religious Festivals and Vowed Religious Observances
11.47
Item Code: NAE114
Author: Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale & Dr. Kunda Jayant Athavale
Publisher: Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskriti Sanstha
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 8190284754
Pages: 112
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 133 gms
About the Authors

Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale and Dr. (Mrs.) Kunda Jayant Athavale All the Spiritual Texts of Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale deal with the doctrine and practice of Spirituality comprehensively. The topics covered by them are substantiated with their own experiences and therefore these texts inspire even a layman to undertake spiritual practice. Similarly, they strengthen faith in those on the path of spiritual endeavour, seeker and the devotee, thereby steadying their steps on the path of Righteousness. Spiritual texts co-authored by Dr. Jayant with His life partner Dr. Kunda have been translated in many languages. Pleased with their seva (Spiritual service) done with humility and devotion, their Guru merged in the Supreme, Srimat Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj lavishly bestowed upon them the Supreme Divine Knowledge and Devotion. As a benevolent result, Dr. Jayant founded the Sanatan Sanstha’. The Sanstha has centers spread across the globe and is effectively working toward spread of Spirituality’s eternal, true Knowledge in scientific terminology.

Preface

1. The purpose of celebrating Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances.
A General Information: Our Holy festivals and Religious ‘stivals are such that they not only give us happiness while alive, but also help our subtle body gain momentum after death.

B. Realisation of the changes in the nature: For example, ‘]ariya/ Pournima is celebrated at the cessation of monsoons, when the sea becomes calm.

C. Increase in devotion through birthday celebrations of noarnations: For example Sri Ram NavamL The birthdays of incarnations like Ram, Krushna etc. according to the panchang Hindu almanac), are celebrated because in their case the renunciation of body is not death, They can assume a body for the sake of their devotees anytime, meaning they are immortal.

D. Spiritual benefits through celebration of the death anniversary (according to the panchang) of Saints: For example he death anniversary of Sri Dnyaneshwar. The death anniversary of Saints is celebrated, because most of the time they appear to be average persons or seekers by birth. Later, with spiritual practice they attain Sainthood. After renunciation of the mission; energy expended thus far for the physical body is utilised for the mission. Hence, their death anniversaries are celebrated as a Holy remembrance. In case of ordinary mortals, the death anniversary is remembered because of the necessity of performing the ritual of shraddh (rite for departed ancestors) on that day.

E. Setting motivated to do spiritual practice through Puranic and historic events: An example is Vatpournima. On this day Savitri won a debate with Lord Yama and thereby successfully forced Him to bring her husband back to life.

F Spiritual education: The sole obiective of any form of spiritual practice is to bring about a non-duality amongst the seeker, his spiritual practice and his spiritual goal, meaning merging of the seeker with the Lord. From this point of 4ew, to inculcate a habit of seeing God even in the modes of spiritual practice, some Holy festivals are celebrated. For example:

F I. Sheet/a Saptamt Appliances such as the gas stove, frying pan, pincers etc. are not used on this day. Instead, their puja (ritualistic worship) is performed.
F 2. Pola: On this day, farmers worship the oxen and ploughs.
F 3. Vijayadashami: On this day each one worships his own tools. For instance, a tailor his scissors and tailoring instruments, a student and teacher their books etc.
F 4. Lakshmi-puja: On this day businessmen worship the weighing scale and account books, while housewives worship the broom.

2. Difference between Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances
This demarcation is not well defined as some Holy festivals are also celebrated as Religious festival are also celebrated as Religious festivals and vowed religious observances. For example Sri Ram Navami when celebrated individually is a Holy festival, when celebrated socially is a Religious festival and when celebrated individually with a specific Sankalp (resolve), it becomes a Vowed observance.

3. Do not view Holy and Religious festivals merely as traditions, understand the underlying science and deeper meaning!
Bharat has a number of Holy and Religious festivals and traditions. However, most people view and celebrate term merely as age-old practices: they do not pay attention to the underlying science and their deeper meaning. On Gudipadwa (beginning of the Hindu New Year) leaves of neem are partaken as prasad (offering made to God and ten distributed to devotees). Neem eaves have the ability to tract Prajapati frequencies, which are maximum on that day. The science underlying partaking of neem leaves on that day is, As neem leaves have the ability to absorb the Prajapati frequencies that are present in larger proportion in the atmosphere during that period, partaking of these leaves helps fin added benefit of the Prajapati frequencies.’ If the underlying science of the Holy and Religious festivals is known, they can be celebrated with added faith; hence in this Holy text more emphasis is laid on deeper meaning and underlying science. Some times there is a difference in the ways of celebration of Holy and Religious festivals because of regional variations, social customs and ways of worship. The point to be noted here is that even when there is no scientific basis, celebrating festivals merely as an age-old tradition is incorrect. S.ch baseless traditions should be discontinued and only those practices as advocated by the scriptures should be continued. With respect to Vowed religious observances, they have the Sankalp of an evolved person, which by itself is the underlying scientific reason.

4. Oppose practices detrimental to Dharma and culture!
Crackers are it during festivals like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi people even indulge in immoral practices during festivals of Ganesh chaturthi and Navratri. Such practices have gained importance in society these days. That such practices are the ways of celebrating festivals’, is the harmful impression that the future generations will have about these festivals, Banning these practices and opposing them amounts to practising Dharma (Righteousness). This Holy text exposes the hollowness of such harmful, immoral practices.

5. Importance of Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances from the point of God-realisation
A. As Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances have a spiritually scientific base, celebrating those, results in generation of chaitanya (Divine consciousness) and that helps even an ordinary man to march towards God.

B. From a seekers viewpoint, karmakand may be an interior form of spiritual practice, yet it is important to gradually divert those not doing any spiritual practice, towards Spirituality. From karmakand point of view the Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances are so important that at least one or the other happens to be on 75% of the tithis in a year.

C. We should always exercise restraint in our life; but in practice it is difficult. Hence, at least during Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances it should be exercised, so that gradually we become accustomed to a life of restraint.

We pray at the Holy feet of Sri Guru that may Holy festivals, Religious festivals be celebrated faithfully by understanding the underlying science, leading to spiritual evolution of those who do so Compiler.

Contents

Preface05
List of Main Holy Festivals, Religious Festival and Vowed Religious Observances in a Year09
Chapter 1Holy festivals15
1More holy festivals fall in the rutus (seasons) of varsha (monsoons) sharad (autumn) and hemant (winter)15
2Preparations prior to celebrating the holy festival15
3Gudipadwa (varsh Pratipada)15
4akshaya trutiya24
5Nagpanchami25
6Shravan pournima (nariyal pournima)26
7Navratra28
8Dusshra (Vijayadashmi)28
9Vasubaras (Govatsa Dwadashi)32
10Gurudwadashi32
11Diwali (Deepavali)33
12Tulsi-Vivah46
13Dev-diwali46
14Makarsankrant47
15Rathsaptami50
Chapter 2Religious festivals53
1Definition53
2Objectives53
3Histroy54
4Some important religious festivals54
Chapter 3Vowed Religious Observances69
1Origin and meaning69
2History and creation69
3The number of vrats70
4Holy texts70
5Importance and benefits71
6Types74
7Rules to be followed by those undertaking vrats76
8Eligibility to perform vrats81
9Correlation between vrat and purpose81
10Vrats associated with fasting81
11Preparations83
12The rules governing a vrat84
13Representative86
14what do the benefits of a vrat depend upon86
15Illness and vrat88
16Some important vrats89

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