Karwa Chauth - 2014

Karwa Chauth - 2014

In 2014  Karwa Chauth Vrat will be observed on  Saturday, October 11, 2014.

Moonrise On Karwa Chauth Day = 20:19
Chaturthi Tithi Begins = 10:18 on 11/Oct/2014
Chaturthi Tithi Ends = 09:33 on 12/Oct/2014


 In 2015  Karwa Chauth Vrat will be observed on  Saturday, October 30, 2015.

 Moonrise On Karwa Chauth Day = 20:26
Chaturthi Tithi Begins = 08:24 on 30/Oct/2015
Chaturthi Tithi Ends = 06:25 on 31/Oct/2015

"The Karwa Chauth Vrat" is of significant importance in India."The Karwa Chauth" is a ritual of fasting observed by married Hindu women seeking the longlife, well-being and prosperity of their husbands. Married women keep a strict fast and do not take even a drop of water. It is the most important and difficult fast observed by married Hindu women. It begins before sunrise and ends only after offering prayers and worshiping the moon at night. No food or water can be taken after sunrise. The fast is broken once the moon is sighted and rituals of the day have been performed. At night when the moon appears, women break their fast after offering water to the moon. 

Newly married brides celebrate this fast with great rejoice in their first year of marriage. Nowadays unmarried girls also keep this fast to pray for a good husband.


First Karwa Chauth


Karva Chauth is of great importance for married Hindu women but the festival is seen as a big occasion for women undertaking their first Karva Chauth fast after marriage. A newly married woman is given utmost importance by relatives and immediate family members when she observes her first fast for the long life of her husband. She is showered with blessings of blissful married life and loads of Karwa Chauth gifts especially by her mother-in-law.


 First Sargi

Mother-in-law prepares an elaborate Sargi (the pre-dawn Karwa Chauth meal) when her daughter-in-law observes her first fast. She wakes up much early to prepare a sumptuous and lavish meal inclusive of sweets and other delicacies for daughter-in-law. Saasu-ma blesses her bahu with an ashirvaad of ‘Sada Suhagan Raho’ which means, ‘may you always enjoy a blissful married life’ when the latter touches her feet with reverence. She also presents her daughter-in-law with gifts, which may be a piece of jewelry or a heavy saree on the first Karva Chauth.

 Sargi includes various food items like fruits, sweets etc and clothes and is given in the form of good luck and prosperity. Married women eats this sargi before the sun rise. On this day married women wears special clothes, adorn themselves with jewelry, colorful bangles, bindi and vermilion on the forehead and apply design patterns of heena (Mehendi) on both hands.


First Baya

Baya is a gift given to a daughter’s mother-in-law by the bride's mother on the occasion of Karwa Chauth. It usually consists of :-

* salted mathris,
* dry fruits
* gifts for all her family members.
* some utensils are also included in the baya which are to be distributed amongst women who join the newly-wed on her first Karwa Chauth Puja.


Elaborate Puja Preparations

Elaborate preparations are made for the customary evening Karva Chauth Puja in a family where a newly wed daughter-in-law observes her first Karva-Chauth. Married female relatives are invited to participate in the puja. The newly married woman often wears her bridal lehanga or a heavy saree and adorns herself with lot of jewelry and make up. After the puja ceremony she seeks blessings for happy married life from all elder women. The newly wed woman distributes mathris and utensils amongst the ladies that were a part of baya.


The Tradition of Henna Mehndi 

  Henna Mehandi has its own significance in India and middle-east. It is like a tradition in India, and women used to adorn their hands and feet by using Henna Mehndi. Henna Mehandi is basically a paste that is obtained from the leaves of henna plant. It has a special place in the lives of married women (suhagans) who usually apply this on the occasions like Karwa Chauth.


Gifts from Husband

Husband of the woman who observes her first Karva Chauth feel proud and great to see her better half observing such a rigorous fast for him. He gets overwhelmed with love and respect for her wife and pampers her with loads of Karva Chauth gifts. These days husbands also takes her wife out for a dinner to save her from the drudgery of day’s cooking work.



One Day before Karwa Chauth –  

One day before Karwa chauth mother-in-laws gives ‘sargi’ (a festive breakfast consisting of Jalebis, milk and Fenis etc.) to their daughter-in-laws .A sargi contains sari, sindoor, bangles, biridi, mehendi, red ribbon, coconut, a gift and seviyan which is eaten in the morning of Karwa Chauth.Women observing the Chauth vrat wash their hair and apply mehendi on this day.

On the day of Karwa Chauth -— 

Women wake-up before sunrise about 5 am, eat food from sargi (sent by mother-in-law) and drink water. They dress up in their fineries. The menu is as per preference of each house. One has to eat seviyan normally with milk as shagun.


 Karwa Chauth Katha

There are many versions of Karwa Chauth story :-

Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha - No. 1 

A long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess by the name of Veeravati. When she grew up, she was married to a king. On the occasion of the first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents house to do the vrat.
After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, Veeravati was very delicate and could not stand the rigours of fasting. By evening, Veeravati felt very weak, and fainted. Veeravati had seven brothers who loved her dearly. They couldn’t stand the plight of their sister and decided to end her fast. They made a fire at the nearby hill and asked their sister to see the glow. They assured her that it was the moonlight and since the moon had risen, she could break her fast.

However, the moment the gullible queen Veeravati ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was dead. She was heartbroken and rushed to her husband’s palace. On the way, she met Shivji and Parvati Mata. Parvati Mata told her that her husband the king had died because she had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when

Veeravati asked her for forgiveness, Parvati Mata granted her the boon that her husband, the king would come to life but would be still very ill.
When the Veeravati reached the palace, she found the king lying unconscious with hundreds of needles
inserted in his body. Each day she managed to remove one needle from the kihg’s body Next year, on the day of Karva Chauth, only one needle remained embedded in the body of the unconscious king.

The queen Veeravati observed a strict fast that day and when she went to the market to buy the karva for the puja, her maid removed the remaining needle from the king’s body. The king regained consciousness, and mistook the maid for his queen. When the real queen Veeravati returned to the palace, she was made to serve as a maid.

However, Veeravati was true to her faith and religiously observed the Karva Chauth vrat. Once when the king was going to some other kingdom, he asked the real queen Veeravati (now turned maid) if she wanted anything. Veeravati asked for a pair of identical dolls. The king brought back the dolls for her.

The queen Veeravati always used to chant this song " Jo Rani thi wo Goli ho gayi.....jo Goli thi wo Rani ho gayi (the queen has turned into a maid and the maid has turned into a queen).". On being asked by the king as to why did she keep repeating that song, Veeravati narrated the entire story. The king repented and restored the queen Veeravati to her royal status. It was blessings of Goddess Parvati and the queen’s devotion and her faith that won back her husband’s affection.


 Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha - No. 2

In a village, seven brothers and one sister were staying with their parents. The sister was youngest among them. That's why everybody adored her. When she was very young they got her married. After marriage on first Karwa Chauth, she came to her mother's house. Her mother-in-law affectionately sent sargai for her. She put mehndi on her hands along with her mother and her brother's wife and did sargai in the morning before sunrise and kept Nirjala fast (without taking water). By the evening the brothers got worried that how can their small sister live without food and water till night. They consulted among themselves and decided that we will create artificial moon for our sister. Two brothers went to the forest and burnt cow dung coal. The other two brothers went home and said let's go sister the moon has risen. All her brother's wife's kept quite. Sister said, "let's go Bhabhi the moon has risen, lets worship the moon and offer ark (water is offered to the moon) to it. All the Bhabhi’s said, "So early only your moon could have risen, you go."

She was not only young but also simple hearted; she really thought everyone's moon rises separately. She hurriedly took the pooja material to the terrace. There in the forest one brother was standing with a sieve in front of the cow dung coal fire, so from distance she thought that the moon is rising from behind bushes. She offered her worship and ark to the moon .As soon as she started eating; she received a message from her in laws that her husband has become seriously ill suddenly. On hearing this, the Girl's father and brothers along with her rushed to her in law's house. There her husband was seriously ill. Every body was worried. The Ayurvedic doctor was called but nobody could understand the illness.

Then the family inquired from priests and Astrologers. They told them that this has happened because the girl has eaten food, after seeing the artificial moon. Now the only solution is that till the next year Karwa Chauth, the girl takes good care of her husband, then keep fast on Karwa Chauth and exchange Karwa with Gauri Maata and make her say "le suhaagan karwa le","de suhagaan karwa de". Then her husband will be well and will live long. On hearing this, the girl decided to take good care of her husband for one year. Next year Karwa Chauth arrived, her mother sent sargi for her. As per the tradition, she did sargi and kept fast. Her mother also sent material for baya, karwa and money. In the evening, all married ladies dressed up wore chunari, making preparation for the pooja, she waited to exchange Karwa with Gauri Maata.

When the first Gauri Maata arrived. The girl held her feet and pleaded her, " O'Gauri Maata, Please exchange karwa with me." 

After lot of pleading Gauri Maata sat with her and said :-

"Sister of seven brothers karwa le", 
"Jo bhukhi naa reh sake (who can't stay hungry) karwa le", 
"Jo payasi naa reh sake (who can't stay thirsty) karwa le", 
"Jo Chalni meh chaand dakhe (One who see moon in sieve) karwa le." 

She begged her again and again to say "Le Suhaagan Karwa Le" Gauri Maata said, "I won't say this. My other sisters will come, you make them say." And after saying this, she went away.

After some time the 2nd Gauri Maata came and she also went away saying what the earlier one had said. In this way they came one by one when the 9th Gauri Maata came, the girl was worried. When she begged her again and again and held her feet, then Gauri Maata said," when my youngest sister will come, you ask her, I will not say. My sister is scary looking but good at heart, don't let her go, make her say it."

 After some time 10th Gauri maata came. She had dark complexion, had big teeth, horrible face and was wearing lot of jewelry. When she heard the small girl pleadings, she sat down with her to exchange karwa and like other Gauri Maata's said :-

"Sister of seven brothers karwa le", 
"Jo bhukhi naa reh sake (who can't stay hungry) karwa le", 
"Jo payasi naa reh sake (who can't stay thirsty) karwa le", 
"Jo Chalni meh chaand dakhe (One who see moon in sieve) karwa le." 

The girl fell on her feet and said "O' Mother please forgive my mistakes, Please say "Le suhaagan karwa le". If you will say this, my husband will live. I will always worship you. Please bless me.

On girls repeated pleading, Gauri Maata felt pity for her and said-Let it be so and said "Le suhaagan karwa le" 

and the girl said "de suhaagan karwa de". 
Then, the same thing was repeated by both of them in reverse order. When they said this ten times the girl's husband was well again. Everybody touched Gauri Maata's feet".


Karwa Chauth Vrat Katha - No. 3

 A money lender had seven sons and a daughter. All the sons were married. The daughter who was married came to her father’s house to observe her first Karva Chauth Vrat. On the fourth day of Kartik Krishna Paksha, the money lender’s wife, the seven daughters-in-law and the daughter kept the Karva Chauth Vrat.

The seven brothers did not like the idea of their sister starving, so they invited her to have food with them. But she did not accept the invitation and said that she will only eat after sighting the moon and after doing the needed pujas.The brothers decided to trick their sister, so that she will break her fasting.

They used mirror reflection from a fire place to convince the sister that the moon has appeared on sky.

The wives of the seven brothers who came to know about the trick informed the sister about the trickery. But the sister was not ready to listen to them and she accepted the words of her brothers and broke her fast by offering pujas to the reflection of fire thinking that it is the real moon. She also consumed food along with her brothers.

A couple of hours later she received the news that her husband is terribly ill. She rushed to her husband’s home. She had to undergo several troubles but illness of her husband showed no respite.

Soon she realized that all this was due to her not observing the Karva Chauth Vrat properly. She prayed to Lord Ganesh for forgiveness. She observed the Karva Chauth Vrat properly and soon her husband was cured and she was blessed with prosperity.


Karwa Chauth Song 

Punjabi Customs :-

* The Karwa chauth song is sung when the women get together to perform pooja add sit in a circle
with their puja thalis (containing baya). 

*  Each fasting woman lights an earthen lamp in her thali while listening to the Karwa story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali.

* They take a karwa ,decorate it with kharia, colours, laces and roli and then tie mauli around it. Then they fill this karwa with water. 

Usually the karwa is an earthen pot but now-a-days steel kalash or special silver karwas are used.

* The baya is covered with beautifuly decorated cloth. During the puja the thali is kept on the karwa.

 * Depending on region and community, a version of the story of Karva Chauth is narrated, with regular pauses. The storyteller is usually an older woman or a priest, if one is present. In the pauses, the Karva Chauth puja song is sung collectively by the women as they perform the feris (passing their thalis around in the circle). 

 Karwa Chauth Song (This is a Punjabi song)

"Le Veero Kudiye Karwada,
Le Sarv Suhagan Karwada,
Le Karwada Vataaiye,
Javinda Jholi Paaiye,
Ai Katti  Naa Ya Teri Naa,
Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Naa,
Gwand Pair payeen Naa,
Sui Ch Dhaga Payeen Naa
Ruthda maniyeen Naa,
Sutda Jagayeen Naa,

Patda Seeveen Naa,
Mailda Dhoveen Naa,
Bhain Pyari Veeran,
Chan Chade Te Pani Peena
Le Veero Kuriye Karwara,
Le Sarv Suhagan Karwara....... "

करवा चौथ गीत

थाली वटाते समय का गीत 

" लै वीरो कुड़िए करवड़ा

लै सर्व सुहागन करवड़ा

लै करवड़ा वटाइये

जवन्दा झोली पाइये

ए कत्ती ना या टेरी ना

खुम्ब चरखड़ा फेरी ना

गवान्ड पैर पायी ना

सुई च धागा पायी ना

रुठड़ा मनाई ना

सुतड़ा जगाई ना
पाटड़ा सीवी ना

मैलड़ा धोवी ना

बहन प्यारी वीरा

चन चढ़े ते पानी पीणा
लै वीरो कुड़िए करवड़ा
लै सर्व सुहागन करवड़ा "

* This Stanza is sung repeatedly till times all the  thalis have been rotated and all women have their own thalis... This completes one phera.
Meanwhile the story or katha continues,
In this way 5 or 7 pheras (circles) are completed.

Baya Manasna

 During this time, they also chant the following prayer ,which is for the well being of the husband and for marital bliss:

"Addey-addey Krishna pakshe var
Tith Karva Chauth
Manse hain apne suhag ke liye
Yeh karva, mattri, halwa, sari, nagdi
Apne suhag ka liye rani ka sa raj dena
Gaur ka sa suhag dena Shri Krishna nimant."

* The puja ends with the women showering rice and vermilion on Parvati and seeking her blessings. The younger women touch the feet of the elders, seek their blessings.

* After the puja, the women seek the blessings of their-mothers-in-law by touching their feet and offering almonds, saree and gift to them as a mark of respect.


Karva Chauth song sung by women while offering water (Ark) to moon.


After sunset, with the sighting of the moon, the women go up to the terrace with their puja thalis, light deepak and through a sieve look at the moon while simultaneously offering Ark from the glass. They offer water and sweet mathri 5 (or) 7 times to the moon after saying a short prayer for the husband.

Karwa Chauth Ark Song :-

" Sir Dhadi,
Paer Kadi,
Ark Dendi,
Sarv Suhagan,
Chaubare Khadi......" 

करवा चौथ अर्क गीत 

चन्द्रमा को अर्क देते समय ये बोलें --

" सिर धड़ी,

पैर कड़ी,

अर्क देन्दी.

सर्व सुहागन,

चौबारे खड़ी… "

A parikrama for moon is done each time after offering ark. For parikrama, the lady turns a full circle standing at one place.The fast is broken by first taking a piece of the mathri and a sip of water, which was offered to the moon.

After the puja, one touches the feet of the husband and elders in the family.


 North Indian Customs :- 

In Uttar Pradesh :--

 * In Uttar Pradesh the women exchange karvas seven times between themselves. * A priest or an elderly woman of the family narrates the story of beejabeti or Veervati.
* Women make Gauri, Ganesh and Shankar idols with mud and decorate them with colourful and bright clothes and jewellery.
* While exhanging Karvas seven times, they sing -

“ ...Sadaa suhagan karve lo, 
Pati ki pyari karve lo, 
Saat bhaiyon ke behen karve lo, 
Vrat karni karve lo, 
Saas ki pyaari karve lo...     ”

"...सदा सुहागन करवे लो,

पति की प्यारी करवे लो,

सात भाइयों की बहन करवे लो,

व्रत  करनी करवे लो,

सास की प्यारी करवे लो..."

* Thereafter, the women offer baayna (a melange of goodies like halwa, puri, namkeen mathri, meethi mathri, etc.) to the idols (mansana) and hand over to their mother-in-law or sister-in-law.

Offering Ark to moon :-

* The fera ceremony concluded, the women await the rising of the moon. Once the moon is visible, depending on the region and community, it is customary for a fasting woman, with her husband nearby, to view its reflection in a vessel filled with water, through a sieve, or through the cloth of a dupatta
*. Water is offered (arka) to the moon (som or chandra, the lunar deity) to secure its blessings. She then turns to her husband and views his face indirectly in the same manner.
* In some regions, the woman says a brief prayer asking for her husband's life. 

 हे चौथ माता जैसा साहूकार की बेटी को सुहाग दिया वैसा सब को देना |
और मुझे व परिवार वालो को भी |
हे चौथ माता सौभाग्य पुत्र और अचल लक्ष्मी सबको देना |
मंगल करना ,कल्याण करना ||

It is believed that at this stage, spiritually strengthened by her fast, the fasting woman can successfully confront and defeat death (personified by Yama).


RajasthanI Customs :-

 In Rajasthan :-

* In Rajasthan the women exchange karvas seven times between themselves. * Stories are told by older women in the family, including narratives of Karva Chauth, Shiv, Parvati and Ganesh. In earlier times, an idol of Gaur Mata was made using earth and cow dung, which has now been replaced with an idol of Parvati. Each fasting woman lights an earthen lamp in her thali while listening to the Karva story. Sindoor, incense sticks and rice are also kept in the thali.

Offering Ark to moon:-

* The women say:-

 "Like the gold necklace and the pearl bracelet, just like the moon may my suhaag always shine brightly".
* In Rajasthan, before offering water seven times the fasting woman is asked

 to which she responds, "Suhaag na Dhai".
* The husband now takes the water from the thali and gives his wife her first sip and feeds her with the first morsel of the day (usually something sweet).

 Karwa Chauth Thali Decoration :

Thali Decoration with Oil


1. Take a plain Thali, dip ear bud in any oil and draw desired auspicious pictures on the Thali.
2. Drop some powdered sindoor/Haldi/any rangoli color on it and shake well.
3. Now turn the Thali upside down to remove excess color powder.
4. You will find design embossed on plain Thali.
5. Floral desigsn looks great.
6. You can wipe this and keep the same Thali for next pooja.


Thali Decoration with Velvet

1. Take a plain steel thali.
2. Cover it with a velvet cloth of any colour.
3. Keep your pooja material on it.
4. Decorate a diya with golden color and place it on your thali.
5. You will get a adorably stylized velvet pooja thali.




Chhappan Bhog

Chhappan Bhog

"Chhappan Bhog" is a Hindi word. Chhappan means fifty-six i.e. 56. Bhog means  food which we offer to God before serving to others. When food is offered to God, it becomes  "Prasad".

Bhog Lagana :-

* Food  is offered to the deity with chanting of religious prayers. A part of it is put to the lips
of the idol as well.  This is called “Bhog Lagana”.

* Small portions of the sanctified "Prasad or Prasadam"  are offered to all the gathered devotees who take it in their extended palms.

* So Chhappan Bhog means the Prasad consisting of 56 completely different food items. The items can be raw as well as cooked.

* Usually the list begins with rasagullas and ends in elaichi. Many different food items are used.They vary from place to place.


Story of "Chhappan Bhog" :-

The story belongs to Lord Krishna.

 As per the story, when Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offerings to god Indra , he debated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. He said that all human beings should merely do their 'karma', to the best of their ability and not pray or conduct sacrifices for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Angered god  Indra thus invoked many clouds to appear in the sky and schemed to flood the region with rains lasting for seven days and seven nights. Krishna in reply then lifted Govardhan hill, under which all the animals and people of the region took shelter, safe from the rains of Indra's fury. Ultimately, Indra accepted defeat, recognized Krishna as supreme. And after praying to Krishna, left for his heavenly abode, the Swarga.

Lord Krishna used to require eight meals on a daily basis. when he lifted Govardhan Parvat for seven days he couldn't eat. After seven days when it absolutely was over and god Indradev realised his mistake and surrendered. People were and happy and offered Lord Krishna Bhojan for what he had missed throughout the seven days. 

As we know :-
7 x 8 = 56

They made fifty-six different things for Lord Krishna and offered Him as a token of their love and gratitude. And it absolutely was known as "Chappan Bhog" (fifty six things).

Thus began the tradition of offering "Chhappan Bhog" to God on a festive occasion.


Here I am presenting lists of 56 different items for making "Chhappan Bhog":-

List No.1

14- पूरी,
23-कटु पदार्थ,
24-अम्ल {खट्टा पदार्थ}, 

36-गेहूं दलिया,

56-इलायची ।


List No. 2

1. Moong Dal Halwa

2.Gajar Halwa

3. Methi mathri

4. Namakpare

5. Murmure ki Namkeen

6. Rabdi

7. Aatte ke Laddoo

8. Besan ke Laddoo

9. Sooji ka Halwa

10. Fried Rice

11. Lemon Rice

12. Plain Rice

13. Curd Rice

14. Sweet Rice

15. Khichadi

16. Brinjal Bhajji

17. Gobhi ke Pakore

18. Aaloo ke pakore

19. Boondi ka Raita

20. Kheere ka Raita

21. Aaloo Tikki

22. Bread Sandwich

23. Chhole

24. Mix Vegetable Sabzi

25. Matar Paneer

26. Daal

27. Kadhi

28. Saag

29.Lauki ki sabzi

30. Papad

31. Nariyal Chutney

32. Dhaniya- Pudina Chutney

33. Salad

34. Plain parantha

35. Aaloo Parantha

36. Spinach poori

37. Plain poori

38. Kachori

39. Chapati

40. Mango shake

41. Banana Shake

42. Coconut water

43. Badam milk

44. Salted Lassi

45. Shikanji

46. Mango

47. Banana


49. Apple

50. Plum

51. Kiwi

52. Almonds

53. Raisins

54. Cahewnuts

55. Pishtachios

56.Saunf & Elaichi

Variations can be made according to one's choice and capacity.


Pitru Paksha - 2014

Pitru Paksha 2014

This year Pitru Paksha begins on Monday, September 08, 2014 and ends on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. 

* In Hinduism, Pitru Paksha (literally "fortnight of the ancestors") is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitras), especially through food offerings.

* Pitru Paksh literally means "fortnight of the ancestors".

* Shraadh is performed every year on the anniversary of the death of the person as per the Panchang or during the dark fortnight called Pitri Paksha.

* Tarpan and Shraddh are performed on all Amavasi or no moon days. But the most important period to perform Shradh is the Pitru Paksha period during the Krishna Paksha fortnight in Ashwin month (September – October). 


Below are the Pitru Paksha 2014 dates :-

08     September     (Monday)      Purnima Shraddha
10     September     (Wednesday)   Dwitiya Shraddha
11     September     (Thursday)     Tritiya Shraddha
12     September     (Friday)         Chaturthi Shraddha
13     September     (Saturday)     Panchami Shraddha
14     September     (Sunday)       Shashthi Shraddha
15     September     (Monday)      Saptami Shraddha
16     September     (Tuesday)       Ashtami Shraddha
17     September     (Wednesday)  Navami Shraddha
18     September     (Thursday)     Dashami Shraddha
19     September     (Friday)         Ekadashi Shraddha
20     September     (Saturday)     Dwadashi Shraddha
21     September     (Sunday)       Magha Shraddha , Trayodashi Shraddha
22     September     (Monday)     Chaturdashi Shraddha
23     September     (Tuesday)     Sarva Pitru Amavasya


Apart from the immediate rituals after a death, there are also annual rituals like :--

*  Pitru Paksh Shraddh in North India and East India, 

*  Aadi Amavasai in Tamil Nadu,
* Karikadaka Vavu Bali in Kerala and
* Amavasi rituals in other places.


Importance of Pitru Paksh period

 Pitru Paksha Shraddh – Annual Rituals to Dead Ancestors

Shraddh or Shradh offered during Pitru Paksh (dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha) in the month of Ashwin (September – October) is of great importance in Hindu religion. Shraddh is the ceremonies and rituals performed for the departed souls of dead ancestors. It is believed that the souls will attain peace by the Shraddh rituals performed during the fortnight.

According to Hindu mythology, the Shraddh performed on Ashwin Pitru Paksha reaches the ancestors immediately and their souls will rest in peace. Hindu Puranas are full of details about Shraddh, especially Agni Purana, Garuda Purana and Matysa Purana. It is Yama, the god of death in Hindu mythology, who explained the importance of Shraddh performed on Pitru Paksha.

Pitru Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan.

* In Southern and Western India, it falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya.

* In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.


According to Matysa Puran :-
* Agni, Vasus and Rudras act as intermediaries during Pitru Paksha Shraddh and take the rituals and food offered to ancestors. The ancestors bless those performing the ritual.

* The Shraddh or rituals performed during this period benefits all the dead ancestors. It is believed by Hindus that all the sinful acts committed by the dead will be cleansed by the shraddh. Those departed souls who do not receive Shraddh are said to wander aimlessly on Earth.

* Pitru Paksha Shraddh is also offered by people to ancestors whose death dates they have forgotten ;to relatives who had no children and who met with violent death like accidents or murder.

* Some people fast on the day.

* Some people observe specific customs like abstaining from non-vegetarian food during the fortnight and

* Some do not cut their hair or shave.

* The rituals are usually performed under the guidance of a learned person or priest.


Different Names of Pitru Paksh 

Pitru Paksh / Pitra Paksh / Pitri Paksh / Pitri Pokkho / Shraddh / Tarpan / Tarpanam / Kanagat / Jitiya / Mahalaya Paksha / Apara Paksh or Shraddham are the various names used to describe the 16-lunar day period when Hinndus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitras).


 Importance of Rituals Dedicated to the Dead in Hinduism :-

* Shraddh holds an important place in rituals associated with Hindu religion and it is performed without fail by most Hindus.

* Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita talks about the journey of the dead and about the importance of the rituals dedicated to them. Annual Shraddh is usually performed during the Dakshinayana period (July to December).

* Prashna Upanishad indicates that the rituals performed on the first Krishna Paksha Amavasi during Dakshinayana period directly reach the Dead.

* Shraddh should be performed with a pious mind. The person who performs the Shraddh should realize that for his birth, body, knowledge, wealth and sanskar he/she is indebted to the ancestors. All that is there was given by the ancestors. So the rituals performed is accepting this fact and is sort of thanksgiving.

* Both male and female relatives of the dead can perform the rituals.

* The rituals including the ‘pind dhan’ that are performed reach the dead ancestors through the rays of Surya (Sun.) It is said that a year of humans is a day for the dead and therefore the ancestors enjoy the fruits of the annual Shraddh throughout the year.

* Another belief is that the souls of dead remain in peace in Pitru Loka as a result of the rituals performed by their children or relatives. It is also said that the dead bless them for this and it helps the children and relatives to lead a good life on earth.
Equally important is feeding the poor on the day. Whenever rituals dedicated to the dead are performed, people distribute food and clothes among the poor.


Special Shraddh

*The shraddh is performed on the specific lunar day during the Pitru Paksha, when the ancestor—usually a parent or paternal grandparent—died. 

* There are special days allotted for people who died in a particular manner or had a certain status in life :-

* Chaturthi Shraddh and Panchami Shraddh (the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively ) are allocated for people deceased in the past year. 

* Awidhawa Navami Shraddh (the ninth lunar day ) is for married women who died before their husband (Awidhwa). Widowers invite Brahmin women as guests for their wife's shraddh.

* Dwadashi Shraddh (the twelfth lunar day) is for children and ascetics who had renounced the worldly pleasures. 

* Ghaat Chaturdashi or Ghayal Chaturdashi (the fourteenth day) is reserved for those people killed by arms, in war or suffered a violent death.

* Mahalaya / Amavasi / Sarvapitri AmavasI Shraddh ("all fathers' new moon day") is intended for all ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died. It is the most important day of the Pitru Paksha.Those who have forgotten to perform shraddha can do so on this day. A shraddha ritual performed on this day is considered asfruitful as one conducted in the holy city of Gaya, which is seen as a special place to perform the rite, and hosts a fair during the Pitru Paksha period. 


Significance of Mahalaya :-


* Mahalaya marks the formal beginning of the Durga Puja festival
* In Bengal, Mahalaya is the day when the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth. Bengali people traditionally wake up early in the morning on Mahalaya to recite hymns from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi) scripture.
* Offerings to the ancestors are made in homes and at puja mandaps (temporary shrines). Matamaha ("Mother's father") or Dauhitra ("Daughter's son") also marks the first day of the month of Ashvin and beginning of the bright fortnight. It is assigned for the grandson of the deceased maternal grandfather.


Who and for whom

* Both male and female relatives of the dead can perform the rituals. Of course, the ladies should not perform during their periods.
* It is essential that Shraddha is performed by the son—usually the eldest—or male relative of the paternal branch of the family, limited to the preceding three generations.
* However, on Sarvapitri amavasya or matamaha, the daughter's son ( Dauhitra)can offer Shraddh for the maternal side of his family if a male heir is absent in his mother's family.
* Prior to performing the rite, the male should have experienced a sacred thread ceremony. 
* A Shraadh is actually performed for three generations of Pitris (the father, the grand-father and the great grand-father), or to all Pitris. Three cakes are offered to the father, grandfather and great grandfather. 
* Some castes only perform the shraddh for one generation.



* The food offerings made to the ancestors are usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and typically placed on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves.
* The food must include Kheer (a type of sweet rice and milk), lapsi (a sweet porridge made of wheat grains), rice, dal (lentils), the vegetable of spring bean (guar) and a yellow gourd (pumpkin).
* Non-vegetarian food and liquor should be strictly prohibited.


Rites of shraddh

* The shraddh is  (preferably) performed only at noon.

* The shraddh is performed usually on the bank of a river (or) lake (or) at one's own house. 

* During the Shraadh offerings of round balls of rice, flour along with accompaniments of sacred grass, flowers is made, along with repetitions of mantras and texts from the Sam Veda. The entire ceremony is conducted at any sacred spot such as the margin of a river. A person who performs Shraadh is known as the "Karta" and he invites Brahmins on that day and performs a "Homa" as way of expressing his heartfelt gratitude and thanks to his parents and ancestors. The karta offers food to the Pitra by putting cooked rice and vegetable into the fire in very small quantities and also adding just a small piece of cooked vegetable. He serves and treats them with all hospitality and finally does "pinda Pradaana". The Brahmin priest helps the Karta to perform the ritual.

 * The male who performs the shraddha should take a purifying bath beforehand and is expected to wear a dhoti.

* He wears a ring of kush grass.

* Then the ancestors are invoked to reside in the ring.

* The shraddha is usually performed bare-chested, as the position of the sacred thread worn by him needs to be changed multiple times during the ceremony.

* The shraddha involves pinda-daan, which is an offering to the ancestors of pindas (cooked rice and barley flour balls mixed with ghee and black sesame seeds), accompanying the release of water from the hand.

* It is followed by the worship of Vishnu in form of the durba grass, a gold image or Shaligram stone and Yama. 

* In addition, to the main priest, two more brahmins are invited to the house during the ritual. Through mantras, one is nominated as the Pitra and the other as the guide; hence the karta is supposed to imagine they are his own father, grandfather and great grandfather and treat them as such with all respect. After the ritual is over, the Karta then gives "dakshina" to the priests and only after the consent of the priests, he and his family have the food. The karta also shows respect to the Brahmins, like giving a foot-wash and dress consisting of cotton dhoti.

* The food offering is then made, cooked especially for the ceremony on the roof.

* The offering is considered to be accepted if a crow arrives and devours the food; the bird is believed to be a messenger from Yama or the spirit of the ancestors.

* A cow, a crow and a dog are also fed, and Brahmin priests are also offered food.

* Once the Brahmins have eaten, the family members can begin lunch.



Other practices

* Some families also conduct ritual recitals of scriptures such the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita.
* Others may be charitable and present gifts to the priests or pay them to recite prayers
for the ancestor's well-being.
* Some families may also make a pilgrimage to places like Varanasi and Gaya to perform Shraddh.


Budhwa Mangal - 2014

Budhwa Mangal - 2014
This year Budhwa Mangal is observed on Tuesday,  March 25, 2014. 
and Tuesday, September 09,2014.

* Budhwa Mangal is an auspicious Tuesday dedicated to Lord Hanuman Ji.
* It is celebrated on the last Tuesday of the Chaitra or Bhadrapad lunar month.
* Only the first Tuesday is known as Bada Mangal.
* And the last Tuesday is known as Budhwa Mangal.


* Budhwa Mangal is observed twice in a Hindu year in Northern India.

(a)  First Date :-
  March 25, 2014 ( The last Tuesday in Chaitra Maas )

(b) Second Date :-
   September 09, 2014 ( The last Tuesday in Bhadrapad )


* Most visited Temples on Budhwa Mangal :-

 (a) Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

(b) Sri Panki Hanuman Temple, Kanpur

(c) Naya Hanuman Mandir , Aliganj, Lucknow


* Bhog and Offerings offered to Hanuman Ji

A devotee can offer anything from the following according to his capacity.

(a) Malpuas
(b) Laddus
(c) Sindoor
(d) Chameli ka tel
(e) Flower Garlands with Tulsi Leaves
(f) Burfees
(g) Pedas



* At Sri Panki Hanuman Temple, Kanpur :-

On Budhwa Mangal doors of the temple will be open to the devotees from Monday-Tuesday midnight (08/09 Sep, 2014 ) till wee hours of Wednesday (09/10 Sep 2014 ).


* Bada Mangal is also referred to Tuesdays dedicated to Hanuman  in Jyeshta month (June - July) in Lucknow and other nearby regions in Uttar Pradesh.
* Only the first Tuesday is known as Bada Mangal.
* And the last Tuesday is known as Budhwa Mangal.
* The last tuesday of the month of Jyestha is known as Budhwa Mangal (it could be 4th or sometimes the 5th). The rest of the tuesdays in between do not have any special names.


                                Prayers For Sri Hanuman Ji

                                         श्री    हनुमान चालीसा


श्रीगुरु चरन सरोज रज, निज मनु मुकुरु सुधारि.
बरनऊँ रघुबर बिमल जसु, जो दायकु फल चारि॥
बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिके, सुमिरौं पवन-कुमार.
बल बुद्धि बिद्या देहु मोहिं, हरहु कलेस बिकार॥


जय हनुमान ज्ञान गुन सागर.
जय कपीस तिहुँ लोक उजागर॥
रामदूत अतुलित बल धामा.
अंजनि-पुत्र पवनसुत नामा॥

महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी.
कुमति निवार सुमति के संगी॥
कंचन बरन बिराज सुबेसा.
कानन कुंडल कुंचित केसा॥

हाथ बज्र औ ध्वजा बिराजै.
काँधे मूँज जनेऊ साजै
संकर सुवन केसरीनंदन.
तेज प्रताप महा जग बन्दन॥

विद्यावान गुनी अति चातुर.
राम काज करिबे को आतुर॥
प्रभु चरित्र सुनिबे को रसिया.
राम लखन सीता मन बसिया॥

सूक्ष्म रूप धरि सियहिं दिखावा.
बिकट रूप धरि लंक जरावा॥
भीम रूप धरि असुर सँहारे.
रामचंद्र के काज सँवारे॥

लाय सजीवन लखन जियाये.
श्रीरघुबीर हरषि उर लाये॥
रघुपति कीन्ही बहुत बड़ाई.
तुम मम प्रिय भरतहि सम भाई॥

सहस बदन तुम्हरो जस गावैं.
अस कहि श्रीपति कंठ लगावैं॥
सनकादिक ब्रह्मादि मुनीसा.
नारद सारद सहित अहीसा॥

जम कुबेर दिगपाल जहाँ ते.
कबि कोबिद कहि सके कहाँ ते॥
तुम उपकार सुग्रीवहिं कीन्हा.
राम मिलाय राज पद दीन्हा॥

तुम्हरो मंत्र बिभीषन माना.
लंकेस्वर भए सब जग जाना॥
जुग सहस्र जोजन पर भानू.
लील्यो ताहि मधुर फल जानू॥

प्रभु मुद्रिका मेलि मुख माहीं.
जलधि लाँघि गये अचरज नाहीं॥
दुर्गम काज जगत के जेते.
सुगम अनुग्रह तुम्हरे तेते॥

राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे.
होत न आज्ञा बिनु पैसारे॥
सब सुख लहै तुम्हारी सरना.
तुम रक्षक काहू को डर ना॥

आपन तेज सम्हारो आपै.
तीनों लोक हाँक तें काँपै॥
भूत पिसाच निकट नहिं आवै.
महाबीर जब नाम सुनावै॥

नासै रोग हरै सब पीरा.
जपत निरंतर हनुमत बीरा॥
संकट तें हनुमान छुड़ावै.
मन क्रम बचन ध्यान जो लावै॥

सब पर राम तपस्वी राजा.
तिन के काज सकल तुम साजा
और मनोरथ जो कोई लावै.
सोइ अमित जीवन फल पावै॥

चारों जुग परताप तुम्हारा.
है परसिद्ध जगत उजियारा॥
साधु संत के तुम रखवारे.
असुर निकंदन राम दुलारे॥

अष्ट सिद्धि नौ निधि के दाता.
अस बर दीन जानकी माता॥
राम रसायन तुम्हरे पासा.
सदा रहो रघुपति के दासा॥

तुम्हरे भजन राम को पावै.
जनम-जनम के दुख बिसरावै॥
अन्तकाल रघुबर पुर जाई.
जहाँ जन्म हरि-भक्त कहाई॥

और देवता चित्त न धरई.
हनुमत सेइ सर्ब सुख करई॥
संकट कटै मिटै सब पीरा.
जो सुमिरै हनुमत बलबीरा॥

जै जै जै हनुमान गोसाईं.
कृपा करहु गुरुदेव की नाईं॥
जो सत बार पाठ कर कोई.
छूटहि बंदि महा सुख होई॥

जो यह पढ़ै हनुमान चालीसा.
होय सिद्धि साखी गौरीसा॥
तुलसीदास सदा हरि चेरा.
कीजै नाथ हृदय मँह डेरा॥

पवनतनय संकट हरन, मंगल मूरति रूप.
राम लखन सीता सहित, हृदय बसहु सुर भूप॥


Sri Hanuman Chalisa


Shri Guru Charan Sarooj-raj Nij manu Mukur Sudhaari
Baranau Rahubar Bimal Yash Jo Dayaka Phala Chari
Buddhi-Heen Thanu Jannikay Sumirow Pavan Kumar
Bal-Buddhi Vidya Deho Mohee Harahu Kalesh Vikaar


Jai Hanuman gyan gun sagar
Jai Kapish tihun lok ujagar
Ram doot atulit bal dhama
Anjani-putra Pavan sut nama

Mahabir Bikram Bajrangi
Kumati nivar sumati Ke sangi
Kanchan varan viraj subesa
Kanan Kundal Kunchit Kesha

Hath Vajra Aur Dhuvaje Viraje
Kaandhe moonj janehu sajai
Sankar suvan kesri Nandan
Tej prataap maha jag vandan

Vidyavaan guni ati chatur
Ram kaj karibe ko aatur
Prabu charitra sunibe-ko rasiya
Ram Lakhan Sita man Basiya

Sookshm roop dhari Siyahi dikhava
Vikat roop dhari lank jarava
Bhima roop dhari asur sanghare
Ramachandra ke kaj sanvare

Laye Sanjivan Lakhan Jiyaye
Shri Raghuvir Harashi ur laye
Raghupati Kinhi bahut badai
Tum mam priya Bharat-hi-sam bhai

Sahas badan tumharo yash gaave
Asa-kahi Shripati kanth lagaave
Sankadhik Brahmaadi Muneesa
Narad-Sarad sahit Aheesa

Yam Kuber Digpaal Jahan te
Kavi kovid kahi sake kahan te
Tum upkar Sugreevahin keenha
Ram milaye rajpad deenha

Tumharo mantra Vibheeshan maana
Lankeshwar Bhaye Sub jag jana
Yug sahastra jojan par Bhanu
Leelyo tahi madhur phal janu

Prabhu mudrika meli mukh mahee
Jaladhi langhi gaye achraj nahee
Durgaam kaj jagat ke jete
Sugam anugraha tumhre tete

Ram dwaare tum rakhvare
Hoat na agya binu paisare
Sub sukh lahae tumhari sar na
Tum rakshak kahu ko dar naa

Aapan tej samharo aapai
Teenhon lok hank te kanpai
Bhoot pisaach Nikat nahin aavai
Mahavir jab naam sunavae

Nase rog harae sab peera
Japat nirantar Hanumant beera
Sankat se Hanuman chudavai
Man Kram Vachan dyan jo lavai

Sab par Ram tapasvee raja
Tin ke kaj sakal Tum saja
Aur manorath jo koi lavai
Sohi amit jeevan phal pavai

Charon Yug partap tumhara
Hai persidh jagat ujiyara
Sadhu Sant ke tum Rakhware
Asur nikandan Ram dulhare

Ashta-sidhi nav nidhi ke dhata
As-var deen Janki mata
Ram rasayan tumhare pasa
Sada raho Raghupati ke dasa

Tumhre bhajan Ram ko pavai
Janam-janam ke dukh bisraavai
Anth-kaal Raghuvir pur jayee
Jahan janam Hari-Bakht Kahayee

Aur Devta Chit na dharehi
Hanumanth se hi sarve sukh karehi
Sankat kate-mite sab peera
Jo sumirai Hanumat Balbeera

Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosaain
Kripa Karahu Gurudev ki naain
Jo sat bar path kare kohi
Chhootehi bandhi maha sukh hohi

Jo yah padhe Hanuman Chalisa
Hoye siddhi sakhi Gaureesa
Tulsidas sada hari chera
Keejai Nath Hridaye mein dera


Pavan Tanay Sankat HaranMangala Murati Roop
Ram Lakhan Sita SahitHriday Basahu Sur Bhoop