Shree Krishna Janmashtami

Happy Krishna Janmashtami

Happy Krishna Janmashtami

As Hindus across the world celebrated the Shree Krishna Janmashtami festival on Thursday, thousands visited the historic Krishna Temple in Patan of Lalitpur.

The Dwapar-era god, also considered the eighth among 10 avatars of Lord Bishnu, Lord Krishna is believed to have born at the midnight of the eighth day of the waning moon in the month of Bhadra (Bhadra Krishna Ashtami).

Shree Krishna Janmashtami, more simply referred to as Janmashtami, is a Hindu holiday taking place every year in the month of Bhadrapada. On the Gregorian Calendar, it falls sometime in August or September.

Krishna Janmashtami

Nepalese Hindu devotees gather to celebrate the birth of Hindu Lord Krishna ‘Krishna Janmashtami’ at Lalitpur.

The holiday is very popular in Nepal and throughout the Hindu world. It is meant to commemorate the 8th birth, or avatar, of the god Krishna. It is celebrated as a general triumph of good over evil. Hindu epic tales tell of Krishna’s battles with evil beings and his ultimate victory over the forces of darkness.

To mark the day, there will be performances at midnight that look back to the epic battle of Krishna against the evil King Kansa, when it was also very dark and windy. Many devotees will fast, worship Krishna, and offer such things as milk and cheese curds to him since he is thought to particularly enjoy dairy products.

Shree Krishna Janmashtami

Shree Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami celebrations include traditional singing and dancing, reenactments of the “life cycle of Krishna,” visits to festively decorated Hindu temples, and exchanging of gifts. Some temples are lit up as the crowds gather in the night to offer flowers, food, and candy to a Krishna idol.

Those who cannot attend temple, however, still celebrate with miniature Krishna idols that are arranged inside beautifully decorated cradles.

Janai Purnima Festival

Janai Purnima

A toddler gets her wrist colourful with doro (Hindu’s traditional threads of different colours) from a Pandit (Hindu Priest) celebrating Janai Poornima

The tagadharis or those who wear the ‘Janai’ (the sacred thread) around their bodies from the left shoulder change the sacred thread on Tuesday after having a haircut and a bath on the occasion of ‘Janai Purnima’, also known as ‘Rishi Tarpani’.

This festival observed by the Hindus, especially of the Shaiva sect, on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Saun is also popularly known as ‘Gunhu Punhi’ in the Newar community.

According to the time-honoured tradition, the people receive the ‘Rakshya Bandhan’ thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. They also observe the occasion as ‘Kwanti Purnima’.

Kwanti Purnima

Kwanti a soup prepared from nine different beans, is a special delicacy added to the Nepali menu today.

The ‘Kulabarna Tantra’, a Tantrik scripture, says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away.

In the Terai region, there is a tradition in which sisters tie an attractive ‘Rakhi’ around the wrist of their brothers wishing them long life and prosperity.

Thousands of devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswor in Lalitpur and take holy dips in ponds and lakes.

Janai Purnima

People in Pashupatinath Area gather to get Raksha Bandhan tied around their wrists on the occasion of Janai Purnima.

Religious fairs are held at Gosaikunda, an alpine area in Rasuwa District, and at Dansanghu, Triveni in Jumla district to observe the festival with offerings of worship to Lord Shiva. A big religious fair takes place at the Gosaikunda Lake and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.

Religious fairs take place today at Pashupati and Manichud of Kathmandu; Gosaikunda of Rasuwa; Kumbheshwar of Lalitpur; Panchpokhari of Sindhupalchowk; Janakpurdham, Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar of Dhanusha; Dansanghu of Jumla and Trivenidham of Nawalparasi.

Janai Purnima

The Buddhists observe this day in commemoration of the day the Lord Gautama Buddha defeated the evil power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture ‘Lalitbistar’. A special fair takes place at Swayambhunath of Kathmandu today for this reason.

Source: Kathmandupost

Naag Panchami in Nepal

Nag Panchami Pooja

Nag Panchami Pooja

Nag Panchami is the day of snakes. Nags are worshiped this day in Nepal. Nags are snakes and Panchami means the fifth day after no-moon day.

Nags are worshiped on the fifth day following the no-moon (aushi). Hence, the day is called Nag Panchami. Aushi means no-moon day in Nepali.

What is Nag?

Nags are deity snakes or special snakes. Those snakes have especial roles in Hindu Mythologies.

There are various mythological beliefs about Nagpanchami and its celebration.

Mahabharata tells that Lord Krishna conquered Nag Kalia and put an end to his evil deeds on the day of Shrawan Panchami. People believe that is the reason why people started celebrating this panchami as Nag Panchami.

Kathmandu valley used to be a big lake. Nags became very angry when human drained the lake to make it livable. To protect themselves against the anger of Nagas, people gave nags certain areas as pilgrimage destinations, and promise to worship them on the day, returning harmony in nature. That is continued till date.

Lord Bhrama’s son Kashyap rishi had thirteen wives namely Aditi, Dit, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Sauravi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Ida, Khasa, and Muni. Aditi gave birth to Devta, Diti to Garud, Kadroo to Nags, Danu to Daitya.

Those Nags were the rulers of Patal lok.The great eight nags are Ananta, Vashuki, Padhmanavha, Kambala, Shankhapala, Dhartarashtra, Takshaka, and Kaliya. These Nags were very powerful and worshiped.

Nag Panchami Pooja

Nag Panchami Pooja

How is Nag Panchami celebrated in Nepal

In this day, Nepali traditionally post pictures of Nags above the doors of their homes to keep off evil spirits. They worship the nag by offering a symbol of milk (the white color liquid from the paste of rice). People keep milk for snakes near snake holes.

People make cottons garland, use cow dung and rice flour’s serpent’s from and worship it with cow’s milk, lava, barley, sesame, nuts and with some other religious items. It is believed that if Nag-Panchami is observed properly every year the Nags provide us good health wealth and blessing during our life. If Nags are angry they make us sick and no medicine can heal.

Nag Pooja Celebration at Nag Pokhari Naxal

Nag Pooja Celebration at Nag Pokhari Naxal

Puran says the earth is lifted by Shesh Nag on his head. Lord Vishnu is sleeping on its coil inside the Ocean. Kali Nag, Bashuki Nag, Astha Nag, Padma Nag; and the Karkot Nags are the very powerful Nags.

Scripture explains that without Nags’ help there will be no rain.So people worship Nags for the cause of water, offer prayers to Nags, and place food items such as milk and honey in their fields for Nags.

Few men wearing demon masks dance in the streets as a part of a Nag Panchami ritual.

We have our own myths and legends surrounding Nags, which lead us to celebrate Nag Panchami on a large scale.

Guru Purnima Festival

Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

The Guru Purnima festival is being observed throughout the country today by paying reverence to all teachers.

The festival, also marked as Teacher’s Day, is observed on the full moon day in the Nepali month Ashadh as per the lunar calendar.

The day is dedicated to the gurus or one’s teacher who bestows the gayatri mantra for the first time during one’s bratabandh or the sacred thread ceremony, initiates one to reading and writing, reads out the vedic hymns during the religious rituals and other teachers in general.

A schoolgirl applies tika to her teachers during Guru Purnima or Teacher’s day, a festival dedicated to teachers.

Etymologically, the word ‘guru’ is made of two roots ‘gu’ and ‘ru’. Gu means darkness and ru means light. So, the word guru means the person who removes the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge as per the tantric and religious texts.

Our religion also sees the teacher as the embodiment of the Hindu triumvirate gods Brahma, Bishnu and Maheshwar. The teacher is also considered as a form of god like one’s parents.

Schools, colleges and various organisations are marking Guru Purnima today by organizing different programmes and paying homage to the teachers.

Happy Guru Purnima

Happy Guru Purnima

Today also commemorates the Vyas Jayanti or the birth anniversary of the sage Ved Byas who wrote the 18 puranas and 18 upapuranas which explain the four vedas.

Through the puranas and the upapuranas, Ved Byas has radiated the message of humanism ‘Propakara punyaya, papaya parapidanam’ which means you earn piety and righteousness through welfare and charity but are cursed if you harm or cause pain to others.

Source: Myrepublica

Buddha Jayanti Festival in Nepal

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Buddha Jayanti in Nepal is also called Buddha Purnima. Buddha Purnima means Buddha Jayanti. The date of Buddha celebration falls in (Baisakh – Jyestha) April or May  each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. It falls on the full moon day of Baisakh, the first month of Hindu calendar. Every year Baisakh Shukla Purnima, Buddha Purnima festival is celebrated not only in Nepal but also the other country. This festival is celebrated especially by Buddhist.

Birthday is celebrated on Baisakh Shukla Purnima 27, 2074 B. S. (May 10, 2017)

As we, all know that Nepal is a south Asian country. It is located between the two powerhouse of the world, Indian, and China. We also know that Buddha Jayanti is the celebration or festival in the remembering of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini Nepal in 543 B.C. Here in Nepal, Buddha Jayanti is one of the great celebration in Nepal. The government of Nepal gives a national and public holiday on this holy day.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

The spring full moon day when Buddha Sakyamuni Buddha was born is celebrated as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima or Swanya Punhi. The day of Baishakha Purnima is thrice blessed since it commemorates the three important events in the Buddha’s life’ his birth, the day he attained enlightenment and the day he passed into Nirvana. In Kathmandu, a capital of Nepal, celebrations marking Buddha Purnima are concentrated around the Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the cultural heritage site in the Kathmandu valley, the most sacred among all Buddhist monuments in Nepal. Devotees of Lord Buddha gather from early morning on this Baishakh Purnima in all over the country to worship and walk around the shrine in ritual circumlocution. Offerings of butter lamps, rice, coins, and flower, and prayer ceremonies go on throughout the day. Religious scroll paintings (Pabha) and images of the Buddha are put on display.

Buddha Jayanti also known as Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of Baishakh (Baishakh Sukla Purnima). It is a great festival for the Buddhists and so it is observed with great pomp and show. Buddha Jayanti in fact commemorates the three important phases of Buddha’s life-his forth, enlightenment and his nirvana (demise).

Lumbini - Peace and the Light of the World

Lumbini – Peace and the Light of the World

The Buddha Purnima celebrations are equally fascinating at Boudhanath Stupa, another world heritage site in the Kathmandu valley. An image of the Lord Buddha is mounted on an elephant at the head of the procession that circles the Stupa and then proceeds to another Buddhist Stupa at Chabahil, Kathmandu. Large symbolic lotus petals are painted on the Stupa with a yellow dye of saffron.

On this auspicious occasion, many ceremonies are held around Buddhi shrines _ and stupas like Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, Swayambhu stupa on the hillock to the west of Kathmandu and such many Buddha stupas across the world. From early in the morning, devotees duo native and foreigners throng around the Buddhist shrines and stupas with musical bands and offerings viz-rice, flowers, butter lamps and incense.

Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Lumbini – Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Special pooja/ritual functions and other programs are held to highlight the Buddhist ideology/philosophy. Sacred pauba scroll paintings and Buddha images are put on public display. Most importantly, at Anandakuti Bihar, a relic (a sliver of hone from the body) of Lord Buddha is brought out to pay homage from the devotees. As the night falls, the stupas, Bihar and even houses are illuminated with multi- colored lights of candles and butter lamps.

The prophet or peace and non-violence, Gautam Buddha was born as a crown prince to his parents- king Suddhodana and queen Mayadevi in Lumbini on the full moon day of Baishak over 2,500 years ago. It was on the same day that he got enlightenment in Bodhgaya and coincidently passed away into nirvana at Kushinagar in India on the very day. Unfortunately, Mayadevi died a few days after she gave birth to her great son. He was christened Siddhartha and was brought up in royal care and comfort.

Source: Imnepal

Shree Ram Nawami (Festival of Nepal)

Happy Ram Navami

Happy Ram Navami

Festivals of Nepal: Ram Nawami
Ram Nawami is celebrated in the mid of Chaitra (March/April) as Lord Ram’s Birthday. It is celebrated with much pomp at Janaki temple in Janakpur city, which lies in southern Nepal. Lord Rama is regarded as another incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Nepalese, therefore, have deep belief and extreme faith in him. His strength, courage, purity of heart, compassion, sweetness of speech, serenity and abiding wisdom made him the favorite idol of his people. His life story is told in the much beloved epic- the “RAMAYANA”.

Janaki Mandir of Janakpur Dham

Janaki Mandir of Janakpur Dham

Before the birth of Sri Ram, the world was under the reign of an evil and fiendish demon king Ravana. Ravana had pleased Lord Brahma, who bestowed on Ravana the boon that no God or demon could kill him. This gave Ravana immunity from everyone except a mortal man. Thus, to save the world from evil, Lord Vishnu took birth as Ram in the city of Ayodhya. King Dasharath, who ruled over Ayodhya, had one misery – his three queens bore him no sons. Lord Vishnu gave them nectar to drink, and soon the eldest produced Ram, the next gave birth to Bharat and the third had twins, Lakshman and Shatrughana. All four of them became exemplary youths but it was Ram who grew in grace and virile beauty.

Source: SamratNepal