Lord Hanuman-Bada Mangal (Lucknow)


Panchmukhi-Hanuman

Celebrations and festivities mark every Tuesday in the Hindu month of Jeshtha in Lucknow. All these Tuesdays — known as Bada Mangal — are dedicated to Ram’s biggest devotee Hanuman.
Bada Mangal, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is observed on Tuesdays in the month of Jyeshta (May – June) as per the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Bada Mangal is mainly observed in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and nearby regions. The origin of the festival is traced to the Naya Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj in Lucknow.
Bada Mangal is the name for more specifically used to describe the first Tuesday in the month of Jayeshta or Jeth. A big fair is organized in the region during the period. The fair and the festival is believed to be more than 400 years old.

There are numerous theories regarding the origin of the Bada Mangal fair.
It is said that Lord Hanuman blesses all those who offer him prayers and prasad during Bada Mangal. Members of the family especially eldest son and daughter should pay a visit to the deity. If that’s not possible, at least the head of the family should bow his head before Hanuman.

Legends :

1.Bada Mangal’s an occasion, the celebration of which begets its origin to Lucknow’s culture of oneness. History has it that Janab-e-Aalia, second wife of nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah got the old Aliganj Hanuman temple constructed. She is said to have dreamt of Lord Hanuman who ordered her to get a temple constructed.

Based on her dream she ordered quarrying of the area she saw in her dream. The idol was found after which it was transported on the back of an elephant to the city. The elephant, however, did not step forward after a point (the place where the temple is situated). Therefore it was decided that the temple be constructed at this place. Since then, Bada Mangal is celebrated with festive gaiety in the city to mark the belief of the Muslim begum over the deity.

Naming her son, later known as Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, as Mirza Mangloo after the deity, Begum Aalia started the tradition of a fair which continues to be held every year. As time passed by, the festival became a symbol of Hindu-Muslim congeniality. No wonder Muslims too contribute whole-heartedly in arrangements for the Bada Mangal.

2.The child of the Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah of the region fell ill and doctors were unable to cure the child. The wife of the Nawab Begum Rabia, took the child to different places in the hope of find a solution to the child’s illness. One day during her search she met the priest of the Naya Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj. The priest asked her to leave the child before the Hanuman idol in the temple and come back later.

With the blessings of Lord Hanuman, the child recovered. The mother could not believe her eyes. The wife of the Nawab wanted to make an offering at the temple. The priest suggested that instead of making an offering it would be better if she could arrange a fair here as it would lead to the economic prosperity of the region.

Since then the tradition of observing Bada Mangal is followed and it attracts thousands of people.

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Goddess Saraswati – Basant Panchami


Goddess Saraswati

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||

English Translation:

“May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”

Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga.

Vasant Panchami (Devnagari:बसन्त पञ्चमी), sometimes referred to as Basant Panchami or Shree Panchami (Devnagari:श्रीपञ्चमी), is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge,music and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month Magh (January-February), the first day of spring. Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; brahmins are fed; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organise special prayer for Saraswati. The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival, in that people usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshipped dressed in yellow, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.

Also known as Saraswati Puja (Bengali: সরস্বতী পূজা shoroshshôti puja), this festival is celebrated in Nepal, India and Bangladesh to invoke wisdom and consciousness in human beings. Apart from wisdom,Saraswati is also the deity for fine and performing arts. The day is also called Basant Panchami which falls in Falgun (Phalgun in Hindi) month of Bangla calendar; that is February of the Gregorian calendar. In West Bengal saraswati puja is celebrated in Hindu households and also in schools and colleges. Bengali men are usually dressed in traditional paijama and punjabi. Women are dressed in yellow (basanti) coloured sari. With Her grace, the mute, it is believed, have been able to speak and people have been blessed with the ability to write or compose poems. Musicians sing here and many even choose to perform here first. Instrumentalists have puja performed for their instruments here. Apart from art and culture, Goddess Saraswati also showers Her blessings for the education of children.

Notebooks, pencils and pens are kept at the Devi’s feet for blessings and then used by the students. A noticeboard asks the students to write their names, address and the roll number on a piece of paper and put it in the hundi after praying for success! It is believed the Goddess blesses them for good and positive results.

Her expression is so serene and calm even as She is majestic. She is seated on a white lotus in Padmasana, adorned by a pure white silk sari, has a book in Her lower left hand, Her lower right hand showing the chinmudra, Aksharamala in Her right upper hand, and Amrithakalasam in Her left upper hand. Both eyes are full of compassion. The vehicle assigned to each of the three goddesses also symbolically represent their special powers. Goddess Saraswathi is the consort of Lord Brahma (Lord of Creation) and is the Goddess of wisdom and learning. Saraswati is the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa). She is considered as the personification of all knowledge – arts, sciences, crafts and other skills. She has a beautiful and elegant presence, is pure white in colour, clad in a white sari, seated on a white lotus, representing purity and brilliance. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning; mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She has the sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on the veena.

She is dressed in white (sign of purity) and rides on a white goose (swan). The swan is known for its pecliar characteristic of being capable of separating water from milk, indicating that we should possess discrimination in separating the bad from the good. The seat being a lotus or peacock implies that the teacher is well-established in the subjective experience of truth. When sitting on a peacock she reminds us that wisdom suppresses ego.

Like Brahma, she is not worshipped much in temples. However, every year Saraswathi Pooja (Navarathiri ) is celebrated by people all over India, be it students, workers, craftsmen, businessmen offering their prayers for a successful and fruitful year. However, Saraswathi does have a temple in Koothanur in Tanjavur district (Tamil Nadu).There is an important Saraswati Temple in Basar at a distance of 40 km from Nizamabad in Adilabad District, Andhra Pradesh on the banks of Godavari River.

God Shiva and Goddess Paarvati -Mahashivaratri


 

Maha-Shivaratri

Mahashivaratri Festival or the ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun, which corresponds to the month of February – March in English Calendar. Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.

Legends of Mahashivratri

There are various interesting legends related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe that it was on the auspicious night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction. Another popular Shivratri legend stated in Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Hence the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by Shiva devotees and they celebrate it asMahashivaratri – the grand night of Shiva.

Traditions and Customs of Shivaratri

Various traditions and customs related to Shivaratri Festival are dutifully followed by the worshippers of Lord Shiva. Devotees observe strict fast in honor of Shiva, though many go on a diet of fruits and milk some do not consume even a drop of water. Devotees strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri, absolves a person of sins and liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. Shivaratri is considered especially auspicious for women. While married women pray for the well being of their husbands unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband.

To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water etc.

On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Nightlong vigil or jaagran is also observed in Shiva temples where large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee break their fast by partaking prasad .