26th OCTOBER 2015 KOJAGIRI/NAVANNA/KUMAR/SHARAD PURNIMA -MIDNIGHT WORSHIP GOD INDRA DEV AND GODDESS GAJALAXMI

Kojagiri Purnima: Welcoming wealth and prosperity

Goddess-Lakshmi-1

The ceremony owes it origin to the Kojagari Purnima Vrat sacred to the goddess Lakshmi and Lord Indra on this night, writes MEERA S. SASHITAL.

Sharad Purnima also known as Kojagiri Purnima (which falls on October 26 this year) is celebrated on a full moon day of the lunar month of Ashwin. It is also known as Kaumudi (moonlight) celebrations as it is believed that on this day, the Moon through its beams showers ‘amrit’ or elixir of life on earth.  The brightness of the full moon, especially after the monsoons, is more prominent and brilliant.

The ‘Sharad’ in Sharad Purnima signifies the “Sharad ritu” (Season) of the year. Basically a harvest festival, it also has religious significance. It is believed that whoever worships Goddess Lakshmi on this night and observes fast is blessed by her. The full moon day of Ashwin is called the Kojagiri Purnima as on this day people keep awake till late at night by observing fasts. The ceremony owes it origin to the Kojagiri Purnima Vrat sacred to the goddess Lakshmi and Lord Indra on this night.

The ritual is to fast the whole day and after worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Indra at night, break their fasts by offering coconut water and flattened rice to the Gods and manes and partake it themselves. Again puja of Moon is performed and ‘naivaidya’ of condensed milk is offered. According to the scriptures, it is permissible to indulge in playing with dice or ‘Akshkrida’ on this day as an exceptional case, as gambling on this particular day is regarded to bring fortune. It is considered meritorious to play with dice till late at night on this Kojagari day.

It seems on this Kojagir night Goddess Lakshmi visits every house asking ‘Ko Jagarti’ – meaning ‘who is awake’ to ascertain.  Those who are awake Goddess Lakshmi blesses them with fortune and prosperity. To welcome her, houses, temples, streets etc. are illuminated. A light is lit outside one’s house lest Goddess Lakshmi, the harbinger of wealth and prosperity while going on her rounds overlooks and pauses to bestow her blessings. The same reason applies for keeping awake the whole night. The whole custom of keeping awake and playing dice may be to signify that one should be alert and careful in life with one’s savings due to frivolity of wealth. Coconut water, typical of fertility is drunk at midnight, probably as a precaution to keep oneself awake.

According to a folk-tale once a King fell on evil days and was in great financial strait, but his queen observed the fast and night vigil, and worshipped the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Consequently they were blessed by the Goddess and they regained their prosperity.

Rishi Valhilya, it seems, was once asked by his followers as to which vrat was most conducive to fortune during this month. He replied it was the Kojagari Vrat as the most important of all, and narrated the story of Valit a poor Brahmin of Maghada. Valit was a holy man and very religious. To add to his poverty, he had a wife named Mahachandi who was very obstinate and harsh to him as he could not provide her the comforts of life.

She had vowed that she would do the very opposite of what he told her until Lakshmi favoured them with fortune. When his father’s anniversary day came, on the advice of his friends, he purposely tells her that he did not want to perform. As per her nature, she insists on performing it by calling the Brahmins. Valit forgetting his friends’ advice asks his wife to throw the Pindas into the river but the obstinate wife consigns them to a cesspool.

Valit leaves his house in disgust never to return till Goddess Lakshmi favoured him. While wandering in the woods at midnight Valit comes across three Nagkanyas worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and observing Kojagir Vrat. Their Puja over, they invite him to play the game of dice. Valit remembering that this day was an exception joins them only to lose initially. Goddess Lakshmi who was on Her vigil pities him and helps him to win fortune. She makes him handsome too and makes him return home completely a changed  man, rich with money. His wife now welcomes him heartily to live happily ever after.

From many legends it is proved that worship of Goddess Lakshmi on the Kojagari full moon night is essential.  Goddess Lakshmi of Fortune and Prosperity can never reside where her sister Goddess Alakshmi of Poverty is present. A king it seems to help a poor man buys a statuette which happened to represent the Goddess Alakshmi of Poverty. Goddess Lakshmi of Fortune refuses to stay with Goddess Alakshmi with the result the King becomes poor. It is only when the queen worships Goddess Lakshmi on the Kojagir full moon night that the icon image of Alakshmi melts away and good fortune returns to the King. Hence, the vigil and worship of Goddess Lakshmi on the Kojagir full moon night.

It is also believed that on this day as Moon and Earth are very close to each other, the Moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing our body and the soul.

Some people believe that on this night Lakshmi goes round from place to place asking and shows her pleasure on those she finds awake. Hence, the night is spent in festivity and various games of amusement, in honour of the goddess. They avoid solid food and take only fluids like coconut water or milk. The tradition is to take cool milk and rice flakes on the night. Being a Harvest festival, it is celebrated throughout the country particularly by Maharashtrians.

In the Western State of Gujarat, the nights are known as Sharad Poonam. In Gujarat people celebrate it by doing Garba and Raas. In Bengal it is called Lokhi Pujo and people arrange Bhog and Upchar for Mother Goddess Lakshmi. In the Mithila region, the Puja is known by the name of Kojaganoha. The ‘Angan’ is decorated with Alpana (rice flour paste). Household gods are put out in the ‘Angan’, prayed and offerings of Paan, Batasha. Kheer are offered. In Orissa Sharad Purnima is known as Kumar Purnima as on this day it seems Kumar the handsome son of Lord Shiva started War against Tarakasur.

The Kojagir Vrat or celebration coincides with the Harvest festival as told earlier. It is also called ‘Navanna’ (new food) and from this day the new grain of the recent harvest is usually eaten.

According to Swami Gunatitanand the spiritual import of ‘Jagrati’ (Awake) is to remain vigilant. He says that vigilance in one’s heart is the gateway to the Lord’s diverse abode. Devotees should not let mundane desires of wealth, lust and so forth enter into our hearts. When faced with obstacles such as success and failure, happiness and misery, honour and insult, the devotees should remain unflinching in their devotion to God. In this manner they should remain vigilant. Lack of vigilance toppled people like Vishvamitra also. Therefore every moment in our lives requires vigilance and this itself becomes a subtle form of Tapas and Austerity.

Yes, after the Monsoons the sky being clear the Moon is bright. It is likely that the full moon shining with its beauty in the Sharad Ritu must have enriched its importance and tempted people to meet together enjoying and feasting under the canopy of the magnificent and enchanted Moonlight, giving birth to a joyful Festival.

Sharad Purnima

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sharad Purnima
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Lakshmi worshipped on Sharad Purnima.
Official name Lakshmi Puja
Also called Kojagiri Purnima, Kumar Purnima
Observed by Hindus
Type Hindu, Indian
Begins Full moon day of month Ashvin
2014 date 7 October
2015 date 26 October[1]
Frequency annual
Related to Lakshmi

The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It marks the end of monsoon. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and is also called the ‘Kaumudi celebration’, Kaumudi meaning moonlight.[3] This celebrates Krishna dancing with the Gopi’s

At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.

It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.

Maharashtra, West Bengal, Mithila[edit]

Some people believe that on this night Laxmi goes around from place to place asking, and shows her pleasure on those she finds awake. Hence, the night is spent in festivity and various games of amusement, in honour of the goddess. So people sit in the moonlight singing songs, or keep themselves entertained in some other way. They fast from solid food and take only fluids like coconut water or milk. Milk is boiled until it thickens, and milk masala (called kheer, a readymade combination of dry fruits) is added to it and drunk. There is also a tradition to have cool milk and rice flakes on this night. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout the country, particularly by Maharashtrians, i.e., by people residing in the state of Maharashtra in India and is similarly celebrated by other Marathi’s (People with Marathi mother tongue) in India and abroad. The eldest child of the family is also honored on this day.

In the western state of Gujarat, the night is known as Sharad Poonam. In Gujarat people celebrate it by doing Garba and Dandiya Raas.

Bengalis people call it Lokkhi Pujo and arrange several bhog and upachar for mother goddess Lakshmi.

In the Mithila region, the puja is known by the name of Kojagaraha. All the household gods are cleaned and put out in the courtyard, prior to which, the courtyard is cleaned and decorated with rice flour paste Aripan or Alpana. The idols are used for worship and an offering of paan, makhan (homemade butter), batasha and kheer/payas is made. They are kept out there overnight so that they are bathed in the pious “Sharad Purnima” moonlight also known as “Amrit Barkha” (rain of nectar). It is an important celebration for the newly wed couple too. The new bride decorates the house with the rice paste. The bride, groom and the brothers-in-law play games the whole night. Paan, Makhaan and Sweets are distributed. A big basket containing rice, doob grass, makhan, paan, coconut, banana, whole nuts, yagyopavit/janeu threads, cloves, cardamom, silver pennies or fishes or turtles made up of silver, yogurt, sweets and Mithila Paintings arrives from the brides home. New clothes are also sent to the in-laws.

A Maithili Legend states that Lachchmi and Alachchhmi are twin sisters. Lachchmi loves sweet dishes and brings good luck, whereas Alachchmi loves spicy food and brings bad luck. Thus spicy food is kept out-of-doors so that Alachchmi has her fill and goes away and sweet dishes are kept in small amounts outside and a second larger helping is kept inside so that Lachchhmi comes inside the house and stays there.

In some regions of the Mithila area, Goddess Kali is also worshipped. The Kali puja begins on this day and continues for a fortnight and ends on the night of Diwali with Nisha Puja.

Currently, this full moon comes during Sharad ritu (season ) of the year and hence it is called Sharad Purnima or Sharad Poonam. (Purnima or Poonam = full moon).

There is an Ayurvedic reason behind consuming rice flakes with cool milk on this night. Sharad ritu (season) consists of two months of overlapping seasons when the summer is about to end and the winter slowly starts. During Sharad the days are warm and nights start to become cooler. This is perfect season for Pitta prakop when pitta vitiates along with other two doshas. Consuming rice flakes with milk during night time is good remedy to pacify pitta. Also known as ‘Kojaagari Punam,’ the festival is celebrated on Aso sud 15 – Purnima. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth moves around in the night sky, asking `Ko jaagarti’ searching for people below who are awake. In Sanskrit, `Ko jaagarti’ means, ‘ Who is awake?’ And to those who are awake she gives wealth.

Origin 1. The Sanatkumar Samhita cites the story of ‘Kojaagari Punam.’ In the Samhita Vaalkhil rishi narrates that in ancient times, a poor Brahmin named Valit lived in Magadhdesh – Bengal. While he was a learned and virtuous man, his wife revelled in quarrelling, behaving totally opposite to his wishes. Once on his father’s `Shraddh’ – day of paying homage to the deceased- she flung the ‘pind’ – ball of wheatflour – in a sewage pit, rather than the sacred Ganga, as custom required. This infuriated Valit. Therefore he renounced home to search for wealth. In the forests, he met ‘Naagkanyas’ – girls of Kaliya Naag’s ancestry. These Naagkanyas had performed the ‘Kojaagari Vrat’ – staying awake on Aso sud Punam. They then sat gambling with Valit. The night happened to be Aso sud Punam. Valit lost everything. At that moment, Lord Vishnu and consort Lakshmi, happened to pass by. Since Valit had incidentally observed the ‘Kojaagari vrat’, Lakshmi graced him handsomeness similar to that of ‘Kamdeva’ – the deity of love. Now attracted to him, the Naagkanyas married Valit and gave him their riches. He then returned home with the riches, whence his wife received him warmly. After this episode, the Samhita declared that those who remain awake on this Punam will be graced with wealth.

2. On this night, Lord Krishna invited His faithful devotees, the Gopis of Vrundavan, to play the Maha Raas (traditional folk-dance) with Him. They had earned His grace by overlooking society’s disdain on them (`loklaaj’), to offer Him unalloyed devotion. When They left Their homes in Vraj and arrived in Vrundavan, Shri Krishna welcomed Them. Yet to further test Their love for him, He averred: ‘Women of character such as you, should not leave home to meet another man in the middle of the night!’ These words seared the Gopis’ hearts. In extreme grief, They uttered: ‘Our feet will not budge the slightest from Your lotus-feet. So how can we return to Vraj?’ Pleased with such immutable love for Him, Shri Krishna initiated the Maha Raas, by assuming as many forms as there were Gopis. At this point, They beamed with pride that, ‘Nobody’s devotion can excel ours, by which the Lord favored us.’ Instead of accepting the Maha Raas as the Lord’s grace, ego marred Their devotion. Therefore He instantly vanished from the Raas mandal! Now filled with remorse, the Gopis repented. Recalling Shri Krishna’s divine episodes – ‘lila’, They lamented the separation and sang kirtans known as ‘viraha geet’: ‘Jayati te-dhikam janmanaa vrajaha ….. (Shrimad Bhagvat 10/31/1) Describing the ‘lila’ in the Bhagvat (10/30/25), Shukdevji narrates to king Parikshit: ‘O Parikshit! Of all nights, that night of Sharad Punam became the most resplendent. With the Gopis, Shri Krishna roamed the banks of the Yamuna, as if imprisoning everyone in His lila!’

3 Gunatitanand Swami, the choicest devotee of Swaminarayan was born on Sharad Punam, Samvat 1841. He granted ‘wealth’ by blessing spiritually ‘awake’ devotees with God-realization.

Sentiments The spiritual import of ‘Jaagrati’ (awake) is to remain vigilant. In Vachanamrut Gadhada III-9, Swaminarayan elaborates on this vigilance. He says that the vigilance in one’s heart is the gateway to the Lord’s divine abode. Devotees should not let mundane desires, of wealth, lust and so forth, enter their hearts. When faced with obstacles such as: success and failure, happiness and misery, honor and insult, the devotees should remain unflinching in their devotion to God. In this manner, they should remain vigilant at the gateway to God, not letting any mundane objects through. Therefore, every moment in our lives requires vigilance and this in itself becomes a subtle form of ‘tapas’ – austerity. Those who performed severe austerities without vigilance, succumbed to Maya. Vishwamitra performed austerities for 60,000 years, but lost ‘Jaagruti’ – vigilance – in Menka’s company. Similarly, lack of vigilance toppled Saubhari rishi, Ekalshrungi, Parashar and others.

Symbolic Import Just as the night sky of Sharad Punam is clear and suffused with lunar resplendence, the aspirant should similarly endeavor to purify his ‘antahkaran.’ For this he has to eradicate body-consciousness and mundane desires and imbibe Brahma-consciousness, in order to incessantly experience Parabrahma. (Gita 18/54, Shikshapatri 116). For this the aspirant needs to seek the Gunatit Sadhu, who is the gateway to moksha (the Lord), as proclaimed in the Bhagvat (3/29/20): Prasangamajaram paashamaatmanaha kavayo viduhu, Sa eva sadhushu kruto mokshadwaaram apaavrutam. i.e. the sages decree that if a jiva who is deeply attached to his body and bodily relatives, similarly attaches himself to the Gunatit ..Sadhu, the doors of moksha will be opened for him.

In Odisha[edit]

Time For The Festivity[edit]

Sharad Purnima is known as Kumar Purnima or Lakshmi Puja in Odisha, an eastern state of India. Kumar Purnima is the full-moon day in the month of Ashvin in October. This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festivals of Odisha. ‘Kumar’ orKartikeya, the handsome son of Shiva started war against Tarakasur on this day. He also became the God of War. As young girls always wish for a handsome husband, they propitiate Kumar who was most handsome among the Gods. But, peculiarly enough there is no ritual for the God, instead the Sun and the Moon are worshiped.people enjoy their holiday by playing cards with their family and friends

Main Ritual[edit]

In the early morning the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make Puja offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. Many areas of coastal Odisha the unmarried folk wear new clothes. The songs are of special nature like ‘Kuanra punei jahna go ‘.They also play a kind of game known as Puchi khela. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games.On this day the son-in-law is also honoured with gifts.

The Gajalaxmi Puja[edit]

Gaja Lakshmi

this day is also observed as the birthday of Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth along with elephants is worshipped . Therefore, many people worship the Goddess at their homes and keep themselves awake by playing ‘Pasha’ (Dice) (especially in parts of southern Odisha) and other indoor games. Significantly it suggests that those who wish to acquire wealth should always be vigilant at night. It is for this reason that the owl, a bird that sleeps in the day and comes out only at night is worshipped. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped by devotees in different pandals and household in and across the state of Odisha, especially in Kendrapara, Puri and Dhenkanal. The pandals are decorated with beautiful decorations.

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The Full Moon Night of the month of Aswin is known as the Sharad Purnima or Ras Purnima.The festival is also referred as Kaumudi Festival, Kaumudi meaning moonlight. The dazzling night is associated with the divine love filled Raas Lila (Expression of love by graceful dance) of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis.This is the night when Krishna would play the Ras Leela the entire night. The day is dedicated to this aspect of Lord Krishna.

The Bhagvad Gita, is recited throughout the night, and the devotees observing a fast keep awake through the night. Next day with the breaking of the fast, the oblations are offered to the personal Godv.Young women may undertake the fast considering Krishna as their consort.

Sharad Poornima is also known as Kojagari Poornima. It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking “Kojagari??” meaning “Who is awake” and bless those who are found awake.Hence people don’t sleep this night and spend whole night by playing games, singing and doing all amusing activities.

The showering of Bhakti Raas on the Sharad Poornima night by Krishna on Gopis and Radha has been a main theme for poets and philosophers and still continues to attract the fantasies of common man. The Sharad Poornima night is also seen as the night of love and couples come out at night to face the moon and express their love.

It is also said that the moon is close to the earth on the day and due to this the rays of the moon has several curative properties.

In some regions, Poha, puffed rice, and kheer, sweet, is prepared and left in the moonlight and is consumed later. In some areas, the full moon is not seen directly instead it seen on a vessel filled with boiling milkThe Full Moon Night of the month of Aswin is known as the Sharad Purnima or Ras Purnima.The festival is also referred as Kaumudi Festival, Kaumudi meaning moonlight. The dazzling night is associated with the divine love filled Raas Lila (Expression of love by graceful dance) of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis.This is the night when Krishna would play the Ras Leela the entire night. The day is dedicated to this aspect of Lord Krishna.

The Bhagvad Gita, is recited throughout the night, and the devotees observing a fast keep awake through the night. Next day with the breaking of the fast, the oblations are offered to the personal Godv.Young women may undertake the fast considering Krishna as their consort.

Sharad Poornima is also known as Kojagari Poornima. It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking “Kojagari??” meaning “Who is awake” and bless those who are found awake.Hence people don’t sleep this night and spend whole night by playing games, singing and doing all amusing activities.

The showering of Bhakti Raas on the Sharad Poornima night by Krishna on Gopis and Radha has been a main theme for poets and philosophers and still continues to attract the fantasies of common man. The Sharad Poornima night is also seen as the night of love and couples come out at night to face the moon and express their love.

It is also said that the moon is close to the earth on the day and due to this the rays of the moon has several curative properties.

In some regions, Poha, puffed rice, and kheer, sweet, is prepared and left in the moonlight and is consumed later. In some areas, the full moon is not seen directly instead it seen on a vessel filled with boiling milk.

At night, Indra on Erawat elephant (white elephant) and Mahalakshmi are worshipped. Puja is performed by lighting lamps, incense sticks, flowers etc. This day, minimum of 100 lamps and maximum of 1 lakh lamps are lighted.

Next day lord Indra is worshiped. Brahmans are offered sugar mixed with ghee and Kheer. Additionally they are given Dhoti etc. clothes, lamps (if possible of gold) and donations. This fast is specially observed for getting Lakshmi (wealth). It is believed, lord Indra and Mata Lakshmi watch that who all are awake. Hence, person observing Jagran gets wealth.

This fast is chiefly observed by ladies. The ones observing fast, draw a Swastika on wooden stool and place an urn of water on it. A glass full of wheat and wheat is kept over it. 13 grains of wheat are taken in hand and the story of fast is heard.

The glass and money are given to the lady narrating the story by touching her feet. Ardhya of water is offered to the moon. After this, food is eaten. There is a tradition of gifting Kheer in temple, on this day. A watermelon is cut into two halves. also, any seasonal fruit and Kheer is kept in the moonlight.
Sharad Poornima is of great significance in Mathura, Braj, Vrindavan and Nathdwara.

Legend:
A moneylender had two daughters. On of them used to complete the fast in a systematic manner and the other used to observe the fast but leave it incomplete. As a result, child born to the 2nd daughter always used to die. Tensed by this situation, the second daughter asked Pandits the reason behind it. Pandits told her that all this was happening because she used to leave the fasts incomplete. They asked her to observe the fast of Sharad Purnima to keep her child alive.

She laid her dead child on a bed and covered him with a cloth. Then, she called her sister and asked her to sit. As the clothes of her elder sister touched the baby, he came back to life. The elder sister scolded her and said that if by chance she would have sat on the baby, he could have died. The 2nd daughter of the moneylender said, “the baby was already dead. He got his life back on getting touched by your clothes.” From that time, tradition of observing the fast of Sharad Purnima is carried on.

This fast is observed for longevity of child and receiving wealth. This day, idol of goddess Lakshami is established and worshipped with Shodashopachara. After fasting for the whole day, 100 lamps of gold, silver and mud are lighted when moon is emerged. Bhajans are sung in the Jagran, at night. Next day morning, idol of Mata Lakshami is handed over to an Acharya.

Sharad Purnima 2015 – October 27 (Tuesday)

Sharad Purnima FestivalThe first full moon day of the month of Ashwin is known as Sharad Purnima. It is also referred to as Rasa Purnima, or Sharath Purnima. The festival is also referred as Kaumudi Festival, Kaumudi meaning moonlight.

The bright light on this full moon day marks the changing season, the end of monsoon.

The dazzling night is associated with the divine love filled Raas Lila (Expression of love by graceful dance) of Lord Krishna with Radha and Gopis.

This mythological past related to Sharad Purnima, makes it the best time to manifest love between couples. The day is also referred as Rasa Purnima or Raas Lila Day.

Sharad Poornima is also known as Kojagari Poornima. It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking “Kojagari??” meaning “Who is awake” and bless those who are found awake.
Hence people don’t sleep this night and spend whole night by playing games, singing and doing all amusing activities.

Rituals

1. Many rituals are practiced on this festival of bright moonlight. There is general practice of preparing kheer (Sweet dish made by boiling milk and mixing cooked rice along with sugar and dry fruits) and offered before God.

2. In some areas, the full moon is not seen directly instead it is seen on a vessel filled with boiling milk.

3. Some people thread a needle on this full moon night under the rays of the moon. This is said to improve one’s eyesight.

4. The most common practice is of keeping the prepared kheer, poha (Rice flakes) or sweets in moonlight through out the night and distributed as Prasad on the next day.

Medical Significance

It is considered that the moon and Earth are at the closer distance on Sharad Purnima night due to this the rays of the moon have several curative properties. It is believed that keeping food under the moonlight nourishes the body and soul.

Sharad Purnima Videos

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Gajalaxmi Puja – October 26 (Monday)

The Gajalaxmi Puja is celebrated every year in the month of September October, corresponding to the Hindu Month of Ashwin. The festival is especially known for its significance to unmarried girls and boys. Gajalaxmi Puja also known as Kumar Puja is specifically popular in the state of Orissa.
The main Deities worshipped on this day are the Sun and the Moon. Unmarried girls take an early morning bath, followed by draping new clothes, ornaments and accessories.

In the day time they offer prayers and offerings to the Sun. After following these rituals, they prepare some delicious food-dishes. On an all, this day is extremely important for them and they enjoy in full swing.

Girls can be singing, dancing with traditional songs and colorful clothes. Finally in evening when girls worship the Lunar deity, they break their fast and consume food.

The festival of Gajalaxmi is also associated with the birth of Goddess Laxmi. Many devotees worship Goddess Laxmi in temples and at their homes.
Gajalaxmi Puja
There is a popular belief associated with the Festival that whoever keeps awake during night would seek wealth and prosperity. Devotees are seen keeping awake by playing cards and other engaging indoor games.

The state of Orissa is known for its grand celebration of Gajalaxmi puja. The festival is prominently celebrated in the Dhenkanal district in Orissa. The celebrations start from the full moon day (Purnima) and continues till 11 days.

Mythological Traces:

According to the mythology, “Kumar” or “Kartikeya” was an extremely handsome of Lord Shiva. He was born on the full moon day in the month of Ashwin. Kumar also became popular as the “God of war”. Unmarried girls seek the blessings of Lord Kartikeya to have a handsome life partner in life.
Although the main significance of the day is associated with Lord Kartikeya, but, it’s the Solar and Lunar deity worshipped on this day.

How to Reach?

Dhenkanal:

The head quarter town of the district Dhenkanal is ideally located of National high way No: 42 Connecting Cuttack with Sambalpur. The approach to Dhenkanal district is as follows.

Air:

The nearest airport for approaching the places of interest in the district of Dhenkanal is at Bhubaneswar(99 Km) which is connected with New Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Nagpur by boeing flights.

Rail:   Dhenkanal Railway station on S.E. Railway.

Road :

99 km. From Bhubaneswar on N.H. No. 42 Regular bus services connect Dhenkanal with Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Raipur, etc.

indra mantra

This page is here to serve anyone who wants to learn Indra’s mantras for various occasions and concerns, or simply for the joy of bhakti.

(I am a devotee and not a scholar; my Sanskrit knowledge is very slight. If you find errors in this post, or any other, please do bring the mistake{s} to my attention.)

Page updated 1 July 2012 to correct the Indra sahasranāma. If you downloaded this document before today, please delete your copy and download the corrected version.

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Worship mantras
Indra Sahasranāma: Śrī Gaṇapati Muni (also known as Kāvyakaṇṭha) was a great scholar and a disciple of Śrī Ramana Mahaṛṣi, and he composed several devotional works devoted to Indra. The most well-known of these is the indrasahasranāmastotram.

The Indra Sahasranāma, the Thousand Names of Indra which Śrī Kāvyakaṇṭha compiled from Ṛgveda, may be downloaded here (with translation) or here (no translation).

Any, or all, of these names may be used for worship, by chanting each one with “oṃ” before and “namaḥ” after, e.g. oṃ indrāya namaḥ, oṃ devatamāya namaḥ, etc.

(The halting efforts at English translation are mine. I provided only very brief, general ideas for these names, so that the document didn’t get too long to be usable. It is a work in progress, as I’ve not been able to find every name – and as with everything else on my blog, I welcome corrections.)

Indra Bhagavan: The most well-known of the twelve-lettered “bhagavate” mantras is “oṃ namo bhagavate vasudevāya.” Variations of this mantra exist, two addressed to Indra:

oṃ namo bhagavate mahārājāya
Oṃ and salutations to the supreme lord of lords/king of kings.

oṃ namo bhagavate rājadevāya
Oṃ and salutations to the supreme king of Devas/divine ruler.

Indra Gāyatrī: One of the most sacred Hindu prayers/mantras is the Sāvitrī gāyatrī (Ṛgveda III.62.10 – tat savitur vareṇyam | bhargo devasya dhīmahi | dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt ||). Other mantras in the gāyatrī metre, similar in form to this well-known verse, are provided in later texts, each requesting a different Deva’s guidance and inspiration.

Indra Gāyatrī is recommended for those seeking protection and security, but may be used for general devotion as well. Here are a few versions of Indra Gāyatrī. First:

oṃ devarājāya vidmahe |
vajrahastāya dhīmahi |
tannaḥ indraḥ prachodayāt ||

“Oṃ, let us meditate upon the King of Devas. May that great God who holds the thunderbolt in his hand, inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”

This version is chanted as track #6, “Indra Gayathri,” on the CD Zodiac Signs – Vrischika Rasi – Scorpio by Prof. Thiagarajan and Sanskrit Scholars. One may also chant the above mantra, replacing “devarājāya” with sahasranetrāya (“thousand-eyed one”). Another variant I have heard is to chant tatpuruṣāya (referring to the Puruṣa, the Cosmic or Universal Man) here. (This is chanted by Prakash Rao as track #27, “Indra Gayathri Manthram,” of the CD set Sakala Devatha Gayathri Manthravali.)

Another version is:
oṃ devarājāya vidmahe |
vajrahastāya dhīmahi |
tannaḥ śakraḥ pracodayāt ||

“Oṃ, let us meditate upon the King of Devas. May that mighty God, who holds the thunderbolt in his hand, inspire and illumine our understanding.” This mantra appears in the Linga Purāṇa, 2.48.18.

Indra-Stuti: This intriguing prayer is chanted by Utaṇka in the Pauṣya Parva, Adi Parva of the Mahābhārata. Here are its last two verses, with translation:

vajrasya bhartā bhuvanasya goptā vṛtrasya hantā namucernihantā |
kṛṣṇe vasāno vasane mahātmā satyānṛte yo vivinakti loke ||

Oh wielder of the Vajra, protector of the universe, the slayer of Vṛtra and Namuci.
Oh illustrious one, who wears the black cloth, and displays the truth and untruth of the universe.

yo vājinaṃ garbham-apāṃ purāṇaṃ vaiśvānaraṃ vāhanam-abhyupetaḥ |
namaḥ sadāsmai jagadīśvarāya lokatrayeśāya purandarāya ||

Who has for your vehicle, the horse received from the ocean’s depths, the fiery Vaiśvānara,
I salute you, supreme lord of the universe, lord of the three worlds, destroyer of strongholds.

Mantras for particular purposes
Gaṇeśa Pūjā: The Himalayan Academy’s Gaṇeśa pūjā invokes Indra’s protection and grace, near the end of the ritual.

After offering water and rice to Gaṇeśa, the devotee should circle a flower over the lamp flame three times, praying Indra with this mantra (fromĀśvalāyana Śrauta Sūtra, 4.12.2c):

indra stomena pañcadaśena
madhyam idam vātena sagareṇa
rakṣa rakṣāṃ dhārayāmi ||

The flower should be gently dropped towards the Deity in offering, the hands placed in namaskāraṃ, and then the lamp flame taken by all devotees present.

Marriage: To secure a harmonious marriage, and particularly in cases of delayed marriage, Indra and his wife Śacī are worshipped together with the mantras oṃ laṁ indrāya namaḥ and oṃ līṁ indrānyai namaḥ. (See also “bīja mantras” below for more information about seed-syllable “laṁ”.)

Another mantra to worship the Lord and his Śakti together comes from Śiva pūjā; it is oṃ śacīpuraṇdarābhyāṃ namaḥ.

Indra Dikpāla: Indra is worshipped, particularly in Tantric ritual, as a directional guardian (Dikpāla); the mantra to invoke him in the East is oṃ indrāya pūrvāyai namaḥ. The Svacchanda-tantra lists another invocation as oṃ indrāya vajrahastāya namaḥ.

Protection from nightmare and/or lightning-strike may be secured by gaining the aid of Indra. Praise his son Arjuna with the recitation of Arjuna’s ten names:

Arjuna (bright, shining)
Phālguna (one born under nakshatra Uttara Phālgunī)
Jiṣṇu (unconquerable, leader of the heavenly host)
Kirīti (who wears the shining diadem)
Śvetavāhana (whose chariot is drawn by shining steeds)
Bībhatsu (fair fighter, terrifying to behold in battle)
Vijaya (victorious)
Pārtha (scholar-student, son of Kuṃtī)
Savyasāci (ambidextrous one)
Dhanañjaya (winner of great wealth).

Bīja mantras
I have read in several sources that bīja mantra meditation may not be the ideal exercise for a beginner, as a bīja (seed) mantra is something like a pure distillation of the deity’s essence. If one is new to Lord Indra and/or mantra meditation, it may be better to start with a simple mantra (one of those given in Indra’s sahasranāma, for example) to understand Indra personally, before approaching a bīja mantra that will convey his subtle nuances, higher wisdom, and powerful energies.

These mantras and their meanings come from the works of Śrī Gaṇapati Muni and Paṇḍit Vāmadeva Śāstrī; relevant passages from the latter are taken from the article “The Mantric Approach of the Vedas” and the book Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound. All writings in quotation marks are the words of Vāmadeva.

Hīṃ
“Hīṃ refers to the power of the Vajra or the lightning bolt of pure perception that Indra, the deity of cosmic prana, wields.”

Hūm
“Hūm is more an Agni mantra as Hota, but can be used for Indra as Vidyut-Agni.”
It “is a mantra of the inner fire or thermogenic force. It both calls the divine down into us and offers our soul upward to the Divine for transformation in the sacred fire of awareness…It is used to destroy negativity and creates great passion and vitality. As a powerful mantra it should also be used carefully. Yet it can be used in a more gentle manner to invoke divine grace and protection. Through it we can offer ourselves or our afflictions into the Divine for purification and transformation.
“Hūm is a Vedic mantra of Agni or fire. It is the mantra used to make offerings into the sacred fire. It also is used to call or invoke the fire and to make it flame up more brilliantly. It represents the soul hidden the body, the Divine immanent in the world. It governs the earth and the material sphere in general.”

Īṃ
“Another important mantra for Indra is īṃ, as the lord of higher perception. That is what Ganapati and Daivarata call the Rigvedic Pranava.” (Pranava is “the Cosmic Word: through its power, the secret of all Vedic mantras can be revealed.”)
“It is the power of Divine light and seeing…It projects an energy and power of perception, the electrical force of seeing. It is the mantric sound of the eyes in the Mantra Purusha. The mantra īṃ allows for the awakening of the Shakti of any mantra, and also provides the vision behind the mantra, its knowledge component.”

Krīṃ
Krīṃ is “Vidyut Shakti, which is associated with Indra and the supreme Prana.”
It “is a mantra of Indra, the supreme deity of the Vedas, the Divine as the cosmic lord and enlightenment force. Krīṃ is the thunderbolt or Vajra that destroys the serpent of ignorance and releases the light of absolute truth. It represents the force of the atmosphere…and carries the supreme life force.”

Laṃ
Laṃ is “mainly a mantra for Indra as a directional deity, though [it] also relates to the Vajra.”
It is also the bīja mantra for the mūlādhāra (first/root) cakra.

Oṃ
It is the “power of divine prana and hearing.” It is also associated with Indra as “chhandasama rishibha, the bull of the chants.”

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