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Ekadashi Fast

About Ekadashi
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We all wish to be happy,have good health,get success,peace and spiritual growth. In order to achieve all this things we observe Ekadasi Vrata, Which is the most important day for Lord Vishnu to get blessed for our devotion from our heart.

Papa-Purusha and Ekadasi
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There is a short story why Ekadasi is observed by the people. Once Lord Vishnu created a Papa-Purusha(Sin personified) who has the form of embodiment of the worst kinds of sin. The main reason for Lord Vishnu to create Papa-Purusha is to punish the evil human beings and also make them suffer for their sin doings. During the Ekadasi, Papa-Purusha absorbs all the sins of the people and move away from one place to another in fear of losing the hope and happiness.
He finally prayed to Lord Vishnu to give him shelter to stay. Then Lord Vishnu advised him to take shelter in the grains during Ekadasi. As per Lord Vishnu's order, Papa-Purusha started to take shelter in grains during Ekadasi. So people who wish to stay away from sins should not eat grains on Ekadasi.

Science behind fasting on Ekadasi
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We all know that fasting a day in a week will help improve our health in many ways. In the same way fasting on the day of Ekadasi will be good for our health.
On the day of Ekadasi the atmospheric pressure will be the lowest(Eleventh day both after the new moon and the full moon days) and it is believed to be the most favourable time to fast . It helps in improving the process of digestive system(which is normally over worked due to improper eating habits) will help to purify the blood,improve the working of the kidneys,reducing the blood cholesterol and also helps to eliminate the toxins.

Rules to follow for the Ekadasi Vrat
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  • We should avoid the consumption of grains,pulsus,peas and beans.
  • The leaves of Tulasi plant should not be picked on the day of Ekadasi and Dwadasi(The day following Ekadasi)
  • On the day of Ekadasi we fast completely or take water only. We can also have fruits,milk,nuts and other dry fruits etc.(which do not contain grains)
  • On the day of Ekadasi we should pray to Lord Vishnu with devotion and concentration and spent more time in Sravanam(listening),Kirtanam(Chanting) and smaranam(Reciting) of Lord Vishnu.
  • We should offer a lamp,incense tulasi leaves(picked the day before),flowers and fruits to Lord Vishnu at home.
  • We should also visit near by Lord Vishnu Temple if possible and seek his blessings.
  • We should also chant Sri Vishnu Sahasranama.
  • The next day of Ekadasi that is Dwadasi we should take bath in the morning and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and break your fast during the parana time, which is different for every Dwadasi.

Gruhapravesam

There are two kinds of Gruhapravesam celebrated in our country(India). One is when a women gets married, For the first time when she enters her husband's house, It is used to be a big event. So there is a process for her to enter the house and that process is performing Gruhapravesam. Because a women with what intentions (or) traditional ways enters your house will determine the nature of your future and also your progeny and how they live. It is believed that if a women enters the husband's house with love,caring for the family and wanting to totally give time for the family. If a women enters the husband's house having something else in her heart or mind, then she will not bring up the family in good way and face obstacles for the entire family. So it is important for a newly married women enter a house with utmost honor and auspiciousness. There is a lot of ritual around the event, But this ritual is becoming smaller and smaller and now a days a women enters the husband's house before she is married to him, But how she enters the home does not mean anything anymore. In earlier days this is not the process. A marriage means couple living together and looking after the entire family and their children happily. And this process can be done by first performing the Gruhapravesam for the future success and peaceful family.

The other kind of Gruhapravesam is when we construct a new house in a space and entering it with proper virtuals done and i.e Gruhapravesam. We all have a thought of building a dram home (or) building with proper planning,vastu,painting etc with right condition. After building our dream house we should always follow the rituals to be performed before entering the house and that is Gruhapravesam.
Gruhapravesam is a small form of conserving a space. No one will be entering a new house without performing Gruhapravesam as it is important for bringing a sense of life energy, So that people who live in the house will naturally move towards a better and happy life with the entire family. Now a days people consecrate when ever a new movie,opening a new event etc to get success all through out their life.
No person should live in a house without performing Gruhapravesam, Because for example if we plant a plant on earth with rich minerals of earth then flowers and fruits will grow. If the earth is not rich with minerals in the soil then the fruits and flowers will not grow. Even if they grow they appear to be merger, It will never be a full blown flowering. So we always give more importance to these parts of life. So Gruhapravesam is a process of creating the right kind of soil for a plant to produce a flower or fruit. So money (or) wealth does not bring any fundamentals in our life, A good environment with the energy of life is needed for living a happy life.

Gudi Padwa

Gudi Padwa festival also known as Ugadi in some southern states of India like Telangana,Andhra Pradesh, Chennai etc. Comes in the month of Chaithra according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar. It is a very special day for the people of Maharashtra. Sindhis people celebrate and call it Cheti Chand. In Sanskrit the word Gudi Padwa is called as 'Chaithra Shukla Pradipada'.

History of festival Gudi Padwa
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It is believed that after killing Ravana the demon king of Lanka by Lord Sri Rama Chandra this festival is celebrated for the victory of happiness and prosperity. The word Gudi means success and therefore Gudi which means flag, is being held high. As per other puranas, the entire Universe was created on this day. So it represents the symbol of Brahma's dwaj (or) flag. It is also called as the flag of Lord Indra known as Indra dwaj.

Important Rituals of the Festival
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On the day of Gudi Padwa, People follow the complete religious rituals to be performed by the worshippers.

  • People take head bath and wear new clothes to keep them feel fresh and strong body.
  • Children and women draw beautiful Rangoli designs of various collections in front of their homes. They also decorate the entrance of their house with red flowers and mango leaves.
  • After the decoration they perform 'puja'. They offer prayers to Lord Brahma with 'Davna' a type of fragrant plant let and 'Havan' is offered to Lord Vishnu.
  • One of the most important part of Gudi Padwa is hoisting of Gudi, A yellow colored cloth is taken with mango leaves and red flowers tied on to a bamboo stick. On to which a copper (or) a silver pot is being fixed. This is called as Gudi. It is placed at the entrance of our home (or) on the terrace , So that everyone can have a look at it.
  • Later people listen to 'Panchangh Sharavan' and take 'Prasadam' after the puja.
Gudi Padwa is celebrated as one of the most important festivals in India even today. It brings happiness and prosperity to the people celebrating it for the coming years.

Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja(Annakut Puja) which is also called as Bali Pratipada is celebrated after the festival of  Diwali in the month of Kartika. This day is celebrated by the people of Hindu religion as Lord Krishna defeated the God Indra. Some times this festival occurs one day after the festival of Diwali. People cook various food like wheat,rice,curry of gram flour and leafy vegetables in order to offer to Lord Krishna.

Why Govardhan Puja is Celebrated
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It is also known as Bali Prati Pada (or) Bali Padva in states like Maharashtra. It is celebrated as the victory of Vamana(Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) over demon king Bali.

Story of Govardhan Puja
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In the past the people of Gokul were used to worship Lord Indra, also known as God of Rain. Seeing this Lord Krishna consulted the people of Gokul to worship Annakut Hill (or) Govardhan Prabat as he is the real god who saves their lives and also provide good conditions for their harvest,food and shelter.
Hence, the people of Gokul started worshipping the mountain instead of Lord Indra. By watching this Lord Indra got angry and started raining too much in the village of Gokula. Then Lord Krishna had saved the lives of the people by lifting the Govardhan hill with his little finger and covered the people under it to provide shelter from rain and thunder storms of Lord Indra.

Celebrating Annakul (or) Govardhan Puja
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People of Muthura and Gokul celebrate this festival with a great enthusiasm and pleasure. People take head bath and wear new cloths and visit near by Lord Krishna temples. They also form a Govardhan Dhariji with the heap of cow dung and mountain of food and adorn it with the flowers & worship it.
People make variety of Bhog and present it to Lord Krishna. Idols of Lord Krishna are bathed in milk and clothes with new clothes as well as jewellery. Later they worship Lord Krishna with traditional prayers,Bhog and aarti. Particularly in North and south Indian states this festival is celebrated with various event and decoration of Lord Krishna temples. People receive prasad and get blessed from Lord Krishna after performing this puja.

Cheti Chand

When is Cheti Chand celebrated?
It is one of the religious holiday which is called Sindhi New Year and is celebrated on the 2nd day in the sindhi month of chet.
It usually comes in late March (or) early April according to the Gregorian Calendar and generally comes on the same day of Gudi Padwa which is known in Maharashtra. Ugadi in telugu and Kannada New Year in southern part of India.

Tradition of Cheti Chand
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The Cheti Chand festival will mark the arrival of spring and harvest and also the beginning of Hindu New Year for the people of Sindui Hindus. It is also seen as an auspicious day for the people doing business as it marks the beginning of the new financial Year. It also marks the birthday of Uderocal in the year 1007, People of Sindhis when prayed to Varuna, the god of the Sindhu river, to get saved from the persecution by a despotic ruler called Mirkhshah. Then uderolal took the form of a warrior and old man called Jhulelal, who convinced Mirkhshah that Hindus and Muslims deserve the same religious freedoms.
After this Jhulelal had become a key deity for the people of Sindhi. He is seen with bearded figure holding a book and a Mala(String of beads) sitting on a fish. He is also wished and prayed by sufi Muslims, Who associate him with Lal Shahbaz Qualandar, a Sufi saint.
The festival of Cheti Chand is celebrated with fairs,processions and feasts with the icons of Jhulelal and many other Hindu deities. It is also celebrated by Sindhi diaspora around the world.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi is a special tasty food for the festival of ugadi particularly in the southern states of India. It is also celebrated as a new year for the southern states like Telangana,Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka etc.
This dish is made up of six basic ingredients they are neem flowers,pepper powder,new jaggery,raw pieces of mango,tamarind and coconut.
It has six tastes sweet,bitter,sour,pungent,salty and spicy.

Health benefits of Ugadi Pachadi
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Basic ingredients of Ugadi pachadi are neem,jaggery,mango,tamarind,salt and chilli. All of these ingredients have their own health benefits.
Neem :

  •  Neem tree has many medicinal properties including the flowers,leaves and stem of the tree
  • The juice prepared from neem leaves will kill many intestinal properties when taken by us
  • Neem also helps in treatment of various skin infections,viral fever,malaria and diabetes.
  • The mixture of neem,tamarind and raw mango increases the immunity system of our body and helps to fight against infections.
Raw Mango :
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  • Raw mango helps in the relief of chest pain and acidity.
  • It improves the elasticity of blood vessels and also helps in the production of new blood vessels.
  • It increases the secretion of bile and cleans the intestine of the bacterial infections.
Jaggery :
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  • It helps in removing the toxic substances from the liver by flushing them out.
  • It has anti oxidants selenium and zinc which helps in preventing the free radical damage and improves the immunity of the body against infections.
Tamarind :
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  • It helps in the process of easy digestion and stomach from discomfort.
  • It helps in the cholesterol reduction and inflammation throughout the body.
Making of Ugadi Pachadi Recipe :
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  • Take 2.5 cups of water
  • 3 table spoons of peeled and chopped raw mango pieces.
  • 2 table spoons of neem flowers
  • 4 table spoons of jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon of tamarind pulp
  • Mix red chilli powder and salt according to taste.