[Advaita-l] MAGHA POURNIMA - MAHA MAGHI
kamesh_ccmb at yahoo.co.in
Sun Feb 21 16:47:22 CST 2016
Dear Friends, Today is Magha Pournima is an very important day for ritual bathing as per hindu calendar. Religious scriptures describes the glory of holy bath on today and ostiaries observed during this period. It is believed that every single day in the month of Madh is good for doing charity work. Magha Pourniam is popularly known as maha magi and is auspicious day for the holy bathing in ocean or river ganges, yamuna /saraswati or SANGAM.. There will be a Magh Mela every year at the confluencing point of the Ganga, Yamuna and saraswati i.e Triveni Sangam which is at Allahabad. One should take a holy dip there at least once in their life times This Magh mela at Praah starts from Paush Pournami and ends on the day of Maha Maghi i.e last day of the Kalpawas and the one month austerity camp put up on the back of the Prayag RAJ gives an opportunity for the people who wants to offer charity to needy according to their capacity and the charity work done on this final day is many crores times more than that on any another day. The 'Jap' done on this day is multiplied by many crore folds and it is the belief that many sins are getting removed by taking a holy dip at the sangam.
Magh Pournima Puja:Lord Satyanarayana is worshipped on the day of Magh Pournima. He is worshipped with fruits, banana leaves, supari, pan, til, moli, roli, kumkum etc. Panchamrit is made with milk, honey, banana, ganga jal, tulsi and sweets. Prasad is made by mixing wheat and sugar together and roasting them. Lord Satyanarayana is worshipped after this Katha. After this, Goddess Laxmi, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma.On the day of Magh Pournima, Lord Vishnu is worshipped after taking a bath. Just like Makar Sankranti, donating food, clothes etc to Brahmanas is considered sacred on this day. Lord Vishnu blesses any person who takes a bath on this day in some sacred river. He blesses such a person with happiness, contentment, wealth etc.
Importance of Magh Pournima: According to Brahmavaivartpurana, Lord Vishnu himself resides in river Ganga during Magh month and even a touch of this water takes a person to heaven. According to other Puranas, Lord Vishnu is impressed by donation, charities etc in the same way as he is impressed by baths in river Ganga.It is believed that Lord Vishnu residesin Kshir Sagar during this month and river Ganga is a form of Kshir Sagar. According to astrology, Magh Purnima occurs when Moon is in Cancer and Sun is in Capricorn sign.It is believed that taking baths on the day of Magh Pournima relieves a person from all problems related to the Sun and the Moon. This month is believed to be related to Puja, austerities etc. Even Sadhus and Saints consider this month to be very sacred.Magh month of the scientific approach: Magh month has also been considered to be important from a scientific point of view. Magh month helps a body to adjust to the changing seasons. Magh month is the transition from autumn to winters. The winter solstice marks as the beginning of winters. New plants ad flowers can be seen all around.Hence, taking a bath in the morning during this month provides a person with power and strength. This proves that if a person keeps his soul pure and indulges in religious activities, he becomes more powerful so that he face all problems easily. It is believed that great Sage Vishwamitra along with his great disciple "Nakshtraka" performed the ritual bath during the Kumbh Mela on a on a Magh Purnima in 2382 BCE. Once sage Vishwamitra called Nakshatraka who was one of his foremost disciples, and ordered him: 'Whether they can give or not, you had better torture and torment them without mercy. You must menace them in the midst of jungles, starve them, and see that they lose their way. Threaten them that the time limit for payment of debts is over. Never relent, never be kind and considerate. Never let him rest for a while anywhere. When he is dog-tired, pretend as if you are fagged out and you need his nursing and care. Somehow or other, see that he slips into telling a lie. You will be just an instrument of torment, whereas I will be the power behind it. I will assume the shape of wild storms, scorching sun, scalding fire and monstrously wild animals. I will haunt and plague him in the form of hunger, thirst, sleeplessness and sick ness. I shall somehow win my gamble." Thus he instigated Nakshatraka and unleashed him behind the king 'Raja Satya Harishandra'.Nakshatraka's conduct became proverbial and thus he immortalized himself with his notoriety.Once Vishwamitra was the rule and Harischandra had to fulfil his promise to repay the debts within the stipulated time. But he could not earn it as a citizen of Vishwamitra's kingdom. He had to go elsewhere and collect the money either by way of hard labor or loan or some other means. He thought Kashi or Varanasi, the seat of the Lord Vishweshwara, was the proper place for him. He went to Varanasi. It was inevitable that he should pass through impenetrable jungle on the way to Varanasi. Treading the jungle path is itself was very difficult. What was worse, Harischandra was accompanied by his queen and son who had not been accustomed to any hardship. Besides, the difficulties caused by Vishwamitra were terrifying. On top of it all was the menace of Nakshatraka. For example, once on the way, a wild fire broke threatening to engulf all of them. The power of Chandramati's chastity helped to put out the artificial wild fire. On another occasion the Sun's blazing heat burnt like fire when even the shades of trees were heated up. Earth, air and water burnt horribly making them restless and mad. Not all these terrifying hardships could even once dislodge It was inevitable that he should pass through impenetrable jungle on the way to Varanasi. Treading the jungle path is itself arduous. What was worse, Harischandra was accompanied by his queen and son who had not been accustomed to any hardship. Besides, the difficulties caused by Vishwamitra were terrifying. On top of it all was the menace of Nakshatraka. For example, once on the way, a wild fire broke threatening to engulf all of them. The power of Chandramati's chastity helped to put out the artificial wild fire. On another occasion the Sun's blazing heat burnt like fire when even the shades of trees were heated up. Earth, air and water burnt horribly making them restless and mad. Not all these terrifying hardships could even once dislodge Harischandra from his unwavering truthfulness and moral rectitude. After all these afflictions, the king and family arrived in Varanasi.There was no way out. The mighty monarch of Sri Rama's lineage prepared himself to sell his wife and son. He wandered from street to street crying like a hawker that he would offer for sale his wife and son. At last, to their misfortune, a Brahmin customer came. He found fault with 'the woman' and said she was 'old'. 'The boy is a weakling,' he sniffed at him. He haggled and at last bought them both for cash. When the king paid the money to Nakshatraka he debited it towards his 'daily allowance'; and the loan amount remained unpaid.Harischandra handed over the entire sum to Nakshatraka. Nakshatraka felt ashamed. He reflected on the meanness of his 'Guru' and the nobility of the king. I am fortunate in having been in such close proximity to the king,' he mused. He went to his master to hand over the money. Vishwarnitra was greatly agitated. Here was a man who remained undefeated in any ordeal. He made up his mind to try again - he thought of more horrifying trials for the king.Moral of the Story: Harishchandra was the 28th King of the Solar Dynasty. Stories about his life are very popular. They tell children the power and beauty of truth and courage. Harishchandra was renowned for his goodness and justice. He had two unique qualities. He always kept his word and never told lies. These two qualities were tested heavily in his life by various circumstances that led him to poverty and separation from his family. But he stood by his principles and succeeded in the end.
Magh Purnima is an important bathing date during the Kumbh Mela and the Magh Mela.With regardsKameswara Rao
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