Vasantha Panchami - Most auspicious day to worship goddess

The beauty of Hinduism is that there are numerous opportunities for people to thank gods for various reasons throughout one.s life. This could be for rain, sunshine, wind, wealth, health, and for everything that humans enjoy in their life. There are numerous stories in the Hindu scriptures that emphasize the importance of worshipping gods and goddesses before starting a new task. That.s why Hindu calendar is filled with festivals and special occasions. Vasanth Panchami is one of those special occasions on which Hindus worship the goddess of education, Saraswathi Devi.

Saraswathi Devi

Saraswathi Devi is the wife of Lord Brahma, the creator and one of the Trinity gods. The other two are Lord Vishnu, the proprietor, and Lord Shiva, the destroyer. Saraswathi Devi is the goddess of vidya(education). It is her blessings that make on a writer, poet, orator, and an expert in any field of study. That.s why Hindus often refer to an expert in a field of study as .Saraswathi Puthra/ Puthri..
On this day Saraswathi Devi is worshipped at temples and homes. People get ready in the morning and place books in front of Saraswathi Devi, and perform Shodasha Upachara Pooja to the goddess. After the pooja everyone takes the prashad(holy food offered to Saraswathi Devi) and children start reading and writing for the first time under the guidance of a teacher or parents. Saraswathi Devi is worshipped all along the year whenever any educational task is started at any time of the year.

Arrival of Spring Season

Vasanth Panchami is also the arrival of spring season. From this day onwards trees start blossoming with new leaves and buds. Spring season marks the arrival of new life not only in Hindu tradition but in all traditions faiths. The hidden meaning of new life is that high and low times are cyclical and there is always light after darkness. Further, life and death are inevitable to every kind of life on this earth, and one must always remain hopeful of better time in spite of difficulties and challenges.

Kama Deva- The god of desire and passion

Spring time is also an occasion to offer prayers to Kama Deva, who is the god of love and desire. Obviously, beautiful springtime colors in nature create a mood for passion and desire. Kama Deva is responsible for creating passion and desire, which encourages male and female forms to unify and create new life. The act of creating new life is regarded as very important in attaining God through Karma Yoga. In Hindu way of life creation is regarded as .Yagna.(worship of gods through fire). However, gaining control over Kama is highly important for every human being to perform Karma Yoga in a balanced manner. Due to this significance, people consider Vasanth Panchami an auspicious day for marriages and to perform the .gruhasthashrama dharma. (married life) through Karma Yoga.

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||

So, make sure to take time and worship the goddess of education, Sarawsathi Devi on this day and get her blessing for a good education!

||Saraswathee Namasthubhayam||
Courtesy : Pundit Srinivas Khedam

Lunar Eclipse - Chandira Grahan - Information

What is Lunar eclipse? (Chandira Grahan)

From our perspective on Earth, two types of eclipses occur: lunar, the blocking of the Moon by Earth's shadow, and solar, the obstruction of the Sun by the Moon.

When the Moon passes between Sun and Earth, the lunar shadow is seen as a solar eclipse on Earth. When Earth passes directly between Sun and Moon, its shadow creates a lunar eclipse.

Lunar eclipses can only happen when the Moon is opposite the Sun in the sky, a monthly occurrence we know as a full Moon. But lunar eclipses do not occur every month because the Moon's orbit is tilted five degrees from Earth's orbit around the Sun. Without the tilt, lunar eclipses would occur every month.

Lunar and solar eclipses occur with about equal frequency. Lunar eclipses are more widely visible because Earth casts a much larger shadow on the Moon during a lunar eclipse than the Moon casts on Earth during a solar eclipse. As a result, you are more likely to see a lunar eclipse than a solar eclipse. The full Moon casts its shadow on Earth's surface during a total solar eclipse.

Chandra Grahan, a total lunar eclipse, will be visible in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu from June 15 night to the early hours of June 16, 2011. The time in Chennai is from 11:53 PM on June 15 to 03:32 AM early morning on June 16, 2011 – as per Indian standard time. The Chandra Grahanam will be visible in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Kannyakumari, Rameshwaram, Pondicherry Srirangam, Dindugal, Pollachi, and other towns. Hindu Panchangams have marked this grahan and therefore those observing certain rituals have to follow them.

On account of lunar eclipse on Wednesday (June 15), the ‘Sayatchai kala puja' would be performed at the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and the doors would be closed at 7 p.m., after which there would be no darshan for the public. According to a temple press note, the eclipse would be begin at 11.50 p.m. and ‘grahana kala abhishekam' would be performed at 1.42 a.m. The eclipse would conclude at 3.34 a.m., after which as usual, the ‘Tiruvanandhal puja' would be performed at 5 a.m.