Saturday, 2 July 2011

Aranya Shasti

Om Äjyavartikåtaà Devi Jyotiñäà Jyotiñantathä |
Jévantike Gåhäëemaà Rakña Me Sutasütike ||
Om Äpaù Såjantu Snigdhäni Cikléta Vasa Me Gåhe ||
Ni Ca Devéà Mätaraà Çriyaà Väsaya Me Kule |

Devi Shasthi is the sixth incarnation of Maa Durga which gives her the name Shashti. She is one of the sixteen matrikas (little mother). Being a Matri-shakti, she protects the children with motherly affection. She always remains near to every child in the form of aged yogini. She is worshipped everywhere throughout the year.

Devi Shashti is the daughter of Yama or Indra. She rides a cat and is considered the goddess of forest. Most of Her rites are associated with child. Devi Shashti was married to Karikeya, the second son of God Shiva and Parvati or Shakti.
Lord Karikeya, the destroyer of demons has six heads that enables Him to see in all directions. In our body, His six-heads represent the five senses: kaama (sex), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (passion), mada (ego) and matsarya (jealousy) and mind. It’s Him who destroys our negative tendencies.

Women worship Her to get offspring or for the well-being of their children. After the birth of a child, Her auspicious is performed in the lying-in chamber and again on the twenty-first day. It is done to save the child from the ill-effects on Lord Kartikeya who is the lord of bhutas

She is the favourite Goddess of thieves too who worship Her for the success in their profession.
‘Aranya’ stands for ‘woods’ and ‘Shashti’ is the hindi term for ‘sixth’. Arnya Shashti is observed on the sixth day of shukla paksha (the waxing phase moon) in the month of Jyeshtha (May-June). In Bengal, this festival is known as Jamai Shashti.

Aranya Shashti Tithi

According to Hindu calendar, this year, Aranya shashti will be observed on June 17, 2010.

Brief Legend
There is popular belief that the women who observe fast on the sixth day of shukla paksha get offspring.
In western India, the legend has it that, once in ancient period, a woman stole some food and when enquired about it, she blamed the cat of the house. To take the revenge, the cat stole all her children when they took birth and placed them in the temple of Goddess Shashti. Finally, when the woman prayed to the Goddess, the Goddess advised her to worship the cat along with Her on the sixth day of shukls paksha. This practice is still followed some parts of India.

Aranya Shashti Customs and Traditions
On this day, women observe fast eating only fruits and perform puja under Kadamba tree. Offerings are made on a traditional hand-fan. Women in some reasons of India, tie a thread around the wrist. In olden times, women were going in the forest to perform puja and to gather and certain kinds of herbs to enhance their fertility.
You should not eat cereals, like rice, pulses, wheat etc. during fasting. If you feel hungry you can have milk or fruits.

Drinking a lot of lukewarm water or lemon-mishri (crystilised sugar) is good as it cleanses the digestive system and purifies the body.

Fasting should be done for 24 hours. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Shashti day is also good.

If you have any health problem or are taking medicines, please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice. Old and sick people are advised Not to fast.

You can do Maun-pooja by chanting of Aranya suktam from Rg Veda during the day. Fasting is observed to please the God and seek His blessings. Hence, you should observe self-control.

Scientific Reason behind Fasting
When body is light and stomach is free, you need less energy to sustain the body and your energy is saved to more important yogic practices.  Your body’s energy is distributed equally to the whole system. However, one should not overdo it. Fasting is supposed to create a feeling of buoyancy, not a feeling of fatigue or sorrow.
Fasting controls your passion, disciplines your senses, and purifies you mind and heart. It overhauls whole bodily system, destroys all sorts of poisons and encourages the rapid expulsion of uric acid deposits. It helps you to destroy a great amount sins.

Fasting helps in becoming close to Brahman. So, don’t bother much about rules and regulations, just spend the day in purifying your mind and body by chanting Vishnu-mantra.

In Bengal, in-laws invite their Jamais (son-in-laws) to their houses on this day. Jamais are served sacred recipes and offered gifts. Jamais, too, in return, bring gifts for their in-laws.

Pooja Vidhi with Mantras
To please the Aranya Devi Aranya suktam from Rg Veda is recited on this day.
Pooja Vidhi with Mantras
Arrange the following items for Shashti Devi Puja

Picture of Shashti Devi, Water in a Kalash, Mango Leaves, Coconut,  Roli, Moli, Chawal, Paan, Beetle Nut, Cloves, Cardamom, Sindoor, Abhir, Gulal, Dhoop, Deepak, Matchsticks, Flowers White or Yellow and Belpatr Leaves, Fruits of Five Types Such as Pomegranate and Sweets Such as Laddoo and Peda, Panchpatra Containing Spoon and Water, Pata, Mat to Sit (Aasan)

Panchamrit Preparation

Take a little raw cow milk and mix small amount of curd, shakkar, honey, and ghee in it.

Wash the place of pooja with water and gangajal. Place some grains of wheat on a beetle leaf, put on the ground and place water-filled on kalash on it. Insert five joined mango leaves in the kalash and, then, place a coconut on it. Tie moli in the kalash-neck. Light up a Deepak there and keep it lit till the pooja lasts. Light up some dhoop too there.

Place Shashti Devi on a beetle leaf in front of you under the kadamba tree, concentrate your mind on Shashti Devi and worship Her with the following mantras:
1.    Atma-pooja 
Perform ‘Atma-pooja’ for self-purification with the following mantra

Om Apavitrah Pavitro Va Sarvavastham Gatoapi Va,  
Yah Smrait Pundarika Aksham Sa Vahy Abhyantarah Shuchih 
Meaning: whoever contemplates on Vishnu gets purified physically and mentally.

2.    Tilak and Aachman
Tilak is considered auspicious mark and Aachman is considered helping washing off sins committed by action, thought, and speech.

Apply Tilak on your forehead and do ‘Aachman’ (drinking of holy water after accepting it in your palm) with the following mantra:
Om Keshavaya Namah, Om Narayanaya Namah, Om Madhavaya Namah, Om Govindaya Namah

Meaning: I bow to thee Keshav, I bow to thee Narayan, I bow to thee Madhav, I bow to thee Govind.

3.    Sankalpa
To achieve the purpose of the pooja, do sankalpa (resolve) by taking a little water in hand and saying your wish in mind to Shashti Devi.

4.    Aawahan
Pray to invite Shashti Devi with the following mantra:
Aagachha Tvam Mahadevi ! Sthane Chatra Sthira Bhav. Yavata Pujaam Karisyami Tavata Tvam Snidho Bhav.
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti Devye Namha. Shashti  devimaawahayami. Aawahanartheye Pushpaanjali Samarpayami.
(Offer flowers to Maa Shashti )

5.    Aasan
After Dhyan and Mantras, Pray and offer:
Om sarvmangal mangaleye shivesarvaarth sadhike, Sharneye Traymbake gauri Narayani Namostute.
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha. Aasanarthey Pushpani Samarpayami.
(Offer flowers)

6.    Snan
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Snanartham Jalam Samarpayami.
(Offer GangaJal for Bath)
Snananga Aachaman Snanantey Punrachamaniyam Jalam Samarpayami.
(Offer water for aachman)

7.    Panchaamrit Snan
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha PanchaamritSnanam Samarpayami.
(Offer Panchaamrit for Bath)

8.    Vastra
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Vastropavastram Kanchukiyam ch Samarpayami.
(Offer sarees or moli)

9.    Aachman: Vastranante Aachamaniym jalam Samarpayami

10.  Shobhagya Sutra
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha ShobhagyaSutram Samarpayami.

11.  Chandan
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Chandanam Samarpayami.

12.  Haridrachurna
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Haridraam Samarpayami.

13.  Kumkum
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Kumkumam Samarpayami.
14.  Sindoor
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Sindooram Samarpayami.
15.  Kajal
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Kajjalm Samarpayami.
16.  Durvankur (Durva)
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Durvankuraan Samarpayami.
17.  BilvaPatra
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha BilvaPatram Samarpayami.
18.  Pushpamala
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Pushpamalam Samarpayami.
19.  Nanaparimaldraviya (dravya or paisa)
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha NanaparimalDraviyaani Samarpayami.
20.  Shobhagya Patika
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Shobhagyapatikam Samarpayami.
21.  Dhoop
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Dhoopmaaghrapayami.
22.  Deep
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Deepam Darshyami.
(Show deep to mother and wash your hand)
23.  Naibaidha
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Naibaidham Nivedyami.
Aachman: offer aachaman
24.  Rituphal
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Rituphalani Samarpayami.
25.  Tammbul (paan)
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Tammbulam Samarpayami.
26.  Dakshina
Shri Jagadambaye Shashti  Devye Namha Dakshinaam Samarpayami.
27.  Aarti (karpoor and bati)

He maat meri, He maat meri, kaisi yeh der lagai he durge || he maat...

Bhavsaagar mein gira pada hoon, kaam aadi grah mein ghira pada hoon, moh aadi jaal mein jakda pada hoon || he maat...

Na mujhmein bal hai na mujhmein vidya, Na mujhmein bhakti, Na mujhmein Shakti, Sharan tumhari gira pada hoon || he maat...

Na koi mera kutumb saathi, na hi mera sharir saathi, Aap hi ubaaro pakad ke baahin || he maat...

Charan kamal ko nauka banakar, main paar hoonga khooshi manakar, Yamdooton ko maar bhagakar || he maat...

Sada hi tere gunon ko gaaoon, sada hi tere swaroop ko dhyaaoon, Nit prati tere gunon ko gaaoon || he maat...

Na main kisika, na koi mera, chhaya hai chaaron taraf andhera, Pakad ke jyoti dikha do rasta || he maat...

Sharan pade hain ham tumhari, karo yah naiya paar hamari, Kaisi yeh deri lagai hai durge || he maat...

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