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Sri Krishna's Rasa Dance with Gopis
The 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.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that the rāsa dance took place on the full moon night of the śarat season. 

From Vedic literature it appears that when a theatrical actor dances among many dancing girls, the group-dance is called a rāsa dance. When Kṛṣṇa saw the full moon night of the śarat season, He decorated Himself with various seasonal flowers, especially the mallikā flowers, which are very fragrant, He remembered the gopīs’ prayers to goddess Kātyāyanī, wherein they prayed for Kṛṣṇa to be their husband. He thought that the full night of the śarat season was just suitable for a nice dance. So their desire to have Kṛṣṇa as their husband would then be fulfilled.

The specific word used in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is yogamāyām upāśritaḥ, which means that this dancing with the gopīs is on the platform of yogamāyā, not mahāmāyā. The dancing of young boys and girls within this material world is in the kingdom of mahāmāyā, or the external energy. The rāsa dance of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs is on the platform of yogamāyā.

It appears that Kṛṣṇa enjoyed the rāsa dance with the gopīs when He was eight years old. At that time, many of the gopīs were married, because in India, especially in those days, girls were married at a very early age. There are even many instances of a girl giving birth to a child at the age of twelve. Under the circumstances, all the gopīs who wanted to have Kṛṣṇa as their husband were already married. At the same time, they continued to hope that Kṛṣṇa would be their husband.

Actually, Kṛṣṇa is the husband of everyone because He is the supreme enjoyer. The gopīs wanted Kṛṣṇa to be their husband, but factually there was no possibility of His marrying all the gopīs. But because they had that natural tendency to accept Kṛṣṇa as their supreme husband, the relationship between the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa is called parakīya-rasa. This parakīya-rasa is ever-existent in Goloka Vṛndāvana in the spiritual sky where there is no possibility of the inebriety which characterizes parakīya-rasa in the material world. In the material world, parakīya-rasa is abominable, whereas in the spiritual world it is present in the superexcellent relationship of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. There are many other relationships with Kṛṣṇa viz. master and servant, friends and friend, parent and son, and lover and beloved. Out of all these rasas, the parakīya-rasa is considered to be the topmost.

The appearance of the moon increased Kṛṣṇa’s desire to dance with the gopīs. The forests were filled with fragrant flowers. The atmosphere was cooling and festive. When Lord Kṛṣṇa began to blow His flute, the gopīs all over Vṛndāvana became enchanted. Their attraction to the vibration of the flute increased a thousand times due to the rising full moon, the red horizon, the calm and cool atmosphere, and the blossoming flowers. All these gopīs were by nature very much attracted to Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, and when they heard the vibration of His flute, they became apparently lustful to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa.

Immediately upon hearing the vibration of the flute, they all left their respective engagements and proceeded to the spot where Kṛṣṇa was standing. While they ran very swiftly, all their earrings swung back and forth. They all rushed toward the place known as Vaṁśīvaṭa. Some of them were engaged in milking cows, but they left their milking business half finished and immediately went to Kṛṣṇa. One of them had just collected milk and put it in a milk pan on the oven to boil, but she did not care whether the milk overboiled and spilled–she immediately left to go see Kṛṣṇa. Some of them were breast feeding their small babies, and some were engaged in distributing food to the members of their families, but they left all such engagements and immediately rushed towards the spot where Kṛṣṇa was playing His flute. Some were engaged in serving their husbands, and some were themselves engaged in eating, but neither caring to serve their husbands nor eat, they immediately left. Some of them wanted to decorate their faces with cosmetic ointments and to dress themselves very nicely before going to Kṛṣṇa, but unfortunately they could not finish their cosmetic decorations nor put on their dresses in the right way because of their anxiety to meet Kṛṣṇa immediately. Their faces were decorated hurriedly and were haphazardly finished; some even put the lower part of their dresses on the upper part of their bodies and the upper part on the lower part.

While all the gopīs were hurriedly leaving their respective places, their husbands, brothers and fathers were all struck with wonder to know where they were going. Being young girls, they were protected either by husbands, elderly brothers or fathers. All their guardians forbade them to go to Kṛṣṇa, but they disregarded them. When a person becomes attracted by Kṛṣṇa and is in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he does not care for any worldly duties, even though very urgent. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so powerful that it gives everyone relief from all material activities.

Thus,  finally Rasa Lila took place in the full moon night.

It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that one should not imitate this parakīya-rasa even in dream or imagination. Those who do so drink the most deadly poison. 




Jagaddhatri Puja is one of the important festivals celebrated mainly in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. It is also known as Dhatri Pooja and Jagadamba Puja. The festival of Jagaddhatri Puja is celebrated in the splendid manner on the ninth day of the moonlit fortnight in the month of Kartik or November and the date depends on the Bengali calendar. Jagadhatri Puja 2012 date is November 22.
Goddess Jagadhatri

As Jagadhatri, Goddess Durga is the protector of the earth. In Sanskrit and Bengali, the word 'Jagaddhatri' literally means 'Holder (dhatri) of the World (Jagat)' In Tantra and Purana, Jagaddhatri is depicted as being the colour of the morning sun, three-eyed and four-armed, holding Chakra, conch, bow andarrow, clothed in red, bright jewels and nagajangopaveeta, a symbol of Yoga and the Brahman. She rides a lion standing on the dead Karindrasura, the Elephant Demon.

In the form of Goddess Jagadhatri she is caring and showers motherly love on her devotees. This is one of the mild and happy forms of Goddess Durga. According to Sri Ramakrishna, “(Jagaddhatri) holds the World. If she wouldn’t, the World might fall down.

Devotees worship and celebrate reincarnation of goddess Durga in the name of Jagaddhatri and create the splendid ambiance with high festive spirits. The festival is also celebrated at Chandannagar, Krishnanagar, Nadia and Kolkata after Durga Puja and Kali Puja in the month of Kartik.

Sri Sarada Devi as Jagaddhatri
The festival was initiated by Sarada Devi, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife who was believed to be reincarnation of the Goddess and still observed with high spirits in the centres of the Ramkrishna Mission all over the world.

The Puja is popularly called as the reincarnation of goddess Durga, the savior to destroy evil and set peace on the earth.The festival is celebrated in the grandiose manner by setting huge idols of the Goddess Jagaddhatri in spectacular pandals amidst stunning illumination. The idol of goddess is decked up beautifully by red clothes and ornaments. The goddess is also presented garland around the neck.

The idol is made similar to that of Goddess Durga as Goddess Jagaddhatri also holds a conch and a bow in her two left hands and in her two right hands, a chakra and a five-headed arrow and Her mount is a tiger.

Passages from Chandi, the sacred text, are recited on this day and later the image of the goddess is immersed as in durga puja. Devotees gather together to worship the Goddess and celebrate the occasion with full devotion.

As per ancient Pauranik lore of the Hindu scriptures, soon after the victory over Mahishasur the Devatas became highly egoistic. They thought because of lending to Durga their instruments the mighty asuras were vanquished. To make them understand that the primordial power is alone behind every action, theBrahman appeared before the Devatas in the form of effulgent Yaksha.

Bewildered by its presence one by one the Devatas approached Yaksha. First the god of wind Vayu. The Yaksha asked him what he could do. The Vayu replied that he could throw away huge trees, tumble high mountains. The Yaksha then placed a small grass and asked him to move it. The Vayu utilised all his powers but lo! he could not even displace it. So also the god of fire Agni, could not even burn it. Likewise one by one the Devatas failed.

And it dawned on them that their powers are in reality not their own but derived from the supreme power who as protecting mother holds the entire creation and therefore called Jagaddhatri. Anybody who worships Jagaddhatri becomes absolutely egoless and a true servant of the world which is nothing but a manifestation of the Brahman.

                                               Click to Read ....Jagaddhatri Puja:2011




Chhath is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, also known as Suryashashti. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath fesival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of all.

Although it is observed most elaborately in Bihar, Jharkhand and the Terai regions of Nepal in modern times, and is more prevalent in areas where migrants from those areas have a presence. It is also celebrated in all regions and major urban centers in India. The festival is celebrated in the regions including but not exclusive to the northeast region of India, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai, Nepal and Mauritius.

Dedicated to Lord Surya(Sun God), Lord Agni(Fire God) and Lord Kartikeya(Muruga), Chath Puja symbolizes truth, non-violence, compassion and forgiveness.

As the holy word suggest and according to Hindu calendar, the festival falls on the sixth day of the Kartik(October to November). The four-day long Chhath festival features a number of rituals, performed at home and on the banks of the pious Ganga. Holy fresh water bodies are also considered as the place of Chhat puja. Pilgrims believe to offer prayer before the glorious sun down and early sun-rise. They compare the natural cycle with the process of birth and death of an individual.

The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. In Chhat Puja Devotees fast whole day, make preparation for visit the holy Ghat(bank) and in the evening they offer Chhat Sandhya Argh to the orange-red setting sun at the river bank. Flowers, fruits, dry coconut, bananas, sweets and sugarcane are categorized as 'Arghya' and 'Soop' and are offered by standing in the knee-deep water. Returning home, festive extends with singing devotional Chhath songs and offering prayer before Lord Agni. The rituals are performed in area lined up by four sugarcane sticks. Pilgrims, after performing each ritualistic steps, break their fast with having Prasad and Kheer. Rituals further continues and early morning of the final festive day commences 'Arghya', a holy Arti by devotees to the rising Sun. They carry a 'puja thali' filled with sandalwood paste, vermillion, rice, fruits and sweets; cover the wholesome with a bright glitzy cloth and proceed towards the bank of river or seashore singing Chhath puja geet. Offering prayers follows with chanting mantra and hymns from the Rig Veda. They further break their fast and distribute the prasad to all waiting for it.

It is also said that the Goddess that is worshipped during the famous Chhath Puja is known as Chhathi Maiya. Chhathi Maiya is known as Usha in the Vedas. She is believed to be the consort of Surya, the sun god. Some scholars are of the view that she is only the beloved of Surya and some suggest that She is Surya’s wife. Usha is the term used to refer to dawn – the first light of day. But in the Rig Veda she has more symbolic meaning; symbolically Usha is the dawn of divine consciousness in the individual aspirant.

During the Chhath Puja, Chhathi Maiya is invoked to bless us with this divine consciousness which will help us to overcome all the troubles in the world – this bless will help us to Moksha or liberation.

COURTESY: chhatpuja.co.in/




Diwali is regarded as one of the most important festival of the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated across the nation with great pomp and excitement. The festival is mainly associated with lights as it is called the festival of light. On the day of the festival diyas (small clay lamps) are lit in everybody's home irrespective of their social status. The name Diwali signifies 'rows of lighted lamps'.
Diwali is a five-day festival, beginning on the 15th day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartika (Ashwin). By the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls in October or November.

Diwali festival is the one Hindu festival that unites the whole of India. The exchange of sweets and the explosion of fireworks customarily accompany the celebration of the festival. Diwali is an occasion for cheerfulness and togetherness. This is that time of the year when people of all age and all class take part in its celebration.

Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu and Gujarati New Year, and is celebrated with the lighting of lamps and candles, and lots of fireworks. People decorate their home with beautiful diyas and making rangoli pattern in the courtyard and in front of the gate. They put flowers and mango leaves on their doors and windows. Diyas and candles are placed on rooftops, rooms, and kitchen and even in the bathrooms.

On this day, people worship Lord Ganesha, the foremost of all Hindu Gods and Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. It is time to exchange gifts and sweets with friends, relatives and neighbors.

Due to India's varied cultural diversity there are many manifestations of the Diwali festival. The festival begins with Dhanteras, a day set aside to worship the goddess of prosperity, Goddess Lakshmi. On this day, homes are cleaned and paintings are done. There are various legends associated with the celebration of Diwali. But people mostly associate the celebration with the legend of Lord Ram returning to his kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile and defeating Ravana, the demon king.

In Bengal, the celebration is marked with the worship of Goddess Kali. People celebrate Kali puja with great fervor and enthusiasm. Joy and festivity reins every corner of the nation during the Diwali season.

Courtesy: festivals.igiftstoindia.com