Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gujarati Panchang - PHAGAN SAMVAT 2071 = FEB 19, 2015 TO MARCH 20, 2015

Feb 19, 2015 - Panchak
Feb 20, 2015 - Panchak
Feb 21, 2015 - Panchak
Feb 22, 2015 - Panchak, Vinayak Chauth

Feb 25, 2015 - Holashtak begins.  Do not perform any "manglik" activities during Holashtak.
Feb 26, 2015 - Durgashtami

March 1, 2015 - Amalaki Ekadashi
March 2, 2015 - Pradosh, Govind Baras

March 5, 2015 - Holi, Holashtak ends, Vrat ni Poonam
March 6, 2015 - Dhuleti, Vasant Utsav

March 9, 2015 - Sankat Chauth

March 13, 2015 - Kalashtami

March 15, 2015 - Minarak Kumurta Begins

March 17, 2015 - Paapmochini Ekadashi
March 18, 2015 - Panchak, Pradosh
March 19, 2015 - Panchak
March 20, 2015 - Panchak, Amas, Khagras Suryagrahan

Amalaki Ekadasi Vrat

Amalaki Ekadashi occurs on the 11th day in the Phalgun month of the Hindu lunar calendar during the waxing or bright phase of the moon (Shukla Paksha).

Dedicated to Amlaki or Gooseberry Tree, observance of this Ekadashi is believed to bring in great prosperity and benefits. In Orissa, this Ekadashi is known as Sarbasammat Ekadasi and is held in Lord Vishnu and Lord Jagannath temples.

Furthermore, if the Ekadashi falls on a Thursday, it is regarded as even more auspicious and is observed with special prayers and rituals. The next day of Amalaki Ekadashi is also considered to be highly fortunate and is known as Govinda Dwadashi.

How To Observe Amalaki Ekadasi Vrat
Legends take us back to the period of King Chaitraratha who ruled the kingdom of Vaidisa. A loyal and passionate devotee of Lord Vishnu, the king and the entire kingdom was rich with no worries, thanks to the blessings of the Lord.

On the day of Amalaki Ekadashi, the king along with his people visited a Vishnu temple situated on the banks of a river. Offerings were made to Lord Vishnu and Amalaki Tree in the premises of the temple. Offerings were also made to Lord Parashurama. In addition, all the followers stayed awake the entire night. A hungry hunter passing by joined the group singing bhajans as he was highly impressed by the devotion of the followers towards Lord Vishnu. With a fresh feeling, the hunter went back home and had his meals.

The hunter passed away after a few years but was reborn as King Vasurath that resulted from his dedicated observance of Amalaki Ekadashi. Once on his expedition, the king lost his way and was trapped by a group of tribes. The tribal people started torturing him with swords and spears considering him to be their enemy. Surprisingly, none of the weapons touched him and he escaped unhurt. The puzzled tribal people were informed about the king’s past from a voice in the sky. Eventually, the king came to know about his past life and since then, started observing the Amalaki Ekadashi vrat. Hence, Amalaki Ekadashi emphasizes on the faith, trust and devotion that can wash away all the sins of a devotee and help him attain salvation.

On this day, special prayers are offered to Amalaki tree and Lord Parashurama. A person practicing the Amalaki Ekadashi fast should cleanse himself with water and offer water to the Amalaki tree. The tree is then worshipped using incense, sandalwood, roli, flowers, etc. Thereafter, the Brahmins are served with meals beneath the Amalaki tree. Most devotees observe a vrat on this day following the rituals demanded on other Ekadashi vrats. Some even keep a vigil in the night. However, some people observe a partial fast, simply abstaining from food made of rice and grains.

Papamochani Ekadasi Vrat

Papamochani Ekadashi, also known as Papamochini Ekadashi or Papamocani Ekadashi, is observed in the month of Chaitra in the traditional North Indian calendar.
While in Marathi, Guajarati, Telugu and Kannada calendars, this Ekadashi falls in the month of Falguna. The last of the 24 Ekadashi vrats in a Hindu year, Papamochini Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of the waning phase of the moon.
This date usually falls in the month of March or April as per the Gregorian calendar. Observing a vrat on Papamochini Ekadashi is highly significant as a sincere devotee can get rid of all his sins committed so far.

How To Observe Papamochani Ekadasi Vrat
Legends revolve around a sage named Medhavi who was a loyal devotee of Lord Shiva. This sage was performing Tapas (austerity) in a forest called Chaitraratha, well-known for bearing beautiful and aromatic flowers.
In addition, the forest was often visited by Indra, demigods, apsaras and other heavenly beings. Often the apsaras and damsels of heaven made several attempts of interrupting the meditation of the sage, but in vain. Eventually, an apsara named Manju Ghosa betted upon disturbing the sage’s meditation. Thus, she built a hut close to the sage’s place and started playing the veena along with singing songs.

Soon, the sage set out in search of the song and found the gorgeous Manju Ghosa. On sighting the sage, Manju immediately applied sandalwood paste and wore beautiful flowers. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the apsara, the sage finally lost his concentration and gave up to the apsara. After leading a married life for years, Manju lost interest in the sage and thought of leaving back. At this point, the sage regained his senses and realized that he had been tricked. Annoyed, the sage cursed the apsara and turned her into a witch. Depressed and saddened, the sage returned back to his father Sage Chyavana and narrated the entire tale.

Sage Chyavana asked his son to observe the vrat of Papamochini Ekadashi after which he would be relieved of his sins. As advised, the sage observed the vrat and hence, was able to get rid of his faults. He even asked the apsara to observe the same vrat following which she too would be relieved of the curse.
The tern Papamochini has been derived from two words, ‘Papa’ means ‘sin’ and ‘Mochini’ means ‘to escape’. Therefore, Papamochini Ekadashi has been dedicated towards eradicating sins and guilt associated with sins committed. This vrat is observed just like any other Ekadashi vrat while offering prayers and puja to Lord Vishnu.