Showing posts with label ashtami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ashtami. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Structure Of The Lunar Month In The Hindu Calendar?


Hindu festivals are defined by a lunar calendar, which divides the year into twelve lunar months.

The lunar month is split into two half with fifteen days each.

The lunar month in northern India starts with the dark (krishna) half of the moon, when it is declining.

The new moon marks the conclusion of this phase, which lasts fifteen days.

The bright (shukla) part of the month, while the moon is waxing, follows.

The full moon marks the conclusion of this phase, which lasts fifteen days.

The first day of the following lunar month is the day after the full moon, and so on.

The name of the month, the half (light or dark), and the lunar day are all used to identify any specific lunar day (1 to 15).

The sequence is inverted in southern India, with the lunar month beginning with the light half and ending with the new moon.

The lunar month, like many Hindu concepts of time, depicts changing moments of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, with peaks and valleys denoting more or less auspicious times.

With its symbolism of fullness, richness, and light, the full moon is usually fortunate.

It is said that religious ceremonies conducted on this day have the same amount of virtue as those performed over the course of a month.

The new moon is a more confusing moment, with its connotations of darkness and nothingness.

The new moon may be very fortunate at times, such as on the occasion of a Somavati Amavasya (new moon falling on Monday).

The new moon coincides with many significant holidays (such as Diwali).

Regardless, the new moon is less fortunate than the full moon.

Various days are identified with distinct deities within each fort night, and their devotees (bhakta) frequently perform specific ceremonies on those days: The deity Vishnu is honored on the eleventh day (ekadashi), the Goddess on the eighth day (ashtami), the god Shiva on the thirteenth and fourteenth days (trayo dashi) and the god Ganesh on the fourth day (chaturthi).

As previously stated, practically all Hindu celebrations are based on the lunar calendar.

An intercalary month is introduced every 212 years to rectify the disparity between the lunar and solar years (approximately eleven days), and so retain these festivals at around the same time every year.

Although the additional month preserves the calendar in balance, it is thought to be exceedingly inauspicious, maybe due to its rarity.

People take usual measures to protect themselves during unfavorable periods throughout this month, such as deferring new activities until the end of the month and praying to protective deities until the end of the month.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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Hinduism - What Is The Festival Of Janmashtami?

Festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna on the eighth day (ashtami) of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month Bhadrapada (August–September).

This festival, like other Krishna-related festivals, is celebrated mostly in the Braj area, where Krishna is said to have resided, but it is also commemorated throughout the nation.

Since Krishna is claimed to have been born at midnight, devotees (bhakta) typically remain up late into the night, and the celebrations are sometimes punctuated by singing, chanting, parades, and plays portraying episodes in Krishna's life.

The Krishna lilas are performed at the town of Brindavan, which is historically thought to have been Krishna's boyhood home, during the month of Janmashtami.

Krishna is the ninth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, according to legend.

He is born in a jail in the city of Mathura, where Devaki's brother, the cruel king Kamsa, is holding his parents.

Kamsa has imprisoned the two in order to avoid being slain by his sister Devaki's eighth son, according to a prophesy.

When Krishna is born, wonderful things happen: the jailers go into a deep slumber, the closed prison doors suddenly open, and Vasudeva is able to take the newborn out of the prison to the house of the couple who would become his foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda.

That night, Vasudeva arrives with Yashoda's new-born baby daughter, who is really the goddess Bhadrakali in disguise.

The following morning, Kamsa murders the kid by slamming her on a stone, but a terrifying form of the Goddess emerges from the corpse, taunting Kamsa by informing him that the person who would kill him has already fled. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.