Annadaana Mahima-Chaturmasa Deeksha Vijayam
“Annapurne sadapurne Shankara Pranavallabhe gnaana vairagya siddhyartham bhikshaam dehi cha Paarvati”
Oh dear Maata Annapurna, you are the divine consort of Lord Shiva, you are the personification of copious food, kindly grant us alms along with eternal wisdom!
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Pujya Ganapati Sachhidananda Swamiji always remembers the golden words of Lord Sri Krishna and tells us:
“The beings, both moving and unmoving, are sustained only by the food! Hence the donor of food is the giver of life and indeed of everything else! So, one who wants well-being on this earth and beyond , should make special efforts to share food with others! ‘Annadaana’ must be offered with due respect and hospitality to the poor, old, children, women, guests and the tired travelers!
“There is no greater merit in this creation than feeding the hungry”!
Significance of Chaturmasya
Bharatha maata is known as ‘Karma bhoomi’ which is unique with its significance for Vedic and religious culture and heritage.
Hindu philosophy and religion which is a combination of many traditions and cultures is closely associated with the Nature that plays a major role in performance of many festivals. Hinduism strongly believes in Puranas and Vedic principles that become the guiding factor for performance of these festivals and sacred rituals.
The main purpose of all Vedic rituals is ultimately to please the lord and the benefits of which are bountiful. As long as the vow is to perform a sacred and pious act it would definitely yield positive results and would bring pleasing rewards.
Pujas and dharmic activities go a long way in developing the mind frame. It is also believed that they generate a lot of positive energy that helps one in the struggle of life,control over wandering mind, discipline of life and does a lot of good to the physical as well as the mental abilities of an individual.
We all know that we have 12 months in a lunar calendar starting from Chaitra to Phalguna. Out of these 12 months 6 months starting from pushya (when Sun enters Makara Raasi) to jyeshtha falls under Uttaraayana while 6 months starting from Aashada (when Sun enters the KarkatakaRaasi) to Margasira falls under Dakshinayana. Uttarayana is the day time and Dakshinayana is the night time for Devataas.As per the time element,one year for human beings is equivalent to one full day for Devataas . Similarly one month for human beings is equivalent to 1 day for Pitru Devataas out of which Shukla Paksha (waxing moon days) 15 days is day time and Krishna Paksha (waning moon days) 15days is the night time for Pitrus.
Fire, illumination, daytime, fortnight before the full moon and Uttarayana are the paths for liberation. It means these are the periods or ways for spontaneous positive thinking and spiritual growth. So all concentrate and perform their personnel rituals more during Uttarayana only.
In order to give significance and importance for performing sacred and pious deeds during night time of Devataas, Lord Varaaha gave a boon to Raatri Devataa that, the following four months Shravana, Bhadrapada, Aaswayuja and kaarteeka would be very holy and dear to him.
These four months are called Chatur- maasa. Although, the word chaturmasya means four months of duration, it is performed for two months only, taking fortnight as a month as per the Shastras. Who ever performs sacred deeds(Snana, Japa, Homa, Vratha, Dana etc.) in a strict deeksha manner during these months would reap immense benefits out of it.
Deeksha means making a vow to perform austerities observing strict celibacy, avoiding prohibited foods,drinks, actions, unnecessary talks and most importantly dedicating ones self totally for Daiva chintana for full two months. With out any discrimination of age,gender,ashrama and caste this Deeksha can be performed by one and all.
Dear fellow devotees, in this competitive world can an ordinary person truly afford to pretermit responsibilities for such a lengthy extension of time? Then which is the next option available for us to accomplish the same divine fruitions with out having to suspend our regular unavoidable activities?
The only answer by all Shastras is to approach and offer as much sincere service to Yateeshwaras during this holy period every year. Such Ascetics suspend their travel during that period, they do not cross the border of the city where they are sojourning. The learned Yateeshwaras engage themselves in teaching and offering discourses for the benefit of their disciples and people in general. It is believed and experienced that the place where these selfless Yateeshwars stay and perform Chaturmasya Deeksha will flourish in wealth,prosperity and spiritual life.
Jai Guru Data