When ever I perform my Puja at home, we always offer flowers. Recently my mum had told me to offer Lord Ganesh a red flower. That got me thinking… we know there are certain things we do when we make offering to different gods and goddesses, for example putting Tulsi leaves in offerings for Lord Vishnu. I wanted to find out a bit more about flowers, why do we offer flowers and are there certain flowers we offer certain deities.
However, fasting is not only a part of worship but a great instrument for self-discipline too. It is a training of the mind and the body to endure and harden up against all hardships, to persevere under difficulties and not give up. According to Hindu philosophy, food means gratification of the senses and to starve the senses is to elevate them to contemplation. Luqman the wise once said, "When the stomach is full, the intellect begins to sleep. Wisdom becomes mute and the parts of the body restrain from acts of righteousness."
Jaya Pravati Vrat is also known as Gauri Vrat, it is a Hindu festival which hold much significance among woman. It is celebrated in the month of Ashadha by unmarried girls and married woman. The ritual is observed for 5 days. Goddess Parvati is worshipped, because Parvati fasted to have Shiva as her husband. Unmarried girls observe this ritual to find good husband. Married woman observe the fast for happiness and love in their marriage, and their husband’s long life. Female devotees stay awake on the last night of the Vrat, this is known and Jaya Pravati Jagran. It is mainly celebrated in Gujrat, and Western Regions of India. This Vrat is observed for the family’s well-being and to ensure happiness and prosperity in home.
When I say to the boys, “It’s Jai Jais time”, the little one runs to the temple rings the bell and shouts “I’m here Jai Jai wake up!” I told him what my mother told me! I remember our visits to my father’s village in Vadoli, Gujarat in India. We would go to the village temple walking through the dusty street and take of our shoes. I loved the comfort of the cold marble floor on my feet. When I was little my father picked me up to ring the bell which echoed around the temple such a comforting sound.
Aarti is one of the most important and popular rituals of the Hindu faith. Aarti has been performed since the Vedicperiod. It is a ceremony performed in greeting and thanksgiving of the deities, where devotees are reminded of God’s presence. In Sanskrit, the word ‘arti’ is composed of ‘aa’, meaning complete, and ‘rati’, meaning love. The Aarti is an expression of one’s complete love towards God. It is sung and performed with a deep sense of adoration, and meditative awareness.