BHIṢMA PAÑCAKA VRATA – DĀMODARA MONTH OR KĀRTIKA -- YOUR WAY T0 PURE DEVOTIONAL SERVICE STARTS TODAY -- 8 NOVEMBER 2019 FRIDAY – EKĀDAŚĪ -- FASTING FOR UTTHANĀ EKĀDAŚĪ [PART 1]
Fasting for Bhisma Pancaka begins on Ekadasi, which falls on the 8 November 2019, and goes until Rasa Purnima day, or the last day of Kartik on the 12th November 2019 this year.
“Following the vow of Bhisma-pancaka, is said to fulfill all desires.”
Mathura Mahatmya by Srila Rupa Goswami:
The last five days of the most auspicious Kartik month are traditionally known as Bhisma Pancaka. Being very pleased with Bhismadeva, Lord Krishna granted these five days in honour of His dear devotee. Lord Krishna Himself agreed to give pure love to those who seriously follow austerities, worship the Lord and engage in devotional service during this time.
In the Hari Bhakti Vilasa, it is said that if one is capable, one should observe fasting from certain foodstuffs during Bhisma Pancaka for the pleasure of the Lord. This is optional. The fast should begin on the Ekadasi day, continue for the next five days, and should end on the Purnima, or full moon. The Padma Purana says that one pleases the Lord and makes spiritual advancement by such austerities.
There are three different ways of observance for Bhisma Pancaka.
One way of observing is consuming only panca-gavya, or the five products of the cow. Each day, one should take only one of these items, making sure to consume the same amount each day. For example, one can take one spoonful of one of the items every day. Water can be taken as desired. The items are as follows:
Day one: Cow dung
Day two: Cow urine
Day three: Cow milk
Day four: Cow yoghurt
Day five: All products of the cow mixed [Pancha-gavya]
Another way of observing is to only eat specific fruits and roots. Fruits with many seeds such as guava, pomegranate, cucumber etc., are to be avoided. Milk products and oils should also be avoided. Only sea salt may be added and used for flavor. The following foods can be taken raw, boiled or baked:
Plain cashew nuts.
Bananas – unripe and ripe.
Chiku [Sapodilla fruit]
Freshly grated coconut
An additional way of observing Bhisma Pancaka is to take a simple havishya kitchari. The ingredients for this kitchari are mentioned in the Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 13.10-13, and are as follows:
Rice – not parboiled
Pure cow’s ghee
Cow’s milk and cream
Fruits: [bananas, mosambi, orange, nagaranga or marmalade orange, pear, papaya, apple, chiku or sapodilla fruit, freshly grated coconut , shakalu or jicama, mango, jackfruit, haritaki, labali fruit]
Sugarcane derivatives other than gur or molasses.
Kala sak – type of spinach.
The following ingredients which are normally part of havishya should be avoided in the month of Kartik:
Jeera - cumin
The Garuda Purana instructs that those who observe Bhisma Pancaka should offer the following items to the Lord on each day:
Day one – padma [lotus] flowers to the feet of the Lord.
Day two – bilva [wood-apple] leaves to the thigh of the Lord.
Day three – gandha [scents] to the navel of the Lord.
Day four – java flower to the shoulders of the Lord.
Day five – malati (clove scented echites) flower to the head of the Lord.
If one does not have the flowers recommended for offering, a manasa offering, or offering within the mind, may be made.
It is also recommended to bathe in holy rivers during this observance. If one lives far away from any holy rivers, simply chant “Ganga! Ganga! Ganga!” while bathing in any river, lake or ocean, and it will be as good as bathing in Ganga Devi’s holy waters.
Inline image 1
Devotees should offer tarpana for Bhismadeva three times a day during these five days. Tarpana is when the brahmin thread is put backwards [if applicable] and water is taken in both hands. The mantra is chanted and then the water is offered by tilting both hands to the right and downwards so that the water flows down the right thumb. This is a way of offering oblations to the forefathers. The tarpana mantras for Bhismadeva are as follows:
om vaiyaghra padya gotraya
samkrti pravaraya ca
arghyam dadami bhismaya
om bhismah santanavo birah
It is said that by following Bhisma Pancaka and fasting, one obtains the benefits of all four months of Caturmasya, if one was unable to follow it.
durlabho bhakti-yogo me
karttike mathurayam ca
“Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee's dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura [mandala] during Kartik.”
Mathura Mahatmya by Srila Rupa Goswami.
Inline image 3.
References: Matura Mahatmya, Kartik Mahatmya, Sri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, Garuda Purana
Bhisma Panchaka -- Vrata Kartik
SLIKE U NASLOVU I U GALERIJI: ŚRĪ DHĀM MĀYĀPUR WEST BENGAL INDIA – DĀMODARA MONTH OR KĀRTIKA – ŚRĪLA GAURAKIŚORA DĀSA BĀBĀJĪ – DISAPPEARANCE -- FIRST DAY OF BHIṢMA PAÑCAKA – 25 NOVEMBER 2012
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