Twelve Months- Twelve Lords

Month 11

This is known as Madhava Masa/Magha masa and is equivalent to January-February month in the English calendar.

Lord Madhava is the presiding Lord or the Masa Niyamaka who governs the month known as Magha Masa. We find a reference to the word Madhava in slokas #8, 18 and 78 of Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra. Madhava means one who is the consort of Goddess Lakshmi Devi and is the bestower of superior knowledge.

Vedyo Vaidyah SadaaYogee Veerahaa Maadhavo Madhuh  |
Ateendriyo MahaMayo Mahotsaaho MahaBalah            ||18||

Magha masa is the 11th month and gets its name from Makha nakshtra or star if it occurs on the pournami day of the month. “Magham” is a Sanskrit word where “Ma” means not present and “Agham” means sin, evil, suffering, grief. Magha masa is a highly meritorious month which is auspicious and free from any sin or suffering.This month is considered auspicious to perform marriages, upanayana (thread ceremony), house warming etc.

One year on earth is considered as equal to one day in higher abodes and this month is the beginning or the dawn of the day for the demi-gods/devathas. Just as deepa dana (lighting a lamp) is auspicious in Karthika masa, the Magha Snana (holy dip in holy river) is an important ritual in Magha Masa.

There is a belief that Goddess of learning or wisdom – Saraswati, Sun God- Surya and also Lord Shiva were born in this month. Magha masa or month in India marks the beginning of the most awaited spring season and the end of the dry winter season.  People just love this nature when it is in full bloom after fresh growth of flowers and leaves.

Mādhava is one of the primary names of Vishnu. The word mādhava is derived from the word madhu which means honey. This word is an adjective which describes anything that is sweet. Madhu is sweet and dhava means the whole world. Madhava also means the husband of the Goddess of Fortune. Madhava also means that the person has descended from the Madhu clan just like Raghava from Raghu clan, Yadava from Yadu clan and Kaurava from Kuru clan.

King Madhu was a great king who belonged to the yadu clan, later his great-grandson Vrishni was a great king and five generations later, Lord Krishna appeared in the same clan and since the lineage continued, so Krishna is also known as Madhava.

Krishna has four attractive Madhuris which attracts all beings. These are full of eternal sweetness – Venu-Madhuri, Roopa-Madhuri, Lila-Madhuri and Premaraasa-Madhuri. These four eternal sweetnesses are not manifested in any other manifestations of Krishna. These Madhuri’s of Madhava also attracted Lord Mahavishnu (Kaaranodashayi, the causal expansion of Krishna’s personality, a Purushavatara) Ref: Srimad Bhagvatam chapter # 8.9.10.

In Odisha, worship of Madhava is very prominent since ancient times. He is worshipped here as Nila-Madhava. Krishna, is also known to be Madhav as He possesses one of the six complete opulences, Vaibhava Laxmi, who is also known as Madhavi (she gets this name because of attraction/affinity for Madhava/Krishna) Ref: Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-Lila. The presiding deity of Mayapur Dham, and is known as Madhura – He who is supremely sweet.

The Sun god, traverses this Eleventh month with his associates by entering the eleventh zodiac sign – Vrischika or Scorpio and is known as;

Tvashtha as the sun-god; Jamadagni, the son of Rcika, as the sage; Kambalasva as the Naga; Tilottama as the Apsara; Brahmapeta as the Raksasa; Satajit as the Yaksa; and Dhrtarastra as the Gandharva maintain the month of Isa.

Significance of Magha snana

Magha masa is given special significance for taking bath that is known as Maagha Snanam.  It generally starts from Pushya sukla Pournami and ends with Magha sukla Pournami or it can also be from Makara Sankramana to Kumbha Sankramana as per Solar/Luni-Solar calendar. For followers of lunar calendar it starts from Pushya Bahula Amaavaasya and ends with Maagha Bahula Amaavaasya.  During this period it is prescribed to take bath early in the morning before Sunrise preferably during Arunodaya kala. This sacred bath is preferred to be taken in any river, lake or theertha or at least at home. Apart from the daily routine (Nithya Karma) special arghya is to be given to Lord Madhava and Sun God after Maagha Snanam.

Festivals of the Month

Shattila Ekadashi – Shattila Ekadashi is one of the twenty four Ekadashi vrats which are observed to seek blessing of Lord Vishnu.

Vasant Panchami – Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music and art, is worshipped on Vasant Panchami day. Yellow flowers are offered to Maa Saraswati on this day.

Ratha Saptami – Saptami Tithi is dedicated to Lord Surya. It is believed that Lord Surya Dev started enlightening the whole world on Ratha Saptami day.

Bhishma Ashtami – Magha Shukla Ashtami is death anniversary of Bhishma Pitamah and this day is known as Bhishma Ashtmai.

Jaya Ekadashi – Jaya Ekadashi is one of the twenty four Ekadashi vrats which are observed to seek blessing of Lord Vishnu.

Festivals in Holy Dham

At Puri Jagannath

Basanta Panchami: Special worship of Devi Saraswati is performed on Magha Sukla Panchami Tithi i.e. the 5th day of the bright fortnight of Magha (January-February). Panji (almanac) puja is done in the Goddess Saraswati Temple. From this day, the deities wear modified winter garments (light winter garments).

Magha Purnima:On the full moon day of Magha (January-February), the Gaja Uddharana Besa of the deities is done

At dwarka

Maha: The fifth day of this month is celebrated in the temple as Vasant Panchmi. This is also a special Darshan and celebration at Jagat Mandir.

At Tirumala

Koil Tirumanjanam is purification ceremony of sanctum santorum and temple premises by devotees. During the ceremony all the deities and other articles are removed from santum santorum and cleansed while the “Mula Virat” is covered with a water- proof covering.

The entire Garbha Griham, including floors, ceilings and walls, sub-shrines inside the sanctum, puja articles are cleaned with water and Tirumanjanam which is a composition of camphor, sandal paste, saffron, turmeric Kicchili Gadda (a root vegetable) etc. is smeared, which acts as a disinfectant.

The covering of the main deity is then removed and the deities, deepam and other articles are replaced inside. Special pujas and Naivedyams are then offered to the presiding deity.

This ceremony is performed strictly as per the agamas and is conducted four times year viz. before Ugadi, Anivara Asthanam, Vaikunta Eakadasi and Annual Brahmotsavams

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