Twelve Months- Twelve Lords

Month 12

This is known as Govinda Masa/Phalguna Masa and is equivalent to February-March month in the English calendar

Lord Govinda is the presiding Lord or the Masa Niyamaka who is governing the month of Phalguna month. Govinda is a very popular name of Lord Vishnu commonly chanted by one and all.  In 24 Kesava Namas we find Govindaya Namaha as the fourth name which we recite while performing Achamana. We recite Sri Govinda; Govinda while performing Sankalpa. Govinda popularly appears in Vishnu Namathraya Japa; Achyutaya Namaha; Ananthaya Namaha; Govindaya Namaha. We find reference to the word Govinda in Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra; sloka number 20 & 58.

Maheshvaaso Maheebharta Srinivasas Sataam-gatih   |
Aniruddhas Suraanando Govindo Govidaam Patih          ||20||

Govinda means the One who is the Lord of Cows, protector of Cows, the one who has lifted the hill called Goverdhanagiri with His little finger to save and protect the Cows and Cowherds, and He is also the one who is the protector of Earth. Go also means Vedas. So, He is the One who is the protector of Vedas and is the one who is eulogized by Vedas. Go means Cow and Vinda means one who helps to survive or surmount. Go+Vinda = Govinda which means the One who helps us to survive and surmount the earthly existence and reach the Supreme realization of the Self. Lord Sri Krishna is popularly known as Govinda and He is the one who is also called as Gopala the protector of cows. Lord Sri Venkateshwara is also popularly referred to as Govinda and devotees chant Govinda; Govinda; when they visit Tirumala Kshethra. As Govinda, He protects all His devotees and since He is also the master of words, He is the protector of the Vedas.

Brahmadev composed the famous Brahma Samhita on this form of the Lord – where it is mentioned that “Govindam Adi Purusham” meaning Govinda is the eternal male form. Sri Bilvamangala Thakur also composed the song on this form of the Lord famously known as “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti”.

The Sun god, traverses this Twelth month with his associates by entering the Twelth zodiac sign – Kumbha or Aquarius and is known as;

Vishnu as the sun-god, Asvatara as the Naga, Rambha as the Apsara, Suryavarca as the Gandharva, Satyajit as the Yaksa, Visvamitra as the sage and Makhapeta as the Raksasa rule the month of Urja.

Festivals of the month

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

Maha Shivaratri – Lord Shiva is worshipped on Maha Shivratri day. It is believed that Lord Shiva was born as Linga at midnight on this day.

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

Holika Dahan – On the eve of Holika Dahan huge bonfires are lit to commemorate the burning of the Demoness Holika, the sister of Demon Hiranyakashipu.

Holi – Holi is also known as the festival of colours. On this day people throw coloured powder and coloured water on each other.

Festivals in Holy Dham

At Puri Jagannath

Sibaratri: It is celebrated on Phalguna Krushna Chaturthi i.e. the 4th day of dark Phalguna (February-March). This is also popularly known as Siba Chaturdasi. A great fair is organized near the Lokanath temple of Puri. The most important attraction of this festival is Hari-Hara Bheta when both Lord Hari (Vishnu) and Lord Hara (Siba) meet each other.

Dola Yatra: From Phalguna Sukla Dasami Tithi i.e. the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Phalguna (February-March) upto Phalguna Purnami i.e. the full moon day, festivals known as Chacheri and Dola are celebrated. On Phalguna Purnami i.e. the full moon day, the image of Lord Dolagobinda representing Jagannath Mahaprabhu alongwith Devi Lakshmi and Devi Saraswati are taken in a procession to a dias called Dola Vedi located outside the main Temple and special nitis are performed. A play with Phagu (coloured powder) between the three deities is the main attraction of this day.

At dwarka

Phagun: The 15th day of this month and next day too are celebrated as Holi and Dhuleti.

These are festivals of colors. These have a great significance as festivals of Color – Joy and happiness.

At Badrinath

The five day ceremony before the temple closes for winter begins with a special puja at the Ganesh temple before its doors are closed. On Day 2 the gates of the Adi Kedareshwar temple are closed. On Day 3 there is a worship of books and then the Ved Paath and Mantrachaar – the daily recital of mantras – are stopped. On Day 4 the goddess Lakshmi is worshipped before the doors of her shrine are closed. On the final day there is a special shringar puja of Badrinath when the image of Lakshmi is brought into the sanctum before the main temple is closed. It opens before the summer next year in April / May.

At Tirumala

Every year during Phalguna Pournami, this festival is celebrated on a grand scale in the Swami Pushkarini for five days in the month of chaitra (March). On the first day, Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshmana is offered worship and taken out for a celestial ride on the finely decked float in Swamy Pushkarini. On the second day, Lord Sri Krishna and Rukmini are offered puja and taken for pleasure ride on float.

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