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KEDARA VRATAM


KEDARA VRATAM 

The greatness of Kedara Vratam: 

Kedara vratam was performed by Parvathi to become a part of Lord Shiva (Arthanareeswara) originally. It is one such penance which grants all one’s wishes. This vratam can be performed by people of all varnas, equally. Anyone who performed this vratam 21 times will attain all possible worldly riches and attain deliverance at the end.

Vratam process:

On the day of Bhadrapada suklam, with a clean mind, one must wear 21 layered threads on hand, do pooja and do fasting on that day. The next day, one must provide meals to a Brahmin. From that day, one performs the pooja for 21 days to Kedareswara, till amavasa. For the pooja, on a heap of rice, place a pitcher, wind around it 21 repeats of thread, cover it with silk clothes, place precious gems, gold (as much as one can afford) – then do pooja to this with sandal wood and akshata. Invite 21 Brahmins; provide them with water and other requirements to clean and to invoke Lord Kedareswara in the Kalash. Pooja has to be performed to this Kalash with sandalwood paste, myrrh, musk, kumkum and flowers, akshata, tamboolams, clothes and offering incense and deepam. Naivedyam with 21 varities of items along with coconuts have to be offered, along with tamboolam, accompanied by singing hymns. One has to satisfy the Brahmins with dakshina. If one performs the vratam in this manner, Lord Kedareswara will be pleased and will bless one with their desires.

Kedara Vratam is observed on the day of Aswayuja Amavasya

Legend or Myth Behind Kedara Gauri Puja :

Once, Pramatha gana (spiritual coterie) of Lord Shiva did the pradakshina (spiritual circumambualtion) for Shiva without including Goddess Gowri (Parvati). Lord Shiva explains to her that they have nothing to obtain from you, because of that they do not do the pradakshina. Goddess Parvati leaves the place with reddish eyes to the forest. Goddess Gowri (Goddess Parvati) wanted to state her importance. She asks the sage Gautama a better path to obtain Lord Shiva’s half body. He told her to observe Kedareshwar Vrita. She performed Kedara Puja to obtain half body of Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati performed Kedareshwar puja with utmost devotion and blessed with the half body of Lord Shiva and became ‘Ardha Narishwara’.

Rituals and Customs of Kedareshwara Vrata :

On the day of Kedareshwara Vrata, same as other vratas and pujas some austerities like fast or semi-fast on fruits or milk are observed.

Kedareshwara Vrata Puja is performed with installing Kalasha in a sanctified place and performed the puja reciting the mantras praising Lord Shiva. Naivadya (food offerings) is offered to Lord Shiva. After the puja is done, theerth and prasad are distributed to devotees or to the poor.

Glory of Kedareshwara Vrata :

Glory of Kedareshwara Vrata is mentioned in many Hindu sacred texts. As Goddess Parvati observed the puja in utmost devotion and got half body of Lord Shiva. Lord Sri Maha Vishnu blessed with Vaikunta Loka observing Kedara Vrata. Lord Brahma got Hamsa Vehicle (Swan Vahicle). Bhagyawati and Punyavati got a lot of wealth observing Kedara Vrata.

Puja Vidhanam:

Install Lord kedhArIshvara svAmi in a filled pot (kalasham). Make a roof (manTapa) above the kalasham. Make vrata threads - 21 fibers having 21 knots. The 16 courtesy worship has to be done for 21 days starting from the purattAchi shukla paxa dasami to aipachi amarapaxa chaturdashi (dIpAvaLi) or amAvAsya. On the culmination day (21st) in a clean decorated area devotionally install the kalasham over the grains spread in a banana leaf and offer various food and fruits to the Lord as offering and donate to others.

Glory

The glory of this vratam is very splendid as shri gauri devi observed this vratam in full devotion and got to be in half the body of Lord Shiva !! viShNu became Lord of vaikunta observing this vratam. braHma got hamsa vehicle, the guards of the eight directions got rid of the bane they got from braHma, bhagyavati and puNyavati got lots of wealth all due to the glory of this vratam. One who observes this vratam with devotion pleases Lord shiva.




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