Tomorrow, Wednesday July 26, 2017, the annual astronomically-based (solar-lunar) special features of the day this year, as observed in the ancient Vedic calendar, include two concurrent, overlapping auspicious “holidays” or holy days of special spiritual observance and celebration. Dozens of gathered groups in India and around the world, each consisting of thousands of traditional hereditary Vedic pandits personally trained by His Holiness Maharishi, will engage in ancient Vedic yagyas, ritual ceremonial performances of chanting and thanksgiving-offerings conducted with the sincere, deep intention for enhancing world peace, and for the fulfillment of collective and individual well-being on all levels of life. The special qualities of natural law that are particularly lively on this day are especially conducive to the following qualities in our human life:
26 July • Madhusrava Tritiya • Day of Mother Divine
Quality of Natural Law: Helping to restore the perfection of life, which is life in bliss consciousness
- Life in bliss
- Fulfillment of desires
- Peace of mind
- Improved finances
- Perfect health and recovery from illness
- Improved possibility of finding a suitable spouse
- Harmony and stability in married life
- Removal of resistance
- 26 July • Vinayaki Sri Ganesh Chaturthi • Day of Ganesh Quality of Natural Law:
- Removing obstacles
- Freedom from limitations
- Removal of serious problems
- Elimination of psychological fear
- Gaining knowledge
- Harmony in married life
- Good fortune
To derive maximum benefit from the auspicious influences of natural laws lively on this day it is best of course to engage in one’s regular daily routine of morning bath, and morning and evening meditation, yoga and breathing, yoga-sidhis practice, and personal/household puja – all with the particular intention of aligning oneself in harmony with the evolutionary laws of nature specially lively on this day. Additional benefits accrue from attending and/or sponsoring Vedic yagyas performed on this day, and even from dedicating one’s intentions to support for this wonderfully evolutionary activity passed on from the Himalayan rishis and maharishis of India’s ancient Vedic civilization. In traditional Vedic families, members who are able will also observe the special vrat involving fasting and special prays for the welfare of others and of all beings.
This day is particularly significant to the women of traditional Vedic families.
In many traditional cultures, not entirely unlike in our modern western societies (U.S., etc), women have their own private lives, semi-independent of, and concurrently somewhat parallel with more public lives. However, in cultures such as those of traditional India, Hindu and otherwise, this means that women often have their own individual and communal private spiritual/religious practices and activities largely independent of, and mostly semi-hidden from men. These “women’s-only” spiritual paths provide women with a chance to enjoy a rich means of spiritual growth and celebration in freedom from many of the gender-discriminative restrictions of public religious life which is so often dominated by male figures, male clergy/clerics, male attitudes, prejudices, superstitions, ignorance and indifference, etc.
Among traditional Indian households, especially Hindu, but also Parsi, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, or other, this private, semi-“secret” life of women’s spiritual practice and understanding is passed down orally from generation to generation by elder members of an extended family. For the most part the women will also devoutly follow the teachings given by revered male figures as well, but when away from the view of male members of the household and community, they will carry out special ancient practices preserved within their matrilineal tradition, both alone and in groups. The point isn’t that these spiritual paths are secret, just that they are mostly “private” — for women only (though witnessed to some extent by young boys still under the hour by hour care of their mothers and older sisters and aunts and grandmothers, etc; after a certain age, boys are no longer included in these activities and observances).
The ancient Vedic tradition is held to be the underlying basis not only for much of Hindu practice and understanding, but also for much of the Parsi religion (Zoroastrianism), Jainism and Buddhism, and through aspects shared from later Hindu expressions, also for many spiritual aspects of Sikhism, and Islam as practiced in India, especially Indian Sufism. Traditional forms of Indian Jewish and Indian Christian spirituality are also influenced by ancient Vedic teachings and outlooks absorbed earlier into Hinduism and the other religions of India. The women’s-only features of each of these religious groups share many parallel and sometimes identical features in their internal and external spiritual practices and expression in the form of meditation, contemplation, prayer, fasting and purification procedures, ceremonial rituals, etc.
According to the Vedic calendar of annual daily spiritual observance, the astronomical day that this year falls on July 26 (tomorrow, Wednesday), has a number of features particular to traditional women’s practice. Among other features, this involves traditional household puja ceremonies (thanksgiving offerings) performed by the women of an extended family and also special women guests, prayers chanted and offered for the benefits listed above, and other observances.
Here are some images of some of the ceremonial/devotional aspects of this day as observed in previous years by some Indian women. Enjoy.