Benefits of homemade primer

Why make your own primer? Face primer helps make your skin the perfect canvas for makeup. Other benefits include:

  • It also fills in pores, lines and wrinkles, which some products often highlight.
  •  A good primer gives you an even skin tone, absorbs any extra oil and ensures your makeup stays looking fresh longer, which is particularly beneficial in the warm summer months.
  •  Helps your makeup stays longer
  • Absorb excess oil

Ghatasthapana

Ghatasthapana is the first day of Vijaya Dashami.
Ghata means “pot or vessel” and sthapana means “to establish”. Combining both words the literal meaning is to establish a pot.
Ghatasthapana is also known as Kalasthapana as Kasal also a type of water vessel.
The Ghatasthapana day falls on the first day after the no-moon day (the bright forthright) of the Ashwin month of Bikrarm Sambat Calendar.
In this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolizing Goddess Durga is placed in the prayer (pooja) room. The pot is either made up of clay or metal. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cow dung (गोबर) on to which seeds is spread to decorate it. The plant which grow big in 10 days is called Jamara.

Sand collected form river bank is spread in the prayer room as a cake around the kalash making it a center. Barley seed along with sesame is planted on the sand surrounding the kalas. Certain favorable moment is determined by the pundits (priest) to start the Ghatasthapana.  Priest chants a welcome mantra, requesting goddess Durga to bless kalash with resting herself for ten days in the prayer room. Food items, abir, kumkum and other colorful powders and flowers  are offered to the Ghata. A lamp with sesame oil is lit. This lamp should be burning all day and night till the tenth day or Vijaya Dashami. The chandi (चण्डी पाठ) mantra is recited for goddess Durga Bhawani in the room of Ghatasthapana for 10 days.

Generally male member (who have already done Bratabandha) reads one chapter of Chandi every morning and evening. They take shower and wear clean white dhoti while going inside the prayer room.

There is a tradition of restricting unmarried women, non-family members and boys before Vratabanda to enter  Ghatasthapana room. Weapons are placed front of Goddess Durga Bhawani and worshipped.  People blow Sankha and play Damaru while worshiping Durga Bhawani and Jamara.

The puja room is cleaned and a Kalash made of clay or copper with large opening is filled with water, sandalwood paste, flowers, Holy grass (duvo (दूबो)), rice mixed with turmeric (akshyata), betel nut, five leaves, five gems or a gold coin. A coconut is placed on top of the Kalash – some people avoid placing the coconut and instead use garland to cover the top. The neck of the Kalash is tied with white and red piece of cloth.

Sorha Shradha

Pitru paksha is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitris), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitri Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha (“sixteen shraddhas”), Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.

Pitri Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. It falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.

According to Hindu mythology, the souls of three preceding generations of one’s ancestor reside in Pitri–loka, a realm between heaven and earth. This realm is governed by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying man from earth to Pitri–lok. When a person of the next generation dies, the first generation shifts to heaven and unites with God, so Shraddha offerings are not given. Thus, only the three generations in Pitri–lok are given Shraddha rites, in which Yama plays a significant role. According to the sacred Hindu epics (Itihas), at the beginning of Pitri Paksha, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Virgo (Kanya). Coinciding with this moment, it is believed that the spirits leave Pitri–loka and reside in their descendants’ homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.

When the legendary donor Karna died in the epic Mahabharata war, his soul transcended to heaven, where he was offered gold and jewels as food. However, Karna needed real food to eat and asked Indra, the lord of heaven, the reason for serving gold as food. Indra told Karna that he had donated gold all his life, but had never donated food to his ancestors in Shraddha. Karna said that since he was unaware of his ancestors, he never donated anything in their memory. To make amends, Karna was permitted to return to earth for a 16–day period, so that he could perform Shraddha and donate food and water in their memory. This period is now known as Pitri Paksha. In some legends, Yama replaces Indra.

The fifteen days of Malaya Paksha consists of 15 Tithi (also called Thithi). They are Pratipat, Dvitiya, Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dvadasi, Trayodasi, Chaturdashi, Amavasya (new moon). According to Hindu mythology, every individual who wants to perform this Pitri Tarpan, they should do it on the same day of their ancestor died which will fall within any one of these fifteen days.

The performance of Shraddha by a son during Pitri Paksha is regarded as a compulsory by Hindus, to ensure that the soul of the ancestor goes to heaven. In this context, the scripture Garuda Purana says, “there is no salvation for a man without a son”. The scriptures preach that a householder should propitiate ancestors (Pitris), along with the gods (devas), ghosts (bhutas) and guests. The scripture Markandeya Purana says that if the ancestors are content with the shraddhas, they will bestow health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha) upon the performer.

The performance of Sarvapitri amavasya rites can also compensate a forgotten or neglected annual shraddha ceremony, which should ideally coincide with the death anniversary of the deceased. According to Sharma, the ceremony is central to the concept of lineages. Shraddha involves oblations to three preceding generations—by reciting their names—as well as to the mythical lineage ancestor (gotra). A person thus gets to know the names of six generations (three preceding generation, his own and two succeeding generations—his sons and grandsons) in his life, reaffirming lineage ties. The shraddha is performed on the specific lunar day during the Pitri Paksha, when the ancestor—usually a parent or paternal grandparent—died. There are exceptions to the lunar day rule; special days are allotted for people who died in a particular manner or had a certain status in life. Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami, the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively, are allocated for people deceased in the past year. Avidhava navami (“Unwidowed ninth”), the ninth lunar day, is for married women who died before their husband. Widowers invite Brahmin women as guests for their wife’s shraddha. The twelfth lunar day is for children and ascetics who had renounced the worldly pleasures. The fourteenth day is known as Ghata chaturdashi or Ghayala chaturdashi, and is reserved for those people killed by arms, in war or suffered a violent death.
Mahalaya marks the formal beginning of the Durga Puja festival

Sarvapitri amavasya (“all fathers’ new moon day”) is intended for all ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died. It is the most important day of the Pitri Paksha. Those who have forgotten to perform shraddha can do so on this day. A shraddha ritual performed on this day is considered as fruitful as one conducted in the holy city of Gaya, which is seen as a special place to perform the rite, and hosts a fair during the Pitri Paksha period. Mahalaya is the day when the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth. Bengali people traditionally wake up early in the morning on Mahalaya to recite hymns from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi) scripture. Offerings to the ancestors are made in homes and at puja mandaps (temporary shrines).[9][10] Matamaha (“Mother’s father”) or Dauhitra (“Daughter’s son”) also marks the first day of the month of Ashvin and beginning of the bright fortnight. It is assigned for the grandson of the deceased maternal grandfather.

The ritual is also held on the death anniversary of the ancestor. The shraddha is performed only at noon, usually on the bank of a river or lake or at one’s own house. Families may also make a pilgrimage to places like Varanasi and Gaya to perform Shraddha.

It is essential that Shraddha is performed by the son—usually the eldest—or male relative of the paternal branch of the family, limited to the preceding three generations. However, on Sarvapitri amavasya or matamaha, the daughter’s son can offer Shraddha for the maternal side of his family if a male heir is absent in his mother’s family. Some castes only perform the shraddha for one generation. Prior to performing the rite, the male should have experienced a sacred thread ceremony. Since the ceremony is considered inauspicious due to its association with death, the royal family of Kutch, the king or heirs of the throne are prohibited from conducting Shraddha.

Indra Jatra Evolution and Interpretation

Indrajatra has evolved from its initial structure to its present form at least at the three stages of historical development and during the periods of different dynasties such as Licchavi, Malla and Shah. The recorded history of Nepal began in the Licchavi period; hence, we assume that the tradition of Indrajatra was set in the initial form at that time.

 

Licchavi Period: Indrajatra comprised 1) display of a life size Indra with his hand outstretched on a wooden platform built specially for that purpose at Maru tole, and other busts of Bhairav in different parts of the old Kathmandu, 2) Dakine Devi going around of the town in search of her son – Indra, 3) Upaku-wonegu – offerings of wick lamps on clay dishes in the names of the deceased people in a year on the streets of the Kathmandu town of that time, 4) Tana-kishi (white elephant) going around in search of his master.
A life size idol of Indra with outstretched arms bound by raw cotton yarn is put up for a public display on a wooden platform at Maru tole. This is the Licchavi tradition that continues even today. A legend has it that Indra came to earth in search of an unique flower called Parijat not available in heaven but it was indispensable for his mother to make offerings to Lord Mahadev (Avaloketeswor for Buddhists) on the third day of the light fortnight in Bhadra – the fifth month in the Bikram calendar.  The flower was not available in heaven because Lord Krishna and his friend called Satyabhama brought it down to earth. As Indra sneaked into a garden, the gardener who happened to be a great Tantric scholar of that time, not only noticed him but even identified him, by the power of his spiritual Tantric wisdom. He immediately spread his spiritual lasso called Taraan, and encircled and bound Indra within his Taraan.  Indra could not move beyond that Taraan.

 

Different people interpret the imprisoned Indra differently. Tantriks interpret imprisoned Indra in their own way. They say that they put the imprisoned Indra to a public display for people to know and follow what Tantriks believe. Binding Indra is only a symbolic. The real meaning of binding Indra is binding one’s own mind as Indra is our mind.  Indra is the king of heaven.  Mind is the king of our body.  Hence, mind is Indra and Indra is mind.
Tantriks say that we can enjoy a normal household life, and at the same time, we can achieve Nirvana too. It is very attractive. Therefore, if we control our mind, concentrate it and perform healthy meditation, and keep our desire, ego and contempt under control, certainly we achieve Nirvana. This is the message of Indra displayed at Maru tole during the festival of Indrajatra.

 

In a simple way, people believe that Indra is a god. Human physical eyes cannot simply see him.  He has not a physical body as humans have. His is a spiritual body only Tantriks can see him by their Tantric vision, and bound him by a Tantra called Taraan – a kind of a spiritual lasso in the Tantric language. Tantriks used such a spiritual lasso to catch many divine spirits such as Mahankal in Kathmandu, Bhairav in Bhaktapur and so on. The outstretched hands of Indra displayed at Maru tole during the Indrajatra festival indicate that Indra has surrendered himself to the Tantrik, and symbolically has conveyed the message that even Indra cannot escape from punishment when someone does something wrong.
When Indra’s mother found that her son did not show up with the flower he was supposed to bring; she herself comes down to earth in search of her son Indra.  She is called Dakine Devi. She goes around the town in search of her son and finds her son caught in the Tantric web. She had tough negotiations with the Tantrik and ultimately succeeded to free her son from the Tantrik’ control.
On this occasion, family members of deceased people in a year follow in her footprints in the hope of going heaven, and finding the souls of their deceased loved ones. All of them reach Indradaha where they take a holy dip in preparation for their journey to heaven. Dakine Devi manages to leave the followers behind.

People of a special caste group in the Newar community carry a Baumata to light the way for Dakine Devi and the mundane followers on their way to heaven. Baumata is made of a long bamboo fixed with a series of clay dishes with wick lamps on them and carried by two men. This is the Licchavi tradition that people follow even today.

Dakine Devi is the mother of Indra for common people but for Tantriks, she is Kundaline power. Human body has eight Chakras. Muladhar chakra is the base chakra from which Kundaline power stimulates. It is the power station of 72,000 nerves, and their systems in a human body. Kundaline may be considered as an earth for laymen. One rises from Kundaline (earth) to navel (cosmos) and then to the head (heaven) gaining knowledge through proper meditation. The people carrying Baumata going to Indradaha nearby Jamacho, and worshipping Indra depict this path of knowledge. Baumata symbolizes knowledge. Thus, the prime meaning of Indrajatra is to take people from earth to cosmos and then to heaven.

 

One most important activity of the Indrajatra is to offer wick lamps on clay dishes in the name of family members died in a year, on the way going around the town of that time. This is called Upaku-wonegu. People observe this tradition even today. Therefore, some people believe that the main purpose of celebrating Indrajatra at the time of Licchavi was to make special offerings to the souls of deceased loved ones before observing a big festival called Dasain.

 

The tradition of Tana-kishi going around in search of his master is also continued even today. There is a place called Kishi-gaa literally means an elephant stall, in the old Kathmandu town. People believe that Indra left his elephant on which he rode down to earth, in this area, and then went around in search of the flower called parijat. People in this area paint a white elephant on a mat, and two men in it, form an elephant, and go around the town dancing under the music of a single bell.  This is Tana-kishi that goes around in search of Indra.
Malla period:  The Malla dynasty added the chariot pulling festival of Living Goddess Kumari and Lakhe (demon) dance to the Indrajatra. By that time, the size of Kathmandu has grown larger. The Malla king called Jaya Prakash set the tradition of pulling the chariots to Living Goddess Kumari, Living God Batuk Bhairav, and Living God Ganesh to both the north and south ends of the Kathmandu town. He also set the tradition of distributing Shamhya-baji – blessings of Goddess Kumari at Jaisidewal on the first day of the chariot-pulling festival, and at Hanumandhoka on the second day.
King Jaya Prakash Malla set the tradition of the chariot-pulling festival called Kumari jatra in honor of Living Goddess Kumari fulfilling his pledge made to the Goddess if he would get back the kingdom. Jaya Prakash was an unlucky king. He lost his throne to his own son. Therefore, he went to Goddess Guheswori, made offerings to her, and pleased her, and obtained Khadga-siddhi – a kind of blessings that empowered him. Goddess Guheswori is another form of Goddess Kumari. So, he regained his lost kingdom and power by the grace of Goddess Kumari. Therefore, he set the tradition of celebrating Kumari jatra in honor of Goddess Kumari. He also set the tradition of receiving a “Tika” at the end of Kumari jatra from the Living Goddess Kumari as a mandate to rule the country. To receive a “Tika” from Goddess Kumari means to obtain power from Her. By tradition Living Goddess Kumari first touches both the shoulders of the “Tika” receiving king with her Khadga – a kind of divine sword. Then, the king takes the footprints of the Living Goddess Kumari, and touches them to his forehead. Thereafter, the Living Goddess Kumari bestows “Tika” on the forehead of the king.
A legend has it that the first Malla king brought with him the Goddess “Taleju” – a Hindu Goddess. The Malla kings used to have direct talks with the Goddess “Taleju”. Due to the misdeed of one of the Malla kings, the Goddess refused to have one-on-one talks with the king. However, several years of penance, the Malla king succeeded to persuade the Goddess to appear in person. The Goddess agreed to appear as the Living Goddess Kumari. So, both “Taleju” and “Kumari” is the same Goddess, only a different name for a different faith.

 

A demon called “Lakhe” not finding his patron Goddess “Taleju” simply followed in the footprints of the Malla king and ended up at the Hanumandhoka where the Malla king enshrined “Taleju”. Thus, the Lahke dance simply depicts how the demon went in the search of Goddess Taleju.
The real meaning of Kumari worship is to empower us invoking Goddess Kumari.  Our body is also a divine. There is nodivine like a human body. Our body has different Piths from where Tantriks generate power. Gods reside in our body. Our body is our own powerhouse. The human body is made of five basic elements called Pancha-Mahabhut. We energize them through worshipping a human body in the Living Goddess Kumari, and then we become empowered from them. This is the meaning of Kumari puja.

 

It is necessary to make offerings to Goddess Kumari at the end of any auspicious offerings made to any deity. If we do not perform offerings to Goddess Kumari, other deities would not accept our offerings, and our offerings to other deities go astray.
The Living Goddess Kumari is the symbol of religious harmony in Nepal. The Living Goddess Kumari herself is from the Shakya clan of the Newar Buddhists. They are responsible for taking care of the Living Goddess Kumari whereas a Hindu Tantric priest called Karmacharya performs daily regular offerings to the Living Goddess Kumari. This has harmonized Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal.

 

Shah period: The four-day Indrajatra has become an eight-day festival since the Shah rule. Gorkha King Prithvi Narayan Shah succeeded to take the power from the unfortunate last Malla King Jaya Prakash Malla but the people did not accept him as their king, and did not permit him to receive the blessing from the Living Goddess Kumari that was mandatory for any ruler. The negotiations went on for four days and at the end of the fourth day, Prithvi Narayan Shah received the “Tika” from the Living Goddess Kumari and became the legitimate king.

 

The Shah dynasty added another piece of its own to the Indrajatra making the present comprehensive form of the Indrajatra that we observe every year for eight days. This last addition has been the tradition of hoisting a flag called Indra dhoj on a tall wooden pole on the first day of the Indrajatra, and leaves it fluttering for eight days until the festival ends. The popular belief is that flying an Indra’s flag once a year will stop all evil spirits entering the kingdom, and any external power from taking over the kingdom.

 

Tantriks developed a special method of selecting a tree for a pole to be used for flying the Indra’s flag. On the first day of the Indrajatra, people of a special Newar clan in Kathmandu pull up the pole with an Indradhoj on it, and let it flutter for a week.  Indradhoj is for saving and protecting the people and the country from the assaults of other kings. If a pole with such a flag stands, nothing could harm the ruler and the people; this is what our people and rulers believed in.

Indra Jatra

Indra is Lord of Rain and the king of Heaven. Jatra is procession. Indra Jatra is celebration of God Indra’s Day.  Indra Jatra is festival of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Some believes Indra Jatra is thanking day to lord Indra for the rain. According to others, the festival is celebrated in the honor of Bahirab, who is Shiva’s manifestation and is believed to destroy evil.

Indra Jatra begins every year from the day of the Bhadra Dwadasi to Ashwin Krishna Chaturdasi. It is a eight day long festival. This year it starts from September 08, 2014 and last through September 16, 2014. That is from Bhadra 23 to Bhadra 30, 2071 as per Nepali B.S Calendar. The official calendar day for the festival is on September 08, 2014.
The festival begins with the carnival-like erection of The Linga (Yasingh), a ceremonial pole, accompanied by the rare display of the deity Akash Bhairab, represented by a massive mask spouting Jaad and raksi (Nepali local liquors). Households throughout Kathmandu (especially Newars) display images and sculptures of Indra and Bhairab at this time of year. This thirty-six feet long wooden pole (The Linga (Yasingh)) is chosen with great care from the Nala forest in Kavre district east of Kathmandu.
According to traditional beliefs, Indra had received this flag from Lord Vishnu for protection.
Finally, the Kumari (living goddess), leaves the seclusion of her temple in a palanquin and leads a procession through the streets of Kathmandu to thank Indra the rain god. The main attraction of the festival is the procession of chariots and masked dancers representing deities and demons. Indra is called Yanya in Newari. Jaad (Nepali local liquor) flows from the Bahirab statue, which is remarkable to look at in Hanuman Dhoka.
The procession consists of:

•    Majipa Lakhey
•    Pulukishi
•    Sawan Bhaku
•    Ganesh (Chariot)
•    Kumar (Chariot)
•    Kumari (Chariot)

Besides these, there are various dances held on the open stages of the city called dabu. There is display of Swet Bhairava as well as various deities of the city.

DIY Shaggy Heart Pillow

Want some adorable room decor that is not too hard to make? I could not believe how easy this pillow was to do, since it looks so amazingly cute. The fabric roses are actually created by a glue gun, and you can use any fabric scraps you might have to make your DIY roses. Not just for pillows, this technique is also an awesome idea for making DIY wall art. You could make a heart or a letter, pretty much anything you want if you let creativity take over. This this fun DIY decor project this weekend to have some super cute heart pillows to show off just in time for Valentine’s Day. I think it is one of the best cheap crafts to decorate a teen girls room with!

Materials needed

  1. Pillow case
  2. Felt material
  3. Fabric glue

 

Procedure

  1. first take the pillow case and wrap it around the pillow fold the two end of the fabric and tug it inside or you can stich the left overs
  2. Take the felt material and cut spirals from those material
  3. Now take the spirals and rap it around forming flowers once you are done glue the ends to prevent unwrapping.
  4. From the same felt material cut out heart shape and glue the flowers in the heart.
  5. Lastly apply those in your pillow by applying fabric glue.

 

Rishi Panchami

The festival of Rishi Panchami is related with the worship of the Sapta Rishi (seven powerful saints in Hindu religion). It is a Vrat observed by females on the fifth day of the waxing moon fortnight of the Bhadrapada month . It falls on the third day of the Haritalika Teej. This is observed by married as well as unmarried women and girls who have reached their menstruation period.

The menstruation period is believed to be impure and women and girls are not allowed to cook, touch or participate in any religious practices or come in contact with any family members, especially males, during their periods. This fast in taken in order to seek forgiveness from the saints for any mistakes committed during the menstruation period. The main feature of the day is the ritual bath.

On this day, women wake up early before the sunrises and take the ritual bath with particular types of mud, mud from the elephant’s foot, from the Tulasi root and from the Amala root. They brush their teeth with Datiwan stem (herbal plant) and offer the leaves from the same plant during the worship. They make the images of the seven saints using the cow dung and worship it. The seven saints or the Sapta Rishi are Vashishta, Kasyapa, Atri, Bharadvaja, Vishwamitra, Gautama and Jamadagni. It was believed that the spirits of these sages inhabited the constellation Ursa Major, the seven brightest stars of the north .

As the legend goes, there was a king called Sitasale who asked Brahma to advise him about a fast that can free one from all the sins of past lives.

Brahma narrated him a story of Brahmana called Uttank whose daughter was widowed a few months after her marriage, was badly bitten by worms and experienced other great sufferings. Brahmanas meditated in order to discover the cause of the daughter’s sufferings. They came to know that the daughter had made offences in her previous life by entering the kitchen on the day of menstruation. After realizing this, the daughter observed the Rishi Panchami Vrat and purified herself.The fast is strictly observed in this day. Most of the women used to eat fruit or root vegetables only, however, nowadays, they eat rice and curry after the worship is completed. This is one of the very strict and tuff fasts. Many women these days do not take the menstruation taboo seriously which is a reason for Rishi Panchami Vrat being unpopular these days. Whatever be the case, Rishi Panchami is still strictly followed in the rural and town areas of Nepal. This fast is observed by women to seek forgiveness for the mistakes committed during their menstruation period.