Shukla Paksha 1st to 15th Tithis - Significance in Spirituality

Shukla Paksha Fast Tithi (Pratipada)

      In the creation of the universe, when Brahma became angry, Agni in full luminosity and energy, was created. At that time Agni requested the creator to fix a day, when he (Agni) should be worshipped.

      Brahma said, "Oh Agni, you have appeared first of all among all gods and goddesses on the Pratipada day, so you will be worshipped first of all on this day of your worship. Anyone, who worships you in reverence to the creator (Prajapati), will receive your blessings.

Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Tithis
Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Tithis

      All those, who perform your Havan (fire sacrifice), whether Gods, Yaksha, Kinner or others, will be happy. One, who undertakes fast on this day, will remain in Swarga (Heaven) for 26 lives, and when born on earth, he shall be a mighty, peaceful and happy king." Hearing this Agni remained quiet and by permission of Brahma, went to his abode, Agni Loka.

Shukla Paksha Second Tithi (Ditiya)

      Ditiya is in honour of Ashwini Kumar's. Brahma created fourteen sons out of his tissues; Marichi was the eldest. His son was the most luminous Kashyap. Being the father of the Gods, he is recognized as the superior most among Prajapatis. Twelve forms of Narayan (Vishnu) as Adityas are said to be his sons. Among them Martand is the chief and the most brilliant. The architect in Gods Vishwakarma, married his daughter Sangeya to Martand (Surya: Sun). She gave birth to Yama (God of death) and Yami (Yamuna). Sangeya could not tolerate the energetic hot rays of the Sun, so she left him and went to her parents, leaving her shadow behind. On the advice of her father, Sangeya, in the guise of a mare, was sent into the forest. From that shadow of Sangeya, Surya got one son Shani and one daughter Tapati. The shadow wife loved her children and ill-treated Yama and Yami. Once Yama, being desperate, insulted his shadow mother. On that, she cursed him that he (Yama) would become the king of ghosts. To neutralize the ill effects of the curse, Surya said that even in that form, he would be the judge of the attributes of the people and will be recognized in the heavens as a Lokpal (protector of the public).

      By this incident, Sun god (Martand) understood the reality and in search of Sangeya, he went to her father's house. From there, he was directed to Kurukshetra and there recognized Sangeya as a mare. Their union resulted in the creation of Ashwini Kumar's, who in reverence to Surya, offered their services, as physicians of the Gods.

      Martand (Surya) advised them to worship the god of gods Narayan (Vishnu). By severe austerities with Brahmapara hymn, they secured a boon for being deities, taking Soma Ras (divine juice), specialization in medicine and remedies and to be worshipped as Gods. Brahma appeared and awarded the cherished boon.

      After narrating the legend on the creation of Ashwini Kumar's, Brahma said that those who keep a fast on second day (Ditiya); offer flowers and observe it for one year, gain the attributes of Ashwini Kumar's.

Shukla Paksha Third Tithi (Tritiya)

      Third day is in reverence to Gauri or assumption of the body. From Prajapati Brahma, were created may forms of Rudra. Bidding Rudra to create the universe, Brahma entrusted him with Gauri, but Rudra was not interested in creation of the universe. So Brahma absorbing Gauri in himself, asked Rudra to obtain power (Shakti) for creation by worship. In obedience, Rudra merged into the waters and commenced austerities.

      After creation of Rudra, a desire arose in the mind of Brahma to create the universe himself. Thus his seven Psyche (mind) sons were created, one of whom was Daksha and the progeny continued. All gods, eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas and fifty-nine Maruts were created. Gauri, (merged in Brahma) also took birth as a daughter of Daksha and was named Dakshayani.

      With the increase in the family of Daksha, his happiness increased and he arranged a yajna (fire sacrifice). All saints Marichi, Atri, Vasista, Pulsateye and all gods were present.

      On the other hand, Rudra after 10,000 years of austerities came out of the waters, with full enlightenment and luminous body. He was fully contented and happy. Then he heard the noise, hustle and bustle of Daksha yajna. He thought that Brahma had asked him (Rudra) to create the world, but then who had created all that. His anguish, then, knows no bounds. He started roaring and shouting thunderously; by virtue of which three rays of fire appeared and created numerous goblins, ghosts, minstrels, demons, lamias and bards. Arranging them in a military array, Rudra (Shiva) started on a march to Daksha Yajna. All obstacles and illusionary bodies, on the way were destroyed. The terrible invasion of Shiva destroyed the gods with the rays from his eyes and with his teeth. Then Vishnu god arrived and encouraged all gods to fight Rudra. This famous battle was between Pashupati (Shiva) and Narayan (Vishnu) and their armies. The whole of the army of the gods, making horrified noise, fled away. This prolonged terrible war would have continued, if Brahma had not requested both the Gods to stop war and cool down their armies.

      Both agreed and stopped the war. Brahma was pleased and said that they would be revered as Hari and Har (Vishnu and Shiva) respectively. He also gave a boon for the successful completion of Yajna by Daksha. He advised the gods that Rudra should have been invited to the yajna. All gods, then propitiated Shiva, who, out of his benevolence, restored all the disasters done. Brahma said to Rudra that he (Rudra) would be reputed as Pashupati in the world. Further he bade Daksha to marry Gauri to Rudra. Daksha married Gauri to Rudra, who went back to his abode Kailash mountain, with his attendants and Gauri (This version of Shiva's marriage is slightly different than the one popularly described elsewhere, where Sati and then later Uma (Parvati-Gauri) appeared and was married to Shiva).

      All this happened on Tritiya (third day); so all those couples, who undertake a fast on this day; will never face separation from each other. All married women should observe fast on this day and worship Shiva and Parvati.

Shukla Paksha Fourth Tithi (Chaturthi)

      This fourth day fast is in reverence to Ganesha. In ancient past, all those saintly people were successful in their devotion, but in due course, obstacles came to pass their ways and evil pervaded. The ancestors, gods, relatives and well-wishers were distressed. They all went to Rudra and wanted to know the reason for that state of affairs. "We wish justice from you. Kindly stop this increasing evil (tamogun) in the world." Then from Rudra's mouth, a brilliant lustrous beautiful image emerged. Extremely powerful like Shiva, that Vinayaka (Ganesha) surprised all. Even Gauri kept on starting at that creation. Shiva did not like the staring surprised glances, so a stream of water flushed out and many Vinayakas appeared, who were all alike and like the one originally produced. Impressed by this miraculous appearance, gods and saints believed that they would get protection from that creation, but they could not understand as to who was the chief among them. Then Brahma appeared, appeased Shiva and said, "Kindly award the chieftain to the one produced from your mouth and all others be known as his attendants (Ganas) and all of them combined; should remove the obstacles. You may then give a form to this illusion and
adopt your name as Vyomesh." Brahma addressing the gods said, "All of you may give your divine arms to Vinayaka (Ganesha)" Gods did as advised and all went to their abodes, contented and satisfied.

      Since then Ganesha is known as Vighna Vinashak (destroyer of obstacles), Bhav Putra (Divine son), Gajanan, etc. Shiva and other gods coronated him with water from all sacred pilgrimages. Then all of them worshipped that Vighna Hara (remover of obstacles) Gana Nayak (chief of the attendants), Gaj Badan (elephant bodied) Vinayaka. Then he became Parvati Nandan (son of Parvati). All this was completed on the fourth (Chaturthi). A fast on this day with oblations of sesames, awards one the safety against all obstacles.

Shukla Paksha Fifth Tithi (Panchami)

     Panchami day pertains to Nagas, used as ornaments by Shiva and are narrated to Varaha, incarnation by Prithvi (Earth). The snakes created by Brahma were of many kinds: Anant, Vasuki, Kakrotak, Padam, Mahapadam, Kambal, Shankh, Kulik, Pap, Rajil, etc. They were all destroyers through look and bite, all evil spirited. Many people died on their account everyday. Distressed by all this, all guards went to Brahma. Brahma consoled them and sent them back. Then Brahma called the snakes and said, "You are destroying the human beings created by me, therefore you will meet your destruction through your mother in future."

      Horrified snakes said, "Our Lord, You have yourself given us such behaviour, so why are you angry now? Be kind enough to allow us our abode and our duties." Brahma replied, "You can live in the three worlds below the earth, the Patal being the lowest. In due course you will take birth from daughter of Daksha in the family of Saint Kashyap. On account of the curse of Kudru, your progenitor and because of your burning in the yajna by Janma Jeye, you are destructible. However those, out of you, who are not devilish, will live peacefully. So if you wish your welfare, then do not bite a good man, and be always afraid of a person, who recites Garud Mantra."

     Hearing this, all snakes went into Patal (nethermost world). All this happened on Shukla Paksha Panchami (fifth day). So this day without consuming any sour edibles and feeding snakes with milk, is very charitable. The Nagas (Snakes) become friendly to those, who worship Nagas on this day.

Shukla Paksha Sixth Tithi (Shashthi)

      Shashthi is in reverence in Kartikeya, the combination of vanity (egotism) and greatness (significance). Vishnu and Shiva are most superior and Uma is imperceptible goddess. By a union of Shiva and Uma, was produced vanity and greatness, called Kartikeya. There was a necessity of such a birth, due to constant was between gods and demons. Demons were proving stronger. They had Hiranyakashipu, Hiranyakash, Viprcirti, Bhimaksh, Kraunc and others, who were very brave and able commanders, but the gods had only one protector and commander Indra.

      Brihaspati, the priest of gods, did not relish such a state, so he advised the gods to arrange for an able and capable commander. They all went to Brahma an afterwards to Shiva. They all propitiated Shiva and prayed that they wanted a competent commander, to fight the demons (Rakshasas). Shiva asked them to go back and assured them that he would arrange one. Then Shiva inspired Uma and by their union, a very luminous, strong, valourous son appeared. His beauty and strength were extraordinary and he commenced showing his amorous sport from the very childhood. Gods assembled and in their presence, Shiva gave Shakh and Vaisakh as attendants and bade Kartikeya to become the commander of the army of Gods. The gods invoked him as Pavki, Kumar and Kartikeya. Soon after this, Kartikeya developed a huge form. Because of having been nourished by six mothers, he was named Pavki. Brahma consecrated him on Shashthi (Sixth). So anyone, who undertakes a fast on this day and invokes Kartikeya, all his wishes and desires are fulfilled. The house holders remain free from illness and attain long life, by propitiation of Kartikeya on Shashthi day.

Shukla Paksha Seventh Tithi (Saptami)

      Seventh day is in reverence to Surya (Sun), Bhaskar, Prabhakar, Divakar and such named gods with luminosity aand growing attributes. On this very day, the gods distressed by its heat had propitiated Surya and had requested him to lessen its heat. Surya agreed to their request and provided comfort to the world. Therefore this day is most holy and awardee of comfort and glory.

Shukla Paksha Eighth Tithi (Ashtami)

      In ancient past, there was a giant, named Andhaka. By invoking Brahma, he obtained a boon that no body could kill him and that his body would not fall on the ground. After getting this boon, he became so despotic that he started terrorizing even the gods. Humiliated gods gave up their abode on Meru mountain and went to Brahma. Explaining their misfortune, they also described the ego and atrocities of Andhaka. Brahma said, "I have given a boon to that giant, so I cannot slay him. This job can be done by Shiva, so you should go to him. The gods went to Shiva, but before they could explain their lot, Andhaka with his army reached Kailash (the abode of Shiva). He wanted to kill Shiva and then take away Gauri (Parvati). A fierce battle ensued between gods and giants. Instantaneously a demon Neel, disguised as an elephant reached Shiva. Nandi (Shiva's bodyguard bull) smelt the trick and told so to Veer Bhadra, who transformed as a lion killed the elephant Neel. Its dark skin was presented to Shiva, who make a garment of it and gained the title of Gajnandhari.

      In this war, on the information of Narada, Vishnu arrived, but gods started fleeing away. At that time, a fierce battle between Shiva and Andhaka was in progress. Shiva pierced Andhaka by his trident, but every drop of his fallen blood produced as many Andhakas. Shiva lifted the original Andhaka on the top of his trident and Vishnu killed all others by his discus. Shiva in extreme anger burst out a flame from his mouth, which immediately transformed into Yogeshwari Goddess. From Vishnu luminosity, Vaishanavi and from Brahma's brilliance Brahmani, were created. In addition to them, anguish concentrated Maheswari, Komari, Indrani, Peyshuney Laksna and Varahi appeared as mother goddesses. By their very sight, Andhaka lost all senses and he was relieved of all pain and life.

      Those, who remember the mother deities, on this eighth day and invoke them, gain their benevolence and favours.

Shukla Paksha: Ninth Tithi (Navami)

      Navami day pertains to Gayatri goddess and Nanda Devi. They had massacred Vetasur, a very powerful enemy of gods. Vetasur was the son of king Sindhu deep, who in his previous birth was born out of the tissue of Varun and was slaughtered by Indra. He remembered his previous life and wished to get a brave son, be devotion. When he was undergoing austerities, Vetravati river, in the guise of a beautiful damsel came to him and adopted him (Sindhu deep) as a husband. Vetrasur was born out of her. Initially Vetrasur became the ruler of Pragjyotishpur and later conquering all seven regions, he invaded the gods. Indra, Agni, Varun and all other gods fled out of fear and approached Shiva. Shiva with others approached Brahma, who was at that time worshipping Gayatri, on the bank of river Ganges, which had emerged from the feet of Vishnu. Brahma did not pay any heed to the noise and arrival of Shiva and others. At that time a female figure with white garments, eight handed, holding arms in each hand, appeared. She transformed into many, fought with the demon Vetasur and his army, over a long period and massacred them all. Seeing this Shiva and other gods propitiated the goddess. Brahma having finished his worship, allotted an abode on the Himalayas to that goddess. He said that in future, there shall be a demon Mahisasura, "O' Goddess, you may come then and destroy him also."

      Ninth day is devoted to this goddess, the worship of whom awards good luck and merit and in the end salvation. So those, who wish welfare, should observe a fast on this day and take food, only after worship.

Shukla Paksha: Tenth Tithi (Dashami)

      After the first group of creation, Brahma created ten female deities from his ears. They were Purva, Paschimi, Uttara, Daksina, Uddharva, Adhara, Agneya, Netriya, Ishani and Vyevya. For them, Brahma selected Indra, Varuna, Kuber, Yama, Sweyen, Ses Naag, Agni, Nitrti, Sankar and Vayu, as their husbands respectively.

      All this happened on the tenth day; so the devotee, who duly purified, after taking curd recites this legend and the one, who listens to it, always receive favours from these deities.

Shukla Paksha: Eleventh Tithi (Ekadashi)

      Ekadashi day is in relation to Kuber, who was in the form of air (ether) in the beginning. When Brahma created the universe, then a cloud of dust emerged from Kuber's mouth, then this ethereal form was made corporeal and given the name of Kuber. By Brahma's order, Kuber became the treasurer of Gods. Kuber's transformation took place on the eleventh (Ekadashi).

      Those, who undertake a fast on this day, should take fruit only and worship Kuber, get their desires fulfilled and after death attain Swarga (Heaven).

Shukla Paksha: Twelfth Tithi (Dwadashi)

      The primordial god appeared in Vishnu form on this day. Seeing his lotus like umbilicus, Pavan (ether) Brahma, turning into corporeal Vayu, had requested him to hold Conch, discuss, mace and lotus in his four hands, and to have a necklace (Vijantimala) round his neck, and to take Garud as his conveyance. On this very day Lakshmi became his consort.

      Dwadashi day, the ritual is to observe absolute fast, worship Lakshmi and Narayan (Vishnu) and to feed the Brahmins with ghee and honey. Such a fast devoted person, will get liberation, as well as good maintenance in life. Vishnu is a divine creation a Vedant creation; taking him as a natural human being, is a mistake.

Shukla Paksha: Thirteenth Tithi (Trayodashi)

      Trayodashi is a day of Dharma, which originated from southern part of Vishnu. Dharmaraj appeared as fair complexioned, four footed, as three horned bull. His attributes are to engage the people on good works and on righteous path. On account of his brother Moon's evil thought of Brihaspati's wife, distressed by his behaviour, Dharmaraj left for Arney forest. So irreligion and misdeeds engulfed the gods and demons.

      On Trayodashi, Brahma consoled Dharmaraj and re-established him.

      On this day, anyone observing fast and only consuming milk, in worship of Dharmaraj, gets pardoned for all his sins and gains a right to a place in swarga (heaven).

Shukl Paksh: Fourteenth Tithi (Chaturdashi)

      Chaturdashi day is in reverence to god Rudra. On this every day Rudra appeared as a result of Brahma's anguish. On the very birth, he started weeping and Brahma said, "Ma Rud" (do not weep), so he was named Rudra. When Brahma told him to create the progeny, he went under meditation, as already described under First day (Pratipada).

      Anyone, who undertakes a fast on this day and listens to this legend early morning and worships Shiva Sankara, gets freedom from all sins.

Purnima (Fifteenth Day)

      The day of Purnima concerns Soma (moon). Soma, in form of moon, was the son of saint Atrey. 27 daughters of Daksha were his wives, but Chandra only liked Rohini, the most. Other wives did not like this and complained to their father, who advised Chandra, but he did not agree, so Daksha out of anger cursed Chandra (moon) that he would deteriorate gradually till finish. So Chandra suffered and finished on Amavasya day. All medicines and treatment proved of no avail. Excited gods approached Vishnu, who advised them to dump all medicines in the sea and chum the sea. For this churning Vasuki should be the churning rope and Meru Mountain as the central pillar of the churner. Out of this churning, Chandra (moon) appeared with Soma juice (immortal juice). That Chandra (moon), taking it as a manifestation of God, Shiva bore it on his forehead. By Chandra's reappearance and also in the form of Soma, all became happy. All this happened on fifteenth day Purnima (Full Moon). A fast taken on this day, and breaking that with food grain, awards honour, influence, knowledge, wealth, etc.

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