Bakar Eid (Eid al-Adha) | Nirjala Ekadashi Vrata (Smarta) | World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / चाडपर्व तथा दिन विशेष लेखहरू

Bakar Eid (Eid al-Adha) | Nirjala Ekadashi Vrata (Smarta) | World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Bakra- Eid, a national holiday in Nepal

“Eid Mubarak"
 (عيد مبارك)

The festival is observed on the 70th day of Eid-ul-Fitr or Ramadan and today under many names, 'Eid U Zoha' or 'Il Ud Adha'. According to the Islamic calendar 'Hijri Samvat', this festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the new month 'Jul Hijja'.

What happens today?
Muslim communities across the globe are observing this divine day with utmost dedication. In the Islamic community, on this day, everyone gets up in the morning, takes a bath, cleanses themselves, goes to open spaces or mosques to offer prayers, and embraces and exchanges good wishes. There is a tradition of sacrificing goats, bullocks, and buffaloes after returning home from prayers. The meat of the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts, one part for oneself, and another part for one's close friend, and the last third for the poor and helpless.

Muslim scriptures
According to the Muslim Scriptures, about four thousand years ago today, Hazrat Ibrahim saw his God asking him to scarify his most beloved object in a dream. With a pure dedication in his heart, he now decides to sacrifice his most beloved son for the god. The next day, in reality, he sacrifices his son but later his son was saved by the grace of God. The dream was to examine his level of dedication. Bakhrid is commemorated to redefine the real meaning of scarifying, the purpose of the sacrifice is to awaken the feeling that life and death are all for God.

 It is considered necessary for every Muslim to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia once in a lifetime, for which there is a fixed time. The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca from today is also the day of the formal conclusion of this year's pilgrimage.

 On this day, people's attention is also drawn to the collective need and each person is determined to fulfill it according to his/her status. It is better to return home by another route than the one from which Idgah came. The purpose of doing so is to ensure that no part of the settlement is emptied of the bustle of the people and the praise of Allah.

This festival is celebrated for three days and in this way, the Muslims who are not allowed to perform Qurbani send money to their village and other places of proximity. Baker's Eid should be stopped only by associating it with Kurbani, meaning taking life, but also respecting the value of life. Today's festival is a festival of harmony and good wishes. Happy Eid-ul-Zoha to all Muslim brothers and sisters!

Nirjala Ekadashi Vrata smartha

What is Smarta and Vaishnava Dhar?
Smarta means householders who worship Hari, Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha and Surya, they do not attach much importance to the rising tithi. All householders who celebrate Janmashtami, Ramnavami, Ekadashi in conjunction with the previous tithi are called Smartas.

Those who believe only in Vasudeva, Shri Krishna or Lord Vishnu are called Vaishnavas and all ascetics and sanyasis who hold a Guru also come under the category of Vaishnavas.

In the Vaishnava sect, Udaya Tithi has great importance as Ekadashi is celebrated along with Dwadashi.

Meaning of Smarta Ekadashi
When Ekadashi is reflected at the time of local sunrise, it is called Smarta Ekadashi. Vaishnava or Bhagavata Ekadashi occurs when the dashami tithi of any aspect ends on the day of Arunodaya i.e. when the day of Ekadashi ends two hours before sunrise.

That is, Smart Ekadashi ends 96 minutes before sunrise on Ekadashi day. Generally, Vaishnava Ekadashi falls on the day after Smarta Ekadashi.

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो में भक्त्या प्रयच्छति। तदहं भक्त्युपह्रतमश्रामि प्रयतात्मनस्।।

Lord Krishna himself from the verses of Bhaggwat Geeta, hereby commences a divine start to today's write-up.

That is to say, I readily accept the fruits, flowers, water, etc., which are devotionally offered with a selfless spirit. In the name of Lord Krishna, we would like to sing the praises of this year's Nirjala Ekadashi, Nirjala i.e. Ekadashi without water, Ekadashi is observed with devotion by fasting without water. Since water is not consumed, there is no question of food or fruits, it is customary for the extremely hungry and pious mind to transmit positive energy and power to the mind and every organ of the body on this Ekadashi. This Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Ekadashi and Bhima Ekadashi.

Vrat Katha of Nirjala Ekadashi
It was customary for five Pandavas and Draupadi to fast on each Ekadashi, but Bhima, who was very fond of food and could not compromise on food, could never break his addiction to food during the fast. Bhima was worried about this and went and told Guru Vyas about this problem. And when Guru Vyas hears Bhima's words, he tells Bhima to fast on Nirjala Ekadashi to get the blessings of the entire 52 Ekadashis at once. Thus this Ekadashi is ritually observed by Bhima, hence this Ekadashi is also called Bhim Ekadashi and Pandava Ekadashi. After the fast of this waterless Ekadashi as Jeshta Shukla Ekadashi, it is customary to get up in the morning on the day of Dwadashi, to be pure and to take food only by giving alms.

What to do ?
Kirtan and hymns of Lord Bishnu have special significance in this Ekadashi. It is customary to donate earthenware pots, hand-made fans made of bamboo, etc. It is customary to perform Sandhya Vandanam one day before Nirjala Ekadashi, devotees keep the holy water pot (Achamuni) in their palm and perform this Sandhya bandana.

Leaving the context of the Mahabharata, Bhima observes this Ekadashi fast with all his food cravings in mind, but the next morning Bhima is found semi-conscious due to hunger and thirst. Then Bhima is raised by giving holy water to Ganga and Tulsipat. This Ekadashi is also the Ekadashi that achieves victory over attachments and desire. May this year's Nirjala Ekadashi be for the welfare of all.

This Ekadashi is specific because the Tulsai seeds are grounded this day, may the sprout behold life, disseminate hope, and prevailing love.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Rising from drought together
Droughts are among the greatest threats to sustainable development, especially in developing countries, but increasingly so in developed nations too. Forecasts estimate that by 2050 droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population.The number and duration of droughts have increased by 29 percent since 2000, as compared to the two previous decades (WMO 2021). When more than 2.3 billion people already face water stress, this is a huge problem. More and more of us will be living in areas with extreme water shortages, including an estimated one in four children by 2040 (UNICEF). No country is immune to drought (UN-Water 2021).

Theme 2024
“United for Land: Our Legacy. Our Future.”
The theme chosen for this year's Desertification and Drought Day — “United for Land: Our Legacy. Our Future.” — seeks to mobilize all parts of society in support of sustainable land stewardship.

What is desertification?
Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world's land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing, and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.

No country is immune to drought (UN-Water 2021).

Importance of this day
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17 June each year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

The day offers a chance to recognize that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement, and cooperation at all levels.
Best wishes on this day

-Suyog Dhakal

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