Ashadha Ekadashi and Chaturmasa (Shayani Ekadashi)

To a devout Hindu's Ekadashi is almost synonymous with Upavasa or fasting. According to scriptures upavasa removes sins and uplifts spiritually. The Sanskrit term for fasting Upavasa is derived from two words upa and vasa. Upa means near and vasa means to dwell or associate, which means upavasa is an act where the devotee dwells near the God.

Sri Vitthal
Sri Vitthal
Ashadha ekadashi is one of the most famous and auspicious vrata among all twenty four ekadashis observed throughout the year. On this day a sacred four month long vrata known as Chaturmasa Vrata begins. Various vows are taken by the devotees on this day to observe various vrata's during the four month period.

Ekadashi occurs every fortnight on the eleventh day. Thus there are twenty four ekadashi's a year. Observing upavasa on all these twenty four ekadashi's is a requisite duty of every Vaishnava or devotee of Lord Sri Vishnu. Millions of devotees around the world today follow this custom very strictly. But many who do not observe this all year around, follow at-least two ekadashi's with great devotion. These are Ashadha Ekadashi (occurring in the month Ashadha masa) and Kartika Ekadashi (occurring in the month Kartika masa).

Akshaya Tritiya – May 2nd 2014

Third tithi of Vaishakha month of Hindu Calender is celebrated as Akshaya Tritiya. This is one of the most important festivals of India celebrated since ancient times. The Sanskrit word Akshaya means undecaying, imperishable or inexhaustible. Akshaya also means eternal. Any auspicious and virtuous deeds performed on this day results in inexhaustible merits.

स्नात्वा हुत्वा च दत्त्वा च जप्त्वानन्तफलं लभेत् ।। (महाभारत)
snātvā hutvā cha datvā cha japtvā ananta phalaṃ labhet || (Mahābhārata)

Above verse declares - snāna (holy bathing), homa (yajna or sacrifices), dāna (charity) and japa (chanting of mantra's) done on Akshaya Tritiya yield in immeasurable merits. Punya gained by performing such pious and sacred deeds is everlasting and limitless.

Dāna given to Brāhmana's on this day however small in size and measure is considered as akshaya (undecaying) and rewards in to akshaya punya. Every religious and spiritual karma performed on this day benefits the performer by awarding him with limitless blessings, thus this day is named as Akshaya.

Jaya nama Samvatsara Phalam

Sri Ganeshaya Namaha

Jaya Samvatsara is 28th samvatsara among the cycle of 60 Samvatsara's. Occurrence of Samvatsara or new year is celebrated as Yugadi on first tithi of lunar month Chaitra. This year Yugadi is on 31st of March, Monday. The Shalivahana Shaka year is 1936. Vikrama Shaka currently going on is 2070. Kaliyuga passed so far is 5115 years and 4,26,885 years are remaining.

Jaya Samvatsara Phalam
People will acquire prosperity and happiness this year. Good rainfall will yield bountiful crops and great production of food grains. Masses will perform religious ceremonies more and will act according to Dharma. Everybody will enjoy festivities and celebrations. Auspicious ceremonies such as marriages and Yajna's will increase.  

Samvatsara or Varsha Adhipati's for Jaya nama samvatsara are as follows -
Navagraha divinities who rule over various aspects of a year are called as Aadhipati's. These graha's act as lords governing the domain of each samvatsara by controlling various affairs.

Jaya Samvatsara - Yugadi - Shalivahana Shaka 1936

Hindu year is called as Samvatsara. In South India and some other parts of India, Samvatsara begins on first day of the lunar month Chaitra (chaitra masa). This day is called as Yugadi or Chandraman Yugadi (lunar new year). This usually occurs in the months March or April. Hindu calender or Panchanga starts from Yugadi. Samvatsara has 12 masa's or lunar monts and is also called as a Shaka Varsha (Shaka Year). The current Shaka year is 1936. This Shaka ear was started by the famous king Shalivahana in 78 AD. Hence forth the Shaka is always refereed as Shalivahana Shaka.

Ugadi is one of the most holy and auspicious days of the year. Accrording Hindu scriptures  Lord Chaturmukha Brahma created the world on this day, hence the name Ugadi (uga + adi, first day of the yuga or creation). Lord Brahma is praised and worshiped on this day to seek his blessings for a prosperous new year.