[GHHF] Grama Devata Temples - Distributed Karthik Poornima Items to celebrate by lighting the Diyas in the Villages.

07 Nov 2022 607 Views

David Frawley
"No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as does Hinduism. It believes in ecological responsibility and says like Native Americans that the Earth is our mother. It champions protection of animals, which it considers also have souls, and promotes vegetarianism. It has a strong tradition of non-violence or ahimsa. It believes that God is present in all nature, in all creatures, and in every human being regardless of their faith or lack of it."
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is extremely happy to recognize the need to preserve and protect the traditions and customs  in the villages. We feel that many villagers identify themselves their Gram devatas and pray for their blessings to protect them from possible impeding dangers. This is our effort to revive the sentiments and faith in Gram devatas who once played a significant role in unifying the entire community.
Grama Devatas means village Goddesses/Deities who were installed in the villages to protect the village, to protect the crops, to prevent calamities, to prevent various kinds of ailments and to bless the villagers with health and wealth. As we know that many Grama Devatas are located in a small place in the community or village. Overwhelming majority of Grama Devatas are Goddesses with very few notable experiences. Dharma-Thakkur is a god of fertility and disease in West Bengal. Another example is Kala Bhairava, a fierce form of Lord Shiva is the Gram devata in the rural villages of Maharashtra, where he is referred to as Vairavar. 
Significance of Karthik Deepam
Deepam is light. It is lit every day in many houses in the morning and evening. Symbolically, light evokes Chaitanya (consciousness). It is considered the source of knowledge, remover of darkness, eradicator of ignorance, and germinator of higher ideals. Whenever the knowledge is awakened, the negative Vasanas are slowly eliminated while new seeds (Vasanas) are sown for this and next life. Also, the light always burns upwards implying that one should grow upward better living. Hindus also light the lamp before starting any auspicious event. In fact, Hindus call it Divya Deepam – Divine Lamp.
It is customary to start our daily prayers as well as any major functions by lighting an Oil lamp by chanting this sloka:
Subham Karoti Kalyanam, Arogyam Dhana Sampadah,
Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya,  Deepa Jyotir Namostute.

“I salute the One who lights the lamp that brings auspiciousness; prosperity, good health, abundance of wealth, and the destruction of the intellect’s enemy (These 6 enemies are Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya)’.
Many people in villages will have darshan of Gram devata before they go out of town or go on pilgrimage. They are worshipped on a regular basis and offerings are made in recognition of their role as a protector of the village and also preventor of numerous ailments. The names of the Gram devatas vary from village to village. Examples of these Gramadevatas are Ganganamma, Veeramma, Poleramma, Chenchulakshmi,  Bangaramma, Bangamma, Seetalamma, Nookalamma, Mumba Devi, Gulebi, and others. 
According to Sree Padma (2013), “A Gram devata often is “at home” in the outdoors and usually symbolized iconically in the form of a shapeless rock, a snake hole, or a tree. While she may also be seen in the form of images within more humbly constructed and appointed shrines at the edge of a village, Gram devatas are usually worshipped directly by devotees without any Brahman priestly mediation and therefore without elaborate Sanskrit recitations….The priests and  priestesses of these Gram devata are mostly from non-Brahminic castes and play a major cultic role only at the time of special festivals.” 
Distribution of Puja Kits to Grama Devata Temples
    Global Hindu Heritage Foundations in association with Haindava Bharathi  have decided to distribute about Puja kits to nearby SC/ST colonies to celebrate Karthik Purnima. Ashokji has undertaken this responsibility to distribute Puja kits to these needy villages to celebrate Karthik Purnima by lighting up the Diyas in and around the Temples to invite Sri Mahalakshmi to all the Temples and the houses.    GHHF also participated in the elaborate lighting of the lamps to represent Shiva Linga. It is an impressive visual treat to see the Shiva Linga decorated with lamps. 
People believe that the huge light lit during 5 pm will make people close with Lord Shiva on Kathigai Deepam. Lord Shiva will shed all his blessings during this special time of the year. He is rigidly worshipped during this time. Great care is taken to light the huge fire in this place. People gather around the place and call in the name of Shiva to put an end to all the troubles and bring in peace in every life.
This festival of lights involves lighting lights almost anywhere to put an end to darkness. They want to show lights to the Gods who will be impressed with their worship and continue to look after the followers for ages to come. One must not miss out the grand occasion occurring on the hills. They will feel very close to Lord Shiva and his power if they see the worship and the lit fire.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Ghar Waapasi is going on unimpeded. We appreciate it if you can help in hiring more people who can go to these villages to do Ghar Waapasi. We have employed 20 Pracharaks working at the ground level. More people we hire, more villages can cover to welcome them back and also create Chaitanya (Awareness) among the students and villagers.
1) Sponsor one Bala Samskar Kendra for $1000.00
2) Sponsor one Pracharak: In order to expand our base and hire one Pracharak, it would cost approximately $3000.00 per year. We have five anonymous donors who sponsored Assistants.
DONATIONS
PayPal Method: To donate visit our website: savetemples.org. Click on the Donate button, then press the Purpose category, and select the Ghar Wapasi Donation category.
By Zelle: ghhfusaorg@gmail.com
By Check: Or you can send a check payable to GHHF, . It is tax-deductible.
RUPEES, if you would like to contribute to rupees, please either call or send an email. We will call you back to give you the required information
For more information, call Prakasarao Velagapudi at ; Email: ghhfusaorg@gmail.com

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