Vamana Dwadashi

4 min read
Posted on April 28, 2022

Vamana Dwadashi is celebrated to mark the embodiment of Bhagwan Vishnu’s Vamana Avatar. It is celebrated on the Dwadashi date of Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha. As mentioned in Bhagavad Purana, Vamana is the fifth form of Bhagwan Vishnu out of the ten forms known as dasa-avataras.

Vamana Dwadashi

The festival is celebrated to adulate the Vamana Avatar of Vishnu during Treta Yuga. It is his first incarnation of the Treta yug. The first four Avatars were in the form of an animal namely, Matsya avatar, Kurma avatar, Narsimha avatar and Varaha avatar. The first human avatar is the Vamana avatar.

Vamana was born as the son of Mata Rishi Atithi and sage Kashyap. She was a great follower of Bhagwan Vishnu, and thus, she was blessed that Bhagwan Vishnu will be born out of her womb in the Shukla Paksha of the Dwadashi date in the month of Bhadrapada, during Abhijeet muhurat, when Shravan Nakshatra would be in trend. The festival holds a special meaning and importance for Hindus, especially Vaishnavas. Bhagwan Vishnu appeared in the form of dwarf Brahmin as Vamana Avatar. In south India, Vamana Avatar is also known as Upendra Dev. Vamana dev is the twelfth among Adityas and considered to be the younger brother of shri Indra Dev. As mentioned in Ramayana, Vamana grew to be the gatekeeper of Asur Bali. In RamcharitManas also, the description of Vamana Avatar is mentioned by Tulsidasji.

ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE:

According to Shrimad Bhagvat Purana, Vishnu Bhagwan took the Vamana Avatar to help Indradev restore his authority in all three loks. An asur named Mahabali, was born in the lineage of Prahlad, the great Vishnu devotee, and despite being an asur, he was kind and pious. He was declared the emperor and loved by his people. On the advice of the asura guru, Shukracharya, Mahabali decided to perform 100 Ashwamedh yagna to bring equality in the lives of devatas and asuras. This terrified Indradev, who feared losing his authority. He sought help from Bhagwan Vishnu. In the meanwhile, Vishnu had already taken birth as the son of sage Kashyap and Atithi, in the form of a Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin. He appeared in front of Mahabali and asked for a donation of land of the size of three feets. Mahabali agreed and as soon as he poured water from his kamandal, Shukracharya recognized the Vamana to be an avatar of Vishnu and informed Mahabali. However, Mahabali, a devotee of Vishnu, decided to continue with the donation as he was overwhelmed to gain darshan of Vishnu in this form. Vishnu then took an enormous size and kept one foot covering the entire Earth and the other foot covering the devlok. When he asked where he could keep the third foot, Mahabali offered his head. Vishnu placed his foot on the head of Mahabali who then entered the patal lok. However, due to Mahabali’s pious and genuine devotion and character, he was offered a place in Vaikuntha. This way, Devraj Indra secured his rule and throne.

According to Hindu religion, significance of Vamana Dwadashi increases when it comes in Shravana Nakshatra. It is believed that devotees who observe Vamana Dwadashi get rid of all the distress, hardships and attain forgiveness and freedom from thoughts of revenge. Devotees worship the Murti of Vamana with strict rituals and practises. Bhagwan Vishnu is said to take form of him anytime when he is needed as a preserver of Dharma and protection form evil.

DEITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL:

On the day of Vamana Dwadashi, Shri Vamana is worshipped along with Bhagwan Krishna and Maa Lakshmi.

CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS AND RITUALS:

On this day, Devotees of Bhagwan Vishnu wake up early in the morning and take a sacred bath. They wear new clothes and give arghya to Bhagwan Vishnu. One has to observe a strict fast on the day and also perform a Hawan dedicated to Bhagwan Vishnu by reciting Vishnu mantras. Listening to Vamana katha along with family members is a tradition of the followers of Vaishnavism. Donation of food items, Curd and rice to Brahmins is of utmost importance on this day.

PUJA VIDHI AND PUJA KATHA:

  • One should get up early in the morning on the day of Vamana Jayanti and take a sacred bath.
  • Wear new fresh clothes before starting the Puja.
  • Observe the fast by taking only falahar (fruits, coconut, milk)
  • Clean the puja room and the place where Moola virat of Bhagwan has to be placed, with clean water.
  • One can worship a paper image or a murti made of clay especially for this day.
  • Decorate the murti or image with flowers.
  • Lit lamps and incense sticks.
  • Apply haldi, chandan and kumkum to the murti.
  • Offer naivedyam made of orange and sugar. Alternatively, one can offer fresh fruits.
  • Invite the Brahmins for taking Bhojan prasadi.
  • Place curd, rice, sugar and copper or anything made of it in a vessel and donate it to a Brahmin on the day of Vamana Jayanti. This method is referred to as Panchopchar and Shodashopchar.
  • One should also donate Silver, if possible, along with curd and rice.
  • Chant Bhagwan Hari mantra and recite Shri Vishnu kirtan and Bhajans.
  • Pooja has to be performed by a pandit, near the Murti.
  • Fifty-two peda and fifty-two Dakshina are offered.
  • In the end, the pandit should be given Mala, Gaumukhi mandal, umbrella, asan, lathi, fruit, khadi and Dakshina.

Shri Vamana Gayatri Mantra:

Om thapa roopaya vidhmahae rishi karthaaya dheemahi thanoa vamana prachodayath

Om vikramaaya vidhmahae vishwa roopaya dheemahi thanoa vamana prachodayath

CELEBRATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY:

The festival is mainly observed on the Dwadashi tithi. On this day devotees all over the world worship Vamana Avatar with proper rituals. Iskcon temple celebrates Vaman Jayanti in a grand way all over the world. Bhagwan Krishna is decorated in the Vamana Avatar with a saffron robe holding a rod and kamandal in his hand. The ashram of Shri Vaman is located in Shahabad district of Bihar.

BENEFITS OF CELEBRATING THE FESTIVAL:

Fasting on Vamana Jayanti makes you capable of having an edge over enemies. Most importantly, devotees attain moksha (salvation) by worshipping and fasting on this day. Vamana is worshipped to get strength to fight against all negative powers and evil forces and emerge as a winner. The person gains confidence and shapes his own personality by the wisdom received in blessings.

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