Friday, December 17, 2010


KANPUR - Muharram happens to be the first month of the Islamic calendar and considered auspicious for the Muslims all over the world. The Muharram is observed to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussain ibn Ali (Hazrat Imam Hussain), the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, by armies of the caliph Yazid. The Iman died in the battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram in 680 AD. The history of Muharram dates back to the pre-historic times, the era of warring tribes, in the Arabian peninsula. The history of Muharram is remembered on the day of observance of the mourning. The Shias appropriated the event with religious significance. The 10-day rituals observance commences on the first day of Muharram and ends on the tenth day. People wear black as a mark of mourning. They keep any form of entertainment at bay and they also observe fasts.

On the first nine days of Muharram, ‘majalis’ or assemblies are held where orators of the Shia community depict the sorrowful incident of the martyrdom of Hussain. Muslims parade on the streets wearing black, holding banners of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain. Tradition holds that the revered imam was decapitated and his body mutilated.

Ceremonies begin with devotees drenched in blood after ritually slicing their scalps and flaying themselves with chains attached to sticks, symbolically showing their guilt and remorse for not defending Hussein.

Tradition holds that the revered Imam Hussein was decapitated and his body mutilated. Mourners show their guilt and remorse at not defending Hussein by cutting their scalps and flaying themselves with chains during processions. According to the influence of different modes of nature, some practitioners study religious Scriptures to be free from material sense gratification but others to increase material development. Some devotees do sacrifices to bring down material blessings on one's material household, others perform rituals and chant mantras to purify the spirit soul, whereas others take vows for pious purposes or as a way of penance. By increasing the mode of goodness, one can understand and practice religious principles which awake transcendental knowledge.

Śrī Krishna explains to Uddhava that devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the most excellent method of spiritual practice. The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: “Some say that people will be happy by performing pious religious activities. Others say that happiness is attained through fame, sense gratification, truthfulness, self-control, peace, self-interest, political influence, opulence, renunciation, consumption, sacrifice, penance, charity, vows, regulated duties or strict disciplinary regulation. Each process has its proponents.” ... Each viewpoint has proponents and Scriptures. Others say that law, order and morality are the highest good, whereas still others propose political influence as the real self-interest of human beings. Some state that one should give away one's material possessions to the needy; others state that one should try to enjoy this life as far as possible; and others recommend daily rituals, disciplinary vows, penances, and so on.

Purports to the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Canto 11: “General History”
Chapter 14: “Lord Krishna Explains the Yoga System to Śrī Uddhava” - Verse 10.
By the humble servants of HDG A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
New Gokula - State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, March, 1982.
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase -

No comments: