WAWCAS NEWS: Festival of Bala Chaturdasi; An opportunity to do more business

Parbati BK, Dilli Kumari Adhikari, Sumitra Khadka and Ganga Maya BK talked about and decided to open a shop during the festival of Bala Chaturdashi at Pasupatinath. They saw it as a great opportunity to earn more money because so many people would come to celebrate the festival, and they did not want to miss the opportunity.

FAstival2This year Balachaturdashi was on November 21, 2014. On this day, at 1 am in the morning, Parbati, Dilli, Sumitra and Ganga went to Pasupatinath with their stuff. Parbati with all different varieties of fruit and peanuts, Dilli and Sunita with small tea items, Ganga with chest guards and belts. They were back at 2 pm on the same day with smiling cheerful faces and good energy. Parbati invested 17,000 rupees that day to buy fruit and peanuts, and she came back with 24,000 rupees and some remaining fruit and peanuts. Dilli and Sunita invested 4,500 rupees and earned 6,500 rupees. Similarly with Ganga Maya, who invested 4,000 rupees and earned 6,000 rupees that day.

It is a big step these women took to move their business from their local area for one day because they could see good business in being around Pasupatinath. And they both observed and celebrated the Bala Chaturdasi while selling their stuff. So they did not feel they could not celebrate Bala Chaturdasi. business

People from various places of Nepal and Hindus from other South Asian countries gather at Pashupatinath temple. Pashupatinath is the most sacred temple of Lord Shiva, situated at the banks of the holy Bagmati River in Kathmandu.

How we celebrate Bala Chataurdashi

We light traditional oil lamps (diyo) and recite mantras. We keep ourselves awake all night to ensure that the lamps keep burning. We chant mantras, sing Bhajans and dance through the night honoring Lord Shiva. The next day at daybreak we go to the holy Baghmati River for ritual bathing. Baghmati is considered to be the most holy river for all Nepali. Taking a dip three times into Baghmati River is considered a path to purification.

After bathing in the Baghmati River pilgrims visit and worship almost all of the temples and idols in and around Pashupatinath. The devotees pass, dropping the satbij, a mixture of seven sacred seeds – in these temples. All walk along the same path followed for many years. It passes through Kailash forest, then returns back to the Pashupatinath temple.

Seeds are dropped in remembrance of the beloved dead. It is believed that by performing Bala Chaturdashi rituals we can secure a better place in Heaven for dead relatives. It is also believed that this helps settle the restless souls of departed ones who were not properly burnt. It is believed that, when thousands of people pray for the same consideration, it will be fulfilled.


This story was written by Sangeeta Shrestha based on discussions she had with LPL’s Chandika and Binita on 28th of November 2014.