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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aja/ Annadaa Ekaadasi in 2008 (August 26th/ August 27th)




Dear Members:



Aja Ekaadasi also known as Annadaa Ekaadasi falls on August 27, 2008 in India.


For those in Gulf Countries, African Continent, European Countries, etc., Smaarta Ekaadasi is on August 26, 2008 while Vaishnava Ekaadasi is to be observed on August 27, 2008.


For those in the US, Sarva Ekaadasi (both Smaartha and Vaishnava traditions) is on August 26, 2008.


For those living in countries to the East of India (including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc.), sarva ekaadasi is on August 27, 2008.


Glory of this Aja Ekaadasi


The glory of this Aja Ekaadasi has been explained in Brahma- Vaivarta Puraanaa in a discussion between King Yudhishtra and Lord Krishna.


Lord Krishna narrates the legend of King Harischandra, who though a great king of the Surya dynasty, fell from fortune (due to a test of dharma kept by Sage Viswamitra), and lived a miserable existence as a keeper of crematorium - separated from his virtous wife and loving son who even died due to circumstances.


One day King Harischandra came across Sage Gautama and thought "Lord Brahma has created Brahmins just to help others" (i.e. they can suggest powerful remedies to help negotiate vagaries of Fate). He payed his obeisances to the great sage and narrated his tale of woe and requested a remedy to come out of his sorry state of affairs.



Sage Gautama recommended observance of this Aja Ekaadasi Fast which is reputed to absolve one of the karmic effects of sinful activities of the past. King Harischandra duly observed the fast and was reunited with his relatives and also got back his Kingship. After his demise from this Earth, he ascended to Higher Spiritual Regions with all his relatives by the power of this fast.


Lord Krishna says that even those who hear of the glory of this fast or read about this with devotion will get merit equivalent to that obtained by Aswamedha sacrifice!


My notes: This is a shuddha ekaadasi, i.e. it is preferable to fast completely if possible (even avoiding water and fruits/ milk), and keep awake throughout the night. Observance of this fast rigorously even without other accompanying rituals like Vishu pooja is very powerful. Just chant the name "Om HrishikEshaaya namah" with devotion throughout the day whenever you have time between your regular activities. This has the potential to remove the troubles that we are facing in this existence due to the effect of our past sins, and help us to enjoy peaceful existence.


May our members observe this fast and become freed from the clutches of negative karma, and enjoy peaceful and prosperous lives in a spiritual way.


Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.
Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gokulashtami/ Sri Jayanthi celebrations in August 2008




Dear Members:


Sri Krishna Janmaashtami also known as Gokulaashtami is one of the most widely celebrated Avatar days in Sanaatanic vedic traditions.


Smaarthas celebrate the Gokulashtami (here Ashtami is the deciding factor for the celebration), while Sri Vaishnavaas celebrate it as Sri Jayanthi where the star Rohini is the deciding factor.


This year Gokulashtami (Krishna Janmaashtami) falls on August 23, 2008 for the whole world except New Zealand and Fiji (These countries should celebrate Janmaashtami on August 24, 2008).


Sri Jayanthi falls on August 25, 2008 for all Eastern longitude countries, while it should be celebrated on August 24, 2008 in USA, Canada, etc.


Lord Krishna's avatar leelas are a live example of a karma yogic path - complete detachment from the results and perfect performance of one's duties as per one's station in life. Remembrance of how he playfully enacted various leelas and in the process decimated demonaic forces in various garbs is sure to inspire us to achieve great things in life. He taught us the efficacy of "effortless perfection". His Bhagavad Geeta is a magnum opus that can be a friend, philosopher, guide, counsellor, all rolled into one - it carries the essence of the whole Upanishadic Wisdom.


The following are some of the charities/ meritorious religious deeds that you can do on that day to get His Grace......


Those who follow religious traditions in the family will perform a sampradaayic pooja to Shri Krishna on the above days as per their traditions. Recital of Gopika Geetam, Gopala Hrudayam, portions of Bhagavad Geeta, etc. will be auspicious on this day.


Those who are initiated into Gopala mantra may recite it number of times today praying for Universal Welfare (for propogation of Dharmic principles and for subjugation of evil forces in various forms).


Do what you can to promote the welfare of cows in your locality (by contributing what little you can to organizations that are involved in providing shelter to aged cows), as this is sure to bring His Grace to you.


Offer respects to children - if possible, try to bring happiness to at least one child in a destitute home.


Try to honour scholars who are involved in propogating the doctrine of Bhagavat Geeta. If possible try to donate copies of the Holy Bhagavad Geeta to some children or aspirants thereby contributing to the spread of the Doctrine.


Try to contribute at least some amount to vedic scholars who are involved in performing various homams/ yagnas throughout the year for the welfare of the Universe (the donation can be to any scholar who in your opinion is performing such acts in your locality, or to any respectable Pandit anywhere in the world).


Try to select one slokha from Bhagavad Geeta and let that verse be your guiding principle in all activities throughout the year (This is putting philosophy in action and is sure to win you His Grace).

You need not worry if you are currently not in an economically sound position to grant liberally to charities or scholars. Lord Krishna was satisfied beyond words on the soulful offering of just "aval" (flattened puffed rice) from His poor friend KusElaa! What you offer does not matter to Him....it only matters whether you are offering it with Devotion. Recital of kusEla Charitra from Srimad Bhaagavatam is sure to bring prosperity to you.


Our paaraayanam group members may listen to audio recitals on Shri Krishna or Naaraayana from our group - listening to hymns is as efficacious as actual recital of the hymns. Especially, the hymn "Naaraayanam Bhaje....." and "Guruvaayurappan Pancharatnam" are very powerful hymns that can be found in our files section.


Sri Krishna Paadaaravindam sadaa smaraamii


Krishnam VandE Jagat Gurum.


Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.


http://www.dakshinastroquery.blogspot.com/


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vara Mahaalakshmi vrattam - August 15, 2008




Varalakshmi Vrattam or "Nonbu" as it is called is a powerful vrattam that can ensure prosperity and overall development in the family. As the name implies, this vrattam bestows "boons" to the devotees.Generally this vrattam is taken only if it is celebrated in the family traditionally; but there is no harm in taking this vrattam voluntarily also. The only condition is that once you have taken it as a vrattam with proper "Lakshmi Face" and "Kalash", you have to celebrate it EVERY YEAR without fail. Even when there is a death in the family in that year, you are supposed to take the "amman face" to some family that celebrates it, place it in their pooja with their permission, offer something as "dakshina" for their conducting the function, and then bring the amman face back to your house. Such is the procedure;so think whether this is feasible before taking this vrattam.But even if you don't take it as a vrattam for life, all can chantLakshmi mantras, beeja mantras, Lakshmi Sahasranaamam, Kanakadhaara Sthothram, Sri Stuthi, Sangraha Lakshmi Hrudayam or other slokhas/ mantras on Goddess Mahalakshmi and get Her Grace. Goddess is Waiting to bestow Her Grace on that day; we just need to ask Her.


We intend to perform Beejaani sahitaa Lakshmi Homam on that day along with recital of other powerful mantras on Her. Members of our Paaraayanam group will be automatic beneficiaries in this homam (with their names, gothra, star, and rashi included in the homa sankalpam). Apart from that, we will also pray for Universal Welfare as is our tradition while conducting homams of this sort.


May Goddess of Fortune smile at us benevolently!



Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Pavitropana Ekaadasi (Putradaa Ekaadasi) - August 12, 2008




Dear Members:



Pavitropana Ekaadasi also known as "Putradaa Ekaadasi" falls on August 12, 2008. As the name of the fast implies, this fast is good for begettign a good son who will be a pride to the whole race. (There is another Putradaa Ekaadasi which falls in Pausha Shukla Ekaadasi which is also good for progenic blessings).. It is to be observed on the same day all around the globe (by both Vaishnavite and Smaarta traditions).




A full fast is recommended; but those who cannot fast completely should at least refrain from consuming legumes and grains (all varieties of beans, and all grains - wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, etc.). You can consume fruits and milk. Honey should also be avoided on ekaadasi day.




The glory of this ekaadasi is explained in Bhavishya Puraanaa in the form of a conversation between Yudhishtra Maharaajaa and Lord Krishna. I am giving a gist of that below.....




At the end of the Dwaapara Yuga there was a king named Mahiijita ruling over the kingdom called Mahishmatipuri (It is not clear whether this is the same Mahishmati which was the kingdom of Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna). Because he had no son after long years of marriage, his kingly pleasures and royal honours seems utter waste to him and he felt very dejected.




One day he told an assembly of his advisers: ‘I have committed no sin in this life, and there is no ill-gotten wealth in my treasury. I have never usurped the offerings to the demigods or brahmanas. When I waged war and conquered kingdoms, I followed the rules and regulations of the military art, and I have protected my subjects as if they were my own children. I punished even my own relatives if they broke the law, and if my enemy was gentle and religious I welcomed him. Oh twice-born souls, although I am a religious and faithful follower of the Vedik standards, still my home is without a son. Kindly tell me the reason for this.’ (My note: See the hints about ethical conduct for a ruler; this is the main purpose of Puraanaas - to hint about ethical conduct in a gentle and interesting manner amidst legends. The puraana clearly implies that if these ethical code is broken, there is justification for being childless or being miserable in other ways in subsequent incarnations. How we wish present day rulers read this and get influenced by these exalted codes of conduct! How much better all our lives will be then - without corruption, without mismanagement, without nepotisim, without undue favouritism, and without harassment from government or political parties to the gentler sections of the society!)




The King's advisers undertook rigorous austerities and travelled to various ashrams of sages for long periods. In the course of time, they came across Lomasha Maharishi - who had longevity extending to long kalpaas . One kalpa is 4, 320, 000,000 years; after each kalpa, one hair in his body will fall down; like that when all his hairs fall down, only then does his longevity expire! Just imagine the stupendous spiritual power that Great Sage must have to enjoy this longevity fully engaging himself in austerities and wishing Universal Welfare. Just thinking about such Maharishis is a merit in itself.




They made entreaties to the Maharishi requesting for remedies for the king's anxiety regarding childlessness. The Maharishi meditated for sometime and discovered the cause of the king's childlessness. In a previous incarnation as a wealthy merchant, once he had come across a beautiful pond in the outskirts of a village. As he was very thirsty, he wanted to quench his thirst. A cow with its calf had also come there to quench its thirst. He had chased the thirsty cows and calf just as they had begun to drink the water, and selfishly quenched his own thirst first. This offence against the cow and her calf has given rise to a malefic karma that is preventing him from getting a child in this birth. Due to the other charitable deeds he did, he has been born as a King; but due to that sin of chasing the cow and calf when they wanted to quench thirst, he has remained childless. (Special note: Beating a cow with a stick, chasing away thirsty cows from water bodies, torturing the animal in other ways, etc. are productive of a sin called "Gohati" - equivalent to the sin accrued by killing of a Cow. Gohatya is considered to be next only to Brahmahati dosha (i.e. killing of a pious religious person). Persons with Gohatya dosha will be cursed with childlessness. This is the karmic theory behind this legend).




The sage went on to say that if the King and all his subjects fast on Shravana Shukla edaadasi and maintain a night vigil as per scriptural guidelines, and if all his subjects gift the merit accrued out the observance to the king, the king's sin will get nullified, and he will be blessed with a child (It must be apparent from this legend how much effort is needed to nullify sins! The combined merit of possibly lakhs of pious and motivated persons is needed to nullify a simple sin that has arisen out of chasing a cow and a calf - that too just because the person himself was thirsty! Just imagine how much more effort it will take to nullify a sin committed wilfully! The best way is not to sin at all - so that life is easier - at least in our future incarnations).




By the observance of this fast, and by receiving the gift of the punya of this fast from his citizens, the king was blessed with a good son who proved to be a worthy heir to him.




Lord Krishna says that whosoever observes this fast will enjoy happiness in both this world and the next (in Heaven). Even hearing about the glory of this ekaadasi is a merit in itself.




Observance of this ekaadasi is reputed to give the effect of having performed an Aswamedha yagna!




May our members undertake this fast religiously and with constant remembrance of Lord Hari, and be blessed with all auspiciousness - both in this incarnation and also after this - by possibly merging with Lord Hari.




Blessed be.




Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.







Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

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