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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pradakshina Amavasya on September 29, 2008

Dear Members:

Pradakshina Amaavasya falls on Sept 29, 2008 this year. This is an auspicious day for performing Aswatta pooja (prayers to the Holy Peepal Tree). You may circumambulate the peepal tree 3 times, 18 times, 32, 54, 108, or even 1008 times as per your convenience and ability praying for family prosperity. Pradakshina Amaavasya falling on Mondays is deemed to be very auspicious (somavaara Pradakshina).

Elderly ladies who are past the menstrual ages (i.e. after menopause) can get deeksha into japams on this day under the peepal tree (usually Siva mantra or Raama mantra are initiated; this japam is to be continued till the end of one's life every day).

Those who are desirous of getting progenic bliss should offer special prayers to Aswatta tree and the naaga deities installed beneath the tree. Everyone regardless of class, caste, or gender can do simple poojas in honour of aswatta tree and pray for family prosperity. Paaraayanam group members might listen to the aswatta sthothram that has been uploaded in the files section of the group. Others who have no access to that sthothram may simply recite "Om Aswattaaya Vriksharaajaaya namah."

Blessed be.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Indra Ekaadasi on September 24/ 25, 2008

LORD VISHNU


Dear Members:

Indira Ekaashi fall on the waning phase of the Moon in the lunar month of Aswin (September-October by modern calendar). Simply put, it is the Ekaadashi that falls during the Mahaalaya paksha.

The importance of Indira Ekaadasi is explained in the Brahma vaivarta Puraana in a discussion between Lord Krishna and king Yudhishtra. Observance of this Ekaadasi will help in removing the sinful effects of actions done by oneself and also relieve deceased ancestors' souls from the remorse caused by their sinful actions when they lived on this earth. According to legends, King IndrasEnaa performed this fast on the advice of Devarishi Narada and saved his father from the remorse caused by his sins during his earthly life.

On the day before the observance of this ekaadasi fast, i.e. on dasami thithi, just one meal is eaten praying for ancestors' souls; on the Ekaadasi day a full fast is to be undertaken, and in the afternoon rituals for the satisfaction of pitrus are to be done; the fast is broken on dwaadasi day. If such an elaborate scheme is not feasible, you may just fast as usual on Ekaadasi day, and pray for peace of your pitrus' souls after the Ekaadasi pooja to Vishnu. What else can you do for you ancestors than undertaking this fast that can relive their souls of the burden/ remorse caused by sinful activities committed knowingly or unknowingly during their tenure on this earth?

Please note that this fast is not mandatory for those below 7 years/ above 70 years as is the common rule for Ekaadasi fasts. Similarly those who are sick are also exempt from this observance if their physical condition does not permit a full fast. Others should preferably undertake a full fast (abstaining even from water, if possible). Those who can't undertake such rigorous fasts due to practical circumstances should at least avoid all full-grains, onion/ garlic items, eating food outside, etc. and try to subsist on milk and fruits. The bottom line is - observe the fast to the best of your abilities and as best as your circumstances will permit the observance.
May our members observe this wonderful fast and gain liberty from sinful karma not only for themselves but also for their ancestors!

Indra Ekaadasi schedule for different regions around the globe
USA/ Canada - Smaartha Ekaadasi - September 24, 2008.
USA/ Canada - Vaishnava Ekaadasi - September 25, 2008.
Rest of the world (all other countries except USA/Canada) - September 25, 2008 (for both smaartha and Vaishna traditions).

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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shaaradaa Navaraathri - 2008





There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Goddess Durga - one for each Rithu and this Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders.

Navaraathri schedule for different places around the world:

Navaraathri begins on September 29, 2008 for residents of US, Canada, and Caribbean Islands.

For all countries to the East of Atlantic (all countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia) – Navaraathri begins on September 30, 2008.

Vijaya Dasami is to be celebrated on October 9, 2009 in all countries around the globe.
It is traditional to keep "Kolu" - an arrangement of dolls during the Navaraathri. This is to signify that Divine Mother resides as Inner Soul in all forms (that is why the Kolu that represents various creations of Divine Mother is kept, and the dolls kept therein are treated as if they are idols kept in a pooja - with reverence). Kindly remember to keep at least 5 rows of kolu arrangement; avoid 7 rows (as per tradition); 9 rows, 11 rows, 13 rows (signifying each chapter of Chandi Path!), or 15 rows (representing each syllable of sri vidhya japam) as per convenience can also be kept. Thus minimum is 5, and maximum is 15 rows (very few people go beyond 9 rows in actual practice).
I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during Navaraathri and receive Her Grace. Those who are initiated may recite Lalitha Sahasranaamam and Soundarya Lahiri on these days to become recipients of Divine Grace. Others may simply recite names like "Om Shree MaatrE namah" (Salutations to Thee who Art the Mother), "Om Durgaayai namah", "Om Sadaakshyai namah" (Salutations to Thee with 1000 Eyes = this is for prosperity), etc.
Those who have Tulsi plant in house may light a lamp in that sannidhi and offer 12 prostrations praying for peace and prosperity in the family and for the whole world. You may also read Divine legends related to Mother Goddess which have been identified as powerful ones for prosperity based on authentic classical sources and based on teachings of Sri Vidhya Upaasaka traditions. Many such legends abound in the classic Devi Bhaagavatam. One such legend can be read by clicking the following link:

You can also listen to wonderful Devi sthothras that are available for download from various sites in .mp3 format. There are some wonderful Devi sthothrams available in text format in the site http://www.sanskritdocuments.org/. You may visit these sites and use the text of sthothras for recital.
Worship of 9 Forms of Durga Devi on 9 days
There are 9 forms of Durga Devi - "Shaila Putri, Brahmachaarinii, Chandrakantaa, Kooshmaandaa, Skanda Maata, Kaatyaayinii, Kaala Raatrii, Mahaa Gourii, Siddhidaa." You may meditate on each of these names in order from day 1 till day 9 (like on the first day - keep chanting "Om Hreem Shaila Putryai namah" or simply "Hreem Shaila putri namo namah", etc.).
These 9 names by themselves are powerful words with immense Divinity in them. Details about these 9 forms may be available elsewhere in the net; so I am not going too much into details about these. Those who are interested may do a web search on this and get further information, if desired.
Important thing to note when doing navaraathri worship even in simplified forms in Honour of Mother Goddess
Treat all women with dignity and respect during these 9 days (actually women should be treated with respect at all times - but it is more important during these 9 days). Offer auspicious items like sindhoor, kumkum, turmeric paste/ powder/ tubers, small mirrors, bangles, blouse-bits (avoid black colour), small toys for young children, etc. as per your convenience and economic viability. Even unknown women (irrespective of caste, creed, or religion) who visit your houses accidentally during these periods must be treated with respect and courtesy - Mother may visit you in any form!

Special worship at my place during Navaraathri

As usual, special worships will be done at my place during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members. But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so.
Just like last year, for this year also I have decided to restrict the no. of special beneficiaries for the poojas as one person per day. The sponsoring fee for a single day's pooja (right from morning till night....Ganapathy Homam, Laghu Chandi Homam, Full recital of Devi Mahaatymayam (chandi Path), Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Soundarya Lahiri, Dasa Maha Vidya japams, select verses from Devi Bhaagavatam each day, etc.) is US$60 (US Dollars sixty only). (Resident Indians may remit Rs.2500/- if they wish to sponsor a single day's poojaas/ homams).

Just one person will be the special beneficiary of each day's religious routines. So, the list of beneficiaries will be drawn up on a first-come-first-served basis. I am giving special preference to Paaraayanam group members as per the stated objective of the group - giving special preference to our members when I restrict the no. of beneficiaries for special poojaas.

Mahaa Chandi Yagnya is also being planned on Vijaya Dasami day (October 9, 2008). Again the no. of participants in this is restricted to 5 persons. The sponsorship fee for the same will be US$350 (US Dollars three hundred and fifty only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.15,000 (rupees fifteen thousand only).


Those who are interested may get in touch with me through my email-id (dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in) at the earliest to book your participation. You may send the money draft or by paypal after getting confirmation from me regarding your sponsorship previlege. (kindly get my confirmation before sending the money drafts because if the no. of beneficiaries touches 9, I will not be enrolling anymore persons as beneficiaries for daily navaraathri poojas. Similarly, for the Chandi homam, if the no. of beneficiaries touches 5, I will not be accepting any more persons as special beneficiaries).

Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers. So, those who are unable to get enlisted as special beneficiaries due to sponsorship slots getting filled up, or who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees need not feel let down. The restriction in number of participants is only for enlistment as special sponsors as per indications I received in a Divine Revelation last year.


Please note that those who sponsor the homams/ poojas need to come in person to get the prasad or holy ash of the homam. In case you are unable to attend the homam on the specified days, the inclusion of your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra details during the homam/ pooja sankalpam is deemed as "in=absentia" participation from your side. The homam prasad/ Holy Ash will not be sent by post due to ritual purity reasons.



Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mahaalaya Paksha (Pitru paksha) 2008

Dear Members:

Pitrs (Pitrus) refers to deceased ancestors from one’s lineage who are in Soul Form. Propitiation to them in the form of tarpans (offering water with proper mantra recitals) and shraardhas (either as Homam for Pitrs, or in the form of offerings with specific mantras) can invoke Their Blessings. When Pitrs are satisfied, the Devataas called Vasus (in charge of Wealth), Rudras (incharge of protection and courage), and Aadityaas (in charge of Health) will be automatically pleased. There will be no dearth of any required materials in the life of a person who Honours Pitrs appropriately.

Pitrs should be Honoured every month on Amaavasya day, once a year on the thithi of their death, and during Mahaalaya Paksha. Honouring Pitrs during Pitru paksha can give merits which are beyond human capacity to explain. There is an opinion that Pitru paksha is even more important than the annual Shraadh of parents.
It is a powerful period for propitiation of manes (ancestors). Pitrus are said to Grace the households of their descendants with Divine Permission from the other Planes of Existence and are waiting to Bless any descendant who is willing to Honour them in whatever little way they can.

Pitr Paksha (Mahaalaya Pakshaa ) is about to begin from September 16, 2008 and ends with Mahalaya Amaavasya on September 28, 2008 for residents of India.

Pitru paksha guidelines for other places in the world

1) USA/Canada/ Caribbean Islands – Mahalaya begins from September 15, 2008
2) Europe/ Gulf Countries – Mahalaya paksha begins from September 15, 2008
3) For countries to the East of India (like Malaysia, Bangaladesh, Singapore, Australia, etc.) – Mahalaya Paksha begins from September 16, 2008.

Austerities during Pitr Paksha (applicable to those who have lost at least one parent) include:

1) Not eating non-veg (in case of non-vegetarians).
2) Not eating onion, garlic, outside food, processed foods, drumstick, etc (for pure vegetarians). 3) If possible avoiding shaving for the entire fortnight till Mahalaya Amavasai.
4) Performing obesquities (shradh) on the thithi of the ancestor's death to the extent possible or at least offering "anna dhaanam" (offering food) to poor persons/ priests as per one's convenience. (On this day, you should not shave)
5) Abstaining from carnal intercourse with members of opposite gender during the fortnight as a mark of respect to Pitrs.
6) Doing recitals like Garuda Puraanam (depicting passage of a soul), Nachiketa story from Upanishads (where Yama Gitaa is there - it contains Lord Yamaa's elucidation of the journey of a soul which was first revealed to the devoted Nachiketaa), and Gangaa Avatarana chapter from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan. These recitals are stated to grant satisfaction of Pitrs and thereby ensure their blessings upon us.

Some important dates during Mahalaya Paksha (applicable to residents of India; residents of other countries, please get in touch with Pandits of your area in this regard to conform to local traditions and usage).

1) Mahaa Bharani –September 19, 2008.
2) Madhyaashtami – September 22, 2008.
3) Sanyastha Mahaalayam (for ancestors who have become ascetics) – September 26, 2008.
4) Sastrahatha mahaalayam (for ancestors who were killed by weapons) – September 27, 2008.
5) Mahaalaya Amaavasya – September 28, 2008. (Mahalaya Amavasya is observed on the same day in the US, Europe, Gulf, etc. also. Countries to the east of India will observe Mahaalaya Amaavasya on September 29, 2008). 29th September 2008 is observed as Pradakshina Amaavasya (when Aswatha tree is circumambulated) in India. Navarathri begins in India from October 1, 2008.

Note: It is found that there are some variations in the reckoning of these observances based on the views of different Pandits and so you may find that the recommendations in your panchangs may vary with the above dates on certain matters. I have used my interpretation of the classics in this regard for giving the above recommendations, and these are in conformity with the decisions arrived at by the delegation of Pandits and Panchang experts in the Panchang Sadas held at Kanchipuram.

Recital of Gangaa Avataarana chapter on your behalf

Those who are interested in having this recital done of the original Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan on your behalf can get it done by me personally. Please note that this is not a substitute or alternative for the tharpanam that should be done by you personally. This recital is only a supplementary special prayer that adds to the efficacy of your own tharpanam performance on the thithi of your ancestors.


If you are interested, give details like your name, your ancestors' names (father and mother or anybody else), their relationship with you (father, or mother, or adopted father/ mother, father's first wife, or whatever), Gothra, your star, your ancestors' star (if known), and thithi of their death (if known), and any specific wish/ boon that you would like to request from them (progenic happiness, general prosperity, protection during critical periods, or whatever you would like to request). I will do the sankalp (ritual declaration) on your behalf and perform the recital for the satisfaction of your ancestors and invoke their Blessings for you on the thithi/ day mentioned by you.

If thithis of death of your parents are not known, the chant will be done on Mahaalaya Amavasya day (September 28, 2008). You may book the recitals for more than one thithi also (like if you wish to offer special chants on the thithi of your father and mother separately, you may do so).




CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW TO BOOK RECITAL OF RAAMAAYANA CHAPTERS FOR SATISFACTION OF YOUR PITRUS ON THEIR THITHI.




PLEASE GIVE YOUR NAME, ANCESTOR'S NAME, THITHI, GOTHRA, AND PRAYER REQUEST IN THE NOTE ALONG WITH YOUR REMITTANCE.








Please note that it your "shraddha" that is most important to manes(pitrus). If you are not in a financially sound position to do elaborate rituals, just offering a handful of green grass to a cow, or a handfull of grains to birds praying to your manes will satisfy them. These simple acts of charity will be blessed by your pitrus and accepted as a complete shraadham. But, those who are capable of spending money on charities should try to do these rituals as elaborately as possible by approaching learned pandits in your respective areas (we should cut down on other luxuries if necessary and gather money required for this performance, if need be. Those who are in stable financial condition should not cite heavy expenditure as excuse for not performing these elaborately).


Blessed be.
Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Parivartani Ekaadasi in September 2008


Dear Members:

Parivartani Ekaadasi also known as Parsava Ekaadasi falls on September 11, 2008 in India.

Ekaadasi fast in other places around the globe:

1) Those living the in the American continent should observe the fast on September 10, 2008.

2) For the rest of the world, the fast is on September 11, 2008.

Parivartini Ekaadasi is the day when Lord Vishnu in His Yoga Nidra is supposed to turn from His left side to His right side.

It is auspicious to offer special worship to Lord Vaamana - the Brahmachaari Avatar of Lord Vishnu on this day.

Vaamana Jayanthi falls on September 12, 2008 (It is to be observed on September 11, 2008 in the US). From a remedial point of view, offering special prayers to Lord Vaamana can appease the malefic effects of Jupiter in the horoscope. From a spiritual perspective, meditating on Lord Vaamanaa will open up rare insights into the Nature and Maaya Prabhaava of Lord Vishnu.

King Mahaabali is also remembered on Vaamana Jayanthi, and people of Kerala origin celebrate Thiruvonam on Sravana nakshatra day with great enthusiasm.
Legend of Vaamana Avatar:
Maha Bali -the grandson of Prahlaada was a mighty asura and he extended his sway over the whole world. The devas approached Lord Vishnu to contain his growing influence. Lord Vishnu decided to help the devas out (in maintaining their sovereignity over the Heavens), but at the same time to grant good spiritual state to Mahaa Bali - a devout and righteous ruler (though he was an asura by clan, Mahaa Bali Chakravarthy was righteous and dhramic like his ancestor Bhakta Prahlaada).
Lord Vishnu was born as a Brahman Brahmachaari and visited the yagna site where Mahaa Bali was performing a grand yagna. As per vedic protocols governing these matters, He was duly honoured. Sukraachaaryaa - the Preceptor of the asuras tried to stop MahaaBali from giving donation to Vaamanaa; but the King was adamant about Honouring the Brahmin priest - whoever He might be and whatever may be the outcome of his charitable deed (even if it meant his destruction as was feared by his guru!). Due to Divine Play of Lord Vishnu Sukrachaarya's attempts to block flow of water from the water container at the time of charity (as per custom, the donor should offer water from the "kamandalam" - the sacrificial pitcher to the hands of the receiver with devotion; Sukrachaaryaa tried to prevent flow of water by taking the form of a wasp/bee and closing the mouth of the pipe through which water should flow out of the pitcher; Lord Vishnu used a twig to pierce the pipe and cleared it - Sukracharya lost one eye in this process...).
When the King offered to give whatever the Brahmachaari desired - Lord Vaamanaa requested just 3 steps. The King who was unaware of who the Brahmachaari was, felt that the young boy did not know what to ask correctly, and prompted Him to ask for something grander. But, the Brahmachaari stood by His request and hence the king granted the request. As soon as the king gave His words, Vaamanaa took the Mighty Trivikrama Form encompassing the Whole Universe. With His first step He covered the whole earth, with His second step He covered the Heavens, and demanded where shall He keep His third step! The pious king respectfully offered his own head as the place to keep His Feet for the third step (this is an act of complete surrender). Lord Vishnu in His Trivikrama Form pushed MahaaBali to the Nether world where he lords over the domain by Lord Vishnu's Grace. As a gesture of appreciation to the adherence of the great king to his words, Lord Vishnu had permitted king Mahaabali to return to his kingdom on earth once a year. And this is what Malayalis celebrate as Thiruvonam - the annual visit of the ruler who once ruled their land righteously and was a living example of steadfastness to dharmic principles even at the cost of his life!
Lessons from this legend.....
1) Actions of Lord - though they may seem to favour some and discriminate against others are always fair. Though Lord Vishnu seems to have taken the side of the devas in this legend and condemned a worthy king to the Nether world, the reality is that devas always live in fear of losing their kingdom whereas King MahaaBali has been granted a Permanent and Safe domain that remains undisputedly under his control. Secondly, the person who is pushed down outwardly by the Lord's Feet on his head is really Blessed for all his karma will get washed away automatically. While we all seek to place our heads on the Lord's Feet, those Blessed Feet sought the head of MahaaBali as a reward for his righteousness. How many good deeds that Blessed King must have done to deserve that!!!!
2) we should never underestimate anyone....the Mighty King thought that 3 steps from an ordinary and short brahman Brahmachaari may be a trifle for him - but those 3 steps cost him his whole kingdom. Luckily for the king, the trick was from the Lord who never really harms anyone's interests and hence the king was given an undisputed domain of the Netherworld. Just imagine what will happen to us if we get deceived by our not-so-chivalrous and cunning rivals in this mundane world. Can we expect such gestures from them? So, Never ...never...underestimate anyone!
3) Always stand by Dharma - No matter what the consequences. King MahaaBali refused to even obey his own Guru (who of course advised only to protect the interests of the king) when it was against dharmic principles; when the Lord placed His third Feet on the head of the king, for mundane people it may seem that the king had lost everything....But, see actually the king had gained EVERYTHING....WHAT IS THERE TO GAIN IN THIS WORLD MORE THAN THE SPIRITUAL TOUCH OF THE BLESSED LORD'S FEET. King Mahaabali was blessed with that only due to his steadfast attachment to dharmic principles and truth (he did not go back on his promise of donating 3 steps to the Lord in His Vaamana Roopaa).
(Please note that I have given a liberal translation and essence of the legend; the lessons that I say that can be gleamed are also my impressions based on that legend. If you meditate on this legend after reading the original versions, you may also get possibly better spiritual insights or even guidance for mundane matters. Those who wish to read about this elaborately may refer Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas).

May our members celebrate/ observe these significant days with spiritual fervour and become recipients of Divine Grace.

Blessed be.

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

VINAAYAKA CHATURTHI CELEBRATIONS ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2008

mah50yel

Dear Members:



Vinaayaka Chaturthi falls on September 3, 2008 this year, except for places that fall under PST/PDT zone of USA/ Canada. Those living in these areas (PST/ PDT of US/ Canada) like Hawaii should celebrate it on September 2, 2008 itself.


Though every Chaturthi thithi of every month is auspicious for worship of Lord Ganesha, Vinaayaka Chaturthi that falls in Sravana month sukhla chaturthi is of special significance. Worship of Lord Vinaayaka on this auspicious day will bestow capacity to overcome all obstacles in life, accomplishment of all tasks with perfection, intelligence, and countless benefits from both materialistic and spiritual points of view.


It is customary to offer pooja to a clay image of Lord Vinaayaka (Vinaayaka is the Presiding Deity for Moolaadhaara chakra for which the element is Earth!), and then immerse it in water bodies on subsequent days (avoiding Fridays, Tuesdays for the purpose). But, please avoid keeping "plaster of paris" idols for pooja and doing the ceremony of immersing those environmentally incompatible images in water bodies....It is a great sin to do like that. If you are keeping "plaster of paris" images of Vinaayaka for pooja, just keep it in a safe place in your house and avoid immersing it in the sea or other water bodies. It is my request to all our members.

Those who know Tamil can recite "Vinaayagar Agaval" "Vinaayakar Kaarya siddhi maalai", "Vinaayakar kavacham(by Kapila Muni)", etc. Recital/ listening to Ganapathy Atharvaseersham is very auspicious. Our Paaraayanam group members can listen to Ganapathy Mangala Maalika sthothram, Vakrathunda sthothram (that has powerful beejas in it), etc. today from our files section.



Those who find it difficult to perform elaborate poojas can please Lord Ganesha by simple recital of His Holy Names like

"Om Kshipra Prasaadanaaya namah" (Salutations to Thee who art pleased easily)

Om Gananaathaaya namah (Salutations to Thee who art the Leader of all Living Beings).

Om Vignavinaasanaaya namah (Salutations to Thee who Removes all obstacles).

etc.


We are planning a Grand Homam on Vinaayaka Chaturthi day in which apart from various other auspicious materials that are traditionally used for Ganapathy homam, we are going to offer 1008 modakams. The homams will be done with the Vaancha Kalpa Ganapathy mantra, Durga Ganapathy mantra, Ucchistha Ganapathy mantra, Ganapathy Atharvaseersha mantra, and Panchamukha Ganesha mantra in an elaborate way praying for Universal welfare.


I sincerely thank the members who have sent their contributions as part sponsorships to support this endeavour. My best wishes to everyone. May Lord Ganesha - the Destroyer of obstacles - Bless us all.



Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.


Astrological and Remedial consultant

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