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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hanuman Jayanthi - (as per Tamil traditions) on December 27, 2008




Dear Members:



Hanuman Jayanthi falls on December 27, 2008 as per Tamil traditions. There are various versions for this observance - some follow it on Chaitra Pournami (this is followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and some parts of North India. In North Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Hanumat Jayanthi is celebrated on Vaisakh Krishna dasami thithi. According to Tamil traditions, Hanumat Jayanthi is celebrated on the Amavasya thithi of the Tamil Month Maargazhi when Moola constellation rules. (for those of you who are from Siddha lineage of Sage Agasthya - there is another version which is not so popular as the other jayanthis! Agasthya Samhita gives Lord Hanuman's Birth details as Mesha lagna, Krishna chaturdasi thithi, Swaathi nakshatra, in the solar month of Karthigai)


The differences may pertain to different incarnations of Lord Hanumaan in different kalpas (the same Divine Events have occured in different kalpas with slight modifications and that is why you will find slight differences in version of some Divine Legends in various Puranas as they may refer to the events in different kalpas!). So, probably they are all correct in that they refer to His Jayanthi in different kalpas.


Another reason for the difference could be that each "Jayanthi" could refer to some significant "life-changing or rebirth sort of event" in Lord Hanuman's Incarnation.....like the first conception through Lord Vaayu's agency as a Rudraavataraa, His being revived by Divine Boons as a child (after He was struck by Vajraayudha when He tried to gobble the sun! thus it was a sort of second life for Him), His realizing His Divine Powers after Jaambhavaan alerts Him of the powers that He had forgotten due to the curse of rishis, His Incarnating as Panchamukha Hanumaan to tackle the challenges of Demons of the Netherworld, etc.


Generally for a devotee every day is of spiritual significance and so, these "special days" are just convenient Divine Excuses for showering additional devotion and for Divine Celebration with extra fervour! So, maybe, you can follow all those Jayanthis of the most Humble but Mighty Messenger of Lord Raam and celebrate His Incarnation thrice/ Four times a year!


In that spirit, even our brethen from North India, and other southern states may offer special worship to Lord Hanumaan on this day when their brother devotees from Tamil Nadu will be offering their respects and veneration to the Glorious Son of Vaayu.


Recital of Shri Hanumaan Chaalisaa, Sundara Kaandam chapters, AanjanEya sahasranaamam (reputed to be composed by Lord Raama Himself!), etc. are considered to be auspicious on this day.


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

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saphala Ekaadashi on December 22nd/ 23rd, 2008

Dear Members:

The auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi falls on December 22nd/ 23rd, 2008. The observance of this fast for different places on the globe is as follows:

1) for USA, Canada, West Indies, and other countries in American Continent - December 22, 2008

2) For India, Burma, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand - December 23, 2008.

Glory of Saphala Ekaadashi

This is mentioned in Brahmaanda Purana. Fasting on Saphala Ekaadashi will help in cleansing all sins committed earlier, and also helps in attaining fame in this life.

Lumbaka - the son of a king was always questioning the authority of Lord Vishnu, and due to this irreverential attitude, he was exiled from the kingdom. He continued with his irreverential attitude, and added to that began plundering the wealth of poor villagers. He took his abode beneath a banyan tree, started killing animals, and began eating raw meat. (The legend purports to describe that the king's son had fallen into sinful ways that will add severely to karmic account).

Once, he fell ill on a particular day and hence could not partake his usual meals (of raw meat!); he also remained awake all night due to his sickness. As the day was Saphala Ekaadashi fast day, he had unknowingly followed the vrat! The next day he felt better and intuitively realized that this was all due to Grace of Lord Vishnu. He realized his mistake, returned to his father with a repentant attitude, and lived happily thereafter.

Such is the glory of the Saphala Ekaadashi - even a person who unknowingly kept that fast could gain Grace of Shri Vishnu. So, what to speak of the Holy and Pious persons who undertake this fast with full faith and with Divine Contemplation? Is it not obvious that Heavenly glory is open to those who undertake this auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi Fast?

May our members undertake this fast and feel Blessed by Divine Grace.

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shadsheeti punya kaalam on December 15, 2008 , and Dhanur month paaraayanam

Dear Members:

Sun enters sidereal Sagittarius at 7-43 p.m. IST. So, the auspicious Shadsheeti punya kaalam falls on December 15, 2008. Dhanur month Paaraayanam/ pooja should be done from December 16, 2008 in all nations except USA, Canada, and other countries in North/ South America (for these nations, Dhanur month pooja also begins on December 15, 2008 itself). It is a traditional belief that one day's pooja to Lord Vishnu during Brahmamuhurtha of the Dhanur month (when Sun is in Sidereal Sagittarius) can give merit equivalent to daily pooja for 1 year! So, you should do what simple worship you can to Lord Vishnu or any Ishta Devataa by getting up before sunrise on this holy month of Dhanus. Those who cannot perform detailed poojas may just recite Divine names of their choice (Shiva - shiva, Raama Raama, Govinda, Naaraayana, or whatever!).
Those who have knowledge of Tamil hymns may recite Tiruppaavai and Tiruvembaavai poems with devotion. Vishnu Sahasranaamam and Bhagavat Geeta Paaraayanam are other auspicious and recommended recitals during Dhanur month.

Now, the shadsheeti punya kaalam is a very auspicious period for initiation into new occult routines, for performing charities, and for all meritorious activities (the Full day - from sunrise on December 15, 2008 to sunrise on December 16, 2008 is considered as Shadsheeti punya kaalam - you need not check muhurtha guidelines if you are planning to do special poojas, charities, tarpans, or other meritorious activities tommorrow).

Donating to charitable causes (like donating to poojas, homams, vedic experts who are conducting regular worships based on dharma shastraic guidelines, donating to temples, donations to orphanages/ charitable institutions/ choultries, etc.) during this period will be highly auspicious. Annadhaanam (donation of food to pious persons or needy poor), and Vastra dhaanam (donation of clothes to needy poor or to vedic experts)are especially recommended during this period. (i.e. for those who can afford them!)

Any meritorious deed done during this period will get multiplied 86,000 times! So, this is an ideal day for chanting mantras to acquire siddhi over them.

May our members make the best use of this Holy Day to improve their karmic balance sheets!

Blessed be
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Karthigai deepam festival on December 11/ 12, 2008

Dear Members:

Tiruvannaamalai Deepam falls on December 11, 2008, and Pancharaatra Deepam is to be celebrated on December 12, 2008 (by those who follow Pancharaatra aagama principles for festivals).

Lighting deepam praying for wisdom in our life, good fortune and prosperity in the family, and peace of souls is auspicious on this occasion. Lord Muruga (also called Kartikeya, Skanda, etc.) is to be venerated on this day.

May the Light of Wisdom dawn on all of us by Divine Grace.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dattatreya Jayanthi on December 12, 2008



Dear Members:


Dattatreya Jayanthi falls on December 12, 2008. Shri Guru DattaatrEya is an incarnation possessing the Divine attributes of the Trimurthis (Brahma, vishnu, and Shiva) with Sage Atri and the sage's Wife Anusuyaa Devi as His parents. He is an Aadi Guru of the avadhoota sampradaaya. He is a Divine Form who can be easily pleased by mere remembrance of Him ("smarana maatra santushtaaya!")


Anusuyaa Devi - the wife of Sage Atri was known for Her Piety and virtues. Sage Naarada was extolling Her virtues to Goddesses Saraswathy, Lakshmi, and Paarvathy. The Goddesses requested the Trimurthies to test her virtues. The trimurthis took the form of mendicants and went as athithis to the hermitage of Sage Atri when He was not there. Sagess Anusuya offered them the traditional respects due to athithis, and requested them to partake meals in the hermitage. The mendicants imposed the condition that they will partake meals only on one condition that Anusuyaa should serve them stark naked!


Anusuyaa Devi was in a moral fix....According to customs of those times in hermitages (even normal households for that matter!), an athithi was never to be turned away without feeding him. But, at the same time, as a pious and modest wife of a sage, she cannot even think of being nude in front of grown up strangers. She meditated on her husband, and sprinkled Holy Water from his kamandal (a sort of water container kept by sages) on the three mendicants. They got transformed into three infants by the power of her pious devotion to her husband. Obviously, there can be no reservation in being nude in front of infants! She fed them in that condition and thus satisfied the conditions of modesty as well as athithi bhojana (feeding guests). When Sage Atri returned to the hermitage, Anusuyaa Devi showed the three Divine Infants and explained the course of events. Sage Atri of course could Divine the events by His clairvoyance powers.


The three Devis visited the hermitage and beseeched the couple to return their husbands in their original Divine Forms. The couple agreed, but requested that they should have a Divine Child with the potency of the three murthis. Thus was born Shri DattatrEyaa - "Datta AatrEyaa - One who was given as Gift to Shri Atri maharishi and His wife."


Though Anusuyaa Devi wanted Dattatreya to live the life of a householder, He rejected those pleas and instead chose to live in the ways of a Avadhootaa (a complete renunciate - who transcends all sorts of differences and restrictions, and living in the High State of Spontaneous Living called "SwEchaachaaryaa"; saints who live that do what they feel like doing at that moment naturally...they do not follow any rigid rules or regulations in life - allowing Divinity to guide them each and every moment in the form of random thoughts that arise in their conscious!). Datta Gitaa is a philosophical work of wonderful metaphysical depth and beauty.


Many are the miracles of Shri DattatrEyaa right from His times to the current periods. The most famous devotees of Shri DattarEyaa are Sage Parasuraama (Shri DattatrEyaa helped Sage Parasuraamaa in performing the last rites of his father and ensured that the deceased sages attained PUnya Lokhaas), and Shri Kaartaveeryaarjunaa (The Mighty King with One thousand shoulders! who was an Incarnation of Sudarshana - the Holy Disc of Lord Vishnu). In fact, Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna was born without limbs as an infant, and it was by the power of tapasya focussed on Shri DattatrEyaa that he got 1000 pairs of hands and a mighty physique. Additionally, Shri Datta blessed him with a treasury that will never become empty, and also a boon that whosoever remembers the King Kaartaveeryaarjunaa will be able to retrieve lost property and realise rightful properties snatched away from them by force. Kaartaveeryaarjuna also had a boon that he can be defeated and killed only by a disciple/ devotee of Shri DattatrEyaa. When King Kaartaveeryaarjuna started behaving in arrogant manner, and had a clash with Jamadagni rishi, he met his end in the hands of Sage Parasuraama - the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and a devotee of Shri DatttrEyaa as per the boon. The Most Highly Venerated Shridi Sai Baba is one example of a modern day avadhootaa of the Datta sampradaaya. There are other saints also of that tradition who have a wide following today.


THE DIVINE FORM OF LORD DATTATREYA


Lord Dattatreya is often meditated upon with a Cow (KaamadhEnu) at His back, and 4 dogs at His feet. The Cow - KaamadhEnu represents the truth that whatever legitimate wish you have will be bestowed upon you when you pray to Him. The 4 dogs represent the 4 vedaas. Lord DattatrEyaa - the Trimutrhi swaroopi has the characteristic Divine Weapons of the Trimurthis - in His hands and three heads representing the Trimurthis (also representing Satwaa, Rajas and Tamas gunaas!)


Yet another popular Divine Form that is usually venerated by followers of siddha/ Naath traditions is His Form with the 9 famous Nath saints.


Shri DattatrEya is easily pleased by mere Remembrance of Him. He may manifest in the form of an uninvited guest at noon, a mad beggar, a young child, or even ghostly forms (that is what His Moola mantra says ......." Baala Unmatta Pisaacha vEshaaya!"). Annadhaan (donation of food) to poor and needy is the charity that is closest to His Heart. Many devotees of Lord Datta have had Him visit their houses in the form of unknown guests at Noon. So, if possible, try to donate to charities specializing in feeding the poor on this day. As Dattatreya helped Sage Parasuraama in performance of rituals to ensure salvation of pitrus, He will help us also to get relieved from pitru doshas of all kinds. Also, yati saapaa (curse of saints/ sages/ mendicants) that might have arisen due to insult meted out to renunciates can be remedied by worship of Lord DattatrEyaa. Recital of DattrEya Vajra Kavacham will help in nullifying even most terrible planetary afflictions.

We are planning to conduct special poojas and homams on Datta Jayanthi day this year also. Shri DattatrEya Moola mantra homams, and Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna homam will be conducted at my residence at villivakkam. Members of the Paaraayanam group will be included as honorary beneficiaries of this homam. Besides that, prayers will also be raised for Universal Welfare. You may attend poojas/ homams conducted by pious persons near your place on this holy day.







Those who are not in a position to attend homams/ poojas on Datta jayanthi may still become recipients of His Grace by just repeating the mantra "Om Jai Guru Dattaa" or "Om Jai Satguru Shri DattatrEyaaya namah" as many times as possible on His Jayanthi day - whenever time permits - even in between your normal activities in life. This is a siddha mantra and needs no initiation; anyone without any distinction of class, creed, religion, and gender can recite this at ANYTIME. He is easily pleased and His worship is without unnecessary frills and procedures such that even a child can perform the pooja (because you may do it in the way you wish to do!)

May our members become recipients of Lord DattatrEyaa's Grace and enjoy blissful lives.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mokshadaa Ekaadasi - December 08/ 09, 2008




Dear members:


The auspicious Mokshadaa ekaadashi falls in the bright half of the month Margasira. It is to be observed on 8th December, 2008 by those living in USA, Canada, West Indies, and other nations of American continents. For rest of the world, the day of the ekaadasi fast is on December 09, 2008.


Glory of Mokshadaa ekaadashi



Mokshadaa ekaadashi - as the name implies has the potential to give Liberation from cycle of endless births and deaths for our soul. Its main goal is to help us in attaining Ever Lasting Bliss in the Lotus Feet of our Lord.


Lord Vishnu in His form of DAMODARA ( kindly refer shrimad Bhaagavatam to know more about these Divine Forms of Lord Vishnu, and how He manifests in His different Forms; generally you may meditate on Four handed form of Lord Vishnu) should be venerated on this Holy Day. A ghee lamp, incense, and tulsi buds should be offered respectfully along with prayers to Lord DamOdharaa on this most auspicious of days.


Legend of Mokshadaa ekaadashi



There is a legend explained in the Brahma vaivarta Puranaa extolling the glory of Mokshadaa ekaadashi as narrated by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtra. Listening to this legend is said to confer the merit equivalent to that obtained by AswamEdha yagna (Horse Sacrifice!). Lord Krishna further adds that the glory of this ekaadasi can give heavenly bliss to the souls of all deceased relatives of the person who observes this fast religiously.


There was a saintly King of yore by name Vaikhaanasa (it is not clear whether it is the same person who gave genesis to the Hallowed Vaikhaanasa aagama - one of the major aagamaas for Vaishnavites) who ruled over a kingdom called Champakanagaram. His kingdom was glorious in every way blessed as it was with a saintly and able king who treated his subjects as his own children, and also with knowledgeable and pious priestly class who were well learnt in all vedic sacrifices and rituals. One night, the king had a terrible dream in which he saw his father suffering torments in hellish regions. When he enquired about this to the Brahmins of his court, they directed him to Parvata Maharishi - a great tapasvi. When the king approached Parvata Maharishi, after formal exchange of pleasantaries, the king broached the topic of a recent torment that he has experiened. The sage, by His Divine Vision, understood the reason for the king's anxiety and also the cause for the torment of his father's soul in hell - the king's father, in his earlier life, had enjoyed his wife forcibly against her wishes during her monthly periods. That grievous sin against a righteous woman had given him the present hellish sufferings.



The king wanted a remedy to absolve the sins of his father and to get him liberated to Higher Planes. The Sage Parvata recommended performance of this Mokshadaa ekaadasi and to donate the merit acquired by this performance to his father's soul upon which the soul will get liberated from Hell. The king did accordingly along with his wife and all relatives, and by the power of this performance, the king's father was liberated from Hell and was taken by messengers of demi-gods to Celestial Planes.


May our readers observe this ekaadashi with devotion and be recipients of God's Grace that will liberate them from endless cycles of transmigration of soul.


On a different note, it was on this day that Bhagavat Gitaa was initiated to Shri Arjuna by Lord Krishna at Kurukshetra. So, this day is also observed as Gitaa Jayanthi. It is auspicious to gift copy of Bhagavat Gitaa to aspirants of vedantaa or do what you can to propogate the Shrimad Bhagavat Gita on this day. Recite at least one chapter, or at least one slokha from Shrimad Bhagavat Gita today understanding its meaning and applicability even in today's life. Those who can, may even perform the Bhagavat Gitaa Homam if it is feasible for them. The merits of this performance cannot be elaborated by normal human beings like me!


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

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