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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maha Shivaraatri - February 22nd/ 23rd, 2009

(Picture courtesy: www.hinduyuva.org)

Mahaa ShivaRaatri falls on February 22nd/ 23rd, 2009 this year.


It is to be observed in USA, Canada, West Indies, and other countries of the American continents (both South American and North America) on Feb 22nd, 2009. Rest of the world should observe this on Feb 23rd, 2009.


This is a very glorious day for our Lord. This day is believed tobe the day in which the Divine Union of Shakti and Shiva took place. It is said that one who keeps awake on this night and worships the Lord will never find himself/ herself in hell. Lord Shiva is Ashutosh (one who is easily pleased)....offering even plain water with devotion will please Him and the bounties that He will offer back can never be counted.Those who can chant Rudram/ chamakam, Shiva Sahasranaamam, Rudrasooktham, or other shaiva upanishads like Kata Rudra Upanishad,Rudra Hrudayham, Dakshinamoorthi Upanishad, etc. may do so to please the Lord. Even if you are unable to do so, you may simply chant "shiva shiva" throughout the day whenever possible and become recipients of His Grace.



The Merit that will accrue out of a proper Shiva pooja done throughout the day and especially in all prahars of the night can never be described adequately. Puranas describe how even an unlettered and rough hunter got Salvation by unwitting observance of the Holy Shiva Rathri and by offering Bilva patra by accident to a Shiva Linga on that night. Do what simple pooja you can with heart-felt Love - to Him Who drank Poison so that the Universe will be saved from its effects and so that other demigods may consume Nectar.


He is the Medha Dakshinamoorthi who kindles our Intellect as JagatGuru....He is the Mrityunjaya who conqured Death.....He is the Neelakanta - with Poison in His Throat which He willingly consumed to save the Universe.......He is the Vaidyanaatha who can Heal all our ailments.....He is the Three-Eyed One - the third Eye of whom is of Agni tatwa that burns all the sins of his devotees......

If He had gifted a thousand heads with 1000 intelligent brains and 1000 proficient tongues....even then they will not be sufficient to describe even a miniscue portion of His Glory.May His Grace Guide us all and may His Blessings Fill our life.


Sarvam shivaarpanamasthu. Shiva shiva shiva.


Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vijaya Ekaadashi - Feb 20, 2009


The auspicious Vijaya Ekaadashi falls on February 20, 2009 this year. This is a sarva ekaadashi common to both smarta and vaishnava traditions.

This ekaadashi - as the name implies - gives success in all ventures. Puranas say that Lord Ramachandra observed this ekaadashi on the instructions of the sage Bagadalbhya, and gained the power to cross the ocean with his army of vanaras, and to defeat the mighty demon Raavana. (My note: It is not as if Lord Vishnu manifest in Raama did not possess the Divine Powers to cross the ocean or to defeat Ravana; it is only that He was acting as a normal human being in that Incarnation and hence avoided manifesting His Divine Maaya and Yogic powers; moreover, He observed the vrattam just as an example to all of us!)

The skanda purana details the manner in which Shri Ramachandra Murthi observed the Vijaya Ekaadashi fast along with His commanders on the specific instructions of Sage Bakadalbhya.....

A kalasha is to be made ready for worship on the day before the ekaadashi. A pot of clay, copper, silver, or gold is to be filled with water; the opening of the pot covered with mango leaves, and above that, in the concave portion, pomogrenate, barley crop, and coconut are to be placed; the kalash is to be placed on a mound of seven grains and decorated with sandalwood paste and garlands. Above this, a golden image of Lord Narayana is to be placed, and duly worshipped all night (on the night before ekaadashi fast). The next day morning, again special prayers are to be offered; night vigil is to be maintained near the kalash on the ekaadashi night also. At dawn-break on Dwaadashi day, the kalash is to be taken to a sea-shore or river bank, and it is to be donated to a vedic expert.

Now-a-days many of those rituals might be difficult for us to observe in modern life (especially maintaining two continuous nights without sleep, and finding a suitable vedic expert in river bank to donate the kalash with the golden idol!). But, nevertheless, observance of this fast with devotion will definitely help us to gain victory life.


Lord Krishna says that observance of this ekaadashi can give merit that is equivalent to merit obtained by performance of Aswamedha sacrifice!


May our members observe this to the best of their abilities and become recipients of Divine Grace.


Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vishnupati Punya kalam - on Feb 12/ Feb 13, 2009

Dear Members:

The auspicious Vishnupati Punya kaalam (this is one of the 4 vishnupati punya kaalams for a Hindu year) falls on Feb 13, 2009 for those in Gulf countries, India, and other Eastern countries; for those in the United States, it falls on Feb 12, 2009.

Dharma shastra says that any good meritorious deed done on such days gives good boost to one's fortunes over the next 7 years by Lord Surya's Grace (This good luck will shield us from adverse planetary influences in our life, and also enhance our good luck during auspicious planetary cycles. This is one way of "investing" in our own future!).

Other puraanas speak about multipication effect for merits - about 1000 times the original merit.

So, you may engage yourself in meditations, jap, dhaana (charitable donations), or simple voluntary services with the sankalpa that this is done to solicit the Grace of Divine on this Holy Day.

This punya kaalam applies throughout the day (from sunrise of the date mentioned to sunset of the date mentioned). So, if you don't have time in the morning, you may do the punya karmaas or recitals or prayers in the evening after returning from work.

May our members be blessed in everyway by observing this Punya kaalam.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thai Poosam on Feb 8th/ Feb 9th, 2009


Thai Poosam is a festival dedicated in Honour of Lord Skanda - the Son of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Skanda put an end to the atrocities of the demon Taarakaasura on this day with the Blessings of His Divine Parents - Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti.


Float-festival is observed in Madurai Meenaakshi -SundarEshwarar temple on this day; all major Muruga temples celebrate this festival in a grand manner.


Recital of mantras like Kanda Shashti kavacham, Kandar Anubhooti, Kandar Kali Vennbaa, Tirumurugaarruppadai, etc. will be very auspicious on this day. Even if you do not know any of these (these are all powerful Tamil Hymns and obviously persons who don't have Tamil as Mother Tongue may not be comfortable with these), you can recite "Om Skanda GuravE namah" "Om kumaaraaya namah" "Om DhandapaanayE namah" "Om satrusamhaaraaya namah" "Om shakti hastaaya namah" etc. that are His powerful names.


If you have inimical activity in your life and are feeling anxious and insecure, you may try worshipping Lord Skanda (lord Muruga) today. Even Saatwik persons may pray for overcoming enemies.....afterall, our greatest enemies are within ourselves - Fear, Pride, Arrogance, Lust, Illusion, etc.


Thai poosam is celebrated on Feb 8, 2009 in all countries, except Far East countries like Japan, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand where it is to be observed on Feb 9, 2009.


The monthly Pournami pooja is to be done by those in the United States and other American continent countries on Feb 8, 2009 itself. Rest of the world should observe the Pournami fast and pooja rituals on Feb 9, 2009.


May our members utilize these spiritually significant days for Divine Contemplation and become recipients of Divine Grace which is our Real Wealth and which will NEVER suffer recessionary trends!


Blessed be.



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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jaya Ekaadashi - Feb 5/ Feb 6, 2009

Dear Members:

The ekaadasi that falls in the bright half of the lunar month Maagha is called Jaya ekaadashi.

Days of ekaadasi fast for different places in the world...

1) Smaartha ekaadasi in India, African countries, and Gulf Countries (Middle-East)- on Feb 5, 2009.

2) Sarva Ekaadashi for those in U.S.A., Canada, West Indies, Europe - On Feb 5, 2009.

3) Vaishnava Ekaadashi for those living in India, African countries, and Gulf countries(Middle East); Sarva Ekaadashi for countries to the East of India like China, Japan, Australia, Japan, New zealand, etc. - On Feb 6, 2009.

Once in the celestial kingdom of Lord Indra, Maalyavaan the son of Lord Indra's Chief Musician - was enarmoured by the beauty of another celestial damsel Pushpavati, and in their infatuation for each other, they could not give their best while performing in His court. Lord Indra divined the reason and cursed both of them to wander as Pisachas for a long time in the Himalayan snows. They lost all their celestial powers and even basic discrimination of sense, touch, smell, and taste that is applicable to beings like us, and wandered without sleep, and food, in those fierce altitudes suffering indescribably from cold and fatigue. As luck would have it, they happened to pass a night in a cave sleeplessly on the Holy day of Jaya Ekaadashi. In their misery, they had ignored consuming even the little fruits/ vegetation available in those snowy heights and had thus inadvertently observed the Jaya Ekaadashi. When dawn broke, they were restored back to the Kingdom of Amaravati (of Lord Indra) who was astonished that they had overcome the effect of his powerful curse so soon! They explained that it was the power of Jaya Ekaadashi which they had observed inadvertently by the Grace of Lord Kesava in His Mercy that has restored them their former glory and celestial status.

Such is the glory of this Jaya Ekaadashi. This Jaya Ekaadashi helps us to overcome all "Paapa vaasanaas " (latent psychological complexes in our sub conscious which have taken root deep inside us due to the karma of evils we have done previously in our lives). These vaasanaas / psychological complexes are responsible for tempting us and leading us to further sins; those who can win over these paapa vaasanaas will be redeemed from the clutch of those complexes. Those complexes are at the root of all our sufferings, anxiety, and restlessness (we see evidence of much anxiety in the society now-a-days mainly because collectively we have more of persons with negative complexes, or paapa vaasanaas in the world today; there is much negative reinforcement - the negative complexes leading us to sin which further creates more "advanced" negative complexes. The Grace of Our Merciful Lord is the ONLY succour for our troubled souls suffering from the effects of kali. If we are free from the influence of our negative complexes (ghostly they are!), we are sure to lead happy and contented lives - no matter what events actually transpire in our mundane lives.

This Jaya Ekaadasi observance is the first step in overcoming those paapa vaasanaas!

Observance of this ekaadashi is believed to give merits equivalent to performance of Agnishtoma yagna, and a bath in all Holy Teerthas! [There are times when prashna charts indicate that performane of Agnishtoma will be good for a person's life; not all can perform AgnishtOma these days; but if such a person observes this Holy Jaya Ekaadashi fast with full faith in Lord Krishna's words as expounded to Yudhishtra where He has declared this merit, they will gain the punya equivalent to performance of AgnishtOmaa! Please remember that it is the mind that is the processor of punya and paapa; Faith creates miracles that are hard to prove! Those who have Faith are Blessed! Those who observe this Ekaadashi, please note....if someone asks you whether you have done AgnishtOmaa, say boldly "YES WE HAVE DONE IT!" You have the Blessed Lord Himself as your guarantor for this!]

This ekaadashi is also known as Bheeshma Ekaadasi in Honour of the Grand Sire of the Kuru Dynasty - Shri Bhiishmaachaarya who shed his mortal coil on Bheeshmaashtami day.

Blessed be.


Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI

www.live-person.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi


Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bheeshmaashtami on Feb 2nd/ 3rd, 2009

Dear Members:

Bheeshmaashtami - in Honour of the Grandsire of the Kuru dynasty falls on Feb 2nd, 2009 for those in U.S. and other nations of the American continent. For other parts of the world the observance is on Feb 3, 2009.

Bheeshmaachaarya was known for his steadfastness to dharma, his devotion to his kingdom, and his willing sublimation of his desires to satisfy the wish of his father. He took a vow of Nithya Brahmachaaryathvam (never even considering carnal pleasures of any sort) as that was demanded by the Fisherman-chieftain whose daughter his father desired in marriage. This vow of got him the name "Bheeshma" (Meaning - The terrible; maintaining strict celibacy is really difficult for a person with great valour, strength, and heroic qualities - especially when he is engaged in the activities of a kingdom as a Prince).

This steadfastness of him earned him the boon of "Iccha Mriyu" (ability to shed life as desired). He waited for long period till Uttaraayana set in and left his mortal coils on the thithi of ashtami after Ratha Saptami. [I have just given a condensed version of the original event; you may read about that in detail in Mahabharatam - of course most of you must be already aware of this legend!].

In fact, the popular Vishnu Sahasranaamam that is a Wish fulfilling Tree for all us in this Kali age first came from his mouth (as he was lying in the bed of arrows in pain!).

As he was a strict celibate and without any family tree, and in honour of his great qualities and attachment to dharma, it has been ordained that every eligible male (even those who have parent alive!) are required to offer oblations with water in Honour of that Great Soul - who combined the rare qualities of valour and discipline, obedience and courage, affection and celibacy......rare opposites to be found in the same person.

You can chant the simple mantra: "Om Bheeshmaaya Dharma vrataaya nitya BrahmachaarinE Gangaa Putraaya idam arghyam idam arghaym idam arghyam - Om Bheeshmam tarpayaamii"

(offer it thrice).

Please note that this is one of the mandatory observances for all males subscribing to sanataana dharmaa.

May we all inherit his great qualities and become living examples of virtue and self-control just as he was.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.












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

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ratha Saptami on February 1st/ 2nd, 2009

Dear Members:

Ratha Saptami - the auspicious day to worship Sun God falls on February 1, 2009 for those in the United States and other countries of the American continents and Caribbean islands. For rest of the world, this is to be observed on February 2, 2009.

This is believed to be the day when Sun God incarnated as son of Sage Kashyapa and his wife Adithi (hence his name Aadityaa!). According to puraanaas, it is believed that is on this day of Ratha Saptami that Lord Surya's chariot turns its actual northward movement towards North-east bringing much auspiciousness to all living beings. The chariot is said to have just one wheel (personification of the Wheel of Time!) drawn by 7 horses (indicating 7 days of the week; 7 rays of the Sun that stand for each colour of the spectrum, etc.). Thus this worship is in essence the worship of the Principle of Time that is controlled with perfection by Paramaatman (signified by Sun).

Worshipping Lord Sun on this day is very auspicious. As you might be aware, worship of Sun blesses one with health ("AarOgyam pra daatu Dinakarah" is the verse related to that). Sun God is a "Namaskaara Priyaha" , so offering Surya namaskaar in His Honour reciting His 12 names will be auspicious today.

The 12 names are "Mitra, Ravi, Soorya, Bhaanu, Kagha, Pooshna, Hiranyagarbha, Mariichi, Aaditya, savitaa, Arka, Bhaaskaraa".

Those who are initiated into Surya Ashtaakshari (8-syllable mantra) can recite that 108 times and offer arghya (oblation with pure water).

A special ritual unique to this day...

It is traditional to take bath with 7 Arka leaves (called Erukku in tamil, JillEdu in Telugu, Ekka in Kannada, and Bowstring hemp in English) on the body. The placement is 1 on the head, two on the shoulders (one on each shoulder), two on the knees, and two on the feet, and then pouring water on oneself.

The mantra to be recited is this:

"Om Yadyadjanma krutham paapam mayaa saptaasu janmasu

ThanmE RhOgancha SOkancha maakari hantu Saptamii"

YEtatjanmakrutham paapam yathaa janmaantaraarjitam

ManO Vaak kaayajam yaccha gnaathaaghnaathancha yath punah"

Iti saptavidham paapam snaanam ME saptha SapthakE

Saptavyaadhi samaayuktham hara maakari Sapthami"

(This is basically a prayer that declares how sins accrue to us and follow us over births, and request the Saptami thithi Deity (Sun God and the thithi Nithya Devi who is subtly invoked in this mantra) to absolve us of all the sins, and hence the karmic effects of those like diseases and sorrow in life). Those who are unable to follow the transliteration of this mantra may just pray for removal of sins asking for pardon for all sins committed knowingly/ unknowingly, and hence relief from all troubles in life.

At the end of this ritual bath, we should offer "Arghyam" to Sun God and Saptami DEvi with the following mantra:

"Saptha Sapthi vaha preetha Saptha LOkha pradeepana

Sapthamii sahitO Deva gruhaanaarghyam Diwaakara" (offer pure water three times facing the Sun in the morning saying this mantra).

Those who can - might recite mantras like Surya Sahasranaamam, Surya Atharva seersha upanishad, Aaditya Hrudayam, Suryaashtakam, etc. and get additional benefits.

Charities that can be done on this day

1) Donating to hospitals catering to sick patients.

2) Gupta Kooshmanda daanaa is a powerful dhaana that can be done today (gemstones - especially Ruby, gold, and silver are concealed inside a pumpkin and donated to a vedic Brahmin.....You should not reveal what/ how much is concealed inside the pumpkin to them. That is why it is called Gupta Dhaana! It is difficult to get a good Brahmin to accept this dhaanaa because this is a powerful remedy that involves "transfer of karma from the giver to the receiver"; no amount of money in the world will impel a vedic brahmin to accept this! On the other hand, gifting it to a person who is just a brahmin by birth but without vedic knowledge or ritual purity, is useless; so, if you are suffering from great troubles, request an elderly or mature vedantic brahmin to accept the charity to alleviate your pains...they may consent to this out of piety, and then use that amount for charitable purposes like yagnas, temple renovation, feeding poor, etc.). There are other dhaanas like saaligraama dhaana, vastra dhaana (gifting traditional Panchakaccha dhoti), etc. that can be done today which will be easily accepted by any priest. You can offer these at vedic patashalas near your place or to a respected Pandit who is explaining Puranic truths/ spiritual precepts to a lot of people from an altruistic point of view.

Even if you can't offer the special dhaanas as mentioned above, make it a point to donate at least a small amount of money in charity (may be just a small dime to a beggar outside a temple; or purchasing a piece of sweet to a poor child in your neighbourhood). No man is so poor that they can't donate anything, and there is always someone poorer than you! Please remember that....it is not how much you donate but with what attitude you donate that is important in absolving you of your karmic liabilities. Once your karma is reduced even by small amounts, you will be amazed at how things begin to take a positive turn in life.

May our members worship Sun God who is the Manifest Form of Absolute Divine and absolve themselves of all sins and the resultant problems in life.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi


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

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