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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saphala Ekaadasi -2010


Dear Members:


The auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi falls on December 30/ December 31, 2010. 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 30, 2010.

2) For rest of the world - December 31, 2010.

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 irreverent 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?

Special austerities recommended in connection with this ekaadasi:

1) Offer Pomegranate, guava, variety of nuts, coconut, betel leaves, areca nuts, mangoes, and aromatic spices (like cloves, cardamom, etc.) in Honour of Lord Aadhi Naaraayana (The Original Viraat Roopa of Shriman Naaraayana - with His Consort Lakshmi on His Breast and mounted on Shri Garuda, and carrying His Divine Conch and Disc with Full Glory) on this day. You can partake these items as prasad on dwaadasi day if you are keeping a full fast; those who are only observing partial fast (just abstaining from whole-grains and beans) may partake these in lieu of regular diet.

2) Light a ghee lamp in Honour of Lord Naraayana and Goddess Lakshmi in your pooja place and recite the Holy Ashtaakshari (Om NamO Naaraayanaaya) as many times as possible. Recital of Naaraayana Sooktham and Purushasooktham can also be done by those who are intiated into these vedic hymns.

A full-night vigil is also recommended. Those who cannot maintain a full-night vigil may at least recite Shriman Naaraayana naama as many times as possible and sleep with Divine Thought.

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

Blessed be.

Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Arudra darshanam - December 21/ 22, 2010

Dear Members:

The auspicious Arudra Darshanam is to be observed on December 21, 2010 by those living in U.S.A., Canada, and other countries of the American continents; those living in other parts of the world should observe this Holy Day on December 22, 2010.

This Arudra Darshanam is the festivity associated with Lord Shiva's Cosmic Dance. The Blissful Lord Shiva - who has neither Birth nor Death - appeared out of His Immense Grace in His Cosmic Dance Form of Nataraja, in response to the intense tapasya of the Holy Saints Vyagrapaadar (the Saint with Tiger claws) and Patanjali (of the Yoga Sutra fame! - the Avatar of Lord Adisesha!) on Arudra nakshatra day of the solar month of Dhanus. It is to commemorate that Holy Event that we observe this Holy day....Worship of Lord Shiva in His Form of Nataraja is auspicious on this day.

This is an occasion that is to be observed with happiness - rather than as an intense vratam. Feast comprising of a special sweet called "Kalli" and a vegetable preparation consisting of 7 different kinds of vegetables (called "Ezhu kari kootu" in tamil) is the speciality of the day - consistent with the commemoration of the Blissful event of Lord Shiva's enthusiastic cosmic dance on this day.

So, instead of restrictive austerities, treat yourselves to a happy feast (of course avoiding ritually impure articles (onion/ garlic) and non-veg - but indulging in any sort of sweet or savourite and vegetable soups/ preparations as per your taste), and remember that Blissful Dancing Shiva.....which reiterates the fact that responsibilities need not always sit as a heavy burden on our shoulders always...if He - who maintains the whole Universe can dance in merriment and ecstastic joy, why can't we take our responsibilities more sportively!

Visit to any shiva temple is auspicious on this day.

May His Glorious Cosmic Dance lighten our hearts and recharge our batteries. May His Jolly spirit fill our souls now and forever!

Om Namah shivaya.
Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dattatreya Jayanthi on December 20/ December 21, 2010



Dear Members:


Dattatreya Jayanthi falls on December 21, 2010, this year. (Those who are residing in U.S., Canada and other countries of the American continents should observe Datta Jayanthi on December 20, 2010 itself; persons residing in rest of the world should observe it on December 21, 2010).

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 on December 21, 2010. Those sponsors who are in a position to attend the homam personally might do so on this date. For the others, please note that the homam prasadam or other pooja parasadam will not be sent by post due to ritual purity concerns and logistic difficulties. Inclusion of your name, gothra, and star in the sankalpam will be deemed "in-absentia" participation. Those who are interested may avail the pooja/ homam services by selecting the option of pooja from the drop-down menu below:









Pooja category
Name, nakshatra, gothra






Apart from prayers for the benefit of the sponsors, prayers will also be raised for Universal Welfare. You may also attend poojas/ homams conducted by other 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 any way you wish to do!)

Try to feed at least one poor person or sponsor annadhaan at any holy place as per your capacity - because Guru Dattatreya might come in any form and accept annadhaan, and performing annadhaan to needy persons is one of the easiest ways to become recipients of His Grace.

May our members become recipients of Lord DattatrEyaa's Grace by observing simple austerities in His Honour on His Jayanthi day as per their convenience and enjoy blissful lives.

Blessed be.


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

Vaikunta Ekaadasi - December 2010

(Image courtesy: www.bhagavad-gita.us)
Dear Members:


The most glorious and important of all Ekaadaasis - the Vaikunta Ekaadasi falls on December 16, 2010 for those living in USA, Canada, and other American continent nations, U.K. and places to the West of Greenwich Meridian.


It is to be observed on December 17, 2010 by those living in the Gulf Countries, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.


This is one of the most highly recommended fasts for a devout spiritual aspirant because it has the potential of opening the "Gates of Divine Abode of Lord Vishnu" for you if this is observed correctly. Even those who have medical conditions which prevent them from observing a full fast should abstain from rice-items and sustain themselves with alternative ritually pure foods (avoiding garlic, onions, beverages like coffee, tea, etc.). Those who are desirous of cutting off the endless cycle of births and deaths for the soul must contemplate on upanishads like Gopaala Taapini Upanishad, recite Holy Bhagavat Gita, Bhaagavatam, etc.




In Vaishnava temples "swarga Dwaar" - a sort of archway leading around the Inner Sanctum Sanctorum is erected, and crossing that is symbolic of crossing the threshold of Vaikunta and getting glimpse of our Lord. Spending time in meditation/ japam while waiting in the serpentine ques, and ultimately having the glimpse of Our Lord after crossing the threshold will definitely be gainful for your souls. Please note that you should not get angry with other devotees in the que or pick up fights, you should not "jump" ques trying to overtake the other waiting devotees with your "street smartness, pushing abilities", etc. in the que. Such activities definitely invoke bad karma, and it is not for that, that you go to a temple on a Holy Day (I am commenting on this because such activities are too common in long ques; a person who jumps ques thinking he is outsmarting others is actually fooling himself/ herself, and damning himself/ herself with that karma; on the other hand, those who wait patiently, and do what they can to help other devotees who might be finding it uncomfortable - like ladies with infants, elderly, etc. while standing in ques are invoking good karma and actually helping their own souls to progress. Selfishness and self-comfort should take a back-seat at least during these occasions - and that too for your own good! If you are entitled to temple honours in some way, and hence receive special darshan - that is different; you need not feel guilty about that; probably, you deserve such Honours and maybe, that was Divine Gift to you! But even such people - if you can, it will be real good merit to stand patiently in a que, do japams till your turn at darshan comes, and then have a darshan of the Lord along with the other common devotees because, God Himself may be in disguise among the masses during these occasions. I have felt it many times - and I request my fellow aspirants to feel such miracles of brushing shoulders with Divine in crowded temples for themselves!).




Additionally, fasting on this day is also auspicious for those couples who are aspiring for progenic bliss. Such couples should recite Baala Kaandam chapters from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayanam, Naaraayaneeyam, Santaana Gopala mantra, etc. on this day.

Geetha Jayanthi - the day of genesis of the Holy Bhagavat Gita also falls on Vaikunta Ekaadasi day this year. So, those who have the means and convenience to do so can organize Geetha recital (full recital of the verses of Bhagavat Gita) or even Geetha yagna (homam done with Bhagavat Geetha verses in the morning, and discourses on important chapters of the Bhagavat Geetha in the evening) on this day. [Please note that Guruvaayoorappan temple in Kerala observes the Gita Jayanthi on the solar month of Vrischika, and so, that day would have been different from the Gita Jayanthi followed by other spiritual adherents except that kshetra; we all follow Gita Jayanthi as the Shukla Ekaadashi of the lunar month of Margaseersh; In certain festival observances, local traditions do contribute to differences in days of adherence to them; this for the clarification of those who might be confused as to why Gita Jayanthi is already over at Guruvayoor! ].

Generally, chanting of Raama naama, and recital of Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam can be done by everyone today for obtaining religious merit, and for perfection/ progress of our Soul.


It is also recommended that you should remain awake at night and spend it in Divine Contemplation, bhajans (Divine Songs), discussing Theological matters, etc. It is traditional to play a dice game called "Paramapadham" on this night. You should not merely play it as a game....in the traditional Indian version of this game (the western version is Snake and Ladders!, and I am not referring to that when I write this article....), you will find "ladders" corresponding to various virtues, and "snakes" corresponding to certain shortcomings of attitude/ character....you can see where each ladder leads you, and where each snake drops you....look at the character/ attitude depicted in the box, see how progress/ downfall happens based on the ladder/ snake you encounter. This is verily a spiritual lesson of how a soul can progress or regress into various states of existence. It is analogous to the journey of your souls through the Cycle of Existence till the soul attains Liberation or Merging with Divine experience. You will also see how difficult it is to progress at the end of the game, and that is how difficult it is for a soul to reach ultimate liberation. If you play it consciously, reading all the attributes described in the chart carefully, this game can be a meditative exercise in itself, and can be a valuable tool for imparting spiritual values for children.



Of course, playing the paramapadam is not mandatory......it just helps you to keep awake and at the same time induce philosophical musings if played properly. Those of you who feel sufficiently spiritually awakened already may just spend the night in quiet Divine Contemplation which is best.



May our members observe this Holy day Fast diligently as per their circumstances and practical limitations to the best of their abilities and win salvation for their souls.



Blessed be.


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


www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi

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