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Monday, March 12, 2012

Vasantha Navarathri from March 23, 2012 to April 2, 2012


There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother each year - one for each Rithu, and the Saaradha Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu (October - November) is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders. The next in importance among the 6 Navarathris is the one falling in Vasantha Rithu (March - April) called Vasantha Navarathri. This Vasantha Navarathri occupies the pride of place in the schedule of Devi upaasakaas, and rituals done during this period are for awakening Wisdom and Spiritual Perfection. Thus, as the saaradha Navarathri is for the "Bhogis" (householders and family), the Vasantha Navarathri is for Yogis (those aspiring Spiritual perfection), sadhus, and spiritual minded upaasakaas (who may still be in family but live life as an offering to Divine Mother - balancing mundane and spiritual lives harmoniously). It is traditional to venerate Divine Mother in Her Gnaana Shakti Form during this period. We don't keep kolus or socialize much in this celebration (whereas the saaradha navarathri is as much a social occasion as it is spiritual!). The emphasis is more on spiritual sadhanas and meditation during this period.
This vasantha Navarathri marks the beginning of the lunar calendar based New year (followed by those following Telugu/ Kannada traditions in South India), and it is also associated with Shri Raama Navami which falls during this period. So, during this vasantha navarathri you can also organize Sundara Kaandam recitals at your places praying for family welfare.


Vasantha Navaraathri schedule for different places around the world:


Vasantha Navaraathri begins on March 23, 2012 throughout the world except for those living in Hawaaii region of the U.S. Those living in Hawaaii should begin Navarathri austerities on March 22, 2012 itself. (The same holds true for Ugaadhi celebrations also! Beginning of the Vasantha Navarathri is the same day as Ugaadhi)


Shri Raama Navami is to be celebrated on 31st March 2012 by those living in U.S., Canada, and other countries of the American continents while it is to be observed on April 1, 2012 by those living in other countries including India.


I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during the Vasantha 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), "Om siddhi dhaatryai namah" (Salutations to Thee who gives accomplishment), 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 consider getting initiated into mantras like "Brindaavani Dasaakshari" (the beeja mantra for Tulsi worship that is very powerful), "Surabhi mantra" (for GOmaataa), etc. during this auspicious period.
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:
http://dakshinastro.blogspot.com/2008/04/divine-legends-that-ensure-peace-and.html This legend is particularly beneficial to overcome pestilence and natural calamities. Those of you who happen to recite this legend, please dedicate this for the peace of the souls who perished recently in natural calamities and other disasters.

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 Vasantha Navaraathri


As usual, special worships will be done at my place during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members (and in fact for Universal wellbeing and Harmony). But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so.


The sponsorship for one day's austerities (in the period between March 23, 2012 and April 01, 2012) - beginning from Ganesha homam early morning, Laghu chandi homam, Chandi path recital, Lalitha Sahasranaamam recital, Soundarya lahiri recital, Dasamahaa vidhya mantra recitals and recital of portions of Devi Bhagavatam - will be US$80 (US Dollars Eighty only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.3750 (rupees three thousand seven hundred and fifty only) for the same.

Mahaa Chandi Yagnya is also being planned on Vasantha Vijaya Dasami day (April 2, 2012). The sponsorship fee for the same will be US$400 (US Dollars Four hundred only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.18,750 (rupees seventeen thousand seven hundred and fifty only) for the Mahaa chandi homam.

Those who are interested in sponsoring the homam might do so by clicking on the sponsorship link below:






Sponsorship options






After making the remittance via the above link, kindly send an email to dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in giving details of your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra (if gothra is not known indicate preference of either Shiva/ Vishnu gothra) - for inclusion in the prayers.


Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare, peace of the souls who perished in various disasters (both man-made and natural) in the previous year, and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers. So, those who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees or are otherwise unable to sponsor the homams need not feel let down.

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.

May Divine Mother bless us all.

Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Kaaradaiyaan NOnbu March 2012

Kaamaakshi amman
(image courtesy: www.hindugallery.com)
This is regarding an important austerity - Kaaradayaan nOnbu on March 13, 2012/March 14, 2012. This is to be observed between 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. IST on March 14, 2012 by those living in India. Others living around the world must observe the vratam at the time corresponding to the above given time (i.e. at 10:15 a.m what would be your local time at your place; observe the vrata at that time). This is because, this is one vrata that is to be observed at the time when Sun is about to leave sidereal Aquarius and enters sidereal Pisces (the vrata should begin at the time when Sun is still in sidereal Aquarius). So, it is to be observed at the same moment throughout the world (so the times will be different based on the local time zone - still it is at the same instant everywhere unlike other festivals that will be celebrated on different times based on local astronomical variables).

It is an auspicious day for women to pray for the welfare and longevityof their husbands. It is by the power of this observance that the legendary Saavitri got the spiritual power to win back the life of Satyaavaan - her husband who was cursed with a short life. May our women members observe the austerity as per their family traditions for the welfare of their husbands.



It is customary for ladies to offer Mangala Gowri pooja and then tie the Holy Pooja thread on self praying for husband's longevity, and for happy marital life. The offering is "kaara adai" (a special flour delicacy made with rice flour, jaggery, and kaaraamani - a red colour dried bean), and fresh butter; women pray saying "I am offering this kaara adai and unmelted butter to Thee; please ensure that my husband never separates from me," and then tie the Holy thread on their selves.

Unmarried women can also observe this vrata praying for the boon of good marital life and speedy settlement of marriage with a good spouse.


Blessed be.

Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Maasi magam on March 7, 2012

Dear Members:

The auspicious Maasi Magam falls on March 7, 2012 this year. It is auspicious to take Theertha snaana (Ritual bath in sacred rivers) on this day.

Holika Dahana is also observed on the same day (bonfire to symbolize death of Holikaa); this symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Holikaa - a sister of Hiraynakasipu had a boon that she won't be burnt by fire. Hiraynakasipu in one of his attempts to punish his son Prahlada, asked Holika to take Prahlada in her lap and enter the fire in the belief that the fire won't touch Holika while the child devotee would be chastised. However, it turned out that by the Grace of Shriman Narayana, the fire was cool to Prahlada who was uttering Naaraayana mantra and burnt Holika instead.

For those who take refuge in the Lord even troubles can turn into triumphs.

If we enter the Fire of Austerities and Divine Worship, Holikaa in us - symbolized by lust, greed, confusion, and cunningness will get burnt while the Prahlaada in us - symbolized by our good persona would remain unscathed and emerge with dazzling brightness.

May we all make a bonfire of all our evil tendencies and negative impulses on Holikaa dahana day.

The festival of Holi is to be observed on March 8, 2012 (holika dahan is on March 7, 2012 night while festival of Holi is to be observed on March 8, 2012).

Pournami pooja is to be observed on the night of March 7, 2012.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Friday, March 2, 2012

Aamalakaki Ekaadasi - March 2012

Dear Members:


The auspicious Aamalaki Ekaadasi falls on March 4, 2012 for all parts of the world.


This fast is known to eradicate all great sins and bestow great destiny, and hence it is also observed as Paapanaasini Ekaadasi. Puranaas speak of how a hunter who witnessed the performance of this fast and night-long prayers under the Amla tree (Indian gooseberry tree) by a king and his retinue in the forest, was blessed to be born as a king named VasUratha in his next life. Such is the glory of this vrata - the mere witnessing of which confers great merit!

Once that person (the hunter born as King VasUratha in next birth) lost his way in the forest and being exhausted fell asleep under a tree. Tribesmen who were his enemies tried to kill him in that unconscious state; but none of their weapons could harm the sleeping king. Then, a beautiful maiden with Divine Powers manifested from the sleeping king's body and slayed all the tribesmen. On waking up, the King was wondering how this could have happened and who could have saved him thus from his sworn enemies. Then a voice from the sky said 'You ask who helped you. Well, who is that person who alone can help anyone is distress? He is none other than Sri Keshava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.'


Such is the greatness of the Aamalaki Ekaadasi. This was narrated by Sage Vasishta to the Surya vamsa king Maandaatha.

On this day it is customary to worship the avatar Lord Parasuraama and Aamla tree (those who have such trees may perform the worship under the tree; others can just meditate on that tree and Lord Parasuraamaa).


picture of Lord Parasuraama courtesy: www.scienceofhinduisim.blogspot.com
(I am not aware of any copyright restrictions with regard to use of this image, but I guess using this for informative purposes and illustrative purposes must be alright).

Prayers to Lord Parashuraama:

'Oh Lord ParashurAma, Oh son of RenukA, Oh all-pleasing one, Oh liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalakii tree and accept our humble obeisances.'



Prayer to Aamalakii tree: (Aamalakii tree is Indian Goosberry tree)

'Oh Amalakii, Oh offspring of Lord BrahmA, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Please accept our respectful obeisances and these humble gifts. O Amalakii, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord RAmachandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.'


May our members observe this fast and become recipients of Divine Grace.


Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

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