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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mahaalaya paksha/ Pitru Paksha from September 30, 2012

Pitr Paksha (Mahaalaya Pakshaa ) is about to begin from September 30, 2012 (This holds good throughout the world except for those living in New Zealand and Fiji Islands.  Those living in New Zealand and Fiji islands must observe Pitru paksha from October 1, 2012.

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.

Austerities during Pitr Paksha (applicable to those who have lost atleast 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; obviously it may not be possible for everyone due to current secular life restrictions (like office policy requiring an executive placed in a cutting-edge responsibility to be clean shaved). Even in these cases, shaving should be avoided at least on the thithis of one's ancestors (father/ mother).

4) Performing obsequies (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 as already stated)

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 asoul), 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), Pitru sthothra and Gangaa Avatarana chapter from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan. These recitals are stated to grant satisfaction of Pitrs and thereby ensure their blessings upon us. In fact these recitals can be done even by those who have parents alive! (The other rituals like tarpanam should not be observed by those who have parents living). These are auspicious and do not come under the category of shraardha - but at the same time have the potency to give peace and happiness to the souls of ancestors of one's dynasty when they are recited. Those who cannot recite them personally may organize such recitals in honour of their ancestors with the help of vedic/ puranic experts.

Some important days during the pitru paksha
The following are auspicious days to perform shraardha to pitrus - irrespective of the thithi of their demise.
Those who cannot observe the ritual procedures/ restrictions outlined above through the pitru paksha may at least observe the ritual guidelines on these auspicious days in honour of their pitrus.

1) Mahaa Bharani - This falls on October 3, 2012.

2) Madhyaashtami - This is to be observed on October 8, 2012.

3) Mahaalaya Amaavasya - This should be observed on October 15, 2012 throughout the world except those living in U.S.A., Canada, and other countries of the American continents.  Those living in U.S. and other countries mentioned above must observe Mahaalaya amavasya on October 14, 2012 itself.

Some controversial issues regarding the observance of pitru paksha rituals/ shraardham and dharma shastraic clarification for the same
 
1) There are many persons who feel that Mahaalaya paksha rituals need not be done in honour of step mother (called Sapatnii maataa - by shaastraas); doing it for just one's mother and father is enough. There are some who feel that only the eldest son of the second wife of one's father needs to do the shraardha if the first wife of the father died without issues.

Clarification: Though the eldest son is the first Adhikaari for rituals, when property has been divided among the brothers or when they have started living apart from each other as separate families, shraardha and other pitru rituals need to be done by each brother individually. The same holds true for honoring the Sapatnii maataa (Step mother who has died without issues also). Just think....will that Honourable Mother have taken care of just the eldest son and left the other sons in the lurch if she had been alive and the biological mother had been dead? Please use this logic for your clarity in this regard. Just as the step-mother cannot ignore the other children (nor should she!), the children also should not be partial towards performing rituals in Her Honour for Her Soul - especially if she had died without issues. This applies more sternly in cases where the eldest brother of the family is not alive. Unfortunately many families do this mistake of leaving the poor step-mother (the first wife of one's father who died without issues) after the eldest brother is dead. As long as at least one brother is alive, the sapatnii maataa should be honoured during pitru paksha on the day when you do the shraardha of your father (you can invoke one Brahman priest to represent the step-mother's lineage just as you do for your own mother's lineage). Please note that this guideline does not apply in cases where the other woman has voluntarily left one's father (say divorce), or has been indicted by a dharma parishad for undesirable behaviour and hence denied karma benefits in accordance with dharma shastraic principles after giving ample opportunity to exonerate herself. In cases where the father has done an injustice to another woman (who is no more) and has married one's mother, the son who performs rituals in honour of that wronged woman (father's first wife - who is deemed one's saptnii maataa) redeems himself from that dosha. A righteous son should try to do what he can to set right the wrongs done by his deceased parents - as and when he comes to know of that possibility. Though each person is answerable to his/ her own karma and sins, family doshas do arise out of adharmic activities of one's ancestors and these doshas do affect the family for many generations to come (usually seen as Stree saapa in the horoscope of many members of a family). Such doshas are cleared when that wronged soul is honoured appropriately in consultation with dharma shastraic experts in this regard.

2) Some think that if the annual shraardh is done properly, Mahaalaya paksha (pitru paksha) shraardha/ tarpanam need not be done!

Clarification: If you get double-increment will you say "I already got one; so please ignore me for this increment!" No one does that. Yet, when it comes to accumulating spiritual merit, we often tend to say "I have done that and so I need not do this." This attitude of excusing ourserlves from dharmic duties should be overcome consciously. Rather, we should think that the Mahaalaya paksha is a God -Given opportunity for us to honour our pitrs yet again. In fact, Mahaayalaya Paksha shraardh is mandatory, and there is no way out of it, and the benefits accruing out of Mahaalaya paksha shraardha/ tarpanam are actually more than what can accrue out of annual shraardha. The pitru paksha observance gladens our pitrus and we should not miss it for any reason. If we are unable to offer the shraardha/ tarpan on the thithi of our father, we should at least do it on the other special days like Mahaa Bharani, Madhyaashtami, or Mahaalaya Amaavasya (any one of these days). We should not miss it giving any excuse - because no such excuse exists!

3) There are some who think that if Gaya Shraardha has been done, there is no need for Mahaalaya paksha shraardha/ tarpanam.

Clarification: Gaya Shraardha is definitely a wonderful ritual for satisfaction of pitrs. But, having done that is no excuse for exempting oneself from Mahaalaya paksha tarpanam/ shraardha and annual shraardha. These should be continued as long as one is alive (or at least till one is healthy enough to carry on the rituals). Only those who are bed-ridden are exempt this due to obvious reasons! It is a sin to skip these rituals in mistaken sense of having attained a level where these are not necessary - no human being living an ordinary life is exempt these karmas. Even great rishis who were highly spiritually evolved and avatars like Shri Raama, Shri Krishna, have observed these, and obviously we are not above all of them in our spiritual standing! Only sanyaasins are exempt these because they don't have karmaa adhikaara (ritual right to perform a karma). Everyone else who has karmaadhikaara (due to death of one's parents) should observe this - even if they have done the Gaya Shraardha and Akshaya vata pinda daan.

4) Only those who have lost their parents can do any ritual to satisfy pitru devatas..

Clarification:  Shraardhas in Honour of pitrus and tarpanam in their Honour are the only activities that are restricted by the above taboo. 

Activities like offering greens to cows in memory of deceased ancestors of the family, recital of Raamaayana chapter to ensure peace to the soul of deceased ancestors,  performing annadhaanam (donation of food to needy) in honour of deceased ancestors, and recital/ arranging recital of Pitru sthothra are austerities that anyone can do in honour of pitrus.


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I hope these clarifications help our members to get this matter in the right perspective.



Those who want to offer special recitals for pitru trupti (satisfaction of deceased ancestors) might click on the links below for sponsoring such recitals:


Pitru Paksha austerity sponsorship form
Name of pitru, thithi, gothra

 
May our members observe these dharmic guidelines in connection with Mahaalaya paksha (Pitr paksha) and become recipients of the Grace of pitrus - our Benevolent Ancestors who have the capacity to shield us from the dangers of existence and improve our luck with their Blessings.

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in
www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi





Parivarthini ekaadashi 2012

Dear Members:

Parviartini ekaadashi also called Paarshva ekaadashi falls on September 25/ 26, 2012 this year.

Those living in American continents, United Kingdom, and places that are to the west of GMT +2 hours time zones  should observe this on September 25, 2012.

Those living in rest of the world - including India, should observe this on September 26, 2012.

This day is believed to be the day when Lord Mahaa Vishnu in His Yoga Nidhra changes his position in sleep - from left side to right side.

It is traditional to venerate Lord Mahaa Vishnu in His Form of Vaamana on this day.

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

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vinayaka Chaturthi 2012

mah50yel

Dear Members:


Schedule of Vinayaka chaturthi celebration this year

Vinayaka Chaturthi is to be observed on September 19, 2012 throughout the world except in regions of USA and Canada that follow Hawaii time or Pacific Standard time.  Those living in Hawaii time or Pacific standard time zones of U.S. and Canada should observe this vratam on September 18, 2012 itself. Even those living in other regions of U.S.A, and Canada need to observe Vinayaka Chaturthi only on September 19, 2012.


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.

On a different note, members whose close relatives are in the family way should avoid immersing the clay idols kept in Vinayaka Chaturthi pooja till the child is delivered safely. Once the child is born, the clay idol can be immersed later on an auspicious day. This is consistent with time-hallowed traditions.
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 this year also. 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.The Vaancha Kalpa Ganapathy homam is done as an exclusive performance to one of the readers of this blog who wished this to be done for him and the other homams are done for general welfare - praying for the welfare of all our readers.

Those who wish to participate as general sponsors in the austerities are most welcome to do so by clicking the links below:
Different pooja sponsorships
Enter name, nakshatra, gothra


My best wishes to everyone. May Lord Ganesha - the Destroyer of obstacles - Bless us all.



Blessed be.


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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Parama Ekaadaasi - a fast to make you wealthy - 2012

Dear Members:

The ekaadasi that falls on the krishna paksha of the athika maasa is called Parama Ekaadasi.  It is to be observed on September 11, 2012 by those living in the U.S., Canada, and other countries of the American continents.

It is to be observed on September 12, 2012 by those living in rest of the world (except those living in the American continents).

Observing this fast is believed to enable one to overcome the karmic effects that might cause poverty, and such a person becomes rich (even if their charts show Daridrya dosha), and after their time on this plane is over, they will pass over to Shri Vishnu's Abode at Vaikuntha.

PARAMA EKADASHI VRATA KATHA

Once in a city called Kampilya there lived a Brahmin called Sumedha with his chaste wife.  Though they were poor, the couple did their best to entertain guests at their house (serving Athithis!).  They would feed the guest first and if required they would starve later - after the guests had partaken food (i.e. if the food was enough only for the guests, they would forego their share of the food and entertain the guests!). Once Sumedha told his wife that they must possibly go to another city in search of better means of living as the poverty here was unbearable.

But his wife told him that getting riches in this birth depends on the karma of previous birth, and possibly they must have done some sin in the past to endure this poverty; So, it might be best to remain in the same city and do as many good deeds as possible within their means.  Sumedha agreed and they stayed on, doing their best as before.

Once Sage Koundinya visited the city and arrived as athithi (unannounced guest) to Sumedhas' house.  He and his wife treated the sage well and the sage was pleased with the hospitality; He instructed the couple to wish for a boon from him.  Both husband and wife prayed to him to show the way to become wealthy so that they can do better service.

Sage Koundinya was pleased and he instructed them about observing Parama Ekaadashi vrata which has the potency to remove poverty from the lives of the persons who observe it, and also remove the taints of sins of previous lives completely.

The couple - Sumedha and his wife observed the vrat, and became wealthy; they continued their good service and enjoyed life, and at the end of their lives attained Vaikuntha.

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Among the beneficiaries who have attained grandeur by the power of this vrata is Kubera - the Yaksha King who became so rich that He could lend money even to Lord Venkateshwara!

May our members observe this wonderful fast and remove taints of poverty from their lives and also get relief from past life sins completely.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

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