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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Maasi Magham - 2013

Dear Members:

The auspicious Maasi Magam falls on Feb 25, 2013 this year. It is to be observed on the same day throughout the world except for those living in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji Islands.  People living in Australia, NZ, and Fiji must observe this on Feb 26, 2013 (even in Australia, those living in Northern Territory, Western Australia, and South Australia must observe Maasi Magham on Feb 25, 2013 itself).

It is auspicious to take Theertha snaana (Ritual bath in sacred rivers) on this day.




Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sani Pradosham, Feb 23, 2013


Dear Members:

The highly propitious Sani Pradosham falls on Feb 23, 2013 this year.

Pradosham - as you might all be aware is an auspicious vrattam for pleasing Lord Shiva. This day is the mark of our Lord's Grace to all living beings; He willingly lapped up the "Alahaala poison" emitted by the Giant Snake Vasuki during the process of churning of Milk Ocean by the Demons and Devas to save everyone from the malefic effects of that highly potent poison. Goddess Parvati, with great presence of mind, applied pressure on His neck, and the poison got stuck up on His Neck - giving His Neck the Blue Hue and thus He is Hailed by the name "Neelakanta." That Blue Neck is the testimony of the fact that the Lord willingly took up the ordeal of tasting Poison so that Nectar could be enjoyed by other Celestials. Lord Shiva swooned (to comply with the laws of nature - though He is above all that!) and rested on the lap of Goddess Parvati. He regained consciousness on the twilight of TrayOdashi thithi and broke into a Divine Cosmic Dance of sheer ecstasy (as the dangerous Haalahaala poison had turned into Amruta due to the touch of Goddess), and this is observed as Pradosha Vrat twice a fortnight.

As the original event happened on a Saturday, Pradosha falling on Saturdays is considered specially auspicious.

Lord Shiva is easily pleased by devotion, and any austerity performed during this day in His Honour is sure to make us dear to Him, and to help us balance our karmic balance-sheets with more positive karmic balance!

There are two ways of observing this Pradosham fast:

1) You can fast from sunrise till sunset. Break the fast after sunset and after completion of PradOsha Pooja to Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakti, Lord Ganesha, Lord Skanda, and importantly - Lord Nandi - the Divine Bull. Those who observe this fast should take a bath about 1-1/2 hours before sunset, and offer shiva pooja from about 1 hour before sunset till sunset, and break the fast at sunset. It is auspicious to have a darshan of Lord Shiva through the Horns of the Divine Bull on Pradosha days. Recite only Shiva mantra in Nandi's ears (many people recite their woes and prayer requests to Nandi; shastras indicate reciting shiva mantra in Nandi's ears is the right practice; you can then pray for other requests standing at a respectable distance from the Nandi and not straight into His ears - that are so Holy and which deserve the respect of being adorned by Shiva mantras and not to be sullied by our mundane requests that are endless and many times - undeserved! I have noted with pain that even some semi-informed astrologers in Television programs are encouraging people to do the wrong thing of voicing requests in the ears of Holy Nandikeshwara during pradosham misguiding the masses into a wrong practice; I hope readers of my blog will not insult the Shiva Bhakta Supreme - Nandikeshwara by disturbing His Ever-Absorved Shiva Conscious with mundane requests. Praying to Lord Shiva and respecting Nandikeshwara as ordained in shastras/ Agamas will AUTOMATICALLY take care of our karmas and then with the use of our own will-power we can handle our issues as true Shiva Bhaktas will! ).

2) The second method is to continue the austerities even after sunset; you may break the fast - but maintain an all-night vigil reciting Shiva mantras till next day's sunrise.

You may adopt any of the above two methods of Pradosha vrat.

Those who cannot fast may simply abstain from ritually impure foods (onions, garlics, meat products, eggs, etc.) and visit Shiva shrines nearby and take part in the Pradosha festivities.

Even if you can't fast completely or abstain from onion/ garlic (please avoid meat products and eggs at all costs if you observe pradosham vrat), or can't skip food, you may at least do simple Shiva meditation as much as feasible on Pradosham periods.

During Pradosha period all the Divine Energies (devas, yakshas, gandharvas, and all the demi-gods apart from Shri Vishnu and Shri Brahma - the other moorthis of the Divine Trinity) assemble in Lord Shiva's presence. So, offering Shiva Pooja on Pradosha day is akin to Honouring all Divine Forces. It is the practical experience of millions of people that pradosha vrat is a vrat par excellence in granting all boons - because Lord Shiva and His Divine Energies are said to be in the most blissful Form during this period.


We intend to visit the Holy Parvata Malai - hailed as Southern Kailaasa and offer special pooja in this connection for the welfare of all in general and some of our Paaraayanam group members who are regular part-sponsors in the fortnightly Pradosham abhishekams every month, in particular.

May our members also be blessed with His Grace by observing this Holiest of Fasts/ Austerities.




Om Namah shivaya.

Om Neelakantaaya sambhavE

Hara Hara Mahaa DEvaa.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.





Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bheeshma Ekaadasi 2013


Dear Members:
The ekaadasi that falls in the bright half of the lunar month Maagha is called Jaya ekaadashi; it is also called as Bheeshma Ekaadasi.

It is to be observed on February 21, 2013 throughout the world this year.

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 performance 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, and as this ekaadasi falls in the same paksha (fortnight) of His shedding the Mortal Coil by Iccha Mrityu (voluntary shedding of human body with full intent - a rare feat that is possible for Mahaa Yogis), this ekaadasi has been named on Him after the Mahaabharata period. There are some who erraneously think that the Grand Sire actually died on this day - which is wrong. Mahabharata clearly mentions that He voluntary gave up His physical body on Bheeshmaashtami day - i.e. 3 lunar phases earlier!

Another interesting observance in this connection is Varaaha Dwaadasi - observed on the day after this Ekaadasi - the day of appearance of Our Lord in His Form of Wild Boar (Varaaha) to rescue the Earth from the clutches of the demon Hiranyaaksha who had Earth submerged in the Cosmic Ocean. It is for this reason that this ekaadasi is also known as Bhoumi ekaadasi. (Please note that Varaaha Jayanthi - the Genesis of Varaha Form was earlier, but Varaaha Dwaadasi is the day when He rescued Earth).  So, it will be a good idea to meditate on Lord Varaaha when we fast on this ekaadasi day. Worship of Lord Varaaha gives good luck in land transactions - and also for unmarried persons, it can remove the obstacles to settlement of marriage. Visit to Nithya Kalyaana Perumaal at Tiruvidanthai - near Mahabalipuram on East Coast Road could be a good austerity that can be done either on this Ekaadasi or the next day of Varaaha Dwaadasi, for those who wish to offer special prayers to ensure speedy settlement of marriage with a suitable spouse.

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

Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
www.live-person.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi

Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bheeshmaashtami - 2013


Dear Members:


Bheeshmaashtami - in Honour of the Grandsire of the Kuru dynasty falls on February 17/ 18, 2013 this year. Those living in U.S., Canada, and other countries of the American continents, those living in African continent, U.K., and Scandinavian countries must observe Bheeshmaashtami on February 17, 2013.

Those living in Middle east countries, India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji Islands must observe this on February 18, 2013 (note: some panchangs in India consider February 18, 2013 as a-thithi - meaning that though the thithi operates it is not fit for shraardha; BUT, this taboo does not apply to observance of Bheeshmaashtami and due to the fact the Ashtami operates for a major part of the aparaana kaalam on February 18, 2013 only, it is best to observe Bheeshmaashtami vratam only on February 18, 2013 in India, in my opinion.  You may use individual discretion in taking a final decision on this observance based on the facts given here!).

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 gave 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 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!).

(Image courtesy: ISCKON DESIRE TREE - Design by Shri. Umesh Modak)
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.


Ratha Saptami - 2013


(Image courtesy: www.harekrsna.de)

Dear Members:

Ratha Saptami - the auspicious day to worship Sun God falls on February 17, 2013 this year in India and countries to the east of India like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. Those in USA, Canada,U.K., Scandinavian countries, and countries of African continent must observe this on February 16, 2013 itself.  Those living in middle East countries must observe this on February 17, 2013.

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 leaf 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. You should keep some akshada (raw rice grains mixed with turmeric) on the leaves while placing them on your body and then take the bath.

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 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
Astrological and Remedial consultant

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in
www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi 
 http://bit.ly/WaCtqU

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shat Tila ekaadasi - on Feb 6, 2013


Dear Members:


Shat-Tila ekaadashi falls on February 6/ February 7, 2013 this year.

Recommended dates for observance of the ekaadashi fast for different regions in the world

1) Smaarta Ekaadasi (those who are unaware of their family traditions may just follow smaartha ekaadasi) is to be observed on February 6, 2013 throughout the world.

2)Vaishnava Ekaadasi in all regions except Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Japan is to be observed on Feb 6, 2013.

3) Vaishnava Ekaadasi in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Japan is to be observed on Feb 7, 2013.

Shat-Tila literally means "six sesame seeds." The fast is understaken on this day after consuming a glass of water in which six sesame seeds have been soaked. You have to mix six sesame seeds in water and then take a bath with it first. Then drink a glass of water in which 6 sesame seeds have been soaked, offer oblations to pitrus (deceased ancestors/ rishis of the past) with water mixed with sesame, and then fast on this day. Observing this will help you in winning the six major internal enemies for the soul (Raagha, DwEsha, LObham, Moham, Madam, Maacharyam), and thus ensure your spiritual progress.


Observance of this fast will ensure removal of all sins and help to keep your karmic balance sheet healthy, allowing you to progress through spiritual levels with least of obstacles.


May our members observe this holy fast and enjoy Divine Grace. [Please note that those who are forbidden to fast due to medical indications may observe this fast on a token-basis instead of undertaking a full fast; like - you may consume only fruits, or avoid only rice items, etc. But, please try to observe the fast in some form consistent with your physical condition and environmental conveniences as this is one of the more strongly recommended ekaadashi fasts].

Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant
www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in
 http://bit.ly/WaCtqU

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