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Friday, August 30, 2013

Aja Ekaadasi - August 31/ September 1, 2013

Dear Members:

Aja/ Annadaa ekaadasi is a powerful fasting day.

The schedule of observance of this fast for different places in the World is as follows:

1) For those living in USA, Canada and other countries of American continent - August 31, 2013

2) For rest of the world, including India, September 1, 2013.

Glory of this Aja Ekaadasi

The glory of this Aja Ekaadasi has been explained in Brahma- Vaivarta Puraanaa in a discussion between King Yudhishtra and Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna narrates the legend of King Harischandra, who though a great king of the Surya dynasty, fell from fortune (due to a test of dharma kept by Sage Viswamitra), and lived a miserable existence as a keeper of crematorium - separated from his virtous wife and loving son who even died due to circumstances.

One day King Harischandra came across Sage Gautama and thought "Lord Brahma has created Brahmins just to help others" (i.e. they can suggest powerful remedies to help negotiate vagaries of Fate). He payed his obeisances to the great sage and narrated his tale of woe and requested a remedy to come out of his sorry state of affairs.

Sage Gautama recommended observance of this Aja Ekaadasi Fast which is reputed to absolve one of the karmic effects of sinful activities of the past. King Harischandra duly observed the fast and was reunited with his relatives and also got back his Kingship. After his demise from this Earth, he ascended to Higher Spiritual Regions with all his relatives by the power of this fast.
Lord Krishna says that even those who hear of the glory of this fast or read about this with devotion will get merit equivalent to that obtained by Aswamedha sacrifice!

My notes: This is a shuddha ekaadasi, i.e. it is preferable to fast completely if possible (even avoiding water and fruits/ milk), and keep awake throughout the night. Please note that a full fast is not to be followed by pregnant ladies observing this ritual, or by ailing patients. They should subsist on fruits and milk, and as per shastras they will enjoy the full merit of a full fast due to their special condition.

Observance of this fast rigorously even without other accompanying rituals like Vishu pooja is very powerful. Just chant the name "Om HrishikEshaaya namah" with devotion throughout the day whenever you have time between your regular activities. This has the potential to remove the troubles that we are facing in this existence due to the effect of our past sins, and help us to enjoy peaceful existence.

May our members observe this fast and become freed from the clutches of negative karma, and enjoy peaceful and prosperous lives in a spiritual way.

Blessed be.
Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Krishna Janmashtami today - August 28, 2013



Dear Members:




Sri Krishna Janmaashtami also known as Gokulaashtami is one of the most widely celebrated Avatar days in Sanaatanic vedic traditions. Smaarthas celebrate the Gokulashtami (here Ashtami is the deciding factor for the celebration), while Sri Vaishnavaas celebrate it as Sri Jayanthi where the star Rohini is the deciding factor. The typical consideration is the operation of the deciding factors described above at the time of midnight - though some take the evening time for reckoning. So, there could be some differences in the dates on which Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated by followers of different sects of Sanaatana Dharma - like Smaartas, Shri Vaishnavas (Pancharaatra and Vaikaanasa aagamic celebrations sometimes differ even among shri vaishnavas). In spite of all these minor differences, it is the spirit of the day and celebration that is of spiritual significance to all bhaktaas.




Lord Krishna's avatar leelas are a live example of a karma yogic path - complete detachment from the results and perfect performance of one's duties as per one's station in life. Remembrance of how He playfully enacted various leelas and in the process decimated demonaic forces in various garbs is sure to inspire us to achieve great things in life. He taught us the efficacy of "effortless perfection". His Bhagavad Geeta is a magnum opus that can be a friend, philosopher, guide, counsellor, all rolled into one - it carries the essence of the whole Upanishadic Wisdom.

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The following are some of the charities/ meritorious religious deeds that you can do on this day to get His Grace......






  • Those who follow religious traditions in the family will perform a sampradaayic pooja to Shri Krishna on the above days as per their traditions.


  • Recital of Gopika Geetam, Gopala Hrudayam, portions of Bhagavad Geeta, etc. will be auspicious on this day.


  • Those who are initiated into Gopala mantra may recite it number of times today praying for Universal Welfare (for propogation of Dharmic principles and for subjugation of evil forces in various forms).


  • Do what you can to promote the welfare of cows in your locality (by contributing what little you can to organizations that are involved in providing shelter to aged cows), as this is sure to bring His Grace to you.


  • Offer respects to children - if possible, try to bring happiness to at least one child in a destitute home.


  • Try to honour scholars who are involved in propogating the doctrine of Bhagavat Geeta or other vedic principles of living. If possible try to donate copies of the Holy Bhagavad Geeta to some children or aspirants thereby contributing to the spread of the Doctrine.


  • Try to contribute at least some amount to vedic scholars who are involved in performing various homams/ yagnas throughout the year for the welfare of the Universe (the donation can be to any scholar who in your opinion is performing such acts in your locality, or to any respectable Pandit anywhere in the world).


  • Try to select one slokha from Bhagavad Geeta and let that verse be your guiding principle in all activities throughout the year (This is putting philosophy in action and is sure to win you His Grace).




You need not worry if you are currently not in an economically sound position to grant liberally to charities or scholars. Lord Krishna was satisfied beyond words on the soulful offering of just "aval" (flattened puffed rice) from His poor friend KusElaa! What you offer does not matter to Him....it only matters whether you are offering it with Devotion. Recital of kusEla Charitra from Srimad Bhaagavatam is sure to bring prosperity to you.




Our paaraayanam group members may listen to audio recitals on Shri Krishna or Naaraayana from our group - listening to hymns is as efficacious as actual recital of the hymns. Especially, the hymn "Naaraayanam Bhaje....." and "Guruvaayurappan Pancharatnam" are very powerful hymns that can be found in our files section.




Sri Krishna Paadaaravindam sadaa smaraamii


Krishnam VandE Jagat Gurum.


Blessed be.


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pavithra Ekaadasi August 17, 2013


Dear Members:

Pavitra Ekaadasi, or Pavitropana Ekaadasi (one of the Putradaa ekaadasis! - fast efficacious for improving progenic prospects) is the ekaadasi observed in the waxing phase of vedic month Sravana. It is to be observed on 17th of August 2013 throughout the world except in regions falling under Hawaii time zone. Those living in Hawaii should observe this on 16th August 2013 itself.

As the name of the fast implies, this fast is good for begetting a good son who will be a pride to the whole race. (There is another Putradaa Ekaadasi which falls in Pausha Shukla Ekaadasi which is also good for progenic blessings).

Those who wish to observe this fast as a "Kaamya vratam" (an austerity with the aim of achieving mundane end - that of begetting good progeny) may recite verses from Naaraayaneeyam, Vishnu Sahasranaamam, and Putra Kaameshti yagna chapter of Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayanam on this day.


A full fast is recommended on this day; but those who cannot fast completely should at least refrain from consuming legumes and grains (all varieties of beans, and all grains - wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, etc.). You can consume fruits and milk. Honey should also be avoided on ekaadasi day.

The glory of this ekaadasi is explained in Bhavishya Puraanaa in the form of a conversation between Yudhishtra Maharaajaa and Lord Krishna. I am giving a gist of that below.....


At the end of the Dwaapara Yuga there was a king named Mahiijita ruling over the kingdom called Mahishmatipuri (It is not clear whether this is the same Mahishmati which was the kingdom of Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna). Because he had no son after many years of marriage, his kingly pleasures and royal honours seemed utter waste to him and he felt very dejected

(Personal note:  You may be wondering what is the big deal that a king with all Royal Pleasures was "dejected" due to lack of progeny.....Recently I read about a trend where couples decide to avoid having children as a conscious choice - to enjoy more freedom as they considered children as a responsibility that might hinder their lifestyle choices/ career options; BUT, in shastraic communities, begetting a child is considered the only way in which pitru-runa - indebtedness to ancestors  - can be repaid (the logic is that if our ancestors had decided not to have progeny we might not be here; and so it is our duty to carry the family line forward and we will be failing in our duty if we avoid that UNLESS there are medical contraindications that deny such a bliss), and begetting a good child and grooming a child in a dharmic way such that he/ she will be an adherent to dharmic principles is one of the best "services" that any human being can do to the Universe....just bearing a child is not the matter here....bearing the child with the right attitude with express intent that the child will adhere to dharmic values at all costs, and grooming the child in such a way that his/ her behaviour/ actions will benefit the society at large is what makes a person a "real and efficient parent" and shastras are unequivocal in that such children are a blessing to their whole clan....Shastraic people yearn for such children to be born to them and when they are denied progenic bliss it is a great matter of concern for them.....! Just writing this to explain the perspective of why begetting a child seems to be such an issue and a holy fast has been dedicated towards improving such prospects!  Till today there are couples who yearn for progenic bliss earnestly and fasts like these can be facilitators to improve progenic luck and rewrite Fate Script in this matter in their favour).


One day he told an assembly of his advisers: ‘I have committed no sin in this life, and there is no ill-gotten wealth in my treasury. I have never usurped the offerings to the demigods or brahmanas. When I waged war and conquered kingdoms, I followed the rules and regulations of the military art, and I have protected my subjects as if they were my own children. I punished even my own relatives if they broke the law, and if my enemy was gentle and religious I welcomed him. Oh twice-born souls, although I am a religious and faithful follower of the Vedik standards, still my home is without a son. Kindly tell me the reason for this.’ (My note: See the hints about ethical conduct for a ruler; this is the main purpose of Puraanaas - to hint about ethical conduct in a gentle and interesting manner amidst legends. The puraana clearly implies that if these ethical codes are broken, there is justification for being childless or being miserable in other ways in subsequent incarnations. How we wish present day rulers read this and get influenced by these exalted codes of conduct! How much better all our lives will be then - without corruption, without mismanagement, without nepotisim, without undue favouritism, and without harassment from government or political parties to the gentler sections of the society!)


The King's advisers undertook rigorous austerities and travelled to various ashrams of sages for long periods. In the course of time, they came across Lomasha Maharishi - who had longevity extending to many kalpaas .
My note: One kalpa is 4, 320, 000,000 years; after each kalpa, one hair in his body will fall down; like that when all his hairs fall down, only then does his longevity expire! Just imagine the stupendous spiritual power that Great Sage must have to enjoy this longevity fully engaging himself in austerities and wishing Universal Welfare. Just thinking about such Maharishis is a merit in itself.


They made entreaties to the Maharishi requesting for remedies for the king's anxiety regarding childlessness. The Maharishi meditated for sometime and discovered the cause of the king's childlessness. In a previous incarnation as a wealthy merchant, once he had come across a beautiful pond in the outskirts of a village. As he was very thirsty, he wanted to quench his thirst. A cow with its calf had also come there to quench its thirst. He had chased the thirsty cows and calf just as they had begun to drink the water, and selfishly quenched his own thirst first. This offense against the cow and her calf has given rise to a malefic karma that is preventing him from getting a child in this birth. Due to the other charitable deeds he did, he has been born as a King; but due to that sin of chasing the cow and calf when they wanted to quench thirst, he has remained childless. (Special note: Beating a cow with a stick, chasing away thirsty cows from water bodies, torturing the animal in other ways, etc. are productive of a sin called "Gohati" - equivalent to the sin accrued by killing of a Cow. Gohatya is considered to be next only to Brahmahati dosha (i.e. killing of a pious religious person). Persons with Gohatya dosha will be cursed with childlessness. This is the karmic theory behind this legend).



The sage went on to say that if the King and all his subjects fast on Shravana Shukla edaadasi and maintain a night vigil as per scriptural guidelines, and if all his subjects gift the merit accrued out the observance to the king, the king's sin will get nullified, and he will be blessed with a child (It must be apparent from this legend how much effort is needed to nullify sins! The combined merit of possibly lakhs of pious and motivated persons is needed to nullify a simple sin that has arisen out of chasing a cow and a calf - that too just because the person himself was thirsty! Just imagine how much more effort it will take to nullify a sin committed willfully! The best way is not to sin at all - so that life is easier - at least in our future incarnations).

By the observance of this fast, and by receiving the gift of the punya of this fast from his citizens, the king was blessed with a good son who proved to be a worthy heir to him.

Lord Krishna says that whosoever observes this fast will enjoy happiness in both this world and the next (in Heaven). Even hearing about the glory of this ekaadasi is a merit in itself.

Observance of this ekaadasi is reputed to give the effect of having performed an Aswamedha yagna!

May our members undertake this fast religiously and with constant remembrance of Lord Hari, and be blessed with all auspiciousness - both in this incarnation and also after this - by possibly merging with Lord Hari.

Blessed be.

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Varamahalakshmi vratam - August 16, 2013


Varalakshmi Vrattam or "Nonbu" as it is called is a powerful vrattam that can ensure prosperity and overall development in the family. It is observed on August 16, 2013  this year throughout the world.

As the name implies, this Varalakshmi vrattam bestows "boons" to the devotees.Generally this vrattam is taken only if it is celebrated in the family traditionally; but there is no harm in taking this vrattam voluntarily also. The only condition is that once you have taken it as a vrattam with proper "Lakshmi Face" and "Kalash", you have to celebrate it EVERY YEAR without fail. Even when there is a death in the family in that year, you are supposed to take the "amman face" to some family that celebrates it, place it in their pooja with their permission, offer something as "dakshina" for their conducting the function, and then bring the amman face back to your house. Such is the procedure;so think whether this is feasible before taking this vrattam.But even if you don't take it as a vrattam for life, all can chantLakshmi mantras, beeja mantras, Lakshmi Sahasranaamam, Kanakadhaara Sthothram, Sri Stuthi, Sangraha Lakshmi Hrudayam or other slokhas/ mantras on Goddess Mahalakshmi and get Her Grace. Goddess is Waiting to bestow Her Grace on that day; we just need to ask Her.


Ladies who have taken this vrattam vow in earlier years but are in monthly periods on this day and hence cannot offer the Varalakshmi pooja can offer the vrattam prayers on the subsequent Friday i.e. on August 23, 2013.


We intend to perform Beejaani sahitaa Lakshmi Homam on Vara Mahaalakshmi day along with recital of other powerful mantras on Her. Those who wish to take part in those as part-sponsors are most welcome. Please note that we won't be sending the homam prasad/ holy ash via post due to logistic/ ritual purity reasons.  The inclusion of name/ nakshatra, and gothra in the sankalpam will be deemed to be in-absentia participation for those who are unable to come and attend this personally at our residence.


Varalakshmi vratam day poojas
Name, nakshatra, rashi, gothra


May Goddess of Fortune smile at us benevolently!


Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Astrological and Remedial consultant




Friday, August 9, 2013

Aadi pooram - August 9, 2013

Dear Members:

The auspicious Aadi Pooram festival falls on August 9, 2013 this year. It marks the appearance of the devotee-par-excellence Aandaal on earth (it was on this day when Shri Vishnu chittar - later hailed as Periyaazhwaar - found Aandal as a child when he was plucking flowers for daily pooja). This is celebrated with gaiety in all Vaishnavite temples. This day is also auspicious for propitiation of Mother Goddess in any of Her Forms. It is customary to offer bangles, turmeric pieces, blouse-bits or other auspicious items to ladies visiting temples and invoke the Blessings of Divine Mother (Shaastras say that when women are venerated, She Herself is Honoured).

A maa-vilakku pooja was done at our residence today on this occasion and special prayers were raised for the welfare of all our paarayanam group members during that pooja.

May Divine Grace be with us all.
 

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINAMOORTHI

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kaamika Ekaadasi - August 2, 2013


Dear Members:


The auspicious Kaamika ekaadasi is to be observed throughout the world on August 2, 2013 this year

Exceptions to the above:

1)Those living in Australia who adhere to vaishnava traditional rules regarding the ekaadasi observance who must observe this on August 3, 2013. Those living in Australia and observe Smaartha traditions must still observe this on August 2, 2013 only.
2) Those living in Hawaii region and observing Smaarthaic traditions regarding ekaadasi must observe this fast on August 1, 2013 itself; those living in Hawaii region and observing vaishnavite traditions regarding ekaadasi fast must observe the fast on August 2, 2013.

Merits of this ekaadasi (from Brahmavaivarta puraanam)....


Observing the kaamikaa ekaadasi gives one the merit that accrues out of bathing in sacred rivers. Offering Tulsi to Lord Mahaavishnu on this day pleases our Lord more than offerings of even the Nine Gemstones of rarest quality! A devotee who does proper worship of Lord Vishnu with Tulsi leaves on this ekaadashi day reaches Vaikuntam directly after the end of this life. Proper observanace of this ekaadasi will please Yama Dharmaraaj also. It is customary to donate a ghee lamp/ sesame oil lamp to a Krishna temple on this ekaadashi day. Such a devotee will be blessed by all celestials. The merit accruing out of this ekaadashi is equivalent to that accruing out of recital of all Holy Scriptures.


Elsewhere, it has been mentioned by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada that the merit of observing this ekaadasi is equivalent to that obtained by donating a healthy cow along with her calf and one year's feed to a worthy vedic scholar.

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


Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

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