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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Utpanna ekaadasi - November 2013



Dear Members:

The auspicious Utpanna Ekaadasi falls on November 28/ November 29,  this year.

The fast schedule for different places on the earth:

1) Sarva Ekaadasi for those residing in USA, Canada, Carribean Isles, and South American Countries is to be observed on November 28, 2013.
2)Sarva Ekaadashi for those living in other parts of the world - including India - is to be observed on November 29, 2013.

This Utpanna Ekaadasi is special because this was the day when Ekaadasi Devi - the Patron Deity of this Fast manifested from the Power of Lord Mahaa Vishnu.

Mura - a demon brought all the planes of existence under his control and forced the demi-gods like Indra away from their positions of authority. The devas approached Lord Mahaadeva for a solution to their predicament. Lord Shiva instructed them to claim protection by surrendering to Lord Maha Vishnu. The demi-gods accordingly approached the Holy Abode of Shriman Naaraayana, praised Him with devotional fervour extolling His virtues, His Divine Might, and His Glories, and requested His help in the matter of vanquishing the demon Mura.

Lord Vishnu instructed them to advance to the abode of the demon, and Himself went along with them. The demi-gods scattered away from the battle-field on meeting with relentless aggression from the demon army. The attacking demons met their nemesis in Shriman Naaraayana - who vanquished hosts and hosts of demons with His Divine Weaponry.

At last, the chief of the demons - Mura himself came to meet our Lord in the battle field. The Divine Weapons caused no harm to Mura due to his previous boons. At last, Lord Vishnu decided to engage the demon in arm-to-arm combat; this combat went on for one thousand celestial years! Lord Vishnu decided to retire from the battle and retired to a deep cave. (He feigned tiredness and fear! Though the Bhavishya Uttara Purana uses words such as "I went there (to a cave) out of fear and also to sleep,"we should take it as our Lord's Play only. Lord Maha Vishnu - the Ultimate Supreme Being need not be "afraid" of a demon, nor can he ever feel "tired". This was a Divine Play to vanquish the demon in a special way, and He must have feigned tiredness and fear....only this can be the right interpretation of this episode).

The demon Mura followed Lord Vishnu, and on seeing Him asleep, the demon decided to finish Him off. However, from the body of Our Lord, a young Divine Maiden manifested, and She fought tirelessly with the demon, and ultimately vanquished him, putting an end to the saga of his unrighteous domination over the Universe.

The Divine Maiden pleaded a boon from Lord Vishnu upon His Waking up (His sleep and Waking up again are all Divine Plays! It should not be taken too literally).

The maiden said, "O Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver that person who fasts of this day from even from the greatest of sins . I wish that half the pious credit obtained by one who fasts will accrue to one who eats only in the evening (abstaining from grains and beans), and that half of this pious credit will be earned by one who eats only at midday. Also, may one who strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses, go to the abode of Lord Vishnu for one billion kalpas after he has enjoyed all kinds of pleasures in this world. This is the boon I desire to attain by Your mercy, my Lord, O Lord Janardana, whether a person observes complete fasting, eats only in the evening, or eats only at midday, please grant him a religious attitude, wealth, and at last liberation."

"'The Supreme Lord said, "O most auspicious lady, what you have requested is granted. All My devotees in this world will surely fast on your day, and thus they will become famous throughout the three worlds and finally come and stay with me in My abode. As you, My transcendental potency, have appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, let your name be Ekaadasi. If a person fasts on Ekaadasi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode."

Ekaadasi fast is thus the greatest of all fasts as it was sanctioned by the Supreme Lord Himself. Fasting on ekaadasi properly helps a person to vanquish all the dangerous enemies who can threaten one's prospects (the greatest enemies are a person's own undesirable vaasanaas, and obsessions which are internalized in the person's psyche. That is the actual mystic import of this legend though it might have occured in reality also in a distant kalpa!), and thus bless the person with material prosperity while alive, and Eternal Salvation after this incarnation on earth.

The day when Lord Vishnu's Yogic power manifested outwardly as Ekaadashi is Utpanna Ekaadashi. By tradition, a child who attains 7th year of age in this life is initiated into Ekaadashi fast gradually beginning from this Utpanna Ekaadashi of that year(the first fast of a tender child should not be too intense; the child should be taught the basics of ekaadashi fast like abstaining from certain foods - grains, beans, and outside food; chanting Divine Names of Lord Vishnu; the child should not be made to endure a full fast - rather, the child should be trained to survive on fruits/ juices, milk, etc., or just made to skip meals once. Then gradually, the child can graduate to a full fast if it agrees well with the child). This is an auspicious day to begin ekaadasi fast as a life-time discipline for anyone who has not fasted before, but wishes to do so in the future. [More guidelines about ekaadasi fast can be checked in previous write-ups in this blog].
The glory of a fast on this Holiest of Days need not be elaborated any further. May our members enjoy Divine Bliss by observing this Holy Ekaadasi fast to the extent of their abilities. My best wishes to the Faithful parents who are about to initiate their young children who have attained the eligible age for beginning Ekaadashi fast on this Holy Day. Believe me - initiating a child into Ekaadasi fast is one of the best gifts you can give to your child :) 

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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

karthikai deepam on November 17, 2013


Dear Members:

Tiruvannamalai Deepam is observed on November 17, 2013.


Lighting deepam praying for wisdom in our life, good fortune and prosperity in the family, and peace of souls is auspicious on this occasion - since it marks the day when our Lord appeared as a Huge Pillar of Light of a magnitude that even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma could not Fathom the extent of His Form completely. To commemorate that "Adi Mudi kaana perunthOtram" - The Form with Unfathomable Beginning and End- every year a grand jyothi is lit atop the Holy Arunaachala Hills.

Lord Muruga (also called Kartikeya, Skanda, etc.) is also to be venerated on this day since this day marks the day when His six Forms were united into a single body and six-heads by the Embrace of Goddess Shakti. This is symbolic of Focussing of our 5 indriyaas and the sixth faculty of Reasoning by God's Grace to make ourselves fit for accomplishment of tasks (just as Lord Muruga's six forms united into Shanmugha Form with which He annihilated demons - the purpose of His Genesis straight from Lord Shiva's Third Eye).

May the Light of Wisdom dawn on all of us by Divine Grace.


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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Utthaana ekaadasi - November 13, 2013




Dear Members:



Utthaana ekaadashi falls on November 12/ November 13, 2013 this year.

Schedule of observance of this fast for different regions of the world:

a) Smaartha Utthaana ekaadasi - to be observed by those following smartha traditions. Throughout the world on November 13, 2013 (except for those living in regions of U.S., Canada and other American countries that fall in the Hawaii standard time, Pacific Standard time and Mountain standard time zones; people living in these zones must observe Utthaana ekaadasi on November 12th, itself).

b) Vaishnava ekaadasi throughout the world on November 13, 2013 (except those living in Hawaaii Standard zone; these people must observe the ekaadasi on November 12, 2013 itself).

November 13, 2013 is the date on which this fast is to be observed by majority of people around the world except the regions specifically mentioned above.


This ekaadashi is also known Devouthaani ekaadashi and Hari PrabhOdhini Ekaadashi (capital "O" indicates that this is to pronounced as long vowel sound as per standard transliteration schemes for sanskrit words).




The Kaartika dwaadashi - the day of ending this HariprabhOdhini fast is also the day when chaturmaasya austerities are to be terminated. It is to be noted that Lord Vishnu - who begins His Yoga Nidra on sayani Ekaadashi gets up on Utthaana Ekaadasi and hence this ekaadasi is very special to all devotees. (This is one of the few mandatory fasts that are to be observed at least minimally by EVERYONE).



The glory of HariprabhOdhini ekaadashi has been explained in detail in Skanda Puraana. To summarise those - "Offering yellow colour flowers to Lord Vishnu is very auspicious on that day. One who fasts the whole day extinguishes the sins accumulated over several past births. One who remains awake the whole night and sings/ listens to the glory of Lord Vishnu will enjoy the merit that can be accumulated by donating valuable things like Horses and elephants and performing an elaborate vedic yagna. One who recites at least a portion of a sacred scripture on this day will gain the merit of GOdhaana (gift of cows to a qualified Brahmin). It is said that all places of pilgrimmage come to reside in the house of a devotee who observes this HariprabhOdhini fast properly.



The ekaadashi fast on Hari PrabhOdhini ekaadasi removes sins even if they are in magnitude as the glorious Meru Mountain; all sins of the devotee who remains awake on the night of Hari PrabhOdhini ekaadasi are burnt just as a cart load of cotton gets reduced to ashes before a mighty fire!"



Please note that ekaadashi fast should be undertaken with permission from one's spiritual preceptor (in case of ladies, husband should be informed of the fast). If you don't have a spiritual preceptor, (in case of ladies - if husband is abroad or away from you, or in case of widows/ unmarried women) - you may stand before the Sun and declare you intent of the fast (assuming Lord Sun as your Guru). Similarly, the fast should be broken in front of the Sun (or after permission of Guru or husband as the case may be).



Tulsi Vivaah is associated with this fast and is celebrated as Brindaavana Dwaadashi. One who offers Tulsi garlands to Lord Vishnu on this Holy day gains indescribable merit. Those living in countries in the American continents, and also those living in U.K. and WesternEuropean countries should observe Brindaavana Dwaadasi on November 13, 2013 itself (Please note that both Tulsi Vivaah and Uttaana Ekaadasi austerities should be observed on November 13, 2013 in some regions of the world like U.K., France, Western European countries, and part of American continents).

Tulsi vivaah is to be observed by people living in Middle EAst countries and other eastern countries including India on November 14, 2013.



On Tulsi Vivaah day , one can celebrate the elaborate ritual of marriage of a Tulsi plant with a Salagram idol or any image of Lord Vishnu. This grants great merit to the devotee and gives upliftment to the devotee's whole dynasty (i.e. generations before and those to come after him also!).



Decorating Tulsi plant with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste, and sindhoor; lighting a ghee lamp under Tulsi plant; offering obeisance to it; offering water to it; showing lit camphor as Aarti to it, etc are simple means of worship that can be done by those who cannot afford to perform the elaborate Tulsi Vivaah as per established procedures.



A simple prayer to Tulsi



"Om Brindaa Brindaavanii viswapoojitaa viswapaavani



Pushpasaara Nandinii cha Tulasii Krishnajeevanii"



Recite this at least thrice before Tulsi plant and offer your salutations to Tulsi Maa. This can be done everyday also - but at least on Tulsi Vivaah day known as Brindaavana Dwaadashi.


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING THIS EKAADASI:

Those who cannot maintain the full fast, may eat just once or twice on this day skipping the mid-day meal or eating only supper at night (i.e. even missing one meal time in honour of this PrabhOdhini fast is considered as fasting though the merits are somewhat less). As this is a mandatory fast, such relaxation has been extended. So, everyone should try to fast on this day - at least by skipping one meal on this day. The meal that is eaten on this day should be free of onions, garlic, non-veg items, chillies, whole grains, etc. You may consume chappatis without much salt, or such simple foods on this day if your physical condition requires you to avoid complete fasts.



Skanda Puraana says that mind should be diverted from money-making ventures and instead focussed on charities on this Holy Day. So, you should donate what little you can to vedic experts (genuine experts whom you know to be following rituals and High Spiritual Precepts diligently, and are of noble disposition) on this day. Those who cannot donate anything due to dire financial circumstances should at least have a kind word to speak to an expert vedic practitioner and offer respects to them to get their blessings. Lord Hari Himself will manifest in those Blessings from qualified experts and remove all your sins (a note to spiritual guides who might be reading this: NEVER BLESS ANYONE WITH MATERIAL BOONS ON THIS DAY; JUST SAY "BHAGAVAAN HARI PREETHI SIDDHIRASTHU" - meaning "Let God Hari be satisfied by this!")



May our members enjoy spiritual bliss and removal from karmic burden due to the proper observance of this fast.



Blessed be.




Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant

dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi









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