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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nirjala Ekaadasi 2015

This post is regarding Nirjala Ekaadasi on May 29, 2015.

This Ekaadasi should be observed throughout the world on May 29, 2015 except those living in Hawaai standard time zone where it should be observed on May 28, 2015 itself.


Significance of the Nirjala Ekaadasi:
Nirjala Ekaadasi is also known as Paandava Nirjalaa Ekaadasi. Sage Vyaasa was extolling the virtues of the Ekaadasi fast and also the sins associated with not keeping the ekaadasi fast. The other Paandava brothers and Draupadi who were observing Ekaadasi vrattam scrupulously were very happy to listen to the exposition on the glories of Ekaadasi; however, the Great Warrior Bheema who was known for his gluttony and who could not fast on Ekaadasis (fasting twice a month was almost unthinkable for him!!!) was worried on hearing the sins associated with not keeping ekaadasi vrattam. So, he requested Sage Vyaasa to tell an alternative instead of fasting on all ekaadasis.


Sage Vyaasa clarified that if the Nirjalaa Ekaadasi fast is observed scrupulously, it will give the result of having observed ekaadasi fast throughout the year, and so Bheema can observe that ekaadasi alone to get the results of all other ekaadasis thus escaping the sins associated with not observing other ekaadasis. This was at least tolerable to Bheemasena (he just needed to fast once a year which was at least okay rather than at least 24 days per year on each ekaadasi the very thought of which was intimidating to him!). Thus, this Nirjala Ekaadasi is also known as "Bheema Ekaadasi" or "Paandava Ekaadasi"


Procedure for observing Nirjalaa Ekaadasi


One should take bath early in the morning and declare that he/ she is undertaking the Ekaadasi fast for escaping all sins - known and unknown and for the Grace of Lord Hari. Meditation should be done upon Lord Naaraayana reclining on His Bed of Seshaa in the midst of the Milk Ocean (Jala Saayi Perumaal). We should also remember Sage Vyaasa's words that observing this single Ekaadasi will give the merits associated with the other ekaadasis of the year also.


Usually ekaadasi fast can be done as per one's wishes and convenience, like - fruit only fast, milk only fast, water-only fast, abstaining from grains but eating other ritual pure items/ vegetables, etc. However, Nirjala ekaadasi - as the name implies - should be a complete fast where the observer of the fast should abstain from even plain water!


Many scrupulous observers of Ekaadasi fast usually keep a complete fast (including abstaining from water) on all ekaadasis. Even those who are not so strict about abstaining from water on normal ekaadasis should abstain from water during the nirjala ekaadasi. Of course, there is exemption applicable for old-aged, the physically infirm, those who are in sick bed, pregnant women, lactating women with very young infants, etc. Others who are physically fit but fail to observe this ekaadasi are missing a very good karmic opportunity because, just observing this one ekaadasi can exempt you from all other ekaadasis (and also gives you the merit that could accrue from observing all other ekaadasis!!!!).

On dwaadasi day (the next day) while breaking the fast, it is auspicious to make some charitable donation to any deserving cause to get the full results of the observance. It is customary to offer umbrellas, sandals, or water pot to pious brahmins on this day. If you are not able to find suitable pious persons who deserve such dhaanaas, you may just contribute what little you can to any charitable cause of your choice or to any temple.


Merits associated with observing nirjala Ekaadasi:


1) The merit accruing out of performing shraadha during solar eclipse.
2) The merit accruing out of observing all other ekaadasis of the year (it does not mean that we should not maintain the other ekaadasi fasts if we observe this; just think....if you observe this in addition to all other ekaadasis, you will be getting twice the benefit is it not? For those who cannot fast on all ekaadasis due to practical considerations, this ekaadasi is a boon; they can observe just this ekaadasi with full devotion and perfection - without water!)


May our members observe this Holy Fast and gain the Grace of Lord Hari.
Blessed be
Pandit R DAKSHINA MOORTHI

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Apara Ekaadasi - 2015



The Holy Apara Ekadasi for this year - 2015 is to be observed on May 14, 2015throughout the world, except by those living in Hawaii region of U.S. Those living in Hawaii should observe this on May 13, 2015 itself.
Significance of this Apara Ekaadasi:
This Ekadasi is specifically recommended for those who are suffering from pangs of anxiety arising out of past short-comings in performing one's rightful duties (out of negligence or other pressing practical circumstances). If you have committed some major sins knowingly or unknowingly and are suffering from remorse for those sinful activities, and want to be freed from the psychological pangs now, observance of this Ekadasi will help. This Ekaadasi can free one from sins like Brahmahati (that can cause depressive tendencies and may even lead to more serious psychological disturbances as a consequence of one's sins), Gohatya and other major sins.
Apara Ekaadasi punya is equivalent to all the following meritorious religious activities taken together!....
1) Bathing in the Holy Pushkara thrice a day, everyday throughout the lunar month of Kaarthika;
2) Having Maagha snaana at Holy Prayaag.
3) Performing Seva to Lord Shiva at Vaaranaasi kshetra during shiva Raatri;
4) Gaya shraddam for one's ancestors;
5) Bathing in the Holy Gautami River during Jupiter's transit into Simha rashi;
6) Having Shri Kedaarnaath darshan.
7) Having Badrinaath darshan during the kumba maasa (sun in kumbha raashi)
8) Taking a bath in Kurukshetra during solar eclipse and donating cows, elephants, and gold in charity to worthy Brahmins.
9) Donating a pregnant cow, along with gold and fertile land.
Method of observing Ekaadasi vratham:
Try to limit intake of food slowly starting from the previous day (dasami) itself. Avoid consuming honey, onion, garlic, and such ritually impure items on dasami day (the day before ekaadasi fast) itself and also prepare yourself mentally too by meditating on Lord Hari.
On the day of Ekaadasi fast, you must get up early in the morning, take a bath, and with full intent maintain the fast. Ideally, the fast should be complete - avoiding even drinking water. However, if this is not possible, you may water-down the intensity of the fast like - a fruit-only fast, juice-only fast, milk-only fast, or whatever depending on your health condition. On Ekaadasi day, pulses and grains should be strictly avoided (especially Rice). This Ekaadasi is mandatory for all believers with good health between the ages 7 and 70. (Pregnant women, old aged persons, and ailing persons are exempt these; even women in their monthly periods can fast on ekaadasi and meditate on Lord Hari silently without chanting mantras!)
On the night of Ekaadasi fast, it is recommended to keep a whole night vigil - listening to Lord's wonderful leelaas from various scriptures, or reading Bhagavat Gitaa, or simply chanting Lord's names like Hari, Raam, Krishna, Hare Ramakrishna, etc.
On Dwaadasi - the day after the fast, the fast should be broken within 2 hours 24 mins. after sunrise at your place, at an auspicious time. Those who have maintained a full fast (without even water) can break the fast by just consuming Tulsi teertham (Tulsi-soaked water). Others can break fast by eating fruits.
On Dwaadasi thithi, tamarind and chillies should be avoided while cooking. Lemon can be used instead of Tamarind; pepper can be used instead of chillies to flavour the food-items.
It is good to consume Amla on dwaadasi thithi as this endears one to Lord Krishna.
One who maintains this fast of Apara Ekaadasi will win fame and reknown besides cutting off the roots of all negative karmaas.
May all our members undertake this Holy Fast and relieve themselves of all negative karmaas.
Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.
www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chitra Pournami 2015

Dear members:

The auspicious Chitra Pournami vrattam (Chitragupta pooja)  falls on May 3, 2015 this year.

Austerities in connection with Chitrapournami/ chitragupta pooja:


It is customary to eat curd rice (preferably curd of buffalo!) without salt on that day and to fast without eating anything else. In any case, avoiding salt in food items throughout the day is recommended on that day, if possible.

Special worship is done in Honour of Lord ChitraGupta - the Divine Accountant - who keeps an account of our karmas, and appeals for forgiveness for our shortcomings are raised on this day. Those who can afford a visit, should pay a visit to Kanchipuram Chitra Gupta temple -an ancient one which is very ancient and powerful.

In Madurai Meenakshi amman temple, DevEndr Pooja is done on Chitra Pournami day (it is believed that it is on this day Indra came across a Golden Lotus in a pond with which He worshipped Lord Shiva of the temple; the temple tank of Madurai Meenaakshi amman temple is called Golden Lotus tank still). So, paying a visit to Shri Meenaakshi SundarEshwara temple today is also auspicious and can relieve one of the sins such as insult to Gurus (In fact, Indra did the pooja on Chitra Pournami to propitiate Lord Shiva and get remedied from burden of sins that He committed in the absence of His Guru Brihaspati, who was incognito for some period following an argument with Indra).


Chitra Gupta can be easily pleased by uttering the following names:

"Om Chitraaya namah"
"Om Chitraguptaaya namah"
"Om Karma saakshine namah"
"Om nirdoshaaya namah"
"Om Kaarunya roopine namah"
"Om Dharmaraaja parivaarakaaya namah"

While reciting these names, Chitra Gupta should be meditated upon as a short human form attired in traditional Indian attire with a turban, shining ear rings, and having a bunch of palm leaf scrolls and a pen for writing karmic accounts. His consort is Goddess Karnaambikai.
Mantra for praising and saluting Shri Chitragupta

"Chitragupta namastubhyam lEkaaksharadaayakam
LEkanii katinii hasta chitragupta namOastutE"


The day should be spent by giving contributions to charities, doing meritorious deeds as per one's convenience, and spending the day in contemplation and introspection with the firm affirmation to reduce performance of sinful activities in the coming year.

Performance of this Chitra Pournami vrattam is a powerful remedy for afflictions of ketu in the horoscope.
So, those under ketu dasa/ bhukti or those suffering from marital difficulties or delay in progeny caused by affliction of ketu in horoscopes can benefit much by this Chitra Pournami vratta and Chitragupta poojaa.

May our members celebrate this Holy Day and get relief from burden of sins.

On a related note, Narasimha Jayanthi was observed today.

May Divine Grace be with us all.

Blessed be.
Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI

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