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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Rama Ekaadasi 2017

Dear Members:



The  auspicious Ramaa Ekaadasi  is to  be observed on October 15, 2017 this year throughout the world - except that those following Vaishnava traditions and living in Japan, North and South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.  Vaishnavas in these above mentioned regions need to observe the fast on October 16, 2017. Smarthaa Ekaadasi for people in these regions too is to be observed on October 15, 2017 only.

Glory of Ramaa Ekaadasi


In the Brahma vaivarta Puraanaa, there is an interesting legend that is related by Lord Krishna to King Yudhishtra to explain the glory of Ramaa Ekaadasi.


King Muchukunda - a great friend of Indra (the ruler of the Heavens) had a daughter by name Chandrabhaagaa (named after the Holy River that has the same name). She was given in marriage to Shobhanan - the son of King ChandrasEna.


King Muchukunda and all his subjects were very strict in observance of ekaadasi fast. Even horses, elephants, and other cattle were not fed on the day of ekaadasi fast! Once Shobhanan happened to visit King Muchukunda's palace on the day of the auspicious fast of Ramaa Ekaadasi. His wife cautioned him that as his physical condition was then not in a fit condition to tolerate a severe fast, he must move elsewhere (out of her father's kingdom) immediately as her father's people and the whole kingdom followed the fast rigorously (people who undertake rigorous religious fast on ekaadasi never give food to anyone under any pretext on ekaadasi day; this may seem crude and inhuman to some people now - but such was the adherence to ekaadasi fast in those days! The idea was mainly to avoid tempting those who might be fasting but might lose their resolve if offer of food is extended to them).


But Prince Shobhanan offered to undergo the fast instead of opting to move to some other place. When sun set, all devotees of the kingdom were very happy to invite the long night's vigil with Lord Hari's stories and contemplation - but Prince Shobhanan was miserable as he could not tolerate the rigour of the fast. By next morning, he was found dead. The last rites of the dead prince were conducted duly with all honours; but King Muchukunda stopped his daughter from committing "sati" which was the custom of pious ladies of those times.


The deceased Prince Shobhanan became the ruler of a kingdom in Mandaraachalaa attended by wonderful Divine damsels, and Gandharvaas, due to the merit of the observance of Ramaa Ekaadasi; but, as he had observed the vrat only due to pressure of circumstances and with half-heart, that wonderful kingdom was impermanent (i.e. he will lose Sovereignity of that kingdom once the merit gets exhausted).


One day, a pious Brahmin from the kingdom of Muchukunda chakravarti happened to cross that wonderful kingdom that was being enjoyed by Prince Shobhana, and he recognized his king's son-in-law. Prince Shobhana related the fact about his enjoyment of that wonderful kingdom was not permanent, and that it may vanish any time into thin air once his merit gets exhausted. He also entreated the pious Brahmin to explain this to his wife Chandrabhaagaa.




The pious brahmin returned to his kingdom and related the wonderful matter to Princess Chandrabhaagaa. At first she was bewildered, and wondered if the Brahmin had been dreaming; but, as the Brahmin persisted with his narration, she was convinced about the factual existence of such a kingdom and was overjoyed at the prospect of being able to meet her beloved yet again. She confidently said that by the merit of the ekaadasis that she had been observing from her 8th year of life till date, the kingdom that has come into the possession of her husband could become permanent, and requested the brahmin to take her to that wonderful kingdom. The Brahmin also took her to the Mandaraachala mountain. At the foothills, they met the great sage Vaama DEvaa who chanted vedic mantras and sprinkled water on her - making her body transcendental. Due to the power of the vedic mantras and also due to the merit of her ekaadasi fasts, Chandrabhaaga reached the top of the mountain Mandaraachalaa where her husband was enjoying his kingdom. She transfered the merit that she had accumulated by all her ekaadasi fasts to her husband thus enabling him to enjoy that wonderful kingdom permanently till the next pralayaa.


Lord Krishna concluded this narration saying that by the glory of Ramaa ekaadasi Prince Shobhanan enjoyed a wonderful Divine Kingdom in the mount Mandaraachalaa. The Blessed Lord continues saying "Just as both white and Black cow give the same quality of milk, the ekaadasis in both the dark and bright fortnight are equal in their potency to confer merit, and to liberate one from the endless cycles of transmigration of soul. Anyone who hears this legend about Ramaa ekaadasi will also have freedom from sins and attain the Divine Abode of Lord Vishnu."


The import of the legend of Brahma vaivarta Puraanaa related above is that observing Ramaa Ekaadasi can help one to enjoy good fortune including high status of a permanent nature, happy reunion with relatives, and great glory.




May our members observe this auspicious ekaadasi to the best of their abilities with FULL FAITH (unlike the half-hearted attempt of Prince Shobhanan!), and become worthy recipients of Divine Grace.

Important note: Though the legend says about how the Prince Shobhanan observed the fast in a physically infirm condition and hence met his death, and then ultimately enjoyed a Divine Kingdom, we need not take it that far! As regular readers of this blog might be aware from previous posts, ekaadasi fast is exempted for those who are ailing, for the aged persons, and for ladies who are pregnant. This is in agreement with accepted dharma shastraic doctrines. Those who cannot observe a full fast may observe it to the extent possible - like fasting by drinking milk, fruit juices, etc. Even those who are exempted the full fast due to physical conditions must avoid onion, garlic, and other spicy foods that are ritually impure on ekaadasi days. Ekaadasi is the king among the Fasts, and one should be regulated in food habits (even if physical condition does not permit total abstinence from food and water). Please remember this important point and observe the fast in the way that is possible for you according to your circumstances.

May our members observe this ekaadasi as far as feasible and get the spiritual/ mundane benefits associated with this fast.


Harihi Om


Om Namah shivaya.


Blessed be

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Paasaankusa ekaadasi 2017


Paashaankusha ekaadasi falls on October 1, 2017/ October 2, 2017 this year.

Schedule of observance of this austerity:

This fast is to be observed on October 1, 2017 throughout the world except those living in North and South Korea, Eastern parts of China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji - these people in North and South Korea.

Those living those living in North and South Korea, and observing smaartha traditions must observe the fast on October 1, 2017 while those living in these places and observing Vaishnava traditions must observe the fast on October 2, 2017.

Those living in Eastern parts of China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji must observe this on October 2, 2017 (common to both Smaartha and Vaishnava traditions in these regions).

Form of Shri Vishnu to be worshipped on this day - Lord Ananta Padmanaabha (see the picture above of Trivandrum Ananta Padmanabha swamy).

Importance of Paashaankusha ekaadasi

Paashaankusha ekaadasi will help in removing all sins just like any other ekaadasi. Apart from that, one who observes Paashaankusha ekaadasi will be able to realize all his/ her heart-felt dreams, and enjoy other benefits like freedom from vices (addictive behaviours of any kind that are detrimental to our well-being - both physical and spiritual), freedom from chronic karmic diseases, and finally moksha (liberation from cycle of births at the end of this incarnation). So, irrespective of what your goal in life is - whether it is dharma (great goals that have tinge of duty-consciousness in them!), artha (money), kaama (mundane desires like progenic bliss, good family life, etc.) or Moksha (Final Liberation from cycle of births), this ekaadasi will aid you in realization of that goal.

Brahma Vaivarta Puraanaic accounts attribute the merits of this Paashaankusa ekaadasi observance as equal to that acquired by performing numerous yagnas! Performing social service of some kind, or helping other souls in distress on this day is believed to help in realization of one's own true spiritual self.

Maybe, as a part of Swachcha Bharat mission, you may clean the street in which you live, and gain merit out of it (you can make sweeping the street as a spiritual activity by inwardly visualizing as if you are clearing your mental impurities also while outwardly you are cleaning the impurities on the street; pray to God that just as you are cleaning the street outside with the broom, the merit acquired by this social service should give you the will power to sweep your subconscious off sinful thoughts/ impure vaasanaas of the mind)....Just one idea of what sort of service you can do on this holy day!

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

Blessed be.
Pandit R DAKSHINA MOORTHI.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Indira Ekaadasi - September 15/ September 16, 2017


Dear Members:

Indira Ekaashi fall on the waning phase of the Moon in the lunar month of Aswin (September-October by modern calendar). Simply put, it is the Ekaadashi that falls during the Mahaalaya paksha.

It falls on September 16, 2017 this year and is to be observed on the same date throughout the world - except by those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the North and South American continents.

For those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the American continents,

a) Smaartha Ekaadasi must be observed on Sep 15, 2017 itself (for those following smaartha traditions).

b) Vaishna Ekaadasi in these places is also on Sep 16, 2017 like it is for rest of the world.

IMPORTANCE OF INDIRA EKAADASI.

The importance of Indira Ekaadasi is explained in the Brahma vaivarta Puraana in a discussion between Lord Krishna and king Yudhishtra. Observance of this Ekaadasi will help in removing the sinful effects of actions done by oneself and also relieve deceased ancestors' souls from the remorse caused by their sinful actions when they lived on this earth. According to legends, King IndrasEnaa performed this fast on the advice of Devarishi Narada and saved his father from the remorse caused by his sins during his earthly life.

On the day before the observance of this ekaadasi fast, i.e. on dasami thithi, just one meal is eaten praying for ancestors' souls; on the Ekaadasi day a full fast is to be undertaken, and in the afternoon rituals for the satisfaction of pitrus are to be done; the fast is broken on dwaadasi day. If such an elaborate scheme is not feasible, you may just fast as usual on Ekaadasi day, and pray for peace of your pitrus' souls after the Ekaadasi pooja to Vishnu. What else can you do for you ancestors than undertaking this fast that can relive their souls of the burden/ remorse caused by sinful activities committed knowingly or unknowingly during their tenure on this earth?

Please note that this fast is not mandatory for those below 7 years/ above 70 years as is the common rule for Ekaadasi fasts. Similarly those who are sick and ladies who are pregnant are also exempt from this observance. Others should preferably undertake a full fast (abstaining even from water, if possible). Those who can't undertake such rigorous fasts due to practical circumstances should at least avoid all full-grains, onion/ garlic items, eating food outside, etc. and try to subsist on milk and fruits. The bottom line is - observe the fast to the best of your abilities and as best as your circumstances will permit the observance.  Remember that this is the best homage you can pay to your deceased ancestors.

May our members observe this wonderful fast and gain liberty from sinful karma not only for themselves but also for their ancestors!

Blessed be.


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

www.liveperson.com/pandit-dakshinamoorthi

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