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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Padmini Ekaadasi 2018

Dear Members:

The auspicious Padmini Ekaadasi is to be observed on May 25, 2018 throughout the world. Padmini Ekaadasi is the ekaadasi that falls in the shukla paksha of the adhika maasa (lunar leap month - the additional lunar month in a year - that happens roughly once in three years). Observance of this fast properly is believed to give merit equivalent to performance of Raajasuya yaaga (besides others yagnyas if one maintains a full night prayer vigil per norms of the shastras), and ensures attainment of Abode of Lord Vishnu after one's term on this plane of existence.

Method of observing the fast:

If possible, devotees should refrain from eating right from the previous night (on dasami night itself) and in the morning, purificatory bath should be taken with a small amount of clay (or sand from holy rivers or just plain clean sand/ clay/ mud - smearing mud/ clay/ sand on face and limbs and wathing them off; you may even use multani mitti or gopi chandan in lieu of fresh mud/ clay/ river-sand), and with aamla powder (aamla seeds dried and powdered and used as bathing powder- this can be obtained from Indian medicine shops).

The day should be spent in as much of Divine Contemplation as if feasible, and we should avoid criticizing anyone for any reason, talking ill of pious persons/ religious heads for any reason, and unnecessary gossip against anyone.

A whole-night vigil would be beneficial...

During the first quarter of the Ekadasi night the devotee should offer some coconut to his / her favourite Deity (Isthadeva), during the second part bel fruit should be offered (aamla pieces acceptable in lieu if you can't procure bel fruit), during the third part an orange, and as the night draws to a close some betel nut. Remaining awake during the first part of the Ekadasi night bestows on the devotee/sadhaka the same merit as that gained by performing the Agnistoma-yajna. Staying awake during the second part of the night bestows the same merit as that gained by performing a Vajapeya-yajna. Stay awake during the third part gives one the same merit as that attained by performing an Ashvamedha-yajna. And one who remains awake throughout the night receives all of the above mentioned merit, as well as the grand merit of having performed a Rajasooya-yajna. Thus there is no better fasting day in the year than Padmini Ekadasi.( This rare opportunity comes to us once in three years - BUT human life is ephemeral - no one knows when Time will come calling upon us - so, we should take up austerities for our soul on special auspicious days as if this day is our very last day and our very last chance to redeem our souls).

After remaining awake throughout the night, the devotee should bathe at sunrise (on the day after the fast - on Dwaadasi day) and then worship Lord Vishnu nicely. He should then feed a qualified brahmin (or a pious devotee or spiritual person) and respectfully give him the Deity of Lord Keshava and the pot filled with pure scented water. This gift will guarantee the devotee success in this life and liberation in the hereafter.


If the entire procedure is not feasible to follow due to normal life circumstances, I would recommend each and every spiritual person to follow the Ekaadasi fast to the extent feasible for them in their lives (if not a full fast, try to subsist on fruits/ milk or skip at least one meal in Honour of our Lord, or whatever is possible for you in light of your health conditions and prior training regarding fasting) in Honour of Lord Vishnu and reap the spiritual benefits of this wonderful day. Try to indulge in some sort of pious activity in whatever small way you can - right from chanting simple Raama naama whenever possible during the day for those who can't set apart time for an elaborate pooja extending to reading whole work of Naaraaneeyam, or Sundara Kaandam, or many repetitions of Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam or Shrimad Bhagavat Gita for those who can afford to allot time like that for such intense and long austerities.

May Lord Vishnu's Grace pervade the Universe and bring peace, prosperity, and progress to all living beings.

Blessed be.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Varuthini ekaadasi 2018

Dear Members:

The auspicious Varuthini Ekaadashi (Chaitra Krishna ekaadashi) falls on May 11, 2018 this year; it is to be observed on the same day throughout the world.

Glory of the Varuthini ekaadashi

The glory of the Varuthini Ekaadashi has been explained in the Bhavishya uttara puraaana in the form of a discourse between Yudhishtira Maharaaj and Lord Krishna.

On a specific request from Shri Yudhisthira, Lord Krishna explains that whosoever observes a complete fast on this sacred day has his sins completely removed, obtains happiness, and achieves all good fortune. Fasting on Varuthini Ekaadasi makes even an unfortunate woman fortunate (There are some horoscopic combinations in a female chart - like Visha Kanya yoga, vaidavya yoga, vandhya dosha, etc. that can spoil family happiness and bring much ill luck; Lord Krishna's saying that this fast will make even an unfortunate woman fortunate refers to such horoscopes. So, this ekaadasi fast on Varuthini ekaadashi can be suggested as remedy for such horoscopes). Lord Krishna further says that this ekaadashi has the potential of freeing a soul from the miseries of repeated rebirth.

Various kings like King Maandaatta, Dhundhumaaraa, etc. have been benefitted by this. King Mandaattaa obtained liberation; King Dhundhumaara - who suffered from leprosy as a result of curse from Lord Shiva was freed from it.

Whatever merit one obtains by performing austerities and penances for ten thousand years is achieved by a person who observes this Varuthini ekaadashi properly.

The method of observing this ekaadashi

The following things should be given up on the Dashami thithi (the day before the fast) - eating on bell-metal plates, eating any kind of urad-dhal, eating red-lentils, consuming honey, eating in other's houses, conjugal relationships.

On the day of ekaadashi, one should observe fast (complete fast is recommended), and listen to Shri Hari's stories from the mouth of spiritual persons, or engage oneself in Divine Contemplation quietly. One should avoid speaking ill of others (even sinners should not be spoken about badly on this day), keep oneself ritually clean, and spend the day in Divine Worship and contemplation. [My notes: Those who cannot fast completely should at least avoid eating beans and rice/ whole grains on this day, and should just consume fruit juices/ milk without honey].

On the Dwaadashi thithi, again one should avoid eating in bell-metal plates, eating urud-dhal (black-gram), hard exercises, eating more than once, having oil bath, shaving body, face, or head, and eating in other's home. [Eating in other's home refers to eating outside; home of parents, in-laws, daughter/ son, disciple's house/ Guru's house, close friend who is alike oneself in observance of spiritual duties are not considered other's houses as per shastras; so, one can consume food in these places as long as the food has been prepared as per ritual conditions of purity].

One who remains awake on this ekaadashi night and meditates upon/ worships Lord Janaardhana will nullify all sins of previous birth and will attain Supreme Abode of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Krishna says that listening to/ reading the glory of this Varuthini Ekaadashi with devotion is equivalent to the merit obtained by gifting 1000 cows!

May our members observe this holy fast and become more lucky, and also become blessed enough to attain Ultimate Salvation by the Grace of Shri Hari Vishnu.

Subham Bhavantu!

Blessed be.

 Astrological and Remedial consultant

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Chitra Pournami 2018

Dear members:

The auspicious Chitra Pournami vrattam (Chitragupta pooja)  falls on April 29, 2018 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 - 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.

May Divine Grace be with us all.

Blessed be.

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