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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.


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.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sharada Navarathri - 2017

There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother of our Universe - one for each Rithu (season), and this navarathri falling in the sharad rithu is the most important one as it is the one recommended for householders.

Navarathri schedule for different parts of the world.

Navaraathri austerities begin from September 21, 2017 for those living in countries of the African continent, Middle-East countries  like UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and countries to the East of Indian sub-continent (including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Fiji, Japan, China, Korea, etc.). Those living in countries of the European continent, North and South American continents must begin Navarathri austerities right from Sep 20, 2017.

Durga Pooja should be observed on Sep 28, 2017 throughout the world except those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the American continents who must observe Durga pooja on September 27, 2017 itself.  Even those countries of the European continent where Navarathri austerities begin from September 20th must also observe Durga pooja only on Sep 27, 2017

Saraswathy pooja is to be observed on September 29, 2017 throughout the world except for countries of the European, North American, and South American continents.  Those living in Europe, North America, and South America must observe Saraswathi pooja on September 28, 2017 (For those living in Europe, both Durga Ashtami and Saraswathi pooja must be observed on Sep 28th). This is applicable for those observing the poojas as "Saraswathy pooja" and place their literary works, books, or academic material for pooja in Honour of Goddess Saraswathy and abstain from any new learning - taking a one-day spiritual break from active learning.

Aayudha pooja - where respect is offered to machines, weapons, and gadgets, must be done on September 29th throughout the world (all countries of the world - including the places where Saraswathy pooja is to be observed on September 28th).  Similarly, those performing Navachandi homam and wishing to end the homam with a Grand Mahaa Chandi homam must perform this on September 29, 2017 - throughout the world.

Vijaya Dasami should be celebrated on September 30, 2017 throughout the world - without any exceptions. This is a good day for new beginnings of all kinds - more especially for initiating learning to infants (aksharaabhyaasam - first ritual writing of alphabets).  As per our traditional adherence, we will be performing the Mahaa Chandi homam on this Vijaya Dasami day at the end of the intense Navarathri period austerities.

Methods of celebrating Navaraathri.

It is traditional to keep "Kolu" - an arrangement of dolls during Navaraathri. This is to signify that Our Divine Mother resides as Inner Soul in all Forms. Some people make the arrangement in such a way that the various steps of the kolu represent the Order of Evolution - like keeping invertebrates and such other forms of lives in the bottom step, keeping dolls representing human life in the middle of the kolu steps, and keeping dolls representing Divine Legends, Dasa Avataars, etc. on the top most step of the kolu arrangement. It is traditional to keep 5 rows (to represent Five Elements of Life), 9 rows (to represent the Nine Forms of Divine Mother), 11 rows (to represent the 11 forms of Lord Rudra), 13 rows (one in Honour of each chapter of Durga Sapta Sati), or 15 Rows (one in Honour of each syllable of Shri Vidhya panchadasaakshari mantra) as per one's convenience; traditionally, people avoid arranging the kolu in 7 rows for sentimental reasons (there is a belief that such an arrangement in 7 rows might affect financial prospects).

I request all our members to perform simple worships as per their convenience during the Navarathri period and become recipients of Divine Grace. This is a period when we Celebrate our Universal Mother - so, that joy should be there in our minds when we observe this austerity (we should not be unnecessarily tensed or make this too complicated with too many taboos! One does not think of protocols when approaching one's mother - but just go with the moment with unbounded joy and affection; such should be our attitude when we worship Our Universal Mother during this period - assuming we are all Her Children and we are invoking Her Presence in our homes - celebrating this with affectionate respect and joy).

Recital of Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Dasa Mahaa vidhya sthothrams, simple Devi sthothrams, Abhiraami Andhaadhi, Lalitha Anubooti, Soundarya Lahiri, Dugra Sthothram, Chandi Path (Durga Saptasathi), etc. can be auspicious during this period.

During this period, we should consider all women as Forms of Divine Mother and treat them with courtesy and respect. One who observes the Navarathri austerities intensely, but insults women knowingly/ unknowingly does not get the benefit of the austerities. Remember this, and treat women (including those in your own family) with affection and respect [Ideally that should be the case always! Because Shastras say that where virtuous women are honoured, Divine Grace visits even in an uninvited manner! This is the reason why women should take special care to safeguard their basic dignity, be affectionate and gentle in dealings with family members, avoid letting corrupting thoughts/ behaviour patterns enter their life styles, etc. in an attempt to maintain their Divine nature that is intrinsic to them; All higher forms of lives spring from the feminine gender of the species, and a virtuous woman is a living Form of the Universal Mother - and can be a source of happiness and Grace to herself and to everyone who is blessed enough to move with her).

Those who have Tulsi plant in their houses, can offer prostrations to that Divine Plant and pray for prosperity and Divine Grace in its vicinity. (All the Holy Rivers are in subtle forms in the roots of the tulsi plant; All Divine Forms are manifest in the middle portion of the Tulsi plant, and All Vedas and Holy Scriptures are manifest in the tips of the Tulsi plant, as said in the Puranas).

Offering Go-Poojaa (prayers to Cow visualized as embodiment of all Divinities) on Fridays and Tuesdays of Navarathri period can give unlimited merit.

It is also auspicious to read a small portion of Divine Legends that depict how the Gracious and Kind Mother Manifested in Angry Forms to annihilate all enemies to peaceful life on Earth every night during this navaraathri period, and invoke such Manifestation of Power in our lives also to annihilate all our enemies (both intrinsic like anger, greed, laziness, and ignorance within us, and our external enemies/ unruly elements who try to disturb peaceful and gentle citizens in the society unnecessarily).

Recital of Chandi Paaraayanam is a powerful remedy not merely for our families but for ensuring peace in the land where we live in. In fact, if austere persons of Faith keep reciting the Chandi Path and Shri Rudram regularly, and if there are many of them in a land, shastras proclaim that the elements of nature's Fury like floods, pestilence, droughts, etc. will never harm that land and prosperity will rein in that land. So, it is partly our duty as Universal Citizens to offer special worship to Divine Mother during this period and pray for relief to all the distressed souls who have been harassed much by natural calamities in various parts of the world, and also pray for peace throughout the world in these troublesome days where you can never read a newspaper without coming across some inauspicious event/ mishap in one corner or other of the earth.


As usual special worships will be done in this regard at my residence (Bangalore).

The part-sponsorship of each day's austerities (beginning from early morning till night.....Ganapathy homam, Laghu chandi homam, Full recital of Devi Mahaatmyam, Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Soundarya Lahiri sthothras, Dasa Mahaa Vidhya japams, Select verses from Devi Bhagavatam, etc.) is Rs.5000 (rupees five thousand only) for one day's part-sponsorship. Those who wish to be part-sponsors for more than one day's rituals are also welcome to do so.

Mahaa chandi homam is planned on September 30, 2017 on Vijaya Dasami day. The part-sponsorship for this Mahaa chandi homam on September 30, 2017 is Rs.25000 (rupees twenty five thousand) - all costs inclusive - including cost of gold coin, silver coin, silk saree, rare herbs, and other pooja articles to be offered in the Mahaa Poornaahuti.

Those who wish to participate in these austerities may write to me through my email-id: with the subject line "Part-sponsorship of Navarathri homams 2017."

Members of our group who have already availed such services in the past and know my bank account details through which they made remittances earlier may directly make the remittance in favour of that icici account as earlier, and keep me informed through email.

Even those who are unable to offer sponsorships for these rituals need not feel let down; prayers are offered for Universal Welfare at the end of each day's austerities, in addition to the prayer for specific special sponsors, and the prayer for Universal Welfare covers everyone - including you!

May Divine Mother Bless us all.
Blessed be.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cauvery Mahaa Pushkaram - 2017

Cauvery Mahaa Pushkaram 2017: This is a once in a 144-year special event from Sep 12, 2017 to Sep 23, 2017 (first 12 days of Jupiter's transit into Tula is called Cauvery Pushkaram; such a pushkaram happening after 12 such rounds of Jupiter is called Mahaa Pushkaram - that happens once in 144 years - none of us alive today will get to see the next one!)....So, those who are living in banks of Cauvery or places near Cauvery please make it a point to do theertha snaanams, tarpanams, dhaanams, etc. after taking the Holy Bath, and offering respects to Mother Cauvery. This year She is bustling with energy and flowing well - and so this can be celebrated happily - all along the course She traverses in our Holy Land. The arrangements are excellent (I visited the ghats at Srirangapatna after the Guru Peyarchi homams yesterday - visited both the Raaja ghat and the Sangam ghat at Srirangapatna- and the bathing ghats are clean, the slippery steps have been cleaned and made safe for pilgrims, and there are ample , trustworthy purohits deputed by the organizers to help pilgrims).The security personnel are very helpful, courteous, and every-ready to assist pilgrims (like old pilgrims who sometimes struggle due to the force of gushing water - yes, Cauvery is Gushing - almost as if She is as eager as the pilgrims to wash away their bad karma!)...
I guess similar arrangements would have been in place in Tamil Nadu also - especially in places like Mayilaaduthurai, Kumbakonam, Srirangam, etc. Kanchi Aachaaryas have issued instructions for special arrangements in this regard
at Mayilaaduthurai (Thula snaanam is special at Mayilaaduthurai - and by that logic - Mayilaaduthurai - Maayavaram as it is affectionately called by Tanjore district natives, is very special for this Pushkara snaanam and tarpanam activities too). May our members observe the Cauvery Mahaa Pushkaram, and add to their karmic merit. Theertha snaanam, tapam, Dhaanam, aatma-vichaaram, and Adhyayanam are 5 fast-track ways for emancipation of our soul - and it is Divine Kindness that even those who cannot indulge in intense tapams and adhyayanams can benefit by theertha snaanam when Pushkara amsa pervades the Holy Rivers of our land (you might remember the Godavari pushkaram we had last year....). Blessed be. Pandit R DAKSHINA MOORTHI.

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