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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Karadayaan nonbu - March 14, 2018

Kaamaakshi amman
(image courtesy:
This is regarding an important austerity - Kaaradayaan nOnbu on March 14, 2018. This is to be observed between 10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.IST on March 14, 2018 by those living in India. Others living around the world must observe the vratam at the time corresponding to the above given time (i.e. at 10 p.m IST on March 14, 2018 what would be your local time at your place; observe the vrata at that time). This is because, this is one vrata that is to be observed at the time when Sun is about to leave sidereal Aquarius and enters sidereal Pisces (the vrata should begin at the time when Sun is still in sidereal Aquarius). So, it is to be observed at the same moment throughout the world (so the times will be different based on the local time zone - still it is at the same instant everywhere unlike other festivals that will be celebrated on different times based on local astronomical variables).

It is an auspicious day for women to pray for the welfare and longevityof their husbands. It is by the power of this observance that the legendary Saavitri got the spiritual power to win back the life of Satyaavaan - her husband who was cursed with a short life. May our women members observe the austerity as per their family traditions for the welfare of their husbands.

It is customary for ladies to offer Mangala Gowri pooja and then tie the Holy Pooja thread on self praying for husband's longevity, and for happy marital life. The offering is "kaara adai" (a special flour delicacy made with rice flour, jaggery, and kaaraamani - a red colour dried bean), and fresh butter; women pray saying "I am offering this kaara adai and unmelted butter to Thee; please ensure that my husband never separates from me," and then tie the Holy thread on their selves.

Unmarried women can also observe this vrata praying for the boon of good marital life and speedy settlement of marriage with a good spouse.

very important clarification

This year there are many website groups who say erroneous things like "after 9 p.m. Ambaal gets ugra swaroopam" and so the vratam must be observed before 9 p.m.  IT IS NOT VALID per shastras.  The criterion for Maasiyum Panguniyum koodum nonbu is that it should be observed just a few naazhikas before entry of Sun into sidereal Pisces sign.  It does not matter at what time the entry happens....we have to observe the vratam in the 5 naazhikas (2 hours) before the actual entry of Sun into Pisces.  Observing earlier than that time for convenience is not per shastras...and worse, saying things that as unshastraic and saying things like "amman gets ugra roopa after 9 p.m." are patently absurd!  Any Srividhya upaasaka worth His/ Her Salt would know that amman DOES often Grace Her Devotees in Shaantha swaroopa even around midnight during intense saadhanaas....and EVEN IF - She comes in ugra roopas per appearance/ attributes, She is always Boon-Giving to good bhaktas.  So, we should not belittle Amman by saying as if she follows only certain time-tables for being ugra/ shaanthaa:)

Blessed be.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Vasantha Navarathri 2018

There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother each year - one for each Rithu, and the Saaradha Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu (October - November) is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders. The next in importance among the 6 Navarathris is the one falling in Vasantha Rithu (March - April) called Vasantha NavarathriThis Vasantha Navarathri occupies the pride of place in the schedule of Devi upaasakaas, and rituals done during this period are for awakening Wisdom and Spiritual Perfection. Thus, as the saaradha Navarathri is for the "Bhogis" (householders and family), the Vasantha Navarathri is for Yogis (those aspiring Spiritual perfection), sadhus, and spiritual minded upaasakaas (who may still be in family but live life as an offering to Divine Mother - balancing mundane and spiritual lives harmoniously). It is traditional to venerate Divine Mother in Her Gnaana Shakti Form during this period. We don't keep kolus or socialize much in this celebration (whereas the saaradha navarathri is as much a social occasion as it is spiritual!). The emphasis is more on spiritual sadhanas and meditation during this period.

This vasantha Navarathri marks the beginning of the lunar calendar based New year (followed by those following Telugu/ Kannada traditions in South India), and it is also associated with Shri Raama Navami which falls during this period. So, during this vasantha navarathri you can also organize Sundara Kaandam recitals at your places praying for family welfare.

Vasantha Navaraathri begins on March 18, 2018.   Beginning of the Vasantha Navarathri is the same day as Ugaadhi. 

Ugaadhi is to be observed on the same day throughout the world EXCEPT those living in areas observing PST time zone of USA, and Canada, and Hawaaii region of USA.

Gauri Trithiya is to be observed on March 20, 2018.  Exception - those living in U.S.A., Canada, and other countries of American continents must observe this on March 19, 2018 itself.  Even in U.S., those living in the East coast should observe this only on March 20, 2018 (i.e. those living in areas falling under EST zone).

Ashokashtami (also observed as Annapoorna Ashtami) is to be observed on March 24, 2018.

Shri Raama Navami is to be observed on March 25, 2018.

Mahaa chandi homam will be done on March 26, 2018 on Dharmaraaja dasami day.

I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during the Vasantha Navaraathri and receive Her Grace. Those who are initiated may recite Lalitha Sahasranaamam and Soundarya Lahiri on these days to become recipients of Divine Grace. Others may simply recite names like "Om Shree MaatrE namah" (Salutations to Thee who Art the Mother), "Om Durgaayai namah", "Om Sadaakshyai namah" (Salutations to Thee with 1000 Eyes = this is for prosperity), "Om siddhi dhaatryai namah" (Salutations to Thee who gives accomplishment), etc.

Those who have Tulsi plant in house may light a lamp in that sannidhi and offer 12 prostrations praying for peace and prosperity in the family and for the whole world. You may consider getting initiated into mantras like "Brindaavani Dasaakshari" (the beeja mantra for Tulsi worship that is very powerful), "Surabhi mantra" (for GOmaataa), etc. during this auspicious period.
You may also read Divine legends related to Mother Goddess which have been identified as powerful ones for prosperity based on authentic classical sources and based on teachings of Sri Vidhya Upaasaka traditions. Many such legends abound in the classic Devi Bhaagavatam. One such legend can be read by clicking the following link:

This legend is particularly beneficial to overcome pestilence and natural calamities. Those of you who happen to recite this legend, please dedicate this for the peace of the souls who perished recently in natural calamities and other disasters.

You can also listen to wonderful Devi sthothras that are available for download from various sites in .mp3 format. There are some wonderful Devi sthothrams available in text format in the site You may visit these sites and use the text of sthothras for recital.

Worship of 9 Forms of Durga Devi on 9 days

There are 9 forms of Durga Devi - "Shaila Putri, Brahmachaarinii, Chandrakantaa, Kooshmaandaa, Skanda Maata, Kaatyaayinii, Kaala Raatrii, Mahaa Gourii, Siddhidaa." You may meditate on each of these names in order from day 1 till day 9 (like on the first day - keep chanting "Om Hreem Shaila Putryai namah" or simply "Hreem Shaila putri namo namah", etc.).
These 9 names by themselves are powerful words with immense Divinity in them. Details about these 9 forms may be available elsewhere in the net; so I am not going too much into details about these. Those who are interested may do a web search on this and get further information, if desired.

Important thing to note when doing navaraathri worship even in simplified forms in Honour of Mother Goddess

Treat all women with dignity and respect during these 9 days (actually women should be treated with respect at all times - but it is more important during these 9 days). Offer auspicious items like sindhoor, kumkum, turmeric paste/ powder/ tubers, small mirrors, bangles, blouse-bits (avoid black colour), small toys for young children, etc. as per your convenience and economic viability. Even unknown women (irrespective of caste, creed, or religion) who visit your houses accidentally during these periods must be treated with respect and courtesy - Mother may visit you in any form!

Special worship at my place during Vasantha Navaraathri

As usual, special worships will be done at my place (currently at Bangalore) during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members (and in fact for Universal wellbeing and Harmony). But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so. Especially whoever suspects evil-eye as afflicting their families, or fear black-magic done on their person/ businesses by rivals may benefit by Chandi homams; just as Shri Rudram is celebrated as King of Hymns, Chandi Homam is the Queen of all Fire Worships in removing all doshas. So, those who wish to take part in this are welcome to do so.

The recommended offerings for part-sponsorships during the Vasantha Navarathri days are as follows:

a) Participation in one day's austerities (on any one day of the vasantha Navarathri) - Rs.5000 (rupees five thousand only).  This covers the entire day's austerities beginning from morning Ganapathy homam, Chandi paraayanam, sakala devataa homam, and Laghu chandi homam in the morning, and recital of Devi mantras/ sthothras, and Raamaayana chapters in the evening.

b) Participation as part-sponsor in the Mahaa chandi homam on March 26, 2018- On Dharma Raaja Dasami day - Rs.27000 (rupees twenty seven thousand only).

c) Part sponsorship of paaraayanams done in the evenings and Devi archana - Rs.300 (rupees three hundred only) per day's sponsorship of archana and paaraayanam.

d) Taking part as a sponsor of the austerities for the entire period (9 day's havans, chants, japams, +  Shri Raama Navami austerities + Mahaa chandi homam) - Rs.60000 (rupees sixty thousand only).

e) Part-sponsorship of Shri Raama Navami day austerities including special homam on Shri Raama Navami day, Raamaayana paaraayanam for the day, etc.  - Rs.5000 (rupees five thousand only).

As Paypal has is not working for me any more, you won't be able to remit your payments via paypal as in the previous years.  You may have to do direct money transfer to my ICICI bank account - the details of which I will furnish for those members who wish to sponsor the austerities (members of paarayanam group and pradosham worship groups - those who are aware of the account details may directly make the remittance to the account and keep me informed).

After making the remittance, kindly send an email to giving details of the remittance (the amount remitted, purpose of remittance, remittance reference no. given by bank to you), your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra (if gothra is not known indicate preference of either Shiva/ Vishnu gothra) - for inclusion in the prayers and also specify the date on which you would love to offer the homams/ archana.

 Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare, peace of the souls who perished in various disasters (both man-made and natural) in the previous year, and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers. So, those who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees or are otherwise unable to sponsor the homams need not feel let down. Please note that those who sponsor the homams/ poojas need to come in person to get the prasad or holy ash of the homam.

 In case you are unable to attend the homam on the specified days, the inclusion of your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra details during the homam/ pooja sankalpam is deemed as "in=absentia" participation from your side. The homam prasad/ Holy Ash will not be sent by post due to ritual purity reasons. May Divine Mother bless us all.

Blessed be. 


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Paapa Mochini ekaadasi - March 12/ March 13, 2018

Dear members:

The auspicious Paapa mOchini ekaadashi  is to be observed on March 12, 2018 by those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the American continent.

Those living in rest of the world (including India), must observe this on March 13, 2018.

This ekaadashi - as the name implies helps in removing all sins and the sinful vaasanaas (subtle karmic traces that can impel us to behave in the same way again!).

The importnace of this Paapa MOchini ekaadashi was explained to King Yudhistra by Lord Krishna, and this is found in the Bhavishyottara Purana (Lord Krishna actually refers the legend that was originally.conveyed to the King Maandaata by the sage Romasha).

According to this legend, the apsara (apsaras are Divine Damsels) by name Manju Gosha lured a great tapasvi by name Medhaavi (the son of the Great Sage Chyavana) into conjugal life thereby breaking his tapasvic life. After many years of sensual life with him, she wanted to return back to her celestial plane. The sage prevented her from going requesting her to wait at least for one more night, she playfully said just think of the time you have spent with me already. When the sage thought of it he was astonished that he had already spent 57 years 09 months and 3 days with her. He got annoyed that he had been lured into spending such a long period as if in a trance in the company of a seductive demi-goddess, and that he had lost a lot of his yogic power as a result of this life. So, he cursed her to turn into a goblin. When the apsara requested for relief from the curse, the sage suggested observance of Paapa MOchini Ekaadasi.

When the Sage Medhaavi tried to enter into the hermitage of his father Chyavana Maharishi, his father said "Oh Son! By acting unethically due to lust, you have lost your wealth of austeries and penance." When the son requested his father about the remedy for this, Maharishi Chyavana also suggested the Paapa MOchini ekaadashi observance. Thus by observing this, the apsara Manju KOsha got freed from the curse of becoming a goblin, and sage Medhavi regained his lost yogic merit.

Lomasha Maharishi said to the great king Maandhaata that whosoever observes this will get freed from all sins.

Lord Krishna Himself further adds that the power of this ekaadashi has the potency to remove such sins as sin caused by killing of a pious vedic person, that incurred in voluntary abortion (voluntary abortion due to non-medical reasons is a great sin as per shastras; birth-control is okay - but abortion is not!), sin incurred by pious people when they consume intoxicants, and that incurred by immoral activity with respectable ladies.

If this ekaadasi is performed with Full Faith, it will give the merit that can be obtained by donating one thousand cows!

May our members observe this holy Fast and get freed from all negative karma and the guilt associated with such sins.
Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

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