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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hanuman Jayanthi - (as per Tamil traditions) on December 27, 2008

Dear Members:

Hanuman Jayanthi falls on December 27, 2008 as per Tamil traditions. There are various versions for this observance - some follow it on Chaitra Pournami (this is followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and some parts of North India. In North Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Hanumat Jayanthi is celebrated on Vaisakh Krishna dasami thithi. According to Tamil traditions, Hanumat Jayanthi is celebrated on the Amavasya thithi of the Tamil Month Maargazhi when Moola constellation rules. (for those of you who are from Siddha lineage of Sage Agasthya - there is another version which is not so popular as the other jayanthis! Agasthya Samhita gives Lord Hanuman's Birth details as Mesha lagna, Krishna chaturdasi thithi, Swaathi nakshatra, in the solar month of Karthigai)

The differences may pertain to different incarnations of Lord Hanumaan in different kalpas (the same Divine Events have occured in different kalpas with slight modifications and that is why you will find slight differences in version of some Divine Legends in various Puranas as they may refer to the events in different kalpas!). So, probably they are all correct in that they refer to His Jayanthi in different kalpas.

Another reason for the difference could be that each "Jayanthi" could refer to some significant "life-changing or rebirth sort of event" in Lord Hanuman's the first conception through Lord Vaayu's agency as a Rudraavataraa, His being revived by Divine Boons as a child (after He was struck by Vajraayudha when He tried to gobble the sun! thus it was a sort of second life for Him), His realizing His Divine Powers after Jaambhavaan alerts Him of the powers that He had forgotten due to the curse of rishis, His Incarnating as Panchamukha Hanumaan to tackle the challenges of Demons of the Netherworld, etc.

Generally for a devotee every day is of spiritual significance and so, these "special days" are just convenient Divine Excuses for showering additional devotion and for Divine Celebration with extra fervour! So, maybe, you can follow all those Jayanthis of the most Humble but Mighty Messenger of Lord Raam and celebrate His Incarnation thrice/ Four times a year!

In that spirit, even our brethen from North India, and other southern states may offer special worship to Lord Hanumaan on this day when their brother devotees from Tamil Nadu will be offering their respects and veneration to the Glorious Son of Vaayu.

Recital of Shri Hanumaan Chaalisaa, Sundara Kaandam chapters, AanjanEya sahasranaamam (reputed to be composed by Lord Raama Himself!), etc. are considered to be auspicious on this day.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saphala Ekaadashi on December 22nd/ 23rd, 2008

Dear Members:

The auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi falls on December 22nd/ 23rd, 2008. The observance of this fast for different places on the globe is as follows:

1) for USA, Canada, West Indies, and other countries in American Continent - December 22, 2008

2) For India, Burma, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand - December 23, 2008.

Glory of Saphala Ekaadashi

This is mentioned in Brahmaanda Purana. Fasting on Saphala Ekaadashi will help in cleansing all sins committed earlier, and also helps in attaining fame in this life.

Lumbaka - the son of a king was always questioning the authority of Lord Vishnu, and due to this irreverential attitude, he was exiled from the kingdom. He continued with his irreverential attitude, and added to that began plundering the wealth of poor villagers. He took his abode beneath a banyan tree, started killing animals, and began eating raw meat. (The legend purports to describe that the king's son had fallen into sinful ways that will add severely to karmic account).

Once, he fell ill on a particular day and hence could not partake his usual meals (of raw meat!); he also remained awake all night due to his sickness. As the day was Saphala Ekaadashi fast day, he had unknowingly followed the vrat! The next day he felt better and intuitively realized that this was all due to Grace of Lord Vishnu. He realized his mistake, returned to his father with a repentant attitude, and lived happily thereafter.

Such is the glory of the Saphala Ekaadashi - even a person who unknowingly kept that fast could gain Grace of Shri Vishnu. So, what to speak of the Holy and Pious persons who undertake this fast with full faith and with Divine Contemplation? Is it not obvious that Heavenly glory is open to those who undertake this auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi Fast?

May our members undertake this fast and feel Blessed by Divine Grace.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shadsheeti punya kaalam on December 15, 2008 , and Dhanur month paaraayanam

Dear Members:

Sun enters sidereal Sagittarius at 7-43 p.m. IST. So, the auspicious Shadsheeti punya kaalam falls on December 15, 2008. Dhanur month Paaraayanam/ pooja should be done from December 16, 2008 in all nations except USA, Canada, and other countries in North/ South America (for these nations, Dhanur month pooja also begins on December 15, 2008 itself). It is a traditional belief that one day's pooja to Lord Vishnu during Brahmamuhurtha of the Dhanur month (when Sun is in Sidereal Sagittarius) can give merit equivalent to daily pooja for 1 year! So, you should do what simple worship you can to Lord Vishnu or any Ishta Devataa by getting up before sunrise on this holy month of Dhanus. Those who cannot perform detailed poojas may just recite Divine names of their choice (Shiva - shiva, Raama Raama, Govinda, Naaraayana, or whatever!).
Those who have knowledge of Tamil hymns may recite Tiruppaavai and Tiruvembaavai poems with devotion. Vishnu Sahasranaamam and Bhagavat Geeta Paaraayanam are other auspicious and recommended recitals during Dhanur month.

Now, the shadsheeti punya kaalam is a very auspicious period for initiation into new occult routines, for performing charities, and for all meritorious activities (the Full day - from sunrise on December 15, 2008 to sunrise on December 16, 2008 is considered as Shadsheeti punya kaalam - you need not check muhurtha guidelines if you are planning to do special poojas, charities, tarpans, or other meritorious activities tommorrow).

Donating to charitable causes (like donating to poojas, homams, vedic experts who are conducting regular worships based on dharma shastraic guidelines, donating to temples, donations to orphanages/ charitable institutions/ choultries, etc.) during this period will be highly auspicious. Annadhaanam (donation of food to pious persons or needy poor), and Vastra dhaanam (donation of clothes to needy poor or to vedic experts)are especially recommended during this period. (i.e. for those who can afford them!)

Any meritorious deed done during this period will get multiplied 86,000 times! So, this is an ideal day for chanting mantras to acquire siddhi over them.

May our members make the best use of this Holy Day to improve their karmic balance sheets!

Blessed be

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Karthigai deepam festival on December 11/ 12, 2008

Dear Members:

Tiruvannaamalai Deepam falls on December 11, 2008, and Pancharaatra Deepam is to be celebrated on December 12, 2008 (by those who follow Pancharaatra aagama principles for festivals).

Lighting deepam praying for wisdom in our life, good fortune and prosperity in the family, and peace of souls is auspicious on this occasion. Lord Muruga (also called Kartikeya, Skanda, etc.) is to be venerated on this day.

May the Light of Wisdom dawn on all of us by Divine Grace.

Blessed be.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dattatreya Jayanthi on December 12, 2008

Dear Members:

Dattatreya Jayanthi falls on December 12, 2008. Shri Guru DattaatrEya is an incarnation possessing the Divine attributes of the Trimurthis (Brahma, vishnu, and Shiva) with Sage Atri and the sage's Wife Anusuyaa Devi as His parents. He is an Aadi Guru of the avadhoota sampradaaya. He is a Divine Form who can be easily pleased by mere remembrance of Him ("smarana maatra santushtaaya!")

Anusuyaa Devi - the wife of Sage Atri was known for Her Piety and virtues. Sage Naarada was extolling Her virtues to Goddesses Saraswathy, Lakshmi, and Paarvathy. The Goddesses requested the Trimurthies to test her virtues. The trimurthis took the form of mendicants and went as athithis to the hermitage of Sage Atri when He was not there. Sagess Anusuya offered them the traditional respects due to athithis, and requested them to partake meals in the hermitage. The mendicants imposed the condition that they will partake meals only on one condition that Anusuyaa should serve them stark naked!

Anusuyaa Devi was in a moral fix....According to customs of those times in hermitages (even normal households for that matter!), an athithi was never to be turned away without feeding him. But, at the same time, as a pious and modest wife of a sage, she cannot even think of being nude in front of grown up strangers. She meditated on her husband, and sprinkled Holy Water from his kamandal (a sort of water container kept by sages) on the three mendicants. They got transformed into three infants by the power of her pious devotion to her husband. Obviously, there can be no reservation in being nude in front of infants! She fed them in that condition and thus satisfied the conditions of modesty as well as athithi bhojana (feeding guests). When Sage Atri returned to the hermitage, Anusuyaa Devi showed the three Divine Infants and explained the course of events. Sage Atri of course could Divine the events by His clairvoyance powers.

The three Devis visited the hermitage and beseeched the couple to return their husbands in their original Divine Forms. The couple agreed, but requested that they should have a Divine Child with the potency of the three murthis. Thus was born Shri DattatrEyaa - "Datta AatrEyaa - One who was given as Gift to Shri Atri maharishi and His wife."

Though Anusuyaa Devi wanted Dattatreya to live the life of a householder, He rejected those pleas and instead chose to live in the ways of a Avadhootaa (a complete renunciate - who transcends all sorts of differences and restrictions, and living in the High State of Spontaneous Living called "SwEchaachaaryaa"; saints who live that do what they feel like doing at that moment naturally...they do not follow any rigid rules or regulations in life - allowing Divinity to guide them each and every moment in the form of random thoughts that arise in their conscious!). Datta Gitaa is a philosophical work of wonderful metaphysical depth and beauty.

Many are the miracles of Shri DattatrEyaa right from His times to the current periods. The most famous devotees of Shri DattarEyaa are Sage Parasuraama (Shri DattatrEyaa helped Sage Parasuraamaa in performing the last rites of his father and ensured that the deceased sages attained PUnya Lokhaas), and Shri Kaartaveeryaarjunaa (The Mighty King with One thousand shoulders! who was an Incarnation of Sudarshana - the Holy Disc of Lord Vishnu). In fact, Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna was born without limbs as an infant, and it was by the power of tapasya focussed on Shri DattatrEyaa that he got 1000 pairs of hands and a mighty physique. Additionally, Shri Datta blessed him with a treasury that will never become empty, and also a boon that whosoever remembers the King Kaartaveeryaarjunaa will be able to retrieve lost property and realise rightful properties snatched away from them by force. Kaartaveeryaarjuna also had a boon that he can be defeated and killed only by a disciple/ devotee of Shri DattatrEyaa. When King Kaartaveeryaarjuna started behaving in arrogant manner, and had a clash with Jamadagni rishi, he met his end in the hands of Sage Parasuraama - the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and a devotee of Shri DatttrEyaa as per the boon. The Most Highly Venerated Shridi Sai Baba is one example of a modern day avadhootaa of the Datta sampradaaya. There are other saints also of that tradition who have a wide following today.


Lord Dattatreya is often meditated upon with a Cow (KaamadhEnu) at His back, and 4 dogs at His feet. The Cow - KaamadhEnu represents the truth that whatever legitimate wish you have will be bestowed upon you when you pray to Him. The 4 dogs represent the 4 vedaas. Lord DattatrEyaa - the Trimutrhi swaroopi has the characteristic Divine Weapons of the Trimurthis - in His hands and three heads representing the Trimurthis (also representing Satwaa, Rajas and Tamas gunaas!)

Yet another popular Divine Form that is usually venerated by followers of siddha/ Naath traditions is His Form with the 9 famous Nath saints.

Shri DattatrEya is easily pleased by mere Remembrance of Him. He may manifest in the form of an uninvited guest at noon, a mad beggar, a young child, or even ghostly forms (that is what His Moola mantra says ......." Baala Unmatta Pisaacha vEshaaya!"). Annadhaan (donation of food) to poor and needy is the charity that is closest to His Heart. Many devotees of Lord Datta have had Him visit their houses in the form of unknown guests at Noon. So, if possible, try to donate to charities specializing in feeding the poor on this day. As Dattatreya helped Sage Parasuraama in performance of rituals to ensure salvation of pitrus, He will help us also to get relieved from pitru doshas of all kinds. Also, yati saapaa (curse of saints/ sages/ mendicants) that might have arisen due to insult meted out to renunciates can be remedied by worship of Lord DattatrEyaa. Recital of DattrEya Vajra Kavacham will help in nullifying even most terrible planetary afflictions.

We are planning to conduct special poojas and homams on Datta Jayanthi day this year also. Shri DattatrEya Moola mantra homams, and Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna homam will be conducted at my residence at villivakkam. Members of the Paaraayanam group will be included as honorary beneficiaries of this homam. Besides that, prayers will also be raised for Universal Welfare. You may attend poojas/ homams conducted by pious persons near your place on this holy day.

Those who are not in a position to attend homams/ poojas on Datta jayanthi may still become recipients of His Grace by just repeating the mantra "Om Jai Guru Dattaa" or "Om Jai Satguru Shri DattatrEyaaya namah" as many times as possible on His Jayanthi day - whenever time permits - even in between your normal activities in life. This is a siddha mantra and needs no initiation; anyone without any distinction of class, creed, religion, and gender can recite this at ANYTIME. He is easily pleased and His worship is without unnecessary frills and procedures such that even a child can perform the pooja (because you may do it in the way you wish to do!)

May our members become recipients of Lord DattatrEyaa's Grace and enjoy blissful lives.

Blessed be.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mokshadaa Ekaadasi - December 08/ 09, 2008

Dear members:

The auspicious Mokshadaa ekaadashi falls in the bright half of the month Margasira. It is to be observed on 8th December, 2008 by those living in USA, Canada, West Indies, and other nations of American continents. For rest of the world, the day of the ekaadasi fast is on December 09, 2008.

Glory of Mokshadaa ekaadashi

Mokshadaa ekaadashi - as the name implies has the potential to give Liberation from cycle of endless births and deaths for our soul. Its main goal is to help us in attaining Ever Lasting Bliss in the Lotus Feet of our Lord.

Lord Vishnu in His form of DAMODARA ( kindly refer shrimad Bhaagavatam to know more about these Divine Forms of Lord Vishnu, and how He manifests in His different Forms; generally you may meditate on Four handed form of Lord Vishnu) should be venerated on this Holy Day. A ghee lamp, incense, and tulsi buds should be offered respectfully along with prayers to Lord DamOdharaa on this most auspicious of days.

Legend of Mokshadaa ekaadashi

There is a legend explained in the Brahma vaivarta Puranaa extolling the glory of Mokshadaa ekaadashi as narrated by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtra. Listening to this legend is said to confer the merit equivalent to that obtained by AswamEdha yagna (Horse Sacrifice!). Lord Krishna further adds that the glory of this ekaadasi can give heavenly bliss to the souls of all deceased relatives of the person who observes this fast religiously.

There was a saintly King of yore by name Vaikhaanasa (it is not clear whether it is the same person who gave genesis to the Hallowed Vaikhaanasa aagama - one of the major aagamaas for Vaishnavites) who ruled over a kingdom called Champakanagaram. His kingdom was glorious in every way blessed as it was with a saintly and able king who treated his subjects as his own children, and also with knowledgeable and pious priestly class who were well learnt in all vedic sacrifices and rituals. One night, the king had a terrible dream in which he saw his father suffering torments in hellish regions. When he enquired about this to the Brahmins of his court, they directed him to Parvata Maharishi - a great tapasvi. When the king approached Parvata Maharishi, after formal exchange of pleasantaries, the king broached the topic of a recent torment that he has experiened. The sage, by His Divine Vision, understood the reason for the king's anxiety and also the cause for the torment of his father's soul in hell - the king's father, in his earlier life, had enjoyed his wife forcibly against her wishes during her monthly periods. That grievous sin against a righteous woman had given him the present hellish sufferings.

The king wanted a remedy to absolve the sins of his father and to get him liberated to Higher Planes. The Sage Parvata recommended performance of this Mokshadaa ekaadasi and to donate the merit acquired by this performance to his father's soul upon which the soul will get liberated from Hell. The king did accordingly along with his wife and all relatives, and by the power of this performance, the king's father was liberated from Hell and was taken by messengers of demi-gods to Celestial Planes.

May our readers observe this ekaadashi with devotion and be recipients of God's Grace that will liberate them from endless cycles of transmigration of soul.

On a different note, it was on this day that Bhagavat Gitaa was initiated to Shri Arjuna by Lord Krishna at Kurukshetra. So, this day is also observed as Gitaa Jayanthi. It is auspicious to gift copy of Bhagavat Gitaa to aspirants of vedantaa or do what you can to propogate the Shrimad Bhagavat Gita on this day. Recite at least one chapter, or at least one slokha from Shrimad Bhagavat Gita today understanding its meaning and applicability even in today's life. Those who can, may even perform the Bhagavat Gitaa Homam if it is feasible for them. The merits of this performance cannot be elaborated by normal human beings like me!

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tribute to those who laid their lives down so that others may live in peace

Dear Members:

As I am writing this post, Operation Cyclone - to flush out the terror elements has nearly concluded (the final sanitisation process - to ensure there are no residual bombs or explosives left behind by terrorists anywhere - is going on; but for all practical purposes, the flushing out operation is over).

195 lives have been lost in this 3-day saga of violence and terror, and many more have been injured. Countless others have been severely traumatized emotionally (many eye-witnesses have suffered shock syndrome and are reported to be uncommunicative even with their close relatives due to this shock).

Let us pray for the Brave Hearts who undertook this risky operation as a part of their duties and laid down their lives in the process. They have not died - but have ascended the Highest Planes of existence that is reserved for those who lay their lives down in courageous battles. We should not grieve them, but rather Honour their deaths. Let us remember them and Honour them in our memories.

The other innocent souls who have lost their lives in this terror attack need to be grieved. They are our sisters and brothers who have been caught in the vortex of terror in an unexpected manner. May God give the strength to their families to face this unexpected loss of lives of dear ones. In some cases, whole families might have been wiped out, and there may be no one left to do their last rites as per their religious convictions. In fact, there are reports of more than 25 unclaimed and unidentified bodies for the sites of terror. It is our duty as Fellow Human Beings to pray for salvation of those souls.

Please light a "Moksha Deepam" in front of your houses praying for the peace of soul of all those who have lost their lives (any small lamp made of clay or brass can be lit; please use sesame oil / pure ghee for this lamp; you may light candles instead if that is more consistent with your faith) . Offer a small portion of water mixed with sindhoor/ kumkum at the base of the lamp/ candle in Honour of our brave soldiers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

Those of you who have access to copies of Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan may recite Jataayu Moksha chapter (chapter describing the Eagle Jataayu's fight with Ravana and laying down its life in the process) in Honour of our Deceased Men in Uniform.

May their souls rest in peace.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Friday, November 28, 2008

Guru Peyarchi - Jupiter Transit into sidereal Capricorn on December 9, 2008

Jupiter enters Sidereal Capricorn (Makara Rashi) on December 9, 2008 at 23-41 hrs (IST).For a short period between 1st May 2009 and 30th July 2009, it transits Aquarius in atichaaraa (unusually fast movement). It reverts back to Makara rashi on 30th July 2009 at 19-48 hours IST. And remains there till 19th December 2009. Thus for a major part of the year 2009, Jupiter transits sidereal Capricorn.

This transit is auspicious for Vrishabha, Kataka, Kanya, Dhanus, and Meena rashis. Persons born in other rashis may need to perform some remedies to overcome the adverse transit of Jupiter.

I have created a separate blog for the detailed transit effects for various rashis. You may read the predictions relevant to your rashi by clicking on the appropriate link on the right hand side of that blog. Those who wish to sponsor the Guru Peyarchi homams may do so by clicking the "donate" button below the article. I have not fixed any amount for donation to enable you to donate as per your capacity (those who can afford may donate more, while those who are in tough situations may donate less; it is at your discretion and convenience). Of course, the donation is entirely voluntary and optional.

Please note that prasad of the homam will not be sent to you by post/ courier. Your name, star, rashi, and gothra details will be included in the homam sankalpam which is an "in-absentia" participation from your side. Of course, those who are able to come in person are most welcome to do so after prior intimation to me.

You may read the detailed transit effects for various rashis by following the link:

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Utpanna Ekaadasi on November 22/ 23, 2008

Dear Members:

The auspicious Utpanna Ekaadasi falls on November 22/ 23, 2008 this year.

The fast schedule for different places on the earth:

1) Smaartha Ekaadasi for those residing in USA, Canada, Carribean Isles, and South American Countries - November 22, 2008. (fast should be broken on November 23, 2008)

2) Vaishnava Ekaadasi for those residing in USA, Canada, Carribean Isles, and South American countries - November 23, 2008 (fast should be broken on November 24, 2008)

3) Sarva Ekaadasi (common for both smaartha and Vaishnava traditions) for other countries of the world - November 23, 2008 (fast should be broken on November 24, 2008).

This Utpanna Ekaadasi is special because this was the day when Ekaadasi Devi - the Patron Deity of this Fast manifested from the Power of Lord Mahaa Vishnu.

Mura - a demon brought all the planes of existence under his control and forced the demi-gods like Indra away from their positions of authority. The devas approached Lord Mahaadeva for a solution to their predicament. Lord Shiva instructed them to claim protection by surrendering to Lord Maha Vishnu. The demi-gods accordingly approached the Holy Abode of Shriman Naaraayana, praised Him with devotional fervour extolling His virtues, His Divine Might, and His Glories, and requested His help in the matter of vanquishing the demon Mura.

Lord Vishnu instructed them to advance to the abode of the demon, and Himself went along with them. The demi-gods scattered away from the battle-field on meeting with relentless aggression from the demon army. The attacking demons met their nemesis in Shriman Naaraayana - who vanquished hosts and hosts of demons with His Divine Weaponry.

At last, the chief of the demons - Mura himself came to meet our Lord in the battle field. The Divine Weapons caused no harm to Mura due to his previous boons. At last, Lord Vishnu decided to engage the demon in arm-to-arm combat; this combat went on for one thousand celestial years! Lord Vishnu decided to retire from the battle and retired to a deep cave. (He feigned tiredness and fear! Though the Bhavishya Uttara Purana uses words such as "I went there (to a cave) out of fear and also to sleep, we should take it as our Lord's Play only. Lord Maha Vishnu - the Ultimate Supreme Being need not be "afraid" of a demon, nor can he ever feel "tired". This was a Divine Play to vanquish the demon in a special way, and He must have feigned tiredness and fear....only this can be the right interpretation of this episode).

The demon Mura followed Lord Vishnu, and on seeing Him asleep, the demon decided to finish Him off. However, from the body of Our Lord, a young Divine Maiden manifested, and She fought tirelessly with the demon, and ultimately vanquished him, putting an end to the saga of his unrighteous domination over the Universe.

The Divine Maiden pleaded a boon from Lord Vishnu upon His Waking up (His sleep and Waking up again are all Divine Plays! It should not be taken too literally).

""The maiden said, "O Lord, if You are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver that person who fasts of this day from even from the greatest of sins . I wish that half the pious credit obtained by one who fasts will accrue to one who eats only in the evening (abstaining from grains and beans), and that half of this pious credit will be earned by one who eats only at midday. Also, may one who strictly observes a complete fast on my appearance day, with controlled senses, go to the abode of Lord Vishnu for one billion kalpas after he has enjoyed all kinds of pleasures in this world. This is the boon I desire to attain by Your mercy, my Lord, O Lord Janardana, whether a person observes complete fasting, eats only in the evening, or eats only at midday, please grant him a religious attitude, wealth, and at last liberation."

"'The Supreme Lord said, "O most auspicious lady, what you have requested is granted. All My devotees in this world will surely fast on your day, and thus they will become famous throughout the three worlds and finally come and stay with me in My abode. As you, My transcendental potency, have appeared on the eleventh day of the waning moon, let your name be Ekaadasi. If a person fasts on Ekaadasi, I will burn up all his sins and bestow upon him My transcendental abode."

Ekaadasi fast is thus the greatest of all fasts as it was sanctioned by the Supreme Lord Himself. Fasting on ekaadasi properly helps a person to vanquish all the dangerous enemies who can threaten one's prospects (the greatest enemies are a person's own undesirable vaasanaas, and obsessions which are internalized in the person's psyche. That is the actual mystic import of this legend though it might have occured in reality also in a distant kalpa!), and thus bless the person with material prosperity while alive, and Eternal Salvation after this incarnation on earth.

The day when Lord Vishnu's Yogic power manifested outwardly as Ekaadashi is Utpanna Ekaadashi. By tradition, a child who attains 7th year of age in this life is initiated into Ekaadashi fast gradually beginning from this Utpanna Ekaadashi of that year(the first fast of a tender child should not be too intense; the child should be taught the basics of ekaadashi fast like abstaining from certain foods - grains, beans, and outside food; chanting Divine Names of Lord Vishnu; the child should not be made to endure a full fast - rather, the child should be trained to survive on fruits/ juices, milk, etc., or just made to skip meals once. Then gradually, the child can graduate to a full fast if it agrees well with the child). This is an auspicious day to begin ekaadasi fast as a life-time discipline for anyone who has not fasted before, but wishes to do so in the future. [More guidelines about ekaadasi fast can be checked in previous write-ups in this blog].

The glory of a fast on this Holiest of Days need not be elaborated any further. May our members enjoy Divine Bliss by observing this Holy Ekaadasi fast to the extent of their abilities.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vishnupati Punya Kaalam on November 15/16, 2008

Dear Members:

The auspicious Vishnupati Punya Kaalam falls on November 16, 2008 for all places in the world except USA, Canada, Carribean islands, and other South American Countries. For USA, Canada, Carribean Islands, and other South American Countries, Vishnupati Punya kaalam falls on November 15, 2008.

This is the last Vishnupati Punya kaalam for the year 2008.

Any meritorious deed performed on this day gives manifold effects. So, consider performing at least some simple austerity (maybe as simple as recital of Divine Names whenever you manage time between your daily activities) and at least a token charity (donation of at least a small amount that you can manage to needy persons or expert vedic pandits or charitable institutions of your choice) on this day. The amount you donate is not important - but donate what you can with a full heart and firm faith in the merit of performing charity on this Holy Day.

This is a wonderful day for initiation into new spiritual routines and for performing special worships with the aim of getting special boons in life. Prayers done to Lord Mahavishnu on this day bestow both material prosperity and spiritual progress.

As far as possible, try to recite at least one chapter of Shrimad Bhagavat Gitaa or Shrimad Bhagavatam or at least important slokhas from Shri Vishnu sahasranaamam on this day. Those who are aware of the exact Vishnu Sahasranaamam sthothram to be recited as per their horoscope, can recite only that particular slokha 108 times or even 1008 times to accumulate infinite merit and Divine Grace.

Other auspicious recitals recommended for this day include

1) Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Karaavalambam/ Shri Venkatesa Karaavalambam sthothram (for Divine Assistance during critical periods in our life).

2) Recital of Samkshepa Raamaayanam (the First Chapter of Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayanam) or or arrangement for recital of the same by expert Pandits on your behalf.

3) Shri Vishnu Hrudayam/ Gopala Hrudayam recital - by those who are initiated into this mantra. This recital can give the merit equivalent to recital of 6000 Gayathri mantras even on a normal day....You may imagine the merit that will be accumulated by this recital on this Holy Day!

May our members make the best use of this day.

*Note: Though all days are important for a spiritual person, there are certain days that are imbued with more spiritual potency. Prayers done on these days give manifold results and help us to exhaust our karma faster.

Members who wish to sponsor special pooja in their name on this day may do so by visiting the paypal link below this article. Vishnu Sahasranaamam paaraayanam, and Samkshepa Raamaayan paaraayanam will be done on your behalf.

You may send your name, star, rashi, and gothra (if you know) in the special notes column of the link. You may also indicate your special prayer request in the same space.Kindly note that no pooja article will be sent to you by post due to ritual purity reasons. Inclusion of your name and other details in sankalpam is deemed as in-absentia participation.

Blessed be
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Monday, November 10, 2008

Annaabhishekam festival on November 12, 2008

Dear Members:

Annaabhishekam (offering abhishek to Lord Shiva with fragrant cooked rice) is done every year on Karthik Pournimaa day or the day before in all Shiva Temples. It falls in the Tamil Month of Aippasi - or the solar Tula month; the day when the monthly Pournami Pooja is to be done - i.e. when Pournami is operational for major part of the night of a particular day, is the day when Annabhishekam is to be performed. This annaabhishekam performance is done in Shiva temples for removal of famine, good agricultural produce, and for invoking Divine Pleasure for everyone. This year it falls on November 12, 2008. It is to be noted that on this Holy Day called Vaikunta Chaturdasi (Vaikunda Chaturdasi is to be celebrated on the day when Chaturdasi operates during the day), Lord Vishnu Himself descends to the earth and offers pooja at Kashi Viswanath Temple. I think, the merits of shiva worship on this Holy Day need not be elaborated any further!

If possible try to visit any major shiva temple and take part in the annaabhishekam proceedings in whichever way you are comfortable with.

Those who are residing abroad or in far away places may send their contributions to their friends/ relatives/ family Gurus in India who happen to live near sacred places of Lord Shiva like Sri Kalahasti (Andhra Pradesh), sri Sailam (Andhra Pradesh), Panjeshti (near Chennai), Thiruvottiyur (chennai), Tiruvaanmiyur (Chennai), Thiruvalidaayam (Modern Padi in sub-urb of chennai)), Chidambaram, Tiruvannamalai, Kanchipuram, Kashi, Thiruvaarur, Tiruvidaimaruthur, etc., and request them to offer special worship on their behalf.

Blessed be.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hari PrabhOdhini Ekaadashi/ Utthaana Ekaadashi on November 8th/9th, 2008

Dear Members:

Utthaana ekaadashi falls on November 8th/ 9th, 2008 this year. This ekaadashi is also known Devouthaani ekaadashi and Hari PrabhOdhini Ekaadashi (capital "O" indicates that this is to pronounced as long vowel sound as per standard transliteration schemes for sanskrit words).

The schedule of the fast is as follows for different places on the globe:

1) Hawaii, Alaska, and other places following PST in USA - ekaadasi fast is on November 8, 2008; Tulsi Vivaah should be celebrated on November 9, 2008.

2) For New zealand and Fiji - Smaarta Ekaadashi is on November 9, 2008 and vaishnava ekaadasi is on November 10, 2008. Tulsi Vivaah is on November 10, 2008 (by both vaishnava and smaarta traditions). Vaishnavas should end their fast only on November 11, 2008 though Tulsi vivaah is celebrated on November 10, 2008 itself.

3) For all other places in the world - ekaadasi is on November 9, 2008 and Tulsi Vivaah is on November 10, 2008.

The Kaartika dwaadashi - the day of ending this HariprabhOdhini fast is also the day when chaturmaasya austerities are to be terminated. It is to be noted that Lord Vishnu - who begins His Yoga Nidra on sayani Ekaadashi gets up on Utthaana Ekaadasi and hence this ekaadasi is very special to all devotees. (This is one of the few mandatory fasts that are to be observed at least minimally by EVERYONE).

The glory of HariprabhOdhini ekaadashi has been explained in detail in Skanda Puraana. To summarise those - "Offering yellow colour flowers to Lord Vishnu is very auspicious on that day. One who fasts the whole day extinguishes the sins accumulated over several past births. One who remains awake the whole night and sings/ listens to the glory of Lord Vishnu will enjoy the merit that can be accumulated by donating valuable things like Horses and elephants and performing an elaborate vedic yagna. One who recites at least a portion of a sacred scripture on this day will gain the merit of GOdhaana (gift of cows to a qualified Brahmin). It is said that all places of pilgrimmage come to reside in the house of a devotee who observes this HariprabhOdhini fast properly.

The ekaadashi fast on Hari PrabhOdhini ekaadasi removes sins even if they are in magnitude as the glorious Meru Mountain; all sins of the devotee who remains awake on the night of Hari PrabhOdhini ekaadasi are burnt just as a cart load of cotton gets reduced to ashes before a mighty fire!"

Please note that ekaadashi fast should be undertaken with permission from one's spiritual preceptor (in case of ladies, husband should be informed of the fast). If you don't have a spiritual preceptor, (in case of ladies - if husband is abroad or away from you, or in case of widows/ unmarried women) - you may stand before the Sun and declare you intent of the fast (assuming Lord Sun as your Guru). Similarly, the fast should be broken in front of the Sun (or after permission of Guru or husband as the case may be).

Tulsi Vivaah is associated with this fast. One who offers Tulsi garlands to Lord Vishnu on this Holy day gains indescribable merit.

On Tulsi Vivaah day (as per schedule explained above), one can celebrate the elaborate ritual of marriage of a Tulsi plant with a Salagram idol or any image of Lord Vishnu. This grants great merit to the devotee and gives upliftment to the devotee's whole dynasty (i.e. generations before and those to come after him also!).

Decorating Tulsi plant with turmeric paste, sandalwood paste, and sindhoor; lighting a ghee lamp under Tulsi plant; offering obeisance to it; offering water to it; showing lit camphor as Aarti to it, etc are simple means of worship that can be done by those who cannot afford to perform the elaborate Tulsi Vivaah as per established procedures.

A simple prayer to Tulsi

"Om Brindaa Brindaavanii viswapoojitaa viswapaavani

Pushpasaara Nandinii cha Tulasii Krishnajeevanii"

Recite this at least thrice before Tulsi plant and offer your salutations to Tulsi Maa. This can be done everyday also - but at least on Tulsi Vivaah day known as Brindaavana Dwaadashi.

Those who cannot maintain the full fast, may eat just once or twice on this day skipping the mid-day meal or eating only supper at night (i.e. even missing one meal time in honour of this PrabhOdhini fast is considered as fasting though the merits are somewhat less). As this is a mandatory fast, such relaxation has been extended. So, everyone should try to fast on this day - at least by skipping one meal on this day. The meal that is eaten on this day should be free of onions, garlic, non-veg items, chillies, whole grains, etc. You may consume chappatis without much salt, or such simple foods on this day if your physical condition requires you to avoid complete fasts.

Skanda Puraana says that mind should be diverted from money-making ventures and instead focussed on charities on this Holy Day. So, you should donate what little you can to vedic experts (genuine experts whom you know to be following rituals and High Spiritual Precepts diligently, and are of noble disposition) on this day. Those who cannot donate anything due to dire financial circumstances should at least have a kind word to speak to an expert vedic practitioner and offer respects to them to get their blessings. Lord Hari Himself will manifest in those Blessings from qualified experts and remove all your sins (a note to spiritual guides who might be reading this: NEVER BLESS ANYONE WITH MATERIAL BOONS ON THIS DAY; JUST SAY "BHAGAVAAN HARI PREETHI SIDDHIRASTHU" - meaning "Let God Hari be satisfied by this!")

May our members enjoy spiritual bliss and removal from karmic burden due to the proper observance of this fast.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Skanda Shashti - Soora Samhaaram festival on November 3, 2008

Dear Members:

Skanda Shashti vrattam - soora samhaaram day is an auspicious day to propitiate LordSkanda (also known as Subramanya, Murugan, Velavan, etc.). This year it falls on November 3, 2008.

This day marks the annihilation of demonaic forces of Soorapadman by OurGracious Lord who incarnated from the sparks of the Third Eye ofLord Shiva. Allegorically, the three main demons (Soorapadman and his brothers) signify the three mental devils "Aanavam(pride), evil vibes due to kanmam (negative karma), and Maayai (Illusion/ delusion)". Lord Subramanya denotes Wisdom and Divine Consciousness within each one of us. Thus celebrating this festival is to signify the necessity of overcoming the three main enemies of our Spiritual existence with the power of Wisdom and Divine Grace.

It is traditional for ardent devotees to fast on this day and recite various hymns in honour of Lord Skanda, the notable and most powerful among them being:

1) Kanda Shashti kavacham (In tamil composed by Swami BaalaDevaraayar some centuries back) - This is a highly efficacious work that possess immense mantrik power. It can bless you by removing all negativites in life and also grant you all mundane and spiritual bliss. Reciting the Holy Kanda Shashti Kavacham for 36 times keeping Holy Ash in a brass/ copper plate before you is very auspicious. Such an ash has the potency to be a powerful shield against all evils in life.

2) Subramanya Bhujangam (in Honour of Skanda as the Deity ofTiruchendur) - Reciting this gives manifold benefits that are beyond words to explain. Its glory has to be experienced by reciting it! There are also other works like Shanmukha kavacham, Vel Maaral (this is a mantrik composition that eugolizes the Shakti weapon that Skanda has in His hands), and Chatrusamhaara Vel patikam (for annihilation of enemies).Those who can, may fast (full fast, fasting only with water, fasting with liquid diet, or avoiding rice/ heavy carbohydrates, or whatever as per convenience), and chant any of the above hymns if possible.

Another powerful recital is the recital of chapter pertaining to "Kumara Utpatti" from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayana (it is in Baala kaandam).

Those who are not in a position to recite any of these may simply remember Lord Skanda - the Beautiful and Handsome one, the Epitome of Courage and Piety, by simply calling his name "Om Saravana bhava."

Those who seek progenic bliss may worship Him with the mantra "Om kum kumaaraaya namah"

Those who wish for Wisdom may worship Him as "Om Skanda Guravenamah" (meditating on the scene where He explains the significance of Om to Lord Shiva Himself! - the unique scene where the Son becomes the Preceptor of the Father!)

Those who seek to exorcise negativities from their lives might meditate on Lord Skanda with six-faces seated on Peacock bird holding a Flag Staff and Shakti weapon (called "vel" in tamil - thespear-shaped weapon). The mantra is "Om Shanmukhaaya namah." The six faces denote mastery over 5 senses and the faculty of reasoning, and also the six basic chakras that reside within our human body that are the repositories of immense power.

May the Divine Power who incarnated as Skanda Bless everyone.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seasonal Greetings for Deepawali - 2008

Dear Members:

Deepavali festivities and associated spiritual practices begin from October 25, 2008 and extend till October 28, 2008 (for Fiji till October 29, 2008) - right from Dhantreyas on October 25, 2008 in USA, Canada, etc. (for other countries to the East of Atlantic, it is on October 26, 2008) and ending with Diwali Lakshmi Pooja/ Kedaara Gowri vratam on October 28, 2008.

It is auspicious to light Yamaa Deepam (a lamp in Honour of Lord Yamaa - the God of Death) on Naraka Chaturdasi day on October 26, 2008. Let us light lamps on this day and pray for peace of various souls who perished in various terror attacks around the world. It is customary to gift a lamp to a learned Pandit on this day. (those who are well-off will even give a gift of silver lamp to vedic pandits on that day; others can gift earthenware lamps; the lamp should be lit and then given in gift to a learned and competent person learned in the scriptures praying for wisdom, health, and long life. If you can't find a suitable person to receive this gift, just place the lamp in a temple).

May the festival of lights bring fresh hopes for all of us. May the demons of greed, jealousy, vascillating tendencies, and unethical practices be overcome by the Divine Light that resides in all of us.

May this Diwali season bring fresh hopes for us in these days of turmoil. May Maa Lakshmi visit us all and Bless us and all our near ones in every way during this season.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ramaa Ekaadasi fast on October 24/ October 25, 2008

Dear Members:

Ramaa ekaadasi falls on October 24/ 25, 2008 this year.

Observance of fast recommended for different places on the globe

1) India, Srilanka, Bangladesh - Smaartha Ekaadashi is on October 24, 2008; Vaishnava ekaadasi is on October 25, 2008.

2) For Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand: Sarva Ekaadasi (by both smaartha and vaishnava traditions) is to be observed on October 25, 2008.

3) For Gulf countries, African countries, European countries, USA, Canada, Mauritius, and West Indies - Sarva Ekaadashi is on October 24, 2008.

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.

Harihi Om.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tula Vishu Punya kaalam - 17th October 2008

Dear Members:

Tula Vishu Punya kaalam falls on October 17, 2008 this year. This is one of the mandatory days of tarpanam. Those who have lost their father must do tarpanam on this day, just as they do for amaavasyaa.

Tulaa punya snaanam - Holy Bath prescribed in the River Cauvery for 1 month also begins tommorrow. It ends on November 15, 2008. November 16, 2008 is called "Mudavan Muzhukku"**. (Mudavan muzhukku - literally means "Dip of the lame man"....see the special note below the article for significance of this day)

Those who have the good fortune of living along the banks of the Holy River Cauvery should take a dip in that river every day before sunrise (Tulaa Snaanam). Others who are not-so- fortunate may also take an early morning dip in cold water praying to Goddess Cauvery for removal of all sins.

Spiritual legends abound about the glory of Tulaa Snaanam.

According to Agni Puraanam,

"ShaTShaShTi kOti tIrthAni dvisaptha bhuvanEShu cha.

KEshavasya AjnayA yAnti thulAmAse marudvridhAm"

Sixty-six crore Holy Waters in all the 14 words come to stay in Cauvery in the month of Tula by the Order of Lord KEshava. One may clearly understand the glory of having a dip in the Holy River during this Tula Month by the above assertion.

Taking early morning bath in Tula month (when Sun is in sidereal Libra) will absolve one of all sins - committed unintentionally. It is said that a bath in Cauvery during Tula month, a bath in Prayaag during Maagha month, and a dip in Setu during ardhodhayaa****(see the special note below the article for the significance of this) period can be possible only as a fruit of penance done in ten million lives. These Holy Baths have the power to remove pancha paatakaas (five major sins that can drag the Soul down in its ascent towards Divine Realization), and can cause liberation to the entire line of ancestors. (The scripture actually says "crores of pitrus!")

Those who can afford a trip to a kshetra along the Cauvery should do so and take a bath in the Holy River at least once during this month due to the obvious spiritual benefits that accrue out of that. Mayilaaduthurai (Maayavaram) is an especially recommended kshetra for Tulaa Snaanam; other powerful kshetras include Srirangam, Thiruveengoimalai (near Tiruchi), Thiruvidaimaruthur, Thiruvisainalloor, Kumbakonam, etc.

A simple pooja to Goddess Cauvery

There are detailed rituals prescribed for Cauvery poojaa which may be adhered to by those are capable of adhering to them under guidance of the respective family aachaaryaas. I am giving a simplified version for adherence of everyone.....

Chant the following 7 powerful names of Mother Cauvery during the snaanam:

"Om Kaaveryai namah"

"Om Lobhaamudraayai namah"

"Om Agasthya Patnyai namah"

"Om sarvapaavanyai namah"

"Om Mahaa Punyaayai namah"

"Om snaana maatra sarva paapa prasamanyai namah" ("s" should be pronounced as in "siva")

"Om Mokshadaatryai namah"

Invoke Goddess Cauvery in a small pot/ container chanting the above mantras, and at the end of your usual bath, pour the water from that pot on your head as a substitute for the actual Cauvery snaanam (This applies to those who cannot actually visit River Cauvery due to Time, Space, situation constraints). Those who can actually visit the Holy River may recite the mantras and take 7 dips - 1 dip per mantra!

Blessed be.


Note on Mudavan muzhukku: A lame man who wanted to have dip in the Holy River Cauvery during Tulaa month took a strenous journey - but he could not make it to Mayilaaduthurai before the end of the month - he was one day late (i.e. the Tula month ended the day before). But, God granted that he be given the merit of Tula Snaanam for the dip he takes on that day, and that person was granted liberation as a result of his steadfast devotion in spite of his overwhelming handicap. Mudavan muzhukku is observed in remembrance of this incident. Having a holy dip on Cauvery at Mayilaaduthurai is deemed very auspicious on mudavan muzukku day.

****Note about ardhodhaya punya kaalam for your reference: Ardhodhaya period occurs when amaavasya of Pushya or Magha month falls on day when Sravana nakshatra operates on the day, when Vyaatipaata yoga operates, and that day happens to be a Sunday - all these conditions to be satisfied simultaneously which happens only very rarely in one's life-time! ArdhOdhaya period is equal to one crore eclipses in its potential for multiplying the effects of meritorious deeds. Lot of mantraik applications are possible only during such periods - such is the glory of this period. Tula Mahaatmyam equates such ardhOdhaya period bath in Sethu with Tula Cauvery snaanam!


Astrological and Remedial consultant

Friday, October 10, 2008

Navarathri daily homams and Mahaa Chandi Homam on Vijaya Dasami went on well

Dear Members:

I am happy to announce that the Mahaa Chandi homam went on well by Divine Grace yesterday. Prayers were raised for Universal Welfare apart from those for the welfare of the sponsors of the homam. The daily homams/ recitals during Navarathri also went on well. Though my mother who helps me in organizing all these homams met with an unfortunate accident while returning from a temple on October 5, 2008, wherein she suffered a fracture in her elbow joint (she has been operated upon, and she is recovering fast by Divine Grace), we continued the rituals without breaking the cycle with support from my sister who did an admirable job of managing her own family (she has two small kids, and her husband has to go early to work), her official duties as Head of Department of Management in a college, visiting my mother at the hospital to assist her, and in preparing naivedyaas for these homams. She had to be literally on her toes for major part of the day balancing these various responsibilities. I firmly believe that it is Divine Grace that gave her the tremendous energy and patience to carry out this enormous responsibility with perfection. This further reiterated my belief that when we take the initiative in good faith, Divine Will and Power help us to complete our vows through some medium or other, even if some obstacles do intervene due to the hand of Fate.

Many thanks to the sponsors whose support helped me to organize this Grand homam in the first place.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Paashaankusha ekaadasi on October 10/11, 2008

(Picture courtesy:

Dear Members:

Paashaankusha ekaadasi falls on October 10/ 11, 2008.

Ekaadasi observance recommended for different parts of the globe:

1) US/ Canada, Europe, African countries, Gulf countries - October 10, 2008

2) India and other Eastern countries - October 11, 2008.

Form of Shri Vishnu to be worshipped on this day - Lord Ananta Padmanaabha.

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 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).

Brahma Vaivarta Puraana accounts even attribute the merits of this 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.

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

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pradakshina Amavasya on September 29, 2008

Dear Members:

Pradakshina Amaavasya falls on Sept 29, 2008 this year. This is an auspicious day for performing Aswatta pooja (prayers to the Holy Peepal Tree). You may circumambulate the peepal tree 3 times, 18 times, 32, 54, 108, or even 1008 times as per your convenience and ability praying for family prosperity. Pradakshina Amaavasya falling on Mondays is deemed to be very auspicious (somavaara Pradakshina).

Elderly ladies who are past the menstrual ages (i.e. after menopause) can get deeksha into japams on this day under the peepal tree (usually Siva mantra or Raama mantra are initiated; this japam is to be continued till the end of one's life every day).

Those who are desirous of getting progenic bliss should offer special prayers to Aswatta tree and the naaga deities installed beneath the tree. Everyone regardless of class, caste, or gender can do simple poojas in honour of aswatta tree and pray for family prosperity. Paaraayanam group members might listen to the aswatta sthothram that has been uploaded in the files section of the group. Others who have no access to that sthothram may simply recite "Om Aswattaaya Vriksharaajaaya namah."

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Indra Ekaadasi on September 24/ 25, 2008


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.

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 are also exempt from this observance if their physical condition does not permit a full fast. 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.
May our members observe this wonderful fast and gain liberty from sinful karma not only for themselves but also for their ancestors!

Indra Ekaadasi schedule for different regions around the globe
USA/ Canada - Smaartha Ekaadasi - September 24, 2008.
USA/ Canada - Vaishnava Ekaadasi - September 25, 2008.
Rest of the world (all other countries except USA/Canada) - September 25, 2008 (for both smaartha and Vaishna traditions).

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shaaradaa Navaraathri - 2008

There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Goddess Durga - one for each Rithu and this Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders.

Navaraathri schedule for different places around the world:

Navaraathri begins on September 29, 2008 for residents of US, Canada, and Caribbean Islands.

For all countries to the East of Atlantic (all countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia) – Navaraathri begins on September 30, 2008.

Vijaya Dasami is to be celebrated on October 9, 2009 in all countries around the globe.
It is traditional to keep "Kolu" - an arrangement of dolls during the Navaraathri. This is to signify that Divine Mother resides as Inner Soul in all forms (that is why the Kolu that represents various creations of Divine Mother is kept, and the dolls kept therein are treated as if they are idols kept in a pooja - with reverence). Kindly remember to keep at least 5 rows of kolu arrangement; avoid 7 rows (as per tradition); 9 rows, 11 rows, 13 rows (signifying each chapter of Chandi Path!), or 15 rows (representing each syllable of sri vidhya japam) as per convenience can also be kept. Thus minimum is 5, and maximum is 15 rows (very few people go beyond 9 rows in actual practice).
I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during 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), 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 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:

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 Navaraathri

As usual, special worships will be done at my place during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members. But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so.
Just like last year, for this year also I have decided to restrict the no. of special beneficiaries for the poojas as one person per day. The sponsoring fee for a single day's pooja (right from morning till night....Ganapathy Homam, Laghu Chandi Homam, Full recital of Devi Mahaatymayam (chandi Path), Lalitha Sahasranaamam, Soundarya Lahiri, Dasa Maha Vidya japams, select verses from Devi Bhaagavatam each day, etc.) is US$60 (US Dollars sixty only). (Resident Indians may remit Rs.2500/- if they wish to sponsor a single day's poojaas/ homams).

Just one person will be the special beneficiary of each day's religious routines. So, the list of beneficiaries will be drawn up on a first-come-first-served basis. I am giving special preference to Paaraayanam group members as per the stated objective of the group - giving special preference to our members when I restrict the no. of beneficiaries for special poojaas.

Mahaa Chandi Yagnya is also being planned on Vijaya Dasami day (October 9, 2008). Again the no. of participants in this is restricted to 5 persons. The sponsorship fee for the same will be US$350 (US Dollars three hundred and fifty only). Resident Indians may remit Rs.15,000 (rupees fifteen thousand only).

Those who are interested may get in touch with me through my email-id ( at the earliest to book your participation. You may send the money draft or by paypal after getting confirmation from me regarding your sponsorship previlege. (kindly get my confirmation before sending the money drafts because if the no. of beneficiaries touches 9, I will not be enrolling anymore persons as beneficiaries for daily navaraathri poojas. Similarly, for the Chandi homam, if the no. of beneficiaries touches 5, I will not be accepting any more persons as special beneficiaries).

Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers. So, those who are unable to get enlisted as special beneficiaries due to sponsorship slots getting filled up, or who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees need not feel let down. The restriction in number of participants is only for enlistment as special sponsors as per indications I received in a Divine Revelation last year.

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.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mahaalaya Paksha (Pitru paksha) 2008

Dear Members:

Pitrs (Pitrus) refers to deceased ancestors from one’s lineage who are in Soul Form. Propitiation to them in the form of tarpans (offering water with proper mantra recitals) and shraardhas (either as Homam for Pitrs, or in the form of offerings with specific mantras) can invoke Their Blessings. When Pitrs are satisfied, the Devataas called Vasus (in charge of Wealth), Rudras (incharge of protection and courage), and Aadityaas (in charge of Health) will be automatically pleased. There will be no dearth of any required materials in the life of a person who Honours Pitrs appropriately.

Pitrs should be Honoured every month on Amaavasya day, once a year on the thithi of their death, and during Mahaalaya Paksha. Honouring Pitrs during Pitru paksha can give merits which are beyond human capacity to explain. There is an opinion that Pitru paksha is even more important than the annual Shraadh of parents.
It is a powerful period for propitiation of manes (ancestors). Pitrus are said to Grace the households of their descendants with Divine Permission from the other Planes of Existence and are waiting to Bless any descendant who is willing to Honour them in whatever little way they can.

Pitr Paksha (Mahaalaya Pakshaa ) is about to begin from September 16, 2008 and ends with Mahalaya Amaavasya on September 28, 2008 for residents of India.

Pitru paksha guidelines for other places in the world

1) USA/Canada/ Caribbean Islands – Mahalaya begins from September 15, 2008
2) Europe/ Gulf Countries – Mahalaya paksha begins from September 15, 2008
3) For countries to the East of India (like Malaysia, Bangaladesh, Singapore, Australia, etc.) – Mahalaya Paksha begins from September 16, 2008.

Austerities during Pitr Paksha (applicable to those who have lost at least one parent) include:

1) Not eating non-veg (in case of non-vegetarians).
2) Not eating onion, garlic, outside food, processed foods, drumstick, etc (for pure vegetarians). 3) If possible avoiding shaving for the entire fortnight till Mahalaya Amavasai.
4) Performing obesquities (shradh) on the thithi of the ancestor's death to the extent possible or at least offering "anna dhaanam" (offering food) to poor persons/ priests as per one's convenience. (On this day, you should not shave)
5) Abstaining from carnal intercourse with members of opposite gender during the fortnight as a mark of respect to Pitrs.
6) Doing recitals like Garuda Puraanam (depicting passage of a soul), Nachiketa story from Upanishads (where Yama Gitaa is there - it contains Lord Yamaa's elucidation of the journey of a soul which was first revealed to the devoted Nachiketaa), and Gangaa Avatarana chapter from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan. These recitals are stated to grant satisfaction of Pitrs and thereby ensure their blessings upon us.

Some important dates during Mahalaya Paksha (applicable to residents of India; residents of other countries, please get in touch with Pandits of your area in this regard to conform to local traditions and usage).

1) Mahaa Bharani –September 19, 2008.
2) Madhyaashtami – September 22, 2008.
3) Sanyastha Mahaalayam (for ancestors who have become ascetics) – September 26, 2008.
4) Sastrahatha mahaalayam (for ancestors who were killed by weapons) – September 27, 2008.
5) Mahaalaya Amaavasya – September 28, 2008. (Mahalaya Amavasya is observed on the same day in the US, Europe, Gulf, etc. also. Countries to the east of India will observe Mahaalaya Amaavasya on September 29, 2008). 29th September 2008 is observed as Pradakshina Amaavasya (when Aswatha tree is circumambulated) in India. Navarathri begins in India from October 1, 2008.

Note: It is found that there are some variations in the reckoning of these observances based on the views of different Pandits and so you may find that the recommendations in your panchangs may vary with the above dates on certain matters. I have used my interpretation of the classics in this regard for giving the above recommendations, and these are in conformity with the decisions arrived at by the delegation of Pandits and Panchang experts in the Panchang Sadas held at Kanchipuram.

Recital of Gangaa Avataarana chapter on your behalf

Those who are interested in having this recital done of the original Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan on your behalf can get it done by me personally. Please note that this is not a substitute or alternative for the tharpanam that should be done by you personally. This recital is only a supplementary special prayer that adds to the efficacy of your own tharpanam performance on the thithi of your ancestors.

If you are interested, give details like your name, your ancestors' names (father and mother or anybody else), their relationship with you (father, or mother, or adopted father/ mother, father's first wife, or whatever), Gothra, your star, your ancestors' star (if known), and thithi of their death (if known), and any specific wish/ boon that you would like to request from them (progenic happiness, general prosperity, protection during critical periods, or whatever you would like to request). I will do the sankalp (ritual declaration) on your behalf and perform the recital for the satisfaction of your ancestors and invoke their Blessings for you on the thithi/ day mentioned by you.

If thithis of death of your parents are not known, the chant will be done on Mahaalaya Amavasya day (September 28, 2008). You may book the recitals for more than one thithi also (like if you wish to offer special chants on the thithi of your father and mother separately, you may do so).



Please note that it your "shraddha" that is most important to manes(pitrus). If you are not in a financially sound position to do elaborate rituals, just offering a handful of green grass to a cow, or a handfull of grains to birds praying to your manes will satisfy them. These simple acts of charity will be blessed by your pitrus and accepted as a complete shraadham. But, those who are capable of spending money on charities should try to do these rituals as elaborately as possible by approaching learned pandits in your respective areas (we should cut down on other luxuries if necessary and gather money required for this performance, if need be. Those who are in stable financial condition should not cite heavy expenditure as excuse for not performing these elaborately).

Blessed be.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Parivartani Ekaadasi in September 2008

Dear Members:

Parivartani Ekaadasi also known as Parsava Ekaadasi falls on September 11, 2008 in India.

Ekaadasi fast in other places around the globe:

1) Those living the in the American continent should observe the fast on September 10, 2008.

2) For the rest of the world, the fast is on September 11, 2008.

Parivartini Ekaadasi is the day when Lord Vishnu in His Yoga Nidra is supposed to turn from His left side to His right side.

It is auspicious to offer special worship to Lord Vaamana - the Brahmachaari Avatar of Lord Vishnu on this day.

Vaamana Jayanthi falls on September 12, 2008 (It is to be observed on September 11, 2008 in the US). From a remedial point of view, offering special prayers to Lord Vaamana can appease the malefic effects of Jupiter in the horoscope. From a spiritual perspective, meditating on Lord Vaamanaa will open up rare insights into the Nature and Maaya Prabhaava of Lord Vishnu.

King Mahaabali is also remembered on Vaamana Jayanthi, and people of Kerala origin celebrate Thiruvonam on Sravana nakshatra day with great enthusiasm.
Legend of Vaamana Avatar:
Maha Bali -the grandson of Prahlaada was a mighty asura and he extended his sway over the whole world. The devas approached Lord Vishnu to contain his growing influence. Lord Vishnu decided to help the devas out (in maintaining their sovereignity over the Heavens), but at the same time to grant good spiritual state to Mahaa Bali - a devout and righteous ruler (though he was an asura by clan, Mahaa Bali Chakravarthy was righteous and dhramic like his ancestor Bhakta Prahlaada).
Lord Vishnu was born as a Brahman Brahmachaari and visited the yagna site where Mahaa Bali was performing a grand yagna. As per vedic protocols governing these matters, He was duly honoured. Sukraachaaryaa - the Preceptor of the asuras tried to stop MahaaBali from giving donation to Vaamanaa; but the King was adamant about Honouring the Brahmin priest - whoever He might be and whatever may be the outcome of his charitable deed (even if it meant his destruction as was feared by his guru!). Due to Divine Play of Lord Vishnu Sukrachaarya's attempts to block flow of water from the water container at the time of charity (as per custom, the donor should offer water from the "kamandalam" - the sacrificial pitcher to the hands of the receiver with devotion; Sukrachaaryaa tried to prevent flow of water by taking the form of a wasp/bee and closing the mouth of the pipe through which water should flow out of the pitcher; Lord Vishnu used a twig to pierce the pipe and cleared it - Sukracharya lost one eye in this process...).
When the King offered to give whatever the Brahmachaari desired - Lord Vaamanaa requested just 3 steps. The King who was unaware of who the Brahmachaari was, felt that the young boy did not know what to ask correctly, and prompted Him to ask for something grander. But, the Brahmachaari stood by His request and hence the king granted the request. As soon as the king gave His words, Vaamanaa took the Mighty Trivikrama Form encompassing the Whole Universe. With His first step He covered the whole earth, with His second step He covered the Heavens, and demanded where shall He keep His third step! The pious king respectfully offered his own head as the place to keep His Feet for the third step (this is an act of complete surrender). Lord Vishnu in His Trivikrama Form pushed MahaaBali to the Nether world where he lords over the domain by Lord Vishnu's Grace. As a gesture of appreciation to the adherence of the great king to his words, Lord Vishnu had permitted king Mahaabali to return to his kingdom on earth once a year. And this is what Malayalis celebrate as Thiruvonam - the annual visit of the ruler who once ruled their land righteously and was a living example of steadfastness to dharmic principles even at the cost of his life!
Lessons from this legend.....
1) Actions of Lord - though they may seem to favour some and discriminate against others are always fair. Though Lord Vishnu seems to have taken the side of the devas in this legend and condemned a worthy king to the Nether world, the reality is that devas always live in fear of losing their kingdom whereas King MahaaBali has been granted a Permanent and Safe domain that remains undisputedly under his control. Secondly, the person who is pushed down outwardly by the Lord's Feet on his head is really Blessed for all his karma will get washed away automatically. While we all seek to place our heads on the Lord's Feet, those Blessed Feet sought the head of MahaaBali as a reward for his righteousness. How many good deeds that Blessed King must have done to deserve that!!!!
2) we should never underestimate anyone....the Mighty King thought that 3 steps from an ordinary and short brahman Brahmachaari may be a trifle for him - but those 3 steps cost him his whole kingdom. Luckily for the king, the trick was from the Lord who never really harms anyone's interests and hence the king was given an undisputed domain of the Netherworld. Just imagine what will happen to us if we get deceived by our not-so-chivalrous and cunning rivals in this mundane world. Can we expect such gestures from them? So, Never ...never...underestimate anyone!
3) Always stand by Dharma - No matter what the consequences. King MahaaBali refused to even obey his own Guru (who of course advised only to protect the interests of the king) when it was against dharmic principles; when the Lord placed His third Feet on the head of the king, for mundane people it may seem that the king had lost everything....But, see actually the king had gained EVERYTHING....WHAT IS THERE TO GAIN IN THIS WORLD MORE THAN THE SPIRITUAL TOUCH OF THE BLESSED LORD'S FEET. King Mahaabali was blessed with that only due to his steadfast attachment to dharmic principles and truth (he did not go back on his promise of donating 3 steps to the Lord in His Vaamana Roopaa).
(Please note that I have given a liberal translation and essence of the legend; the lessons that I say that can be gleamed are also my impressions based on that legend. If you meditate on this legend after reading the original versions, you may also get possibly better spiritual insights or even guidance for mundane matters. Those who wish to read about this elaborately may refer Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas).

May our members celebrate/ observe these significant days with spiritual fervour and become recipients of Divine Grace.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

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