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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

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