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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chandra Grahanam on Jan 1, 2010 - Aarudra Darsanam

Dear Members:

There is a partial lunar eclipse on December 31,2009 (for those in South Africa, Europe, and Gulf Countries)/ January 1, 2010 (for those living in India and other Eastern countries).

The eclipse will be visible in the region covering Alaska, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe and parts of Asia - including India.

The eclipse begins at 22 mins. past midnight (00-22 hours on January 1, 2010 for those in India) and ends at 1-24 a.m. (I.S.T.). You may calculate the respective time for your places based on this and observe the eclipse-related austerities.

As this is a chandra-grahanam, it is customary to offer oblations to pitrus (tarpanam done by those who have lost parents) around the time of ending of eclipse.

Those born in the stars Arudra, Swathi, Satabisha, Mrigasira, and Punarvasu, and living in regions of visibility of the eclipse should perform eclipse remedies either personally or by consulting learned vedic purohits near your place. Or, you may avail the grahana shanti ritual service offered here which I will do personally for you at my place - chanting the appropriate Grahana shanti mantras on your behalf. YOu may subscribe to this by clicking the button below (please note that only those nakshatras mentioned above need to do this; others need not do this remedy at all).

To subscribe for Grahana shanti ritual - please click the button below

If you are unable to avail such proper remedial measures, you may simply take bath both at the beginning and conclusion of the eclipse and then offer your weight-equivalent of paddy/ rice to a temple or charitable organization praying for relief from eclipse effects.

Generally, the eclipse duration is a good period for chanting mantras as the mantraik effects get multiplied manifold times. So, those whose birth stars are not afflicted by the eclipse may actually derive much benefit by the enhanced energies of this period.

Other general suggestions to be observed by everyone:

1) Avoid eating solid foods after sunset on December 31, 2009 (approx. 6 hours before partial eclipse begins).
2) Take a bath after the end of eclipse; those who are unable to take bath at midnight due to health reasons should take bath first thing in the morning even before their morning-coffee. The bed materials should be washed the very next morning for ritual purity reasons.
3) Put Tulsi leaf/ dharbha grass on stored food-items including curd, jams, pickles, etc.
4) Engage in spiritual/ contemplative/ academic activities and derive the benefit of the enhanced mental focus levels during the duration of eclipse.

Arudra Darshanam - the auspicious celebration in Honour of Lord Nataraaja - the Dancing Cosmic Shiva Form is observed on January 1, 2010. Special worships are done in all Shiva temples on that day. It will be auspicious to take part in such festivities and invoke Divine Grace for your welfare during that auspicious period.

This new year seems to have a philosophical opening to it - with the eclipse - signifying temporary clouding of moods/ luck at the beginning hours of the New Year (for India) giving way to the Ecstasy of Lord Shiva's Cosmic Dance Festival on the same day. True, if we really have the right perspectives, worries/ anxieties should only be temporary and the only final outcome possible in a human existence is BLISS!

May we all realize this and enjoy our life with all our hearts.

SarvE Janaa SukinO Bhavantu.

Om Namah shivaya.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vaikunta Ekadashi on December 27/ December 28, 2009

Dear Members:

The most glorious and important of all Ekaadaasis - the Vaikunta Ekaadasi falls on December 27, 2009 for those living in USA, Canada, and other American continent nations, U.K. and places to the West of Greenwich Meridian.

It is to be observed on December 28, 2009 by those living in the Gulf Countries, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is one of the most highly recommended fasts for a devout spiritual aspirant because it has the potential of opening the "Gates of Divine Abode of Lord Vishnu" for you if this is observed correctly. Even those who have medical conditions which prevent them from observing a full fast should abstain from rice-items and sustain themselves with alternative ritually pure foods (avoiding garlic, onions, beverages like coffee, tea, etc.). Those who are desirous of cutting off the endless cycle of births and deaths for the soul must contemplate on upanishads like Gopaala Taapini Upanishad, recite Holy Bhagavat Gita, Bhaagavatam, etc.

In Vaishnava temples "swarga Dwaar" - a sort of archway leading around the Inner Sanctum Sanctorum is erected, and crossing that is symbolic of crossing the threshold of Vaikunta and getting glimpse of our Lord. Spending time in meditation/ japam while waiting in the serpentine ques, and ultimately having the glimpse of Our Lord after crossing the threshold will definitely be gainful for your souls. Please note that you should not get angry with other devotees in the que or pick up fights, you should not "jump" ques trying to overtake the other waiting devotees with your "street smartness, pushing abilities", etc. in the que. Such activities definitely invoke bad karma, and it is not for that, that you go to a temple on a Holy Day (I am commenting on this because such activities are too common in long ques; a person who jumps ques thinking he is outsmarting others is actually fooling himself/ herself, and damning himself/ herself with that karma; on the other hand, those who wait patiently, and do what they can to help other devotees who might be finding it uncomfortable - like ladies with infants, elderly, etc. while standing in ques are invoking good karma and actually helping their own souls to progress. Selfishness and self-comfort should take a back-seat at least during these occasions - and that too for your own good! If you are entitled to temple honours in some way, and hence receive special darshan - that is different; you need not feel guilty about that; probably, you deserve such Honours and maybe, that was Divine Gift to you! But even such people - if you can, it will be real good merit to stand patiently in a que, do japams till your turn at darshan comes, and then have a darshan of the Lord along with the other common devotees because, God Himself may be in disguise among the masses during these occasions. I have felt it many times - and I request my fellow aspirants to feel such miracles of brushing shoulders with Divine in crowded temples for themselves!).

Additionally, fasting on this day is also auspicious for those couples who are aspiring for progenic bliss. Such couples should recite Baala Kaandam chapters from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayanam, Naaraayaneeyam, Santaana Gopala mantra, etc. on this day.

Generally, chanting of Raama naama, and recital of Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam can be done by everyone today for obtaining religious merit, and for perfection/ progress of our Soul.

It is also recommended that you should remain awake at night and spend it in Divine Contemplation, bhajans (Divine Songs), discussing Theological matters, etc. It is traditional to play a dice game called "Paramapadham" on this night. You should not merely play it as a the traditional Indian version of this game (the western version is Snake and Ladders!, and I am not referring to that when I write this article....), you will find "ladders" corresponding to various virtues, and "snakes" corresponding to certain shortcomings of attitude/ can see where each ladder leads you, and where each snake drops you....look at the character/ attitude depicted in the box, see how progress/ downfall happens based on the ladder/ snake you encounter. This is verily a spiritual lesson of how a soul can progress or regress into various states of existence. It is analogous to the journey of your souls through the Cycle of Existence till the soul attains Liberation or Merging with Divine experience. You will also see how difficult it is to progress at the end of the game, and that is how difficult it is for a soul to reach ultimate liberation. If you play it consciously, reading all the attributes described in the chart carefully, this game can be a meditative exercise in itself, and can be a valuable tool for imparting spiritual values for children.

Of course, playing the paramapadam is not just helps you to keep awake and at the same time induce philosophical musings if played properly. Those of you who feel sufficiently spiritually awakened already may just spend the night in quiet Divine Contemplation which is best.

May our members observe this Holy day Fast diligently as per their circumstances and practical limitations to the best of their abilities and win salvation for their souls.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dhanur month poojas begin on December 15/ December 16, 2009

Dear Members:

Dhanur month pooja period begins from December 15, 2009 for those in the United States, and other countries of American continents. For rest of the world, Dhanur month pooja period begins from December 16, 2009; Dhanur month ends on Jan 13, 2009.

It is auspicious to do daily early morning poojas during this Dhanur month. Especially powerful recitals are those of Tiruppaavai, Thiruvempaavai (Tamil Hymns), Vishnu Sahasranaamam, and Raamaayana/ Mahaabhaaratam. It is also traditional for those belonging to Bhajana sampradaayas to recite Divine Names in a musical tone during this month.

This Dhanur month pooja beginning period is Shadsheethi punya kaalam - a spiritually potent period when all punya karmas give manifold positive returns.

Hanumat Jayanthi is also observed on December 16/ December 17, 2009 as per Tamil Nadu traditions.

May our readers enjoy the best spiritual benefits of this auspicious period.

Blessed be.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saphala Ekaadasi on December 11/ 12, 2009

Dear Members:

The auspicious Saphala Ekaadashi falls on December 11th/12th, 2009. 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 11, 2009

2) For rest of the world - December 12, 2009

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 irreverent 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?

Special austerities recommended in connection with this ekaadasi:

1) Offer Pomegranate, guava, variety of nuts, coconut, betel leaves, areca nuts, mangoes, and aromatic spices (like cloves, cardamom, etc.) in Honour of Lord Aadhi Naaraayana (The Original Viraat Roopa of Shriman Naaraayana - with His Consort Lakshmi on His Breast and mounted on Shri Garuda, and carrying His Divine Conch and Disc with Full Glory) on this day. You can partake these items as prasad on dwaadasi day if you are keeping a full fast; those who are only observing partial fast (just abstaining from whole-grains and beans) may partake these in lieu of regular diet.

2) Light a ghee lamp in Honour of Lord Naraayana and Goddess Lakshmi in your pooja place and recite the Holy Ashtaakshari (Om NamO Naaraayanaaya) as many times as possible. Recital of Naaraayana Sooktham and Purushasooktham can also be done by those who are intiated into these vedic hymns.

A full-night vigil is also recommended. Those who cannot maintain a full-night vigil may at least recite Shriman Naaraayana naama as many times as possible and sleep with Divine Thought.

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

Blessed be.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Guru Peyarchi (Jupiter transit) - December 19, 2009


Jupiter transits into sidereal Aquarius (Kumbha rashi) on December 19, 2009 and continue its sojourn through that sign till first week of May 2010. Jupiter’s transit apart from Saturn’s transit is a major one that does help in manifesting many events in our lives, and Jupiter’s transit trigger is often an auspicious trigger helping in enjoyment of major breakthroughs in important areas of our lives. As usual, we are performing special Fire worship and other austerities in connection with this transit, the details of which are towards the end of this write-up....

Let us first see what this transit entails for different rashi borns…...(These are general in nature and can be modified to some extent by directional influences unique to your birth chart; but, the following results are powerful general influences that can impact your life events and such possible influences have been indicated here).

Mesha rashi (sidereal Moon sign in Aries): Jupiter transits the auspicious 11th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Copper (Taamra Moorthi); this is a Golden period for those born in Mesha rashi. Those in marriageable years will hear wedding bells ring. Those who have been yearning for progenic bliss might enjoy good breakthroughs in this regard. Relationship with relatives will be sweet-flowing to a great extent. Obstacles in career matters will get cleared, and your superiors will be supportive of your projects/ ideas. This is an ideal period for requesting pay-raise. Self-employed persons will enjoy great progress in their activities. Financial matters will also be generally positive for you. This is an ideal time for major investments if directional influences on your chart are also favourable.

Jupiter attains Tamra moorthi status (elemental status of Copper). This is neutral – neither too good nor too bad, and considering that the general transit influence is good, you are likely to enjoy good prospects under the impact of this auspicious transit of Jupiter.

Remedies: No intense remedies needed as the transit is auspicious for you; still those who wish to enjoy progenic bliss can worship Lord Guruvaayoorappan and recite verses from Naraayaneeyam as remedial worship which will give good results.

Rishabha rashi (sidereal Moon sign in Taurus): Jupiter transits 10th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Silver (Rajata Moorthi) for your sign based on Moon’s placement at time of transit.

As Jupiter aspects the 2nd house from Moon sign in this transit, amount due to you – but that has been delayed inexplicably will be realized. Financial matters look quite okay. However, traditionally Jupiter transiting the 10th house from natal Moon sign is known to cause some challenges in career matters – more especially in the form of transfers or change of jobs. Those who are under favourable directional influences may actually change jobs with enhanced status/ pay. But, those who are suffering from challenging directional influences as per individual charts must be extremely cautious at work to avoid possibility of job loss/ reduction in professional status. If you are contesting elections (not necessarily political elections…it could be election to office of corporate posts, posts in professional organizations), you should perform suitable remedies to better your chances, as this transit is not exactly favourable for such ventures now. There could be tiresome journeys and unnecessary issues related to career. Health will be by and large okay; those born in Krittika nakshatra of this sign should be careful while driving vehicles till 21st Jan 2009.

As Jupiter’s elemental status – Silver is auspicious, the malefic effects possible due to this transit – especially job loss, or unfavourable transfers will be reduced to a great extent, while the good effects will be enhanced.

Remedies: Worship of Lord Skanda – in His Form of six-Faces and bearing weapons regularly on Thursdays will be auspicious for you to overcome all challenges in life. If possible, pay a visit to Tiruchendur temple in Tamil Nadu (you can even offer online based prayers now a days. If you can’t go personally, you can make use of technology and avail the benefit of in-absentia prayers through that temple website!).

Mithuna rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Gemini): Jupiter transits the highly auspicious 9th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Iron (Loha Murthi).

Transit of Jupiter through 9th house from natal Moon sign is traditionally considered a highly auspicious transit. This transit is reputed to give honours, realization of heart-felt desires, long journeys for auspicious matters, going on pilgrimages, going abroad on prestigious assignments, etc. Good reputation, recognition of efforts in the form of enhancement of professional status/ more pay, and generally enjoying good will of people are some of the good results that can be experienced under this influence.

This is an ideal time for initiating ambitious projects that have been on hold for a while; court-proceedings, etc. will also be generally favourable to you as long as justice is on your side. Students have good opportunity to shine in their academic and co-curricular activities. Wedding bells can ring for eligible natives of this sign. Investment in share markets can give good returns under this influence as long as you speculate intelligently. Existing health issues can be brought under control by timely medical intervention, and generally you will feel more energetic under this influence.

The elemental status of Iron attained by Jupiter is not that auspicious; so the good effects stated above will be experienced only in moderate intensity.

Remedies: Worship of Lord Dakshinamoorthi (The Ascetic Form of Lord Shiva) on Thursdays regularly will help you to enjoy the full extent of benefits of this transit, overcoming the inauspicious elemental status obtained by Jupiter in this transit.

Kataka Rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Cancer): Jupiter transits the 8th house from natal Moon sign for you – it attains the elemental status of Copper (Taamra Moorthi).

This is not an auspicious transit for you. You cannot expect major breakthroughs due to this transit – and in fact, things might reach a stalemate in some crucial matters of your life. In a way, you may consider yourself blessed in that, due to the auspicious transit of Saturn that checks this influence, there won’t be major set backs too unless you spoil things by rash moves. There could be delays and frustrations in most matters of your life during this transit. However, as Jupiter aspects the 2nd house and 4th house from natal Moon sign, there could be good developments in property matters. Though major breakthroughs are not likely in your personal matters, there could be auspicious developments in the lives of close relatives. There could be heavy expenditure on account of charitable activities, or auspicious functions in the family.

The elemental status of Jupiter is also not much conductive to give major breakthroughs – but of course, it is not that inauspicious too. So, the results of this transit will be mediocre to your sign by and large.

Remedies: Recite or organize recital of, Navagraha Sooktham on Thursdays; light ghee lamp on the first Thursday of each month praying for good results.

Simha Rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Leo): Jupiter transits the auspicious 7th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Gold (Swarna Moorthi).

Jupiter’s transit is highly auspicious for your sign. Matters that have been stuck up hopeless in the recent past will begin to move in your favour in the near future under the influence of this transit. Setbacks in professional matters will now be a thing of the past, and you can look forward into the future with more hope. It will be possible to manage financial commitments comfortably; many natives of this sign will find it feasible to free themselves from debt trap. Honours and recognition will seek you out. Ancestral property matters will get settled amicably with good support from your relatives. Separated couples of this sign may get the impulse to reunite and begin life afresh with a clean slate. This transit can trigger matrimonial luck for single natives. You will generally feel more confident and hopeful about things in your life now.

As Jupiter attains elemental status of Gold at the time of transit, the positive effects described above will be experienced in full measure. Most importantly, this double-positive impact of positive elemental status at time of transit and the basically auspicious transit will help you to overcome the challenging influence of sade-sathi for your sign.

In short, the next 6 months are likely to be very positive for Simha rashi natives.

Remedies: Remedial measures are as such not necessary for you as your transit influences are basically positive; but, you can enhance the positive effects more by getting blessings from religious heads or family Guru.

Kanya rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Virgo): Jupiter transits the 6th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Silver (Rajata Moorthi).

There is a saying “Shashta Guru Kashta Dhaayin” – meaning that Jupiter in the sixth house transit from Moon can give troubles. You should avoid unnecessary arguments with anyone during this sensitive transit influence. As Jupiter aspects the 2nd house and 10th house from Moon sign, there could be chances to improve your financial prospects and also scope for improvement in career matters after initial obstacles. You should just be careful to ensure that your own activities don’t cause unnecessary controversies and thus invite bad luck. Peace of mind may be affected due to unnecessary argument with wife or due to ill-health to elderly relatives. As Jupiter aspects the 12th house from natal Moon sign, there could be occasion for “subha viraya” – auspicious expenditure due to family functions.

As Jupiter attains Rajata Moorthi status which is auspicious, it is not all gloom for you – though this transit is somewhat tough.

Remedies: Worship of Lord Dhanvantri on Thursdays will ensure good health for self and family; visit to Brindaavan of Shri Guru Raaghavendra or Shirdi samaadhi mandhir of Shirdi Sai Baba, or regular worship to these saints on Thursdays can help to overcome obstacles and troubles caused by enemies.

Tula rashi (sidereal Moon sign of Libra): Jupiter transits the auspicious 5th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Iron (Loha Moorthi).

There will be lot of auspicious events in your life due to good impact of 5th house transit of Jupiter from your Moon sign. There will be good improvement in health, breakthroughs in professional matters, birth of children in the family, celebration of auspicious events like marriage for self or other close relatives, and your confidence will be generally high.

As Jupiter transits the 5th house, there could be a surge in spiritual thoughts/ religious interest. There will be opportunity to undertake pilgrimages or get blessings from Holy Persons unexpectedly. Pending controversies/ cases can be settled amicably by negotiation. In cases where the other party has unnecessarily dragged you into trouble, you can enjoy decisive victory. Childless couples might get chance to conceive after performing intense remedies now. There will be good progress in all sectors of life.

As Jupiter attains Loha Moorthi status which is inauspicious, the good results will be only of moderate intensity – but nevertheless, there is no denying the fact that this transit is definitely positive for you.

Remedies: Try to get mantra deeksha of any mantra from your Guru and recite that with full Faith to enjoy the good results of this transit in full measure.

Vrischika rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Scorpio): Jupiter transits the 4th house from your natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Copper (Taamra Moorthi).

Jupiter was in its debilitation sign in the 3rd house from Moon so far and creating some anxieties to you; that influence gets modified by this transit. So, though this transit cannot be termed to be auspicious as such, there will definitely be improvement in scheme of things from what they have been until recently.

Obstacles in life will get reduced to some extent, and those who are under favourable directional influences as per natal chart cycles will enjoy very good progress. Auspicious events that have been delayed inexplicably will suddenly materialize now.

As Jupiter aspects the 10th and 12th houses from natal Moon sign, this can be a good period for change of job with the view of improving professional status; so if you have been contemplating a change of job for quite some time now, act with precision and accept new offers that are on better professional terms.

Students of this sign have good chance of coming out in flying colours in their exams as Jupiter transits the educational sector for the rashi.

The elemental status is neutral and so there won’t be major setbacks nor major breakthroughs due to this influence.

Remedies: Getting blessings from your own mother (if alive), or meditating on mother (if dead already) will shield you to a great extent and help in improvement of your prospects during this period. Special worship to Tiruchendur Murugan temple before making major financial decisions will prove auspicious if you are planning major investments during this period.

Dhanus rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Sagittarius): Jupiter transits the 3rd house from your rashi – it attains the elemental status of Silver (Rajata Moorthi).

Though 3rd house transit from Moon sign is not as such auspicious and can cause some anxieties, the fact that it is your Moon sign lord that is now moving away from the sign of its debilitation is a relatively good influence. Your self-confidence can receive a boost by the way you handle challenges during this period.

As Jupiter aspects the 7th, 9th, and 11th houses from your Moon sign, this is a period when some improvement can be seen in marriage-related activities, recognition of your talents, and also in business luck. There can be auspicious developments in the lives of your children. Let good things happen automatically – do not try to force things as it can prove counterproductive to you. You should wait for opportunities and make the best use of them now. This is not the right period for trying to change jobs voluntarily. You should defer major investment plans and avoid hasty financial moves.

The elemental status – Silver – is auspicious and it helps in diluting the anxiety-inducing influences of this transit and can also help in ushering in auspicious tidings for your close relatives.

Remedies: Meditate on Saints whom you intrinsically believe in on Thursdays – it may be Shri Raghavendra or Shirdi Sai Baba (for Hindus), or Hazrat Nizamuddin, or Ajmer Darga or Nagoor Dharga (For Muslims), or venerating St. Jude, St. Joseph, St. Antony, or St. Francis Xavier. (For Catholic christians).... Paying a visit to Jeevasamaadhis/ tombs of such saints consistent with your Faith can improve your good luck.

Makara rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Capricorn): Jupiter transits the highly auspicious 2nd house from your rashi – it attains the elemental status of Gold (Swarna Moorthi).

This is a highly auspicious period for you. Financial prospects will improve under this influence, and there will be happy developments in family life – including birth of a new child, general positive atmosphere at home, possibility of marriage in the family for self or other close relatives, enhancement of status at work, good luck in business, etc. Self-employed professionals will get good chance to make their mark in their respective fields. Those in performing arts will get chance to enact exciting roles that can win critical acclaim. Court cases will generally move in your favour. Those who have been looking for a job unsuccessfully till now will get good opportunities in the near future and be able to place their first step in the ladder of career success now. You will enjoy good health and vitality enabling you to focus on your goals in life without distraction.

As Jupiter has attained the highly auspicious elemental status of Gold – in addition to the already auspicious transit placement, this transit of Jupiter through Kumbha rashi can sow the seeds for your future success and make you feel very positive throughout this period.

Remedies: Though no remedies are as such required due to the auspicious nature of the transit, recital of Brihaspathi sthothra once or Guru Gayathri 12 times daily will further enhance the positive effects of this period.

Kumbha (Sidereal Moon sign of Aquarius): Jupiter transits your Moon sign – which is considered a sensitive transit – it attains elemental status of Iron (Loha Murthi).

Jupiter’s transit through natal Moon sign is considered as highly sensitive – it is not negative per se, but can be an unsettling aspect in some ways like it may involve sudden relocations, frequent travels to handle vital issues, necessity to handle more work-load without accompanying enhancement in perks, etc. However, as Jupiter is friendly to this rashi, your prospects won’t be affected in a major way by this transit.

As Jupiter checks Saturn in the 8th house from your Moon sign, the negative impact of ashtama sani period will be held in check by this transit and this in itself is a positive thing! [Actually the vedha position for checking ashtama sani influence is that another planet should transit the 7th house from rashi; so, this Jupiter position is not actually a vedha position for saturn's transit - but still it will check its negativity due to the fact that both Saturn and Jupiter aspect the 5th house from rashi simultaneously, and it is astrological tradition that when both Jupiter and Saturn aspect a house, the significations receive a boost; here 5th house signifies Poorvapunya, mantra, and progenic bliss! So, obviously the challenges of ashtama sani get reduced by prayers and other good luck factors!]

You should take proper care of your health by exercising regularly, eating nutritious diet in moderation (avoiding excess of binge eating!), and by ensuring that you get at least 7 hours’ sleep everyday. Though you might encounter certain challenging situations at work, those challenges will bring out the best in you and pave the way for your future progress and recognition. Self-employed persons will find heavy flow of orders/ business turn over which will necessitate long hours at work; but it is positive in that it is likely to be rewarding financially. As Jupiter aspects the 5th, 7th, and 9th house from your sign, delays in auspicious events will get nullified and there could be sudden positive developments – including possibility of marriage/ identification of suitable partner in the case of single natives, conception of child in case of married couples yearning for progenic bliss, and long-awaited promotion/ foreign assignments materializing for those in service.

Jupiter’s attaining Loha Murthi status is not that auspicious, and this can give more than the usual share of unsettling experiences that are characteristic of Janma Guru (Jupiter’s transit of natal Moon sign).

Remedies: Worship of Ishta Devata intensely through Aatma pooja (invoking the Deity within one’s own mind and doing all the pooja process internally by meditation) on Thursday evenings will help you to overcome all obstacles and to enjoy good prospects. If possible, you may pay a visit to Swaamimalai – a powerful place of worship for Lord Skanda – near Kumbakonam of Tamil Nadu, India.

Meena rashi (Sidereal Moon sign of Pisces): Jupiter transits the 12th house from natal Moon sign – it attains the elemental status of Gold (Swarna Moorthi).

Jupiter – your Moon sign lord is actually moving away from its sign of debilitation by this transit; so, though the general placement with respect to your Moon sign is sensitive, the fact that your sign lord is improving its strength by dint of its motion away from sign of debilitation is a positive development.

As Jupiter aspects the 4th house from your natal Moon sign – the sector of house, there is possibility of purchasing new houses (possibility of house-warming functions, etc. in the house), purchase of new vehicles, and general improvement in comforts of life by spending for them. You should avoid lending/ borrowing money during this period, and if you need to transact on debts/ credits, do so with abundant care; otherwise, money can become a bone of contention and spoil relationships.

Self-employed professionals should avoid over-estimating the business potential and stretching themselves too much financially. Play it safe when it comes to business matters and proceed gradually. This is not the right time for expanding your business; maintain the status quo and do what best you can within the present structure of your business.

As 12th house relates to foreign countries, employed natives of this sign may get opportunity to travel abroad on professional grounds. Generally, all natives of this sign may experience increased need to travel for one reason or another.

Risky speculative activities are to be strictly avoided. If you are careful in financial matters, you can avoid deterioration of financial situation. Saving money may not be easy now – lot of auspicious expenses will be waiting to claim their share from your financial inflows. As long as you spend only on essentials and avoid unnecessary extravagances, you need not worry about this trend. It will be good in the long run.

As Jupiter attains swarna Moorthi status, it enhances the positive aspects discussed above.

Remedies: Meditating on Lord Skanda every night before going to sleep will be a good remedy for you during Jupiter’s transit through Kumbha rashi. Those going abroad should first offer special worship in Honour of Lord Senthilaandavar (Skanda) at Tiruchendur temple – even if you can’t go personally to that temple, try to offer special worship by donating to that temple via the temple website. Such a prayer will safeguard your prospects and protect you during your travels.


Special worship at our place in connection with transit of Jupiter

We are planning to perform special remedial Fire Worship in connection with transit of Jupiter on December 19, 2009 (as per Drig Ganitha and ephemeris calculations).

Vaancha Kalpa Ganapathy homam, Medha Dakshinamoorthi homam, Dhanvantri homam, Brahma Gayathri homam, Brihaspati moola mantra homam (beeja mantra and vedic mantra will be used in these), and Brihaspati Gayathri homam will be conducted in this austerity.

Those who are interested in sponsoring the same might do so by clicking the paypal link below……If you are sponsoring the homam - the first item in the drop-down menu, you need not avail the other recitals separately....I will do those recitals automatically for you; the other recitals (Brihaspati Kavacham recital and Brihaspati sthothra recital) have been given in the drop down menu to enable those who cannot afford the homam sponsorship fee and still want to perform some sort of remedy on that day for their welfare.

On a different note, apart from our sponsors, prayers will be raised for Universal Welfare. So, obviously someone who really wishes to take part in this as a sponsor - but is unable to afford these sponsorship fees will definitely get covered by our performance. So, even those who are unable to sponsor these events need not feel disappointed. Those who can afford it, please think it as an opportunity given to sponsor a special vedic worship that is done at a spiritually powerful period (associated with transit of an auspicious planet) and be a part of a Universal Remedy done for the welfare of everyone.

Prayer services on Jupiter transit day
name, nakshatra, gothra detail
name, nakshatra, gothra detail

Please send your name, gothra, nakshatra details in the comment column while making your remittance as this will help in inclusion of the same in the homam sankalpa. Those who are at Chennai, and those who can visit Chennai may take part in these personally, and collect the homam Prasad. For the others, please note that we are not sending the homam prasads by post; inclusion of your name and other details in the homam sankalpam is deemed “in-absentia” participation in the austerities and it will give you the effects automatically.

Blessed be.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Karthikai deepam on December 1/ December 2, 2009

Dear Members:

Tiruvannaamalai Deepam falls on December 1, 2009 (Sarvaalaya deepam - observed in all Shaivite temples is also on the same day; during some years Annamalai deepam is celebrated one day prior to Sarvaalaya deepam; this year both are on the same day), and Pancharaatra Deepam is to be celebrated on December 2, 2009 (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.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Mokshadaa Ekaadashi (Geetaa Jayanthi) on November 27/ 28, 2009

Dear members:

The auspicious Mokshadaa ekaadashi falls in the bright half of the month Margasira.

It is to be observed on November 27, 2009 by those living in areas of USA that fall under Hawaii time zone, PST, and MST time zones of USA and Canada.

For all other countries in rest of the world, the ekaadashi should be observed on November 28, 2009.

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.
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!

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.

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shri DattAtrEya Jayanthi on December 2, 2009

Dear Members:

Dattatreya Jayanthi falls on December 2, 2009, this year. 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. Please note that the homam prasadam or other pooja parasadam will not be sent by post due to ritual purity concerns and logistic difficulties. Inclusion of your name, gothra, and star in the sankalpam will be deemed "in-absentia" participation. Those who are interested may avail the pooja/ homam services by selecting the option of pooja from the drop-down menu below:

Dattatreya jayanthi celebrations

Apart from prayers for the benefit of the sponsors, prayers will also be raised for Universal Welfare. You may also attend poojas/ homams conducted by other 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.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vishnupati punyakaalam on November 16, 2009

Dear Members:

The auspicious Vishnupati punyakaalam falls on November 16, 2009 (it is the last of the vishnupati punyakaalams for the year 2009; it is just for information - because, English date reckoning has no relevance for spiritual observances! Please do not give into the hype created by some websites claiming this is the only one punyakaalam of its type and the next one will come only after 60 years....Each punyakaalam is unique and so nothing needs to be considered as too special; God has given as enough punyakaalam days like these every year so that we souls get an opportunity to balance our karmas!)

It is to be observed on the same date throughout the world.

Dharma shaastra says that any meritorious deed done during periods like Vishnupati Punya kaalam will ensure Divine Protection for the next 7 years. Also, the results of the meritorious deeds (punya) get multiplied 1000 times!

The whole day is auspicious***(advanced practitioners of occult, astrology/ mantra shastra, please read notes below for the explanation on this and specific guidance about this) and you may perform special worships or charities at any time from dawn of the date mentioned till the sunrise of the next day. So, even those of you who may have busy schedules should make it a point to some how squeeze time to do special prayers/ meditation on this punya kaalam day and become recipients of Divine Grace.

Reciting sthothras like Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam, Shrimad Bhaagavatam, Shrimad Raamaayanam, Shrimad Bhagavat Geetha, etc. will be very auspicious on this Vishnupati period. Also, it will be auspicious to offer oblations in Honour of Deities, Sages, and ancestors during this Punya kaalam.

The least you can do is to recite "Raama Raama" whenever you get time throughout the day.

Japa, Tapa, HOma, and Dhaana are the limbs of punya, and by performing any of these on Holy Days like these, we can erase the tough writings of Lord Brahma from our foreheads and have our Destiny rewritten favourably by the Golden nib of the Lord. May our members indulge in charitable/ religious deeds on this Holy Day and become recipients of Divine Grace. Divine Grace is the only Wealth that will never get eroded by "recession" or "macro economic factors." May we earn this Wealth of Divine Grace zealously on Holy Days like these and invest in our own bright future (it is punya that gets translated as good luck - sooner or later!).

On the same day, Amaavasya also falls for all nations except those nations in the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand. As usual, tarpanams to ancestors is auspicious (should be done only by those who have lost their parents; those who have parents living should not do tarpanams to pitrus on Amaavasya), and it becomes more auspicious in that the same day happens to be Vishnupati punya kaalam!

Please note that the Vishnupati Punya kaalam is Nimmitika - and has special reference to your place of current residence; i.e. you should observe the punya kaala rituals, offer charities, at a time when the punya kaala operates in your nation. So, there is no point in gifting to persons who say that they will do it for you on that day by giving advance donations! The moment of a "dhaana" is also significant if you are giving dhaanas (donations) in connection with such punya kaalams; so, if you are offering any charitable donation to anyone out of devotion or for special prayers, please do so on the date mentioned here so that you get the manifold benefits of this Vishnupati punyakaalam influence. The best way to get the benefit of this spiritually significant period is to do simple austerities (maybe as simple as chanting a Divine name for 1 maalaa!) at your place on the date given here.

Please note that even those who do not subscribe to vedic beliefs but have other belief systems in religion can also benefit from the spiritually charged atmosphere of this period by performing intense prayers/ meditations consistent with their belief systems. Spirituality in its Higher Forms is not restricted to any religion!

Blessed be.

***Notes for advanced aspirants: Actually as per shastras, Vishnupati punya kaalam is for 20 ghatis after the solar ingress; Devala Smriti recommends that for Kali Yuga, the punya kaalam will be for 30 ghatis before and after solar ingress; as the ingress happens at 11-09 a.m. IST this year, due to time-zone differences, those in USA, and other countries will have the punya kaala ingress at night time of the English Date ; so, by the 30 ghati after punya kaala reckoning of Devala smriti, they can also benefit by observing the punya kaala rituals early in the morning of November 16, 2009.
Similarly, for those living in far East nations, the punya kaalam will be in the evening of November 16, 2009; but by Devala Smriti reckoning of 30 ghatis before punyakaalam, they can also observe the punya kaala rituals by November 16, 2009 itself. Those who wish to observe it in the original form of 20 ghatis after solar ingress, may calculate the local time of their place relative to 11-09 a.m. IST [IST is 5:30 hours east zone], and then observe the punya kaalam within the time frame. Please note that this is not like horoscope where the ascendant degree changes relative to place of earth for the same moment; here the event is celestial with no relative reckoning from earth coordinates, and so, the "moment" of the ingress is unchanged, only the time of occurrence changes as per your respective time-zones. Hope this is clear to you. If this is not clear, you may go with the general suggestion given above - of celebrating it on November 16, 2009 without any confusion. This note has been given for the benefit of advanced students of astrology and occult, who might wish to know the exact duration of vishnupati kaalam at their place, and such advanced practitioners should know how to use this information for their benefit....use the 20 ghati time after solar ingress for punyakaala rituals - as per original smritis.

Om Namah Shivaya

Om NamO Naaraayanaaya

Shri Raam Jaya Raam Jaya Jaya Raam.

Blessed be


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sani Pradosham on November 14, 2009

Dear Members:

You might remember the earlier posting - 2 weeks back in this blog, about the significance of Sani Pradosham....well, we have yet another Sani Pradosham on November 14, 2009. Those who have missed it might read the significance of Sani Pradosham by following this link:

I will continue this post to clarify certain doubts raised by one of our regular readers (I am publishing this as it might be helpful for others who might have similar doubts)...

1) One member had asked about "Whether Lord Dakshinamoorthi can be propitiated during Pradosham?"...My answer is...Why not! Lord Dakshinamoorthi is the Ascetic Form of Lord Shiva. In fact, it is auspicious to chant Shiva Panchaakshari japam silently in Shri Dakshinamoorthi sannidhi in temples during pradosham. That is the method followed by many ardent devotees; they witness the Pradosha Moorthi pooja and THEN go to Lord Dakshinamoorthi Sannidhi and do the japa silently. But, the ideal worship at this time should be on "SOmaskanda Moorthy Form" of Lord Shiva where Lord Skanda sits in between God and Goddess. Lord Shiva should also be worshipped with Goddess Shakti in His Ardhanaari Form (Half His body occupied by Goddess Shakti) during this time. Worship of Lord Dakshinamoorthi should be done "after" witnessing the Pradosha pooja in the temple, or after completing the Pradosha pooja at home. This said, there is no restriction on worshipping Lord Shiva in any other Form at the same time also!

2) He has asked about worship of Crystal Banalingam and about ideal way to worship Lord Shiva daily....

I don't know if he is correct when he is saying "crystal Banalingam"! If the lingam is made of sphatikam (rock crystal - the glass-like crystal), it is not a Baanalingam! Baanalignam - in its original form should be a white stone got from Narmada river. It is auspicious to have such a Baanalingam in pooja. BUT, you should always worship such a Baanalingam with Salagram together - because absolute Shiva Nirmaalyam as will be obtained from a Baanalingam abhishekam is not suitable for normal humans like us with all our failings. So, it is traditional to worship a Saalagram shila of Lord Vishnu also, and then partake the abhishek materials.

If you are not able to follow this (that of maintaining a Saalagramam), you can meditate on Lord /Chandikeshwara (who is in-charge of /Shiva Nirmaalya), request His Permission mentally to partake the Shiva pooja prasaad and then consume the abhishek contents.

This is the right protocol to be followed for Shiva Pooja.

shiva Pooja should always be preceded by Ganesha pooja and ended with respects to Nadikeshwara if you are using a Lingam or Nataraja Form and are doing regular abhishekam.

If such protocols are not followed, it is best to just meditate on /shiva Panchaakshari mantra, Shri Medha Dakshinamoorthi mantra, and Mrityunjaya mantra mentally in the presence of such Divine Forms (Baanalingam or crystal lingam), and then offer simple naivedya which can be consumed after the pooja (again with prayers to Chandikeshwara).

Of course, the best way of worshipping Lord Shiva is in the form of a Shiva Panchaayatana Pooja - where SOnabhadra stone - the Red Stone from Sone river, Baanalingam (White stone) from Narmada river, Saalagram (from Kandaki river in Nepal), Panchaloha sila (or if you are lucky enough with SwarnarEkha stone - which is very very rare obtained from Swarnamukhi river of Sri Kaalahasti), and Sphatika (From Vallam) are used in the pooja. SOna Bhadra represents Lord Vinaayaka; Baanalinga represents Lord Shiva; Panchaloha sila represents Goddess Shakti; Saalagram represents Lord Vishnu, and Sphatika represents Sun God. There are various recommended ways of arranging these 5 natural Holy Stones as per your Ishta Devata; for instance, those who are exclusively devoted to Lord Shiva have Baanalingam in the centre, Sonabhadra in the Southwest with respective to Baanalingam, Panchaloha sila in the Northwest; Saalagram in the Northeast, and Sphatikam in the Southeast with respect to Baanalingam.

When such a Panchaayatana pooja is done, it is customary to avoid the "aavaahana procedure" - but proceed straight to the ShOdasa Upachaaraas (16 rituals to Honour Deities), and then to archana and other procedures. Aavaahana is avoided because, it is assumed that the Divinities exist always in the Panchaayatana set up.

One who has taken this Panchaayatana pooja should perform this till last breath - or have it done by others with good ritual purity and perfect procedure. The Shiva Panchaayatana pooja set should accompany you if you are going out of station, and you should not partake food without finishing the pooja and having darshana of this Panchaayatana set up. So, I request our readers to think whether they can manage such a thing in their life-styles.

It is better to perform normal poojas or visit temples on special occasions rather than try to do advanced spiritual poojas with Divine articles unless you are sure you have the right guidance and are sure of the procedures and protocols. Also, someone has to carry this tradition forward in the family line in the future; if there is no one who is suitable to carry forward this Panchaayatana pooja after your period, you should make arrangements to pass it off to a genuine saadhaka who will take care of this with devotion. Abandoning the Shiva Panchaayatana set without poojas can be a big karmic debt for you . The nuances of this pooja cannot be discussed here further; you should consult learned Shiva Bhaktas who are already doing Shiva Panchaayatana pooja near your place in this regard.

For advanced aspirants, there are various leniencies granted in the procedural doctrines of the Panchaayatana pooja - but initially, it is best to begin with perfect ritual procedures. It won't take much time - even if done with recital of Rudra japam for the abhishekam, it will take hardly half an hour. But, the regularity required in this procedure may not suit every one. This is a life-long commitment and you are bound by the Sacred Agreement of continuing this till your last breath!

I have given these details for initial guidance so that you may at least know what this is.

The best way to worship Lord shiva for a normal person is this:

1) As soon as you get up chant "Om Arunaachaleshwaraaya namah" thrice (immediately on waking up - even before you get off your bed!)

2) After your bath, meditate on Lord Dakshinamoorthi or any form of Lord Shiva and chant Shiva Panchaakshari mantra or whatever mantra you have been initiated into.

3) Recite normal shiva sthothras - like Lingaashtakam, Bilvaashtakam, Shiva Panchaakshari sthothram, Vaidhyanaathaashtakam, etc.

4) Offer simple Naivedhyas and share it with devoted persons.

5) Throughout the day, chant "Hara Hara Shiva Shiva" whenever time permits. Recital in this form of mantra does not involve any special ritual purity taboos (but you should ideally avoid reciting the Panchaakshari form in ritually suspect places).

6) Recite "Hara Hara MahaadEva" 108 times before going to sleep, and sleep with Shiva thoughts.

This is an ideal procedure that will suit everyone.

PS: You might observe Bhairaagis, siddha-tradition followers, etc. who may not observe some of the taboos I have listed here; like they may worship only a single Linga without accompanying /shakti form or /Saalagraama form; they may do Shiva pooja even without taking bath; they may do the pooja after eating food; they may even eat prohibited foods! But, you must understand that the common man is no match for those advanced practitioners.....A common man worships Lord with at least the unconscious desire for well-being....Those advanced practitioners worship Lord out of intrinsic love; they don't care whether what they do is wrong, and if it is wrong, they are willing to face the consequences! So, what they do is right for them. A person who can take responsibility over own actions unconditionally can do ANYTHING.....there is no taboo for such a person. The normal human being is not of that attitude, and so it is best to follow the accepted traditional protocols/ taboos of worship as they are time-tested and hence guarantee stress-free progress into God-Realization.

A normal person who wishes to do pooja to Deities should have both God-Love and God-Fear...Love God as you would love your Father/ Mother; but have the respectful Fear in that you are dealing with someone who is Infinitely Majestic, and so deserves show of respect and protocol! This ideal mixture of God-Love and God-Fear will help you to follow the right procedures automatically.

Hope this posting helps everyone.

Blessed be.

Utpanna Ekaadashi on November 12/ 13, 2009

Dear Members:

The auspicious Utpanna Ekaadasi falls on November 12/ 13, 2009 this year.

The fast schedule for different places on the earth:

1) Sarva Ekaadasi for those residing in USA, Canada, Carribean Isles, and South American Countries, Middle-East countries, and European countries - November 12, 2009. (fast should be broken on November 13, 2009)

2)Sarva Ekaadashi for those residing in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand - November 13, 2009 (fast should be broken on November 14, 2009)

3)Smartha Ekaadashi for those residing in India - November 12, 2009.

4) Vaishnava Ekaadashi for those residing in India(for those following Sri Vaishnavite traditions, ISKCON traditions, Madhwa traditions) - November 13, 2009

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. My best wishes to the Faithful parents who are about to initiate their young children who have attained the eligible age for beginning Ekaadashi fast on this Holy Day. Believe me - initiating a child into Ekaadasi fast is one of the best gifts you can give to your child :)

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sani Pradosham on October 31, 2009

Dear Members:

Pradosham - as you might all be aware is an auspicious vrattam for pleasing Lord Shiva. This day is the mark of our Lord's Grace to all living beings; He willingly lapped up the "Alahaala poison" emitted by the Giant Snake Vasuki during the process of churning of Milk Ocean by the Demons and Devas to save everyone from the malefic effects of that highly potent poison. Goddess Parvati, with great presence of mind, applied pressure on His neck, and the poison got stuck up on His Neck - giving His Neck the Blue Hue and thus He is Hailed by the name "Neelakanta." That Blue Neck is the testimony of the fact that the Lord willingly took up the ordeal of tasting Poison so that Nectar could be enjoyed by other Celestials. Lord Shiva swooned (to comply with the laws of nature - though He is above all that!) and rested on the lap of Goddess Parvati. He regained consciousness on the twilight of TrayOdashi thithi and broke into a Divine Cosmic Dance of sheer ecstasy (as the dangerous Haalahaala poison had turned into Amruta due to the touch of Goddess), and this is observed as Pradosha Vrat twice a fortnight.

As the original event happened on a Saturday, Pradosha falling on Saturdays is considered auspicious. A Sani Pradosha falling on the bright half of the solar month of Tula is called Uttama Sani Pradosha; thus this pradosha is a Sani Uttama PradOsha - which is very efficacious.

Lord Shiva is easily pleased by devotion, and any austerity performed during this day in His Honour is sure to make us dear to Him, and to help us balance our karmic balance-sheets with more positive karmic balance!

There are two ways of observing this Pradosham fast:

1) You can fast from sunrise till sunset. Break the fast after sunset and after completion of PradOsha Pooja to Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakti, Lord Ganesha, Lord Skanda, and importantly - Lord Nandi - the Divine Bull. Those who observe this fast should take a bath about 1-1/2 hours before sunset, and offer shiva pooja from about 1 hour before sunset till sunset, and break the fast at sunset. It is auspicious to have a darshan of Lord Shiva through the Horns of the Divine Bull on Pradosha days. Recite only Shiva mantra in Nandi's ears (many people recite their woes and prayer requests to Nandi; shastras indicate reciting shiva mantra in Nandi's ears is the right practice; you can then pray for other requests standing at a respectable distance from the Nandi and not straight into His ears - that are so Holy and which deserve the respect of being adorned by Shiva mantras and not to be sullied by our mundane requests that are endless and many times - undeserved!).

2) The second method is to continue the austerities even after sunset; you may break the fast - but maintain an all-night vigil reciting Shiva mantras till next day's sunrise.

You may adopt any of the above two methods of Pradosha vrat.

Those who cannot fast may simply abstain from ritually impure foods (onions, garlics, meat products, eggs, etc.) and visit Shiva shrines nearby and take part in the Pradosha festivities.

During Pradosha period all the Divine Energies (devas, yakshas, gandharvas, and all the demi-gods apart from Shri Vishnu and Shri Brahma - the other moorthis of the Divine Trinity) assemble in Lord Shiva's presence. So, offering Shiva Pooja on Pradosha day is akin to Honouring all Divine Forces. It is the practical experience of millions of people that pradosha vrat is a vrat par excellence in granting all boons - because Lord Shiva and His Divine Energies are said to be in the most blissful Form during this period.

We intend to visit the Holy Parvata Malai - hailed as Southern Kailaasa and offer special pooja in this connection for the welfare of all in general and our Paaraayanam group members in particular.

May our members also be blessed with His Grace by observing this Holiest of Fasts/ Austerities.

Om Namah shivaya.

Om Neelakantaaya sambhavE

Hara Hara Mahaa DEvaa.

Blessed be.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Utthaana ekaadashi/ Hari PrabhOdhini ekaadashi 2009

Dear Members:

Utthaana ekaadashi falls on October 29, 2009 this year. It is to be observed on the same date throughout the world.

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 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. It falls on October 30, 2009 celebrated as Brindaavana Dwaadashi. One who offers Tulsi garlands to Lord Vishnu on this Holy day gains indescribable merit.

On Tulsi Vivaah day , 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

Friday, October 23, 2009

Temple visits on Skanda Shasti day 2009

Dear Members:

With immense pleasure I am sharing this with you all.....

I was planning something "special" for this Skanda Shashti, and by God's Grace, I could manage a trip to Valli Malai - the mystic hills that is believed to be the birth-place of shri Skanda's consort Valli. This Hill has been stated to be a Siddha bhoomi by spiritual savants like Shri Thirumugua Kripaananda Vaariyaar (of Revered Memory).

Goddess Valli - the Divine Consort of Shri Skanda - who was born in a hunter's tribe (hence called "Pulinda Kanyaa"; in fact there is a name for Shri Skandaa called "Pulindakanyaa BhartrE namah" meaning "Husband of the Tribal Maiden!") and Lord Skanda had many Divine Plays in this Hill region as per lore associated with this hill. The Hill is relatively easy to climb (some 400 odd steps which is not much compared to other such mystic hills!), and even my 3 year old niece Pragati, and my mother who has severe knee problems made it to the Hill Shrine at the top without much problem [I am writing this to encourage other pilgrims to take up the trip boldly without feeling intimidated about whether the Hill will be accessible to those who are not too fit physically]. The ambience in the rock-cut temple at the top is to be experienced! It was so cool inside - without any fan or A/c, even though our visit was around mid-noon and the weather outside was quite hot. It is during visits to places like this (the other one that I can relate to is the Virupaakshi cave at Tiruvannamalai which will be cool even in summer) that we often wonder whether the cave man was living more luxurious than all of us; no A/c can ever equate that natural cool sensation in the caves....or possibly, it is because of the Benevolent Spirit of the Mystic Hills that ensures such coolness to the pilgrims who brave the harsh weather outside to visit these Divine Places....whatever it is, the ambience of that simple Hill temple carved out of rocks is to be experienced - words won't do justice to that! The temple tank at the base of the Hills is clean though the foot-steps near the water-line are slippery due to weeds and you need to step carefully to avoid slippling into the water or worse, injuring yourself by falling on the granite steps. Shri Kripananda Vaariyar - it seems used to say that every person born in this world should visit Valli Malai at least once and have darshan of Lord Murugan......I definitely second the words of that great man wholeheartedly and would raise a similar appeal!

Other places of interest on this Hill are Tirumalgireeshwarar Lingam at the peak of this Hill (you have to walk further than the Hill shrine to reach this), Valli Swamigal Thirupugazh ashramam, the natural formation of Lord Ganesha on the Hills, the Jain caves and the hill spring at the top (called Kumari Theertham). At the base of the Hill also you have a subramanya swamy temple, and near the foothills (in a drive of about 5 mins) you can visit the Valli Thava peetam established by Thirumuruga Kripaananda Vaariyaar swamigal - the great exponent of Spiritual upanyaasams.

On our way back, we had darshan at Tiruttani temple and offered special prayers for Universal peace and for the welfare of our Paaraayanam group members.

Planning to do more austerities after this write-up (it is only evening here as I write this and I still have time ahead before this day ends!)

May Divine Grace bless us all.

PS: Travel direction for those travelling from chennai to Valli Malai : Take the MTH road, cross Tiruvallur, touch Tiruttani, then Sholingar, and keep travelling along the same route and enquire about Ponnai and Vallimalai; people will guide you (you have to take a short diversion to your left after crossing the Ponnai river and travelling along that route, you will reach Valli Malai. ). Vallimalai is roughly 30 km from Vellore town. There is another famous Shiva temple at Thiruvalam near this Vallimalai. I am sorry if this route indication is not clear; it is the best I could manage!

Astrological and Remedial Consultant

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