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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mahaalaya paksha (Pitru paksha) in September 2009

Pitr Paksha (Mahaalaya Pakshaa ) is about to begin from September 05, 2009 (This holds good throughout the world except for those living in American continent; those living in American continents - all countries in North America and South America, should begin observing pitru paksha from September 4, 2009 itself). It is a powerful period for propitiation of manes(ancestors). Pitrus are said to Grace the households of their descendants with Divine Permission from the other Planes of Existence and are waiting to Bless any descendant who is willing to Honour them in whatever little way they can.

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

1) Not eating non-veg (in case of non-vegetarians).

2) Not eating onion, garlic, outside food, processed foods,drumstick, etc (for pure vegetarians).

3) If possible avoiding shaving for the entire fortnight till Mahalaya Amavasai; obviously it may not be possible for everyone due to current secular life restrictions (like office policy requiring an executive placed in a cutting-edge responsibility to be clean shaved). Even in these cases, shaving should be avoided at least on the thithis of one's ancestors.

4) Performing obesquities (shradh) on the thithi of the ancestor'sdeath to the extent possible or at least offering "anna dhaanam"(offering food) to poor persons/ priests as per one's convenience.(On this day, you should not shave as already stated)

5) Abstaining from carnal intercourse with members of opposite gender during the fortnight as a mark of respect to Pitrs.

6) Doing recitals like Garuda Puraanam (depicting passage of asoul), Nachiketa story from Upanishads (where Yama Gitaa is there -it contains Lord Yamaa's elucidation of the journey of a soul whichwas first revealed to the devoted Nachiketaa), and Gangaa Avatarana chapter from Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayan. These recitals are stated to grant satisfaction of Pitrs and thereby ensure their blessings upon us. In fact these recitals can be done even by those who have parents alive! (The other rituals like tarpanam should not be observed by those who have parents living). These are auspicious and do not come under the category of shraardha - but at the same time have the potency to give peace and happiness to the souls of ancestors of one's dynasty when they are recited.

Some important days during the pitru paksha

The following are auspicious days to perform shraardha to pitrus - irrespective of the thithi of their demise. Those who cannot observe the ritual procedures/ restrictions outlined above through the pitru paksha may at least observe the ritual guidelines on these auspicious days in honour of their pitrus.

1) Mahaa Bharani - This falls on September 10, 2009 for those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the American continents. Persons living in other parts of the world should observe this on September 11, 2009.

2) Madhyaashtami - This falls on September 11, 2009 for those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of the American continents. Persons living in other parts of the world (including India) should observe this on September 12, 2009.

3) Mahaalaya Amaavasya - This should be observed on September 18, 2009 by everyone except those living in Hawaai region of USA. Those in Hawaai should observe this on September 17, 2009 itself.

Some controversial issues regarding the observance of pitru paksha rituals/ shraardham and dharma shastraic clarification for the same

1) There are many persons who feel that Mahaalaya paksha rituals need not be done in honour of step mother (called Sapatnii maataa - by shaastraas); doing it for just one's mother and father is enough. There are some who feel that only the eldest son of the second wife of one's father needs to do the shraardha if the first wife of the father died without issues.

Clarification: Though the eldest son is the first Adhikaari for rituals, when property has been divided among the brothers or when they have started living apart from each other as separate families, shraardha and other pitru rituals need to be done by each brother individually. The same holds true for honoring the Sapatnii maataa (Step mother who has died without issues also). Just think....will that Honourable Mother have taken care of just the eldest son and left the other sons in the lurch if she had been alive and the biological mother had been dead? Please use this logic for your clarity in this regard. Just as the step-mother cannot ignore the other children (nor should she!), the children also should not be partial towards performing rituals in Her Honour for Her Soul - especially if she had died without issues. This applies more sternly in cases where the eldest brother of the family is not alive. Unfortunately many families do this mistake of leaving the poor step-mother (the first wife of one's father who died without issues) after the eldest brother is dead. As long as at least one brother is alive, the sapatnii maataa should be honoured during pitru paksha on the day when you do the shraardha of your father (you can invoke one Brahman priest to represent the step-mother's lineage just as you do for your own mother's lineage). Please note that this guideline does not apply in cases where the other woman has voluntarily left one's father (say divorce), or has been indicted by a dharma parishad for undesirable behaviour and hence denied karma benefits in accordance with dharma shastraic principles after giving ample opportunity to exonerate herself. In cases where the father has done an injustice to another woman (who is no more) and has married one's mother, the son who performs rituals in honour of that wronged woman (father's first wife - who is deemed one's saptnii maataa) redeems himself from that dosha. A righteous son should try to do what he can to set right the wrongs done by his deceased parents - as and when he comes to know of that possibility. Though each person is answerable to his/ her own karma and sins, family doshas do arise out of adharmic activities of one's ancestors and these doshas do affect the family for many generations to come (usually seen as Stree saapa in the horoscope of many members of a family). Such doshas are cleared when that wronged soul is honoured appropriately in consultation with dharma shastraic experts in this regard.

2) Some think that if the annual shraardh is done properly, Mahaalaya paksha (pitru paksha) shraardha/ tarpanam need not be done!

Clarification: If you get double-increment will you say "I already got one; so please ignore me for this increment!" No one does that. Yet, when it comes to accumulating spiritual merit, we often tend to say "I have done that and so I need not do this." This attitude of excusing ourserlves from dharmic duties should be overcome consciously. Rather, we should think that the Mahaalaya paksha is a God -Given opportunity for us to honour our pitrs yet again. In fact, Mahaayalaya Paksha shraardh is mandatory, and there is no way out of it, and the benefits accruing out of Mahaalaya paksha shraardha/ tarpanam are actually more than what can accrue out of annual shraardha. The pitru paksha observance gladens our pitrus and we should not miss it for any reason. If we are unable to offer the shraardha/ tarpan on the thithi of our father, we should at least do it on the other special days like Mahaa Bharani, Madhyaashtami, or Mahaalaya Amaavasya (any one of these days). We should not miss it giving any excuse - because no such excuse exists!

3) There are some who think that if Gaya Shraardha has been done, there is no need for Mahaalaya paksha shraardha/ tarpanam.

Clarification: Gaya Shraardha is definitely a wonderful ritual for satisfaction of pitrs. But, having done that is no excuse for exempting oneself from Mahaalaya paksha tarpanam/ shraardha and annual shraardha. These should be continued as long as one is alive (or at least till one is healthy enough to carry on the rituals). Only those who are bed-ridden are exempt this due to obvious reasons! It is a sin to skip these rituals in mistaken sense of having attained a level where these are not necessary - no human being living an ordinary life is exempt these karmas. Even great rishis who were highly spiritually evolved and avatars like Shri Raama, Shri Krishna, have observed these, and obviously we are not above all of them in our spiritual standing! Only sanyaasins are exempt these because they don't have karmaa adhikaara (ritual right to perform a karma). Everyone else who has karmaadhikaara (due to death of one's parents) should observe this - even if they have done the Gaya Shraardha and Akshaya vata pinda daan.


I hope these clarifications help our members to get this matter in the right perspective.

May our members observe these dharmic guidelines in connection with Mahaalaya paksha (Pitr paksha) and become recipients of the Grace of pitrus - our Benevolent Ancestors who have the capacity to shield us from the dangers of existence and improve our luck with their Blessings.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Friday, August 28, 2009

Parivartini Ekaadasi, Vaamana Jayanthi, Onam festival in 2009

Dear Members:

Parivartani Ekaadasi also known as Parsava Ekaadasi falls on August 31, 2009 for those living in European countries, Middle-East, African countries, India, and other countries to the east of India (including Australia, Japan, Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore, Mayalaysia, Thailand, etc.).
Those living in American continent should observe the fast on August 30, 2009 itself.
Parivartini Ekaadasi is the day when Lord Vishnu in His Yoga Nidra is supposed to turn from His left side to His right side.

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

Vaamana Jayanthi falls on September 1, 2009 for those living in the Gulf countries, India, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, etc. (It is to be observed on August 31, 2009 in the US, Canada, other countries in American continent including West Indies, and United Kingdom). From a remedial point of view, offering special prayers to Lord Vaamana can appease the malefic effects of Jupiter in the horoscope. From a spiritual perspective, meditating on Lord Vaamanaa will open up rare insights into the Nature and Maaya Prabhaava of Lord Vishnu.

King Mahaabali is also remembered on Vaamana Jayanthi, and people of Kerala origin celebrate Thiruvonam on Sravana nakshatra day with great enthusiasm. This year Thiruvonam festival is to be observed on September 1, 2009 by those living in American continent (U.S.A., Canada, Caribbean Isles, Brazil, Caribbean Isles, etc.). Those living in U.K., African countries, Gulf countries, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, etc. should observe Onam festival on September 2, 2009.
Legend of Vaamana Avatar:
Maha Bali -the grandson of Prahlaada was a mighty asura and he extended his sway over the whole world. The devas approached Lord Vishnu to contain his growing influence. Lord Vishnu decided to help the devas out (in maintaining their sovereignity over the Heavens), but at the same time to grant good spiritual state to Mahaa Bali - a devout and righteous ruler (though he was an asura by clan, Mahaa Bali Chakravarthy was righteous and dhramic like his ancestor Bhakta Prahlaada).
Lord Vishnu was born as a Brahman Brahmachaari and visited the yagna site where Mahaa Bali was performing a grand yagna. As per vedic protocols governing these matters, He was duly honoured. Sukraachaaryaa - the Preceptor of the asuras tried to stop MahaaBali from giving donation to Vaamanaa; but the King was adamant about Honouring the Brahmin priest - whoever He might be and whatever may be the outcome of his charitable deed (even if it meant his destruction as was feared by his guru!). Due to Divine Play of Lord Vishnu Sukrachaarya's attempts to block flow of water from the water container at the time of charity (as per custom, the donor should offer water from the "kamandalam" - the sacrificial pitcher to the hands of the receiver with devotion; Sukrachaaryaa tried to prevent flow of water by taking the form of a wasp/bee and closing the mouth of the pipe through which water should flow out of the pitcher; Lord Vishnu used a twig to pierce the pipe and cleared it - Sukracharya lost one eye in this process...).
When the King offered to give whatever the Brahmachaari desired - Lord Vaamanaa requested just 3 steps. The King who was unaware of who the Brahmachaari was, felt that the young boy did not know what to ask correctly, and prompted Him to ask for something grander. But, the Brahmachaari stood by His request and hence the king granted the request. As soon as the king gave His words, Vaamanaa took the Mighty Trivikrama Form encompassing the Whole Universe. With His first step He covered the whole earth, with His second step He covered the Heavens, and demanded where shall He keep His third step! The pious king respectfully offered his own head as the place to keep His Feet for the third step (this is an act of complete surrender). Lord Vishnu in His Trivikrama Form pushed MahaaBali to the Nether world where he lords over the domain by Lord Vishnu's Grace. As a gesture of appreciation to the adherence of the great king to his words, Lord Vishnu had permitted king Mahaabali to return to his kingdom on earth once a year. And this is what Malayalis celebrate as Thiruvonam - the annual visit of the ruler who once ruled their land righteously and was a living example of steadfastness to dharmic principles even at the cost of his life!
Lessons from this legend.....
1) Actions of Lord - though they may seem to favour some and discriminate against others are always fair. Though Lord Vishnu seems to have taken the side of the devas in this legend and condemned a worthy king to the Nether world, the reality is that devas always live in fear of losing their kingdom whereas King MahaaBali has been granted a Permanent and Safe domain that remains undisputedly under his control. Secondly, the person who is pushed down outwardly by the Lord's Feet on his head is really Blessed for all his karma will get washed away automatically. While we all seek to place our heads on the Lord's Feet, those Blessed Feet sought the head of MahaaBali as a reward for his righteousness. How many good deeds that Blessed King must have done to deserve that!!!!
2) we should never underestimate anyone....the Mighty King thought that 3 steps from an ordinary and short brahman Brahmachaari may be a trifle for him - but those 3 steps cost him his whole kingdom. Luckily for the king, the trick was from the Lord who never really harms anyone's interests and hence the king was given an undisputed domain of the Netherworld. Just imagine what will happen to us if we get deceived by our not-so-chivalrous and cunning rivals in this mundane world. Can we expect such gestures from them? So, Never ...never...underestimate anyone!
3) Always stand by Dharma - No matter what the consequences. King MahaaBali refused to even obey his own Guru (who of course advised only to protect the interests of the king) when it was against dharmic principles; when the Lord placed His third Feet on the head of the king, for mundane people it may seem that the king had lost everything....But, see actually the king had gained EVERYTHING....WHAT IS THERE TO GAIN IN THIS WORLD MORE THAN THE SPIRITUAL TOUCH OF THE BLESSED LORD'S FEET. King Mahaabali was blessed with that only due to his steadfast attachment to dharmic principles and truth (he did not go back on his promise of donating 3 steps to the Lord in His Vaamana Roopaa).
(Please note that I have given a liberal translation and essence of the legend; the lessons that I say that can be gleamed are also my impressions based on that legend. If you meditate on this legend after reading the original versions, you may also get possibly better spiritual insights or even guidance for mundane matters. Those who wish to read about this elaborately may refer Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas).

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

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sani peyarchi homam on the occasion of Saturn transit on September 9, 2009

Saturn enters sidereal Virgo (Kanya rashi) on September 9, 2009 and will be in this rashi for the next 2-1/2 years. This transit is auspicious for those born with Moon in the following signs: Cancer (Kataka rashi), Scorpio (Vrischika rashi), Sagittarius (Dhanus rashi), and Aries (Mesha rashi). Those born with Moon in Taurus (Rishabha), Pisces (Meena), and Capricorn (Makara) will enjoy mixed results.

Effects for other Moon signs that come under Chota Dhaiya and Bada Dhaiya influences….

Chota Dhaiya (small panoti)

Moon sign of Gemini - Mithuna:(2.5 years) Saturn assumes the element of Base gold for those with Moon sign in Gemini. The results are possible opposition and obstacles in family, frequent ailments, increase in expenditure, and possibility of unnecessary hassles in all activities. This is technically called “ardhaashtama shani” in vedic astrology.

Moon sign of Aquarius - Kumbha rashi: (2.5 years) Saturn assumes the element of Base Copper for this Moon sign. There will be financial benefit, marriage, and kids, happiness. Auspicious events that have hitherto been delayed will materialize during this 2-1/2 year time window. Actually this is called “ashtama shani influence” which is traditionally feared. But, luckily this time, due to the favourable disposition of the elemental quality of Saturn at the time of transit, there will be some good effects for those born in Moon sign Aquarius (You may even see many websites ascribing inauspicious results to this transit for your Moon sign; don’t be afraid of that. We have strong technical reasons to say that good events can happen to you this time). Nevertheless, those born with Moon in sidereal Aquarius should avoid taking unnecessary risks. As long as these natives play it by the rule book, they will do fine under this Saturn transit influence.


Bada Dhaiya (Sade sati): This is called "Ezharai naattu sani" in Tamil - the tough 7-1/2 year period of Saturn.

Moon sign of Leo - Simha Rashi 3rd stage of sade sati -- on the feet: Saturn assumes the status of Base silver. The effects will be good luck in business, possibility of job progress, improvement in financial situation or at least identification of new ways to handle financial troubles, acquisition of new assets, auspicious events in the family, and in general the influence will be positive.

Moon sign of Virgo - Kanya Rashi 2nd stage of sade sati -- on the chest: Saturn assumes the element of Base iron. There could be heath troubles – especially blood-related ailments, blood-pressure problems, ill-health to spouse, unforeseen losses, increase in expenditure, unnecessary arguments with close family members, etc. Those with Moon sign of Virgo have a tough transit influence over the next 2-1/2 years.

Moon sign of Libra - Tula Rashi 1st stage of sade sati -- on the head: Saturn assumes the element of Base copper. There will be financial benefit, marriage, possibility of positive developments regarding progenic matters (like conception of child for couples who have been undergoing treatment, or general good luck for children for those who already have children), and general happiness.


Remedy for shani troubles:

Generally Saturn's transit influences give more malefic results if there is simultaneous operation of Saturn's major or minor periods concurrently with sade-sathi or ardhashtama sani (saturn in 4th from Moon sign) or ashtama sani (Saturn in 8th house from natal Moon). Those born with Moon signs that come under tough transit of Saturn can do the following remedies to reduce the impact of malefic effects:

1) Worship of Lord Hanumaan on Saturdays and Thursdays.

2) Donating old clothes or iron utensils (stainless utensils) to old-age homes/ hospitals. Helping physically challenged persons to the extent possible - it can be as simple as offering seat to a physically struggling person in a crowded bus, helping an accident victim who has been rendered physically immobile temporarily due to serious hurt, giving the right of way to a physically challenged person without making it too obvious (if you do it openly, they may feel hurt; you need to tactfully and gracefully do the good turns in such a way that the person can enjoy the benefit of your activity without feeling "sympathized upon").

3) Lighting til-lamp (lighting lamp with a cloth bundle of sesame seeds dipped in sesame oil) on Saturdays.

4) Reciting Shri Hanumaan Chaalisa 8 times on Saturdays.

5) Reciting Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam at least once on Saturdays.

6) Climbing the Holy Tirumala Hills at least once a year on foot (instead of taking vehicles up the hills, you can trek your way up reciting His Names). This is a most powerful remedy for neutralizing Saturn's influences on your life. Those who are unable to make the trip to Tirumala due to practical constraints (like being abroad - for example), can just undertake paada yatra to places of spiritual significance near their residence (travelling to Holy places on foot instead of using vehicles), or by doing lot of pradakshina in temples in their viscinity (say 108 circumambulations around the temple on a Saturday evening for example!).

7) Patience and thoroughness in all activities will effectively offset all the malefic influences of Saturn. Saturn does not trouble people who are straight-forward, patient, and systematic.


We are happy to announce that special homams will be conducted on this occasion at our residence. We intend to perform Mahaa Ganapathy homam, Maha Mrityunjaya homam (the homam that controls Saturn influences in general), Shri Venkateshwara Moola mantra homam, Shri AnjanEya Moola mantra homam, and Shani Moola mantra homam on this occasion. Those who wish to take part in that homam as beneficiaries may do so by offering US$25 (US Dollars twenty five only) for the same by clicking the paypal link below this article.

If you are able to come in person to attend the homam at our residence at Chennai, it is well and good. But, if you are unable to attend it personally, please note that we won't be sending the homam prasadam or holy ash by post. The inclusion of your name, gothra, and nakshatra is deemed as in-absentia participation in this homam, and the benefits of the performance will definitely reach you. This is for your information.

For sponsoring the Saturn transit homams as a beneficiary, kindly click the button below. You can include up to 5 members of your family as beneficiaries if you are participating as a sponsor of this homam.

You may send those details (names, nakshatra details, gothra detail, etc.) in the sponsorship form itself when you make the donation or by email

Blessed be.
Astrological and Remedial consultant

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vinayaka Chaturthi festival on August 23, 2009


Dear Members:

Vinaayaka Chaturthi falls on August 23, 2009 this year, except for those in Fiji. Those living in Fiji should observe the festival on August 24, 2009.

Though every Chaturthi thithi of every month is auspicious for worship of Lord Ganesha, Vinaayaka Chaturthi that falls in Sravana month sukhla chaturthi is of special significance. Worship of Lord Vinaayaka on this auspicious day will bestow capacity to overcome all obstacles in life, accomplishment of all tasks with perfection, intelligence, and countless benefits from both materialistic and spiritual points of view.

It is customary to offer pooja to a clay image of Lord Vinaayaka (Vinaayaka is the Presiding Deity for Moolaadhaara chakra for which the element is Earth!), and then immerse it in water bodies on subsequent days (avoiding Fridays, Tuesdays for the purpose). But, please avoid keeping "plaster of paris" idols for pooja and doing the ceremony of immersing those environmentally incompatible images in water bodies....It is a great sin to do like that. If you are keeping "plaster of paris" images of Vinaayaka for pooja, just keep it in a safe place in your house and avoid immersing it in the sea or other water bodies. It is my request to all our members.

On a different note, members whose close relatives are in the family way should avoid immersing the clay idols kept in Vinayaka Chaturthi pooja till the child is delivered safely. Once the child is born, the clay idol can be immersed later on an auspicious day. This is consistent with time-hallowed traditions.

Those who know Tamil can recite "Vinaayagar Agaval" "Vinaayakar Kaarya siddhi maalai", "Vinaayakar kavacham(by Kapila Muni)", etc. Recital/ listening to Ganapathy Atharvaseersham is very auspicious. Our Paaraayanam group members can listen to Ganapathy Mangala Maalika sthothram, Vakrathunda sthothram (that has powerful beejas in it), etc. today from our files section.

Those who find it difficult to perform elaborate poojas can please Lord Ganesha by simple recital of His Holy Names like

"Om Kshipra Prasaadanaaya namah" (Salutations to Thee who art pleased easily)

Om Gananaathaaya namah (Salutations to Thee who art the Leader of all Living Beings).

Om Vignavinaasanaaya namah (Salutations to Thee who Removes all obstacles).


We are planning a Grand Homam on Vinaayaka Chaturthi day this year also. The homams will be done with the Vaancha Kalpa Ganapathy mantra, Durga Ganapathy mantra, Ucchistha Ganapathy mantra, Ganapathy Atharvaseersha mantra, and Panchamukha Ganesha mantra in an elaborate way praying for Universal welfare.

My best wishes to everyone. May Lord Ganesha - the Destroyer of obstacles - Bless us all.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aja/ Annadaa Ekaadasi 2009

Dear Members:
Aja Ekaadasi also known as Annadaa Ekaadasi falls on August 16/17, 2009. This year, Vishnupati Punya kaalam also falls on the same day adding to the auspiciousness of the fast today infusing in it the potential to multiply the effects of the fast manifold! We are all indeed lucky to have it thus!

The dates of observance of Ekaadashi fast for different places on the globe are as follows:
1) Sarva Ekaadashi for those living in USA/ Canada, Caribberan Isles, and other countries of American continents, European countries, all nations in African continent, Gulf Countries, etc. on August 16, 2009. (Vishnupati Punya kaalam for these countries is on the same date).
2) Smaartha Ekaadashi for those living in India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, and Burma on August 16, 2009. (Vishnupati PUnya kaalam is on August 16, 2009)
3) Vaishnava Ekaadashi for those living in India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore,and Burma on August 17, 2009. (Though Vaishnava ekaadasi is on August 17, 2009, Vishnupati punya kaalam for these places is on August 16th only).
4) Sarva Ekaadashi for all other countries (countries in Australian continent, Fiji, Japan, etc.)on August 17, 2009. (Vishnupati punya kaalam for these Eastern countries is to be observed on August 17, 2009).

Glory of this Aja Ekaadasi

The glory of this Aja Ekaadasi has been explained in Brahma- Vaivarta Puraanaa in a discussion between King Yudhishtra and Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna narrates the legend of King Harischandra, who though a great king of the Surya dynasty, fell from fortune (due to a test of dharma kept by Sage Viswamitra), and lived a miserable existence as a keeper of crematorium - separated from his virtous wife and loving son who even died due to circumstances.

One day King Harischandra came across Sage Gautama and thought "Lord Brahma has created Brahmins just to help others" (i.e. they can suggest powerful remedies to help negotiate vagaries of Fate). He payed his obeisances to the great sage and narrated his tale of woe and requested a remedy to come out of his sorry state of affairs.

Sage Gautama recommended observance of this Aja Ekaadasi Fast which is reputed to absolve one of the karmic effects of sinful activities of the past. King Harischandra duly observed the fast and was reunited with his relatives and also got back his Kingship. After his demise from this Earth, he ascended to Higher Spiritual Regions with all his relatives by the power of this fast.
Lord Krishna says that even those who hear of the glory of this fast or read about this with devotion will get merit equivalent to that obtained by Aswamedha sacrifice!

My notes: This is a shuddha ekaadasi, i.e. it is preferable to fast completely if possible (even avoiding water and fruits/ milk), and keep awake throughout the night. Please note that a full fast is not to be followed by pregnant ladies observing this ritual, or by ailing patients. They should subsist on fruits and milk, and as per shastras they will enjoy the full merit of a full fast due to their special condition.

Observance of this fast rigorously even without other accompanying rituals like Vishu pooja is very powerful. Just chant the name "Om HrishikEshaaya namah" with devotion throughout the day whenever you have time between your regular activities. This has the potential to remove the troubles that we are facing in this existence due to the effect of our past sins, and help us to enjoy peaceful existence.

May our members observe this fast and become freed from the clutches of negative karma, and enjoy peaceful and prosperous lives in a spiritual way.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Krishna Jayanthi - Gokulashtami today on August 13, 2009

Dear Members:

Sri Krishna Janmaashtami also known as Gokulaashtami is one of the most widely celebrated Avatar days in Sanaatanic vedic traditions. Smaarthas celebrate the Gokulashtami (here Ashtami is the deciding factor for the celebration), while Sri Vaishnavaas celebrate it as Sri Jayanthi where the star Rohini is the deciding factor. The typical consideration is the operation of the deciding factors described above at the time of midnight - though some take the evening time for reckoning. So, there could be some differences in the dates on which Lord Krishna's birthday is celebrated by followers of different sects of Sanaatana Dharma - like Smaartas, Shri Vaishnavas (Pancharaatra and Vaikaanasa aagamic celebrations sometimes differ even among shri vaishnavas). In spite of all these minor differences, it is the spirit of the day and celebration that is of spiritual significance to all bhaktaas.

This year Gokulashtami (Krishna Janmaashtami) falls on August 13, 2009 and Shri Jayanthi is observed on August 14, 2009 (some sects celebrate it on August 15, 2009 also).

Lord Krishna's avatar leelas are a live example of a karma yogic path - complete detachment from the results and perfect performance of one's duties as per one's station in life. Remembrance of how he playfully enacted various leelas and in the process decimated demonaic forces in various garbs is sure to inspire us to achieve great things in life. He taught us the efficacy of "effortless perfection". His Bhagavad Geeta is a magnum opus that can be a friend, philosopher, guide, counsellor, all rolled into one - it carries the essence of the whole Upanishadic Wisdom.

The following are some of the charities/ meritorious religious deeds that you can do on this day to get His Grace......

Those who follow religious traditions in the family will perform a sampradaayic pooja to Shri Krishna on the above days as per their traditions. Recital of Gopika Geetam, Gopala Hrudayam, portions of Bhagavad Geeta, etc. will be auspicious on this day.

Those who are initiated into Gopala mantra may recite it number of times today praying for Universal Welfare (for propogation of Dharmic principles and for subjugation of evil forces in various forms).

Do what you can to promote the welfare of cows in your locality (by contributing what little you can to organizations that are involved in providing shelter to aged cows), as this is sure to bring His Grace to you.

Offer respects to children - if possible, try to bring happiness to at least one child in a destitute home.

Try to honour scholars who are involved in propogating the doctrine of Bhagavat Geeta. If possible try to donate copies of the Holy Bhagavad Geeta to some children or aspirants thereby contributing to the spread of the Doctrine.

Try to contribute at least some amount to vedic scholars who are involved in performing various homams/ yagnas throughout the year for the welfare of the Universe (the donation can be to any scholar who in your opinion is performing such acts in your locality, or to any respectable Pandit anywhere in the world).

Try to select one slokha from Bhagavad Geeta and let that verse be your guiding principle in all activities throughout the year (This is putting philosophy in action and is sure to win you His Grace).

You need not worry if you are currently not in an economically sound position to grant liberally to charities or scholars. Lord Krishna was satisfied beyond words on the soulful offering of just "aval" (flattened puffed rice) from His poor friend KusElaa! What you offer does not matter to only matters whether you are offering it with Devotion. Recital of kusEla Charitra from Srimad Bhaagavatam is sure to bring prosperity to you.

Our paaraayanam group members may listen to audio recitals on Shri Krishna or Naaraayana from our group - listening to hymns is as efficacious as actual recital of the hymns. Especially, the hymn "Naaraayanam Bhaje....." and "Guruvaayurappan Pancharatnam" are very powerful hymns that can be found in our files section.

Sri Krishna Paadaaravindam sadaa smaraamii
Krishnam VandE Jagat Gurum.

Blessed be.

PS: Lord Krishna's favourite can be our life-saver too!.....

We all know that Tulsi leaf is favourite of our Blessed Lord. It can be our life-saver too.

We are witnessing outbreak of swineflu. A simple home-remedy can help in managing the flu symptoms and possibly be a life-saver! That is the intake of Tulsi decoction in empty stomach after mixing 3 tea-spoons of honey in it. Take about 25 fresh leaves of Tulsi plant and make a decoction of it. Mix 3 tea-spoons of honey in it and consume about 150 ml of this on empty stomach. This can be a preventive as well as palliative remedy for the pandemic. While taking this we can meditate upon the Holy Name "Om VishnavE namah" as per the slokha "AushadE chaintayEt Vishnum" - meaning "Vishnu" is the name to be meditated upon while taking medicines.

May Grace of our Lord shield all of us from the pandemic. May the souls who perished in this rest in peace.

Blessed be.

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