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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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Skanda Shashti - Soora Samhaaram Festival on October 23, 2009

Dear Members:

Skanda Shashti vrattam - soora samhaaram day is an auspicious day to propitiate LordSkanda (also known as Subramanya, Murugan, Velavan, etc.). This year it falls on October 23, 2009. It is doubly auspicious that it falls on a Friday this year (the traditionally auspicious day considered beneficial for worship of Lord Skanda apart from Tuesdays).

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

It is traditional for ardent devotees to fast on this day (the more ardent devotees actually fast for six days right from prathama thithi - the day after amaavasya and break it only after completing the rituals associated with this day!) and recite various hymns in honour of Lord Skanda, the notable and most powerful among them being:

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

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

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

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

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

Those who wish to win cases, remove black-magic, etc. can recite classical works such as "chatru samhaara vEl pathigam", "VEl Maaral", and the verse "Murugan tani vEl muni nam guru enru..." from kandar anubhooti.

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

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

May the Divine Power who incarnated as Skanda Bless everyone with His Immense Grace.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tula month snaan rituals - begin from October 17, 2009

Tula Vishu Punya kaalam falls on October 17, 2009 this year. This is one of the mandatory days of tarpanam. Those who have lost their father must do tarpanam on this day, just as they do for amaavasyaa.

Tulaa punya snaanam - Holy Bath prescribed in the River Cauvery for 1 month also begins from October 17, 2009. It ends on November 15, 2009. November 16, 2009 is called "Mudavan Muzhukku"**. (Mudavan muzhukku - literally means "Dip of the lame man"....see the special note below the article for significance of this day)

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

Spiritual legends abound about the glory of Tulaa Snaanam.

According to Agni Puraanam,

"ShaTShaShTi kOti tIrthAni dvisaptha bhuvanEShu cha.
KEshavasya AjnayA yAnti thulAmAse marudvridhAm"

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

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

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

A simple pooja to Goddess Cauvery

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

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

"Om Kaaveryai namah"
"Om Lobhaamudraayai namah"
"Om Agasthya Patnyai namah"
"Om sarvapaavanyai namah"
"Om Mahaa Punyaayai namah"
"Om snaana maatra sarva paapa prasamanyai namah" ("s" should be pronounced as in "siva")
"Om Mokshadaatryai namah"

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

Blessed be.

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

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

Deepavali Festival - October 17, 2009

Dear members:

The festival of Deepawali falls on October 17, 2009 this year.

It is a significant festival observed by Hindus (Sanatana dharmis), Jains, Sikhs, and even Buddhists.

For Hindus, this marks the return of Shri Raama to Ayodhya after end of His Exile period of 14 years and returning triumphantly after vanquishing the mighty demon Raavanaa. Also, this festival marks the death of Narakaasura who was vanquished by Lord Krishna with assistance from His Consort Satyabaama - marking the triumph of Right over Evil.

For Jains, this day marks the Mahaa Nirvaana of Shri Mahaaveer.

You may wonder what special signficance it has to Sikhs.... there is a historical association to celebration of Deepawali by Sikhs. Deepawali is associated with triumphant return of the Sixth Sikh Guru Har Gobin Ji, who was imprisoned with 52 other Hindu Kings by emperor Jahangir at Gwalior Fort. Mian Mir and Wazir Khan (The Governor of Lahore) recommended the release of the Guru after a period of 3 years of imprisonment at Gwalior Fort. Prior to his release, during his interview with the Mughal emperor, the respected Guru prevailed upon the emperor for release of the 52 other princes (who were considered to be rebellious by the emperor) on personal surety. After releasing the prisoners, the venerable Guru visited Harmandir Sahib (more famously known as - The Golden Temple) at Amristar where people lined up with lighted divas and candles to welcome the great Guru. So, Diwali is observed as "Bandhi Chorr Diwas" by Sikh tradition (meaning "Festival marking release of those who were imprisoned").

Thus Dipawali is a unique festival in that it has special signifiance to almost all religions that had their genesis in Indian sub-continent.

May the Festival of Lights bring new joys in our lives. May the Divine Light dawn in our lives and guide us "From untruths to Eternal Truth; From ignorance to Wisdom; and from death to Immortality" as stated in the Upanishads!

Blessed be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rahu/ketu Peyarchi on November 17, 2009

Dear Members:

This is about the transit of mean nodes of the Moon (Rahu/ Ketu) on November 17, 2009 - the day after Vishnupati Punya kaalam. Rahu enters Dhanus rashi and Ketu enters Mithuna rashi on November 17, 2009.

Why different dates are shown for this peyarchi and which is correct?

You might find different dates for transit on the web - some because they follow vaakya panchanga without the relevant correction as recommended by siddhanta works in astrology, while some modern softwares may give date as October 27th or November 2nd or 3rd due to the fact that they are calculating based on True Lunar Nodes. It is to be noted that mean node actually represents Rahu as it is the thing that is always retrograde as per nature of Rahu/ ketu -the Chaaya grahas. The True Node sometimes even goes direct and its progression is not uniform! So, for astrological purposes, it is more correct to consider the mean node for transit calculations - which is what we have done. Based on such reckoning, Rahu-ketu peyarchi (transit) is on November 17, 2009.


For those born in Mesha rashi (vedic Moon sign of Aries), Rahu transits the auspicious 9th house and Ketu transits the 3rd house from rashi - which is auspicious; So, those born in Mesha rashi have a good influence based on the transit of nodes this time.

For those born in Rishabha rashi (vedic Moon sign in Taurus), Rahu transits the inauspicious 8th house and ketu transits the inauspicious 2nd house from rashi. There could be obstacles to goals, strained relationship with relatives, fruitless journeys or travelling to distant lands, anxieties due to relocation, etc.

For those born in Mithuna rashi (vedic Moon sign in Gemini), Rahu transits the 7th house and ketu transits the rashi itself. Transit of both nodes is difficult and much caution is need in all activities. Be diplomatic and guarded in your interactions with members of opposite gender, and be careful while taking new medicines. Health may be below par for elderly natives of this sign - including possibility of allergy to medicines or sudden bouts of illness that are not easy diagnosable.

For those born in Kataka rashi (Moon sign in Cancer), Rahu transits the auspicious 6th house from Moon sign giving success over rivals, and success in all activities. However, transit of ketu is not auspicious as it is in the 12th house from natal Moon sign. So, the results will be mediocre - the good and bad results balancing each other out.

For those born in Simha rashi (vedic moon sign in Leo), Rahu transits the inauspicious 5th house. Women of this sign who are in the family way should undergo regular medical check-ups to rule out complications; relationship with close family members may come under strain. However, the transit of Ketu - in the 11th house from Moon sign can give good gains and career progress. Thus both good and not-so-good results are indicated by this transit.

For those born in Kanya rashi (Vedic Moon sign in Virgo), Rahu transits the inauspicious 4th house. Health of elderly relatives - especially mother or mother's father/ mother may cause concern. There could also be relocation related anxieties or wearisome journeys due to professional reasons. Ketu's transiting the 10th house indicates possible good luck in some major projects after strenous efforts. The effects can be said to be mediocre as Rahu and Ketu give different results based on this transit.

For those born in Tula rashi (vedic Moon sign in Libra), Rahu transits the auspicious 3rd house from natal Moon which can give good results and long awaited breakthroughs in life. Auspicious events can materialize for those who have been waiting for wedding bells to ring for a long time. Ketu's transit in the 9th house is slightly challenging for health and overseas prospects - while it is also good for spiritual pursuits and visit to Holy Places.

For those born in Vrischika rashi (vedic Moon sign in Scorpio), Rahu transits the inauspicious 2nd house while ketu transits the inauspicious 8th house from natal Moon sign. This is a sensitive transit for Vrischika rashi natives; luckily, Vrischika rashi is naturally immune to adverse impact of nodes and so the situation will be manageable if you are careful in all activities and avoid unnecessary risks/ impulsive moves in life.

For those born in Dhanus rashi (vedic Moon sign in Sagittarius), Rahu transits natal Moon sign while ketu transits the 7th house from natal Moon sign; this transit is challenging for Dhanus rashi natives. You should avoid taking impulsive decisions; domestic peace may be marred by unnecessary arguments/ anxieties. Health of self and elderly relatives may cause concern.

For those born in Makara rashi (vedic Moon sign in Capricorn), Rahu transits the 12th house from natal Moon sign while ketu transits the auspicious 6th house from natal Moon sign. Rahu's transit can cause finanace related controversies, unforeseen expenditure, wearisome journeys and heavy workload at work, possible relocation, etc. Ketu's transit influence helps in overcoming rival activity, and gains by overcoming tough challenges. So, the results are mixed for you.

For those born in Kumbha rashi (vedic Moon sign in Aquarius), Rahu transits the auspicious 11th house from natal Moon sign indicating removal of obstacles to auspicious events, success, good gains in business, etc. Ketu's transit over the 5th house can cause some anxiety regarding younger family members, trouble from secret rivals, occasional problems of liquidity for businessmen, and possible ill-health for self or other close family members. Thus the results are mixed for you.

For those born in Meena rashi (vedic Moon sign in Pisces), Rahu transits the 10th house from natal Moon sign, while ketu transits the 4th house from natal Moon sign. You should guard your reputation zealously as there is possible risk of scandals arising out of undesirable association. Health may also be below par. You should be extra-careful in all activities. Students should avoid unnecessary distractions to get good grades. Career luck will be mediocre and success is possible only with hard and conscientious efforts.


Please note that the above results are general and this influence is just one of the many factors that impinge our life...These will be moderated by the effect of transit influences of other major planets and also the directional influences unique to your charts.


Those who are under adverse Rahu-ketu peyarchi influences (especially those born under Rishabha rashi, Mithuna, Vrischika, and Dhanus rashis) should perform remedies to overcome the possible malefic influences. Worshipping Goddess Durga on Tuesdays/ Fridays, and Lord Ganesha on Chaturthi days will be good remedies for such natives. Also, if you can manage, you may visit shrines like those at /Shri Kaalahasti, /Tirunaageshwaram, Thirupaamburam, Tiruchengode, etc. for remedial prayers (you can visit any of these). Sethu snaanam will also give relief from trouble caused by nodes.

We are organizing special homams on the occasion of this Rahu-ketu peyarchi on November 17, 2009 at our residence at Chennai. Mahaa Ganapathy homam, Durga Sooktha homam, Prathiyangira homam, Rahu beeja homam, ketu Beeja mantra homam will be done on that day. Those who are interested in participating in these for remedial purposes may click on the donate button below this write up to participate in the homam as sponsors.

Please indicate the name of the person, nakshatra, rashi, and gothra for inclusion in the homa sankalpa. Those who are residing in Chennai, or feel you can attend this homam in person, please give advance intimation regarding your personal participation in the homam so that we can arrange hospitality. Others may take part in this homam on an in-absentia basis. Please note that we will not be sending the homam prasaad, or holy ashes by post to anyone due to ritual purity concerns; inclusion of your name, gothra, nakshatra, and rashi detail will automatically make you recipient of the benefits of this homam. If you are staying out of chennai and wish to sponsor this, please do so only with this attitude in mind.

May Divine Grace bless all our members.

Astrological and Remedial consultant


Monday, October 12, 2009

Rama Ekaadasi - The Fast for reunion with relatives and good fortune

Ramaa Ekaadashi in 2009

Ramaa Ekaadashi is to be observed on October 14, 2009 throughout the world, except those regions that observe the US-PST and Hawaii time zone. Persons living in places that fall under PST and Hawaii zone of US should observe the Ramaa Ekaadashi on October 13, 2009 itself.

Glory of Ramaa Ekaadasi

In the Brahma vaivarta Puraanaa, there is an interesting legend that is related by Lord Krishna to King Yudhishtra to explain the glory of Ramaa Ekaadasi.

King Muchukunda - a great friend of Indra (the ruler of the Heavens) had a daughter by name Chandrabhaagaa (named after the Holy River that has the same name). She was given in marriage to Shobhanan - the son of King ChandrasEna.

King Muchukunda and all his subjects were very strict in observance of ekaadasi fast. Even horses, elephants, and other cattle were not fed on the day of ekaadasi fast! Once Shobhanan happened to visit King Muchukunda's palace on the day of the auspicious fast of Ramaa Ekaadasi. His wife cautioned him that as his physical condition was then not in a fit condition to tolerate a severe fast, he must move elsewhere (out of her father's kingdom) immediately as her father's people and the whole kingdom followed the fast rigorously (people who undertake rigorous religious fast on ekaadasi never give food to anyone under any pretext on ekaadasi day; this may seem crude and inhuman to some people now - but such was the adherence to ekaadasi fast in those days! The idea was mainly to avoid tempting those who might be fasting but might lose their resolve if offer of food is extended to them).

But Prince Shobhanan offered to undergo the fast instead of opting to move to some other place. When sun set, all devotees of the kingdom were very happy to invite the long night's vigil with Lord Hari's stories and contemplation - but Prince Shobhanan was miserable as he could not tolerate the rigour of the fast. By next morning, he was found dead. The last rites of the dead prince were conducted duly with all honours; but King Muchukunda stopped his daughter from committing "sati" which was the custom of pious ladies of those times.

The deceased Prince Shobhanan became the ruler of a kingdom in Mandaraachalaa attended by wonderful Divine damsels, and Gandharvaas, due to the merit of the observance of Ramaa Ekaadasi; but, as he had observed the vrat only due to pressure of circumstances and with half-heart, that wonderful kingdom was impermanent (i.e. he will lose Sovereignity of that kingdom once the merit gets exhausted).

One day, a pious Brahmin from the kingdom of Muchukunda chakravarti happened to cross that wonderful kingdom that was being enjoyed by Prince Shobhana, and he recognized his king's son-in-law. Prince Shobhana related the fact about his enjoyment of that wonderful kingdom was not permanent, and that it may vanish any time into thin air once his merit gets exhausted. He also entreated the pious Brahmin to explain this to his wife Chandrabhaagaa.

The pious brahmin returned to his kingdom and related the wonderful matter to Princess Chandrabhaagaa. At first she was bewildered, and wondered if the Brahmin had been dreaming; but, as the Brahmin persisted with his narration, she was convinced about the factual existence of such a kingdom and was overjoyed at the prospect of being able to meet her beloved yet again. She confidently said that by the merit of the ekaadasis that she had been observing from her 8th year of life till date, the kingdom that has come into the possession of her husband could become permanent, and requested the brahmin to take her to that wonderful kingdom. The Brahmin also took her to the Mandaraachala mountain. At the foothills, they met the great sage Vaama DEvaa who chanted vedic mantras and sprinkled water on her - making her body transcendental. Due to the power of the vedic mantras and also due to the merit of her ekaadasi fasts, Chandrabhaaga reached the top of the mountain Mandaraachalaa where her husband was enjoying his kingdom. She transfered the merit that she had accumulated by all her ekaadasi fasts to her husband thus enabling him to enjoy that wonderful kingdom permanently till the next pralayaa.

Lord Krishna concluded this narration saying that by the glory of Ramaa ekaadasi Prince Shobhanan enjoyed a wonderful Divine Kingdom in the mount Mandaraachalaa. The Blessed Lord continues saying "Just as both white and Black cow give the same quality of milk, the ekaadasis in both the dark and bright fortnight are equal in their potency to confer merit, and to liberate one from the endless cycles of transmigration of soul. Anyone who hears this legend about Ramaa ekaadasi will also have freedom from sins and attain the Divine Abode of Lord Vishnu."

The import of the legend of Brahma vaivarta Puraanaa related above is that observing Ramaa Ekaadasi can help one to enjoy good fortune including high status of a permanent nature, happy reunion with relatives, and great glory.

May our members observe this auspicious ekaadasi to the best of their abilities with FULL FAITH (unlike the half-hearted attempt of Prince Shobhanan!), and become worthy recipients of Divine Grace.

Important note: Though the legend says about how the Prince Shobhanan observed the fast in a physically infirm condition and hence met his death, and then ultimately enjoyed a Divine Kingdom, we need not take it that far! As regular readers of this blog might be aware from previous posts, ekaadasi fast is exempted for those who are ailing, for the aged persons, and for ladies who are pregnant. This is in agreement with accepted dharma shastraic doctrines. Those who cannot observe a full fast may observe it to the extent possible - like fasting by drinking milk, fruit juices, etc. Even those who are exempted the full fast due to physical conditions must avoid onion, garlic, and other spicy foods that are ritually impure on ekaadasi days. Ekaadasi is the king among the Fasts, and one should be regulated in food habits (even if physical condition does not permit total abstinence from food and water). Please remember this important point and observe the fast in the way that is possible for you according to your circumstances.

Harihi Om.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

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