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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

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