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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guru Poornima on July 2010

Dear Members:

This is about Guru Poornima observance for the year 2010.

1) For those living in USA, Canada, West Indies, and other countries in the American continent (to the West of Atlantic Ocean), Countries in African continent, Europe, Gulf countries, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Singapore, Guru Poornima falls on July 25, 2010.
2) For countries in Far East Asia (like Japan), Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji Islands, Guru Poornima is to be observed on July 26, 2010.

Please note those who observe Pournami Pooja/ SatyaNaaraayana vrat on Full Moon nights should observe those austerities on July 25, 2010 only - all over the world (the difference is because for Pournami Pooja, the Pournami thithi should be in operation for an appreciable time in the evening of the day concerned).

This Guru Poornima is an auspicious day to Honour one's Gurus (either Deeksha Gurus or vidhyaa Gurus) or Guru Paramparaa in general. Honouring scholars of religious knowledge to the extent of one's capacity, donating copies of Puraanas to pious persons, donating for the cause of vedic education, honouring pious individuals who are adhering to dharmic way of life (like wearing tuft, reciting holy works regularly, and adhering to restrictions to diet so that their tapasya for the welfare of the Universe is not deficient in any way) etc. are some of the meritorious deeds you can do on that day.

Generally Guru Paramparaa is meditated from Lord Naaraayana Himself, Sage Vyaasa, down to one's respective Gurus. In mantra traditions, the Guru Paramparaa is from Lord Medha Dakshinamoorthi, Lord Hayagreeva, Sage Agasthya, Sage Vyaasa, Aadi Shankara, 18 Mahaa Siddhas, down to one's own Guru lineage.

Vyaasa Pooja is done on this day even by ascetics (in fact for ascertaining the seniority of sanyaasis, the no. if vyaasa Poojas done by the sage is the factor; this does not apply to Aamnaaya Gurus/ Peetaadhipathis who are considered JagatGurus and hence considered senior to others by Accepted Protocols). Students of astrology and other vedic subjects should meditate on Sage Veda Vyaasa who compiled vast compedium of vedic knowledge into various branches for the ease of learning of we-people of the kali yuga. As our memory and intelligence are traditionally considered to be less when compared to those of persons who lived in the earlier yugas, Sage Vyaasa in accordance with Divine Will classified the vedas into 4 so that we can master at least one veda each and the vast compendium of knowledge of oral traditions of the past were codified into Puraanaas for our easy understanding! If you have a copy of any Puraana or Mahabharata with you, kindly recite at least some verses from them on that day in Honour of the Great Maharishi Vyaasa.

Those who cannot do elaborate poojas for Shri Vyaasaa as per tradition can recite this (which is in the Prelude portion to Shri Vishnu Sahasranaamam)...

vyaasam vasishtha naptaaram shakteh pautramakalmasham
paraasharaatmajam vande shukataatam taponidhim

(Meaning: We Salute Shri Vyaasa who is the Great Grandson of Sage Vasishta, the Grandson of Sage Shakti, the Son of Sage Paraasharaa, and the Father of Sage Sukhaa!)

Blessed be.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sayana Ekaadasi on July 21, 2010

This is about Sarva Sayana Ekaadasi (also known as Padma Ekaadasi) which is to be observed on July 21, 2010 throughout the world except in New Zealand and Fiji - where it should be observed on July 22, 2010. Sarva Sayana Ekaadasi falls on the bright fortnight of the month Aashaada. It is also known as Vishnu sayani ekaadasiIt is believed that after this Ekaadasi, Lord Vishnu goes to sleep along with the demi-gods (Yoga Nidra - not merely the senseless sleep of us mortals; the Lord's sleep is Yoga Nidra - a yogic trance where His Will is still active!) till He wakes up on Prabhodini Ekaadasi after 4 months.

Observance of this ekaadasi should be mainly for getting the Grace of Lord Vishnu. We should not fast on this day with any material gains in mind . Material gains like abundance and happiness of mind will follow automatically; but we are not supposed to make a sankalpa to this effect according to established traditions. We have seen that the other ekaadasis can also be observed with material gains like birth of child, or gain of fame or other material ends as sankalpa - but not this sayana ekaadasi. This ekaadasi automatically removes residual sins committed unknowingly.

To illustrate this effect, there is the legend of a great famine during the rein of the Great Surya Vamsha king Maandaata who was known for his righteousness. There was a minor sin in the kingdom due to transgression of a natural law of dharma which had resulted in famine in the kingdom. On the advice of Sage Aangirasa, the King instructed all his subjects (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyaas, and Sudras - i.e. all castes) to observe this ekaadasi fast on Sayana Ekaadasi for obtaining the Grace of Lord Vishnu. Due to the observance, the kingdom was relieved from the grips of pestilence.

Those who cannot afford to observe a full fast may fast by just avoiding rice and grains, and by consuming uncooked fruits/ vegetables or by drinking fruit juices or milk. But, please observe this important fast in some form and meditate on Lord Hari on this day with the pure intent of becoming recipients of His Grace.

On a different note, this ekaadasi also heralds "chaturmasya vrata" (This year the chaturmaasya vrata sankalpam should be made on July 22, 2010 throughout the world)- austerities involving next 4 months - which is observed rigorously by ascetics and nominally by householders as ordained in Dharma shastras (it is traditional for householders to abstain from some variety of food during each month of the chaturmaasya period as an austerity).

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dakshinaayana Punya kaalam in July 2010

Sun enters sidereal Cancer sign - marking the Dakshinaayana Punya kaalam on 16th July 2010 at 9-10 p.m. I.S.T. Those living in Far East nations - like Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc. should observe the Dakshinaayana Punya kaalam on July 17th, 2010; rest of the world - including U.S. Canada, European and African nations, and all Asian nations including India - except those Far East nations should observe it on July 16, 2010.

This is an auspicious day for performing any meritorious deed as the effects are multiplied manifold times due the auspicious time factor.

Those who are from vedic traditions should offer tarpanam to pitrus (this is applicable to those who have lost their father) on this day. Others can offer respectful offering of water to Rishis, remembering the great service they have rendered to us by leaving behind great works of dharma shaastra for our benefit.

Offer what you can to needy persons or deserving religious scholars or other charitable/ noble causes on this auspicious day.

Period when Sun transits sidereal Cancer is auspicious for propitiating Mother Goddess. Offering special prayers to Mother Goddess (in any of Her Myriad Forms!) on Fridays during Sun's transit in Cancer will be highly auspicious. We can say that the Month of the Universal Mother begins from July 16/ July 17, 2010!

May Divine Grace pervade our lives now and forever.....

Aadi month Friday recital of Lalitha Sahasranaamam

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yogini ekaadasi on July 7/ 8, 2010

Dear members:

Yogini Ekaadasi falls on July 8, 2010 this year for those living in regions to the East of Atlantic ocean (This covers Countries in Europe, Africa, Asia - including India, Gulf Countries, etc., and Australian continent).

Those living in the United States, Canada, Caribbean Isles, and other nations of American continents (both North and South America), should observe it on July 7, 2010 itself.

Note: Yogini Ekaadasi is the krishna paksha ekaadashi falling in the lunar month of Aashaada (Pournimaadhi lunar month and not the amaavasyaadhi month pattern) . I am using the term Aashaada krishna ekaadashi based on the Pournimaadhi month reckoning because that is the system that has been used in the Brahma Vaivarta Puraana legend that I am going to give to explain the significance of this ekaadashi.

Significance of the Yogini Ekaadashi

Yogini Ekaadashi has the potential to nullify the effects of sinful karmas of the previous incarnations that might be manifesting as diseases or curses in our present incarnation.

In Brahma Vaivarta Puraana, there is the legend of a yaksha Hemamaali that was narrated by Lord Krishna to the King Yudhishtra to explain the glory of Yogini Ekaadashi. (I am giving a liberal translation of the original legend from the purana just to bring out the significance of the yoginii ekaadashi; those who are interested may refer the original text in Brahma Vaivarta Puraana).

Hemamaali was an attendant of the Yaksha-Raaja Kubera who failed to bring flowers to Shiva Pooja of the king at the right moment and instead was frolicking with his beautiful wife. Due to the curse of the Yaksha King Kuberaa for this sin, Hemamaali took birth as a human being and was afflicted with leprosy and suffered innumerable difficulties. But, he was constantly meditating or chanting Lord Shiva's names and due to that effect, he got memories of his previous birth and the sin he had committed then.

Once, he came across the ashram of Sage Maarkandeya in the course of his wanderings. On seeing the radiant and Meritorious sage, Hemamaali prostrated to him from a distance. The sage enquired kindly about his condition; Hemamaali explained the reason for his disease without hiding anything. Sage Maarkandeya appreciated the frankness of Hemamaali and suggested this wonderful fast. Hemamaali observed this fast with all devotion and got relief from his leprosy and also was reinstated back in to the Yaksha world. He went on to live happily as before with his beautiful wife again!

Apart from the above benefit,strict observance of Yogini Ekaadasi (I think strict observance must mean that the fast should be in the nirjalaa form - without drinking even water) will give merit that is equivalent to that accruing out of feeding eighty-eight thousand pious Brahmins!!!! -( end of the version from Brahma vaivarta puraanaa).

It must be noted that Ekaadashi can be even observed as Kaamya vrattam (fast with the aim of getting some punya or achievement) though it is a mandatory vrattam. So, those who wish to have the punya equivalent of feeding 88,000 brahmins can fast fully in the Nirjalaa form. Those who are observing it only as a pure religious duty in Honour of Our Lord have the option of fasting in a relaxed manner (it is another matter that most devotees observe all ekaadashis in the nirjalaa form). Those opting for the relaxed form of the fast can take milk, and fruits. Avoid grains and beans alone apart from the other prohibited food like onions, garlic, etc.

Observance of the Yogini Ekaadasi(even in its relaxed forms) can be a powerful remedy for overcoming all karmic ailments (if astrologers had suggested that your ailments are karmic in nature and if physicians have been unable to cure your ailments, observance of this ekaadasi fast religiously can help).

As always, please let me reiterate that this fast is not mandatory for those who are ailing and cannot fast due to medical complications, lactating mothers, pregnant women, and those in the ages below 7 or above 70 years.

Those who have already observed the Paandava Nirjalaa Ekaadashi fast for this year may optionally ignore this ekaadashi if they find it difficult to observe this vrattam due to practical reasons. There won't be any sin associated with not observing the ekaadashi vrattam if you have already observed the Paandava Nirjalaa Ekaadashi (of course fasting on this ekaadashi also is recommended; why should we avoid a good karmic chance to accrue more punya after having taken birth as human beings who have the best chance among all creations to attain moksha?)

Blessed be.

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