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Monday, August 29, 2011

Vinayaka chaturthi on August 31, 2011/ September 1, 2011


Dear Members:

Schedule of Vinayaka chaturthi celebration this year

Vinayaka Chaturthi is to be observed on August 31, 2011 by those living in the U.S., Canada, and other countries of the American continent. It seems there is confusion regarding whether Aug 31st or September 1st, 2011 should be the Vinayaka chavithi day in the U.S....the rule for determining it is as follows:

If Chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day should be observed. Even if chaturthi prevails for the complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, if it prevails on the previous day's madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes), the previous day should be observed.

Based on the above logic, it is more appropriate to celebrate Vinayaka chaturthi on August 31, 2011 if you are living in U.S.

It is to be observed on September 1, 2011 by those living in other parts of the world, including India.

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.

A trivia: This is the first homam that I am about to do with my recently changed secular appearance. May the Gods excuse the fact that I am not in full vedic appearance while doing this.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aja/ Annadaa ekaadasi on August 24/ August 25, 2011

Dear Members:

Aja/ Annadaa ekaadasi is a powerful fasting day.

The schedule of observance of this fast for different places in the World is as follows:

1) For those living in places observing PST, MST, and Hawaii standard times of U.S. and other countries of American continents, August 24, 2011.

2) For rest of the world, August 25, 2011.

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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gokulashtami/ Sree Jayanthi celebrations - 2011

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, Gokulaashtami - observed by smaartha traditions is on August 21, 2011.
Sree Jayanthi - as observed by those vaishnavas following Vaikaanasa traditions is on August 22, 2011.
Sree Jayanthi - as observed by those vaishnavas following Paancharaatra traditions is on August 23, 2011.

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 or other vedic principles of living. 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.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

8 years in austere path culminated today

Dear Members:

This is to announce that the monthly pournami poojas went on well by Divine Grace. The annual Gayathri homam also was done today in the morning for Universal Welfare.

On a different note, a deeksha that I maintained for 8 years (not cutting hair and maintaining the appearance and lifestyle of a pure ascetic) came to an end today on culmination of a vow that I undertook on upaakarma day of 2003. After the Gayathri homam, I have removed the deeksha (the jataa mudi - top knot of hair, and my beard) and have reverted to normal secular appearance.

8 years seems much when written on paper - but it did run in a jiffy....I had both highs and lows during this period - both personally and spiritually - but by God's Grace remained steadfast in my vow - avoiding all temptations to cut short on that....the vow involved restricting the way I operated - like not striking vengeance even when I was provoked.....not misusing mantras even under the gravest provocation including attacks on my personal integrity.....not eating any food outside which involved starving even on days when I trekked spiritual hills most of the times....not sleeping on beds - even when I was sick......accepting developments in life as they come (including some very embarrassing situations that arose out of certain developments in my life - which I was asked to endure in silence)....etc. These 8 years I felt I was walking with God....through the highs and lows, I could feel a rare peace and some real purpose in my life....I could be a channel of peace for many persons (many felt reassured when I spoke something positive or in a blessing tone to them - as they thought coming from a person with such appearance it must hold more weight).....

Ideally I should have maintained that ascetic appearance throughout life, but in deference to the wishes of some very close relatives, and also due to the fact that certain developments in my personal life might prompt such a change in the near future, I have taken the decision to revert to secular appearance on completion of the vrata deeksha today. It is not fair to look like a siddha unless one can live like one with perfect austerity .....I thank God for having allowed me to lead such a life for at least some years in my life...and I thank the Godly voice that motivated me to take this was to save a dear one from an almost sure danger in the year 2003 and again in early 2011 that I was asked to maintain this vow and was required to not divulge the reason to anyone till the vow ended....that was the toughest part of it - not divulging the real reason to anyone, and so I had to say the partial reason of my attachment to vedic way of life. I still feel somewhat hollow today after changing my appearance - to be honest, and it may take some time for me to feel "normal" again...for me, that siddha appearance and attitude had become the normal one in the past few years and now I may have to change a little!

My spiritual routines - like daily Shiva pooja, meditation routines, ekaadasi vratam, Pournami pooja and other homams will continue as before - but I may look very different from what you all have seen me as! I may look like just another modern day astrologer in the future!

I am sharing this personal info. because some of you might have been prompted to join this group mainly attracted by my ascetic appearance and it is not fair for me to keep this changed appearance from you all. A public figure who is mentoring others has the responsibility to declare changes in his profile to everyone so that they may take informed decision about whether to continue as his mentees or not, and hence this post in this blog.

Om Namah shivaya.

Blessed be.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pavitra Ekaadasi on August 9, 2011

Dear Members:

Pavitra Ekaadasi, or Pavitropana Ekaadasi is also known as "Putradaa Ekaadasi." It is the ekaadasi observed in the waxing phase of vedic month Sravana. It is to be observed on the same day (i.e. on August 9, 2011) all around the globe. As the name of the fast implies, this fast is good for begetting a good son who will be a pride to the whole race. (There is another Putradaa Ekaadasi which falls in Pausha Shukla Ekaadasi which is also good for progenic blessings).

Those who wish to observe this fast as a "Kaamya vratam" (an austerity with the aim of achieving mundane end - that of begetting good progeny) may recite verses from Naaraayaneeyam, Vishnu Sahasranaamam, and Putra Kaameshti yagna chapter of Shrimad Vaalmiiki Raamaayanam on this day.

A full fast is recommended on this day; but those who cannot fast completely should at least refrain from consuming legumes and grains (all varieties of beans, and all grains - wheat, rice, maize, barley, oats, etc.). You can consume fruits and milk. Honey should also be avoided on ekaadasi day.

The glory of this ekaadasi is explained in Bhavishya Puraanaa in the form of a conversation between Yudhishtra Maharaajaa and Lord Krishna. I am giving a gist of that below.....

At the end of the Dwaapara Yuga there was a king named Mahiijita ruling over the kingdom called Mahishmatipuri (It is not clear whether this is the same Mahishmati which was the kingdom of Shri Kaartaveeryaarjuna). Because he had no son after long years of marriage, his kingly pleasures and royal honours seems utter waste to him and he felt very dejected.

One day he told an assembly of his advisers: ‘I have committed no sin in this life, and there is no ill-gotten wealth in my treasury. I have never usurped the offerings to the demigods or brahmanas. When I waged war and conquered kingdoms, I followed the rules and regulations of the military art, and I have protected my subjects as if they were my own children. I punished even my own relatives if they broke the law, and if my enemy was gentle and religious I welcomed him. Oh twice-born souls, although I am a religious and faithful follower of the Vedik standards, still my home is without a son. Kindly tell me the reason for this.’ (My note: See the hints about ethical conduct for a ruler; this is the main purpose of Puraanaas - to hint about ethical conduct in a gentle and interesting manner amidst legends. The puraana clearly implies that if these ethical code is broken, there is justification for being childless or being miserable in other ways in subsequent incarnations. How we wish present day rulers read this and get influenced by these exalted codes of conduct! How much better all our lives will be then - without corruption, without mismanagement, without nepotisim, without undue favouritism, and without harassment from government or political parties to the gentler sections of the society!)

The King's advisers undertook rigorous austerities and travelled to various ashrams of sages for long periods. In the course of time, they came across Lomasha Maharishi - who had longevity extending to long kalpaas . One kalpa is 4, 320, 000,000 years; after each kalpa, one hair in his body will fall down; like that when all his hairs fall down, only then does his longevity expire! Just imagine the stupendous spiritual power that Great Sage must have to enjoy this longevity fully engaging himself in austerities and wishing Universal Welfare. Just thinking about such Maharishis is a merit in itself.

They made entreaties to the Maharishi requesting for remedies for the king's anxiety regarding childlessness. The Maharishi meditated for sometime and discovered the cause of the king's childlessness. In a previous incarnation as a wealthy merchant, once he had come across a beautiful pond in the outskirts of a village. As he was very thirsty, he wanted to quench his thirst. A cow with its calf had also come there to quench its thirst. He had chased the thirsty cows and calf just as they had begun to drink the water, and selfishly quenched his own thirst first. This offence against the cow and her calf has given rise to a malefic karma that is preventing him from getting a child in this birth. Due to the other charitable deeds he did, he has been born as a King; but due to that sin of chasing the cow and calf when they wanted to quench thirst, he has remained childless. (Special note: Beating a cow with a stick, chasing away thirsty cows from water bodies, torturing the animal in other ways, etc. are productive of a sin called "Gohati" - equivalent to the sin accrued by killing of a Cow. Gohatya is considered to be next only to Brahmahati dosha (i.e. killing of a pious religious person). Persons with Gohatya dosha will be cursed with childlessness. This is the karmic theory behind this legend).

The sage went on to say that if the King and all his subjects fast on Shravana Shukla edaadasi and maintain a night vigil as per scriptural guidelines, and if all his subjects gift the merit accrued out the observance to the king, the king's sin will get nullified, and he will be blessed with a child (It must be apparent from this legend how much effort is needed to nullify sins! The combined merit of possibly lakhs of pious and motivated persons is needed to nullify a simple sin that has arisen out of chasing a cow and a calf - that too just because the person himself was thirsty! Just imagine how much more effort it will take to nullify a sin committed wilfully! The best way is not to sin at all - so that life is easier - at least in our future incarnations).

By the observance of this fast, and by receiving the gift of the punya of this fast from his citizens, the king was blessed with a good son who proved to be a worthy heir to him.

Lord Krishna says that whosoever observes this fast will enjoy happiness in both this world and the next (in Heaven). Even hearing about the glory of this ekaadasi is a merit in itself.

Observance of this ekaadasi is reputed to give the effect of having performed an Aswamedha yagna!

May our members undertake this fast religiously and with constant remembrance of Lord Hari, and be blessed with all auspiciousness - both in this incarnation and also after this - by possibly merging with Lord Hari.

Blessed be.

Astrological and Remedial consultant

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Naaga panchami on 4th August 2011

Dear Members:

Naaga Panchami is observed on 4th August 2011 this year.

It is considered to be an auspicious day to offer respects to snake deities and invoke their Blessings on your clan.

You may consider reciting the following slokha containing the Names of 9 Mahaa Naagas to appease snake deities on this occasion:

"Anantam Vaasukim SEsham Padmanaabham cha kambalam
Shankapaalam Dhritaraashtram Takshakam Kaaliyam tataa
Etaani nava naamaai Naagaanaam cha mahaamanaam
Namasyaam Naagaanaam aayur keertim cha dEhi mE"

(pronunciation guide: capital E as in day; double vowels indicate long sounds).

Blessed be.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dhoorva Ganapathy vratam/ Naaga chaturthi on August 3, 2011

Naaga Chaturthi vratam/ Dhoorva Ganapathy vratam is observed on August 3, 2011 this year. Worshipping Lord Ganesha with Dhoorva Grass on this day is said to be very propitious. Those who have naaga/ Sarpa dosha in horoscopes and are experiencing obstacles for child-birth or marriage may benefit by offering a garland of dhoorva-grass to Lord Ganesha idols in temples near your house.

As usual the monthly chaturthi homam will be conducted at our residence on this day. Those who cannot afford to perform elaborate homams can benefit by simple recital of his Names like "Om Kshipra Prasaadanaaya namah" (for speedy Divine Intervention in crisis), "Om Vakrathundaaya namah"(to remove planetary malefic effects caused due to adverse planetary placement in horoscope), "Om Sumukhaaya namah" (to win goodwill of others), "Om Vigna vinaashinE namah" (for removal of obstacles), etc. Faith is the catalyst that transforms the above mantras into miraculous wish-fulfilling trees. So, recite the above mantras as per you capacity with Faith, Devotion, and Absolute Love for the Divine and file your petitions to Him to satisfy your wishes and legitimate needs. Of course, offering prayers without anticipating any result on a holy day like this is a still better thing for a pure devotee who can take both pain and pleasure as "gifts" from Almighty. Those of us who don't have that exalted mindset may still pray for mundane effects as described above.

May our members perform special prayers on this wonderful day and become recipients of Divine Grace.

Blessed be.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Aadi pooram on August 2, 2011

Dear Members:

The auspicious Aadi Pooram festival falls on August 2, 2011 this year. It marks the appearance of the devotee-par-excellence Aandaal on earth (it was on this day when Shri Vishnu chittar - later hailed as Periyaazhwaar - found Aandal as a child when he was plucking flowers for daily pooja). This is celebrated with gaiety in all Vaishnavite temples. This day is also auspicious for propitiation of Mother Goddess in any of Her Forms. It is customary to offer bangles, turmeric pieces, blouse-bits or other auspicious items to ladies visiting temples and invoke the Blessings of Divine Mother (Shaastras say that when women are venerated, She Herself is Honoured).

As this year Aadi pooram falls on a Tuesday also, Mangala Gowri vratam can also be observed on that day making it twice auspicious.

Ladies desirous of a good spouse in life can recite the following slokha on Mangala Gowri:

"Om MangalE MangalaadhaarE MaangalyE mangalapradE
mangalaartham mangalEshi soumaangalyam cha DEhi ME"

मंगले मंगलाधारे मांगल्ये मंगलाप्रदे
मंगलार्थम मंगलेशी सौमान्गाल्यम च देहि में

Recite this 108 times, and offer a deepam in Honour of Mangala Gowri. You can offer any sweet offering and any savourite made of urud daal in Honour of Goddess Mangala Gowri.

This can be done even by parents of girls on their behalf.

May Goddess in all Her manifold Forms bless us all.

Blessed be.

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