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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skanda shashti / Soora Samhaaram on October 31, 2011

(picture above: courtesy -
Skanda Shashti vrattam - soora samhaaram day is an auspicious day to propitiate Lord Skanda (also known as Subramanya, Murugan, Velavan, etc.). This year it falls on October 31, 2011 for those in India, and countries to the West of India (all European countries, Gulf countries, Africa, and all nations in the American continents). Those living in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc. should observe Skanda Shashti vratam on November 1, 2011.

This day marks the annihilation of demonaic forces of Soorapadman by Our Gracious Lord who incarnated from the sparks of the Third Eye of Lord 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 Deepavali 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. There is no need for seeking costly mantraic remedies/ havans to nullify black-magic if you regularly recite the Kanda shashti Kavacham as a family prayer on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Mighty Spear of Lord Skanda - which has the Potency of Goddess Shakti in Itself will annihilate the envious enemies of such a family automatically.

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! In fact, the recital of this helped Aadi Shankaraacharya (the original composer of this wonderful sthothra) to get rid of aabhichaara-induced ailments that His Holiness was suffering at that time.

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!) . This Form of Skanda is celebrated in the tiny hillock where this Event is believed to have occured - Swami Malai - near the Thingalur navagraha kshetra for Moon.

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.

Those who can, might visit Tiruchendur - where the Soora samhaaram Festival is celebrated in all its splendour - as it was the last battlement camp from where Shri Skanda launched His attack on the demonaic forces and ultimately prevailed over them. The highlight of the soorasamhaaram is that Lord Skanda - after defeating Soorapadman, accepted that demon - who tearfully begged pardon to our Lord - as His Permanent vehicle (Peacock), and also as His Flag Insignia (Cock). Thus, the Soorasamhaaram festival enactment clearly shows that our Lord Chastises only to reform, and His Kindness is extendable to all living beings - even those considered to be hopelessly sinful; which better Form than this wonderful Divine Chivalrous Child God can we find to forgive all our shortcomings and to bring Grace in to our lives! Let us meditate on His Divine Adventures, sing His Glory, and rejoice in His victory over the demonaic forces (and thereby invoke the Divinity in us to defeat our own negativities that are worse than any manifest demons!).

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

Blessed be.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Ramaa Ekaadasi, October 22/ October 23, 2011

Dear Members:

The auspicious Ramaa Ekaadasi is to be observed on October 22, 2011 by those living U.S., Canada, and other countries in the American continents (both South and North American continents). It is to be observed on October 23, 2011 in rest of the regions of the world. It is a powerful fast that helps in reunion with separated relatives.

The importance of this ekaadasi can be read by following this link:

May our members observe this ekaadasi as far as feasible and get the spiritual/ mundane benefits associated with this fast.

Harihi Om

Om Namah shivaya.

Blessed be


Sunday, October 9, 2011

An interesting query on karma phala....

Dear members:

I received an interesting query regarding karma phala from an astrological/ spiritual aspirant, and I thought the answer to that will be of general interest to everyone; so, I am publishing the query and my response to it in this blog....



Dear Panditji,

1. What is known as Karma phala (fruits of karma), why it's bad?


(End Quote)

My response: Karma phala - as the name implies - is the fruit of our karma - the result of our earlier actions.

BUT, I won't agree that it is least it is not bad always!:)

Rare astrological classics of siddha traditions clearly elucidate the yogas/ doshas that arise out of earlier karmas. Every action that a person does is - in effect- an investment or a liability - depending on whether it is good or bad.

Even normal activities - like treating a spouse affectionately with dignity - give rise to some wonderful yogas. So, in reality - as an astrological researcher - I know for a fact that if karma phala is bad, it usually means we have travelled the wrong route in our actions - and instead of taking the sweeter and easier route of doing good things - that would have been happy for us and for others, we possibly did things that harmed our souls and harmed others - leading to bad karma and the result bad karma phala.

The results of karma - either good or bad - have to be endured or enjoyed as the case may be. Sages - out of their Mercy - have given us remedies to reduce the impact of negative doshas, and have also indicated what good karmas can give rise to what benefits in subsequent incarnations.

So, karma phala is not always bad, and actually doing some really simple things can also give rise to good karma phala....Can't we give water to a thirsty traveller? Can't we take care of our own children well and groom them into responsible citizens who will be the pride of the society they live in? (Shastras say that if you manage this - grooming of children into responsible citizens well - you will enjoy Mahaa yoga in the next birth)....Can't we treat our own spouses with affection and dignity?....

So, in reality - attaining positive karma phala is very much possible and easy - if we lead normal ethical lives - because just in the course of proper discharge of our duties, we can earn so much merit - that can give much positive karma phala.

Karma is neutral and objective; it only gives unto us what we do unto others or the society. Unfortunately, most people who enjoy the fruits of good karma tend to attribute it to "individual skill and efforts", while those who suffer or lose tend to attribute it to "my Fate/ karma." This is the reason why Karma has got much bad press - and the very word "karma" seems to connote something negative or defeatist! In reality it is not so! Karma can be a very very positive one also!

Hope this helps.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Paasaankusha ekaadasi - October 2011

Paashaankusha ekaadasi falls on October 7, 2011. It is to be observed on the same date throughout the world - except in places adhering to Hawaii standard time (People living in regions that coming under Hawaii standard time should observe this on October 6, 2011 itself).

Form of Shri Vishnu to be worshipped on this day - Lord Ananta Padmanaabha (see the picture above of Trivandrum Ananta Padmanabha swamy).

Importance of Paashaankusha ekaadasi

Paashaankusha ekaadasi will help in removing all sins just like any other ekaadasi. Apart from that, one who observes Paashaankusha ekaadasi will be able to realize all his/ her heart-felt dreams, and enjoy other benefits like freedom from vices (addictive behaviours of any kind that are detrimental to our well-being - both physical and spiritual), freedom from chronic karmic diseases, and finally moksha (liberation from cycle of births at the end of this incarnation). So, irrespective of what your goal in life is - whether it is dharma (great goals that have tinge of duty-consciousness in them!), artha (money), kaama (mundane desires like progenic bliss, good family life, etc.) or Moksha (Final Liberation from cycle of births), this ekaadasi will aid you in realization of that goal.

Brahma Vaivarta Puraanaic accounts attribute the merits of this Paashaankusa ekaadasi observance as equal to that acquired by performing numerous yagnas! Performing social service of some kind, or helping other souls in distress on this day is believed to help in realization of one's own true spiritual self.

May our members observe this ekaadasi and become recipients of Divine Grace.

Blessed be.

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