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Friday, July 27, 2012

Pavithra Ekaadasi -July 29, 2012

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 29th of July 2012 throughout the world except in regions falling under Hawaii time zone. Those living in Hawaii should observe this on July 28, 2012 itself.

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 many years of marriage, his kingly pleasures and royal honours seemed 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 codes are 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 many kalpaas .
My note: 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 offense 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 willfully! 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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vara Mahaa Lakshmi vratam on July 27, 2012

Varalakshmi Vrattam or "Nonbu" as it is called is a powerful vrattam that can ensure prosperity and overall development in the family. It is observed on July 27, 2012  this year throughout the world.

As the name implies, this Varalakshmi vrattam bestows "boons" to the devotees.Generally this vrattam is taken only if it is celebrated in the family traditionally; but there is no harm in taking this vrattam voluntarily also. The only condition is that once you have taken it as a vrattam with proper "Lakshmi Face" and "Kalash", you have to celebrate it EVERY YEAR without fail. Even when there is a death in the family in that year, you are supposed to take the "amman face" to some family that celebrates it, place it in their pooja with their permission, offer something as "dakshina" for their conducting the function, and then bring the amman face back to your house. Such is the procedure;so think whether this is feasible before taking this vrattam.But even if you don't take it as a vrattam for life, all can chantLakshmi mantras, beeja mantras, Lakshmi Sahasranaamam, Kanakadhaara Sthothram, Sri Stuthi, Sangraha Lakshmi Hrudayam or other slokhas/ mantras on Goddess Mahalakshmi and get Her Grace. Goddess is Waiting to bestow Her Grace on that day; we just need to ask Her.

Ladies who have taken this vrattam vow in earlier years but are in monthly periods on this day and hence cannot offer the Varalakshmi pooja can offer the vrattam prayers on the subsequent Friday i.e. on August 3, 2012.

We intend to perform Beejaani sahitaa Lakshmi Homam on Vara Mahaalakshmi day along with recital of other powerful mantras on Her. Those who wish to take part in those as part-sponsors are most welcome. Please note that we won't be sending the homam prasad/ holy ash via post due to logistic/ ritual purity reasons.  The inclusion of name/ nakshatra, and gothra in the sankalpam will be deemed to be in-absentia participation for those who are unable to come and attend this personally at our residence.

Varalakshmi vratam day poojas
Name, nakshatra, rashi, gothra

May Goddess of Fortune smile at us benevolently!


Astrological and Remedial consultant

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Aadipooram on July 23, 2012

Dear Members:

The auspicious Aadi Pooram festival falls on July 23, 2012 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).

Naaga Panchami vratam is also observed the same day, i.e. July 23, 2012.  It is auspicious to recite the names of the Nava Naagaas and pray for family welfare (especially women should pray for the welfare of their siblings on this day and this will be an auspicious amulet of protection that brings good luck to the brothers).

The names of the ashta naagaas are as follows:

ॐ अनंताय नमः   ஓம் ஆனந்தாய நம:
ॐ वासुकिये नमः। ஓம் வாசுகியே நமஹ
ॐ शेषाय नमः।ஓம் சேஷாய நம

ॐ पद्मनाभाय नमः ஓம் பத்மநாபாய நமஹ
ॐ कम्बलाया नमः ஓம் கம்பளாய நம
ॐ शंकपालाय नमः ஓம் சங்கபாலாய நம
ॐ धार्ताराश्त्राया नमः ஓம் திருதராஷ்ட்ராய  நம :

ॐ तक्षकाय नमः ஓம் தக்ஷகாய நம :
ॐ कालियाया नमः। ஓம் காளியாய நம : (ஓம் காளிங்காய நம :)


saying the above nine Holy Naaga names, worship should be offered to snake idols in temples or ant hills that are worshipped in temples with milk and a small portion of the milk remaining after that abhishekam/ offering in Honour of snakes should be brought back home as prasad which can be consumed by everyone in the family. Sisters should dip a small flower in such milk and sprinkle that on the spinal column or shoulders of their brothers wishing their welfare.

May our members observe the above austerities as per their convenience and ensure that sarpa dosha and such other negative impacts are controlled for everyone in the family.

Blessed be.

Dhoorvaa Ganapathy vratam on July 22, 2012

Dear Members:

Naaga Chaturthi vratam/ Dhoorva Ganapathy vratam is to be observed on July 22, 2012 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.

 Those who cannot afford to perform elaborate homams or poojas  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.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kaamika ekaadasi July 2012

Dear Members:

The auspicious Kaamika ekaadasi is to be observed throughout the world on July 14, 2012 this year except for those living in New Zealand, Fiji, and Japan. Those living in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji Islands must observe this fast on July 15, 2012.
Exception to the above: Those observing Vaishnava traditions and living in India and countries to the East of India should observe the Kaamika ekaadasi fast on July 15, 2012.

Merits of this ekaadasi (from Brahmavaivarta puraanam)....

Observing the kaamikaa ekaadasi gives one the merit that accrues out of bathing in sacred rivers. Offering Tulsi to Lord Mahaavishnu on this day pleases our Lord more than offerings of even the Nine Gemstones of rarest quality! A devotee who does proper worship of Lord Vishnu with Tulsi leaves on this ekaadashi day reaches Vaikuntam directly after the end of this life. Proper observanace of this ekaadasi will please Yama Dharmaraaj also. It is customary to donate a ghee lamp/ sesame oil lamp to a Krishna temple on this ekaadashi day. Such a devotee will be blessed by all celestials. The merit accruing out of this ekaadashi is equivalent to that accruing out of recital of all Holy Scriptures.

Elsewhere, it has been mentioned by Lord Brahma to Sage Narada that the merit of observing this ekaadasi is equivalent to that obtained by donating a healthy cow along with her calf and one year's feed to a worthy vedic scholar.

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

Blessed be.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guru Poornima - 2012

Dear All:

The Guru Poornima austerities went on well today by Divine Grace.  This Guru Poornima is an auspicious day when we offer our respects to the Guru Paramparaa - the unbroken line of Gurus beginning from Lord Sadashivaa Himself to our individual Gurus.

Sanyaasis of aamnaaya mutts offer Vyaasa pooja today and take Chaturmaasya sankalpa.  Remembering our mentors whoever guided our lives in ever-so-small ways, or did poojas on our behalf for our welfare with gratitude is the recommended activity today.

Those who are initiated into Moola mantras of Shri Veda Vyaasa, Gorakhnaath, Sage Agasthya, Shri Medha Dakshinamoorthi, Shri Hayagreeva, Dattatreya, Hanumaan, Skanda, etc. can meditate on those Gurus with those mantra recitals.  Others may simply remember whomever they consider as their Gurus with devotion and gratitude today.

May Guru's Grace show us the light with which we can trace our way forward in our lives.

PS: Many thanks to our members who voluntarily participated in the Guru Poornima austerities though I did not post about this in advance; as I was on a pilgrimage last week and as soon as I returned I had to go on my usual trek to Parvathamalai on Pradosham day, I could not post this in advance....but some of our vigilant members had taken the initiative themselves and emailed me about this and participated in the austerities today; my heartfelt appreciation to those members, and my apologies to others for having posted this only on the day of Guru Poornima.  Please be assured that you were all in my prayers today when I did the havan and Vyaasa pooja.

Blessed be.

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