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Monday, March 20, 2017

Vasantha Navarathri 2017


There are 6 Navarathris in Honour of Divine Mother each year - one for each Rithu, and the Saaradha Navaraathri falling in sharad Rithu (October - November) is the most important as this is the festival recommended for householders. The next in importance among the 6 Navarathris is the one falling in Vasantha Rithu (March - April) called Vasantha NavarathriThis Vasantha Navarathri occupies the pride of place in the schedule of Devi upaasakaas, and rituals done during this period are for awakening Wisdom and Spiritual Perfection. Thus, as the saaradha Navarathri is for the "Bhogis" (householders and family), the Vasantha Navarathri is for Yogis (those aspiring Spiritual perfection), sadhus, and spiritual minded upaasakaas (who may still be in family but live life as an offering to Divine Mother - balancing mundane and spiritual lives harmoniously). It is traditional to venerate Divine Mother in Her Gnaana Shakti Form during this period. We don't keep kolus or socialize much in this celebration (whereas the saaradha navarathri is as much a social occasion as it is spiritual!). The emphasis is more on spiritual sadhanas and meditation during this period.

This vasantha Navarathri marks the beginning of the lunar calendar based New year (followed by those following Telugu/ Kannada traditions in South India), and it is also associated with Shri Raama Navami which falls during this period. So, during this vasantha navarathri you can also organize Sundara Kaandam recitals at your places praying for family welfare.



Vasantha Navaraathri begins on March 28, 2017.   Beginning of the Vasantha Navarathri is the same day as Ugaadhi. 

Variations in observance of Ugaadhi and Navarathri austerities based on location and various traditions for your guidance:  Those living in countries to the East of India need to observe Ugaadhi on March 29th - since Pratipaat does not begin early in the day for such countries.


Shri Raama Navami is to be celebrated on April 4, 2017 by those living in USA, Canada, and other countries of American continent, European countries, countries in African continent, and middle-east.

In India too, if we observe carefully and choose the day when Navami thithi and Punarvasu nakshatra coincide at noon-time (as it was during Shri Raamachandramoorthi's Avatar kshana), it must be observe on April 4th.  However, since Navami thithi operates during the early morning of April 5th also in India, some almanacs recommend April 5th for Shri Raama Navami, and some temples also observe Shri Raama Navami on April 5th.  Those living in countries to the East of India must observe Shri Raama Navami on April 5th (without exception) - since Navami thithi is prominent during the celebration time for those countries only on April 5th.

I plan to do the Shri Raama navami related austerities on April 4th itself - after the end of the Ashokaashtami austerities on April 4th (since Ashtami thithi is operating in the morning of April 4th, Ashtami austerities must be done on April 4th; since Punarvasu nakshatra operating in conjunction with Chaitra Navami at Noon also happens on the same day, I will do the Shri Raama navami austerities on April 4th).

Mahaa chandi homam will be done on April 5th at our place (since April 6th happens to be a Dhanya day - where Dasami operates only for a short duration after sunrise on that day).

Though many panchaangams indicate April 6, 2017 as Dharmaraaja dasami day, it is more correct to observe this on April 5, 2017 (since Dasami operates for a major part of the day on April 5, 2017, and also the vrata niyamaa of fasting till evening in Honour of Yama Dharmaraaja and breaking it after Yama Pooja when Dasasmi operates is satisfied only for April 5, 2017).

I request all our members to do simple prayers that are possible for them in Honour of Divine Mother during the Vasantha Navaraathri and receive Her Grace. Those who are initiated may recite Lalitha Sahasranaamam and Soundarya Lahiri on these days to become recipients of Divine Grace. Others may simply recite names like "Om Shree MaatrE namah" (Salutations to Thee who Art the Mother), "Om Durgaayai namah", "Om Sadaakshyai namah" (Salutations to Thee with 1000 Eyes = this is for prosperity), "Om siddhi dhaatryai namah" (Salutations to Thee who gives accomplishment), etc.


Those who have Tulsi plant in house may light a lamp in that sannidhi and offer 12 prostrations praying for peace and prosperity in the family and for the whole world. You may consider getting initiated into mantras like "Brindaavani Dasaakshari" (the beeja mantra for Tulsi worship that is very powerful), "Surabhi mantra" (for GOmaataa), etc. during this auspicious period.
You may also read Divine legends related to Mother Goddess which have been identified as powerful ones for prosperity based on authentic classical sources and based on teachings of Sri Vidhya Upaasaka traditions. Many such legends abound in the classic Devi Bhaagavatam. One such legend can be read by clicking the following link:
http://dakshinastro.blogspot.com/2008/04/divine-legends-that-ensure-peace-and.html

This legend is particularly beneficial to overcome pestilence and natural calamities. Those of you who happen to recite this legend, please dedicate this for the peace of the souls who perished recently in natural calamities and other disasters.

You can also listen to wonderful Devi sthothras that are available for download from various sites in .mp3 format. There are some wonderful Devi sthothrams available in text format in the site http://www.sanskritdocuments.org/. You may visit these sites and use the text of sthothras for recital.


Worship of 9 Forms of Durga Devi on 9 days


There are 9 forms of Durga Devi - "Shaila Putri, Brahmachaarinii, Chandrakantaa, Kooshmaandaa, Skanda Maata, Kaatyaayinii, Kaala Raatrii, Mahaa Gourii, Siddhidaa." You may meditate on each of these names in order from day 1 till day 9 (like on the first day - keep chanting "Om Hreem Shaila Putryai namah" or simply "Hreem Shaila putri namo namah", etc.).
These 9 names by themselves are powerful words with immense Divinity in them. Details about these 9 forms may be available elsewhere in the net; so I am not going too much into details about these. Those who are interested may do a web search on this and get further information, if desired.


Important thing to note when doing navaraathri worship even in simplified forms in Honour of Mother Goddess


Treat all women with dignity and respect during these 9 days (actually women should be treated with respect at all times - but it is more important during these 9 days). Offer auspicious items like sindhoor, kumkum, turmeric paste/ powder/ tubers, small mirrors, bangles, blouse-bits (avoid black colour), small toys for young children, etc. as per your convenience and economic viability. Even unknown women (irrespective of caste, creed, or religion) who visit your houses accidentally during these periods must be treated with respect and courtesy - Mother may visit you in any form!


Special worship at my place during Vasantha Navaraathri


As usual, special worships will be done at my place (currently at Bangalore) during Navarathri. I will pray for the welfare of all our members (and in fact for Universal wellbeing and Harmony). But those who wish to sponsor the poojas are welcome to do so. Especially whoever suspects evil-eye as afflicting their families, or fear black-magic done on their person/ businesses by rivals may benefit by Chandi homams; just as Shri Rudram is celebrated as King of Hymns, Chandi Homam is the Queen of all Fire Worships in removing all doshas. So, those who wish to take part in this are welcome to do so.

The recommended offerings for part-sponsorships during the Vasantha Navarathri days are as follows:

a) Participation in one day's austerities (on any one day of the vasantha Navarathri) - Rs.5000 (rupees five thousand only).  This covers the entire day's austerities beginning from morning Ganapathy homam, Chandi paraayanam, sakala devataa homam, and Laghu chandi homam in the morning, and recital of Devi mantras/ sthothras, and Raamaayana chapters in the evening.

b) Participation as part-sponsor in the Mahaa chandi homam on April 5, 2017- On Dharma Raaja Dasami day - Rs.27000 (rupees twenty seven thousand only).

c) Part sponsorship of paaraayanams done in the evenings and Devi archana - Rs.300 (rupees three hundred only) per day's sponsorship of archana and paaraayanam.

d) Taking part as a sponsor of the austerities for the entire period (9 day's havans, chants, japams, +  Shri Raama Navami austerities + Mahaa chandi homam) - Rs.60000 (rupees sixty thousand only).

e) Part-sponsorship of Shri Raama Navami day austerities including special homam on Shri Raama Navami day, Raamaayana paaraayanam for the day, etc.  - Rs.5000 (rupees five thousand only).

As Paypal has is not working for me any more, you won't be able to remit your payments via paypal as in the previous years.  You may have to do direct money transfer to my ICICI bank account - the details of which I will furnish for those members who wish to sponsor the austerities (members of paarayanam group and pradosham worship groups - those who are aware of the account details may directly make the remittance to the account and keep me informed).

After making the remittance, kindly send an email to dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in giving details of the remittance (the amount remitted, purpose of remittance, remittance reference no. given by bank to you), your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra (if gothra is not known indicate preference of either Shiva/ Vishnu gothra) - for inclusion in the prayers and also specify the date on which you would love to offer the homams/ archana.

 Of course, I will pray for Universal Welfare, peace of the souls who perished in various disasters (both man-made and natural) in the previous year, and for the welfare of our group members at the end of the prayers. So, those who are unable to afford the sponsorship fees or are otherwise unable to sponsor the homams need not feel let down. Please note that those who sponsor the homams/ poojas need to come in person to get the prasad or holy ash of the homam.

 In case you are unable to attend the homam on the specified days, the inclusion of your name, birth star, rashi, and gothra details during the homam/ pooja sankalpam is deemed as "in=absentia" participation from your side. The homam prasad/ Holy Ash will not be sent by post due to ritual purity reasons. May Divine Mother bless us all.

Blessed be. 


Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in 

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