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Monday, March 24, 2014

Vasantha Navarathri 2014


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 Navarathri. This 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 31, 2014  throughout the world. Beginning of the Vasantha Navarathri is the same day as Ugaadhi.


Shri Raama Navami is to be celebrated on April 8, 2014 throughout the world except those living in New Zealand and Fiji.  Those living in New Zealand and Fiji must observe Shri Raama Navami on April 9, 2014.



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 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 in the Mahaa chandi homam on April 9th - Rs.24000 (rupees twenty four thousand only) -  (at the end of 9 days' austerities, on the Dasami after Shri Raama Navami - Mahaa chandi homam will be done elaborately).

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 suddenly stopped transferring money for religious austerities in India (read "targeting vedic performances - presumably!), 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 are as below:

Account holder's name:  R DAKSHINA MOORTHI
ICICI BANK LTD.
Annanagar West Extension Branch,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

IFSC of my branch:  ICIC0000395

Kindly mention your name during the remittance for my reference and accounting purposes.

Those who are abroad and feel the technicalities of the transfer are somewhat complicated may use sites like remit2india.com or xoom.com for the purpose(don't know....some clients are having difficulties even after I give the IFSC code of my branch and ask for a SWIFT code which is the norm in the U.S. - there are differences between how things work in Indian banking system and in the U.S. Such clients may make use of sites like remit2india.com or xoom.com which facilitate such transfers in a hassle-free manner if you provide my account details - some of my clients have preferred this route and say this works well; do whatever is comfortable for you). 

After making the remittance, kindly send an email to dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in giving details of the remittance, 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

Monday, March 10, 2014

Aamalaki Ekaadasi - March 11/ March 12, 2014

Dear Members:


The auspicious Aamalaki Ekaadasi is to be observed on March 12, 2014 in all parts of the world except countries in North and South American continents. People in these regions marked as exception to the observance must observe this fast on March 11, 2014.

This fast is known to eradicate all great sins and bestow great destiny, and hence it is also observed as Paapanaasini Ekaadasi. Puranaas speak of how a hunter who witnessed the performance of this fast and night-long prayers under the Amla tree (Indian gooseberry tree) by a king and his retinue in the forest, was blessed to be born as a king named VasUratha in his next life. Such is the glory of this vrata - the mere witnessing of which confers great merit!

Once that person (the hunter born as King VasUratha in next birth) lost his way in the forest and being exhausted fell asleep under a tree. Tribesmen who were his enemies tried to kill him in that unconscious state; but none of their weapons could harm the sleeping king. Then, a beautiful maiden with Divine Powers manifested from the sleeping king's body and slayed all the tribesmen. On waking up, the King was wondering how this could have happened and who could have saved him thus from his sworn enemies. Then a voice from the sky said 'You ask who helped you. Well, who is that person who alone can help anyone is distress? He is none other than Sri Keshava, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who saves all who take shelter of Him without any selfish motive.'


Such is the greatness of the Aamalaki Ekaadasi. This was narrated by Sage Vasishta to the Surya vamsa king Maandaatha.

On this day it is customary to worship the avatar Lord Parasuraama and Aamla tree (those who have such trees may perform the worship under the tree; others can just meditate on that tree and Lord Parasuraamaa).


picture of Lord Parasuraama courtesy: www.scienceofhinduisim.blogspot.com
(I am not aware of any copyright restrictions with regard to use of this image, but I guess using this for informative purposes and illustrative purposes must be alright).

Prayers to Lord Parashuraama:

'Oh Lord ParashurAma, Oh son of RenukA, Oh all-pleasing one, Oh liberator of the worlds, kindly come beneath this holy Amalakii tree and accept our humble obeisances.'



Prayer to Aamalakii tree: (Aamalakii tree is Indian Goosberry tree)

'Oh Amalakii, Oh offspring of Lord BrahmA, you can destroy all kinds of sinful reactions. Please accept our respectful obeisances and these humble gifts. O Amalakii, you are actually the form of Brahman, and you were once worshiped by Lord RAmachandra Himself. Whoever circumambulates you is therefore immediately freed of all his sins.'


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


Blessed be.

Pandit R. DAKSHINAMOORTHI
plot no.1/29,
11th Street, Babanagar,
Villivakkam,
Chennai,. Tamil Nadu.
India 600049

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vijaya Ekaadasi 2014





The auspicious Vijaya Ekaadashi falls on February 25/ February 26, 2014.

Those living in Australian continent except Western Australian Province, New Zealand, Japan, and Fiji must observe this on February 26, 2014.

Those living in rest of the world - including India, must observe this on Feb 25, 2014.

This ekaadashi - as the name implies - gives success in all ventures. Puranas say that Lord Ramachandra observed this ekaadashi on the instructions of the sage Bagadalbhya, and gained the power to cross the ocean with his army of vanaras, and to defeat the mighty demon Raavana.

(My note: It is not as if Lord Vishnu manifest in Raama did not possess the Divine Powers to cross the ocean or to defeat Ravana; it is only that He was acting as a normal human being in that Incarnation and hence avoided manifesting His Divine Maaya and Yogic powers; moreover, He - The Maryaada Purusha - Ideal Being, observed the vrattam just as an example to all of us!)

The skanda purana details the manner in which Shri Ramachandra Murthi observed the Vijaya Ekaadashi fast along with His commanders on the specific instructions of Sage Bakadalbhya.....

A kalasha is to be made ready for worship on the day before the ekaadashi. A pot of clay, copper, silver, or gold is to be filled with water; the opening of the pot covered with mango leaves, and above that, in the concave portion, pomogrenate, barley crop, and coconut are to be placed; the kalash is to be placed on a mound of seven grains and decorated with sandalwood paste and garlands. Above this, a golden image of Lord Narayana is to be placed, and duly worshipped all night (on the night before ekaadashi fast). The next day morning, again special prayers are to be offered; night vigil is to be maintained near the kalash on the ekaadashi night also. At dawn-break on Dwaadashi day, the kalash is to be taken to a sea-shore or river bank, and it is to be donated to a vedic expert.

Now-a-days many of those rituals might be difficult for us to observe in modern life (especially maintaining two continuous nights without sleep, and finding a suitable vedic expert in river bank to donate the kalash with the golden idol!). But, nevertheless, observance of this fast with devotion in a manner that is convenient to us will definitely help us to gain victory life.


Lord Krishna says that observance of this ekaadashi can give merit that is equivalent to merit obtained by performance of Aswamedha sacrifice!


May our members observe this to the best of their abilities and become recipients of Divine Grace.


Blessed be.




Pandit R.DAKSHINAMOORTHI
Astrological and Remedial consultant
dakshinastrologer@yahoo.co.in

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