by ramurasa armoor | 2/25/2012 02:34:00 AM in , , , | comments (0)

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Happy Pongal

by ramurasa armoor | 1/14/2009 09:11:00 AM in , | comments (2)

Happy Pongal

Vaikunta Ekadasi 2009

by ramurasa armoor | 1/06/2009 05:10:00 PM in | comments (71)

Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: Among the twelve months in a year, I am Marghazhi. "Masanam Margasirso 'ham" [Chapter 10 Slokam 35]. HE underlines its special nature by saying that among months he is Marghazhi. In Malayalam as well as in Sanskrit this month of Marghazhi is known as Dhanur Masam, whose equivalent in English is the Sagittarius.

This then is one reason, why this month is dedicated to praying to the Gods. Again, it is during this month, that Choodi Kodutha Chudarkodi, Andal had sung the hymns of Tiruppavai and Tiruvembavai and the tradition is continued by the present day Tamil scholars, who make it a point to recite the hymns on the early mornings of this decidedly chilly month, along with a reading of the 4 Vedas.

Not to be left behind are the Maamis from the Agraharams who get up very early in the mornings and take a cold water bath braving the Marghazhi charals and before rushing to the temple, vie with each other to decorate their front courtyards with elaborate Kolams.

In the Padma Puranam we get to read this stanza which glorifies Ekadasi in the following words, and I also give a translation, given by a Vaishnavaite Scholar.

Ekadasi vrata samam vrata nasti jagattraye
Anicchaya'pi yat krtva gatir evam vidha'vayoh
Ekadasi vratam ye tu bhakti bhavena kurvate
Na jane kim bhavet tesam vasudeva anukampaya

Meaning that in the three worlds, there is no kind of fasting which is even comparable to the Ekadasi fast. Even if one performs this fast without a proper understanding, he achieves the Supreme Abode. If one fasts on Ekadasi day, with full devotion, what happens to him by the mercy of the Supreme Lord (Maha Vishnu) I cannot say (the merit he achieves cannot be described). It is also said if one fasts on the Vaikunta Ekadasi he need not fast on the other eleven Ekadasis that come in a year. Of all the Ekadasis, the one associated with Dhanur Maasa Sukla Paksha Ekadasi is considered the most auspicious, which we all know as the Vaikunta Ekadasi.

In Sanskrit,"Ekam" is one and "Dasam" ten. And Ekadasi comes on the 11th day of every month in a Hindu Calendar.

Now, who or what is this Ekadasi? In the Padama Puranam, Ekadasi is depicted as the Female Energy of Maha Vishnu, who in the form of a bewitching damsel, kills the Demon Muran, and saves the Indradi Devas. This Rakshasa Muran had been terrorising the Indradi Devas, and out of sheer fright Indran had abdicated his throne and taken refuge in a mountain cave with all his retinue waiting for deliverence from this peril at the hands of Maha Vishnu. This Puranam, details how Maha Vishnu fought a relentless battle with the Asura for more than a thousand years but without much success. Ultimately, he had to cheat on the Asura, to achieve his objective. He feigned tiredness, and took some rest in a nearby cave, hoping against hope that the foolhardy Asura would do something foolish.

It is unfortunate but true, when the most opportune time comes the Asuras do not think clearly like the ordinary mortals. Thinking that Maha Vishnu was in deep sleep he made the fatal error of mounting an attack on the defenseless prone figure. The Kapada Nataka Suthradhari, was waiting for such an opportunity. At the nick of the moment a Female Energy manifested from the sleeping body of Maha Vishnu and waged a terrible war, and killed Muran. Waking up from his feigned sleep, Maha Vishnu was mighty pleased by the act of his Female Energy.

He almost patted himself on his back, and said loud and clear for all the 14 worlds to hear (Erezhu Pathinalu Lokams) "Maha Vishnu Bahaut Kush Hua" "Hey Nari, Aaj Se Logone Thumko Ekadasi Namse Pukarenge Aur Jo Logon Is Diwas me Upavas Karenge Aur Thumko Puja Karenge, Woh Seedha Mere Pas Ayenga. Unke Vaste Mera Vaikunta Dwara Kula Rahenga." And from time immemorial, it is the Northern Gate known as The Paramapada Vasal, which is kept open for a single day and that day is the Vaikuntha Ekadasi Day.

In Malayalam we call this auspicious day "Swarga Vathil Ekadashi", in Tamil it is "Vaikunta Ekadasi - Sorga Vasal", and in Telegu it is "Vaikunta Dwaram" or "Swargada Bagilu".

Among a lot of believers this Feminine Energy is also known as Dharma Devadhai and Maha Vishnu in his abundant kindness has kept the gates of his abode Vaikuntam open so that his devotees who fast on this auspicious day, the day when Ekadasi was victorious over Muran the demon, could attain Paramapadam at his glorious feet and salvation.

There are various strictures in the observance of fasting on Ekadasi days, and I leave it to your imagination and stamina, to withstand a couple of days of strict regimen with an empty stomach. It is said in our Vedas, that it revitalises our body and cleans our digestive system and gives the much needed rest which our intestines deserve. Personally speaking one need not be inflexible in its observance.
This year Vaikunta Ekadasi falls on January 7th, and it will be celebrated with the usual fervour at the Thirupathi Thirumala Venkateswara Temple, Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu, The Thiruvallikeni Parthasarathy Temple at Chennai and a few more Vaishnava Temples where the presiding deity is Lord Maha Vishnu.

May the Lord's blessings be showered on his devotees, and His grace save mankind from all their ills.

Let me conclude by quoting the unknown Vaishnavaite scholar who extols this Ekadasi Vratham in these immortal words.

Na Gaayathrya para manthrah
Na Maathu para dhaivatham
Na Kaasya: paramam theertham
Na ekadasya : samam vratham

There is no manthram that is superior to Gayathri;
There is no dhaivam superior to one's own mother;
There is no sanctifying theertham better than Kaasi;
And there is no vratham that is more sacred than Ekadasi .

Vaikuntha Ekadasi festival, or Vykunta Ekadashi, is one of the most important Ekadasis. Ekadasi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Vishnu and falls on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight in traditional Hindu calendar. Vaikuntha Ekadasi is observed in the Margali Month (Margazhi Masam) as per Tamil Calendar and in Pushya month as per Telugu Calendar. In 2009, the date of Vaikunta Ekadasi is January 7. Vaikuntha Ekadashi is also known as Mukkoti Ekadasi and in Kerala it is known as Swargavathil Ekadasi.

Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. It is more prominent for Tamil and Telugu speaking people. Fasting, keep vigil at night and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram are the important auspicious activities on the day.

Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated with great importance in Tirupati Balaji Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, and Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandraswamy temple. Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi.

In 2009, there are two Vaikunta Ekadasis. One in January 7, 2009 and other on December 28, 2009.

May God Bless YOU All on this most Auspicious day.

వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి రోజున జాగరణ చేయండి… వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి పూజకు ఇలా సిద్ధం కండి…

వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి రోజున జాగరణ చేయండి

ముక్కోటి ఏకాదశి రోజున విష్ణుమూర్తిని వేయికనులతో వీక్షించి, శ్రీహరిని సేవించి తరించాలని మూడు కోట్లమంది దేవతలు వైకుంఠమునకు చేరుకునే రోజే వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశిగా పరిగణించబడుతోంది. ఈ వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి శనివారంలో వస్తే మంచిదని శాస్త్రాలు చెబుతున్నాయి.
ముక్కోటి ఏకాదశి రోజున విష్ణు, వెంకన్న దేవాలయములకు వెళ్లి స్వామివారిని దర్శించుకుని విష్ణు అష్టోత్తరమును పఠించడం మంచిది. అదే రోజున సత్యనారాయణ వ్రతమును ఆచరించి విష్ణుమూర్తిని నిష్ఠతో పూజించే వారికి అష్టైశ్వర్యాలు, సుఖసంతోషాలు ప్రాప్తిస్తాయని పురాణాలు చెబుతున్నాయి.
ఆ రాత్రి నిద్రపోకుండా విష్ణు నిత్యపూజ, విష్ణు స్తోత్రమాల, విష్ణు సహస్రనామ స్తోత్రములతో పారాయణ చేయాలి. మరుసటి రోజు ఉదయం శుచిగా స్నానమాచరించి శ్రీహరిని పూజించి సన్నిహితులకు శుభాకాంక్షలు తెలయజేయడం శుభప్రదం.
విష్ణు సహస్ర నామ సోత్రమ్, విష్ణు పురాణం, సత్యనారాయణ స్వామి వ్రతము వంటి పుస్తకాలను ఫల, పుష్ప, తాంబూలాలతో స్త్రీలకు దానం చేయడం మంచిది. అదేవిధంగా ఏకాదశిన దేవాలయాల్లో విష్ణుమూర్తికి లక్ష తులసి పూజ చేయించేవారికి సిరిసంపదలు వెల్లివిరుస్తాయని పురాణాలు పేర్కొంటున్నాయి.


వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి పూజకు ఇలా సిద్ధం కండి

వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి రోజున నిష్ఠనియమాలతో వ్రతమాచరించే వారికి మరో జన్మంటూ ఉండదని పురాణాలు చెబుతున్నాయి. ముక్కోటి ఏకాదశిన మరణించేవారికి వైకుంఠవాసం సిద్ధిస్తుందని, స్వర్గంలోని తలుపులు వారికోసం తెరిచే ఉంటాయని శాస్త్రాలు పేర్కొంటున్నాయి. ముల్లోకాలను నడిపించే విష్ణుమూర్తిని ముక్కోటి ఏకాదశిన స్తుతించే వారికి మోక్షం ప్రాప్తిస్తుంది.


అందుచేత వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి (జనవరి-7) రోజున ఉదయం ఐదు గంటలకే లేచి, శుచిగా స్నానమాచరించాలి. పూజా మందిరమును శుభ్రపరచి, గడపకు పసుపు, కుంకుమలు, తోరణాలు, ముగ్గులతో అలంకరించుకోవాలి. తలస్నానము చేసి తెలుపు రంగు దుస్తులు ధరించాలి. పూజామందిరంలోని విష్ణుమూర్తి పటాలకు పసుపు, కుంకుమ, చందనం వంటి సుగంధద్రవ్యాలతో అలంకరించుకోవాలి.


విష్ణుమూర్తి పటం లేదా విగ్రహం ముందు కలశమును పెట్టి దానిపై తెలుపు రంగు వస్త్రముతో కప్పి, టెంకాయ మామిడి తోరణాలతో సిద్ధం చేసుకోవాలి. పూజకు తామరపువ్వులు, తులసి దళములు ఉపయోగించాలి.


ఇకపోతే... వైకుంఠ ఏకాదశి రోజున జాజిపువ్వులతో అల్లిన మాలను విష్ణుమూర్తికి సమర్పించినట్లైతే సర్వపాపాలు తొలగిపోతాయని పురాణాలు చెబుతున్నాయి. అందుచేత జాజిమాలను విష్ణుమూర్తి పటానికి వేసి, పాయసం, తీపి పదార్థాలు, ఆకుపచ్చని పండ్లను నైవేద్యం సమర్పించి శ్రీహరిని స్తుతించడం శుభప్రదమని శాస్త్రాలు పేర్కొంటున్నాయి.

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