Wednesday, December 21, 2011

POURNAMI VRAT - FOR PROSPERITY

There are so many people who finds it difficult to live happily and comfortably with their income and they have to do several adjustments  to control their expenses.Such people may be expecting to get more income or to live contented with the income they have.To get more income or to live happily and with prosperity we have to
perform Pournami Vrat and  Bhuvaneswari Pooja.
In the Olden days  this Vrat and  Bhuvaneswari Pooja were performed by even Maharajas.When Sri Rama
was crowned as Maharaja at that  function, Lord Viswamitra told  Sri Rama about this Vrat.
Lord Viswamitra told Sri Rama that a person, who ever let him be, a Family Head, Business Man, or Maharaja
the society will respect them to an extent because of their wealth and money.A poor man will be neglected by
the society except Sanyasis(Monks).So Sri Rama was adviced  to perform this Pooja and Vrat which he used to practice  and his country flourished to prosperity very soon.
It is said that Lord Sri Krishna also performed this Vrat and Bhuvaneswari Pooja at Dwaraka Puri.
Those who recite Bhuvaneswari Mantra will sure get out of their poverty is  what Lord Shiva also said about this.
Sri Bhuvaneswari is one of the ten incarnation of Mother Goddess Bhadra Kali.Bhuvaneswari is represented by the holy Mantra word 'Hrim'.
Bhuvaneswari,Thara,Kali,Bhairavi,Chinnamastha,Dhoomavati,Bahalamukhi,Kamala,Mathangi,Shodasi are the
ten Incarnations.
Among the Nav Grahas she is connected to the Moon, and so she is worshiped on the 'Full Moon Day' which
is also known as 'Pournami Day'.Bhuvaneswari stands gracefully as the Goddess of  each and everything in this
world.
The Pournami Vrat was started by a Sage 'Kaapaleeswara Swamikal' and those who perform it can lead a
contented , happy and prosperous family life.They will be getting respect and approval from the society.They
can shine in their profession and will get  help  to solve their problems by the Devi.
This Vrat Has to be performed on all Full Moon Days(Pournami Days).The Vrat starts from the previous Day.
On the previous Day after sunset recite Durga Sthotras or Kali Devi Sthotras and visit a Devi temple.On the Pournami Day should not sleep during Day time.Should not consume alcoholic drinks etc.Entertainment activities has also to be avoided.Chant Devi names or 'Mantras' as much as you can.In the evening visit a Devi Temple.Only one time meals  is allowed.No food to be taken  for supper also.The full moon in the sky  has to be
visited after the dusk.In the Pooja Room or a Clean place wearing an yellow dress sit turning towards Northern direction and recite the Devi Dhyanam' as follows:-
                                          Udwadinadyuthimindu Kireedam
                                          Thunga Kucham Nayanathraya Yuktham
                                           Smeramukhim Varadankusapaasa
                                          Bheethikaram Prabhaje Bhuvanesim.

And then recite Mantra as:- " Ohm Hrim Shreem Kleem Bhuvaneswarye Namah" (Recite this minimum 108
times).
Sitting  after spreading an yellow cloth on the seat and wearing yellow dress is better.The mantra can be
recited  more times  as you can).Devi Temple has to be visited on the previous day,On the Vrat Day and
the next day morning also.On the Vrat day either in the morning or evening light an oil lamp for Devi
using pure 'Ghee' at home.Once in an year performing 'Bhagavathi Sewa'  at home is also auspicious.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thrikkunnapuzha Dharma Sastha Temple

In the Theeyattu songs which are sung for Ayyappan Teeyattu there is reference of the 108 temples of Lord
Ayyappa which were started by Sage Parasurama.In that song  the first temple which is mentioned is of
'Thrikkunnapuzha Sastha Temple.It is situated in Alleppey District 6km from Nangyar Kulangara.(Nangyarkulngara is only 2km south of Harippad).
In this temple the Lord Dharma Sastha is existing with his wife Prabha and son Sathyakan.The deities  are consecrated  on a  21" high 'Sila peet'  and the idols are  made of 'Pancha Loha' for  the three depiction of Sastha,Prabha and Sathyaka.The small Sathyaka is shown in between Lord Sastha and Prabha.
To visit and do offerings to the Sastha family is very auspicious.If we visit this temple and pray Dharma Sastha to solve our family problems he will resolve the problems existing between husband and wife and also problems among other family members.People who are tensed with insecure family matters when offer pooja rituals in Thrikkunnapuzha Dharma Sastha Temple, their complicated problems will be get solved with the Lord's Grace.
The temple was under the administration of Edapally swaroopam but from 1972 on wards the temple is under control of 'Ayyappa Seva  Sangham'.The sanctum of Lord Sastha is square shaped.
The annual festival of this temple is in the month of 'Vrichikam'  for ten days and the 'Arattu' will be on 'Uthram'
star day.
The sub deities of this temple consists of Lord Subramania,Lord Shiva,Lord Gosala Krishna,Nav Grahas etc.
Lord Subramanya is having importance as that of Lord Sastha and the sanctum of Lord Subramania is  a round shaped  large one.
The main offerings in this temple are 'Kalabhabhishekam,Pooja rituals from Morning to dusk(Udayasthamana Pooja)Pithru Pooja, and Thila Homam'.
Since the Lord Dharma Sastha is existing here with his wife and son, visiting this temple and doing pooja rituals will help secure  our  family and give prosperity also.
For performing 'Karkidaka Vavu Bali' large number of devotees reach this temple every year.They perform the 'Bali' on the beach at the back side of this temple.
There is a special festival from 'Dhanu' 1st to Dhanu 11th for which large number of devotees participate with
'Kavady' etc.The 'Shashti Vrat' rituals are also performed here for Lord Subramania.In the olden days
the fishermen of this place used to visit this temple and they were given 'Paddy seeds' which was  made sacred from the temple.They  scatter them at places in the water where they used to catch fish regularly.
Their belief was that by Lord's grace they would  get better catch of  fish always.Some fishermen still continue
this practice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Different Forms of Dharma Sastha

Lord Ayyappa was born in the month of Dhanu on 'Uthram Star' day and it was on a Saturday and so in temples of Dharma Sastha or Ayyappa these days are considered sacred.Visiting Sastha temples on Saturdays is auspicious  and visiting on all 'Uthram Star' day every month is also sacred.Visiting Sabarimala or any other Sastha temples during Mandala Season,On Saturdays,On Uthram Star days, and on Makara Sankrama day
are all graceful..Sabarimala Pilgrimage,Sastha Suktham,Sastha Puspanjali(Performing Pooja with flowers),Neerajanam(An Offering in temple using coconut by lighting wick lamp with gingly oil and sesame seeds),Pampa Snanam(Taking Bath in Holy River Pampa),Mandala
Vrat(Performing Observances during Mandala Season),Neyyabhishekam(Unction  of Idol with the Ghee),Breaking the coconut on stones meant for that purpose etc can be done to get his good graces.Blue 'Sanghu Pushpam' flowers and blue Lotus flowers  are also dear to the Lord.
When we visit a Sastha temple we are getting the blessings of Lord Shiva,Lord Maha Vishnu also.Since he was born to 'Vishnu Maya' we will get the blessings of 'Devi' also.
Lord Sankaracharya  described that there are 'Nineteen Forms' of Lord Dharma Sastha.His idols which are formed naturally and which are made on stones and 'Lohas' (One metal or mixture of several metals like Pancha Loha) are seen.He is worshiped in 'Sivalinga' form and without any form also.His 'Vahana' is horse but Lord Sastha mounted on a horse is not found anywhere but depiction that he is mounted on an Elephant is seen at many places.
The assumption of Sabarimala Dharma Sastha is entirely different from other places.The assumption there  is as incarnation of Lord Dharma Sastha.Sabarimala Ayyappan is wearing a golden crown and sacred Royal clothes,he is showing 'Njana Mudra' by his right hand.Left hand is placed on the left knee,He is wearing a yogapatta(a typical lace) and he is a young sage in deep meditation.That is why young ladies are not allowed to enter that shrine.Every day before closing the sanctum there is a ritual by which sacred ash is applied on the deity,'yoga dandu' is placed in his hand to change him again to a Sage form and in meditation.A chorus will sing the song 'Harivarasanam.....' and the sanctum will be closed.
In other depictions of Lord Sastha he is not having crown.He is not having 'Chinmudra' and yogapatta.Sastha in other assumptions is wearing bow and arrow.Sastha which is the depiction as a family head is shown with his wife
'Prabha' on one side and son 'Sathyakan' on the other side.He is wearing blue silk dhoti.
The Sastha at 'Chamra Vattom' is the protector of  the place 'Thirunavaya;.The idol is believed to be formed naturally. The deity can cause  rain or stop rain is believed.
The Sastha at 'Thiruvullakkavu' temple is considered as Lord of Education.The presence of Goddess Saraswati who is 'Vidya Devata' is here.So 'Navarathri' is important here.He is also considered as married.
The Sastha deities at 'Thakazhy' and 'Achan Kovil' are Physicians.(Vaidya Nadhan forms).The oil at Thakazhy and 'Theertham'(Holy water) of Achan Kovil removes diseases.
A rare depiction of the deity of Sastha is at 'Poonjar' Dharma Sastha temple.Here he is 'Veda Sastha'.In his right hand an  opened Veda Text is shown.
The Sastha at 'Aryankavu' is 'Kalyana Roopan'  which is as a bridegroom.A ritual known as 'Thrikalyanam' is also performed  here.
Sastha at 'Kulathupuzha' is a boy.There the 'meenoottu' is famous by which the fishes in the river near the temple is given food.The fishes are known as 'Thirumakkal'.We will get blessings from Lord by giving food to the 'Thirumakkal'.
The Sastha at 'Cherpulassery' is 'Santhana Moorthy'.By praying to the deity  childless couple will get children  is the belief.The  Lord will bless for getting married also.
Sastha as a family head is the deity at 'Kollangodu' Dharma Sastha temple also.
At 'Ponnani Kavanadu' Ayyappan Kovil 'Ayyappan Vilakku' is very sacred and well celebrated.
At Kollam 'Sasthamkotta' Dharma Sastha temple the Mandala  season is celebrated in a grand manner.
At Pandalam Dharma Sastha Temple there is no shape and form for the deity.Only a 'Sila'(stone) is placed.
Nedumkunnam Dharma Sastha temple,Kooropada Dharma Sastha temple,Vazhoor Vettikattu  Dharma Sastha temple,Mulamkunnathukavu Dharma Sastha temple, Meenthalakkara Dharma Sastha temple,
Pangode Dharma Sastha temple etc are all important and sacred Sastha temples in Kerala.Visiting these temples during Mandala Season  is auspicious.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Karthyayani Vrat- For Unmarried Girls

In the Malayalam calendar month of Vrichikam most of the Gents of Hindu families will be performing 'Vrat'
(Observances) even if they do not have plans to go for a pilgrimage to Sabarimala.Many people continues the 'Vrat' for 41 days which is up to 'Dhanu 11' so that it will be one 'Mandala' period of 41 days in total.
Some others will continue the Vrat up to 'Makara Vilakku' festival which means that they do the observances  for two months in total.Many people do this for allowing the body to recover from the fatigue happened during
the other ten months of the year.They wants to keep their body and mind pure for two months in an year.They want to improve their health and so they will stop cigarette smoking,drinking alcohol,eating spicy and non-vegetarian food, and try to keep calm by  avoiding worries and tension by chanting God's names.Eventually all these good habits will surely help them to improve their health conditions a lot.Early to bed and early to rise  will help boost the health conditions very much.Those who performs the observances will rise early in the morning,  take bath and visit the near by temple every day as a daily routine during those days which help reduce their tensions to a good extent.
Cherthala Karthyayani Temple
When the Gents in the family taking the observances  the ladies might be also eating vegetarian food during the whole period when men performs it.They can also take bath in the early morning and visit temple and keep their body and mind pure for a 'Mandala Period' of 41 days  if there is need  in this regard.It is evident that  young females can not perform observances continuously for a period of 41 days and enter the temple also.The days 5 or 7 which they have to break in between because of periods can be performed after wards to make a total  of 41 days.
This 'Vrat' performed by ladies in the month of 'Vrichikam' up to Dhanu 11 is known as 'Karthiyayani Vrat' and the purpose is to get a most suitable husband for them or to get the person whom they love to be their husband.
For this the  young ladies who seek this purpose should visit a 'Durga Devi Temple' for 41 days in the morning after taking bath starting from 'Vrichikam 1st.' They have to pray the Goddess about their intention and avoid spicy and non-vegetarian food for the whole 41 days 'Vrat' period.Try to keep away from any kind of conflicts and keep the body and mind pure by chanting Devi's names and incantations.Submit to Goddess flowers like 'Chempakam,Mandaram,Asokam,Chethi,Sankhupushpam(White) and perform 'Pushpanjali' whenever you can during the 'Vrat' period.Those who face obstacles  to get a married life and those who face unnecessary delay to get married will get rid off their problems by Devi's grace.
. Girls can  also perform 'Monday Vrat' and visit 'Lord Shiva Temple' for this purpose.(married women can perform  this Monday Vrat for long married life).
For getting the lover as the husband and for getting a very suitable husband for those who seek so and to get married without delay for those suffer from obstacles in  this regard may perform 'Karthyayani Vrat'.
The Gopikas of 'Vrindavan' prayed to Goddess Karthyayani Devi(Durga Devi) to get the love of Lord Krishna and we know that Devi blessed them to materialize their wish.
 Unmarried girls if have  needs as above  can perform 'Karthyayani Vrat' from 'Vrichikam 1st.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

THRIKKARTHIKA - FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS


Thrikkarthika is an important Hindu festival and it  is a 'Festival of Lights' celebrated with enthusiasm all over Kerala,Tamil Nadu etc.
In Kerala on Deepavali Day Hindus celebrate it auspiciously well along with all other Hindus of India and abroad. Except Brahmins others usually does not light so many lamps outside the house
as part of the celebration of Deepavali in Kerala.The celebrations are mostly confined  for one day only with a big feast with sweets,morning oil bath, and lighting fire crackers.Deepavali(the array of lights)  are  mostly not done.But the Keralites celebrate the
festival of lights literally on 'Thrikkarthika day'.
In the month of Vrichikam(Nov-Dec) on the Karthika day which mostly falls on the full moon day is celebrated
as Thrikkarthika.
As usual the celebration includes a feast with sweets, visiting nearby temples in morning and evening especially
Devi Temples.  Some people believes it is a celebration for the  killing of  demon
Karthika Puzhukku
"Narakasura' but most of the people believes this day as the birth day of Goddess 'Karthyayani Devi'.Usually on Thrikkarthika day no crackers are lighted but the highlight is given for devotion.In Many parts of Kerala people do not even make a feast on this day but make rice soup(Kanji) with 'Karthika Puzhukku'(A vegetable preparation of a mixture of several underground stems like 'tapiocca').
In the evening at dusk in each and every Hindu homes they illuminate their premises with small earthen oil lamps
in the  lawn,on the walls, on the terrace, in the pooja room, on the steps, in each and every corners etc and it will be a beautiful sight.Almost all Devi Temples in Kerala will also be decorated with thousands of lighted small oil lamps.
We  in Kerala  are celebrating the birthday of Devi 'Karthiyayani' which is a form of
Durga Devi or Parvathy itself.This day is the  main festival day of several Devi temples of Kerala.The most importance is given to the Devi at 'Kumaranallur' of Kottayam District.Some people even say this day as
'Kumaranallur Thrikkarthika'.Kumaranallur temple which dates back to 2400 years was built by Cheraman Perumal and actually it was constructed for 'Kumaran' which is Subramanian.Mean while another temple was being constructed at Udayanapuram intended for Devi.But on the day selected for the idol to be consecrated in the temple 'Devi' entered the Sanctum Sanctorum and a divine voice was heard as 'Kumaran- alla-ooril' means this place is not for Kumaran and later an idol which was  worshiped by a Sage earlier was installed there.It is believed that Lord Parasurama appeared on that day and performed the idol
installation within one minute and vanished. Kumaranallur Devi temple is one of the most important Devi temples of Kerala  which is one among the 108 Devi Shrines.The 10 day festival of Kumaranallur temple ends on the Thrikkarthika day.In the evening the temple premises will be beautifully illuminated with thousands of oil
lamps and electric bulbs.
The festival of 'Oorakathamma Devi' is also on Thrikkarthika day and it is said that it is the birth day and idol
installation day of the deity.
In many Tamil Nadu State temples also numerous oil lamps are lighted on this day as at the famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple where more than one lakh (10 million) oil lamps are lighted on this day.
Like that   one of the most important Central Travancore Devi Temple 'Chakkulathu Kavu' has its 'Ponkala'
celebration on this day.Like Attukal Temple the 'Ponkala' celebration of this temple has earned much fame
Chakkulathu Kavu Temple
in recent years millions of women participate in 'Pokala' by preparing 'naivedyam' to the Devi.To several kilometers   around the temple the rows of 'Ponkala pots' along with the devotees can be seen on road sides and open places.
Thrikkarthika lamps helps to give prosperity to brothers and sisters also.When brothers lights the lamps eventually their sisters will  also be  benefited while when sisters lights the lamps their brothers also gets the prosperity.For this purpose usually a 'kolam' used to be drawn and typical lamp known as 'Elephant lamp'
has to be  used.If another type of lamp 'Jyothy lamp' is used our Original home(Tharavadu) will get prosperity too.
From all these beliefs we can understand that by lighting the lamps on the Thrikkathika day evening we will get the blessings of Devi and she will  bless us with prosperity.
Astrologers say that  there are some astrological reasons also behind the lighting of lamps on Karthika day in Vrichikam.They say that it is to lessen the problems of 'Vrichikam Rasi' and to gain strength to 'Moon'.
The common man need not be worried about all these astrological facts  but has to light as much as small earthen lamps filled with oil and  light them up beautifully in and around the house and on walls,steps etc.May Goddess bless us all with prosperity and happiness and the rays  of lights removes the darkness from our way of progress.This year's Thrikkarthika Festival is on  November 25, Wednesday, 2015.