Monthly Archives: August 2015

Happy Raksha Bandhan

Moon nourishes and heals. 4th house in the chart signifies healing. Moon is the karaka (significator or “controller”) of the 4th house and hence one of the most important factors in evaluating recuperability from diseases. I took the following picture just now with my telescope. Beautiful Full Moon of the Vedic lunar month of Sravana which also happens to be the festival of Rakhi (or Raksha Bandhan) in which sisters tie a sacred thread on the wrist of their brothers and wish for their well being and brothers in turn vow to protect them.

This Full Moon is taking place in the nakshatra of Shatabhisha, which literally means a hundred physicians. Shatabhisha encourages us to embrace alternative or natural healing modalities. And this Full Moon is taking place in Aquarius. It is Aquarius where Siva drank the poison (“halaahal”) to save the creation. It is Aquarius where we reach out to the masses. It is Aquarius where we behave a little eccentric and are able to pull brilliant ideas out of thin air.

Happy Raksha Bandhan!!

Rakhi Full MoonRaksha Bandhan

Abdur Rahim and lord Siva praising Tulsidas

It is Tulsidas Jayanti today, the birthday of saint and poet Goswami Tulsidas. Tulsidas was born during the month of Sravana, on the 7th lunar day (Saptami Tithi) of the waxing half of Moon cycle (Shukla Paksha). It falls on August 21 this year.

Tulsidas was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. At the time of his birth, he already had all his 32 teeth in place. He was born in lunar constellation of Moola Nakshatra. His family abandoned him considering it to be a bad omen. According to some astrologers, Moola Nakshatra is one of the set of nakshatras known as Ganda Moola that are considered inauspicious. But it is also believed that if a child born in one of these nakshatras survives first few years, he/she grows up to be very intelligent.

Tulsidas was an incarnation of Sage Valmiki. Valmiki composed the original Ramayana in Sanskrit. Tulsidas re-wrote Ramayana in Awadhi dialect of Hindi so that common people could understand. His version is known as the epic Ramacharitmanas.

Lord Siva on Tulsidas: In Bhavishyottar Purana, lord Shiva tells his wife Parvati how Valmiki, who got a boon from Hanuman to sing the glory of Rama, will incarnate in future in the Kali Yuga:

वाल्मीकिस्तुलसीदासः कलौ देवि भविष्यति ।
रामचन्द्रकथामेतां भाषाबद्धां करिष्यति ॥

vālmīkistulasīdāsaḥ kalau devi bhaviṣyati ।
rāmacandrakathāmetāṃ bhāṣābaddhāṃ kariṣyati ॥

O Goddess! Valmiki will become Tulsidas in the Kali age, and will compose this narrative of Rama in the vernacular language. ~ Bhavishyottar Purana

Tulsidas also gave us Hanuman Chalisa. Without Tulsidas, we would not be singing glories of Hanuman in this beautiful lyrical form.

Surdas, a devotee of Krishna and a contemporary of Tulsidas, called Tulsidas as Sant Shiromani (the highest jewel among holy men). Abdur Rahim Khankhana, famous Muslim poet who was one of the Navaratnas (nine-gems) in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, was a personal friend of Tulsidas. Rahim composed the following verse describing the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas.

रामचरितमानस बिमल संतनजीवन प्रान ।
हिन्दुवान को बेद सम जवनहिं प्रगट कुरान ॥

rāmacaritamānasa bimala santanajīvana prāna ।
hinduvāna ko beda sama javanahi̐ pragaṭa kurāna ॥

The immaculate Ramcharitmanas is the breath of the life of saints. It is similar to the Vedas for the Hindus, and it is the Quran manifest for the Muslims.

Jai Tulsidas!

Goswami Tulsidas

Ancestral worship – Aug 13

Amāvasyā, the New Moon is considered most auspicious for worshiping ancestors. It is said that our ancestors visit the Earth plane on the night of Amāvasyā. “Feeding” our ancestors on this night makes sure that their needs are taken care of so they can focus on showering their blessings on us.

Starts at 6:23 AM Pacific Time Aug 13, Thursday morning
Ends at 7:53 AM Pacific Time Aug 14, Friday morning

There are many ceremonies and offerings one can make to ancestors. Some of them include offering a Janeu (sacred thread) to a pipal tree and worship the pipal tree, chanting mantras while going around it 108 times. But in this day and age it is hard to find a pipal tree, let alone do all the rituals associated with it.

Easiest remedy is chanting the following 2 mantras while keeping our ancestors in mind on this day. Pictures of our ancestors should only be hung or displayed on the South wall of the house. It is good to light an incense in front of their picture.

Pitri (ancestral) mantra for Krishna: worshiping ancestors through Krishna.

ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नमः
Om Namo Bhagvate Vāsudevāya Namaha

This mantra is for Krishna. Krishna is considered the supreme among ancestors. In Bhagwat Gita Chapter 10, verse 29 Sri Krishna explains:

अनन्तश्चास्मि नागानां वरुणो यादसामहं
पितृणामर्यमा चास्मि यमः संयमतामहम्।।29।।

Of all the many headed non-poisonous Nāgās (deified serpents) I am the divine serpent Ananta. Of all aquatics, I am Varuna, the lord of all beings who live in water. Among the deified ancestors I am Aryamā. Of all administrators of justice, I am Yamarāj, the judge of all beings at the time of death.

Simple Pitri (ancestral) Mantra: In this mantra we are directly invoking them and offering our respects.

ॐ पितृभ्यः नमः
Om Pitribhyaha Namaha


Āditya Hridayam – the Heart of the Sun God

Lord Rām was already exhausted in the battle fighting the demons. And now he was faced with the all-powerful Rāvana who was well prepared for the ensuing battle. Lord Rām was in deep thought while looking at Rāvana with full concentration. Sage Agastya and all other Gods had come to witness this epic battle. Seeing the worry and tiredness on Lord Rām’s face, sage Agastya came to Lord Rām and gave him the secret wisdom of Sun worship through Āditya Hridayam.

There are 31 verses in Āditya Hridayam and the following 2 are my favorite.

राम राम महाबाहो शृणु गुह्यं सनातनम् |
येन् सर्वानरीन वत्स समरे विजयिष्यसि ||

Rām Rām Mahābāho Shrunu Guhyam Sanātanam |
Yen Sarvānrin Vatsa Samare Vijayishyasi ||

MEANING: ‘O Rama’, ‘O Mighty armed elegant Rama’, listen carefully to the eternal secret by which, ‘O my child’, you shall conquer all your enemies on the battle field and win against your adversaries.

सर्वमङ्गल माङ्गल्यं सर्वपापप्रणाशनम् ||
चिन्ताशोक-प्रशमन-मायुर्वर्धन-मुत्तमम् ||

Sarva Mangal Māngalyam Sarvapāp Pranāshanam |
Chintā Shok Prashamana Māyurvardhan-Muttamam ||

MEANING: This supreme prayer is the best amongst auspicious verses, it will destroy all sins, dispel all doubts, alleviate worry and sorrow, anxiety and anguish, and will give longevity and complete prosperity.

FULL HYMN: This is my favorite rendition of Aditya Hridayam:

Chanting of Āditya Hridayam is especially beneficial on Sundays.

Om Suryāya Namaha!


Lord Ram 3

Lord Ram recites Aditya Hridayam