Sep 26, 2010

Effects of Prati-Antara Dasha in Antara Dasha - I

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!

1. By multiplying the years etc. of the Antar Dasha (Intermediate periods) of the Grahas (Planets) separately by the Dasha years of each Grah and by dividing the product by the total span of the Vimshottari Dasha, namely 120 years, we will arrive at the Pratyantar Dasha of each Grah.

2. Sūrya-Sūrya (Pratyantar Dasha of Sūrya in the Antar Dasha of Sūrya). 

Argument with other persons, loss of wealth, distress to wife, headache etc. The above are general effects. Such inauspicious effects will not be produced, if Sūrya is in a Trikon etc., if Sūrya is the Lord of an auspicious Bhava, or is in a auspicious Bhava and in a benefic Varg. All other Pratyanta effects should be judged in this manner.

3. …-Candr (Moon). Excitement, quarrels, loss of wealth, mental agony etc.
4. …-Mangal (Mars). Danger from the king and from weapons, imprisonment and distress from enemies and fire.
5. …-Rahu. Disorder of phlegm, danger from weapons, loss of wealth, destruction of a kingdom and mental agony.
6. …-Guru (Jupiter). Victory, increase in wealth, gains of gold, garments, conveyances etc.
(7) …-Śani (Saturn). Loss of wealth, distress to cattle, excitement, diseases etc.
8. …-Budh (Mercury). Affectionate relations with kinsmen, availability of good food, gains of wealth, religious-mindedness, reverence from the king.
9. …-Ketu. Danger to life, loss of wealth, danger from the king, trouble with enemies.
10. …-Śukr (Venus). Moderate effects, or some gains of wealth may be expected.

11. Candr-Candr

Acquisition of land, wealth and property, reverence from the king and availability of sweetish preparations.

12. …-Mangal. Wisdom and discretion, reverence from the people, increase in wealth, enjoyments to kinsmen, but there will be danger from an enemy.
13. …-Rahu. Well-being, gain of wealth from the king and danger of death, if Rahu is yuti with a malefic.
14. …-Guru. Enjoyments, increase in dignity and glory, gain of knowledge through the preceptor, acquisition of a kingdom and acquisition of gems etc.
15. …-Śani. Bilious troubles, loss of wealth and name and fame.
16. …-Budh. Birth of a son, acquisition of a horse and other conveyances, success in education, progress, gain of white garments and grains.
17. …-Ketu. Quarrels with Brahmins, fear of premature death, loss of happiness and distress all-round.
18. …-Śukr. Gain of wealth, enjoyments, birth of a daughter, availability of sweet preparations and cordial relations with all.
19. …-Sūrya. Gain of happiness, grains and garments, victories everywhere.

20. Mangal-Mangal

Danger from enemies, quarrels and fear of premature death on account of blood diseases.

21. …-Rahu. Destruction of wealth and kingdom (fall of government), unpalatable food and quarrels with the enemy.
22. …-Guru. Loss of intelligence, distress, sorrows to children, fear of premature death, negligence, quarrels and no fulfillment of any ambition.
23. …-Śani. Destruction of the employer, distress, loss of wealth, danger from enemies, anxiety, quarrels and sorrows.
24. …-Budh. Loss of intelligence, loss of wealth, fevers and loss of grains, garments and friends.
25. …-Ketu. Distress from diseases, lethargy, premature death, danger from the king and weapons.
26. …-Śukr. Distress from Chandal, sorrows, danger from the king and from weapons, dysentery and vomiting.
27. …-Sūrya. Increase in landed property and wealth, satisfaction, visits of friends, happiness all-round.
28. …-Candr. Gains of white garments etc. from the southern direction, success in all ventures.

29. Rahu-Rahu.

 Imprisonment, disease, danger of injuries from weapons.

30. …-Guru. Reverence everywhere, acquisition of conveyances, like elephants etc., gain of wealth.
31. …-Śani. Rigorous imprisonment, loss of enjoyments, danger from enemies, affliction with rheumatism.
32. …-Budh. Gain in all ventures, abnormal gain through wife.
33. …-Ketu. Loss of intelligence, danger from enemies, obstacles, loss of wealth, quarrels, excitement.
34. …-Śukr. Danger from a Yogini, danger from the king, loss of conveyances, availability of unpalatable food, loss of a wife, sorrow in the family.
35. …-Sūrya. Danger from enemies, fevers, distress to children, fear of premature death, negligence.
36. …-Candr. Excitement, quarrels, worries, loss of reputation, fear, distress to father.
37. …-Mangal. Septic boil in the anus (Bhagandhar), distress, due to a bite and pollution of blood, loss of wealth, excitement.

38. Guru-Guru

Acquisition of gold, increase in wealth etc.

39. …-Śani. Increase in lands, conveyances and grains.
40. …-Budh. Success in the educational sphere, acquisition of clothes and gems, like pearls etc., visits of friends.
41. …-Ketu. Danger from water and thieves.
42. …-Śukr. Several kinds of learning, gain of gold, clothes, ornaments, well-being and satisfaction.
43. …-Sūrya. Gain from the king, friends and parents, reverence everywhere.
44. …-Candr. No distress, gain of wealth and conveyances, success in ventures.
45. …-Mangal. Danger from weapons, pain in anus, burning in the stomach, indigestion, distress from enemies.
46. …-Rahu. Antagonism with menials (Chandaldhi) and loss of wealth and distress through them.

47. Śani-Śani

Physical distress, quarrels, danger from menials.

48. …-Budh. Loss of intelligence, quarrels, dangers, anxiety about availability of food, loss of wealth, danger from enemy.
49. …-Ketu. Imprisonment in the camp of the enemy, loss of luster, hunger, anxiety and agony.
50. …-Śukr. Fulfillment of ambitions, well-being in the family, success in ventures and gains therefrom.
51. …-Sūrya. Conferment of authority by the king, quarrels in the family, fevers.
52. …-Candr. Development of intelligence, inauguration of big a venture, loss of luster, extravagant expenditure, association with many women.
53. …-Mangal. Loss of valour, distress to son, danger from fire and enemy, distress from bile and wind.
54. …-Rahu. Loss of wealth, clothes, land, going away to foreign lands, fear of death.
55. …-Guru. Inability to prevent losses, caused by women, quarrels, excitement.

56. Budh-Budh

Gain of intelligence, education, wealth, clothes etc.

57. …-Ketu. Coarse food, stomach troubles, eye troubles, distress from bilious and blood disorders.
58. …-Śukr. Gains from a northern direction, loss of cattle, acquisition of authority from government.
59. …-Sūrya. Loss of splendour and distress through diseases, distress in the heart.
60. …-Candr. Marriage, gain of wealth and property, birth of a daughter, enjoyments all-round.
61. …-Mangal. Religious-mindedness, increase in wealth, danger from fire and enemies, gain of red clothes, injury from a weapon.
62. …-Rahu. Quarrels, danger from wife, or some other woman, danger from the king.
63. …-Guru. Acquisition of a kingdom, conferment of authority by the king, reverence from the king, education, intelligence.
64. …-Śani. Bilious and windy troubles, injuries to the body, loss of wealth.

65. Ketu-Ketu.

 Sudden disaster, going away to foreign lands, loss of wealth.
66. …-Śukr. Loss of wealth through a non-Hindu king, eye troubles, headache, loss of cattle.
67. …-Sūrya. Antagonism with friends, premature death, defeat, exchange of arguments.
68. …-Candr. Loss of grains, physical distress, misunderstanding, dysentery.
69. …-Mangal. Injury from weapons, distress from fire, danger from menials and enemies.
70. …-Rahu. Danger from women and enemies, distress, caused by menials.
71. …-Guru. Loss of friends, wealth and garments, opprobrium in the house, troubles from everywhere.
72. …-Śani. Death of cattle and friends, physical distress, very meagre gain of wealth.
73. …-Budh. Loss of understanding, excitement, failure in education, dangers, failure in all ventures.

74. Śukr-Śukr

Gains of white clothes, conveyances, gems, like pearls etc., association with beautiful damsel.

75. …-Sūrya. Rheumatic fever, headache, danger from the king and enemies and meagre gain of wealth.
76. …-Candr. Birth of a daughter, gain of clothes etc. from the king, acquisition of authority.
77. …-Mangal. Blood and bile troubles, quarrels, many kinds of distresses.
78. …-Rahu. Quarrels with wife, danger, distress from the king and enemies.
79. …-Guru. Acquisition of kingdom, wealth, garments, gems, ornaments and conveyance, like elephants etc.
80. …-Śani. Acquisition of donkey, camel, goat, iron, grains, sesame seeds, physical pains.
81. …-Budh. Gains of wealth, knowledge, authority from the king, gain of money, distributed by others.
82. …-Ketu. Premature death, going away from homeland, gains of wealth at times.

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!

Sianala, Montreal, Sep 2010

Sep 9, 2010

Puja Vidhanamu or Method of doing Puja (Sanatana Dharma)

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!

"Puja Vidhanamu", meaning the method of performing puja or worship, as per sanatana(Eternal)dharma, above all no worship in sanatana dharma begins without worshipping Lord Ganesha, so he is the first and foremost to be worshipped or activated, though there is only one GOD, he has countless forms and names, I am using "He" to refer, but it is a combination of both musculine and feminine energies.

Sanatana Dharma means eternal religion, I am corrected by the Lord and as per him, "Sanatana Dharma is the cradle of all religions",

This religion came into being with the creation of Earth, so are vedas, which were given to four saints, so this religion is as old as earth itself, and this religion thrived in Indian subcontinent, and it thrives even today followed by some 800 million people, all the Mantras which are used in temples all over the world even today were given by one and only one GOD, and these were given at the same time when earth was created. 

This is not for any discussion, in fact most of the scriptures suggest "Not to discuss these valuable and sacred things with fools who do not understand".

So the time calculations were done in India by looking at the sky even before any other civilization even started to sprout.

Even before any civilization was heard of Sanatana Dharmi (Person who is born to followers of this religion) in India were conducting these elaborate pujas and Yagnas.

Before one begins the puja, one need to check the name of the Kalpa, Manvantara, Year, Month, Season, Tithi, Paksha (Waning moon or waxing moon), Solstice, Star of that day for that place, name of the day like Saturday, this is to register your prayer on that particular space and time point.

It is like sending a request which gets registered and is answered.

Without this the request or prayer might be lost in the cosmos like a file with out a proper index number in a library.

Because thought is electricity with positive or negative charge, it could be very small and weak and it can be very strong and huge, this depends on the mental capacity of an individual.

Anyway that is a different aspect, here I am trying to introduce to general readers how a puja as per Sanatana dharma should be conducted or performed.

Time calculations: 
Second Kalpa,

1 Kalpa contains around 14 Manvantaras, Current Kalpa is named Shweta Varaha,

1 Manvantara contains around 71 Mahayugas, current manvantara is Vyvasvata.

(Each Manvantara is named after the Manu who rules it, Manu is none but Noah as per Bible.)

1 Mahayugas contain four yugas, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali yuga,Kali yuga (Current Yuga)

Names of year, current year is Vikrita, there are some 60 names of the years which cycle, which are
called Samvatsaras, which started at the first year (at elapsed years zero) and runs continuously:

1. Prabhava
2. Vibhava
3. Shukla
4. Pramoda
5. Prajāpati
6. Āngirasa
7. Shrīmukha
8. Bhāva
9. Yuva
10. Dhātri
11. Īshvara
12. Bahudhānya
13. Pramādhi
14. Vikrama (2000-2001)
15. Vrisha (2001-02)
16. Chitrabhānu (2002-03)
17. Svabhānu (2003-04)
18. Tārana (2004-05)
19. Pārthiva (2005-06)
20. Vyaya (2006-2007)
21. Sarvajeeth (2007-08)
22. Sarvadhāri (2008-09)
23. Virodhi (2009-10)
24. Vikrita (2010-11)
25. Khara (2011-12)
26. Nandana (2012-13)
27. Vijaya
28. Jaya
29. Manmadha
30. Durmukhi
31. Helambi (2017)
32. Vilambi
33. Vikāri
34. Shārvari
35. Plava
36. Shubhakruti
37. Sobhakruthi
38. Krodhi
39. Vishvāvasu
40. Parābhava
41. Plavanga
42. Kīlaka
43. Saumya
44. Sādhārana
45. Virodhikruthi
46. Paridhāvi
47. Pramādicha
48. Ānanda
49. Rākshasa
50. Anala
51. Pingala
52. Kālayukthi
53. Siddhārthi
54. Raudra
55. Durmathi
56. Dundubhi
57. Rudhirodgāri
58. Raktākshi
59. Krodhana
60. Akshaya

Names of the Months, current one is Bhaadrapada( 23 Aug till 22 Sep)

Names of other lunar months are:

Chaitra (March 22--April 20)Vaishākh (April 21 --May 20)Jyaishtha (May 21 --June 22)Āshādha (June 23--July 22)Shrāvana ( June 23-- Aug 22)Bhaadra or, Bhādrapad (Aug 23 --Sep22)Āshwin (Sep23--Oct 22)Kārtik (Oct 23--21 Nov)Agrahayana or, Mārgashīrsha ( Nov 22--Dec 21)Paush (Dec 22--20)Māgh (Jan 21--Feb 19)Phālgun (Feb 20--Mar 21)

Then the position of the Sun, Solstice, North (Uttarayana) or South (Dakshinayana), Uttarayana is auspicious.

Tithi, which is Moon's position, it is either wanning (Krishna Paksha) or waxing ( Shukla Paksha), Shukla paksha is considered auspicious.

Nakshatra or Star in which Moon is posited on that day, the best details are given in this site:

Names of the day (Vaasara).

Ravi Vaasara: Sunday (Sun)
Soma Vaasara: Monday (Moon)
Mangala Vaasara: Tuesday (Mars)
Budha Vaasara: Wednesday (Mercury)
Bruhaspati Vaasara: Thursday (Jupiter)
Shukra Vaasra: Friday (Venus)
Shani Vaasara: Saturday (Saturn)

The names of the day coincide with names of the planets in Sanskrit but those which we use in English, only three Sunday, Monday and Saturday coincide, others don't in French,

we have Lundi for Lune, Mardi for Mars, Mercredi for mercury, Jeudi for Jupiter, Vendredi for Venus, Samdi for Saturn and Dimanche for Sunday,

Then you can add -your name, family name, Gotra etc.

Then comes Sankalpam, meaning Oath,"that you will complete this puja no matter what".

In this we narrate the place, position, and purpose of puja and what all we are going to do in that puja. every puja has a purpose, there is no puja without a purpose or aim.

e.g. It could be simple like "Shiva Ratri Vratam Karishye",Lord Shiva's Birthday is being celebrated etc.

Then we close all directions to our heart, (Dig Bandha) so that we can concentrate on our Lord, and in the end we open those directions or ways to our heart by performing Dig Vimoksha.

Now we are ready with Sankalpam, in front we have our diety's idol, we need something to focus on, beginners need someting to focus and 99.9% humans are beginners.

Bell is rung repeatedly to initiate, Bell, Fire, Conche, Peeta, Dwara, Directions, Place, Home, City, Family, Water, Earth, Wind, all are worshipped at the same time, Bell when ever consciously or unconsciously it is rung it is supposed to call the gods and send the demons out of our heart and home or place etc.

Hence a bell is used with a Mantra.

"Agamarthamntu Deva Nam, Gamanamarthamntu Rakshasham, 

Kurve Ghanta ravam tatra devata vahana lankshanam
Agyanato Gyanato vapi kansya ghantna navadyeta
Rakshashanam Pishchanam ta deshe vastirbhaveta
Tasmatha sarvapratenena ghanta nadham prakaryeta"
Ghanta devatabhyo NamaH! "

I know it is very difficult for people who have no education in Sanskrit or Devanagari to say even one word from that mantra, but it is not impossible.

Basically we are laying rules and conditions for each and every power in this world to follow them when ever you pray.

First is Ganesha Puja, which includes Kriya and Bhavana.

Kriya is you act and Bhavana is you feel it with 100% faith, if your puja lacks bhavana there is no use you repeat the Kriya million of times, but with Bhavana alone one can cross this material world into the spiritual or mental world.

But Kriya has its own importance, the puja is structured in such a way it appears you are requesting the deity to visit your home, and then it is up to you how you are going to treat your guest.

One might stick to just Namaskara or Salute.
or one might perform 100's of things to appease the Guest.

So we request Lord Ganesha to visit our home and the focus is his idol.

So we request Ganesha of Material/Mental/Spiritual world to visit us, these are considered three worlds and there are 7 worlds, and 14 worlds.

We request him to be seated,
We request him to allow us to wash his hands,
We request him to allow us to wash his feet,
We request him to allow us to offer him water to drink,
We request him to allow us to give him a shower,
We request him to allow us to offer him clothes,
We request him to allow us to offer him Yagnopavitham, thread.
We request him to allow us to offer him water to drink,
We request him to allow us to offer him Gandham (Sandal wood powder or paste, it keeps body cool)
We request him to allow us to offer him scented water,
We request him to allow us to offer him Fruits,
We request him to allow us to offer flowers, or Axatas ( Rice mixed with little turmeric powder, Kumkum and a drop of water)
We offer him Dhoopam ( By lighting Incense sticks)
We offer him Light ( By lighting lamps)
We offer him Naivejyam (Sweats, preparations with rich food items, dry fruits, clarified butter, Milk, Honey, Coconut water, Sugar, water mixed with Sandalwood powder)

Then we also offer him our five minds.

We request him to accept it with water and axatas,
In India people after taking food like to have Tambulam, which is also called Pan, so we offer him pan made of rich ingredients, if not available we just offer him Axatas.

"It seems one of sages asked GOD, what should I offer you,
God said, what you have, Sage says I have nothing,
God said just offer me Axatas, Sage said I don't even have Axatas,
God said, then offer me water, Sage said I don't even have water.
God said, Offer me your inner self "

Then we offer him Dakshina, Prarthana
Then we offer Mantra Pushpam,
Then we offer him Pradakshina (circumbulations), Since God is present in the temple of our heart, we circumbulate ourselfs.
Then we offer Namaskara, it can be just by folding hands, or Shastanga ( By touching 8 corners of our body to the floor)
Then we offer him Umbrella, Music, Songs, Horse ride, Elephant ride, we treat him like a KING.
At this moment the Deity is present and waiting for your further activities.

Sing Artis, Poems, Songs, anything to praise and appease him.

Here you can ask for his blessings........
Now it is time to send our guest back to his abode...Visarjana Puja.

Repeat the whole kriya again, and then ask for an apology, If there was any thing short, and we request the deity to return back to his abode with respect.

Then Atma Samarpana, We offer or surrender our soul to him.

Then we ask for apology.

Then we open our heart Dig Vimoksha, and this culminates the puja with some 21 upacharas.

This can be turned into a full or complete puja with more then 50 upacharas, depends on your capacity.

Same way Lord Shiva's puja is carried out but the mantras differ and Purusha Sukta is used mostly with each upachara (act).

The puja can be elaborated for e.g. one of the upachara is offering flowers, one can just offer one flower, or you can collect thousand types of flowers and offer them one by one chanting pursha sukta mantras. 

There is no end to this, like there is no end to the way you treat your guest. 

one can read or listen to the 1000 names of the deity.

Depending on your capacity you can keep it simple or you can make very elaborate arrangements.

So this the simple way of carrying out a puja as per sanatana dharma.

Water is the main offering, followed by Axatas. offer the offerings Tirtha (Water mixed with camphor, etc.) and Prasadam (Sweats and other preparations).

Well few might say, this is for beginners, accepted, like every beginners need a focal point, idols are used for that purpose, this puja can be done by shouting the mantras in a loudspeaker, which is considered very low, or can be done by murmuring, which is OK, but the top level is if you can do this puja in the temple of your heart where your deity can be seen as you see a person, which is also called "Darshan", then Mantra, and then Yantra puja.

Yantra is a design on a copper plate which is distinct for each deity and deities reside in them, so it is a short cut to reach them.

Kalsha Puja is another way to get blessings of "Purna Khumbam", the place where all gods reside or assemble on request or invitation.

Apart from this, there is Surya Puja (Sun God), Navgraha puja (9 planets puja).

Again Kriya is a way to satisfy yourself that you have done a good job by treating your deity well, but bhavana or intention, feeling with faith for that deity matters the most.

Bottom line " What can you offer that GOD who is the creator", so the top most thing one can offer is oneself.

Please note I have not created or manipulated any of these, these have been in practise in India since the Earth was created, because Sanatana Dharma is as old as this earth, there is no prophet or middle man who asked people to follow this religion or killed them or forced them to follow this religion.

This religion came into being in a very natural way like the human being came on this earth in a very natural way, humans were created by god in his own shadow, they never came out of monkeys or orangutans and humans have been on this earth since the earth was created.

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!

Sianala, Montreal , Sep 2010.

Sep 6, 2010

Lord Krishna

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!
Krishna Janmashtami
Sri Swami Sivananda

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!

This is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth Divine Incarnation. It falls on the 8th day of the dark half of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). This is one of the greatest of all Hindu festivals. Lord Krishna was born at midnight. A twenty-four hour fast is observed on this day, which is broken at midnight.

Temples are decorated for the occasion. Kirtans are sung, bells are rung, the conch is blown, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organised at this time. Pilgrims from all over India attend these festive gatherings.

The Lord appeared when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha at the constellation of the star Rohini, on Wednesday, the 8th day of the second fortnight of the month of Sravana, which corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha according to the Barhaspatyamana, in the year of Visvavasu, 5,172 years ago (from 1945), which means 3227 B.C.

Study the Bhagavatam and the Pancharatras, which are equal to the Upanishads. You will know all about the glory of Lord Krishna, His Lilas and superhuman deeds. 

The eighth Avatara, Krishna, who has become the Beloved of India and the world at large, had a threefold objective: to destroy the wicked demons, to play the leading role in the great war fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (where he delivered His wonderful message of the Gita) and to become the centre of a marvellous development of the Bhakti schools of India.

There is no true science except devotion to Lord Krishna. That man is wealthy indeed who loves Radha and Krishna. There is no sorrow other than lack of devotion to Krishna. He is the foremost of the emancipated who loves Krishna. There is no right course, except the society of Sri Krishna's devotees. The Name, virtues and Lilas (divine pastimes) of Krishna are the chief things to be remembered. The Lotus Feet of Radha and Krishna are the chief objects of meditation.

Sri Krishna is the ocean of bliss. His soul-stirring Lilas, which are the wonder of wonders, are its waves. The honeyed music of His flute attracts the minds of His devotees from all three regions. His unequalled and unsurpassed wealth of beauty amazes the animate and the inanimate beings. He adorns His friends with His incomparable love.

His palms bear the signs of a lotus and discus, the right sole of His feet of a flag, lotus, thunderbolt, an iron goad, barley seed, and the Swastika. His left sole has the rainbow, triangle, water-pot, crescent, sky, fish, and a cow's footprint. His Form is composed of condensed universal consciousness and bliss. His Body pervades the entire cosmos.

Devotion is the only means of attaining Lord Krishna. Bhakti kindles love for the Lord. When love is directed towards Krishna, man is freed from the bondage of the world.

Though Lord Krishna appeared in a human body, He had a divine body not composed of the five elements. He did not take any birth here in the usual sense of the term. He did not die. He appeared and disappeared through His Yoga Maya as He has declared in the Gita. This is a secret, known only to His devotees, Yogis and sages.

His enchanting form with flute in hand is worshipped in myriads of homes in India. It is a form to which is poured out devotion and supreme love from the hearts of countless devotees not only in India but also in the West. Millions of spiritual seekers worship Him and repeat His Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

Lord Krishna was great in knowledge, great in emotion, great in action, all at once. The scriptures have not recorded any life more full, more intense, more sublime and grander than the life of Sri Krishna.

Krishna has played various roles during His stay in the world. He was Arjuna's charioteer. He was an excellent statesman. He was a master musician; he gave lessons even to Narada in the art of playing the veena. The music of His flute thrilled the hearts of the Gopis and everyone else. 

He was a cowherd in Brindavan and Gokul. He exhibited miraculous powers even as a child. He killed many demons. He revealed His Cosmic Form to His mother, Yasoda. He performed the Rasa Lila, the secret of which can only be understood by devotees like Narada, Gauranga, Radha and the Gopis. He taught the supreme Truth of Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta to Arjuna and Uddhava. 

He had mastered every one of the sixty-four fine arts. For all these reasons He is regarded as a full and complete manifestation of God.

Incarnations of God appear for special reasons under special circumstances. Whenever there is much unrighteousness, whenever confusion and disorder set in on account of unrighteousness and baffle the well-ordered progress of mankind, whenever the balance of human society is upset by selfish, ruthless and cruel beings, whenever unrighteousness prevail, whenever the foundations of social organisations are undermined, the great Incarnation of God appears in order to re-establish righteousness and to restore peace.

An Incarnation is the descent of God for the ascent of man. A ray from the Cosmic Being in His potential state of manifestation descends on earth with mighty powers to keep up the harmony of the universe. The work done by the Incarnation of God and His teachings produce a benign influence on human beings and help them in their upward divine self-realisation.

The Incarnation comes to reveal the divine nature of man and makes him rise above the petty materialistic life of passion and egoism.

The greatest manifestations are called Incarnations proper. Rishis, Munis, prophets, sons of God and messengers of God are minor manifestations.

The Incarnations usually come with their particular or favourite groups or companions. Lord Rama came with Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Lord Krishna came with Balarama, Devas and Rishis. Sanaka came with Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata. Some, like Sri Shankara and Ramanuja, come as teachers and spiritual leaders. Some, like Chaitanya, are born to instill devotion in the hearts of people and turn their minds towards God. The Incarnations proper, like Krishna, come only when there is widespread catastrophe in the world.

On the holy Krishna Janmashtami, the ladies in South India decorate their houses beautifully, ready to welcome the Lord. They prepare various sweetmeats and offer them to the Lord. Butter was Krishna's favourite, and this is also offered. From the doorway to the inner meditation room of the house the floor is marked with a child's footprints, using some flour mixed with water. This creates the feeling in them that the Lord's own Feet have made the mark. They treat the day as one of very great rejoicing. There is recitation of the Bhagavatam, singing and praying everywhere.

The Janmashtami is celebrated at the Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, with the following programme of intense spiritual activity:

1. During the preceding eight days, Japa of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya is done intensely.
2. Those who can, will recite the Bhagavatam during this period. Others will listen to it being recited.
3. On the birthday itself everyone fasts and spends the whole day in holy communion.
4. Everyone greets others with the holy Mantra, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.
5. A grand havan is performed on that day.
6. There is continuous Satsang from 4a.m. early in the morning till night. Yogis, Sannyasins and learned men discourse upon the glorious life and teachings of the Lord.
7. From sunset people assemble in the elaborately decorated temple and sing the Lord's Names and glories.
8. Many hymns and portions of the Bhagavatam, especially the Gopika Geetam, are recited.
9. Towards midnight, there is a grand worship of Lord Krishna. The Lord is bathed with milk while His Name is chanted 108 times.
10. This worship concludes with offerings of flowers, waving of lights (Arati), and reading of that portion of the Bhagavatam which deals with the birth of Krishna. This synchronises with midnight, the hour of the Lord's birth, at which time the murti of the Lord is rocked in a beautifully decorated cradle. After this item, all the assembled devotees partake of the holy prasad or sacrament, and then retire, filled with the Grace and blessings of Lord Krishna.

If you cannot read the whole of the Srimad Bhagavatam during these days, at least you should recite the following four most important verses from the book. The leading two verses and the closing verse are the prologue and the epilogue respectively:

"Hear from Me the most secret knowledge coupled with the essential experience and its component parts.

"May you realise by My Grace, the knowledge of Myself and what form, qualities and actions I am endowed with.

1. "Before creation I alone existed. There was nothing, neither existence nor non-existence. I am that which remains after dissolution.
2. "Understand that to be Maya or illusion which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be found in the Self and which is unreal like light and darkness.

3. "As the primary elements are amalgamated, with one another and also separate from one another at the same time, so I pervade the whole universe and am also separate from it.

4. "The aspirant should, by the method of positive and negative, know that thing which exists always and everywhere.

"Experience this truth through the highest super conscious state so that you will not be disturbed even by illusory objects".

There is another beautiful verse in the Bhagavatam which you can recite daily: "In days of yore, the Lord, born of Devaki, brought up in the house of Yasoda, killed the wicked Putana of illusive form and lifted the Govardhana hill, killed Kamsa and the sons of the Kuru race, and protected the sons of Kunti. Thus is recited the essence of the ancient Bhagavat Purana consisting of the nectarine stories of the deeds of Lord Krishna".  

May the blessings of Lord Krishna be upon you all!

ॐ श्री गुरावे नमः !
ॐ नमः शिवाय!

Sianala, Montreal Sep 2010