8 ASHVIYUJA MAASA
Navaraatri Vidhis: Atra Nava Raatrey Ghatasthaapanam Pratarmadhyaahney Pradosha kaaley cheti Trikaalam Dwikaalam-Eeka kaalam vaa Swaswa Kula Devataa pujanam Saptashatyaadi japokhanda deepah Achaarapraapta maalaa bandhanam Upavaasa Nakthaikabhaktaadi niyamah Suvaasini bhojanm Kumaari bhojana pujaaadi antey Saptashatyaadi Stotra Mantra Homaadi ityetaani vihitaani/ ( During these Navaraatraas the Duties required to be performed include Kalasha Sthaapana followed by daily Trikaala Puja as per ‘Vamshaachaara’, Saptapadi and other Japaas, Akhanda Deepa, Maalaa bandhana as per Kulaachaara, Upavaasa, Nakta-Eka bhuktaadi niyama, Suvaasini –Kanyaa pujaas and Bhojana and Homa Karyaas). Kalasha Sthaapana should not be performed in the nights. The Kalasha should be arranged on a Clean Vedika / Platform made of Pancha Pallavaas, milk, fruits, ‘taambula’/betel nuts and leaves, Kunkuma, Dhupa , Deepa and such other requirements of Puja. On Pratipaada morning after ‘Abhyangana’ or head bath, be seated by Grihastis along with wife and make the Sankalpa as follows: Mama saha kutumba syaamuka Devataa preeti dwaaraa Sarvaapadcchaanti purvaka Deerghaayurdhana putraadi vriddhi Shatru Jaya keertilaabha pramukha Charurvidha Purushaartha siddhyartha Madhya Prabhriti Mahaa Navamiparyanta trikaala mekakaalamvaamuka Devataapujaamupavaasaa Naktaikabhaktaanyata niyama sahitamakhanda deepajwaalana Kumaaripujana Chandi Saptashati paatha Suvaasini bhojanaadi rupam Sharada nava raatrotsavaakhyam karma karishye! After the Sankalpa as above Kalasha Sthaapana follows; Tadadou Nirvighnataa siddhyartham Ganapati Pujamam Punyaahvachanam Chandi Saptashati Japaadyartham Brahman varanam karishye/ As the Kalasha Sthapana is being performed, Bhumi is prayed to and touched with the Mantra Mahaadyou; to perform ‘Ankuraaropana’ collect some ‘Mrtittika’ for the Ankuraarpana and recite the Mantras: ‘Aoushaddhayassa- Akaleshu- Imammey Gangey- Gandha dwaaraa- Kandaatkaanda- Ashwattevah-Syonaa Prithivi-Yaah phalineeh-Sahiratnaani Hiranya Rupam-Uvaasu vaasaa-Purnaadarvi-Tatwaayaami/ by inferring various acts of collecting Aoushadhis from Mrittika to fill up the Kalasha with the Sacred Water along with Pancha Pallavaas, Ratna-Hiranyaas, and perform Puja to Varuna Deva, Kula Devata and Devi in various Forms as follows: Jayanti Mangalaa Kashi Bhadra Kaali Kapaalini, Durgaa Kshamaa Shivaa Dhaatri Swaahaa Swadhaa Namostutey/ Aagaccha Varadey Devi Daithua darpa nishudini, Pujaam grahaana Sumikhi namastey Shankara priye! There after along with other Stotraas like Shri Sukta, Purusha Sukta and Prathama Ruks and formally worship with ‘Shodasopachaaraas’ like Aasana-Padya-Vastra-Dhupa-Deepa-Naivedyas and Sarva Mangala Maangaley and other ‘Praarthanaas’. Offer of ‘Bali daana’, Kushmaanda daana, ‘Kushmaanda Khandana’and Shanti mantraas ending up with Om Shaantisshaanthisshaantih/ Finally ar the end of the daily Nava Raatri Puja there shoud be resolve : Akhanda deepakam Devyaah preetaye Nmava traatrakam, Ujjwalaye dahoraatra mekachitto Dhrudha Vrata/ (I resove with unswerving devotion that the Akhanda Deepa shall be firmly set aflame all through the Nava Raatris and the daily formal worship as presribed!)
As regards Bali Vidhana ( sacrifice) in the Nava Raatraas, ‘Maasha Sahitaanna’ or ‘Kushmaanda’or Pumpkin are the appropriate items as far as Brahmanas are concerned; as already mentioned above in the Preface of Navaratri Vrataas, Brahmanena Pashu maamsa Madyaadi Bali daaney, Brahmantwa bhrashtata! ( If Bali is given by Brahmanas in terms of Madya Maamsaas, Brahmantwa is lost forever!
Amavasya vidhis on Deepavali day: After performing Yama Tarpana and Pitru Marga Darshana on the previous day, there should be the observance of ‘Pratah kaalaabhyangana’ in the early morning hours of Amavasya, Nitya Karmaas followed by ‘Aparaahna Parvana Shraaddha’ to Pitru ganaas and at Pradosha Samaya the worship of Devi Lakshmi. In view of the Darsha Shraaddha in the Aparaahna and Pradosha Puja of Lakshmi, bhojana during the Amavasya Day is disallowed except for children and the elders.
9 KARTIKA MAASAKartika Snaana: Kartika Snaanaas are obesrved commencing from Ashwiyuja Sukla Dashami, or Ekaadashi or Pournami waking up even from two ghadiyas before Sun rise and after ablutions praying to Vishnu Bhagavan with Arghya as : Namah Kamala naabhaaya namastey Jalashaayiney, Namastestu Hrishikesha grihaanaarghyam namostutey/ (Snaanam) Kartikeyamkarishyaami Praatahsnaanam Janaardana, Preetyartham tava Deva Devesha jalesmin snaatumudyatah/ Tava prasaadaat paapam mey Damodara Vivasyatu/ (Punararghyam) Nityey naimittikay Krishna Kaartikey Paapa naashaney, Grihaanaarghyam mayaa dattam Raadhyaa sahito Harey! Thus the Karta offers ‘Arghyam’ to Bhagavan Vishnu, ‘Snaana’ to Him and ‘Repeat Arghyam’. As there would be added significance to the Snaanaas in the Tirthaas like Kurukshetra, Ganga, Pushkara etc. the Snaana kartaa resolves as follows: Kartikam sakalam maasam nitya snaayi jitendriyah, japan havishya bhuktaancha sarva paapaih pramuchyatetye/ Smritwaa Bhaageeradheem Vishnum Shivam Suryam Jalam vishet, Naabhi maatra jaley tishthan vratey snaayaadyathaavidhi/ ( One should perform formal bathing by entering water waist deep through out the entire Kartika Maasa by observing piety after the morning duties and Japa-homaas consuming only the ‘havishaanna sesha’ or the left over offerings to Agni Deva and praying to Bhaagirathi, Shiva, Vishnu and Surya Deva). Thus Kartika Snaanaas should be accomplished each morning and evening in the rest of Kartika month. In case however the Kartika snaanaas are not possibe althrough, these may be executed at least three days in the month.
10 MARGASHIRSHA MAASA
Soura Vrata: During the Margashirsha month Soura Vrata is to be implemented on Sundays. In fact, the Ravi Vrata should be initiated on the first Sunday of Margasirsha Shukla Paksha and its end should be on the last Sunday of Vaishakha Shukla Paksha; it is further stated : Vrischika Meshaantey Ravi Vaaro yadaa bhavet, Tadaa Ravi Vrataarambha visargey Shastra sammitou/ Ravi Vrata is a Nakta Bhojana Vrata. The prescribed material for the Soura Vrata are : three Tulasi leaves in Margasirsha, on the Maagha Sundays three ‘palaas’or small measures of ghee, in Maagha three fistful ‘tilas’, in Phalguna three palaas of curd, in Chaitra three palaas of milk, in Vaishakha Gomayam, in Jyeshtha three ‘anjalis’ of water, in Ashaadha three Marichaka tratam or three pieces of black pepper, in Shravana three palaas of sattava powder, in Bhadrapada Gomutra, in Ashvin some sugar and in Kartika ‘Havishya’ or cooked rice offering in Agni Homa Karyaas
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji Philosophic Scholar for the collection)