Why is Aparajita form of Goddess Durga worshipped near Shami tree? and Why is Acharpalan the real means of Vastu purification?

Why is Aparajita form of Goddess Durga worshipped near Shami tree?

1. Worship of the Goddess on Vijayadashmi (Dasra)

1.1 Worship of Goddess Sarasvati

On day of Dasra doing the physical act of the worship of the Goddess transforms the expressed bhav of an embodied soul into an unexpressed one and thereby helps in maintaining its stability.

1.2 Worshipping Goddess Aparajita

Placing an idol of Goddess Aparajita on a rangoli of an octapetalled figure signifies Her ability to control the eight directions : Aparajita is a destroyer form of Goddess Durga. Aparajita manifests from the womb of the earth with the help of the absolute earth element. This manifestation of Goddess Aparajita is for the sake of souls on the Earth. This form of the Goddess which establishes itself on the throne of the eight petals carries a trident and with the help of God Shiva, seeking assistance from the Devatas of directions and the Devtas of the premise, destroys the demoniacal energies.
When Goddess Aparajita sitting on the throne of the eight petals emerges from the womb of the earth in response to prayers of devotees, the Devtas of the eight directions also manifest to welcome Her. The tips of the eight petals represent these eight Devtas. The destroyer frequencies generated from creation of Goddess Aparajita through the medium of the eight Devtas get emitted as red coloured light frequencies and destroy the accumulated raja-tama energy purifying the atmosphere to help people on the earth to lead an obstacle-free life.
Since the leaves of Shami are good conservers of energy worship of Goddess Aparajita is carried out near a Shami tree : The Aparajita form of Goddess Durga is worshipped near the Shami tree because Shami leaves are good conservers of energy and they conserve the energy of Aparajita that manifests in the form of fountains, for long periods. People benefit from this conserved energy of Goddess Aparajita by preserving these leaves in their homes. - Pujya (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil, 28th September 2005, 6.18 p.m.

2. Worship of Goddess Lakshmi on the no moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin

2.1 Why perform the act of 'sweeping out alakshmi' before performing ritualistic worship of Lakshmi ?

'Sweeping out alakshmi' means collecting the dust in the house with a new broom in a pan and throwing it out of the house. Dirt in the house is a symbol of raja-tama attributes. That in which the sattva attribute is low and that from which the chances of deriving chaitanya is 0% is said to be devoid of Lakshmi and is called 'alakshmi'. Since midnight is the period that generates maximum amount of raja-tama frequencies this act is done to purify the premises and to facilitate the entry of sattva frequencies into it so that after ritualistic worship of Goddess Lakshmi maximum benefit of chaitanya is obtained.' - Pujya (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil, 7th September 2006, 3.42 p.m.

2.2 Food items to be included when offering naivedya to Goddess Lakshmi

'The naivedya should include cloves, cardamom, milk and sugar. These items are termed as "trigunavatar"(incarnation of three attributes) as they alter the composition of sattva, raja and tama in the embodied soul'. -  Miss Medha Nakate, 6th October 2005, 3.02 p.m.

2.3 Benefits of performing ritualistic worship of Goddess Lakshmi

·         'On this day frequencies of Devtas Lakshmi and Kuber exist to the extent of 30 %. By worshipping both these Devtas on this day, the bhav and devotion of the embodied soul increases and the bhav lasts for 3 hours.' -Srikrushna (through the medium of Miss Medha Nakate, 9th September 2006, 8.09 p.m.
·         'The touch of the saviour frequencies of Goddess Lakshmi displace the raja-tama particles within as well as around the body of the embodied soul and help in creating an armour around it.' - Pujya (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil, 9th September 2006, 8.09 p.m.

3. What is the science underlying the act of 'gondhal' for Goddess ?

Objectives : 'In order to reduce the suffering of other family members, caused by negative energies, the Goddess is awakened with a loud sound and is invoked to undertake Her mission of destruction. 'Gondhal' is performed as a remedy to the suffering caused by age old spiritual defects in the premises and also to terminate distress caused by negative energies, continuing for generations.
Effects : During gondhal a loud absolute fire element oriented sound is generated by impact and Energy frequencies get attracted to this sound. This restricts the movements of the negative energies within the room and many of them are destroyed in a short span of time. As a result the benefit of the Energy frequencies lasts for a longer period. During Navaratri since the Energy principle associated with the absolute fire element is active, a gondhal done then derives greater benefits from it.
'Gondhali' : These embodied souls are included in the devotees of the Goddess because for generations they have been worshipping Her. They are also termed as messengers or servants. Using their powerful energy laden speech they invoke the Goddess and are able to awaken Her destroyer form. If the bhav of the embodied soul doing the gondhal is 30 % then on the spiritual plane he receives chaitanya to the extent of 30 %. If the bhav is higher and ego less, than the benefit can be as high as 50 %. Action devoid of bhav gives a benefit of only 10 %.
Undertaking spiritual practice is more important than gondhal : Doing the gondhal as a duty to preserve the family tradition carries only 10 % importance. On the other hand going beyond duty and fulfilling the religious duty of spiritual practice of chanting the Name of the family Devta carries 30 % importance.

4. What is the science behind the ritual of 'jogva magne' ?

Meaning : 'Jogva' means beckoning the Goddess with an earnest, wholehearted prayer and pleading before Her to fulfill one's wish. This pleading symbolises a decrease in the ego of the embodied soul and is directed towards merging the Goddess principle within oneself into Her holy feet.
A form of worship as a servitor (dasyabhakti) : 'Jogva magne' is a form of worship as a servitor. The true form of this worship is partaking of food cooked from alms of ingredients like flour, salt, etc. obtained by begging, as a servitor of the Goddess, from five households. This act not only reduces the ego but also helps in developing detachment.
Importance : 'The ritual of 'jogva magne' helps one to detach oneself from the Great Illusion and become a servitor of the Energy principle. This act amounts to taking assistance from the manifest form, to reduce one's ego and to experience detachment in that unmanifest form.' - Pujya (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil, 8th September 2006, 6.49 to 7.44 p.m.

Why is Acharpalan the real means of Vastu purification?

1. Vastushuddhi

Purification of Vastu means destroying the distressing vibrations and creating positive vibrations in a Vastu. It is believed that Vastudosh (Defects in Vastu) is caused by many factors, such as improper arrangement of the Vastu, incessant attacks of Raja-Tama particles, distressing vibrations created due to Raja-Tama predominant people residing in it, Raja-Tama predominant thoughts of people entering it, the presence of negative energies etc. Because of these defects, physical, mental and Spiritual obstacles may keep coming in the lives of people residing in the Vastu. If the people residing in such a Vastu do Sadhana, they may face obstacles there too. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the Vastudosh. By performing Vastushuddhi through simple and inexpensive methods at home, its Vastudosh can be removed.

2. Some methods of Vastushuddhi that can be performed

·         Keep the Vastu and its vicinity clean.
·         If possible, plant Tulsi in the courtyard and worship it daily. Light a lamp or an incense stick in front of it in the evening.
·         Keep the images or pictures of Deities facing the East or West in the temple at home.
·         Sprinkle Gomutra (cow’s urine) in the Vastu daily. If this not possible, mix Vibhuti (Holy ash) in water and sprinkle it in the Vastu. Sprinkle it starting from the right side in the Vastu and move towards the left side.
·         Blow the ash of a Yadnya (Sacrificial fire) or Vibhuti in the Vastu.
·         Remembering the Kuldevta (Family Deity), sprinkle Akshat inside out in the Vastu, in the eight directions.
·         Light Dhoop (frankincense) and show it around in all the rooms.
·         Do light a ghee or an oil lamp in front of the Deities every day, morning and evening.
·         Show around incense stick in all the rooms of the Vastu.
·         Paste the Name-strips of Deities on the walls and create a subtle ceiling.
·         All members of the family should gather every day and pray to God to keep the Vastu pure and then chant. Also, recite the Stotras of Deities.
·         If the Vastudosh is severe, perform the Vastushanti (Ritual to calm the Vastu).
Methods related to purification of man:

Method of Purification
1. Limbs
Wash with water and drinking water
2. Mind
Honest behaviour
3. Intellect
Acquisition of knowledge
4. Jiva or subtle body
Education and penance
5. One who commits
    wrong deeds
6. One who commits
    sins secretly
Chanting of Name
7. Scholar
Forgiving (Tolerance)
Methods of purification of some objects and substances:

Method of Purification
1. Ordinary objects
Rub with soil and wash with water
2. Metallic objects, gems and
    minerals from mines
Rub with ash, soil and wash with
3. Objects found in water like
    conch, oysters, pearls  etc.
Wash only with water
4. Objects made of rock and
Wash only with water
5. Utensils of gold and silver
Wash only with water
6. Liquids

3. Acharpalan, real means of Vastushuddi

It is believed that real Vastushuddhi can be achieved only when all the members of the family abide by Achardharma repeatedly and have pure Achars and thoughts. Acharpalan, good culturedness and Divine qualities alone make man pure and Holy.
Man performs his Karma according to his nature. With Acharpalan, along with the purification of the body, his mind and intellect also starts getting purified. Unnecessary thoughts reduce and concentration of mind is achieved. With Acharpalan, man always attains purity, happiness, glorious success and fame.
आचारवान् सदा पूत: सदैवाचारवान् सुखी 
आचारवान् सदा धन्: सत्यं सत्यं  नारद ।। - श्री देवीभागवत११.२४.९८
Meaning: ‘O Sage Narad, it is true that a man with good Achars is always pure, happy and blessed.’
Components necessary for Acharpalan are as follows:

3.1 Physical health

God resides in a healthy body. It is necessary to keep the body healthy for the purpose of God-realisation.
शरीरमाद्यं खलुधर्मसाधनम्  - कुमारसम्भवम् .३३
This means, that among all mediums, body is the foremost medium for Dharmacharan. It is the supreme duty of every person to take care of his body and keep it healthy. While performing this duty, one should have a Bhav that, ‘The body is a temple of God.’ As a result, the severity of ailments gets reduced and the body remains healthy. For this, it becomes necessary to have a balanced diet on time and exercise.

3.2 Chanting for mental health

One can chant the Name of his/her favourite Deity or Kuladevta (Family Deity). It is believed that chanting reduces the unnecessary thoughts and sanskars (impressions) of the mind. Chitta (subconscious mind) is purified. Dharmacharan (abiding by Dharma) done with a pure chitta is Holy and full of devotion. A question can arise in anybody’s mind that, outwardly some Saints are not seen abiding by the Achardharma. What can be the reason of such behaviour?
Sadhana of Saints and Sages is continuously on from within. Every action done through Them is Achar itself. They have reached a stage beyond Achardharma. Their behaviour is only for the well-being of others. Following are some of the examples:
·         Jagadguru Adya Shankaracharji: In Varanasi, there was a Chandal (person of low caste) who would tell snippets of Brahmagyan after listening to pravachans (discourses) of Adya Shankaracharya. One day Shankaracharya was returning with His disciples after bathing in river Ganga. Seeing Him, the Chandal came in front of Him. The disciples of Shankaracharya scornfully told him to move away. Then, the Chandal asked, “Brother, your Acharya (A spiritual guide or teacher) teaches you that the soul dwelling in me and Him is one and the same then, how can your Acharya’s soul become unholy by my soul?” Listening to the Chandal, Sankaracharya embraced him saying, “The one who imparts Atmagyan is my Guru, no matter whether he is a Chandal or a Dwij (Brahmin).”
According to the rules of Dharmashastras (A genre of Sanskrut Holy text), touching a Chandal is forbidden. However Shankaracharya embraced him considering him his Guru. This shows that it is more important to act as per the Brahmagyan than merely preaching it.
·         Swami Samarth from Akkalkot, Maharashtra: Swami Samarth threw stones and abused the devotees who came to have His Darshan. The people visiting Him had their minds flooded with thoughts of Maya (The Great Illusion). It is believed that with His strange acts like throwing stones, he was removing the distress and sins of the people who were afflicted by the negative energies.
·         H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj, the source of inspiration of Sanatan Sanstha : H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj scolded His disciple for their mistakes in seva. By these strange and apparently weird acts, he used to reduce the ego and sins of His disciples.
The behaviour of Saints is at a Spiritual level i.e. it beyond the mind and intellect and is as per God’s will; which we ordinary beings fail to understand. Instead of focusing on the behaviour of saints, we should try to tread on the path shown by Them. Performing the day-to-day activities according to the Shastra (Spiritual science) is Achardharma. These activities are also called ‘Dincharya’.

4. Nityakarma

Nityakarmas are different for different Varnas, Ashrams and people, for example, studying texts related to Dharmapalan during Brahmacharyashram (The stage of life of a celibate), repaying the debts of Deities, Sages, ancestors and the society in Gruhasthashram (The stage of life of a married householder), purification of the body and learning Dharmashastras in Vanaprasthashram (Stage of life of a retired householder) and seeking alms, chanting, meditation etc. in Sannyasashram (Stage of life of a renunciant). A day of twelve hours is divided into five parts. The duration of every part is 2 hours and 24 minutes. What activities should be carried out during every part has been stated in the Shastras.
·         Morning: begins with Suryoday (rising of the sun): Sandhyavandan, Devpuja and Pratvairashvadev
·         Sangavkal (Post-morning): Source of livelihood; working for earning livelihood
·         Madhyankal (Noon): Bath at noon, Madhyan Sandhya (worship at noon), Brahmayadnya and Bhootyadnya
·         Aparyanyahakal (Afternoon): Pitruyadnya which includes Tarpan (offerings to ancestors), pindadan, Shraddha etc.
·         Sayanhakal (Evening): Listening to Purans and discussion, Vaishyadev for evening and Sandhya
It is apparent that there is a specific period of time for doing a specific Karma during the day as per the Shastra.

4.1 Panchamahayadnya

The Shastras have stressed the importance of doing Sandhya for ourselves, performing worship of Deities for the well-being of the family and performing Panchamahayadnya for making good Sanskars on food. The Brahmayadnya, Devyadnya, Rishiyadnya, Pitruyadnya and Manushyayadnya are included in the Panchamahayadnya.
अध्यापनं ब्रह्मयज्ञ: पितृयज्ञस्तु तर्पणम् 
होमो दैवो बलिर्भौतो नृयज्ञोऽतिथिपूजनम् ।। 
This means that ‘Brahmayadnya’ is adhyapan (Imparting Spiritual knowledge to others), doing tarpan for ancestors is ‘Pitruyadnya’, Vaishvadev is ‘Devyadnya’, offering animals in yadnya is ‘Bhootyadnya’ and worship of a guest is ‘Manushyayadnya
Brahmayadnya is doing adhyapan of Vedas and tarpan to Deities and Sages. Pitruyadnya means doing jaltarpan (offering water offering ritualistically) to Sages who have been considered as our ancestors and our actual ancestors. The occasional yadnyas like Vaishvadev and Agnihotra are the parts of Devyadnya. In Bhutyadnya, to perform the Vaishvadev, one part of food is offered to Deities in the form of animal sacrifice. Felicitation of a guest and offering food to a Brahmin is Manushyayadnya.
Importance of Panchamahayadnya: There are no Sanskars on the food cooked in the house where the Panchamahayadnyas do not take place. Peace prevails and the Deity Annapurna Devi resides in the house where the food left after performing the Panchamahayadnyas is consumed.

5. Vaishvadev ritual

वैश्वदेव: प्रकर्तव्: पन्चसूनापनुत्तये 
कण्डनी पेषणी चुल्ली जलकुम्भोमार्जनी ।। - धर्मसिंधु
Tiny organisms are destroyed through actions like pounding, grinding, use of a stove, filling water and sweeping etc. It is said that in order to ward off the sins and the Panchdosh (five sins) caused by these actions, it is the duty of man to perform ‘Vaishvadev’.
Ritual of Vaishvadev:
·         Establish a fire called ‘Rukmak’ or ‘Pavak’ in a fireplace and meditate. Sprinkling water six times around the fireplace, make a protective sheath. Offer Chandan and flowers to the eight directions; then, offer cooked rice into the fire. Again, make a protective sheath with water around the fireplace six times and do Panchopchar Puja (worship with five substances) of the fire and apply the Vibhuti (Holy ash) of the Yadnya to yourself.
·         On the day of fasting, uncooked rice is offered to the fire.
·         In times of acute emergency, the Names of Deities are uttered and water is released in a copper plate. If one is travelling, even a recitation of the Vaishvadev Sukta begets the fruits of Panchmahayadnya.

6. Achars to be performed after waking up

As specified by the Dharmashastras, one should get up at Brahmamuhurt, which is three hours before the Sunrise.

6.1 Importance of Brahmamuhurt

·         Celestial souls of Divine nature move around during the Brahmamuhurt.
·         This period is Sattva component predominant. In this period, man’s intellect is pure and radiant.
·         During this period, there is an enhancement in qualities like purification of Sattva, getting engrossed in Karma, acquisition of Knowledge, donating, control over sense-organs, penance, Truth and peace. The qualities of compassion, moderation, shying away from objectionable Karma, stability, radiance and purity in behaviour are developed.
·         Insects like mosquitoes, bugs and fleas become weak.
·         The influence of distressing energies reduces.
Thus, it is evident that the Brahmamuhurt is a beneficial and important period for everyone. Hence, one should get up at Brahmamuhurt every day.

6.2 Reason for yawning after waking up

Normally, soon upon waking up we get yawns. The underlying Spiritual science is that, the atmosphere at night is Tama predominant and sleep too is Tamasik. The air generated in the body of a person during the night remains in the body itself. Normally, after waking up, this air comes out of the mouth in larger proportion. This is the reason why yawning is most during this period.

6.3 Shrotrachman

Immediately after waking up, one should do Shrotrachman. The etymology of the word Shrotrachman is – Shrotra + Achman. Shrotra means the ear. Achman done by touching the ear is called Shrotrachman. In other words, Shrotrachman signifies internal purification. The atmosphere in the night is Tama predominant, which increases the Tama component in man. Hence, upon waking up in the morning, before starting on the day, it is necessary to perform Shrotrachman for internal purification.
Shrotrachman is performed by touching the right ear with the right hand and reciting the 24 names of Bhagwan Srivishnu – ‘Om Sri Keshavaya Namaha | Om Madhavaya Namaha | Om Narayanaya Namaha’ |… etc. All Deities such as Aditya, Vasu, Rudra, Agni, Dharma, Ved, Apa, Som, Anil etc. dwell in the right ear. Merely by touching the right ear with the right hand, one gets the benefit of Achman.

6.4 Reciting Shloks (Sanskrut verses)

According to Dharma, it is important that our Dincharya begins with remembering God. The Shloks composed by our Sages help us in remembering God.
A. Sri Ganesh Vandana (Salutation): Sri Ganesh Vandana of Vighnaharta Sri Ganesh is performed so that all our actions during the day are completed without any obstacles.
वक्रतुंड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ 
निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा ।।
This means, ‘I pay obeisance to Sri Ganesh, one who has a curved trunk, a huge body and one who shines with the radiance of a million Suns. I salute that Vighnaharta for the fulfillment of my tasks.’
B. Devtavandan:
ब्रह्मा मुरारिस्त्रिपुरांतकारिर्भानु: शशी भूमिसुतो बुधश् 
गुरुश् शुक्र: शनिराहुकेतव: कुर्वन्तु सर्वे मम सुप्रभातम् ।।
This means, may the three main Deities - the Creator Brahmadev, the Sustainer Srivishnu; the Destroyer Lord Shiva and the nine planets - the Sun, the Moon, Mangal, Buddh, Guru, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu make my morning auspicious. Our Dharma teaches us that before commencing any task, we should pray to the Deities for their blessings and benevolently remember them for inspiration and vigour in completing our task.
पुण्यश्लोको नलो राजा पुण्यश्लोको युधिष्ठिर: 
पुण्यश्लोको विदेहश् पुण्यश्लोको जनार्दन: ।।
This means, ‘I remember the meritorious King Nala, Yudhishthir, Videh (that is, King Janak) and Bhagwan Janardan.’
अश्वत्थामा बलिर्व्यासो हनुमांश् बिभीषण: 
कृप: परशुरामश् सप्तैते चिरजीविन: ।।
This means, ‘Ashwatthama, King Bali, Vedvyas, Hanuman, Vibhishan, Krupacharya and Parshuram are the Chiranjivis (the seven immortal souls). I remember them.’
अहिल्या द्रौपदी सीता तारा मंदोदरी तथा 
पंचकन्या स्मरेन्नित्यं महापातकनाशनम् ।।
This means, even the Mahapatak (greatest sin), of the one who remembers the five Mahasatis (Sati is a chaste or a devoted woman) Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Taramati and Mandodari, is destroyed.
अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची अवंतिका 
पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैता मोक्षदायिका: ।।
This means, ‘I remember the seven cities that provide Moksh - Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwarika.’
By the benevolent remembrance of the Deities, Kings, Chiranjivis, Mahasatis and these cities daily in the morning, we get the inspiration and the strength to perform Karmas like them throughout the entire day.
Kardarshan: After reciting the above mentioned Shloks, one performs Kardarshan (looking at ones' hands) and recites the following Shlok:
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी: करमध्ये सरस्वती 
करमूले तु गोविंद: प्रभाते करदर्शनम् ।।
This means, Goddess Lakshmi resides in the upper portion of the hand, Goddess Saraswati in the middle and Sri Vishnu at the base; hence, we should have a Darshan of the hand after waking up in the morning.
Method for performing Kardarshan: Join the hands to form a hollow, concentrate on it and perform Kardarshan. Have a Bhav while reciting each part of the Shlok that, the Deity resides in that protion of the hand.
Sanatan’s Saint H.H. Parasharam Pande from Akola, Maharashtra provides the implied meaning of the Shlok as: In the upper portion of the hand resides Lakshmi. For worldly matters we need Lakshmi. In the middle of the hand resides Saraswati. Saraswati denotes knowledge and wisdom. If knowledge and wisdom are not present while acquiring wealth, then, Lakshmi becomes Alakshmi and becomes the cause of ruin. At the base of the hand resides Govind. Govind Himself exists in the middle and in the upper portion in the form of Saraswati and Lakshmi respectively.
As per the scripture Amrutanubhav, ‘Even though the base, the middle and the upper portions appear separate, yet Govind only functions through them in a specific form. Hence, we should begin our day with Kardarshan and pray with a Bhav of complete surrender towards them.’
From the Universe, the frequencies of the Deity’s Principles are attracted towards the hollow of the hand. These manifest in the hollow and then move around in it. The hollow of the hands create a Brahmamudra. Because of this, the Sushumna-nadi of the body is activated.

Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to Hindu Jagruti for the collection


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