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Essence Of
Dharma Sindhu
11    POUSHA MAASA

Makara  Sankranti Nirnaya:  If Makara Sankranti is in the day time and Punya Kaala is upto forty ghadis  and thus the remainder time is small and negligible, then Snaana- Daana- Shraaddha- Bhojanaas  are required to be completed on the pevious day itself, since Shraaddha Karmaas are not to be performed in the night of the Sankranti. Thus Punya Kaala is to be counted as on the previous day. But if Sankranti occurs in the night, the next day is of Punya and of course the earlier part of the folowing day , especially some five ghadiyas before Sunrise are ‘Punyatara’or of immense propitiousness. In case this Sankranti occurs on Poushya Shukla Saptami, it is considered as much of great significance as Grahana. The duties to be performed at that time are very important: Ravi Samkaraney praaptey na snaannadyastu Maanavah, Sapta janmasu rogeesyaannirdhanaschaiv jaayatey!( Those persons who do not bathe at the time of Ravi Sankranti would become diseased and unfotunate for Seven Births hence) and that is why Snaana at that time is compulsory). Again, Shraddha karma is of equal importance, albeit without Pinda Daana:  Sankraantou yaani duttaani havya kavyaani daatrubhih, Taani nithyam dadaadyarkah punarjanmani janmani/ ( Those daanaas and such virtuous karmaas like Havya-Kavyaas or Homas and Shraaddhaas that are acted at the time of Ravi Sankranti would repeatedly get fructified  by the grace of  Surya Deva). That is why ‘Tridinopavaasaas’ or fasts for three days are to be accomplished. Further, at this Uttaraayana Kaala, Tila-Dhenu Daanaas, Tila Taila Deepaas at Shivaalayaas and Tila-Tandula Shiva Pujaas, Tila Snaanaabhyangaas,  White Tila Pujaas to Devaasas and Black Tila Tarpanaas to Pitru Devataas and above all Ghritaabhishkaas to Shiva Lingaas are of far reaching impact!


Shiva Puja Vrata: ‘Upavaasa’on the day before the Makara Sankranti and Shiva Puja in the Sankranti day are duties prescribed. Tila Snaana- Tila Tarpana-Ghritaabhyangana-Vastraa –dyupachaara- Suvarnaarpana- Pancha Ratnaakarshana- Tila deepa-Tila Homa-Tilasahita Pancha Gavya Bhakshana- Tilaayukta Suvarna daana- Brahmana Bhojana-Vastra Daana are among the constituents of the Shiva Vrata. Tila purvamanadwaaham datvaa rogaih pramuchyatey/ (Vrishabha daana along with Tilas is stated to be a warranty against diseases!). Similarly Surya Snaana with Ksheera on the Sankranti day paves the way to Surya Loka. Poushta Shukaashtami especially coinciding with Wednesday as also with Bharani or Rohini or Ardra Nakshatraas  is stated to bestow Maha Punya on implementing Snaana- Japa-Homa-Tarpana-Vipra Bhojanas.


Ardhodaya Yoga: Pousha Amavasya is the day of Ardhodaya Yoga;  Amaarka paata Shravanair –yuktaachetposha maasa yoh,  Ardhodayassavigneyaha Koti Surya grahaihssamah/ ( Ardhodaya Yoga is to occur on Amavasyaas in Pushya-Maagha Maasaas on Sundays in Vyatipata Yoga along with Shravana Nakshatra; this unique combination is equivalent to Koti Suryas!) If any of these conditions of Maasa-Dina-Nakshatra yogaas are absent then the Yoga is called ‘Mahodaya’. It is further stated: Divaiva yogasstoyam na tu raatrou kadaachana, Ardhodaye tu sampraaptey sarvam Gangaa samam jalam/ Shuddhaatmaano Dwijaassarvey bhaveyurBrahma sannibhaah, Yatkinchiddeyatey daanam taddaanam Meru sannibham/ (This Ardhodaya yoga is worthy of note if it occurs in the day time but not in the night. Soon on its occurrence, this Yoga would instantly turn all the waters in the Universe into full Sanctity and all the Dwijaas in the world transform themselves into Brahma Swarupaas. It is at that most propitious time that even insignificant ‘Daanaas’ would assume the proportions of Meru Parvata! Then the Ardhodaya Vrata be peformed with the Sankalpa of giving away  of ‘Patra daana’, clean up the ground, draw an Illustration of Ashta Padma Dalaas with white rice grains, keep a bronze plate on raised platform, place a bronze vessel full of ‘Kheer’ or cooked rice in milk and sugar, invoke the Pratimaas of Brahma Vishnu Rudra-Linga, perform Agni homa sahita- MantraYukta ‘shodashopa-chaaraas’as  recited by Brahmanaas,  Daana Dakshina Bhojanaas to Vipraas and Vratodyaapana.



MARGASHIRSHA MAASA

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