Essence Of
Dharma Sindhu

There is a Punya Kaala of sixteen Ghadiyas at ‘Dhanussankraanti’. On Margashirsha Shukla Panchami Naga Puja is observed especially in the Southern parts of Bharat. The Shukla Shashthi called Champa Shashti is significant  among Maharashtriyans. If there is a Khanda Tithi of Panchami-Shashthi on a Sunday or Tuesday of Shatabhisha Nakshatra then of the two day an extension of three muhurtaas, then the next day is to be confirmed as  Shashthi. Otherwise, the previous Tithi is to be reckoned as Shashthi; this is also called as Skandha Shashthi. As  per Kousthabha Grandha, Margashirsha Saptami is suitable for performing Surya Vrata. In this month, Purnima with Mrigashira Nakshatra is considered appropriate for Lavana Daana or charity of Salt which endows beauty of body skin. The birth of Dattaatreya is stated to be on this Purnima itself; however this Purnima should be applicable upto the Pradosha Time.

The four month period from Margashirsha to Maagha Maasa is statedto be suitable for performing Ashtakaa Shraaddha on the Krishna Paksha- Ashtakaas; on the preceding Saptamis Purvedyu Shraaddhas are scheduled and on the following Navamis Anvashtaka Shraaddhas are required to be executed.  However, there are views that the Ashtaka Shraaddhas be performed in Bhadrapada Krishna paksha-Ashtamis and some others opine that these be done in Pousha Krisha Pakshas. In any case, if one is able to perform only one Shraaddhha in the concerned periods then that too is not unacceptable. Even if that might not be possible, there are Pratyamnaayaas or alternatives; for eg. Vrishbha has to be fed with dry grass, Agni too be offered grass and water pots  to Veda-Vetthaas; as a last resort Shraaddha Mantraas be recited and Upavasa be observed. Inability to perform Ashtaa Shraaddha then the prayaschitta is to fast on the lines of Praajaapatya krucchra; if Anvashtaka is not performed, atonement is to recite the Yebhirdyubhi-ssumanaa Mantra hundred times.

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.


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