- Mrigasira means the head of an animal (deer). The lunar month Margasira Masa is named after Mrgasira Nakshatram.
- Mrgasira is El Nath.
- Sivaratri : Though, as per the Siva Purana (retold by Ramesh Menon)., : Sivaratri is on the day of the Arudra Nakshatra of Margasira Masa.. Please See : Tamil and Hindi Calendar Month Name Variations with Sanskrit (Telugu) Month Names
December: December is a big celebration for Ayyappa devotees. Ayyappa is the son of Shiva and Vishnu as per general belief. The time of celebration (late December) and the link with both Shiva and Vishnu interest me. December seems to be important both for Moola nakshatram (Dhanur Masam – Vishnu – see one of my earlier posts) and Arudra nakshatram (Margasira masam – Arudra darsanam – Siva – see my notes below).
- Late December is also important for the Winter Solstice – the Sayana commencement of Uttarayana – Christmas and for Datta Jayanti. (Sayana system refers to moving tropical zodiac and niryana refers to the immovable sidereal (stellar zodiac. The tropical zodiac refers to the seasons and the sidereal zodica refers to stellar alignments. The tropical zodiac is affected by precession. The sidereal zodiac has corrections for precession built in)Arudra Darsanam :
skandha purANam describes Arudra Darsanam. When the sun shines in the dhanur rAsi that is in the month of mArkazi, in the day of thiruvAdhirai (Arudra) for which Rudra is the devata this vratam is observed. (source)
The pre-dawn hours of the full moon night, in the month with the longest nights in the year (coinciding with the asterism of Tiruvadirai in the tamil month of Margazhi) marks the auspicious time for Arudra Darisanam – of Nataraja in Saivite temples all over Tamilnadu. (Source)
SivaRatri : (Source)
ska.ndha purANam describes four shiva rAtris.
The first one is nitya shivarAtri (daily shivarAtri – every night).
The second one is the mAsa shivarAtri which is observed on the kRiShNa paksha chaturdasi (fourteenth moonday on the moons diminishing phase).
The third one is the mAgha prathamAdi shivarAtri which is observed for the thirteen days starting from prathama titi in the month mAga (mAsi) and on the chaturdasi night the Lord is worshiped throughout the night.
The fourth one is observed on the mAsi (mAga) month kRiShNa paksha chaturdasi. This is the one observed in a widespread manner. It is also called mahA shivarAtri.
1. The eighth day (Dec 21) witnesses a procession of Bhikshatanar commemorating legends associated Shiva’s and Vishnu’s trip through Daarukaavanam in the guise of Bhikshaatanar and Mohini
1. The planet Jupiter, changes from one Raashi ( twleve astrological signs. Aries, Capricorn etc) to another every year. During the period of retrograde it slows down but still it makes up for the slowness and on an average it changes the Raashi house every year. This change generally happens in the last week of the month December.
2. Lunar months are named after the starting Nakshatras of the Rasis. Thus Margasira month is named after the Mrgasira nakshatra. the full moon of the Magha Masa generally occurs in December.
3. Dattatreya was born on the full moon day of Mrigashira month. That is why Datta Jayanti happens in December only.
4. In december the sun will be in Dhanus Raashi (Sagittarius). On 14th January every year sun moves to the next sign i.e. Makara (Capricorn).
Uttarayanam is defined in 2 ways, in the sayana system as the winter solstice and niryana system as Makara Sankramanam.
From that day (14th January) the period of Uttaraayana commences(Uttarayana is the period from 14 January to 14 July). The commencement of this Uttarayana happens around January 14th in the system of Nirayana only (Sidereal calculations). But in Sayana system (Tropical calculations), Sun starts his Uttarayana period in the last week of December. The system of Sayana observes the movement of sun and corroborates and finalises the astrological calculations on sun. Presently, this movement of Sun to Uttarayana happens either on 22nd or 23rd of December. But about 2000 years ago (when Jesus was born) this change used to happen on December 25th every year.
5. The word December is from the calendar we use today, i.e. Gregorian calendar. This type of calendar system was started in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII. “
Geetha Jayanthi – Vaikuntha Ekadasi
The Geeta Jayanti Day is 11th day (Ekadasi) of the bright half (Sukla Paksha) of the month of Margasira. It coincides with Vaikuntha Ekadasi. It was the day the Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna, by Sri Krishna. This year it is celebrated on the 28th Nov. Though ekadasi “starts” on 27th afternoon, it is the tithi at sunrise that counts. That is why 28th Nov will be celebrated as Gita Jayanti.
(This year Bakrid falls on the same day. Idu’l Juha Bakrid annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. Idu’l Juha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha (For legend see : Source) (Why is our 11th day their 10th day? also Interesting legend points water springing from the earth and the role of the ram – Future Analysis )).
The Geeta Jayanti Samaroh Festival is celebrated in Kurukshetra. (The location of the Mahabharata war.) The devotees bathe in the holy water of the sacred tanks – Sannihit Sarovar and Brahma Sarovar. The week long festival witnesses wonderful events like Shloka recital, dance, Bhagawatam reading, Bhajans and dramas. (Source)
The place of the original Gitopadesa is marked in kurukshetra by a marble sculpture and may be seen by tourists and piligrims.
The festival of Geeta Jayanti Samaroh is organized by Kurukshetra Development Board of Haryana Tourism, District Administration, North Zone Cultural Centre Patiala and Information and Public Relations Department Haryana.(Source)
- For a list of all ekadasis and their significance see : http://www.salagram.net/ekadasilistinfo.htm
- For a modified story of Vaikuntha Ekadasi based on the brahmanda purana see :http://www.salagram.net/ekadasi-2.htm (fasting on this day is highly recommended).
- For more on Margasira Masa : See http://oldthoughts.wordpress.com/sivaratri-december-margasira/
Common belief is that the gates to Vaikunta are held open in this day and that it is a divine day to leave one’s mortal coils.
- Arudra is generally accepted as Betelguese.. though sri Balakrishna argues well in favour of Al-Hena. I think Betelguese, because I think that points to “center” of the universe.. which I think is Siva.
- Notes and Picture: from http://www.vedicastronomy.net/compare_mithuna.htm
“- The figure shows Mithuna raashi or the Gemini Constellation. The vedic Jyotishya states that this Raashiconsists of Mrigashira (50% in Mithuna), Aardhra(100% in Mithuna) and Punarvasu(75% in Mithuna).
- R.H.Allen’s identifies Betelguese (Ori-58a) as Aardhra (Ref-1,page 311). Balakrishna identifies Al-Hena as Aardhra.
- R.H.Allen identifies Castor asPunarvasu (Ref-1,Page 331), while Balakrishna identifies Pollux as Punarvasu.
- Clearly the proposed identities of these nakshathra’s are different. Allen’s Aardhra is within 5 degrees of his Mrigashira and is a part of constellation Orion. It is 16 degrees away from ecliptic. Balakrishna’s identities are within the proper range ofNakshathra’s. Also they are within 2 degrees of moon traverse band.” (Needs more study)
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