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DipAvaLi Greetings

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Thu Oct 30 1997 - 09:21:44 PST

Dear Members of the Bhakthi Group :

It is my pleasure to extend to one and all of you
my Dipavali greetings and to be blessed to be 
the beneficiaries of the blessings of Sri RukmiNi 
SathyabhAmA sametha Sri Venkata KrishNan . 

This is the day when Sathyabhama rode with 
the Lord to the battle at PrakjyOthisha puram , the capital 
of Narakaasuran and helped her Lord to put an end to the 
adharmic acts of that Asuran . He was a son of Bhumi Devi ,
but had strayed and committed many offenses against the 
devotees oft he Lord . The compassionate Mother understood 
the role of dushta Nigraham of Her  Lord and prayed for 
Her son to be granted Moksham and be remembered 
on the day of his destruction by the Sudarsanam of the Lord .

Outside the slokams of Bhagavatham , the tradition is that 
she prayed for the pristine waters of Ganga , which arose from
the Lord's feet from TrivikramAvatham time to enter into the 
oil and waters at the home of pious devotees on this day , 
when they  take the oil bath in hot water during 
the early morning ( before sunrise ) of this 
Naraka Chathurthi day . She also prayed for all people 
to celebrate her son's moksham as a pandigai wearing
new clothes and eat special sweets and nourishments . 
Lord KrishNA granted her wish and thus we celebrate
this day of DipAvaLi . We light fire crackers , light lamps 
and with " sound and light " we celebrate this great deed 
of the Lord . We go around inquiring our friends and 
relatives : " GangA SnAnam Aacchaa? " .

This is also the  day , when the Lord brought the 
PaarijAthA tree from Indra's Nandavanam to please
SathyabhAma and planted it in her garden at 
Dwarakai . I have described that event in the Saranagathi 
Journal 's recent issue and discussed the connection
to the work ( Prapanna PaarijAtham ) of Sri NadAthuR ammAL  .

Sri VaishNavALs celebrate the AmAvasyai day ( tomorrow )
with Maha Lakshmi PoojA . This is also the day ,
when the new year accounts are started by commercial
houses and Maha Lakshmi pooja is performed 
with great ceremony  . 

Some of them do KedAra Gauri poojA . 
Gauri does not mean exclusively Parvathi .
It also  means a eight year old Virgin girl . it also 
means speech , Turmeric and Tulasi . For Sri VaishNavas,
it means Bala Lakshmi . KedAram means a meadow 
rich with water or a collection of water under the trunk 
of a tree. It is not just a mountain chain in HimAlayAs . 
Hence , KedArA symbolizes richness or samrutthi 
or subheeksham . Under this definition , KedAra Gauri 
Poojaa is then understood as PoojA for 
the Goddess of Wealth, MahA Lakshmi .          

Bhumi Devi's  prayer to the Lord are moving and 
are housed in the chapter 59 of the Dasama skandham . 
Here are some illustrative verses :

namasthE devadEvEsa sakha chakra gadhAdhara I
bhakthEccHOpAttha rUpAya ParamAthman namOsthu thE II

(meaning ) : Salutations to Thee , the God of Gods ! sporting the 
conch , the disc and the mace ! Obesiance to Thee , the supreme
Consciousness , who assumest bodies to fulfill 
the yearnings of Thy devotees ! 

Nama: PankajanAbhAya Nama: PankajamAlinE I
Nama: PankajanEhtrAya NamasthE PankajaAngrayE II

( meaning ) : Salutations to the Lotus-navelled ! 
Salutations to the Lotus-garlanded! Salutations 
to the Lotus eyed ! Salutations to the Lotus-footed ! 

namO BhagavathE thubhyam VaasudEvAya VishNavE I
PurushAya AdhibheejAya PurNabhOdAya thE nama: I

(meaning ) : I salute VaasudEvA , the support of all ! 
I salute VishNu , the inner pervader of everything ! 
I salute Him , who is the ultimate source of everything ! 
I salute Him , who is All-Intelligence ! 

AjAya janayithrEasya BrahmaNE ananthasakthayE I
ParaavarAthman BhUthAthman Paramaathman namOsthu thE II

(Meaning ) : Salutations to Him , who manifests both
as the cause and the efect! Salutations to Him, who is 
ever existent ! Salutations to Him ,who is the supreme
spirit ! Salutations to Him , Who is the Infinite power ! 
Salutations to Him , who is the greatest being ! 
Salutations to Him ,who is the father of the worlds ! 
Salutations to Him, who is birthless ! 

OM NamO BhagavathE VaasudEvAya !

Today and tomorrow even more , all of us can benefit
from reciting Sri Sthuthi of Swami Desikan and
Sri Sthavam of KurEsa and ChathusslOki 
of AlavandhAr . We can also perform aaradhanam
to Maha Lakshmi with Lakshmi AshtOttharam
or Lakshmi sahasra Naamam . 

Those , who do not have the time can atleast 
recite one slOkam from Sri Sthuthi , which
starts with KalyANAnAm avikala nidhi :
and receive Her blessings for the year to come !

Om Sriyai Nama: 

Oppiliappan Koil VaradachAri SadagOpan 
Isvara Samvathsara DipAvaLi dinam