On the way to the Tirumala Balaji Temple on the Seven Sacred Hills, Tirupati, AP, India.
Bullie & Baarbie
Vaikunta Ekadasi – A Path to Moksha
The significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi is mentioned in the Padma Puranam. The legend says that the Devas were unable to bear the atrocities of Murana, a demon. They approached Shiva, who directed them to Vishnu. Vishnu raged a battle with the demon and He realized that a new weapon was needed to kill Murana. In order to create the weapon, Vishnu retreated to a cave named after the goddess Haimavati in Bhadrikashrama. When Murana tried to slay Vishnu, who was sleeping, the female power which emerged out of Vishnu burned Murana to ashes by her glance. Vishnu was pleased and named the goddess ‘Ekadasi’ and asked her what did she wanted as a boon. Ekadasi, instead, asked Vishnu that people who observed a fast on that day should be redeemed of their sins. Vishnu thus declared that people who observed a fast on that day and worshiped Ekadasi, would reach Vaikuntam, the heaven. Thus the Dhanurmasa Shukla Paksha Ekadasi was observed.
Vishnu opened the gate of Vaikuntam (his abode) for two demons in spite of their being against him. They also asked for the boon that whoever listens to their story and sees the image of Vishnu coming out of the door (called Dwaram), called Vaikunta Dwaram, will reach Vaikuntam as well. Temples all over India make a door kind of structure on this day for devotees to walk through.
When observed, it bestows liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
The demon Murana stands for the Rajasic and Tamasic qualities in people, attributed to lust, passion, greed, violence, etc. When one conquers these qualities and attains purity of mind, Satva, the quality necessarily required for attaining moksha, the final emancipation or real consciousness. For such a sacred process, purity of mind is required. Fasting helps to keep away tendencies which could be onset by intake of certain foods. Being awake at night or being watchful of the thoughts in the mind signifies awareness. When the mind is concentrated, it becomes still which is helpful for the mind in coming together with the self consciousness. This indicates that the mind is being absorbed on seeing Vishnu after the fast and vigil.
Journey of the Soul from the Divine to the Divine
A person’s body is like a cage. The soul (Atma) lives in the body (cage).
The planet which is at the highest longitude within a zodiac sign in a birth chart is called Atmakaraka which indicates that the light of our soul (as moon) has overshadowed the light of Atman (pure soul). This happens due to Ahamkara (Ego). In such significations and positions, we cannot/refuse to accept the light of God, while at the same time perceive our own light. It is similar to a night time, where we can observe the moon’s light only, not realizing or observing that such light is only the reflection of the true light of the Sun.
It is for that reason that the soul is to be cleansed from its sins and God (the only source and destination of all souls) teaches us to break the shell of bandana (bondage) so that the Atma can become the pure Atman.
Each planet (graha) and movable significator (chara-karaka) tends to merge into Ketu, the moksha karaka graha (the south node of moon, which is the significator of final liberation of soul). As long as there is any type of bond (bandana) associated with Atmakaraka, a person cannot attain moksha (liberation of soul). Thus, to attain moksha, Ketu has to turn atmakaraka graha into a smoke.
If Atmakaraka is weak or afflicted, then the Atma does not like to live in this cage for a long while. A weak Atmakaraka (AK) implies a weak body constitution. AK in Dusthana houses (6th, 8th, and 12th houses) in Navamsa (Divisional Chart D-9) too shows sickly body constitution and not selfish or cunning nature.
Given that the Navamsa chart (D-9) illustrates the dharmic and karmic landscape of the native spanning life times, the Atmakaraka’s house position therein is very important to study the spirituality of the native. First take the house placement of the Atmakaraka in the Navamsa chart. Then, count the number of signs from its position to the Navamsa Lagna. The house arrived at gives the results of the Atmakaraka’s house position. Additionally, the strength of the natural karaka (natural significator) of that house should be noted in Navamsa chart as well as Rasi chart.