Rituals during an Eclipse

 

In Pushti Marg we look at eclipse as a unique phenomenon.  Shri Gokulnathiji ( the fourth son of Shri Gusainji) has explained the “bhavana” behind eclipse very beautifully.  First, let us understand what rituals are to be performed during eclipse time.

Please remember, all the rituals listed below are to be carried out only if the eclipse is actually observed in your region.  If the eclipse is not observed in your region then there is no need to carry out these rituals.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) You must confirm from with your local astrologers, about the ‘sparsh’, ‘madhya’ and ‘moksha’ time of the eclipse .

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) There is a ‘Vedha’ period approximatly. 12 hrs. prior to the ‘sparsha’ time , starting from which you are not supposed to have meals.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) There is again a specific time before the eclipse, after which you are not supposed to drink water. Please consult your astrologer.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) You must remove all the washed clothes that are used for ‘seva’ and use only new and unwashed ones till the eclipse is over.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) You must remove all those things in which oil or gee has been used from seva.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) Dust and wash the mandir area well and remove all kinds of sticky materials.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) Before the eclipse ‘thakurji’ should be woken up and dressed in ‘Dhoti’ and ‘Uparna’.  If the eclipse occurs after Shringar, ie after mid morning, His ‘paag’ and jewels are to be removed.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) ‘Dharbha’ - sacred grass - should be kept on all the things that are used for ‘seva’.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) ‘Jhariji’ has to be emptied and dried, the red cloth used for wrapping around it should also be removed.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) When the actual eclipse starts, sit in front of ‘Thakurji’ and recite ‘Kirtans’.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) During ‘madhya kaal’ (at the height of the eclipse) we pledge and donate food-grains and Ghee along with some money to a Brahmin.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) After the eclipse is over, take a bath first and remove all the ‘Darbha’ leaves, than take another bath.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) ‘Thakurji’ is to be than bathed and ‘Shram-bhog’ (particularly consisting of ‘Sheera’) should be prepared and offered to ‘Thakurji’.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) Depending upon the time of the day the remaining daily chores have to be performed and after that ‘Thakurji’ has to be laid in His ‘Shaiyya’.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) Only after having ‘darshan’ of a clear moon/sun can we have ‘Prasad’.

sun02.gif (1396 bytes) One should perform these rituals at one’s own convenience and in accordance to one’s ‘Guru’s instructions.  The list above is just for the guidance of the ‘vaishnavas’.

 

Shri Gokulnathji has explained the ‘bhavana’ behind an eclipse very beautifully. Here is a concise version of the bhavana as follows :-

Eclipse is considered as ‘Gaadh-Maan’ by ‘Shri Swaminiji’ wherein ‘Swaminiji’ has vowed not to speak with ‘Thakurji’.  ‘Thakurji’ has tried all sorts of things to pacify Her but all is in vain.  Finally, ‘Thakurji’ attires Himself in the form of a ‘Sanyasi’ with ‘Dhoti-Uparna’ and removes his ‘Paag’ too.  He sits aloof from everyone and doesn’t touch anybody.  He calls upon all the ‘Swaminiji’s friends and asks them to try and pacify Shri Swaminiji otherwise he threatens to abandon everything and become a ‘Sanyasi’.  They sing praises and try their luck, but nothing works.  They clean up the whole area and keep everything spick’n span, so that Swaminiji  may mellow down.  Because ‘Swaminiji’ is unhappy, no sweets are prepared, all the oils and Ghee are removed because nothing is useful now.  Shri Yamunaji (Jhariji) too goes to help the ‘Sakhis’ in pacifying Swaminiji.   They all give donations in order to whisk away any evil eyes.  Finally, when the Eclipse is over, ‘Swaminiji’ mellows down and everybody is happy.  Shri Yamunaji arrives again in the form of ‘Jhariji’ which is filled up again.  ‘Thakurji’ is now happy and has a holy dip in the river.  Shri Swaminiji prepares ‘Shram bhog’ for ‘Thakurji’ and everything is alright again.  After having ‘darshan’ of a clear ‘moon’ or ‘sun’, (which symbolises ‘Swaminiji’s fresh mood) everybody else is also happy and has his / her share of the ‘Prasad’.

Goswami Bharatkumarji (Pune, India)

Eclipse
Darshan during an eclipse.

 

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