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.
You must confirm from with your local astrologers, about the sparsh, madhya and moksha time of the eclipse .
There is a Vedha period approximatly. 12 hrs. prior to the sparsha time , starting from which you are not supposed to have meals.
There is again a specific time before the eclipse, after which you are not supposed to drink water. Please consult your astrologer.
You must remove all the washed clothes that are used for seva and use only new and unwashed ones till the eclipse is over.
You must remove all those things in which oil or gee has been used from seva.
Dust and wash the mandir area well and remove all kinds of sticky materials.
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.
Dharbha - sacred grass - should be kept on all the things that are used for seva.
Jhariji has to be emptied and dried, the red cloth used for wrapping around it should also be removed.
When the actual eclipse starts, sit in front of Thakurji and recite Kirtans.
During madhya kaal (at the height of the eclipse) we pledge and donate food-grains and Ghee along with some money to a Brahmin.
After the eclipse is over, take a bath first and remove all the Darbha leaves, than take another bath.
Thakurji is to be than bathed and Shram-bhog (particularly consisting of Sheera) should be prepared and offered to Thakurji.
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.
Only after having darshan of a clear moon/sun can we have Prasad.
One should perform these rituals at ones own convenience and in accordance to ones Gurus 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 doesnt touch anybody. He calls upon all the Swaminijis 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 spickn 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 Swaminijis fresh mood) everybody else is also happy and has his / her share of the Prasad.
Goswami Bharatkumarji (Pune, India) ©
Darshan during an eclipse.
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