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Pujyasri Mathioli Saraswathy's speech for Jan 1, 2008. "Goodness Each Day, Each Moment, for Each of you" ­ this is my prayer, for all of you, for this year. All of you have been wondering until now ­ " Why did'nt AKKA give her message on New Year's day?" I just want to let you know that on that day, it so happened that "mounam" (silence) was the mode of communication between you and me............In general, I want to reassure all of you that 2008 will be a great year" So saying, Pujyasri Mathioli Saraswathy started her message for 2008, at a meeting of the various committees of Nandalala Seva Samithi Trust. This was recorded on CD in tamil, and distributed. The following is a translation of that message. "Significance of 2008 · Primary deities ­ 2008 adds up to 1 ­ represents Surya; His shakthi and blessings will be bestowed upon us this year. 1/1/2008 adds upto 12, which in turn, adds up to 3 ­ signifying the importance of Mars, Muruga (Karthik Bhagwan), Durga Devi. · Important days ­ Tuesdays with Sashti Thithi for Muruga, and Wednesdays with Chaturthi for Ganesha are auspicious. · On these special days, visit a temple, do an archana or abhishekam for the deities above, and receive their choicest blessings for good health and cures from diseases, for you, as well as for your friends and families. What does 2008 hold for us? · Will be a good year · Great for pursuing higher education ­ opportunities and facilities will be available · Good for doctors; Inventions of cures · Skin diseases, Eye related disorders may need to be prevented or treated. Take care of your physical and spiritual well being · Get a lot of morning sunlight ­ Lord Surya is the only deity that visits your homes everyday! Let him in! Enjoy his morning rays for your physical and emotional healing. · Remember the "annaprasanam" performed for a 6 month old infant? the baby's first solid food of rice, ghee and yogurt, fed to him or her to the accompaniment of specific mantras? These are done to bless the child with healthy physical and spiritual growth. As one grows up, one needs to eat in moderation ­ it is said that an ascetic only needs 8 handfuls of nutrition per day; a vanavasi partakes 16 handfuls and a Grahastha may need upto 32 handfuls ­ not in one sitting, but a maximum of two meals a day! Brahmacharis, and growing children, however, can consume without specific limits, while making good choices of "Sattvic" nutrition. · Control your breathing ­ especially while performing YOGA; control and discipline over this exercise will enable you to discover the Lord in you!

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Consume bananas and distribute them to others! Spread the healthy benefits to those around you.......

Temples to visit · Dwarapalakas ­ You might have seen in all temples, two statues on either side of the main sanctum, standing as guardians of that area. Did you know that there are temples where Ganesha and Karthikeya are dwarapalakas? Yes, it's true, and they are: o Koothanoor ­ Saraswathy temple o Uraiyur (near Tiruchi) ­ Vekkali Amman temple, where Lord Shiva appears as Panchavarneshwar. Visit these temples on the days mentioned earlier (Tuesdays with Sashti and Wednesdays with Chaturthi), and experience a healthy life. · Siddhars ­ 18 of them have been mentioned in literature, and I will enumerate them for you here: 1. Rameshwaram ­ Patanjali Muni 2. Chidambaram ­ where Lord Shiva appeared as Nataraja and bestows upon us the pleasure of the darshan of his right padam ­ Thirumoolar 3. Thirupati ­ Konkanavar 4. Srirangam ­ Sata Muni 5. Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) ­ Kumba Muni 6. Vaideeswaram ­ Dhanwanthri 7. Thiruvannamalai ­ Idaikalar 8. Palani ­ Bhoga Siddhar 9. Madurai ­ Sundaranathar 10. Ettukuli ­ Vanmikar 11. Kasi ­ Nandhi 12. Karur ­ Kangeyar 13. Thirpparankundram ­ Machcha Muni 14. Poyyur ­ Korakkar 15. Thirvaroor ­ Kamala Muni 16. Mayiladuthurai ­ Kuthambai Siddhar 17. Alagarmalai ­ Rama Devar 18. Vriddhachalam ­ Paambati Muni All of these Munis, Siddhars, spread the praises of the lord, and established beautiful temples and even breathed their last, in those areas. Visit these places of their Jeeva Samadhi, learn more about these stalwarts of years gone by.....It is interesting to note that even now, there are siddhars to this day, responsible for the establishment of famous temples like the Vadapalani Murugan temple in Chennai. · Pada Darshan ­ Visit temples in which the deities provide darshan of their padam ­ such as Kalahasti, Kaladi, Chidambaram, etc. Participate in "Thiruvadi" seva offered in these temples.

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Mercury ­ will give plenty of benefits this year; Worship this Navagraha moorthy (Bhudha) along with Muruga and Ganesha. Try to visit Thirumullaivayil, and behold a Mercury Lingam! Surya temples ­ Visit temples in Konark, Bhaskarayarpuram, Soorakudi, Suryanar, where Lord Surya is the presiding deity.

In your home....... · Wooden furniture ­ try to retain and use any wooden furniture you have at home ­ do not replace them with plastic ones! A wooden bed, table, chair, dresser or armoire will impart good vibrations for a healthy lifestyle. · Mercury ­ beads may be procured and placed in armoires, for positive results. · Light a lamp everyday ­ morning and in the evening, for the benefit of the students in your home ­ this simple act will bestow upon them the benefits of concentration and disciplined hardwork. Rivers of significance · Thamaraibharani · Kuttralam Waterfalls Bathing in these rivers will alleviate skin troubles. Poojas to perform this year · Light lamps in temples · Just visit temples ­ even if you do not perform a specific archana, abhishekam, just visiting a temple by itself, will impart peace of mind, body and spirit. What "not" to do during a pooja ­ why am I saying this? Most of you know this already; but I am just reiterating here, to bring attention to these simple actions, that we should avoid during a pooja: · · · · · · · · · · · Do not apply chandan with index finger; use only ring finger of right hand Do you grind the chandan? If so, do not remove the paste from the sandalwood with your thumb. Do not offer any neivedyam / offering made with parboiled rice Do not light lamps in the south side of pooja, homam. Do not remove flowers from a garland for archana. If you run out of flowers, simply do the chanting alone..... Do not hold flowers in your left hand while doing archana with your right hand Do not hold flowers in your lap Do not use boiled milk for abhishekam; it has to be fresh, raw. Do not use a homa kundam made of iron Do not close your eyes if you are the one performing the homam. Face the Agni, and offer the homam ingredients. Do not add anything that fell down, into the homam. It is better not to pick it up again.

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Do not add camphor to the homam to make it glow brighter. The Agni that is kindled with the homam materials alone should generate the glow.

A story for you........ I am now going to narrate a real incident that happened between a Guru and a Sishya. This happened a few decades ago; the Guru led a group of Bhajan Namavali singers and was offering darshan to a very large audience. He spotted one of his disciples in the crowd and beckoned to him ­ the disciple sprang up to his feet, and hurried to his Guru's side. The Guru looked at him and enquired: "Do you know the Vedas?" "I do not know!" replied the disciple. "Do you know the Upanishads?" continued the Guru. "I do not know!" replied the disciple "Do you know the Puranas?", cajoled the Guru. "I do not know!" replied the disciple "Well, since you do not know any of these, why don't you find a library? Borrow a lot of books from there? Learn about the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Puranas, okay?" suggested the Guru. The disciple was very overcome with shame, guilt and hurried away, in search of a library. He wanted to follow his Guru's instructions to him immediately. Unfortunately, in the village or town that he was in,there was no library or any other facility to acquire the required books! He was crestfallen; he returned home, and pondering his -----situation, he fell asleep. The Guru appeared in his dream; "Did you get the books?" he asked his disciple, who replied hesitantly, "No, I did not, I could not find a library!". The Guru gave a surprising clue ­ about a library close by, and asked him to bring all the relevant books from there. The disciple hurried to the area mentioned by the Guru, and lo and behold! he did find a library ­ stocked with many books on the subjects he dearly wanted to educate himself with. He quickly grabbed a selection of literature, and raced back to the Guru. The ever patient Guru, now smiled and enquired: "Have you started reading them?" The disciple stammered: "No, I do not know how, I have not read them yet!" The Guru contined lightheartedly, " Okay, let's do this; why don't you get that spade lying there? start digging a pit ­ a pit large enough for all these books." The disciple did as he was told; he dug a large pit. The Guru asked him to bury all the books inside

the pit! The disciple followed that instruction also, meticulously, covering the pit with the dirt. Now what? The Guru asked him to sit on the dirt mound. At this time, the bells of the local temple rang, heralding the start of a new day. The disciple woke up from his dream, with a start. He was confused and delighted at the same time ­ confused because he had to bury all the books, and delighted at the sight of his Guru in his early morning dreams. He quickly got ready, and ran to the temple. The Guru was already there, offering darshan to a crowd. On seeing the disciple, he asked him with a twinkle in his eye, "So, did you bury all the books?" The disciple was stunned! How did my Guru know about what happened in my dream? he wondered. He fell at his Guru's feet and sobbing away, admitted, "Yes, Yes, I did. Now how will I ever learn the Vedas, Upanishads and the Puranas?" The Guru addressed him ­ "Okay, that is good; It is now in our control now. It is with us. Let us get the books out, one by one. We can educate ourselves completely, one book at a time." The disciple, overcome by the patience, love, caring of his Guru, was speechless. He touched his Guru's Paadam, and experienced the joy of enlightenment. The disciple then feverishly educated himself of many of the scriptures, and composed many songs, stories to spread the lore of the teachings to many, many people. He was none other than, Sri. Haridas Giri Swamigal; His benevolent Guru was Sri. Gnana Nanda Swamigal. Thus, with this story, I wanted to illustrate how the Guru is one who constantly, "shows the way"; even if one does not know how. One should be prepared to listen, follow, and truly put in their efforts in any task before them. Success will surely be yours. Now, I have been talking to you for over half an hour; and it is being recorded. This year, for a change, you will hear me, through this CD, in your own home. It will be different for both of us; I do not see your faces, hear your replies, or experience your interaction. You do not see me in person either; but, during this talk, we are both together ­ as one, whereever we are, talking and listening about the new year ahead of us. It is my desire, that we all combine our energies together, like this, always, for achieving the best for everyone. My blessings to all of you." - Mathioli Saraswathy, January 2008.

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