Author – Padmaja Vangala
Sri Gurubhoy Namaha
Sri Ganeshaya Namaha
Sri Lakshmi Parabrahmane Namaha
According to Hindu calendar, there are 13 Months in a year. Wherein, according to Gregorian calendar, we only have 12 months. Every month, sun transits from one rasi to another rasi which is called as Sankranti. When Sun transit from Vrischika rasi (Scorpian) to Dhanurasi (Saggitarius), it is called as Dhanu Sankraman, also known as Dhanurmasam (13th month).
DHANURMASAM begins with Dhanu Sankraman in the month of Margashirsha Masam and ends in Pushya masam when Sun transit into makar rasi. The Dhanurmasam only have 29 days in it.
Meaning of Dhanurmasam:
Masam is month. Dhanu represents Bow. It means, the God of Dev Guru, Brihaspati, works like archer in Dhanurmasam. Based on Indian Vedic Astrology, Brihaspati is exalted in Karkatakam and Lord of Dhanu and Meena rasi. It is Moola Triikonam in Dhanurasi, which is more powerful and creates Raj yog. Raja Harishchandra is the best example of Raj Yog. King Vikramaditya was also blessed with this Raj yog.
Occurrence of Dhanurmasam:
Dhanurmasam falls into two months, both Margashirsha and Pushya months i.e. December -January. During this period, sun 🌞 change its position from South to North direction which is known as Uttarayanam. It means, sun rises from North east side. In this year, Plava namasavastaram Dhanurmasam starts from 16th December and ends on 13th January, 2021.
The Supreme god of Margashirsha Masam is Sriman Narayana i e. Lord Vishnu, and for Pushya month it is Surya Narayana. These two months are considered as Shunya masam. All forms of Lord Vishnu are worshipped in Dhanurmasam. In this month spiritual rituals are performed. But, marriages, thread ceremonies and House Warming Ceremonies are prohibited.
In Dhanurmasam, a Holy marriage is performed, which is known as the Godha Kalyanam. Godha devi is also called as Andalu Ammavaru. This marriage is performed with Lord Sriranganath Swamy, at Srirangam temple, Tamilnadu. It is an important holistic ritual in Tamil culture and is performed on 13th January, on the day of Bhogi festival. It is the end of Dhanurmasam.
According to Hindu mythology, after the end of yoga nidra, Lord Vishnu wake up on Ksheerabdhi, thereafter Margashirsha month begins. In Bhagavat Geeta, Lord Krishna says “I am Margashirsha”. In this month, Lord Vishnu is worshipped. Mrugashira nakshtra is Lord Vishnu and Arudra Nakshtra is Lord shiva. Geeta teach about Life, Live and Leave. Geeta is not to recite; it is to practice and practice.
Important Rituals of Dhanurmasam:
The first and foremost important ritual is to wake early at 4 A.M. and take bath.
The another important ritual of Dhanurmasam: is worship of Lord Vishnu in early hours, 72 minutes before sunrise, i.e., during the Brahma muhurat. It is followed in all Vishnu temples throughout India. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as a new born child. Devotees also follow Dhanurmasam pooja at their home too.
Another important ritual is the preparation of Bala Bhogam, which means, offering Naivedyan in the early hours. This is very important ritual for entire 29 days in this month. Early morning, naivadyam called as Pongal is offered which is cooked out of rice and moongdal with ghee. Likewise, sweet Pongal, Curd rice, tamarind rice, Boondi Laddu, Black urad dal Vada, Dosa, Hayagriva sweet, Jangri sweet and Appam are also offered as Naivedyam.
One more important ritual is the recital of “Tirruppave”, which is Tamil regional hymns devoted to Lord Vishnu by Godha devi. It is the Morning wake up devotional hymns like the Suprabhat stotram. It consists of 30 Pashura. A Special Holy food is described in hymns of Tiruppave to be offered to Lord Vishnu. Before reciting Tiruppave, Tirupal aache is chanted to honour Lord Rangnath Swamy. Dhanurmasam is specially for Tamil natives and it is spread among all Indian devotees.
Devotees will worship Lord Vishnu for entire month. If not possible, at least on the important days or any day of Dhanurmasam for the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Taking bath in sacred rivers is also important.
Finally, Dhanurmasam is concluded on the day of Bhogi festival, which falls on January 13th or 14th by celebrating Sri Ranganatha Swamy and Godha devi Kalyanam. Devotees can perform any ritual depend upon the surroundings and Devotion.
Here are the December 2021 important dates