“brhtsaam tathaa saamnaam gaayatree chandasaamaham
maasaanaam margasheersho-ahamritunaam kusumaakarah”
In Bhagawat Gita, lord Krishna has described the month of Mrigashirsha as one of his manifestations. He says in Months ” I am Margazhi”
The month of Dhanur Maasa or name Margazhi (mid Dec to Jan 14), derives from the star Mrigashirsha and is considered very auspicious month for religious services. During this month the sun transits through Sagittarius (Dhanur Rasi) sign, the house of Jupiter and ends with the Makara Sankranti.
Auspicious time for Worship:
One-and-half hours before sunrise is called Brahma Muhurta, an auspicious time best suited for worshipping Lord Vishnu as it would yield auspicious results. Even the celestials remember to perform special prayers to Vishnu. This time period starts with Mrigashirsha Shukla Ekadasi and ends at Dakshinaayana. Reciting daily Vishnu Sahasranama during the Margazhi month in Brahma Muhurtha or in the Evenings during sunset will make one dear and near to Lord Vishnu.
The birth of the great Margazhi month is the time when the holy star Mrigashirsha combines with Poornima thithi. It is sacred from all aspects and renders in attaining prosperity and blessings to the God himself.
Importance of Margazhi month:
The Ekadasi falling during this period is considered highly auspicious. In South India, especially the Vaikunta Ekadasi which falls during the waning phase of the moon in Danur Masam (Dec – Jan) attracts thousands of devotees. Temples conduct special Poojas during the period.
Margazhi is a time to bring perfect balance and stability to the system. There are practices in the yogic system which have been transmitted into the culture in multi-various ways. This is a time when men will do what generally women are supposed to do, and vice versa. In the state of Tamil Nadu, men will go on Namasankeertanam; they will sing and practice devotion early in the mornings – which are largely considered feminine. Geometry and masculinity are very directly connected. The feminine generally pays maximum significance to an object’s color and outer form. The masculine always sees the geometric base first. In this month, women practice geometry – in front of their homes, drawing geometrical figures or kolams traditionally using rice powder (to also feed starving creatures). This is also a good time particularly for those suffering from psychological imbalances because during this time, the sun’s energy is pulling downward, and they can stabilize themselves.
Be devote to Lord Vishnu or his avatars, namely, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Sri Narasimha, Sri Hyagreeva, Sri Panduranga and receive the Wisdom for breaking the knot of Avidhya.
The Thiruppavai (திருப்பாவை) is a Tamil devotional poem attributed to the female poet-saint (also known as Nachiyar, Kodhai or Goda Devi). It consists of thirty stanzas (paasurams) for 30 days of the month in praise of Thirumal (a manifestation) of Lord Vishnu. It is a part of Divya Prabhanda, a collection of the works of the twelve that is considered an important part of the devotional genre of Tamil literature. In Thiruppavai, Andal gives a universal call to all people to recite the name and glories of Lord Vishnu.
Vedic scriptures define the period just before the ensuing dawn as Bramhamuhurtham. It is an auspicious time, for it gives good thoughts and intentions. Practices like meditation and penances done during this hour, give favorable results. According to the Vedic calendar, one Earth-year equals one celestial day. So the last six months on the earth (every year) equal one celestial night. Hence, the predawn period, the Bramhamuhurtha, for the heavenly beings falls in the month of Margazhi undertook a vratham (religious vow) called Dhanurmasa vratham during this month. Through her verses, Andal tells us that by practicing this vratham, one can attain not only materialistic happiness but also eternal bliss. Andal taught us this Dhanurmasa vratham because she wanted us to spend these auspicious days in contemplation of God. This vratham was performed for Sri Krishna. Krishna is the bestower of happiness. Man is always in the quest for happiness, in order to attain which, he engages himself in various kinds of jobs. But pursuit of materialistic happiness will eventually lead to sorrow. So, Sri Aandal performed this vratham desiring the eternal blissful God. She desired and attained Him.
Listen to Sri Andal’s Tiruppavai: