"Vedic Astrology (Symposium...snip... Vedic.Astrology@pamho.net>

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am often asked about eclipses and what to do, often just as they are about to happen such that I can't respond in time.

The following information about what a temple should do during an eclipse is applicable for both solar and lunar eclipses and can be filed away for future references as there are a minimum of 3-4 eclipses every years with as many as 7 being possible.

You only need to act if the eclipse is visible in your location. If an eclipse is obscured by cloud cover you would still need to take action.

Your humble servant

Shyamasundara Dasa

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Text PAMHO:13215647 (79 lines)
From:      Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP (Vedic Astrologer) (USA)
Date:      19-Mar-07 22:02 (17:02 -0500)
To:        (Arcana) Deity Worship

Subject:   preliminary research into the eclipse question
Dear Maharajas, Prabhus and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Bhakti-vijna-vinasa Narasimhadeva Bhagavan ki jaya!

I have done some preliminary research into the eclipse question, that is,
what should we do during a solar or lunar eclipse? I was inspired to do this
research by His Grace Bhima Prabhu who recently sent me the following text:

Letter PAMHO:13205390 (16 lines)
From:      Bhima (das) ACBSP (BBT India, Juhu, Mumbai - IN)
Date:      16-Mar-07 20:34 -0500
To:        Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP (Vedic Astrologer) (USA) [34398]
Reference: Text PAMHO:13198005 by Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP (Vedic
Comment:   Text PAMHO:13213305 by Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP (Vedic
Subject:   Re: eclipse question
I will keep my eye for any information on this subject. I think the first
place to start would be to see what the Gaudiya Math follows, that may
answer all our questions.

Dhananajay prabhu in Vrindavan said he asked Srila Prabhupada what to do for
the eclipse. Srila Prabhupada replied do as the other temples are doing in

Dhanajaya said that Prabhupad wanted us to be accepted by the locals so he
gave that instruction.

My question is why didn't he give that instruction in Mayapur and other
temples in India?

Bhima das
<end quote>

I then asked HH Bhakti Vikasa Svami what was the practice of 108 Bhakti
Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura regarding eclipses as maharaja is writing what
will be the definitive biography of Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He
said that as far as he knew BSST continued the Deity worship and directed me
to someone in Mayapura named Svetadwipa Prabhu who is very knowledgeable
about these things. I called him over the phone and will meet with him when
I go to Mayapura next time for more details. But in mean time this is what
he told me over the phone when I asked what was the standard that BSST kept
for Deity worship during a solar or lunar eclipse. He said that regular
Deity worship would go on behind closed doors but outside there would be
loud Hari Nama Sankirtan with the chanters specifically instructed to be
meditating on the Holy Name of the Lord. When I asked what was the pramana
for that he said there was lots of texts by Madhvacarya etc but specifically
referred to a text named Sri Caitanya Siksamrita by Bhaktivinode Thakura
which discussed various kinds of impurities and how to reverse them.

He mentioned that there are different types of contamination: Sthan jata
apavitra, Kala jata apavitra and Patra jata apavitra which refer to
contamination of the place, time and pot (or ingredients of worship)
respectively. An eclipse is contamination of the time element. Bhaktivinode
Thakura explains in Sri Caitanya Siksamrita that the way to purify
contamination of the time element is with the chanting of the Holy Name.
Hence, under the aegis of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura the nitya
seva of the arca murtis continued as explained above during an eclipse.

Now in response to the question asked by Bhima Prabhu "My question is why
didn't he give that instruction in Mayapur and other temples in India?" My
tentative response (subject to revision on receiving more information) would
be that in Mayapura where we Gaudiya Vaisnavas are practically the only
force then our standard is the standard followed by everyone. But in other
parts of India we are not dominant so it may be wise to go along with the
standards of others if we want to be accepted. Then after we are accepted we
can set our own standards if we want to.

When I go to Mayapura next month I will try to get more information on this

Your humble servant

Shyamasundara Dasa
(Text PAMHO:13215647) --------------------------------------

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