Religious Signification of Margazhi or Danur month

"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.

The month of Dhanur Maasa or name Margazhi (Dec 14th to Jan 14th), derives from the star Mrigashirsha and is considered very auspicious month for religious services. During this month the sun transits through Sagittarius 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 good results. Even the celestials do not fail to perform special prayers to Vishnu. This time starts with Mrigashirsha Shukla Ekadasi and ends at Dakshinaayana.

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 attracts thousands of devotees. Temples conduct special Poojas during the period.

STORY: Once, on the eve of Dakshinaayana, the celestials assembled on the peaks of Mountain Meru and prayed to the Upendra a form of Lord Vishnu. When the Lord arrived, the celestials told Him that their "night" was approaching and sought His permission so that they all could go to their respective abodes. Then Ratri Devi, the patron deity of night and Dakshinaayana, took on the form of a beautiful damsel and prostrated before the Lord. She pleaded with Him as follows "Lord, everybody views Dakshinaayana as a bad time and do not performs any good deeds. I am universally reviled. I will undertake penance to obtain your grace. If I do not achieve my goal, I will end this life of infamy". The assembled celestials pleaded her case to the Lord.

The merciful Lord took pity on her and blessed her as follows, "Ratri Devi, your duration consists of 3 seasons of 2 months each. Out of these, the first two seasons shall be deemed to dear to me. Within these 2 seasons consisting of four months, there shall be a hierarchy in which kartika shall be the dearest, followed by Ashwini, Bhadrapada and finally Shravana.

All pious and meritorious acts performed in these four months shall yield immense benefits. Due to this, people will now look forward to this time of the year, thus removing the stigma attached to you". Thus saying the Lord disappeared.

Ceremony of Margazhi month

Celebration during all the thirty days, Alwars Tirupavai Pasurams is rendered in the early morning in all temples and houses.

Alwars are 12 in Number and out of which one is Sri Andal, who is a woman.

These Alwars were born in various parts of our country but they were all united in a common subject, ie dedicating their lives and praising the Lord Vishnu.

Adhyayana Utsavam for 21 days (4000 Divya Prabhandam Pasurams is sung) at 108 Divya Desam including Sri Rangam and on the 10th day, Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated where all enters Vaikunta through Swargavasal (gates).

Fasting and contemplating on the name of God brings more benefit. So one should take full utilization of these fours months and devote their time in religious service to earn the blessings of God.