śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
āpadāmapa hartāram dātāram sarva sampadam
lokābhi rāmam śri rāmam bhuyo bhuyo namāmyaham
ārtānām ārtidātāram bhītānām bhītanāśanam
dviśatām kāladandaṁ tam rāmacandraṁ namāmyaham
namaḥ kodanda hastāya saṁdhīkruta śarāyaca
kanditākhila daityāya ramāyapannivārine
rāmāya rāmabhadrāya rāmacandrāya vedhase |
raghunāthāya nāthāya sītāyāḥ pataye namaḥ
The one who protects us from danger is Lord Maha Vishnu. The Lord is also the one who grants supreme knowledge and health. He is the one who bestows prosperity. Such a Lord’s incarnation is Lord Datta wherein he became teacher to the entire world.
Mankind fell into ignorance right after creation started. Filled with desires, anger and the other vices, caught in the endless cycle of births and deaths, mankind is caught in this strange transactional wheel of life that is devoid of real happiness, but instead goes through the motions of sorrows, weeping, laughter etc. To uplift them all, Lord Brahma first created the Guru principle. With Sage Atri as the root and based on his intense penance, the Datta Avadhoota incarnated as the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, without causing any conflict among worshipers, to uplift the worlds. When he came as Avadhoota, many kings and wise men started following him. All of a sudden, Lord Dattatreya, the epitome of Yoga went into a lake and stayed at the bottom of the lake. Tens of millions of people were witnessing this, but the Lord did not return after many days. Many left, cursing, “I knew he must be dead. What kind of a Guru is he!?” Some others left tired of waiting. A few of them however sat with unwavering determination, cooking and eating right there as needed, but not stirring from there. They were determined to wait until they had life in them. That is wonderful determination driven by devotion to the Lord. After a hundred years, the Lord emerged with a half-naked body and a maiden in his arms. Some of those who were there were bewildered by his appearance, and left cursing the kind of Guru he appeared to be. Only a handful were left. Pingala Naga was among them. From the ten million that started out, only a handful were now left. Those were the ones with real devotion. Regardless of what the Guru was like, they had firm faith in him. They had sincere hearts. To them, the Lord revealed his true form and that of the Goddess Mahalakshmi who was with him. Lord Datta who is himself Maha Vishnu is capable of creation, preservation and destruction of the worlds. Such a supremely accomplished Lord of Yoga was giving Darshan with Goddess Lakshmi – the Mother of Yoga.
Those who had left had left out of ignorance. To remove ignorance, grant knowledge, drive away poverty, the Lord traveled around the world as Avadhoota taking several forms to uplift those in need. Recognizing him as Lord Datta, some began worshiping him.
During that time, great sages wanted to coronate Kartaveeryarjuna as the king of Mahishmati. Since he had two weak and crooked arms, Kartaveeryarjuna’s Guru who was concerned Kartaveeryarjuna may not be able to be king advised that he serve and worship Lord Datta who was in the Sahyadri mountains, to get strong arms. Lord Datta tested him severely. Kartaveeryarjuna won all the tests and earned a divine and powerful body and one thousand strong arms. You already read about this in Datta Darshanam and also watched the movie.
The Lord thus bestowed kingdoms on many kings; he granted knowledge to many, good health to the ailing, prosperity to the impoverished, speech to the mute, legs to the lame and performed many miraculous deeds, even including imparting wisdom to his own mother. When Kartaveeryarjuna, the great emperor at that time said, “O Lord, how can everyone in this world earn your grace? How can we have Darshan of Goddess Lakshmi as the Mother of Yoga everywhere. Please give me a mantra”, the Lord teaches him the ritual. That is the principle of Anagha Vratam. When Kartaveeryarjuna asked how the ritual must be performed, the Lord offered to come as a priest and officiate over the ritual Himself. This is such an amazing ritual. The eight Yogic accomplishments in Anagha Vratam are not random names, they are deities present in our body. Everything in this ritual is based in science. The yantra represents our body. The Lord granted the boon that those who worship the Lord and Goddess Anagha Lakshmi will be blessed with birth in a good family, knowledge and even the path to liberation in the next birth. This great ritual was relegated to the scriptures. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji has brought it out from the scriptures and is made it accessible to all mankind. Those who performed the ritual in the last 25 years have earned great benefits. They have experienced great peace of mind. And in case they had difficulties, they gained the strength to withstand them while continuing to progress spiritually. They did not get drowned in sorrows. After a couple days of difficulties and mourning, they resumed normal activities and continued performing Anagha Vratam. What is this if not the grace of Lord Datta and Goddess Anagha Lakshmi?
There are so many natural calamities everywhere. Rains are unpredictable and extreme, earthquakes and volcanoes are more frequent, and there is so much anxiety among people. There is so much chaos with people fighting each other. We have come to a state where humans are eating other human bodies. There is no consideration for age, gender or familial relationships. The relationship with sisters and mothers are not held up with sanctity. Why has such demonic nature come over mankind? People are possessed with desire and lust. There is injustice, murder and cruelty everywhere. Despite so many temples and penance by sages and noble souls, where is all the merit going? Is it getting washed away some place? Or, is there not enough devotion in the temples? Is the effort by the noble souls and great sages futile? Swamiji asked himself these questions.
Then, Anagha Devi and Anagha Swami appeared to Swamiji and suggested that the forgotten Anagha Vratam be performed. I said my devotees did not forget Anagha Vratam. They felt the devotees did not forget, but they were not performing Anagha Vratam either. Perhaps only one in a hundred people is doing the ritual. That is not enough. At one time hundred percent of the devotees used to perform the Vratam. We need to do Anagha Vratam en masse the way we did Hanuman Chalisa or the way we do Divya Nama Sankeertana, with personal involvement. We are doing Hanuman Chalisa and Divya Nama Sankeertana along with our Guru. We are witnessing the Guru perform Abhishekam to the Lord. We are doing Anagha Vratam too with our Guru. We are physically performing the ritual with full involvement. Other rituals such as Ananta Padmanabha Vratam and Satyanarayana Vratam may not enable us to be involved as much. There is no ritual like this one in the entire world.
We can do ritual elaborately in one hour at home. You will find the information you need on dattapeetham.org. On Pradhana Anagha Ashtami day, you can perform this elaborately. Swamiji wants 1 crore counts though. When Swamiji made the Sankalpa about 1 crore Hanuman Chalisa counts, the final count exceeded the number and more counts continue to come in. Shatashloki Ramayana too exceeded the count. Many even came to Ayodhya for the final Yajna event for Shatashloki Ramayana. How many of you were there? You are lucky. We also began chanting Shivaya Rudraya Namah. After we completed a certain number, we went to Kashi for Atirudra Yajna. How many of you attended the event in Kashi? So many! How amazing is this. The Anagha Vratam we are doing is Swamiji’s sankalpa. Pujya Bala Swamiji asked for permission to do 10,000 Anagha Vratas. I told him his sankalpa itself was my acceptance. I said I wanted 10 million counts instead. I said, “You do 10,000 count and I will do 10,000,000”. It is good to have spiritual competition. “I will get involved. I will not even do bhajans until this is completed. If the 10 million is not completed, I will not speak for 3 months or even write to communicate, regardless of how much you beg and plead. It will be like having honey near your lips, but not being able to lick it.
All details on this ritual will be provided on dattapeetham.org, Some questions came up.
Q: Do we need to do the elaborate ritual everyday?
A: Because we need a count of 1 crore, Swamiji has now made it possible to do the ritual in 8 minutes.
Q: Do we need to set up with kalashas?
You do not need to set up kalashas everyday if you are unable to do so. We printed small sheets for you to perform the Vratam with. Those who have the ability can offer fruits, flowers etc. during the ritual. You can set up with Kalashas if you wish. When you set up with Kalashas, Swamiji is present there. Otherwise, you can do it on this sheet. We are posting the procedure on the website in Telugu, English, Kannada and Hindi. You can download the procedure and perform the ritual.
Q: Do you need to wash your hair every day?
A: If you have a lot of hair, it is not needed. But if you have very little hair or are bald, you can take a head bath every day.
Q: Can we perform Anagha Vratam after our meal?
A: Yes. Do not eat too much though – it will make you sleepy.
Q: What if we need to go to the toilet?
A: Wash your feet before you perform the ritual. If you poop after your shower, wash your feet and face and rinse your mouth and prostrate to the Lord before the ritual.
Of course, you must definitely shower at least once in the day before you offer worship. Keep chanting viṣṇur viṣṇur viṣṇuḥ while you clean up before the ritual. It will remove the ill effects from poor practices.
Do not answer the phone while doing the ritual. Concentration is very important. We may experience devotion and concentration at any moment. Let us not throw away the opportunity to gain devotion. Do not sit down for the ritual with extreme hunger. You may collapse. Those who are diabetic can eat well before commencing the ritual because you need to take your medication on time. You must protect your body so you can perform the ritual, otherwise, your only liberation will be in the hospital. If you eat too much, you will get sleepy. Eat moderately, have a little hunger left in you.
Q: How many times do you need to perform the Vratam?
A: As many times as you wish. You can register online, Swamiji alone will see your information. If I am pleased with your efforts, I might send you a personal message. You can invite people to the Vratam and serve them sattvic lunch at the end. You will get a much bigger count as well. You can enter all their names in the form online. And you can give them a Yantra so that they can do the ritual on their own. They can then do the same thing you did – inviting other people and distributing the Yantra. This is how you can propagate the ritual. You can print/photo copy the Yantra sheet to distribute to others.
Use rice only with a small pinch of turmeric and vermilion in your worship. After you do the ritual, you can serve the rice to birds, cows or other animals on the street, or prepare Prasadam for your own consumption. Or, you can collect the rice that was used in worship and bring to our Ashram or to a temple near you. Wherever other creatures are fed, the Lord is there. Mother Goddess is present. If you add too much turmeric, ants will not eat the rice. If there is a lot of turmeric or vermilion, wash the rice to get rid of it.
Q: Can you perform the ritual while traveling?
If you are traveling, plug in the audio into your ears; and if you do not have rice grains, place your finger on the yantra in the spots where you offer the rice. There is also a small palm size yantra sheet you can carry during your travels. However, you must perform the ritual to the best of your ability. You should not take shortcuts unnecessarily. What you get from God is commensurate with how much effort you put in. If you are traveling in a bus, you can even listen to the song Swamiji has sung on the Anagha Vratam procedure and perform the ritual. You must have the determination to do the ritual 1000 times. Of course, you get a multiplier of 100 at certain places, but you must do 1000 on your own. If you are doing the ritual by a river and have a priest to officiate, that is great. If not, you can do it on your own. You will slowly learn the Vratam by heart. You can do it within 8 minutes. If a 100 people are sitting by the river and doing this ritual, each gets a multiplier of 100 every time they do the ritual.
Q: What places give you a multiplier of 100?
Performing Anagha Vratam at any of the following places gives you a multiplier of 100: A river, a sea, a natural waterfall, a natural lake, mountain top, source of a river, kshetra (a pilgrim place established by a great sage) or any of the seven holy pilgrim centers (Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Dwarka) or the 18 shakti peethas or the 12 dwadasha jyotirlingas
The swimming pool does not count.
If you do it at home, you will only get 1 count for one round. You must do it with full concentration, without any distractions. Doing the Vratam in Swamiji’s Ashrams does not give you a multiplier. Even though it is a kshetra and has a multiplier of 100, it is a lazy way for you to reach the count. I am not giving permission to report with a multiplier when performing in Swamiji’s Ashram. Anagha Vratam performed in Swamiji’s Ashrams is of course very powerful. You must work hard. Do not be lazy.
Q: Is there a minimum age to perform the Vratam?
A: Anyone 3 years and above that is able to place the rice on the yantram can perform the ritual.
I mentioned earlier that it is important you consume Sattvic food on the days you are performing the ritual. Meat, eggs etc. are forbidden on those days. You should not even eat those things outside on those days. Eating meat gives you diseases. Do not inflict violence on any living beings. Many chronic and long-standing issues with health, home and business are plaguing us due to our lifestyle and the violence we inflict on other beings for food.
Foreigners have been careful ever since I cautioned them against eating meat. If people in your house insist on eating, let them; you do not need to. Our pet hens or lambs come to us with love when called, how you can kill them for meat? It is a living being that we do not have the ability to pour life into. We can survive by eating plant-based food. When the primitive man did not know other food, he had to hunt to eat. But now we have other options. We suffer from cancer, heart problems and other chronic ailments when we eat meat. Eat Sattvic food.
Q: How is Panchakaryajam made?
This must be made with 5 ingredients. Fried Bengal gram, dates, sugar candy, desiccated coconut and clarified butter (ghee). Use only good quality ingredients. That is good for your health. The Lord does not even eat the Panchakarjayam. You can make enough Panchakarjayam for one week and serve as Naivedyam each day. If that is not possible, you can serve sugar candy. If that is not possible, you can offer jaggery. If you cannot do jaggery, you can serve sugar or even fruits.
Swamiji has made it very easy to perform the ritual. We want to do 1 crore count as soon as possible. Everyone attend the Ayata Anagha Vratam in Warangal. Even if we exceed the 1 crore count by then, you must attend the event. Attend the event even if you performed Anagha Vratam several times each day leading up to the event.
Q: Do we tie toram every time we perform the Vratam?
A: Toram is made with white red and yellow threads and is tied around the wrist. Make the toram and change it daily. If you do 10 rounds every day, you can tie the toram once at the end.
Q: Do we read the story at the end of each round?
A: You can simply chant “kārtavīryārjunāya namaḥ” three times at the end of each round. You can read the story once at the end of all the rounds. It is good to read the story when new people are present so they can get acquainted with it. It takes barely 10 minutes to finish the story.
Q: For those performing the ritual with kalashas, do we change the water every day?
A: You can place rice and a rupee coin instead of water in the kalashas. When mango leaves are dried up, you can change them. It is okay even if you cannot change the mango leaves.
Q: Do we offer Naivedya for each round?
A: You must offer Naivedya for each round.
Q: Can we continue with our usual activities in the room where we perform the Vratam?
A: After the ritual is completed, you can put away the yantram sheet and use the room as you normally would. The next day, you can clean the area again before you start the ritual.
Q: We have the habit of offering Dakshina during Anagha Vratam. Where should we send that money to?
A: You can send it to any of Swamiji’s Ashrams.
However, if you are demonstrating the Vratam to others or are helping others perform the Vratam, do not accept any money for that service. You can ask the participants to directly send the money to the Ashram if they wish.
You can go to others’ houses and perform Anagha Vratam to demonstrate the ritual to them.