I remember papa referring to it. I never really paid much attention, but this time round I thought let me actually see what this is all about.
From what I understand Dhanurmasa is when the sun enters the zodiac sing of Sagittarius. It has been relevant since Mahabharata. It is believed that that war of Mahabharata was fought then.
this marks the last lapse of the journey of the sun into the southern hemisphere. The journey of the sun to the southern hemisphere is known as Dakshinayana..
The Vaishanavaites or the followers of Vishnu believe that this is period when Sri Vishnu sleeps. Hence they refer to it as Shoonya Masa and is dedicated to austerities. The Tiruppavai penned by Andaal is read in the morning instead of the suprabhatam.
On the 22nd the journey of the sun towards the northern hemisphere begins.
References to the dharumasa is given in the Agneya purana’s 52nd chapter. Vishnu should be worshiped at the Brahmamurhta (an hour and half before sunrise) huggi should be eaten during the Dharnumasa. Mythology states that Huggi was the food that was given to the warriors of Mahabharata. Vishnu during this period is referred to as Janardhana.
Huggi is made of split green gram, rice, gooseberry, ginger, sugar/jaggery, cardamom.
Lakshmi is worshipped during Dharnurmasa for prosperity or rather abundance. The dwashanamavali of Lakshmi is chanted 12 times and mugdanna is offered to Lakshminarayana.
The Lakshmi dwadashanamavali
Sridevi amritodbhava kamala lokasundari vishnupatni srivaishnavi varaarohi varivallabe shaarngNi devadevika mahalakshmi bhargavi.
shri padma kamala mukundamahishi lakshmi trilokeshwari maa kshirabdhisute aravindajanani vidya sarojaatmikaa sarvaabhisha phalaprada
it is most potent if the rituals are done before sunrise when the stars are visible. The potency is good if done before sunrise but stars are not visible. The potency of the ritual reduces as the sunrises. The potency is barely there after sunrise. The ritual gets rendered useless if done if performed at noon. Likewise the proportion of the rice and moongdaal also plays an important role.
The lentil and rice have to be 1:1 in proportion if the lentil reduces the efficiency of the ritual also reduces.
The Bhaskariya Jyotishya shastra says that the uttaranya is the day of the Gods while dakshinayana is the night. However dhanurmasa is both day and night.
Aditya puraana talks of Usha Kala or bath at dawn, suryarghya or worship of the Sun-God, mugddhana offering and finally Gayathri Japa. The smirtyarthasaara, pancaraatra samhita, paarmeshtya samhita, matsyapurana all describe the same. The Matsyapurana in addition refers to ancestor worship.
Dhanurmasa begins on Dec,17th 2019 and ends on Jan.14th 2020/
Courtesy Sri.Ravindra P.N. and the Udupi temple for helping with the inputs.