The Tradition &
The term Shasti in numerology denotes
sixty (60). In an individuals life, the completion of
sixty years is referred to as Shastipoorthi. This term
is derived from Sanskrit. Which means ShastiSixty;
abdacompletion. The sixtieth year in everyones life is a
significant milestone. A memorable turning point. A
touching reminder of the rich, mellowed life that would
unfold in the years to come.
The sages and the Rishis of lore have
acknowledged the sanctity of the sixtieth year in ones
life and have drawn out elaborate rituals to mark this
special event. They looked at it as rebirth and
suggested the repetition of those rituals performed at
ones birth. Hence this celebration at this point of life
is a sacred part of the hallowed Vedic culture. The
rituals in the former go by the norms prescribed in the
shastras, while the latter is purely conventional in
60th birth day (ugraratha
The rituals carved out as part of
Shanti are also referred to as Ugraradha Shanti.
Ugraradha is nothing but the harsh natured time. In a
hundred-year time scale of mans life, pre-sixty is a
period of materialistic pursuit while the postsixty span
is slated for spiritual endeavor. The Ugraradha Shanti
is a prayer sent to the heavens to make the postsixty
span a spiritually fulfilling experience.
Three different ways are chiseled to carry out the
Shanti aspect. They are:
The basic elements of these three ways
remain the same, though the contents vary marginally. Of
all, Shaivaagamokta Santi is very elaborate and
ritualladen. Given its exhaustive scope of rituals, only
a limited few like the kings and the emperors can follow
it in Toto, though it is not entirely ruled out for
Janmatah Shastime Varshe is the
Shaunakokthi. Going by this, Shanti has to be performed
in the Sixtieth year and we have the following quote to
Janmaabde, Janmamaasecha Swajanmadivase
Janmarshe chaiva kartavyaa shanti
Devaalaye nadeeteere swagruhe vaa
The Shanti should be performed in the
same year, month and on the same day of the birth
according to the Indian Zodiac.This is considered to be
the best option. This is considered to be the best
option. In case it is not possible to time it exactly on
the same day, allowance is given to perform it on a
convenient day during and before the completion of
sixtieth year. The choice of the place to carry out this
programmed could be a pilgrim town, a temple, a river
bank or even a householders residence.
Mrityinjayadevata Kalasa sthapana,
pratima sthapana and archana form a very important part
of the programme. Similarly the deities of ganapathi
Durga and vishnu are to be worshipped.This consitutes
The seas, the rivers, the
presiding deities of the Directions
(Dikpalakas), navagrahas are involved
into the Holy Kalasas and the respective gods are
worshipped. Through this worhsip is offered to God who
presides over every element in nature.
Similarly all the gods who govern each
year of the Telugu Calendar (60 years) each Ayana
(Uttara, Dakshina), each season, (six
rithis) each month (12 months), each fortnight,
(Shukla and Krishna) each tithi (15)
each day of the week (seven) each star (27 stars). Each,
yoga, each karana and each raasi are duly worshipped.
Through it, a humble prayer is sent to
the mighty god who weaves every moment in the vast
tapestry of time.
The almighty who is omnipresent in the
celestial universe ranging from Dwadasa Adityas, Ekadasa
Rudraas, Dasha Dishaas, Astavasus, Sapta Vayus, to
Pancha brahmas are soulfully worshipped. The powerful
presence of the paramaatma who lords over the whole
universe is fervently acknowledged in this method.
All these deities who preside over
every speak of the universe are to be duly worshipped by
means of Kalasha Aaraadhana, Pratima Puja, Japa Tapas
etc. All this is to be culminated by Homa. Acharyas and
ritviks take the sanctified water and perform Abhisheka
to the householder.
Here, the householder fulfils his
social obligation of offering warm thanks to each and
every particle in the universe, which contributed to his
sixty year successful span on this earth. As a humble
token of gratitude, he participates in alms giving much
to the satisfaction of everyone in the society.
The Acharyas and ritviks who conducted
the Shanti Yagna should be given "Dasha
Daanaas" "Navagraha daanaas",
"Godaana", to mention a few of all the
"daanaas", Annadaana ranks supreme and
the host should take care that people belonging to all
walks of life are properly and sumptuously fed. Here the
accent is laid on feeding the poor and the destitute,
thus infusing the whole programme with social and
democratic temper. The householder is said to relieved
of his social secular spiritual obligations
when he successfully participates in this Shanti
programme. He is thus blessed with a long and blissful
Thus the Shanti aspects, which
run through the "Shastipoorthi"
celebrations provide a fusion of spiritual and social
obligations which are the very bed rock the Indian
61st Birth day (shashtyabtha
completion of sixty years. This
'shanti' is performed for oneself on
completion of 60 years and beginning of 61st year (61st
birthday). Everyone including ladies can and
should perform this 'shanti' to alleviate the sins
committed so far and to re-charge our life.
As per Vedic scriptures, Human life is
for 120 Years. Completion of sixty years means
completing half-of-our full life. Tamil / Sanskrit
years also have sixty year cycle.
In this function, poojas, japa
and homams are done to numerous gods. Prominent
amongst them are....Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, mruthyunjaya
parameswara, laxmy-narayana, navagrahas and naksatra
As per our scriptures, The
following seven holy souls are called
'chiranjeevees', i.e. immortal
souls. Remembering them brings good life.
Prayer is offered for them during this occasion.
1.Aswaththama; 2.Mahabali; 3.Veda vyasa; 4.Hanuman;
5.Vibheshana; 6.Krupacharya; 7.Parasurama
Samvathsara devatas (60) i.e.
Gods personifying all the sixty tamil / sanskrit years.
Nakshathra devatha (28) i.e. Gods
personifying all the stars under the planet. Please note
that veda mentions 28 stars, but in present day
astrology we use only 27 stars.
Thithy devatha (15) i.e. Gods
personifying the days of phase of the moon.
Navagrahas (9). Nine planets
who rule and prescribe results for our karmas.
Dikpalakas (10) etc. i.e. Gods for
We worship all the above gods at the
completion of one's 60th birthday and the beginning of
Generally, Ekadasa Rudra japam known as
'rudra-ekadasinee' (Eleven Rudra Prayer
cum Homam) is also performed with Mahanyasa,
Rudrabhishekam, kramarchana is also performed on the
previous day of Shashtiyabtha Poorthi. This
'shaanthi' is the ultimate maha-prayashchitham and
invokes the blessing of Lord Shiva.
In South India, During this
occasion, We also recite the selected sacred
mantras of marriage and the aged-couple re-take their
marriage oath and invoke blessings for a long, happy and
matured married life. This is an occasion when
sons and daughters 'perform' the marriage of their
All the dhramas of life are poised on
Grihastha dharma. One should celebrate Bheemaradha
Shanthi at 70th year, Vijayaradha Shanti at 78th year
and perform Shataabhisheka Shanti during the hundredth
year. May lord Srinivasa along with his consort Alimelu
Manga bestow on the Choicest blessings