​​TAX ID #
Shirdi Sai Saba Temple
Pittsburgh, PA

Significance of Yama deepadâna:
                                     On that fateful fourth day of her marriage a young wife did not allow her husband to sleep. All the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband's palatial room and lighted infinite numbers of lamps all over the place. After all these, she went on telling stories and singing songs so that her husband is not able to sleep. When Yama, the God of Death arrived there appearing in form of a Serpent his eyes got blinded by the dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince's chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs.

                                        In the morning he quietly went away. Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of "Yama deepa daana" and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in remembering Yama, the god of Death.
                                       Thirteen (13) lamps made of wheat flour lit with oil are placed outside the house, facing southwards (direction of Lord Yama), in the evening. 

                                           A lamp is never kept facing southwards except on this day. Then, reciting the following mantra one should offer obeisance: "I offer these thirteen lamps to the son (Lord Yama) of the Sun deity (Surya), so that He liberates me from the clutches of death and bestows His blessings."

YAMA Dharmaraj Dasami -  Friday March 31th, 2023

Dharmaraja Dasami Full Sponsorship: $126
     Yama Moola Mantra Homam $108  

            13 Wheat lamps $36

Yamadeepadâna: 13 deepams, for the God of death Yamaraja, are lit outside to ward off any untimely death of any family members. This ritual is known as Deepadaana for Yamraja.

Yama Dharma Raja’s Divine Role: Sri Yama Dharma Raja is responsible for soul’s evolutionary path, that is separating it from the body. This process depends upon the soul’s karma. There are special Pujas we perform to honor Yama Dharma Raja. Worship of Yama not only removes the fear of death but also bestows longevity by eradicating diseases that instill the fear of death.
Devotees perform Homa, Yama Deepam to appease Yama. Dasami thithi and Makha nakshatram are amongst the special times that are ideal for the worship of Sri Yama. Overcoming the fear of death means accepting death with equanimity and without any perturbation. Thinking of God at the time of death and leaving the body while meditating on the divine name are indescribable blessings. The worship of Yama helps make this possible. On Dharmaraja Dasami - For longevity, a healthy, disease-free life and getting rid of the fear of death, worship of Yama and an Atithi(guest) is important. Offer Argya to Sri Yama Dharmaraja: The water offered to pitru devata is called tarpanam and the water offered to Devata(deities) is called Argyam. 

Yamam tarpayaami ; Dharmaraajam tarpayaami  
 Mrutyum tarpayaami; Antakam tarpayaami
 Vaivaswatam tarpayaami; Kaalam tarpayaami
 Sarva bhootha Kshayaaya tarpayaami
 Audumbaram tarpayaami; Tadhadhnam tarpayaami
Neelam tarpayaami;Parameshthinam tarpayaami
Vrukodaram tarpayaami; Chitram tarpayaami
 Chitraguptam tarpayaami  - Iti tarpayitva.

Sloka for Worshipping Yama:
Worship Sri Yama daily at dawn, noon and dusk by reciting the following Sloka while facing South.

Yamaaya Dharmaraajaya Mrutyavecha Antakayacha
Vaivaswataaya, Kaalaaya, Sarwabhootha kshyayacha
Audumbaraaya, Dadhnaaya, Neelaya Parameshthine
Vrukodaraaya, Chitraaya, Chitraguptayate namaha

Yama Dharma Raja’s Parents:
Dharma Raja was born to Surya, the God of the Sun, and Saranyu, the Goddess of clouds and daughter of Vishvakarman.

Story of Nachiketa: One day, a sage named Vâjashravasa, offered his son, Nachiketa, to death. He waited three days for Dharma Raja to return, the Yama felt sorry that Nachiketa didn’t have any food or water, as guests were considered equal to gods and causing trouble to them is a great sin. So he agreed to give Nachiketa three boons of his choice, one for each day. Nachiketa first asked for peace for his father and himself, next he wished to learn the sacred fire sacrifice, and finally he wanted to learn of what comes after death. Dharma Raja was reluctant on that last offer, He said that it’s a mystery to even gods. He offered many material gains but Nachiketa said they would only last until tomorrow. Dharma Raja was secretly pleased, so he taught him Brahmin, the supreme spirit and vital force in the Universe, and Nachiketa was freed from the cycle of births. 

Markandeya Maharishi:
Markandeya Maharishi’s fate destined a life span of 16 years to him. He was the son of Mrikandu maharishi who advised him to perform the shiva pooja .  On the day he completed 16 years, Yama Dharma Raja arrived near Markandeya to take the life as destined by fate. Markandeya who is ignorant of Yama’s arrival was engrossed in Shiva puja. Lord shiva became angry that Yama was trying to disturb the shiva puja of his devotee Markandeya. He manifested in the Shiva Linga and punished Yama Dharma Raja for disturbing shiva bhakta. Yama Dharma Raja lost his weapon or dhandam known as Paasam during the process. Yama Dharma Raja worshipped Lord Shiva on the banks of Yama theertham to regain his weapon or dhandam. Lord Shiva was pleased with the penance of Yama Dharma Raja, He manifested himself and gave back the weapon Swarnadhanda Paasam to Yama Dharma Raja.
Yama Dharmaraja in charge of Southern direction:
Yama Dharma Raja is one of the Ashta dik palakas, in charge of Southern direction. In Bhuloka, all living and non-living things are subject to creation and destruction. There is no permanent member who can live eternally in Bhuloka. Even Avatara purusha left their mortal bodies. Yama Dharma Raja is in charge of the divine activity of separating the soul of all beings from mortal body in Bhuloka according to their fate. This would help the soul’s evolutionary process and enable the person to move to the next level according to their Karma committed by the person.