7 February 2016

Sani Pradosham: February 6, 2016



As always yesterday’s Sani Pradosham (Saturday: February 6, 2016) at Arunachaleswarar Temple was well attended. Saturday is dedicated to Lord Saniswaran, one of the nine celestial Gods (Navagrahas). The planet Saturn is considered an agent of Karma who delivers many difficult trials in our lives in order to help refine and evolve our souls. 

It is thought that on the day of Sani Pradosham Lord Siva has more influence over Saturn and can cause him to release some of our karmic bonds. 

Nandi Abhishekam at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Offering of Aarti

Circumambulation of the God around the Siva Sannidhi

Lord Arunachaleswarar during Sani Pradosham

The Gods beautifully decorated

At Tiruvannamalai there is now a beautiful Shrine dedicated to Sani at the Lord Venkateshwara Temple (Balaji) near the Kubera Lingam which is also a very efficacious place to visit during the day of Sani Pradosham for those wishing to gain the support of Lord Sani in mitigating painful and unpleasant karma. 


Lord Sani

Sani Shrine at Balaji Temple with Raghu and Kettu

5 February 2016

Mahodhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016


Mahabhishekam Theertha Utchava Invitation 


Right Click to view Enlargement

Translation:
Sri Arunachaleswararar Parameshwara is one among the five panchaboothas. It is the Agni, fire sthalam. Moorthi Thalam Theertham is the special name given to this sthalam along with 365 Theerthams at this place. Brahma, Visnu and other Devadevatas did pujas and got blessings from Siva in the form of Ardhanishvara. He killed the feeling of “I” in the Lingodbhava form where he manifested into a mountain. Devotees do girivalam. On Deepam Day He comes out as the Fire, taking the form of Half Siva and Half Shakthi. 

Punya Kalam occurs during the Solar Eclipse, Moon Eclipse, Vishu Punyakalam, Uttarayana, Dakshinayanam, Sankaranti etc. The Eclipse time is good for pujas and also theerthavari, yaham, japam, tarpanam and donations (dhanam) are good during this time. This is said in the Puranas. During japam in the time of grahanam (eclipse) the power is greater, also things like the giving of donations are more powerful. 

But 1000 times more powerful and sanctified is the time of Mahodhaya Punniya Kalam. It is better than the time of the solar eclipse. This truth is recorded in many Aham and Sastra books. It is also said in the Arunachala Mahatmyam. Parameshwara said that during Mahodhaya Maha Punniya Kalam, we have to do special pujas and theerthavari. 

In the Tamil Month of Thai; Amavasya (New Moon), Thiruona Nakshatriam (Monday) and Vayadeepadhyam—when all fall on the same day it is known as Mahodhaya Punniya Kalam. 

During this Tamil Year Manmatha, Thai Month, Tamil day 25. English date Monday, February 8, 2016. On this special day, Sri Apeethakumbachambal Samadeha Sri Arunachaleswarar will be worshipped with Mahabhishekam, Alankaram, Deepatharthana, and Theertha Urchavam at the Indira Theeram also known as Ayyankulam Tank. 

In the early morning between 6.30 and 6.45 a.m. Mahodhaya Punniya Kalatheeravari will occur. 

This powerful Punniya Kalam occurs only once every 25-30 years. During this time Shiva Bhaktas are invited for this function. 


Schedule: 

7.02.2016 Early morning 1 a.m. Mahabhishekam starts for Apeethakumbachambal Samadeha Sri Arunachaleswarar at the Big Temple. 

8.02.2016 Early morning 5 a.m. Mahadeepatharana and Swami go to Ayyankulam Tank. 

8.02.2016 Early morning 6.30 a.m. at Indira Theertham (Ayyankulam Tank) Mahodhaya Punniya Kalatheeravari and later procession. 


Right Click for Enlargement

‘Mahodhaya Punniya Kaalam’ is when the below attributes align together in a single day: 

Thithi: Amavasya 
Nakshathiram: Thiruvonam 
Yogam: Vyathi Patham 
Month: Thai 
Vaaram: Soma (Monday) 

Arunachaleswarar Temple and the Indira Theertham (Ayyankulam Tank) will be very crowded during this time.


31 January 2016

Mahavillaku Kalyana Mandapam, Arunachaleswarar Temple

This past Friday (January 29, 2016) during the Tamil Month of Thai, Mahavillaku Puja was performed by ladies inside the Kalyana Mandapam, Arunachaleswarar Temple. 


Ladies lined up inside the Kalyana Mandapam

Divine Shakti on Dais in Mandapam

Priests supervising the Puja being conducted in Mandapam

Divine Shakti giving Darshan

29 January 2016

Friday: January 29, 2016 -- Mahakumbhabhishekam Durga Amman Temple

Today the ceremony of Mahakumbhabhishekam was completed at the Durga Amman Temple Tiruvannamalai. Over the cause of the previous week homams were conducted in the Temple compound consecrating and sanctifying waters in order to bathe the Kumbha (pinnacles) of the Vimanas at the Temple.

A Maha Kumbhabhishekam is held either to formally consecrate a new temple or reconsecrate an old one, which usually occurs at twelve-year intervals, following renovation, extensive cleaning and renewal. The rites culminate with the priests' pouring sanctified water over the temple spires, each of which resembles an inverted pot, or kumbha. Leading up to the consecration, a number of rituals are performed by the sthapati (main temple architect) in charge of the construction or renovation. 

Divine Power is transferred back to the deities by performing an abhishekam (salutary bathing) to the Vigrahas and Vimanas (pinnacles) on the roof with the sanctified holy waters from the kalasas accompanied by Vedic chanting and special rites. On that day at the designated auspicious time, when the Kumbha is bathed with the charged and sanctified holy waters contained in the sacrificial pots, consecrated and sanctified pranic powers trickle down a silver wire and enter the Deity installed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple.

After the consecration of the Vimanas on top of the Temple, worship is then specifically performed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum in which further pranic powers are transferred to the Deities.


Pouring consecrated water over Kumbha


Kumbha on Gopuram Main Gate being sanctified with holy water

In the above photograph at the back of the Durga Amman Temple and inset into the Hill itself, is the famed Pavala Kundru Temple. To view photographs of his unique Temple go to this link here.


Wonderful photograph of ritual with Arunachala in background

Durga Amman Temple 2016 Mahakumbhabhishekam Function


Mahakumbhabhishekam is held either to formally consecrate a new Temple or reconsecrate an old one, and generally occurs at twelve-year intervals or specifically following renovation, extensive cleaning or renewal. 

Kumbhabhishekam is a Hindu Temple ritual that is believed to homogenize, synergize and unite the mystic powers of the deity. Kumbha means the Head and denotes the Shikhara or Crown of the Temple (usually in the Gopuram) and Abhishekam is ritual bathing, (hence the term Kumbha + Abhishekam). 

During this elaborate event, homams conducted according to the agamas, are performed by priests in the Yagasala outside the Temple over the preceding days. These homams infuse divinity and spiritual power into kalasas (sanctified pots) filled with consecrated water. 

Divine Power is transferred back to the deities by performing an abhishekam (salutary bathing) to the Vigrahas and Vimanas (pinnacles) on the roof with the sanctified holy waters from the kalasas accompanied by Vedic chanting and special rites. On that day at the designated auspicious time, when the Kumbha is bathed with the charged and sanctified holy waters contained in the sacrificial pots, consecrated and sanctified pranic powers trickle down a silver wire and enter the Deity installed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple. 

Now that the restoration and renewal work undertaken over the last couple of years, has been completed at Durga Amman Temple, Mahakumbhabhishekam was held this week at what is one of the most significant Temples at Arunachala. 


Durga Amman Temple, Tiruvannamalai

One of the most famed Temples at Tiruvannamalai

Ceremonies being undertaken inside Temple Compound


Below a pictorial record of the ceremonies and functions undertaken at this time at the Durga Amman Temple.


Homams at Temple






24 January 2016

2016 Thai Poosam Theerthavari


The 2016 Thai Poosam Theerthavari was performed at the Agni Theertham just off NH66 (Chengham Road). The Theertham is connected to but located some distance from, the Agni Lingam. The Agni Lingam is one of the famed Asta Lingams of Tiruvannamalai.


The Gods at Agni Theertham

Theerthavari at Agni Theertham

Theerthavari performed by Big Temple priests

Exiting the Agni Theertham

21 January 2016

Thai Pradosham -- January 21, 2016



The below photographs are of today's Thai Pradosham at Arunachaleswarar Temple. Even though the Pradosham took place early in the day, it was attended by very large crowds. 


Aarti performed at Periya Nandi, 5th Prakaram

Big Nandi

Large crowd attending the Periya Nandi Puja

Thai Pradosham, January 21, 2016


18 January 2016

Photographs of Gods, Thiruvoodal 2016

Gods give darshan at Alankaram Mandapam, outside Big Temple

Lord Arunachaleswarar giving Darshan

The Goddess

A Devotee's offering to the Gods

Crowds on Thiruvoodal Street, Pongal 2016

Crowds on Car Street, Tiruvannamalai

Gods carried on Palanquins

 Poles under Palanquin covered with cloths for easy carry

Musicians accompanying the Gods

Gods returning to the Big Temple

Devotees struggling to bear the heavy weight of the Palanquin

Goddess also on a Palanquin

[Thanks to Mr. Hari Prasad for these wonderful photographs of 2016 Pongal on this posting and on the previous two postings on Arunachala Grace].


2016 Mattu Pongal Nandis



Periya Nandi, 5th Prakaram

Beautifully decorated Big Nandi

Large Crowds gathered around the Big Nandi

Chinna Nandi, 4th Prakaram

Lavishly Decorated Nandi the Bull, 4th Prakaram

Nandi at Kalyana Eswara Sundara Shrine

Nandi the Bull, Mother's Shrine