13 February 2016

Parihara Puja Ayyankulam Tank: February 12, 2016


As readers will already know an incident sadly occurred at the Ayyankulam Tank, Tiruvannamalai, on the morning of February 8 during the Mahadhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016 ceremonies. In that incident four people drowned in the Theertham and a number of others were injured when devotees jostled to bathe in the Tank on the auspicious occasion of Mahodaya Amavasya. 

‘Mahodhaya Punniya Kaalam’ is when the below attributes align together in a single day, an event which occurs only about once every 30 years. 

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


Ceremony at Siva Shrine, Arunachaleswarar Temple

Parihara Puja was performed at the Ayyankulam Theertham yesterday Friday, February 12, 2016 in connection with the recent tragedy at that place. 

The meaning of “parihara” is the removing, averting, remedying and clearing away of difficulties and troubles. 


Ceremony at Ayyankulam Tank



It is stated in the Veda Sastras, that the remedy for “parihara” can be divided into three parts. 

Sulabha-Sadhya: Problems can be removed with simple “pariharas” (remedies) such as going to Temple, lighting lamps, Navagraha pradhakshina, Navagraha archana, reciting slokas-mantras and dhaana (gifts and donations) done daily and frequently. 

Kasta-Sadhya: Problems have to be removed with a more concentrated and strong effort, as they cannot be removed with simple “pariharas”. To remove Kasta Sadhya such focussed long term efforts as intense recitation of Japa and performance of Homas is required. 

Asadhya: These are problems which cannot be removed with any of the above “pariharas”. The problem just has to be undergone and experienced. It is estimated that around five percent of problems fall in this category. 


My personal opinion in connection with the drownings at the Theertham is: if one considers the ways in which people meet their end; to die by water in the consecrated waters of the Indira Theertham, next to the Holy Sulam of Lord Shiva, under the auspices of Arunachala on one of the most sacred days of the last 30 years, seems more like a blessing than a tragedy. 

Further, in the words of one of the people connected with this event: 

 "We don't feel sad because it was very peaceful and we didn't even know till after the function what had happened. One victim was a Temple Gurukkal and the other three were devotees who have done excellent service over the years to the Temple Gods. It was such a big, important day and what happened was like God just silently taking them home." 

Circumambulation of the Gods of 5 Temples


Following from a previous posting, after giving darshan at the Ayyankulam Theertham, the Gods of 5 Arunachala Temples gave darshan to devotees whilst on their palanquins outside Arunachaleswarar Temple and later by circumambulation of the big Temple on the Mada Veedhis. 


The Five Temple Gods being: 

Arunachaleswarar Temple (Siva Temple) 
Kumarakovil (Murugan Temple) 
Angalamman Temple (Amman Temple) 
Sri Mariamman Temple (Amman Temple) 
Sri Pachaiamman Temple (Amman Temple) 


Sri Arunachaleswarar

Sri Amman

On Sannidhi Street on way from Ayyankulam Street to Arunachaleswarar Temple


Sri Angalamman

Sri Mariamman

Lord Murugan

Sri Pachaiamman

11 February 2016

Sri Arunagirinathar Temple Theerthavari Ceremony


As part of the Mahadhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016 ceremonies, Theerthavari was performed in the Ayyankulam Tank in the early morning of February 8, 2016. 

While Sulam immersion and subsequent puja was being observed at the Theertham, the Gods of 5 Arunachala Temples gave darshan to devotees whilst on their palanquins outside Sri Arunagirinathar Temple


The Five Temple Gods being: 

Arunachaleswarar Temple (Siva Temple)
Kumarakovil (Murugan Temple)
Angalamman Temple (Amman Temple)
Sri Mariamman Temple (Amman Temple)
Sri Pachaiamman Temple (Amman Temple) 



Sri Arunachaleswarar and Sri Amman

Gods from Kumarakovil Temple (left) and Angalamman Temple (right)

Sri Arunachaleswarar on palanquin back to Big Temple

Sri Amman following Sri Arunachaleswarar Palanquin


I hope to post more photographs of the procession of the Gods of the 5 Temples within the next few days. Please check back.

Ayyankulam Tank Theerthavari February 8, 2016


The below photographs were taken before the incident occurred at the Ayyankulam Tank. In the below photographs, one can see that the devotees are conducting themselves in a peaceful and reverential manner. 

In this first photograph, the Priests are performing puja on the bottom steps of the Tank. 





The Sulam (Trident) is being brought down through the crowds of devotees and priests for immersion in the Ayyankulam Tank.


 

Many devotees have already immersed themselves in the Tank and are waiting in the water for the Sulam to be brought down into the Theertham.





After immersion in the Tank, the Sulam is then brought back up the steps for puja on the side of the Ayyakulam Theertham. 

The below sequence of photographs are of worship being conducted on the Sulam (trident).








10 February 2016

Aarti and Gods leave for Tank: Mahodhaya Maha Puniya Kalam 2016


The previous post on Arunachala Grace is a pictorial archive of the Mahabhishekam Puja performed  at Arunachaleswarar Temple's Siva Sannidhi. 

The below photographs are of aarti of that puja and shows the Gods leaving the Siva Sannidhi and then the Temple by the Thitti Vassal Gate on their way to the Ayyankulam Tank on Monday February 8, 2016. 







Sri Arunachaleswarar leaving the Siva Sannidhi

The Goddess leaving the Siva Sannidhi

Exiting the Temple via the Thitthi Vassal Gate


Goddess leaving Temple on way to Ayyankulam Tank

9 February 2016

Mahabhishekam Arunachaleswarar Temple: Mahodhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016


As readers will probably already have heard, tragedy sadly occurred at the Ayyankulam Tank, Tiruvannamalai, on the morning of February 8 during part of the Mahadhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016 ceremonies. Four people drowned in the Ayyankulam Tank and a number of others were injured when a stampede broke out as hundreds of devotees jostled to bathe in the Theertham on the auspicious occasion of Mahodaya Amavasya. 

‘Mahodhaya Punniya Kaalam’ is when the below attributes align together in a single day, an event which occurs only about once every 30 years. 

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


Due to the sad circumstances of the tragic accident, I was uncertain whether or not to post any additional information about the Festival. However this afternoon I received information from someone connected with the Big Temple who was at yesterday's function at the Ayyankulam Theertham. 

In his words: -

"We don't feel sad because it was very peaceful and we didn't even know till after the function what had happened. One victim was a Temple Gurukkal and the other three were devotees who have done excellent service over the years to the Temple Gods. It was such a big, important day and what happened was like God just silently taking them home." 

As a result of our converation, I feel it is appropriate to make additional postings of the Festival—which I hope will make the incident seem, through Divine Grace, more celebratory than sad. 

Below is posting of the Mahabhishekam performed at the Siva Sannidhi of Arunachaleswarar Temple prior to the Theerthavari. Tomorrow I will be making a posting of the Theerthavari itself. 


---  oOo  ---

During the early morning of Mahadhaya Maha Punniya Kalam 2016, Mahabhishekam was performed at the Siva Sannidhi for Sri Arunachaleswarar Samadeha Apeethakumbachambal. 


Mahabhishekham to be performed upon Sri Arunachaleswarar Samadeha (in union with) Apeethakumbachambal

Items ready for Mahabhishekam

Large crowd attending the 1 a.m. Mahabhishekam in Big Temple


Below is a pictorial record of that puja being performed. 

The significance and representation of some of the items used in the Mahabhishekam are as follows:

Panchagavyam (mixture of milk, curd, ghee, cow’s urine and cow dung): removes all sin 
Panchamrutham (mixture of fruits): gives wealth 
Ghee: gives liberation 
Milk: for long life 
Curd: for healthy progeny 
Honey: gives harmonious voice 
Sandalpaste: for Amman’s Grace 
Sugarcane Juice: removes enmity 
Tender Coconut: enjoyment and life satisfaction 
Sanctified Water: a consecration



Mahabhishekam Begins















Lord Shiva holding deer on hand indicates He has removed tossing of the mind (i.e. a deer flits quickly from place to place)




Lord Arunachaleswarar and Sri Apeethakumbachambal

The Goddess