29 November 2008

Deepam Programme 2008

Today is the first day of the Deepam Festival as celebrated at Tiruvannamalai. The sequence of the Festival is explained below. The lighting of the flame on top of Arunachala actually takes place on the 10th day of Deepam and stays alight for between 8-10 days.

Of these the first day is connected with the Durga Amman Temple. Each day denotes different functions and ceremonies at either the Durga Temple, the Annamalai Temple or in the streets surrounding them.

Deepam is a festival which traditionally is connected with the Hill and Arunachaleswarar Temple. In this connection Durga Amman Koil (Koil = Temple), is the only other Arunachala Temple that actually participates in the functions.

The reason for this is supposed to be because of the Goddess and the demon Mahisha (see ‘
The Fight with Mahishasura’). Before her battle the Goddess appointed four noble Bhairavis (celestial damsels) to keep watch on all four sides of Arunagiri. She ordered:

"Admit only those who have come to worship Arunachala and are tired, hungry and thirsty. Others should not enter. She then appointed strong men to guard the boundaries of Arunachala and continued Her penace at Her ashram." [The Glory of Arunachala]

For this reason, the first day of Deepam Festival is always a celebration of the Goddess, recognised as a Guardian of Arunachala.

Festival Days 2008:

29th November, Saturday -- Durgambal festival:
During the night of this festival Durga Amman idol is taken in procession in Vimana.

30th November, Sunday -- Pidari festival:
In which the Goddess Pidari is brought in procession on a statue of a Lion.

1st December, Monday -- Anukjai Vignesvara Puja:
The elephant God Vinayka is taken out in the streets on a silver mount.

2nd December, Tuesday -- (First Day) Annamalai Temple:
Procession of five Deities in the morning and five Deities in the evening.

3rd December, Wednesday -- (Second Day) Annamalai Temple:
Morning procession of Chandrasekar (Lord Siva) and Vinayaka. Evening five Deities.

4th December, Thursday -- (Third Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar, Vimana, Buta Vehicles. Evening the five Deities, Lion Vehicle, Silver Swan Vehicle.

5th December, Friday -- (Fourth Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar, Vinayaka Snake Vehicle. Evening, five Deities. Silver Kalpataru (wish fulfilling tree), Silver Kamadhenu (wish fulfilling cow) procession.

6th December, Saturday -- (Fifth Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar, Mooshikam, Mirrored Bull Vehicle. Evening five Deities. Silver Mooshikam, Silver peacock. Big Silver Bull Vehicles procession.

7th December, Sunday -- (Sixth Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar, Mooshikam, Silver Elephant, 63 Nayanamars Vimanam. Evening five Deities, Silver Car, Indra Vimanam and other silver vehicles procession.

8th December, Monday -- (Seventh Day)
Morning the five Deities juggernaut. Dragging the rope of the car in Vrichika Lagna. Evening the five Deities returning from juggernaut.

9th December, Tuesday -- (Eighth Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar Silver Vimanam. Evening at 4 p.m. Bhiksandar festival on golden Meru (Sri Chakra). At night the five Deities. Horse vehicle procession.

10th December, Wednesday -- (Ninth Day)
Morning Vinayaka, Chandrasekar Mirror Vimanam. Evening the five Deities. Kailasa Vehicle, Kamadhenu Vehicle procession.

11th December, Thursday -- (Tenth Day)
Morning Barani Deepam. At noon sacred bath in Brahma Tirtham. At 6 p.m. the five Deities proceed in golden Vimanam. Great Deepam Darsan lit on top of Arunachala; the flame will be alight for between 8-10 days. That night at the Temple, the five Deities proceed on golden Bull Vehicles.

12th December, Friday -- (Eleventh Day)
Night at 7 p.m. float for Chandrasekar. Annamalaiyar going round the Hill.

13th December, Saturday -- (Twelfth Day)
At 7 p.m. at night for Parasakti Amman.

14th December, Sunday -- (Thirteenth Day)
At 7 p.m. night float for Subramanian (Lord Murgan).

15th December, Monday -- (Fourteenth Day)
Chandikesvarar festival procession on Silver Bull Vehicle.


Grasshopper said...

Thank you so much for this info. I have decided to come next weekend to Tiru, with my kid.I hope the lamp will still be lit?

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Oh, no, the lamp doesn't get lit until dusk, December 11,2008 and thereafter it will stay alight for between 8-10 days. Previous to that there are all kinds of functions and processions at and around the Temple - but no deepam.

Grasshopper said...

Oh, Ok. Next to next weekend then. Thanks, Meenakshi.