8 August 2013

Adi Pooram Fire Walking Schedule

Tomorrow, Friday August 9, 2013 around 4.00 p.m. marks the beginning of the Amman Worship by the Ladies at Arunachaleswarar Temple and later that night Fire Walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple in front of the Unnamulai Shrine.

For a full pictorial report of a previous Adi Pooram and Fire Walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple please go to this link here. The report includes the 2009 worship of Amman in Vallaikappu, her worship by the Ladies and preparations by devotees for fire-walking and also photographs of the fire ritual itself.

Fire walking is still a regular event in Tiruvannamalai and other South Indian towns. Usually wood or charcoal is burnt and the smouldering embers laid out onto the ground. Commonly the ceremony is held under the auspices of a Temple, and in the case of Arunachaleswarar Temple the occurrence takes place once year at the time of Adi Pooram. This year the Fire Walking ceremony will take place around 1.00 a.m. early morning of August 10, 2013, in front of the Unnamulaiamman Shrine at Arunachaleswarar Temple, which will be specially kept open for the function.

Many hundreds of devotees will turn up for the ceremony, but the fire walking itself will only be undertaken by devotees of the Divine Mother who have been observing a special sadhana over the previous 30 days (including a fast) in order to prepare themselves for the ‘test of devotion’. Those who participate are ordinary householders and largely non-Brahmins. In some cases devotees are given a mantra to recite during their fire walk.

Preparing Fire for later Fire Walking Ceremony, Unnamulai Shrine

In all Temples, where the fire-walking ceremony is practised, it is a Goddess that is worshipped. In the case of the Arunachaleswarar Temple, it is the Goddess Unnamulai that is duly placated. The actual ceremony will occur on the paved courtyard in front of the Unnamulai Amman Shrine, inside the compound of the Big Temple.

A Tamil legend narrates the story that in Singavaram there is a Temple dedicated to Sri Ranganadha. Here a king named Kandhan, after suffering a defeat, performed a fire walking ceremony in worship of Draupadi (from the Mahabharata). Draupadi, pleased with the worship, appeared before the king and promised that whoever should worship her as he had done would remain unscathed and also obtain whatever they prayed for. From that day onwards the fire-walking festival is observed with great enthusiasm in Tamil Nadu.

Proposed schedule of Adi Pooram and Fire Walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Friday August 9, 2013

5.00 a.m. Amman Abhishekam
6.00 a.m. Alangaram
8.00 a.m. Amman from Sannadhi to Vallaikappu Mandapam

4.00 p.m. Amman in Vallaikappu and the worship of Amman by ladies
4.00 p.m. Abhishekam
6.00 p.m. Valaikappu
8.00 p.m. Amman goes around the Temple and returns to Vallaikappu Mandapam

Large Crowds will begin to build up. TEMPLE REMAINS OPEN.

11.00 p.m. Preparations for Fire Walking Ceremony.

Saturday August 10, 2013 Midnight
1.00 a.m. Adi Pooram Fire Walking 

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