The below are photographs I took yesterday at the Mahakumbhabhishekam Function at Ramana Ashram, August 25, 2013. I arrived at the Ashram after the Mahakumbhabhishekam had just completed on the roof of the Ashram, and the crowds on the roof were beginning to file down. And be replaced by other pilgrims wanting to go onto the roof to pranam at the Kumbhas of the Gopuram and two Vimanas.
There seemed to be so much going on simultaneously. Puja to the various Gods in the Mother Shrine had already been completed. The outside temporary dining area was just about to be prepared with leaves and tumblers for the first lunch sitting. Young workers were carrying out large pots of food to various outside eating areas. Artisans were completing the flower work to enshrine the Sri Ramana Mahaharshi Mahalingam.
Large crowds were waiting outside the old and new dining-halls in order to make the first sitting in those places. Some other devotees were trying to squeeze into the already congested Samadhi Hall and Mother Shrine, in order to watch the Maha Abhishekams. Even though there was quite a crush, most remained patient and good natured throughout what was a very beautiful and well organised 3-day function at Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram.
|Sri Ganesha Mother Shrine|
|Lingodbhavamurti outside Mother Shrine|
|Goddess Durga outside Mother Shrine|
|Flower artisans crafting flower arrangements for Sri Ramana Shrine|
|Ready to lay leaves and tumblers inside temporary dining structure|
|Young workers beginning to carry out heavy food pots|
|Crowds coming down from roof and milling around|
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 the Kumbha is bathed with the charged and sanctified holy waters contained in the sacrificial pots.
|Kumbhas on top of the Ramana Ashram Gopuram|
|Young priest trying to escape from the burning hot roof|
|After completion of the Function, devotees climb the scaffolding|
|Kumbha on top of Mother Shrine Vimana|
|Climbing down from Ramana Maharshi Vimana|
|Kumbha on top of Sri Ramana Maharshi Vimana|
|Devotees waiting for lunch, first sitting in New Dining Hall|
|Crowds milling around at front of Ramana Ashram|
|Maha Deeparadhanai, Sri Ramana Maharshi Samadhi|
|Maha Deeparadhanai at Matrubhuteswara Shrine|
|A serene looking little girl at Ashram Function|
|A little 'un playing in the trees at back of Ashram|