On the roof of Ramana Ashram on top of the entrance to the old hall is a Gopuram, which is an ornate tower that forms a dominant feature of Dravidian style Temples and Shrines in South India.
|Gopuram is positioned on top of Old Hall|
In addition, on the roof over each of the samadhis of Sri Ramana and his mother (also in line with South India Dravidian style Temples/Shrines) are individual domed Vimanas (towers).
|Gopuram from another angle|
|Vimana over Mother Shrine|
|Statue of Sri Ramana at base of Mother Vimana|
|Painters preparing the Gopuram and Vimanas|
|Constructing bamboo ladders leading to top of Shrines|
|Arunachala Darshan from Roof|
As is traditional, Sri Ramana Maharshi was entombed in his samadhi in a sitting position and (according to his direct instructions) facing Arunachala. The Lingam over his entombed, sanctified body is directly over his head. It is easier to visualise on viewing the photograph of the Vimana which is positioned on the roof directly over the mahalingam on top of Sri Ramana’s samadhi.
|Vimana centre of Arunachala. Sri Ramana facing hill with top of head directly under Vimana centre|
Mahakumbhabhishekam is held either to formally consecrate a new Temple/Shrine or reconsecrate an old one, and generally occurs at twelve-year intervals or specifically following renovation, extensive cleaning or renewal which is the case of the Mahalingam and Sri Chakra shrines at Ramana Ashram.
Mahakumbhabhishekam is a 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/Shrine and Abhishekam is ritual bathing, (hence the term Kumbha + Abhishekam).
During this elaborate event, homas have and are currently being conducted at Ramana Ashram (according to the agamas), by priests in the specially constructed Yagasala outside the Shrines. To view photographs of yesterday’s Homams check this previous link here. The point of such Homams is to infuse divinity and spiritual power into kalasas (sanctified pots) filled with consecrated water.
Divine Power is then transferred back by performing an abhishekam (salutary bathing) to the Vimanas (pinnacles) on the roof with the sanctified waters from the kalasas while being accompanied by Vedic chanting and special rites.
Tomorrow, August 25, 2013 at the time (see programme link here) which has been designated as most auspicious, the Kumbha will be bathed with the charged and sanctified holy waters contained in the sacrificial pots. After the consecration of the Vimanas on top of the shrines of Sri Ramana and his mother, worship will be specifically performed inside the Sanctum Sanctorums, in which further powers/energy will be transferred to the Shrines.