19 November 2015

2015 Deepam Festival. Day Three—Day: Chandrasekarar on Bootha Vahanam

On the morning of Day 3 of the 2015 Karthigai Deepam Festival at Arunachala the procession of Lord Chandrasekhara on the Bootha Vahanam is observed. 

With this and other processions throughout the Festival, the Panchamoorthies are: Vinayagar, Lord Annamalaiyar, Goddess Unnamulaiyar, Lord Subramanya and Sri Chandikeswarar (representing all devotees). 

Lord Chandrasekarar Alangaram at Temple Mandapam

Bootha Vahana
The Vahana for Lord Arunachaleswarar on the 3rd Morning of the 2015 Deepam Festival is the Bootha Vahanam. Botha represents earth as one of the five manifestations of nature; air, water, fire, land and sky. The Lingam to which it is associated is the Prithivi Lingam of the Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchipuram.

Last minute touch ups on Car Street

Ladies with very large child on Karumbu Thottil

An increasingly popular element of the Deepam Festival, is that of the ritual of ‘karumbu thottil’ (i.e. sugar-cane cradle). This involves the fulfilment of a vow by parents, who previously promised Lord Arunachaleswarar that if granted a child, that they would return after its birth and circumambulate the Temple with the child in a 'sugar-cane cradle'. 

Sometimes the parents are not able to return to Arunachala for a long time in order to fulfil their vow. Possibly this is the case of the young lad (in the above photograph) being carried by his family—or it just might be the most comfortable way for him to travel. Generally the most popular day for this ritual is the 7th day i.e. the pulling of the Maharadham (giant chariot). 

Lord Arunachaleswarar on the Bootha Vahanam

The Lord travelling on Car Street

In the above photograph, it is easy to discern the green darghar of the Sufi Saint, Syedini Bibi. A story relates that during a Karthigal Festival (around 130 years previously) when the Madha Radham passed the shrine, its huge wheels accidentally knocked the side of Sydedini Bibi’s tomb and the Maha Radham burst into flames. To read about this Sufi Saint and the full narrative of the Radham, go to this link here.

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