15 July 2017

Adi Pooram 2017: Fire-Walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple Tiruvannamalai Adipooram Brahmotsavam Festival Invitation 

Tiruvannamalai—One among the Panchaboothas sthalams 

Sri Unnamulai with Annamalai Temple Adi Pooram Brahmotsavam 

All devotees are invited.

This celebration will start on Monday, 17 July, 2017 morning 6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. with a Flag Hoisting ceremony. 

Throughout the 10 day Festival, each morning and evening there will be Vinayaka and Parashakti Amman processions of the four mada veedhis 

On the 10th day i.e. Wednesday, 26 July, 2017 there will be Adi Pooram morning panchamoorthies abhishekam 

Followed by Parashakti Amman Utsavam and a special Abhishekam, then the Bangles Festival 

Later that night after 12 midnight there will be a fire-walking ceremony in front of the Sri Unnamulai Sannidhi 

The schedule for the climax of the Festival to be observed on July 26th, 2017 will be approximately as follows: 

5.00 a.m. Amman Abhishekam 
6.00 a.m. Alangaram 
6.30 a.m. Flag Hoisting at Mother’s Shrine 
8.00 a.m. Amman from Sannidhi to Vallaikappu (bangle) 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 (bangle) 
8.00 p.m. Amman goes around the Temple and returns to Vallaikappu Mandapam 12.00 p.m. Adi Pooram firewalking preparation 
1.30 p.m. Fire walking 

Adi Pooram Brahmotsavam is celebrated at all Hindu temples in Southern India in the month of Adi, which corresponds to the English months of July-August, when the asterism Pooram (Delta Leonis) is in the ascendancy. It is observed to propitiate the Sakti Goddess who is said to have come into the world on this occasion to bless all. She is thus worshipped in order that one may secure happiness for oneself and for loved ones. 

Aadi Pooram is also dedicated to the birth of Goddess Andal, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Pooram or Puram is one among the 27 Nakshatras in Hindu Astrology. 

Fire-walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple 

Fire or Agni is the fourth element of the Panchabhutas. The essential character of Fire is to generate heat and according to Hindu Mythology, Agni is one of the Eight Guardians that guard our Universe and are known as Asta-dik-palakas. 

In Indian mythology there are mentions of various types of fires. The four important ones are fire of the earth, fire of the sky, fire of the stomach (can mean hunger and digestive power as well) and the fire we commonly use. 

There is a wealth of mythology attached to Arunachala connected to its association with fire and what is related to fire i.e. light and sun

One such myth is that Lord Surya estranged from his wife Chayadevi visited Arunachaleswarar Temple to propitiate the Lord. 

A Tamil legend concerns Singavaram and a Temple dedicated to Sri Ranganadha. Here a king named Kandhan, after suffering 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. 

Fire-walking at Arunachaleswarar Temple in earlier year

A special association of Arunachala as Agni Kshetra, is that of fire walking which will be observed this year on the late night of Aadi Pooram i.e. 26th July through 27th July, 2017. In Tamil Nadu the Festival is known as Theemithi Utsavam. On the night of Aadi Pooram (Pushya) star, fire-walking will take place immediately in front of the Unnamulai Shrine, 3rd Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple. Devotees who have specially prepared for the ceremony will walk on burning embers. This is not observed at Arunachaleswarar Temple as per agamic rules. 

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