Kumbha abhishekam as the name signifies abhishekam to the Kumbh. This Kumbh is the kumbham that adorns the Gopuram of every temple. What is the importance of this Kumbham on top of the Gopuram? Ever wondered why? Is it to provide more Aesthetic beauty to the Gopuram? It could be one of the reasons, but not the main one.
Kumbham is an energy transmitter and a storehouse! Kumbham is filled with Varagu (Chara in Hindi) a type of cereal which does not rot for 20 years. Gold plates are placed on top of this, which act as energy transmitters. The gold plates attract the divine energies that move in the Akasha marga and transmit the energy to the yantras placed below the idols, thereby energizing the idols.
Why is Kumbha Abhishekam done?
With questions like these and many other related questions, we approached our Pradhanacharya for the Kumbha abhishekam, Brahmasri Shivakumar Shastrigal from Tanjavur. He very patiently and clearly explained the importance of the ritual. Reproducing herein what the Acharya explained.
A temple when established is for the welfare of every living being in that area. Kumbha Abhishekam is initially done in order to Consecrate the Temple, establish the temple with its Deity and the powers of the deity. As the years of the functioning of the temple progresses, many Human errors that could have happened while conducting the pooja, use of materials for the pooja, behaviour of the Archakas and devotees at the time of pooja, natural calamities which could have disturbed the proper happening of the pooja, etc. results in decline of the manifestation of divinity. In order to bring full Manifestation of the Deity, Kumbha abhishekam is done.
Vedas prescribe a time span of 12 years after which Kumbha abhishekam must be done in temples which house deities sculpted with stones and the structure is made of cement. If the temple houses a Swarna vigraham then Kumbha abhishekam is to be done only after a span of 1000 years, if made of silver then after 20 years, if made of Panchaloham (alloy of 5 metals) then after 20 years. If the vigraham is made of cement then after 10 years and also if the Deity is in the form of a drawing Kumba abhishekam must be done after 10 years.
Procedure for doing it.
The ceremonies begin with Vigneswara Pooja, followed by seeking permission of the Devathas, following this protection is sought for the place the temple is going to be consecrated (Rakshogna Homam), for the people who are actively involved in the ceremonies a sutra with vedic chants is tied on the wrists of the active members to protect them from any adversities happening during the ceremonies. It is known as Raksha Bhandhanam. Our Siddhi Ganesh temple adopted the 6 kalapooja vidhi for the kumbhabhishekam. This means that the energized kalasams will be given a complete ritual of poojas and homams for 6 times before the abhishekam.
On 20th March 2019, the permission of devathas were sought to perform the ceremonies. The Mangala Ganapathy pooja and Maha Ganapathy homam were performed. Navagraha Homam and Rakshogana homam (for seeking protection for the place) were performed. Morning pooja concluded with Poorna ahuthi and Maha Deepaaradhanai. In the evening, Ankurarpanam ( Palligai in tamizl parlance) werein the seeds of different type of beans are offerd to soil and retained for sprouting, Raksha bhandhanam , around the wrists of the main organisers for the function, a yellow sutra was tied to protect them during the course of the ceremonies, and Vaastu Shanthi was done. The evening concluded with Deepaaradanai.
21 March 2019
The Morning of 21st March 2019 after the Poorvanga poojas like Vigneswara pooja and Sankalpam, the Yagna Shala pravesham was done. In the evening of 21st it started with Pavana Pavanam which is the ritual, wherein the pandits with the Mantra shakthi adopt devatha saroopyam. Pradhanacharya says that devathas can be bound only by Mantras. With veda mantras devatha avahanam was done. The kalasams were colourfully bound with colourful sutras. We asked the Pradhanacharya why there were different colours for different Kalasam? He explained, that every Kalasam is for a different deity. The different colours enables the pandits to associate the kalasam to the particular deity whose aavahanam has been done into the kalasam. During Kumbha abhishekam the kalasams will not get mixed. Following this the Devatha shakthi that was stored in the photos at the Balalayam was also transferred to the Kalasam and with this energized Kalasam there was a grand Yagna shala Pravesham. The first Kala pooja and the Aavarna poojas for Sri Ganapathy and Sri Subramania was performed.
We asked Pradhanacharya, What is Aavarna Pooja? He explained, every deity has a yantram. The yantram symbolizes the Nivasa Sthanam (residence) of the deities. The residence of the deity is like a Fortress having different entry points and passage which are heavily guarded by different devathas. Avarna pooja enables one, to please all these parivar devathas so that one can get in touch with the Absolute. By performing this pooja a proper channel is created to reach the ultimate. Devi has Nava Avaranam and hence the Avarna pooja for devi is known as Navavarna pooja.
Following this we had the First Kala Homam and Murthy Kala Tattva Homam. Kala tattva homam is to worship all the 96 Kalais (art forms) that exists. This enables the seeker to receive that particular art form in which he/she is talented. Hence in a temple, one can seek for oneself the passion one possesses and receive the same in full strength. The conclusion of the pooja happened with Poorna Aahuthi. As there were 8 Yagna Kundams, 8 Ladies carried the respective 8 poorna ahuthi dravyam went around all the sanctums which was finally offered to the respective Yagna Kundams. During Mahadeeepa aradhana the Yagna Shala glowed with the presence of Divine energy.
22 March 2019
On 22nd March we had the 2nd kala pooja with the Navavarna pooja for Sri Devi and Avarna pooja for Sri Siva was performed. This was followed by Kala tattva homam. The morning pooja ended with Poorna ahuthi and Mahadeeeparadhanai . In the evening the 3rd kala pooja with the avarna pooja for Sri Guruvayur appan, Sri Ayappan, Sri Hanuman and the Navagraha deities were performed. The 3rd Kala homam and Sukta homams were done and the evening pooja cocluded with poorn ahuthi and Maha Deepa Aradhana.
23 March 2019
23rd March 2019 brought with it a lot of excitement. The deities were to come back to their respective places. In the morning after the 4th Kala pooja was performed the Manadapa Dwara pooja and archana was performed. Then the pradhana acharya placed the respective yantras of the deities in their respective pedestals. All devotees were informed the previous day that they could bring gold, silver or navaratnas to be placed in the pedestal f the deity. Every one was allowed to place their coins at the pedestal. These metals would be the receptors of the divine energy transmitted from the Kalasam and there by energizing the deity placed above it. Following this, the deities were placed. The fixative used was a mixture of ripe bananas, powdered sugar, honey and little cement.
This mixture is known as Tisra Bhandhanam. It was further sealed with Ashtabhandhanam, a fixative made up of 8 herbs and butter.
While the Ashta Bhadhanam was happening under the able guidance of our Sthapathi Mamakudi Illanchezian, all the devotees were asked to fill the Kalasam with a millet called as Vaaragu in Tamil and chara in Hindi. This millet has the property of remaining edible without any contamination for 20 years. Our Pradanacharya and Srinivasan Mama informed us that this millet would be used as
seed for sowing fresh crops in the event the area of the temple loses all vegetation due to floods or natural calamities. In the event of drought or famine these seeds would be distributed as grains to every household. It seems very little quantity of this seed would be sufficient enough to satisfy the hunger of the living beings. The kalasams had also metal receptors to receive the divine energy that is constantly oscillating in the aakasha marga. The morning pooja conclude with Kala tattva homam, Poorna ahuthi and Maha Deepa Aradhana. The evening pooja had the shuddhi abhishekam for the murthies, the fifth kala homam, kala tattva homam, poornaahuthi and maha deepa aradanai.
Maha Kumbha Abhishekam Day 24th March 2019.
After the sixth kala pooja and homam, the Kalasa abhishekam was done. All Vaidhikas including the Pradanacharya climbed on top of the Gopurum and amidst the music of Nada swaram and Namahashivaya japam the Kalasa theertam was poured over the Kumbham. One wonders how the energy poured on top of the kalasam gets transmitted to the deity? The answer is, the Metal receptors placed in the kalasam receive the energy and the energy is passed to the yantras and metals placed below the deities. These yantras then transmit the energy to the deity. Following this Nadi Santhanam happened. The deities were connected to their respectivekalasams in the yagna shala via a transmitter chord. Then with Sparsahuthi the powers in the kalasams were transmitted to the deity. Subsequently the abhishekam and alankaram to the deities were done. This was followed up with Maha Abhishekam to the Deities. The devotees, chanted Lalitha Sahsranamam. The Nadaswaram was so soulful, that the music made the devotees, dance to the tunes and rejoice the occasion in a very befitting manner. With the Distribution of Maha Prasadam the Kumbhabhishekam Ceremonies concluded. The Grand Gathering of 800 odd people made the Aura around the temple go up many times. I am sure the experience of this Grand function will be etched in the memory of one and all for very many years to come. A Great Blessing for Gurgaonites is Bestowed!