Monday, October 8, 2018

Ankurarpanam Marks the Celestial Invitation

Tirumala, 8 October 2018: One of the most significant events of the Navaratri Brahmotsavams at Srivari temple is the Ankurarpanam which trumpets the commencement of the nine day festival of religious grandeur and devotional gaiety.

This ritual which will be performed  a day ahead of the Navarathri Brahmotsavam on October 9 and is often considered as prelude ritual seeking the successful conduct of the nine day mega religious event. The range of success is often compared with the sprouting of the nine varieties of multi grains ( Nava dhanyas ) sown on that day in the Yagashala of Srivari Temple. According to Chief Priest of Tirumala Sri Venugopala Dikshitulu, this event also invokes the blessings of Bhudevi with special prayers offering "Medini Puja" and inviting Her to participate in the event and also to bless the mankind with peace, prosperity, health  and tranquility.


Ankurarpanam or Beejavapanam will be performed with religious fervour in Tirumala temple as per the tenets of  Vaikhanasa Agama. Ankuram is "seed" and Arpanam is giving or to "Dedicate". So Ankurarpanam means Sankalpam for performing or commitment to a specific purpose. The event is also marked with invitation to 49 gods and also asta dikpalakas, (Guardians of Directions in the universe) to participate in the event hosted  for Lord Venkateswara by Lord Brahma.The dikpalakas includes Indra, Yama, Varuna, Vayu, Agni(fire), Kubera, Isana and Nirutti


In the process of Ankurarpanam, nine grains or Nava Dhanyas are involved and Chandra is the lord for plants and grains. Chandra would be powerful during nights and hence Ankurarpanam is always performed during the night at an auspicious hour. The Nava Dhanyas signify the presence of each deity including - Rice,(Chandra) Wheat (Surya), Tur Dal (Khuja), Moong Dal (Budha), Red Peas (Bruhaspati), White Peas (Shukra) , Sesame (Shani) , Yellow Peas - (Rahu) and  Horse Grams (Ketu).


The seeds are sown in mud pots called Palikas and they are placed at different directions in a geometrical manner as prescribed by Agamas. For nine days these seeds are grown and on the final day, the seedlings were separated from the sprouts and offered to the presiding deity and this process is called "Akshataropana".

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