TIRUCHANOOR BRAHMOTSAVAMS SPECIAL STORY-1
(FOR NOVEMBER 25)
TIRUCHANOOR TEMPLE – SIGNIFICANCE OF PANCHARATRA AGAMA VIDHI
“Tiruchana” means Divine Lady. She is none other than the universal beauty Goddess Padmavathi Devi born and seated beautifully on the 1000 petal Golden Lotus. As the Goddess emerged in this blessed village, it is known as Tiruchanoor.
The Agamas in general are revered along with the Vedas as primary Hindu scriptures. All of the Agamas elucidate the science of ritual. Agamas, in truth, are countless. But, generally, eleven branches of the Agamas are mentioned; each branch having several texts associated with it.
(vi) Svyambhuva (Brahma);
Among these branches Vaikhanasa, Saiva and Shakta Agamas are important.
Sri Vaikhanasa Agama and Sri Pancharatra Agama are the two most revered and practiced Agamas in majority of Sri Vaishnavaite temples in India.
SRI PANCHARATRA AGAMA:
The Pancharatra Agama is one of the most important texts of the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya of Ramanuja. Composed of more than 200 texts; they are believed to have been compiled around the 3rd century BC.
Since ancient times, the worship of Lord Vishnu is strictly according to the principles and practices laid out in the Pancharathra.
The Pancharatra Agama is believed to be taught by the Lord Himself to five divine personalities in five nights. In Sanskrit “Pancha” means five and “Ratra” meaning preaching wisdom.
The Lord taught the tenets of Pancharatram to Serpent King Ananta, King of Birds Garuda, Commander in Chief of Lord Viswaksena, Chaturmukha Brahma and Parameswara.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PANCHARATRA IN TIRUCHANOOR:
While the Vaikhanasa Agama is being practiced since ages in the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala, the puja vidhi and rituals in the Goddess Padmavathi Devi temple at Tiruchanoor is as per the tenets of Sri Pancharatra Agama Shastra Vidhi.
ASTOTTARASATA PUJA VIDHI
Though the traditional list enumerates 108 Pancharatra Samhitas, there are actually more than 215. Among these, the Tiruchanoor temple rituals are based on two important Samhitas of Pancharatra i.e. Sri Padma Samhita and Sri Prasna Samhita
SIX ASPECTS OF SURRENDER IN THE PANCHARATHRA:
Surrender to God is one of the core teachings of Pancharathra.
i) Atma-Nikshepa or Nyaasa – placing oneself completely and directly under God’s care.
ii) Kaarpannya – absolute humility and honest awareness of one’s own natural
ignorance, impurity etc.
iii) Mahaa-Visvaasa – irrepressible and great faith in God.
iv) Goptrr – recognition of Lord as the sole Protector.
v) Praatikulya-Vivarjana – giving up whatever is antagonistic to any of His
creations or to Him.
vi) Anukulya-Nischaya – The resolve to do well to all beings.
The rituals in the famous shrine of Goddess Padmavathi Devi at Tiruchanoor are being observed as per the tenets of Pancharatra Agama Vidhi. The festivals of the temple are broadly classified as three Viz. Nityotsavams, Naimitthikotsavams and Sankalpotsavams, which are all, performed as per Pancharatra.
The annual Karthika Brahmotsavams of Goddess Sri Padmavathi Devi, falls under the category of Nityotsavams.
The puja vidhi during Brahmotsavams are in the form of Chatusthanarchana. Every day during the annual fete, the Chatusthanarchana will be performed twice, both in the morning and in the evening.
In the morning this ceremony is observed in yagashala between 5am to 6am and 4:30pm to 5:30pm. The archakas invoke Sri Paravasudeva in holy water, Sri Mahalakshmi in Sacred Kumbham (kalasam), Agni in Homam, sacred rice (Akshata) in Chaktrabja Mandalam and Yaga Bera in the form of Bimbam (deity).
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