HOLY SEEDS SOWN FOR “BRAHMOTSAVAMS”
Tirumala, 22 September 2017: After the cleansing of Tirumala temple before the commencement of grand celebration of Navahnika Brahmotsavams, as a prelude to the nine day religious fete, Ankurarpanam or Beejavapanam is performed in Tirumala temple on Friday evening. The festival marked the spectacular arrangements for the big religious event in a traditional manner as per the tenets of Vaikhanasa Agama.
IMPORTANCE: Ankurarpanam is one of the most important rituals of the Vaikhanasa Agama. Ankuararpanam means “sowing the seed”. The essence of this ritual is to make a sankalpa to celebrate a utsavam or festival and get the grace of the Lord. Sastras prescribe Ankurarpana to be performed nine days before the festival. If not at least 7,5,3 days before the main festival.
ONLY PERFORMED AFTER THE SUN SET
Another important and interesting thing to note is that Ankurarpana is performed only after the sun set. According to astrological dictum, Chandra is considered the “Sasyakaraka” and the controller of plants and hence sowing a seed in the day time is not considered wise. So an auspicious lagna or muhurta in the evening is considered for Ankurarpana.
GROWTH OF SPROUTS IMPLIES SUCCESS OF FESTIVAL
Yet another fascinating fact about this festival is that the sprouts that emanate from the seeds provide useful hints about how perfectly the festival was celebrated.
HOW IS IT PERFORMED
Ankurarpanam is an interesting episode. The vessels or mud pots used for sowing the seeds are known as “Palikas”. The festival is observed in Yagashala. Sage Atri has penned the standards and norms of this festival in his book Samurtarchana Adhikarana.
Earlier in the afternoon the seeds should be soaked in a new vessel in water. In the northern side of the temple cow dung should be used to decorate the place. After that the Brahma Peetam is establised as prescribed in the texts using rice and different deities like Brahma, Garuda, Sesha, Sudarsana, Vakratunda, Soma, Santa, Indra, Isana and Jaya were invited and worshiped through fire.
The palikas are later filled with mud while worshiping the Goddess earth and the seeds and water were poured while worshipping Moon. The palikas were be decorated by wrapping a new cloth around them and punyahavachanam was performed. Later “Somam Raja” mantra,Vishnu Sukta and Varuna Mantra were recited. Every day water is offered to the seeds in a protective manner. The entire ritual took place amidst the chanting of veda mantras and mangala vaidyam.
TTD EO Sri Anil Kumar Singhal, Tirumala JEO Sri KS Sreenivasa Raju, CVSO Sri Ake Ravikrishna other officers, vedic scholars, Archakas and temple staff were also present.
ISSUED BY PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,TTD,TIRUPATI