Thursday, December 27, 2012

Performing Abhishekam - Ritual of Bathing the Deity

Premavatar Swami Vishwananda
Performing Abhishekam
With the Christ Child, Jesus
Christmas, December 25, 2012

Abhisheka, also called Abhishekam, is conducted by priests, by pouring libations on the image of the deity being worshiped, amidst the chanting of mantras.

These Vigrahams (murtis | statues) are kept in Garbagraha; the normal temperature inside Garbhagraha is hot due to oil lamps used inside the Garbagraha, Aarthi shown with camphor.

These Vigrahams are kept in Garbagraha (main chamber where the main deity is usually found); the normal temperature inside Garbhagraha is hot due to oil lamps used inside the Garbagraha, Aarthi(waving of light) shown with camphor.

The idols/ deities/ vigrahas/ statues may develop cracks due to excessive heat inside Garbagraha
That is the reason for performing Abhishekam with various draviams.

Sesame oil (also known as ginger oil or til oil) is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.

In Hinduism, sesame or "til" oil is used deepa, or oil lamps kept in front of shrines for the Deities.
Hindus use it in votive lamps and consider the oil sacred.

Ginger oil is used in abhishekam to help keep the Deity/ Vigraham/ statue cold; also it dissolves the dusty, particles present on the outer layer and later those are removed by the application of other Abhishekam items like Haldi (turmeric) powder, Rice powder mixed with water.

As Vigraham has life after Prana prathista, the Deity is treated like Humans and given a bath as we do we apply oil and then other powders.

You might have noticed devotees offering their head hair by applying Sandal paste on the scalp to keep it cool.

This is the same reason Idols /Vigrahams/ statues are given Abhishekam with Sandal paste mixed with water.
This keeps the idols cool.

Abhisheka with various objects will help the
growth of devotion and adoration for the deity and eventually lead to with pure abundant flow of love towards God.

By offering Panchamrita, honey, milk, etc., to the Lord, thoughts
of your body diminish. Selfishness slowly vanishes. You derive immense joy. You
begin to increase your offerings unto the Lord. Therefore, self-sacrifice and
self-surrender come in. Naturally, there is an outpouring from your heart.

Kannappa Nayanar, a great devotee of
Lord Siva, a hunter by profession, did Abhisheka with the water in his mouth for
the Linga at Kalahasti in South India and propitiated Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is
pleased by pure devotion.
It is the mental Bhava (devotion) that counts and not the outward show.

Significance of Abhishekam of some of the items

PANCHAGAVYAM - Removes all sins of mankind
PANCHAMRUTHAM - Gives wealth
GHEE- Gives Moksha state
MILK - Gives long life
CURD - Gives Good Children
HONEY - Melodious voice
RICE POWDER - Frees from debts
SUGAR CANE JUICE - Gives good health and removes enmity
LIME JUICE - Removes fear of death
TENDER COCONUT JUICE - Gives enjoyment and full satisfaction in life
COOKED RICE (ANNAM) - Gives Majestic life
SANDAL PASTE - Gives Lakshmi's Grace
SUGAR - Removes enmity


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