KUMBHABHISHEKAM : THE SANCTIFICATION OF THE DIVINE SHRI ELLAIMMAN TEMPLE AT KORATTUR, CHENNAI, INDIA
Good morning friends,
Today I would like to talk to you about a grand temple ceremony that I was lucky to witness from the comfort of my house at Ellaimman Nagar, Korattur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India. This ceremony is called Kumbhabhishekam. Let me show you the temple dedicated to Goddess Ellaimman ( A form of Maa Durga who protects our local area) just opposite my house.
What is Kumbhabhishekam?
Kumbhabhishekam, otherwise called Samprokshanam is a Hindu custom that is usually carried out to homogenize, synergize and join the spiritualist powers of the God. It is important for the sanctification of Hindu temples. Kumbha implies the Head and means the Shikhara or Crown of the Temple (as in Gopuram) and the abhisekam or prokshanam is done by sprinkling the holy water carried in small pots over the Gopuram ( top of the temple). Kumbhabhishekam is done once in twelve years to rejuvenate the powers of the presiding deity.
This is how Kumbhabhishekam is done. I was unable to click the original picture of the holy temple because of overcrowding. The image above illustrates the actual procedure of the Temple Sanctification.
Our temple dedicated to Goddess Ellaimman, a guardian of our area ( Ellai means the border of an area), has been recently renovated with fresh paint, and installation of new shrines to various Gods.The Kumbhabhishekam took place on 10.6.2022, but the festivities started on 9.6.2022 itself. The function went off very well for two days. The ceremony began with Ganapati Homam, a fire altar ceremony, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, The Elephant-headed Hindu God, who’s not only the remover of Obstacles but also is considered Very Auspicious. Offering our first prayers to Him before starting any venture ensures the success of our Undertaking and without any obstacles in the path of our progress. It was followed by Navagraha Homam, a sacred ceremony performed to appease the nine deities representing the nine planets. This was followed by worshipping the cow and a special worship to Goddess Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Annadana or food distribution took place on a grand scale and anybody, rich or poor, could partake the Mahaprasad, ( The food first offered to Goddess Ellaimman).
I again apologize for not clicking the original picture on account of two reasons, one due to the heavy rush and secondly, most of the temples do not allow taking the photos for security reasons.
The second day saw the continuity of Ganpati Homam and chanting of vedic hymns to appease various deities followed by Purnahuti Or the conclusion of the rituals and the actual abhishekam ( sprinkling the sacred water over the temple Gopuram) concluded peacefully. Gopuram is the top of the temple. It was followed by the grand scale Food distribution ( Annadana) and in the evening, we had a musical concert of devotional songs sung by the legendary devotional carnatic singer, Veeramani Dasan. The ceremony concluded with a temple procession of the idol of The Goddess decked in flowers and ornaments in a chariot with the priests accepting the offerings of the devotees, get it sanctified at the feet of the Goddess and giving back the consecrated offering ( usually consists of a couple of betel leaves, two bananas, betelnuts, coconut, and flowers with a burning camphor, the sacred ash called Vibhuti and the Vermillion powder called Kumkum).
This is an example of the temple procession carried out on a chariot.
I have clicked some pictures at night ( 10.6.2022) .
Can you believe that it’s an artificial elephant? Usually, we find real elephants in many temples of Tamil Nadu. We give money to the Mahout, the elephant’s caretaker and the elephant places it’s trunk on our head to bless us. We consider the elephant to represent Lord Ganesha.
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