PUNARAVARTHANA ASHTABANTHANA MAHA KUMBABHISHEGAM
Sri Kailasanathar Kovil (Sivan Temple)
The Kumbabhishegam is the ceremony that is performed to give life and spiritual power to a temple. It is sometimes preceded with the term Maha, meaning 'Great'.
The Kumbabhishegam is the combination of the two words ‘kumbha’, a water vessel, and ‘abhishegam’ which is the rite of pouring kumbhas filled with sanctified water over the brass or copper spires (kalasa) on the crown of the temple.
There are 4 distinct types of Kumbabhishegam ceremonies:
- Avarthanam - renovating and restoring an abandoned temple, be it an old or ancient structure
- Anavarthanam - consecration of a newly built temple
- Punaravarthanam - repairing and renovating an existing temple. Asthabanthana is a mixture of eight special ingredients used for bonding the Vigraha (Murti or Deity) to the Peedham (pedestal). The rite performed thereafter to restart the temple is called Punaravarthana Ashtabanthana Maha Kumbabhishegam
- Antharitham - is performed to remove any disturbance to the spiritual ambience which has been caused by either natural or unnatural happenings
The English term for such a ceremony is consecration, meaning 'to make sacred'. For such a blessing to be holy, God’s presence must be invoked. At a Maha Kumbabhishegam, this is accomplished through detailed preparations, intense prayers, sacred rituals, divine mantras and holy fire ceremonies called homa or yajna, conducted in a temporary structure called a yagasalai.
The kumbhas near each sacred fire will be infused with divine energy accumulated over the duration of the Kumbabhishegam. On the final day, the sanctified waters are poured over the temple spire, bathing the Deities and sanctifying the temple. This holy ablution occurs at the high point of the ceremony. It is preceded by days of ceremonies and followed by a month of special daily rituals.
Day 1 - Monday, 3rd February 2020: Purification and Preparation
The ceremony commences with the Poorvanga Poojai and Maha Sangkalpam to put forth the purest of all intention formed by the hearts and minds of those involved in these sacred rituals.
It includes the purification, protection and initiation of the Gurukkals (high priests) into their sacred duties.
Day 2 - Tuesday, 4th February 2020: Building the Energy
The goal on this day is to remove flaws from the physical to allow the divine to enter. Rituals include purification of the Yagasalai space, commencing homam (yagna) fires, concentration of divine energies into the kumbhas and purification of the Vigrahas.
On this day, devotees may offer Navarathinam (nine precious stones), gold and silver on the Peedhams (pedestals) of the deities starting 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm. We kindly request those wishing to make an offering to be punctual.
Day 3 - Wednesday, 5th February 2020: Sanctify the Vigrahas (Murtis or Deities)
Anointment Ceremony or Ennai Satruthal (pouring of gingelly oil) is a rare opportunity accorded to all devotees during the Maha Kumbabhishegam period. This event will start from 10 am until 7.00 pm the next day.
Day 4 - Thursday, 6th February 2020: Enliven the Deity
This day will include poojas to reinvoke the powerful energies of the deities.
Day 5 - Friday, 7th February 2020: Maha Kumbabhishegam
The consecration ceremony for the Vimana Kalasams of Sri Karunagadakshi Ambiga Sametha Sri Kailasanathar will take place on this day. All other residing deities’ Vimana Kalasams will be consecrated simultaneously. This will be followed by the consecration of the all the deities at their Peedams (pedestals).
The first Abishegam after the Kumbabhishegam takes place thereafter marking the readiness of the temple to commence with routine poojas.
Following the Maha Kumbabishegam, forty-eight (48) days of Mandalabishegam Prayers will commence on Monday, 8 February 2020. Special Abishegams and Poojas will be conducted from 4.00 pm and 7.00 pm daily. Devotees wishing to host an ubayam may contact Madam Ravathi Allagiri at +6010 243 4726 or the Sri Poyatha Venayaga Moorthi Temple at tel. 06-2812 417
The first and concluding Mandalabishegam will be hosted by the Management body of the Sri Poyatha Venayaga Moorthi Temple and the Melaka Chetti Community.
Rich in history – Melaka Chetti women in their traditional attire performing prayers at the Temple