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Re: MANTRAPUSHPAM

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Mon Apr 26 1999 - 14:27:13 PDT

Srimahavishnu wrote:
>    adiyEn has a copy of earlier edition at home.In this edition, the
> mantra pushpam starts with  1.rug vEda mantra "agni mILE purOhitam" and
> consists of the following other things: 

[...]

>  7.nammALwAr's "SenRAl kudaiyAm..."

Dear VS,

This is actually from Poykai Alvar's mudhal thiruvandhaadhi,
verse 53.

> Now adiyEn's query is like this:

> adiyEn has never seen this mantra pushpam being recited anywhere. 
> So when is the                                                   
> above-mentioned mantra pushpam to be chanted?
                                 
In my experience, it is the tradition to recite this
mantra pushpam as part of the alankAra-Asana during
bhagavad ArAdhana.  Recall that there are six Asanas
or "seats" offered to God during ArAdhana:            
                                 
   (1) mantrAsana -- request that the Lord be present
                     for the worship.
   (2) snAnAsana -- ceremonial bathing
   (3) alankArAsana -- adorning with flowers and
                       offering ornaments, incense,
                       sandalwood, etc.
   (4) bhojyAsana -- offering of food
   (5) punah mantrAsana -- reciting stotras, paasurams,
                           songs, kIrtanas, dance, etc.
                           for the Lord's enjoyment
   (6) paryankAsana -- conclusion of worship and requesting
                       the Lord to go back to yoga-nidra.
 
After offering gandha, dhUpa, dIpa, etc., during alankArAsana,
the mantra pushpam is offered in the order you described.
In a few temples, I have seen the mantra pushpam recited 
after bhojyAsana and during punah mantrAsana, if I am not
mistaken.  This may be a Vaikhanasa practice; generally
in homes mantra pushpam forms parts of alankArAsana.

Sri Rangaramanuja Mahadesikan, popularly known as Kozhiyalam
Swami, writes about the alankArAsana in the 'Laghu Ahnikam':

   ... bhagavanmantrai: pushpAni pradAya praNamya yathASakti
   stotrANi paThitvA ...

The editor of this book writes in a footnote:

   'mantra pushpa' iti prasiddha-veda-vaidika-vividha-
   sUkta-anusandhAana-pUrvaka-arcanAnushThAnam sarveshTam.

Mani