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Invitaion to take part in the Dhanyadivasam rites as a part of Prahtishtai for Moolavar , Lord RanganAthA at the Pomona Temple , NY : April 6 ,2001

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 06:20:01 PST

Dear BhakthAs : Please plan on attending the first 
of the special Aagamic/Vedic rites (DhAnyAdhi Vaasam )
that precede MahA samprokshaNam at Lord RanganAthA's temple 
at Pomona . A small essay on this important ceremony
and its significance from a Vedic Point of view 
on DhAnyAdhi Vaasam is included here .

Daasan , V.SatakOapn   

DhAnyAdhi Vaasam and other Agamic Rites
Prior to Pratishtai of a Vigraham for worship
as ArchA Moorthy , Sri Vaishnava Aagamams 
require three specific purificatory rites :
(1) DhAnyAdhi Vaasam (2) JalAdhi Vaasam and
(3) SayanAthi Vaasam . Agamams are closely 
tied with VedAs and their Vedic links have been
defended by Swamy AlavandhAr and Swamy Desikan 
in their Sri Sookthis .The PaancharAthra Agamam
used in most of the Sri VaishNavite temples is
particularly lauded because Sriman NaarAyaNan 
Himself instructed His worshippers and promulgated 
the rules for His worship ( NaarAyaNa MukhOdhgitham ).
These instructions of the Lord deal with absolute and 
exclusive Bhakthi towards a concrete iconic (Archaa)
manifestion of BhagavAn. Just as the milk in a cow's body
is all over the body of a Cow and yet it flows readily 
through the udder , the all pervasive Lord (VishNu BhagavAn) 
makes Himself readily available to us in His consecrated
iconic forms worshipped at His temples.

Padma Samhitha of PaancharAthra Agamam deals extensively 
with the necessary steps (rituals) for the consecration of
an Archa Moorthy for worship by the BhakthAs and conductance of 
His nithya , paksha , maasa , samvathsara uthsavams for
invoking peace in this world and for the removal of
anishtams(worldly sorrows). 

Among the four sections of PaancharAthra Agamam 
dealing with CharyA, KriyA , Yogam and Jn~Anam , 
the KriyA section deals extensively with practises 
and processes , mantrAs , rituals , mudhrAs regarding 
the worship of ArchA Morrthys at the temples.This is 
known as Agama SiddhAntham and is backed up by 
manthra SiddhAntham , Tanthra SiddhAntham and tanthrAnthara
SiddhAntham as well as Vaasthu Saasthram.The sthapathis 
involved in temple and iconic image construction are expected 
to be conversant in VedAs and Saasthrams as experts in 
Vaasthu Saasthram (SilpAth PrathimA: JaayanthE).

Three consecration ceremonies as a part of Prathishtai
Prior to the consecration ceremonies associated with
MahA samprOkshanam , three sacred rituals are to be 
observed along with NethrOnmeelaNam (Opening of the eyes of 
the Lord with diamond-pointed needle).These are :
(1) DhAnyAdhi Vaasam (2) JalAdhi Vaasam and (3) SayanAdhi 
Vaasam. We will briefly relate them to their Vedic significance
using the manthrams of MahA NaarAyaNopanishad manthrams.
These ceremonies and the SamprOkshaNam are done for embodying 
the Brahman in the ArchA form and to stimulate one's 
adoration of the Lord ( TasyAn Brahma SAMAAROPYA , manasA
tanmayO bhavEth ; Thaamm archayEth , ThAmm praNamEth ;
ThAmm yajEth ; ThAmm vichinthayEth) .One should worship ,
salute, serve and contemplate on that consecrated ArchA
form of the Lord and cast aside all dhOshAs and treat 
that ArchA form as The Visible Image of Brahman ,
the Supreme Being. The Lord enters the consecrated
form (Samanupravishtam) and accepts the worship offered
by His BhakthAs. 

DhAnyAdhi Vaasam
Here , the image of the Lord is immersed completely in
dhAnyams or if the iconic form is huge , the immersion 
is upto the legs or the anklets. The immersion is done
for 45 days or for a subset of that time frame.Anna Maya 
aarAdhanam (offering ) is done through this ritual 

Bhagavan is saluted through this ritul as the Visva-bhuk
( Isa: Sarvasya Jagatha: Prabhu preeNAthi Visva-Bhuk:
manthram 128, MahA NaarayaNOpanishad). This manthram
recogniizes the Lord as " the Controller and Master of 
all this Universe and as the very consumer of 
the entire universe " and begs Him to be pleased  
with this gesture of PrANAgnihOthram.The previous 
manthram prays to Him for causing satisfaction 
(to the prANAs )through that annam/dhAnyam .The manthram
prior to this identifies the offerer as a faithful
one ( SraddhALunA maya) and states that the offered food 
is the form of nectar and is oblated unto Brahman as
surrender of the Aathman unto ParamAthman( BrahmaNi ma
Aathma-amruthatvAya). This ritual is linked finally to
the Vedic prayer : 

annamaya prANamaya manOmaya vij~nAnamaya aanandhamayaa
mE sudhyanthaam JyOthiraham virajA vipApmA bhUyAsagam svAhA 

(Meaning according to Dr.N.S.AnanatharAngAchArya Swamy): 
"May the Annamaya, PrAnamaya , ManOmaya ,Vij~Anamaya 
and Aanandhamaya related to me be purified! May I , who am of 
the nature of self-luminous knowledge be divested of 
Rajas and Tamas and become sinless.SvAhA !"

This is the prayer of the One , who wishes to qualify
himself to perform the Bhagavath AarAdhanam for 
the consecrated ArchA Moothy.BhOgyathvam of the Lord 
is also propounded by the term "annam " in the 59th manthram
of MahA NaarAyaNopanishad (BhUrannamagnayE pruthIvyai SvAhA).

JalAdhi and SayanAdhi Vaasam
The archA Moorthy to be consecrated is immersed completely
or partially in water and in a reclining form . This is 
to recognize the Centrality of the water (Aapa:) tatthvam 
in VedAs.Selected passages of Surya NamaskAra Prasnam
alos celebrate this tatthvam .

The abhimantraNam of water in all its forms is an 
important Vedic concept and many upAsana manthrAs address 
this need. The 105th manthram of MahA NaarAyaNopanishad
refers to it tersely: " aapO jyOthirasoamrutham
Brahma BhUrbhuva:ssuvarOm" (" That is Brahman.That is
verily water.Water is the essence of the JyOthi or 
the light. That is Brahman, BhUh,Bhuvah and Suvah").
This section is celebrated as  part of the Gaayathri 
Siras manthram.

The 112th manthram of MahA NaarAyaNopanishad is an 
abhimanthraNa manthram celebrating the centrality 
and greatness of the Waters( aapO vaa idhagum Sarvam..).
This manthram states: " All this is verily waters .
All the entities are waters. The vital airs are waters.
The animals are waters.Waters are nectar.Food is waters;
waters shine out brilliantly.Waters shine out by themselves.
Waters are not having anyother one ruling over them .
The VedAs are waters.The luminary bodies are waters.
Truth is waters. All gods are Waters. BhUrbhuvassvAhA ". 
The sections of the manthram salutes the Lord as
"SamrADApO , VirADApo". SamrAD has been described as
the master of All (ananyAdhipathi) and VirAd is recognized
as the VirAd Purushan saluted by the Purusha Soktham.
It is in this context , we have to understand the JalAdhi
Vaasam ritual.

The SayanAdhi Vaasam is but natural to Lord RanganAthA
at Srirangam and at the milky ocean. Lord's Yoga Nidhrai
for Jagath RakshaNam has to be linked to SayanAdhi 
Vaasam . The ArchA Moorthy is placed in a reclining 
pose in this ritual and invoked as ThiruppArkadal Nathan.
FIFTY ONE Paasurams of TEN AzhwArs salute this KshIrAbdhi Naathan 
(Sri RanganAthan) along with Kadal MahaL NaacchiyAr 
in the VyUhA form in milky ocean under AshtAnga VimAnam .

We conclude this essay with prayers to Sriman NaarAyanan
to bless us as His BhakthAs to complete His MahA SamprOkshanam 
in the traditonal manner prescribed by the VedAs and Aagamams.

"NaarAyaNa Param Brahma Tatthvam NaarAyaNa: Para:
 NaarAyaNa ParO JyOthirAthmA NaarAyaNa: Para:"

" NaarAyaNa is the Supreme Brahman. He is the Supreme
Reality. He is the Supreme Light . The very same NaarAyana 
is the Supreme Self".

NaarAyana , NaarAyaNa , NaarAyaNa !
Daasan , V.SatakOpan  




           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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