You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1995

Date: Sat Nov 11 1995 - 21:22:10 PST

Here is the information provided to me 
about Brahmotsavam by 
our new priest Sri Srinivasa Bhattar.

This Utsava was first performed by Brahma
 himself, that is why it is called Brahmotsavam.

Indra once killed a Brahma Rakshasa
(a Brahmana with Rakshasa characters or a Rakshasa 
with Brahmana characters) and thus 
had the burden of Brahmahatya Dosham(BHD) 
To relieve Indra of this burden, Brahma himself 
conducted a ceremony called Brahmotsava.
In  this ceremony officiated by brahma himself,  Indra held
SrimanNarayana on his head during the avabritha snanam.

Now this Brahmotsavam is conducted routinely
(generally once a year) to wash of all sins.
 This utsavam begins with
Vynatheya Dwaja arohana and concludes with 
Dwaja  awarohana. At the end of the Utsava a 
special bath called Avabritha Snanam 
(Chakra teertha snanam) is performed by the 
Pradhana Acharya of the temple. The acharya 
keeps on his head the Utsavar murthy or 
Sudarshana Chakram or Sri Shatari and takes 
three dips  in a river or pond or the water from 
Kalasha is poured  on.  As the water descends
 from the deity (Utsav Murthy, Chakra or Sri Shatari) 
on to the shoulders of the Acharya, the Brahmahathya 
dosha is washed away.  Because there is no other sin 
greater than BHD , by performing this, all sins 
are washed away.

This is done every year and the time of the year
 varies from temple to temple. the time
is chosen based on sampradayas of the temple. 
Some examples of when it is performed are:
1. Pratishtapana day of the Deity
2. Pratishtapana day of the Sri Shatari
3. Thirunakshatram of the Temple Deity 
4. It can also be performed on Kamyotsava day
 (special utsava done
following the fulfillment of a specific desire). 
Thus, there can be more than one brahmotsava
 per year at a given temple.

K. Sreekrishna