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RANGASWAMY_at_plh.af.mil
Date: Thu Nov 16 1995 - 05:57:51 PST

        Srimathe NigamAntha Maha DesikAya Namaha

	Dear Bhaktas,

	A few weeks ago there was a request by Kanaka (shakti@aol.com) 
	about the why we make offerings of milk, butter etc while 
	performing Abishekam for the Lord. I had answered her through 
	email. On taking a second look at it, I thought others besides 
	her on the Bhakti-Prapatti newsgroup may also
	be interested in this. Therefore, here I go.

	Abishekam is an important part of offering prayers/performing 
	service to the Lord. Whenever such an event takes place, four 
	people receive the fruits/consequences (good and bad) of the 
        act equally. They are:

	(1) The person who performs the service.
	(2) The person for whom the service is performed (Bhagavan).
	(3) The person at whose behest the person in (1) performs 
	    the service.
	(4) Onlookers while the service is being performed.

	Since the above holds, it is best to maximize the good effects and 
        minimize/eliminate the bad effects/fruits. Purification of the self
        and the others mentioned above is the first step and this is what
	takes place in the Abishekam. To this end, each of the Divya Dravyas 
        (milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey and milk) used has the characterisitic 
        of purifying. Specifically,

	Ksheeram (milk) has the characteristic of Papa nashanam
        (destruction of sins).
	Dadhi (yoghurt) has the characteristic of Pushti Vardhanam 
        (increasing strength).
	Grutha (ghee) has the characteristic of Ayur-Vardhanam (
        increasing longevity of life).
        Madhu (honey) has the characteristic of destroying Kalmasham (
        viciousness or venom due to lack of a better equivalent in english).
	Shakkara (sugar) is used for purification just like soap.

	Each of the Divya Dravyas has Lord Narayana associated with it. 
        In particular,
	Ksheera priyo devata is Govinda.
	Dadhi priyo devata is Vamana.
        Grutha priyo devata is Vishnu.
        Madhu priyo devata is Madhusudana.
        Shakkara priyo devata is Achyuta.
        
	Thus purified, one becomes fit to engage in further service of
        the Lord. Hope the above provides for additional reflections
        and comments. 

        Dhanyosmi,

	Muralidhar Rangaswamy