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Ram11
23 March 2015, 09:53 AM
Namaste,

In temples we see that Devatas are offered Chamara Puja.Chamara is a whisk used to fan deities.
Can we do Chamara fanning at homes?What is the procedure to do it?

(In some temples a Peacock fan is used,can it be used in homes?)


http://udupishiroormutt.in/shiroor/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/IMG_3062.jpg

http://www.morninggloryantiques.com/imagesLZ/purses/fan17059.jpg

Eastern Mind
23 March 2015, 01:18 PM
Vannakkam Ram: I've seen them used in home shrines, so I know of no reason why a person wouldn't. Causes a gentle breeze on the deity. I'm sure it helps to build the sannidhya.

Aum Namasivaya

smaranam
23 March 2015, 02:14 PM
Namaste RamJi

You get those little peacock-feather fans -- about 6 inches in total length. Really cute for the home deities. That should be good enough. I haven't seen mini-chamaras but considering the home is generally free of bugs (or we have alternate ways of keeping the puja room bug-free) I do not see the need for a chamara (horse-tail-whisk).
Plus, I would not fan the Lord in winter.

Procedure? Gentle. I suppose you mean at what point should one fan the Deity.
It depends on the puja procedure you follow (or given by your guru or family guru) (any subset of shoDashopchAr (16 items) offered with love).
Generally you fan the Deity in the end after offering naivedyam)(food/fruit/milk/water)
-- after abhishek and shringaar (bathe and dress the Deity) and after everything is offered
including chandan/kumkum, flowers, dhoop, deep, naivedyam
but before the aarati (or during if another person is participating in puja).

So you see it all depends on you. The Deity only looks at your bhAva, and you want to do what would be most comfortable and pleasing to Him/Her.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

Viraja
23 March 2015, 04:31 PM
Interesting question, Ram ji! Upon reading your question, I am inclined to know all the more about fanning and all the 16 shodashopachara and how to do those...

I know that in Tamil, this is called 'Alavatta Kainkaryam' and that Thirukacchi Nambi was doing it to Lord Varadaraja in Kanchipuram, travelling by foot a very long distance to and fro from his home to do this service to god. Lord Varadaraja was said to be so pleased with Nambi's service that he used to talk to him in return! :)

Your question was so apt for remembering this incident that I thought I'll share it with you!

Pranam.

Ram11
23 March 2015, 09:39 PM
Vannakkam Ram: I've seen them used in home shrines, so I know of no reason why a person wouldn't. Causes a gentle breeze on the deity. I'm sure it helps to build the sannidhya.

Aum Namasivaya

Namaste EM Ji,

Indeed it is a nice way to build sannidhya.:)

I think you visited Chidambaram many times,did you visit anytime during the Ardra Darshana?Usually,in most temples only one pair of Chamaras is used but when Lord Ananda Nataraja Swamy and Goddess Sri Sivakama Sundari Amman come out of the sanctum to give Ardra Darshana, I heard that many many Chamaras are used and the procession looks very nice and mesmerizing.

I haven't been to Ardra festival but I found these Utsava videos of Sri Kapaleeshwara Swamy(Mylapore) and Sri Arunachaleshwara Swamy(Thiruvannamalai).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwXiqxfGGJ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhN2LFP5sBk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN-2DUCOSGE



Namaste RamJi

You get those little peacock-feather fans -- about 6 inches in total length. Really cute for the home deities. That should be good enough. I haven't seen mini-chamaras but considering the home is generally free of bugs (or we have alternate ways of keeping the puja room bug-free) I do not see the need for a chamara (horse-tail-whisk).
Plus, I would not fan the Lord in winter.

Procedure? Gentle. I suppose you mean at what point should one fan the Deity.
It depends on the puja procedure you follow (or given by your guru or family guru) (any subset of shoDashopchAr (16 items) offered with love).
Generally you fan the Deity in the end after offering naivedyam)(food/fruit/milk/water)
-- after abhishek and shringaar (bathe and dress the Deity) and after everything is offered
including chandan/kumkum, flowers, dhoop, deep, naivedyam
but before the aarati (or during if another person is participating in puja).

So you see it all depends on you. The Deity only looks at your bhAva, and you want to do what would be most comfortable and pleasing to Him/Her.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

Namaste Smaranam Ji,


In our home we do not have this Upachara in our Puja system but I like it.
As you have said we can use smaller sized ones for home puja.

On the net it says that Chamaras were made using Yak tail hair(tail hair!? or body hair),if it was so then it should have been difficult to procure Yak hair (I think no Yak would surive the horrible Indian summers).

In the above videos you can see that along with Chamaras there are very huge parasols(Chatra) and Rathas/Vahanas.

I think Chamaras,Chatras and Rathas were offered to deities by Kings.Probably,in the past making these items was very expenisve and only Kings and nobles could afford to provide such items to temples.So it could have been restricted to temples.

I've seen in temples that there seems to be certain pattern of turning the Chamara,when using only one fan there is a style and when using two there is another style of doing it but it almost similar in various temples.I belive there is some rhytmical way of doing it.

I was thinking Chamara is the last Upachara done when the deity is resting,does it come before Aarti?

Thanks for saying about winter,I think in winter we need to offer warmth Upacharas,I wonder what would be an appropriate Upachara for winter.

Thanks so much for reminding about the importance of Bhava.:)


Interesting question, Ram ji! Upon reading your question, I am inclined to know all the more about fanning and all the 16 shodashopachara and how to do those...

I know that in Tamil, this is called 'Alavatta Kainkaryam' and that Thirukacchi Nambi was doing it to Lord Varadaraja in Kanchipuram, travelling by foot a very long distance to and fro from his home to do this service to god. Lord Varadaraja was said to be so pleased with Nambi's service that he used to talk to him in return! :)

Your question was so apt for remembering this incident that I thought I'll share it with you!

Pranam.


Namaste Viraja Ji,

It would be interesting to know about some of the special Upacharas.I think fanning is a part of the elaborate 16+ Upachara system followed in big temples.

All rituals in the Tirumala temple of Lord Sri Venkateshwara Swamy are conducted by the Vaikhanasa archakam(priests),but when Peetadipathis/Mathadipathis of ancient institutions(maybe 10-15 institutions) visit the Lord,they are invited by the priests into the sanctum and given a Vyajanam(Fan) to fan the Lord.I think this signifies that Alavatta Kainkaryam is a very important and meritorius act that brings delight to the Lord and the devotee.

smaranam
23 March 2015, 11:46 PM
Dear Virajaji and Ramji

It is nice to see your interest in shoDashopachAr and how it takes turns in different seasons (summer, winter, spring - vasant... devotees can go to any extent depending on the time.

You can certainly fan the Deity at any appropriate time outside of pUjA schedule, when resting even sleeping or just merely being with you. I thought you were asking about fanning during pUjA.
(Yes, chamara is technically Yak-Tail fan, and the purpose is to ward of flies. That is why I said the little peacock feather fan is enough during summer. You may get chamaras online (krishna.com) or ask at temple shops.)

This HDF thread : Beginner Deity Worship (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?11996-Beginning-Krishna-worship) (basics, purpose,idea,concept, picture pUjA) tries not to use jargon and overwhelm someone new to Hindu Dharma.

So here, on this thread we can speak of ShoDashopachAr.

ShoDashopachAr ArchanA : Worship of the Deity by offering 16 items [* samarapayAmI = I offer to You]
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
[Consciousness: Pleasant mood, and full focus on happiness of the Deity, leaving all selfish or negative thoughts and worldly matters behind]

1. AvAhanam (Invite the Deity to accept pUjA, in some contexts it means wake up Deity in morning rAga. JAgo mohana pyAre, sAwarI surata mohe mana hi bhAve)
2. arghyam samarapayAmI (water to wash hands)
3. pAdyam samarapayAmI (water to wash feet)
4. Achamanam samarapayAmI (water to sip thrice)

5. abhishek - snAnam samarapayAmI(bathe Deity dressed in simple cloth-wrap with pure scented water from a kalash, copper cup or shankha (conch) -- keshar(saffron)-water, rose-water... , panchAmruta [5 nectars: milk,yogurt,ghee,honey,sugar] & rinse)
Water can be poured over Deity with right hand while ringing the bell with left and chanting shloka, mantra, stotra of choice e.g. purusha sUkta, ashTashatanAmAvalI, vishNusaharanAma, bramha-saMhItA, or mahAmantra, dvAdashAkshari, ashTAkshari... : Modify/replace depending on the Deity)

6. plotha-vastram samarapayAmI (cloth to wipe Deity)
7. vastram samarapayAmI - dress (If Shri KRshNa/ BAlAjI/NArAyaN or Devi -- they are alankAr-priya. Turban, mukut (crown)...

8. alankAra samarapayAmI - ornaments : Necklace(s) -- pearl with pendant, chain.. earrings, kangan(bracelets), pAyal (anklets), turban/crown jewel... chappals for Devi, hair-ornaments...

*9. gandham samarapayAmI (chandan/gandha. For Devi/other devatA -- kumkum-archanA samarapayAmI) , optionally akshatA (raw rice grains + kumkum) for some devas

10. pushpam samarapayAmI -- flowers -- either as a garland or just offered at Lotus Feet, on head. For VishNu-tattva , tulasi on Lotus Feet, tulasi haar (garland)

****[ You may fan the Deity now. Offer the fan, show the Deity a mirror -- take a look at the shringAr. Also, while you are dressing the Deity someone else can fan them ]

*11. Fan the Deity & show a mirror
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12. dhUpam samarapayAmI -- dhUp insence thick and/or regular incense sticks (agarbatti)
13. deepam samarapayAmI --- light ghee lamp (or sesame oil , prefered oils) with cotton wicks
14. naivedyam samarapayAmI --- first a kalash of water, and fruit, sugared milk, panchAmruta and/or cooked food. For VishNu-tattva, a tulasi leaf on each food item for acceptance. Chant a shloka / mantra or simply speak in natural language asking t.he Deity to come and eat. (if possible draw curtain or hang cloth. Others should not watch)
[After giving ample time for the Deity to eat , ring the bell (ghanTA) or clap hands - this is formal and depending on the proximity of the relationship, devotee uses discretion.]

* Offer tAmbulam (betal nut-rose-gulkand-sweet mix wrapped in betal leaf).
[You may fan the Deity now too]

15. Wave the lamp and sing AratI to the Deity , waving lamp around feet, body, face, whole, ringing the bell with the left hand
16. ashTAnga (men) or panchAnga (women) praNAm, pradakshiNA when applicable (circumblations around Deity).

Ask for forgiveness (aparAdha kshamA) of any clumsiness in service, inattentiveness, lack of bhAva, thinking of worldly matters, etc.

---

Regarding seasonally changing sevA upachAra as RAmji has asked, (warning --- you can go to any extent, and keep it to any minimum)

* In winter, use warm water for abhishek, warm clothing such as sweater (especially BAl GopAl) -- knit/weave a sweater, cap, woolen socks yourself
* In summer use light clothing, thin soft cotton and satin, silk
* Food should also be suitable for climate & weather e.g. tiL in winter, cucumber-yogurt rAita in summer
* Sing bhajans if possible in rAga matching the time of the day (which is divided into ashTa prahar -- 8 parts). e.g. Bhairav up until 6, BhUp before that, jaunpuri/asavari at mid-morning, flavours of sAranga in afternoon (vRndAvani sArang, gauD sArang ... and cousin rAgas), yaman/kalyAN in the evening, mAlkauMs at midnight...
When engrossed, the tune, tone, rAga automatically moulds into the mood of the devotee. Then you don't select a rAga consciously. It flows.
* Find the favourite foods of the Deity

----
Shri KRshNa's devotees need no excuse :
* Chandan YAtrA in the hot season, apply chandan all over KAnhA to keep Him cool and take out a procession in the cool breezy gardens
* Jhulan YAtrA in spring (vasanta rutU) -- take Radha KrshNa out on a swing
* SalIla vihAra in autumn -- take Radha KrshNa out in a boat
* phulan dolA -- decorate swing with flowers
* Holi
of course JanmAshTami, RAdhAshTami, RAm NavamI, BalarAm JayantI, SitA's appearance day, HanumAn Jayanti...

When Uddhava asked Shri KRshNa to have mercy on the people and explain how to serve His Deity form, KRshNa explains with pleasure :
Read Shrimad BhAgavatam Canto 11 Chapter 27 --- "KriyA - Yoga"


sacchidAnanda rUpAya vishwatpathhyAdihetave |
tApatraya vinAshAya shri KRshNAya vayam numah: ||
-- BhAgvat MahAtmya Chapter 1 Verse 1
(meaning: We glorify BhagavAn Shri KRshNa whose Form is existence, knowledge and bliss, Who is the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of the world (Universe), and Who vanquishes the three kinds of miseries [adhibhaitik - physical - due to environment & surroundings, adhidaivik - destiny, karma ; adhyAtmik -- mental agony] )

Viraja
24 March 2015, 03:27 PM
I am very happy to hear the Shodashopachara details from you, Smaranam ji. Thank you!

Eastern Mind
24 March 2015, 04:57 PM
Namaste EM Ji,

Indeed it is a nice way to build sannidhya.:)

I think you visited Chidambaram many times,did you visit anytime during the Ardra Darshana?


Vannakkam: I wish! I've only been there once, and I was so ill I hardly noticed it. Being ill at a great temple like that was mildly disappointing, to say the least.

Aum Namasivaya

smaranam
24 March 2015, 09:32 PM
I am very happy to hear the Shodashopachara details from you, Smaranam ji. Thank you!

It has been my pleasure to be of service, Virajaji ~

Jai Shri RAma ~

Ram11
25 March 2015, 06:01 AM
Namaste Smaranam Ji,

Thanks a lot for explaining the Upachara Vidhi.:)

The concept of using various Ragas based on the time of the day and Upachara is really good.
I don't think I've seen it in any temples where I stay but I know that very beautiful Sankirtanas composed by Sri Annamacharya are sung in the Tirumala temple during Suprabhata,Abhisheka,Alankara,Kalyana,Utsavas and Ekanta Seva.It is said the Lord Sri Venkateshwara loves Annamacharya Kirtanas a lot and so even today his descendents sing in front of the Lord daily.

Here is one of my favorite compositions.Only a realized saint could see Sri Hari in everything.

(Lyrics+Meaning)
http://masalateawithvani.blogspot.in/2012/05/brahmam-okate-god-is-one.html
http://www.karnatik.com/c1107.shtml

I think I posted an other two before:

http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?13156-CLASSICAL-COMPOSITIONS-ON-SRI-VISHNU&highlight=

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annamacharya

________________________________________________________________________________

Due to time constraints I can't chant Sri Vishnu Sahasranama,is there any shorter substitute for it?(Some say one Rama shloka but thats too short,anything apart from that?)

It would be nice to know the favorite naivedya items of each deity.From what you have mentioned Lord Sri Krishna likes butter,sweet items and foods with less spice in them.

Can anyone tell what are favorite naivedyas to be offered to Lord Shiva-Goddess Parvati,Goddess Sri Lakshmi-Lord Narayana and other Devatas?

We'll make a list so that it will be useful for everyone now & in the future.

1.Sri Krishna:Butter,Sweet items,Less Spicy foods(Sattvic substances)
2.Sri Ganesha:Modakas and I think fruits.

Maybe Viraja Ji can tell us about Sri Narasimha's prasad items.And others can share info. about their Ishta Devatas.

I hope to learn how to cook naivedya,I'll begin with simple items.Also,I'll try shopping for some vessels Smaranam Ji mentioned in the linked post.


Namaste EM Ji,

It is sad to know that you took ill during the Yatra.I hope you will get an opportunity to visit the temple in future.Its an amazing Kshetra.

Viraja
25 March 2015, 10:35 AM
The most preferable naivedyam for various gods -- wow, this is an interesting topic!

I do not know too much, going by what is served during naivedya for gods during festival times, I am inclined to think that Sri Rama likes Panaka, watery buttermilk, Sri Krishna likes buttery sweets and savories like Murukku, Seedai, Laddu, and Sri Narasimha Deva likes Puliyodharai, Sarkarai Pongal, Panakam, etc. I'm just guessing about Sri Narasimha Swami because I know that there is a 'Panaka Narasimha Swami' in Ahobilam 9-Narasimha sthala who is offered naivedya of 'Panakam' (Jaggery water) everyday!

A little while ago there was an interesting post in FB about different naivedyam offered in various temples. It was in tamil. If interested, I can post or PM it. :)

Aanandinii
26 March 2015, 01:40 PM
Namaste ji,

The most preferable naivedyam for various gods -- wow, this is an interesting topic!
Definitely!

Sri Narasimha Deva likes Puliyodharai, Sarkarai Pongal, Panakam, etc. I'm just guessing about Sri Narasimha Swami because I know that there is a 'Panaka Narasimha Swami' in Ahobilam 9-Narasimha sthala who is offered naivedya of 'Panakam' (Jaggery water) everyday!Sri Narasimhaswami Mandir in Namakkal offers Sarkarai Pongal prasad regularly. We went with a friend who had been many times and who explained to us. Your guess seems spot on, Virajaji. :)
Prasad from Mahakaaleshwar was sweet chirongi. Apparently, prasad offered there is allowed to be offered again, at home or other Lingam.
Prasad from Kaal Bhairav is flowers and fruit - you offer whiskey to the deity but don't take any as prasad.

A little while ago there was an interesting post in FB about different naivedyam offered in various temples. It was in tamil. If interested, I can post or PM it. :)Very interesting! if you have the time would you be willing to translate?

~Pranam

Viraja
26 March 2015, 03:52 PM
Here goes, Aanandinii ji!

எந்தெந்த கோயில்களில் என்னென்ன பிரசாதங்கள் வழங்கப்படுகின்றன?

Which naivedyam is offered in which temple?

* ஸ்ரீரங்கம் ரங்கநாதர் ஆலயத்தில் ரங்கநாதருக்கு தேங்காய்த் துருவலும் துலுக்க நாச்சியாருக்கு ரொட்டி, வெண்ணெய், கீரையும் நிவேதனமாகப் படைக்கப்படுகிறது. தினமும் இரவில் அரவணை பிரசாதமும் உண்டு.

- In SriRangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, to Sri Ranganatha, shredded coconut is offered as naivedya. For Thulukka Nachiyar, Roti (as in Chapathi), butter and Spinach are offered as Prasadam. In the night, 'Aravanai' (a sweet preparation like Sarkarai Pongal) is also offered.

* திருவாரூர் தியாகராஜப் பெருமானுக்கு நெய்யில் பொறிக்கப்பட்ட முறுக்கு தினசரி பிரசாதம்.

- In Tiruvarur temple, Swami Thiagaraja is offered 'Murukku' (a savory dish) that is made in Ghee as daily Prasad.


* திருக்கண்ணபுரம் சௌரிராஜப் பெருமாளுக்கு தினமும் இரவில் முனியோதரயன் பொங்கல் எனும் அமுது செய்விக்கப்படுகிறது.

- Thirukkannapuram Sri Souriraja Perumal is offered daily night a rice preparation called 'Muniyodarayan Pongal'.


* காஞ்சிபுரம் வரதராஜப் பெருமாளுக்கு சுக்கு, மிளகு, கறிவேப்பி லை மணத்துடன் கூடிய காஞ்சிபுரம் இட்லிதான் முதல் நைவேத்யம்.

- In Kanchipuram, Sri Varadaraja Swami is offered 'Kanchipuram Idli' that is seasoned with dry Ginger, Pepper and Curry leaves.


* திருப்பதி வெங்கடாஜலபதிக்கு விதவிதமான பிரசாதங்கள் செய்ய ப்பட்டாலும் குலசேகரன்படியைத் தாண்டி மண் சட்டியில் நிவேதிக் கப்படுவது தயிர்சாதம் மட்டுமே.

-- Eventhough Tirupathi Sri Venkatachalapathi is offered a variety of prasad, once crossing the 'Kulasekaran Step', the only food that is offered in a mud pot is 'Curd rice' alone.


* கேரள மாநிலம் கொட்டாரக்கராவில் விநாயகப் பெருமானுக்கு சுடச்சுட நெய்யப்பம் செய்து நிவேதித்துக் கொண்டே இருக்கின்றன ர். உதயம் முதல் அஸ்தமனம் வரை அப்பம் ஏற்கும் கணபதி இவர்.

-- In Kerala Kottaarakkara, Lord Sri Vinayaka is offered steaming hot 'Neyyappam' prepared in Ghee -- and offered from Sunrise till Sunset.
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* ஸ்ரீமுஷ்ணம் பூவராக மூர்த்திக்கு தினமும் அபிஷேகத்திற்குப் பிற கு முக்தாபி சூரணம் எனும் மகா பிரசாதம் நிவேதனம் செய்யப்படு கிறது. இந்த பிரசாதம் நோய்களை தீர்க்கும் மருந்தாகக் கருதப்படுகி றது.

- Srimushnam Sri Bhoovaraha Murthy is daily offered a mahaprasadam called 'Mukthaabi Soornam' after daily abhishekam. This prasadam is considered to have medicinal value.

* கேரளம், திருவிழா மகாதேவர் ஆலயத்தில் மூலிகைகளைச் சாறு பிழிந்து பாலுடன் கலந்து ஈசனுக்கு நிவேதனம் செய்து பின் பக்தர்க ளுக்குப் பிரசாதமாக அளிக்கின்றனர். இந்த பால் வயிற்றுக் கோளா றுகளைத் தீர்க்கிறது.

-- In Kerala, Thiruvizha Mahadevar temple, essences extracted from medicinal herbs are mixed with milk and offered to Lord Shiva, and then offered as prasadam to the devotees -- this prasadam is considered to cure stomach ailments.

* நவகிரக, சுக்கிர தலமான கஞ்சனூரில் அன்னாபிஷேகத்தின் போது சுரைக்காய் பிரசாதம் படைக்கப்படுகிறது.

-- In one of the navagraha sthala for Sukra (Tanjavur), during 'Annabhishekam' (abhishekam with White rice), bottle gourd is offered.

http://blogexplore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/bottle_gourd_suraikai_sorakkai.jpg

* மதுரை மீனாட்சியம்மன் ஆலயத்தில் காலையில் ஞானப்பால் பிரசாதமும் இரவில் பள்ளியறையின்போது கமகமக்கும் சுண்டலும் பாலும் நிவேதனம் செய்யப்படுகின்றன.

-- In Madurai Meenakshiamman Temple, in the morning, 'Gnanappaal' (Milk) is offered and in the night, at bedtime, Sundal and milk are offered. (I think 'Gnanappaal' simply means milk pudding).

* கொல்லூர் மூகாம்பிகைக்கு இரவு அர்த்தஜாமபூஜையின்போது சுக்கு, மிளகு, திப்பிலி, ஏலம், லவங்கம், சர்க்கரை சேர்த்து தயாரிக்கப்படும் மணமிக்க கஷாயம் பிரசாதமாகத் தரப்படுகிறது.

- For Kollur Mookambika, during 'Arthajaama puja' in the night (this takes place in the midnight), a 'kashaayam' (an extract prepared from various spices) made of dry Ginger, Pepper, Long Pepper, Elaichi, Lavang and Sugar is offered and then distributed as Prasadam.

* நெல்லையில் உள்ள புட்டாத்தி அம்மன் ஆலயத்தில் அரிசி, வெல்லம், ஏலக்காய் சேர்த்துத் தயாரிக்கப்படும் புட்டுதான் பிரசாதம்.

-- In Thirunelveli, Puttathi Amman Temple, 'Puttu' (a sweet preparation) made of Rice, Jaggery and Elaichi cloves is offered as prasadam.

* கேரளம், குருவாயூரில் குருவாயூரப்பனுக்கு சுண்டக்காய்ச்சிய பால் பாயசம் பிரசாதமாக செய்யப்படுகிறது.

-- In Kerala, Guruvayur, Guruvayurappan is offered nicely boiled milk as naivedyam.

* திருச்சியில் கோயிலடி அப்பக்குடத்தானுக்கு தினமும் அப்பம் நிவேதனம் செய்யப்படுகிறது.

-- In Trichi, Koiladi Appakkudatthaan is offered 'appam' (a sweet preparation made of jaggery) daily.

* கேரளம், இரிஞ்சாலக்குடாவில் பரதன் ஆலயத்தில், கத்தரிக்காயா ல் தயாரிக்கப்பட்ட வழுதனங்கா எனும் நைவேத்தியம் செய்யப்படுகி றது. செம்பை வைத்யநாத பாகவதர் இந்தப் பிரசாதம் உண்டு தன் வயிற்று நோய் தீர்ந்ததாக எழுதிய கடிதம் ஆலயத்தில் காட்சியாக வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

-- In Kerala Irinjalanguda Bharata Temple, a preparation called 'Vazhuthananga' made of Eggplant (Brinjal) is offered. A handwritten note from Sembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar stating that his stomach ailment got relieved after taking this prasad is kept for everyone's view in this temple.

* குற்றாலம் குற்றாலநாதருக்கும் குழல்வாய்மொழி அம்மைக்கும் நாள்தோறும் சுக்கு, மிளகு சேர்த்த கஷாயம் படைக்கப்படுகிறது. அருவியால், அவருக்கு தலைவலியும் ஜலதோஷமும் வராமல் இருக்க இந்த ஐதீகம்.

-- In Kutralam (TN, India), Sri Kutralanatha and Kuzhavaimozhi Ammai are daily offered kashayam made from dry Ginger, and Pepper. The legend has it that this preparation will make sure the Lord does not get headache and catch cold from the waterfalls nearby!


* முழு உளுந்தை ஊறவைத்து பச்சரிசி மாவுடன் மிளகு, சீரகம் சேர் த்து நெய் ஊற்றித் தயாரிக்கப்படும் தோசை, மதுரை அழகர் கோயி லின் பிரதான பிரசாதம்.

-- In Madurai Azhagar Koil, 'Dosa' prepared with grinding Urad dhal (whole), raw rice along with pepper and jeera and toasted in Ghee is offered as main prasad.


* திருநெல்வேலி பூமாதேவி அம்மன் ஆலயத்தில் தமிழ் மாதக் கடை சி வெள்ளியன்று கூட்டாஞ்சோறும்
சர்க்கரைப்பொங்கலும் நிவேத னம் செய்வர். துவரம்பருப்பு, அரிசி, காய்கறிகள் எல்லாம் சேர்த்து தேங்காய் அரைத்து விட்டு தயாரிக்கப்படுவதுதான் கூட்டாஞ்சோறு.

-- In Tirunelveli Bhoomadevi temple, on each last Fridays of Tamil months, 'Koottaanchoru' and Sarkarai Pongal are offered. 'Koottaanchoru' means rice prepared along with Thur dhal, and vegetables in a mix along with ground coconuts.

* சிதம்பரம் நடராஜப் பெருமானுக்கு கிச்சடி சம்பா சாதமும் சிதம்பரம் கொத்சும் சிறப்பான நிவேதனங்கள்.

-- In Chidambaram, for Sri Nataraja, White Kichadi Chamba rice and Chidambaram 'Kotsu' are offered as special nivedanam.

Courtesy: Indira Srinivasan | Tambras

Viraja
26 March 2015, 03:54 PM
Prasad from Mahakaaleshwar was sweet chirongi. Apparently, prasad offered there is allowed to be offered again, at home or other Lingam.
Prasad from Kaal Bhairav is flowers and fruit - you offer whiskey to the deity but don't take any as prasad.


Thank you for this interesting news, Aanandinii ji!

smaranam
26 March 2015, 10:06 PM
Wonderfully delicious. Thanks everyone for the information.

My GopAL loves dahI-pohe --- flat rice flakes mixed with non-sour fresh curd whisked, with a dash of sugar no salt. Along with mAkhan-mishrI (fresh white home-made butter with sugar-crystal-rock-candy). It is hard to make mAkhan out of cow milk so I would just replace with the top-layer creamy freshly set dahI. Creamy enough. A sweet secret : ShyAmsundar likes white ravaa ladoos. (Many years ago He asked me to distribute white ravA laddoos. They looked white.)
Other than that, milk-sweets, laddoo, and any non-spicy, pleasant, sAttvic savories and sweets, yogurt and kaDhI based dishes, all else not too spicy, hot,sweet,sour, dry, rUksha, and overall pleasing. All topped with tulasi leaf

RAdhArANi's favourite --- rose lassi , sukA mewA (dried fruit and nuts) , and of course MAdhava-chandan-fragrance in the air, and the sweet nectar rasa called Govinda-prema ~
----
In a temple in Lucknow, my Govinda MAdhav eats mAkhan mishri flavoured with keshar(saffron) in summer and khas in winter.

GaNesh: modak, laddoo, fruit, coconut, sweets -- modak-shaped peDhA, burfi ...

DEVI -- When Gauris (2 - Gauri and sister/friend both called Gauri) come "home" to parents around GaNesh festival a few days after GaNesh chaturthi, they are given a grand welcome and offered a nice delicious elaborate menu for lunch/dinner for as long as they are visiting -- then they leave -- GaurI-visarjan just like Ganapati visarjan.

Durga Devi / Gauri likes slightly rAjasik food -- e.g. pickle is served in Her plate. Moderately spicy veggies, daals, legumes (usaL), fried and baked sweets like karanji et al
In navrAtrI also, people serve Devi Ma a special or simple something -- sweet puris , sweet jaggery dosas, rajgira vaDi, channa-grams, jaggery, sugared-milk or fruit

HanumAn -- guD (jaggery) and motichur laddoos

Shiva -- milk and fruits, Bel leaves

BAlAjI - Venkateshwara -- Giant atta-besan laddoo (motichur like), pongals

NArAyaNa - VishNu tattva -- banana halwa (shirA) made of semolina (also for RAm navamI) , sugar and ghee, topped with tulasi leaf, rice - plain daal topped with ghee, grated coconut, cucumber raita , puri - sabji - all topped with tulasi leaf and very sAttvic

Of course, no onion garlic on naivedya

As we can tell, the naivedya will vary with regional culture and tradition too. e.g. In Maharashtra, it is puraN-poLI - a holi special. More murukkus, pongal and coconut in the south, more whole coconut in central region, more fried and milk sweets or kachoris in the north.


RAm, I will be back with alternatives for VishNu SahasranAma.

namo bramhaNya devAya go brAmhaNa hitAya cha
jagad-hitAya kRushNaya govindAya namo namah:

Aanandinii
26 March 2015, 11:01 PM
Namaste ji,

Thanks so much to you both, Virajaji and Smaranamji. Such wonderful new ideas for all occasions! I don't usually enjoy cooking myself, but I find it much fun to prepare naivedyam offerings. I must admit, all the good foods on here are also making me a little hungry. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-ashamed001.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

As we can tell, the naivedya will vary with regional culture and tradition too. e.g. In Maharashtra, it is puraN-poLI - a holi special. More murukkus, pongal and coconut in the south, more whole coconut in central region, more fried and milk sweets or kachoris in the north. Generally for Festival Holidays we try and make traditional foods if we can find what to make, but at home for our altar I tend to keep it simple and stick to dairy (home-made curd, ghee and locally bought milk and cream) and locally available fruits.

It may be me, but I get an extra nice feeling offering berries with curd and juice, especially in summer when I can go pick them wild. Sri Ganesha seems to enjoy raspberries and strawberries, Mata Di seems to also like those and Blackberries, and Sri Shiva and Sri Murugan give me the feeling they like Loganberries, Blackberries and Blueberries. There are other local berries I haven't tried, and if I can find them I hope to try offering. I've also gotten a happy response across the board from Starfruit and Kiwi. On the other hand, not so much of a reaction offering Oranges, Apples or Pears, and Bananas seem in between. These things may be non-traditional, but we have to work with what we have regionally, as you point out Smaranamji.

~Pranam

Ram11
26 March 2015, 11:49 PM
The most preferable naivedyam for various gods -- wow, this is an interesting topic!

I do not know too much, going by what is served during naivedya for gods during festival times, I am inclined to think that Sri Rama likes Panaka, watery buttermilk, Sri Krishna likes buttery sweets and savories like Murukku, Seedai, Laddu, and Sri Narasimha Deva likes Puliyodharai, Sarkarai Pongal, Panakam, etc. I'm just guessing about Sri Narasimha Swami because I know that there is a 'Panaka Narasimha Swami' in Ahobilam 9-Narasimha sthala who is offered naivedya of 'Panakam' (Jaggery water) everyday!

A little while ago there was an interesting post in FB about different naivedyam offered in various temples. It was in tamil. If interested, I can post or PM it. :)

Namaste Viraja Ji,

Your guess about Panaka is actually right.

Sri Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple,Mangalagiri.

http://anudinam.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Panakala-Narsimha-Swamy-241x300.jpg



One of the amazing things to notice in Panakala Narasimha Swami temple is that when the "archakas" (or the priests) offer Panakam (jaggery water) with a conch to the Lord, a gargling sound is clearly audible. The voice rises to a high pitch and then lessens towards the end of the offering.

It is a regular practice in the temple to offer beverage made of jaggery and water as Naivedya. To fulfil the vows devotees offer this beverage and Lord glady accepts the Panaka Puja. The pecularlity of the above offering is that He receives it whole-heartedly and drinks to his satisfaction by a strange gurgling sound while pouring the beverage in his mouth. Half of the quantity of the beverage again comes out of his mouth which is distributed as prasad. Another strange fact one could experience here is the absence of flies or insects of any kind. Though jaggery brought for making "Panakam" is found in abundance in Garbhagriha one could notice that there is no passage for this huge quantity of beverage to let it out. Nobody knows where and how the Panakam goes leaving the entire area always dry and hot.

Interesting things to note are, only half the quantity of Panakam offered to God goes inside the mouth while the remaining spills out and not even a single ant can be traced though a large quantity of jaggery water is offered.



My mother likes Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple a lot.She visited this temple in Mangalagiri and said there are three temples of Sri Narasimha here.

Viraja Ji,thank you so much for the article on various temple Naivedyas.:)
___________________________________________________________________

Namaste Smaranam Ji,

Thanks a lot for the detailed information.

In which place is the 2-Gauri Festival celebrated?

For Lord Sri Venkateshwara Swamy in Tirumala,every week a special puja called as Tiruppavada is conducted.

On Thursdays,Thiruppavada Seva is performed in the Mantapam in front of the Bangaru Vakili(Telugu:Area in front of the sanctum covered in gold) and Annakutotsavam (where heaps of tamarind rice is poured) is performed around 5:30AM..

A famous Huge, Wide “Naamam” (a decoration with perfumed camphor paste around the forehead) embellishes Sri Venkateshwara.

A gigantic amount of cooked Tamarind spiced rice (Pulihora) is emptied on a gold covered tray (Size about 6 ft X 4 ft) and located straight in front of The Lord.

http://www.tirumala.org/images/Tiruppavada-Seva1.jpg

The cooked rice is piled up in Mukha mantapam in Tirumamani mantapam to take definite customary pyramidal trapezoid shape and the delicacies are deposited thereon with coconuts, flowers, sandal paste, kumkum, deepam and are offered to the Lord with suitable mantras.

Amid reciting of Mantras, The wide Naamam is stripped off and a thin Naamam is decked on His forehead just to cover up the space connecting His eyebrows. When this happens, it is supposed that The Lord’s first stare after “opening” His Eyes (because they were covered by The Naamam) should NOT fall on mortals, because it has so much authority. Instead, it is made to fall on the mass of “Pulihora” directly in front of Him, thereby blessing it and plummeting the intensity of His Gaze. The “Pulihora” therefore acts like a curtain (“Paavada” in Telugu/Tamil) shielding devotees from His Powerful Gaze.

__________________________________________________________________

Namaste Aanandinii Ji,

Thanks for telling us about Sri Mahakaleshwara Jyotirlingam.

smaranam
27 March 2015, 12:51 AM
Namaste RAmji

The 2-Gauri (called Gauri -- plural, Gaur - singular "GaurI AlyA" in MarAthi = The Gauris have arrived ) is a festival found all over Maharashtra. I am sure it spreads across borders to Konkan-Goa and Belgaon-Karnataka.

In Maharastra the big festival is Gauri-GaNapati. Several families have GaurI visiting their homes over generations. Then there is GaurI visarjan (2.5 days or so later). For some households, GaurI and Ganapati visarjan (farewell) is done on the same day.
Since this is at the home family and generation level it is not well - known outside Maharashtra unlike GaNesh festival and Chaturthi which is also at the community & city levels thanks to LokmAnya Tilak, and at state level -- due to the popular media.

While NavarAtrI is more about DurgA (and all forms really of ShaktI) GaurI in Bhadrapad is for the saumya PArvatI, mother of Ganesh and Skanda, consort of Shiva, a,k.a GaurI (fondly called GaurA in the north)


yA devI sarva-bhUteshu vishNu-mAyeti shabditA
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah:

sarva mangalya mAngalye shive sarvArtha sAdhike
sharaNye triyambike gaurI nArAyaNi namostute


P.S. Dear Anandiniji, I am sure your IshTa likes your New-England berries, kiwis and fresh cream just as much as you say. Naturally growing local fruit. What to speak of delightful leelas around naivedya and prasAda ~

P.P.S. Dear Virajaji, I can guess why Shri RAma is offered jaggery-water (guD-pAni or guL-pANi in Marathi) and NRsimha offered buttermilk -- because when He was under vanavAs (forest days) , after a long day He would be back home and Sita would offer Him guDa-pAni the first thing, so must all the Rushi muni whose Ashrams and huts He visited. Here is why : In the heat when you are out for long, you have to get hydrated with the water and the body needs sugar -- carbs (no food). RAma was quite austere, He ate kanda-mULa (roots) and Sita, LakshmaNa followed suit. In the villages in Maharashtra even today, especially among the farmers, you will see this tradition of offering GuL-pANI to a guest who typically had a long journey in the heat (many times on foot). As for NRsimha Deva what better offering than sAttvik cool buttermilk after His mission was accomplished! I could easily finish a pint or two simply after being out in the hot sun.

Viraja
27 March 2015, 08:48 AM
Dear Ram ji,

You seem to know so much about temples! Your knowledge is quite profound!

I wish to ask you -- is it true that in one of the 9 Narasimha temples in Ahobilam, Sri Narasimha is actually offered meat in one of the days? Or is it a false info?

Thanks.

Viraja
27 March 2015, 02:15 PM
P.P.S. Dear Virajaji, I can guess why Shri RAma is offered jaggery-water (guD-pAni or guL-pANi in Marathi) and NRsimha offered buttermilk -- because when He was under vanavAs (forest days) , after a long day He would be back home and Sita would offer Him guDa-pAni the first thing, so must all the Rushi muni whose Ashrams and huts He visited. Here is why : In the heat when you are out for long, you have to get hydrated with the water and the body needs sugar -- carbs (no food). RAma was quite austere, He ate kanda-mULa (roots) and Sita, LakshmaNa followed suit. In the villages in Maharashtra even today, especially among the farmers, you will see this tradition of offering GuL-pANI to a guest who typically had a long journey in the heat (many times on foot). As for NRsimha Deva what better offering than sAttvik cool buttermilk after His mission was accomplished! I could easily finish a pint or two simply after being out in the hot sun.

That must be it! Smaranam ji, you sound quite exactly right regarding offering of Panakam and Buttermilk for Sri Rama! I also think that Sri Rama, even though was a Chakravarthy's son and Chakravarthy himself, was very simple and thus very simple offerings symbolically represent this aspect of the Lord.

Whereas anything concerning Sri Krishna is very grand - for Janmashtami (and Diwali when Sri Krishna triumphed over Narakasura) we prepare so many sweets and savories. I think this is because Sri Krishna as a child used to love butter and most of these dishes are prepared with butter!

Aanandinii
27 March 2015, 05:00 PM
Namaste Ji,

P.P.S. Dear Virajaji, I can guess why Shri RAma is offered jaggery-water (guD-pAni or guL-pANi in Marathi) and NRsimha offered buttermilk -- because when He was under vanavAs (forest days) , after a long day He would be back home and Sita would offer Him guDa-pAni the first thing, so must all the Rushi muni whose Ashrams and huts He visited. Here is why : In the heat when you are out for long, you have to get hydrated with the water and the body needs sugar -- carbs (no food). RAma was quite austere, He ate kanda-mULa (roots) and Sita, LakshmaNa followed suit. In the villages in Maharashtra even today, especially among the farmers, you will see this tradition of offering GuL-pANI to a guest who typically had a long journey in the heat (many times on foot). As for NRsimha Deva what better offering than sAttvik cool buttermilk after His mission was accomplished! I could easily finish a pint or two simply after being out in the hot sun.Apologies for interjecting, but you remind me that a modern treatment for dehydration even in Western medicine is to drink water mixed with Sugar and a little salt. Even the "Banana Bag" used in ERs for serious dehydration or those who cannot drink on their own is saline water, sugars and a multivitamin. Good wisdom never changes...

~Pranam

smaranam
27 March 2015, 10:43 PM
Whereas anything concerning Sri Krishna is very grand - for Janmashtami (and Diwali when Sri Krishna triumphed over Narakasura) we prepare so many sweets and savories. I think this is because Sri Krishna as a child used to love butter and most of these dishes are prepared with butter!
True. More than that YashodA , DevakI and all Vraja, DwArakA and HastinApura vAsis doted on Him with all the goodies they wanted Him to eat, and that is what we have turned Him into even today -- their lAl
-----
Writing about Bhagvad LeelA is a delight, so if I may (perhaps this should go on our God-in-Hindu-Dharma thread Virajaji :) )
Before the Deepavali abhyanga snAna with scented oil and the feast in celebration however, KRshNa traveled a long distance with Satyabhama, overcame unnatural obstacles and fought 2 armies non-stop -- Mura's and NarkAsura's -- there was no food or water. KRshNa fought with JAmbhuvan for 27 days non-stop to acquire the Syamantaka MaNI and give it back to Satrajit, to fulfill Shri RAma's words that Jambuvan will meet Him in the form of VAsudeva in dvApar, to fulfill JAmbhuvati's tapascharyA - wish to have Him as Her husband. As a young child attending Sandipani Muni's Ashram-gurukula, KRshNa and Sudama went to the forest to get wood for GurumAtA. It rained and poured and got dark. They were out all day, had to protect themselves from wild animals, and had no food. As Nara-NArAyaNa , the Lord performed strict and severe penance and austerities in Badri-van (forest) (BadrinAth) just so that people in the world will learn the purpose of human life.
ParamAtmA BhagavAn is fully detached and fully in control of senses. Therefore KRshNa is HRushikesha -- master of the senses, and so is He Govinda ( gives pleasure to go = jiva's senses and to cows)

Also, when KRshNa was little, He stole butter for His gwAla (cowherd) friends and the monkeys, not really for Himself. He also got into trouble for their sake. He also stole butter in the house of those Gopis (including YashodA) to whom it gave immense pleasure and bliss to watch the stealthy expressions on His face smeared with butter. He did all this Only and Only for His devotees in GokuL-VrindAvana. The purpose for which He and they took forms in VrajabhUmi.

In RAmAvatAra He showered this cool breezy shade of joy and bliss on the devotees of that time with His calm composed and quiet nature, pleasant smile irrespective of circumstances -- just as He did in KRshNAvatAra -- just to show the people the way.

om hRushikeshAya namah:

smaranam
27 March 2015, 11:30 PM
For Lord Sri Venkateshwara Swamy in Tirumala,every week a special puja called as Tiruppavada is conducted.

On Thursdays,Thiruppavada Seva is performed in the Mantapam in front of the Bangaru Vakili(Telugu:Area in front of the sanctum covered in gold) and Annakutotsavam (where heaps of tamarind rice is poured) is performed around 5:30AM..

A famous Huge, Wide “Naamam” (a decoration with perfumed camphor paste around the forehead) embellishes Sri Venkateshwara.

A gigantic amount of cooked Tamarind spiced rice (Pulihora) is emptied on a gold covered tray (Size about 6 ft X 4 ft) and located straight in front of The Lord.

http://www.tirumala.org/images/Tiruppavada-Seva1.jpg

The cooked rice is piled up in Mukha mantapam in Tirumamani mantapam to take definite customary pyramidal trapezoid shape and the delicacies are deposited thereon with coconuts, flowers, sandal paste, kumkum, deepam and are offered to the Lord with suitable mantras.

Amid reciting of Mantras, The wide Naamam is stripped off and a thin Naamam is decked on His forehead just to cover up the space connecting His eyebrows. When this happens, it is supposed that The Lord’s first stare after “opening” His Eyes (because they were covered by The Naamam) should NOT fall on mortals, because it has so much authority. Instead, it is made to fall on the mass of “Pulihora” directly in front of Him, thereby blessing it and plummeting the intensity of His Gaze. The “Pulihora” therefore acts like a curtain (“Paavada” in Telugu/Tamil) shielding devotees from His Powerful Gaze.

RAmji, thank you for narrating this leelA of Lord Venkateshwara. It was such a delight to read.
macchittA madgataprANA bodhayantah: parasparam |
kathayantascha mAm nityam tushyanti cha ramanti cha || BG 10.9

The glories of His tejomaya glance is well-known. Cannot be handled by humans. The grand pongal can surely handle it and get sanctified for the devotees' good
---
Alternatives to VishNuSahasranAma
1. Arjun asked KRshNa the same qn -- any shorter alternative? KrshNa said you may praise Me by only One shloka without doubt (stuta eva na sauMshaya) :

om namostavanantAya sahasramUrtaye sahasrapAdAkshashishirorubAhave |
sahasra nAmne purushAya shAshvate sahasra-koTi-yuga-dhAriNe namah: ||

Obeissances to You O endless One, with thousand (symbolic for infinite, innumerable, countless) forms, feet, eyes, heads, arms, names, to that Eternal Being (Purusha) Who holds (is the Source and Support of) countless million yugas (long periods, eras).

Then there are many gems pre and post sahasranAma that you can pick (post VS shloka 24 - 29)
namah: kamalanAbhAya ..., vAsanAdvAsudevasya ... , ** namo bramhaNya devAya ... , AkAshAt patitam toyam....
Also, dyou sa chandrArka nakshatram kham disho ... vAsudevasya veeryeNa vidyutAni mahatmanah:

sasurAsura gandharvam ..... jagadvashe vartatedam kRushNasya charAcharam....
indriyANi mano buddhim sattvam tejam balam dhrutim vAsudevAtmakAnyahuh: kshetra-kshetradnya eva cha ...

----
2. VishNorashTAvinshatinAma stotram at the end of the VishNusahasranAma stotra booklet (much shorter)

3. Bhagvad GeetA dhyAna 8 shloka

4. Bhagvad GeetA MahAtmya 7 shloka

5. Bhagvad GeetA key selected shloka

6. Shri VishNu ashTottarashata nAmAvali (108 names of VishNu)
7. Shri KRshNa ashTottarashata nAmAvali (108 names of KrshNa)
8. dvAdashAkshari (12 syllabled) , ashTAksharI (8 syllabled) or shoDashanAma (16 holy-names) [mahA] mantra
9. Shri Shri Bramha SaMhItA --- only those very interested in it will like it -- a pleasure to give Shri KRshNa an abhishek while chanting Bramha saMhItA
* 10. Venkatesh Stotra (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?3915-Question-about-Venkateswara-Temples&p=65020#post65020) (1 minute, easy to lear by-heart) -- post# 7 in link

shridhara shrikara shreya shrimAna lokatrayAshraya svaksha sva-anga shatAnanda nandirjyotirgaNeshwara...

Ram11
28 March 2015, 12:01 AM
Dear Ram ji,

You seem to know so much about temples! Your knowledge is quite profound!

I wish to ask you -- is it true that in one of the 9 Narasimha temples in Ahobilam, Sri Narasimha is actually offered meat in one of the days? Or is it a false info?

Thanks.

Namaste Viraja Ji,

We used to get a magazine called Kumudam Bhakti in our home for many years and every month they would print detailed info about many temples.Some of my friends and relatives like to visit places,so they tell me some interesting things they get to know.I have been to very few big temples in the past few years due to lack of time but I enjoy readings travelogues and in the internet there are many good temple websites and blogs that have Sthala Puranas and other info.All I do is share whatever little I know.:)

Regarding meat offering in Ahobilam,I think it is highly impossible for two reasons:
1.The priests would never allow any such things.
2.The government has banned animal sacrifices in temples decades ago.

But we have see this issue from a different angle as well.
I have understood from personal observation there are two kinds of rituals that take place in some temples:
1.Those performed inside the temple by priests according to the scriptures.
2.Those done outside the temple based on local tradition.

Mainstream Hindu scriptures don't encourage animal sacrifice.It is well known that in rural areas the concept of animal sacrifice is in existence from thousands of years.A small percentage of Hindus are vegetarian,the rest consume meat.

When ever people who consume meat wish to celebrate or express gratitude they do it by offering to deities what is tasty and regularly consumed by them i.e. they kill animals as offering and consume the meat as remnant of offering.I have read in history that such practice was found not just in famous shrines where the presiding deity was a Ugra form but also in temples dedicated to other peaceful Devatas where such things are highly unlikely to occur.But it must be kept in mind that such sacrifices are done outside or behind the temple but never inside i.e. animal sacrifices are external rituals in contrast to the vegetarian naivedya offering done inside by using mantras.

Recently,I read about the annual festival of temple which is notoriously famous because hundreds of fried chicken stalls are opened during the Utsava for devotees.The deity's temple is located on a hill and people come down after darshan to enjoy eating roasted chicken.I was stunned but if we think ,we see that there no relation between what happens inside in the temple on hill top and what is done by people at the base.To conclude,few Hindus are vegetarians,even fewer are interested in what the scriptures say,of these very few actually follow.If something contradicting the scriptural tradition happens its not strange at all!

Ram11
28 March 2015, 12:14 AM
RAmji, thank you for narrating this leelA of Lord Venkateshwara. It was such a delight to read.
macchittA madgataprANA bodhayantah: parasparam |
kathayantascha mAm nityam tushyanti cha ramanti cha || BG 10.9

The glories of His tejomaya glance is well-known. Cannot be handled by humans. The grand pongal can surely handle it and get sanctified for the devotees' good
---
Alternatives to VishNuSahasranAma
1. Arjun asked KRshNa the same qn -- any shorter alternative? KrshNa said you may praise Me by only One shloka without doubt (stuta eva na sauMshaya) :

om namostavanantAya sahasramUrtaye sahasrapAdAkshashishirorubAhave |
sahasra nAmne purushAya shAshvate sahasra-koTi-yuga-dhAriNe namah: ||

Obeissances to You O endless One, with thousand (symbolic for infinite, innumerable, countless) forms, feet, eyes, heads, arms, names, to that Eternal Being (Purusha) Who holds (is the Source and Support of) countless million yugas (long periods, eras).

Then there are many gems pre and post sahasranAma that you can pick (post VS shloka 24 - 29)
namah: kamalanAbhAya ..., vAsanAdvAsudevasya ... , ** namo bramhaNya devAya ... , AkAshAt patitam toyam....
Also, dyou sa chandrArka nakshatram kham disho ... vAsudevasya veeryeNa vidyutAni mahatmanah:

sasurAsura gandharvam ..... jagadvashe vartatedam kRushNasya charAcharam....
indriyANi mano buddhim sattvam tejam bala shrutim vAsudevAtmakAnyahuh: kshetra-kshetradnya eva cha ...

----
2. VishNorashTAvinshatinAma stotram at the end of the VishNusahasranAma stotra booklet (much shorter)

3. Bhagvad GeetA dhyAna 8 shloka

4. Bhagvad GeetA MahAtmya 7 shloka

5. Bhagvad GeetA key selected shloka

6. Shri VishNu ashTottarashata nAmAvali (108 names of VishNu)
7. Shri KRshNa ashTottarashata nAmAvali (108 names of KrshNa)
8. dvAdashAkshari (12 syllabled) , ashTAksharI (8 syllabled) or shoDashanAma (16 holy-names) [mahA] mantra
9. Shri Shri Bramha SaMhItA --- only those very interested in it will like it -- a pleasure to give Shri KRshNa an abhishek while chanting Bramha saMhItA
* 10. Venkatesh Stotra (1 minute, easy to lear by-heart) -- will post/link

shridhara shrikara shreya shrimAna lokatrayAshraya svaksha sva-anga shatAnanda nandirjyotirgaNeshwara...




Namaste Smaranam Ji,

Thanks a lot for the shlokas.:)
Are the post-VS shlokas(24-29) available online anywhere as I'm not sure if the Gita press( pocket size) edition I have includes them.

Could you please post the shlokas from Sri BG ,the Gita Mahatmya & any link to the Vishnu Ashtavimshatinama Stotra?

Smaranam Ji,do share the Brahma Samhita as other devotees of Sri Krishna may feel encoraged to adopt it in their Puja.

Ram11
28 March 2015, 12:23 AM
RAmji, thank you for narrating this leelA of Lord Venkateshwara. It was such a delight to read.
macchittA madgataprANA bodhayantah: parasparam |
kathayantascha mAm nityam tushyanti cha ramanti cha || BG 10.9

The glories of His tejomaya glance is well-known. Cannot be handled by humans. The grand pongal can surely handle it and get sanctified for the devotees' good



Namaste Smaranam Ji,

I was lacking time to write about the ritual myself so I directly copy-pasted from the temple's website.
How I know much about the Tirumala temple?Some years ago a newspaper brought out a special magazine on the rituals conducted in Tirumala temple throughout the year.It had almost everything about the temple and Lord Sri Venkateshwara.

Viraja
28 March 2015, 01:26 PM
Before the Deepavali abhyanga snAna with scented oil and the feast in celebration however, KRshNa traveled a long distance with Satyabhama, overcame unnatural obstacles and fought 2 armies non-stop -- Mura's and NarkAsura's -- there was no food or water. KRshNa fought with JAmbhuvan for 27 days non-stop to acquire the Syamantaka MaNI and give it back to Satrajit, to fulfill Shri RAma's words that Jambuvan will meet Him in the form of VAsudeva in dvApar, to fulfill JAmbhuvati's tapascharyA - wish to have Him as Her husband. As a young child attending Sandipani Muni's Ashram-gurukula, KRshNa and Sudama went to the forest to get wood for GurumAtA. It rained and poured and got dark. They were out all day, had to protect themselves from wild animals, and had no food. As Nara-NArAyaNa , the Lord performed strict and severe penance and austerities in Badri-van (forest) (BadrinAth) just so that people in the world will learn the purpose of human life.
ParamAtmA BhagavAn is fully detached and fully in control of senses. Therefore KRshNa is HRushikesha -- master of the senses, and so is He Govinda ( gives pleasure to go = jiva's senses and to cows)

Also, when KRshNa was little, He stole butter for His gwAla (cowherd) friends and the monkeys, not really for Himself. He also got into trouble for their sake. He also stole butter in the house of those Gopis (including YashodA) to whom it gave immense pleasure and bliss to watch the stealthy expressions on His face smeared with butter. He did all this Only and Only for His devotees in GokuL-VrindAvana. The purpose for which He and they took forms in VrajabhUmi.

In RAmAvatAra He showered this cool breezy shade of joy and bliss on the devotees of that time with His calm composed and quiet nature, pleasant smile irrespective of circumstances -- just as He did in KRshNAvatAra -- just to show the people the way.

om hRushikeshAya namah:


I thoroughly enjoyed the above paragraph, thank you for this, Smaranam ji!

smaranam
30 March 2015, 11:46 PM
Namaste Smaranam Ji,

Thanks a lot for the shlokas.:)
Are the post-VS shlokas(24-29) available online anywhere as I'm not sure if the Gita press( pocket size) edition I have includes them.

Could you please post the shlokas from Sri BG ,the Gita Mahatmya & any link to the Vishnu Ashtavimshatinama Stotra

Namaste

This post highlights some key shlokas from Bhagavad GeetA DhyAna and MahAtmya (http://walkwithmukunda.blogspot.com/2013/12/bhagvad-gita-jayanti.html)
You will find both in the beginning section of the Geeta Press pocket-size Bhagvad GeetA.

I already gave the link to the post on VyankaTesha stotra (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?3915-Question-about-Venkateswara-Temples&p=65020#post65020) above, but here it is anyway just to keep it all in one place.

The Post-VishNusahasranAma gems as I like to call them, are:

om namostavanantAya sahasramUrtaye sahasrapAdAkshashishirorubAhave |
sahasra nAmne purushAya shAshvate sahasra-koTi-yuga-dhAriNe namah: || Post V.S. 25
Obeissances to You O endless One, with thousand (symbolic for infinite, innumerable, countless) forms, feet, eyes, heads, arms, names, to that Eternal Being (Purusha) Who holds (is the Source and Support of) countless million yugas (long periods, eras)
(This is the shloka that Shri KRshNa said is equivalent to chanting the entire SahasranAma, when Arjuna asked)

namah: kamala nAbhAya namaste jalashAyine |
namaste keshavAnata vAsudeva namostute || Post V.S. 26

Obeissances to VAsudeva with the Lotus Navel (which is the source of Lord BramhA and all creation - universe), the One Who lies in the Cosmic Waters, the One with thick black long-flowing hair and Who is the Lord of and includes in Him 'Ka' (BramhA) and 'Isha' (Shiva).

vAsanAdvAsudevasya vAsitam bhuvana trayam |
sarva-bhUta-nivAsosi vAsudeva namostute || Post V.S. 27
Obeissances to that VAsudeva Who is the source, witness and fulfiller of all desires, Who resides in & pervades the three worlds, Who resides in the hearts of all beings.

namo bramhaNya devAya go brAmhaNa hitAya cha |
jagad-hitAya kRushNAya govindAya namo namah: || Post V.S. 28
Obeissances to that Govinda, to that KRshNa, Lord of the brAmhaNas, well-wisher of the cows, senses (of beings), brAmhaNas (who chant vedas, are priests and meditate on Bramhan'), well-wisher of the entire Universe.
(This verse is chanted while offering naivedya)

AkAshAt patitam toyam yathA gachhati sAgaram |
sarva-deva-namaskArah: keshavam prati gachhatI || Post V.S. 29
Just as rain-water falling from the sky ultimately reaches the ocean, namaskAra (obeissances, veneration, bows) offered to all Devas really reaches Keshava (a.k.a. VishNu, NArAyaNa, VAsudeva KRshNa).
(This was Adi-ShankarAchArya's favourite verse, taught by his father)

Other Post - VS gems:

dyou sa chanrArka nakshatrA kham disho bhurmaho dadhih: |
vAsudevasya vIryeNa vidyutAni mahAtmanah: || Post VS 14
Sky, moon, constellations, space, directions, earth, astral region, heavens are all empowered by the power of VAsudeva

sasurAsura gandharvam sa-yakshoragarAkshasam |
jagadvashe vartatedam kRshNasya charAcharam || Post VS 15
All the deva (sura) , gandharva, demons (asura), yaksha, rAkshasa, [all types of beings] in the world, moving and non-moving (chara achara) are and behave, act under control of Shri KRshNa, and by His power.

cont...
IndriyANi mano buddhih: satvam tejo balam dhrutih: |
vAsudevAtmakAnyAhuh: kshetra kshetradnya eva cha || Post VS 16
Senses, mind, intellect, mode of goodness, yogic spiritual brilliance, strength, valor and persistence, the body (kshetra) and the knower of the body (kshetradnya) are all empowered by the all-pervading innermost AtmA of all beings called VAsudeva.

smaranam
31 March 2015, 12:12 AM
yogo dnyAno tathA sAnkhyo vidhyA shilpAdi karma cha |
vedAh: shAstrANi vidnyAnam etad sarvam janArdanAt || Post VS
The Source of yoga (union with/connecting with the Divine), knowledge of AtmA-paramAtmA, sAnkhya, knowledge of subjects (vidyA), sculptoring art, all deeds and vedic sacrifices, the vedas, the scriptures, science, from Whom it all flows, is JanArdana (Merciful Lord of the people - jana).

eko vishNur-mahatbhUtam pruthak-bhUtAnyanekashah: |
trIlokyAn-vyApya bhUtAtmA bhunkte vishwabhug-avyayah: || Post VS 20
One indivisible all-pervading Lord VishNu appears as many different AtmA in beings. He pervades and encompasses, covers the three worlds, is the inner dweller, AtmA of all beings, experiences everything as the beings act, is the Universal acceptor of the yadnya-offerings of the whole world, and is eternal, imperishable.

-----------
VishNorashTaviMshatinAma stotram
(shri gaNeshAya namah: )

matsyam kUrmam varAham cha vAmanam janArdanam |
govindam punDarIkAksham mAdhavam madhusUdanam ||
padmanAbham sahasrAksham vanamAlim halAyudham |
govardhanam hRushikesham vaikunTham purushottamam ||
vishwarUpam vAsudevam rAmam nArAyaNam harim |
dAmodaram shrIdharam cha vedAngam garuDadhwajam ||
anantam kRushNagopAlam japato nAsti pAtakam |
gavAM koTipradAnasya ashvamedhashatasya cha ||
.... phala shruti after this
kanyAdAnasahasreNAM phalam prApnoti mAnavah: |
amAyAM vA paurNimAsyAmekAdashyAM tathaiva cha ||
sandhyAkAle smarennityam prAtah:kAle tathaiva cha |
maddhyAnhe cha japannityaM sarva-pApaih: pramuchyate ||

ShivaFan
03 April 2015, 12:29 AM
Now the first thing I thought of when reading this interesting post on the use of the fan in home puja, is Bhairava the Kotwal of Varanasi. Let me explain.

I worship Lord Bhairava as the Skull Bearer Who became the Kotwal of Varanasi, Kashi, the City Never Forsaken by Lord Shiva. The “cult” of Bhairava is quite widespread among those who are devotees of Kashi Ground, and His “cult” actually extends to many sects, He is found even in South India, and His following is in the cultural periphery in many genres of Hinduism even to tribals and others.

But in Varanasi I have seen where this discussion on the Fan comes into play. Before you enter the various Circles of the “realms” of Kashi, you must first report into the Kotwal (Lord Bhairava) and worship Him. It was just before the Border crossed into Kashi that is where and when “the Skull Fell”. Since then, Kotwal Bhairava Reigns as the Police Magistrate of Varanasi (from where the River Varuna touches the Ganga down to where “The Sword” enters the Ganga and “Durga’s Sword fell” into the waters or the Asi).

And His Duty as Kotwal, is that As an Emanation of Shiva, He is the Protector and Guardian of the Kshetrapala (territory borders) of the City of All the Gods Whom Have Come, He functions as the Door Keeper Dvarapala, mostly He is watching for the arrival of Lord Yamaraj.

All The Gods Have Come to Kashi, here you will find Them. Yet there is One who has His “passport” checked, and He is stopped by the Kotwal from entering – it is Yamaraj Who is stopped. For Yama King is not allowed into Varanasi, but only for the purpose to worship the Lingam He established Himself and for nothing beyond that, He cannot take any soul away. Not one soul. Actually, this Lingam is very powerful and Holy. The Kotwal will not allow Lord Yamaraj to enter, He is given a very short Visa, to come to that Lingam He established, and then leave shortly. His noose is left outside the Border or Sacred Rings.

Even you must give your obeisance to TWO when entering Kashi, of course to Kotwal and pray permission as you enter (which is already granted by the way) and to Dandapani Who holds the Staff at the South Compass of Lord Vishvanatha Who is actually the Sheriff of Kashi (the Sheriff travels here and there) while Bhairava is the Kotwal or Police Magistrate, and in fact Dandapani is a Ganesha of Shiva who is specific to Kashi and DOES NOT LEAVE having once been a Yaksha but become a Ganesh, and there are TWO Deputies under Dandapani called Sambhrama or Confusion and Udbhrama or Doubt who report to The Sheriff, together those humans who come to Kashi to cause terror are driven away.

You will only find Sheriff Dandapani and the Deputies, along with 56 Ganeshas of Kashi Who also act as Door Keepers to specific Zones, but Lord Bhairava you will find in MANY Temples all over the World as Dvarapala or Door Keeper as well and not just Kashi.

In these pujas of the Police Magistrate, the Sheriff, the Deputies, and the Ganeshas – you will find the FAN.
Now it is the PEACOCK FAN that is used for Bhairava. It portends the Power of Air. It is the Yak Tail Fan that is Ether. But mentioning the Peacock Fan… as said, Bhairava is found in South India where the Fan is சாவாமூலி.

This is how it is done – the priest BEATS and "dusts" you with the Peacock Fan when waved at you. The Club of Peacock Feathers in some images of Bhairava, is wielded by the Priets of Bhairav - These Priests are known as the Lieutenants, they STRIKE the worshiper or Devotee as the Priest dusts off the devotee with this Fan, this is called Ashirvada. You also will lose your sickness and pains. The devotee should think of the beating as “I took the hand waiting for me”. It is the Symbol of Kingship, the King’s Baton in this manner is a Peacock Feathers Fan. IT IS KALA BHAIRAVA’S CLUB IN THIS CASE. What a club! What a power! Even Death is afraid of this Peacock Fan.

Yes – I use a Fan. The Lathi or Club of Bhairava. The Peacock Fan. The Club. It is not broad. It is like the stick. Long, not broad. In the worship of Bhairava.
And, every day now, I wear Black Threads on my right wrist. To Remember Bhairava. It is ok, to have this Peacock Fan at home for your puja. It is a very good idea.