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Thread: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

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    Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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?)





    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    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


    Quote Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    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.
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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 (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] )
    Last edited by smaranam; 25 March 2015 at 03:22 PM. Reason: upachar 9, 10 & 11 -- gandham / chandanam , pushpam, mirror, fan, kumkum archanA , akshatA (varies per deity); tAmbulam

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    I am very happy to hear the Shodashopachara details from you, Smaranam ji. Thank you!
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram11 View Post
    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

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    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 ~

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    Re: Chamara (Whisk) Worship @Home?

    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...od-is-one.html
    http://www.karnatik.com/c1107.shtml

    I think I posted an other two before:

    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...HNU&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.

    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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