Abisekam Rituals in Temples: the Science behind It
By Dr C P Thiagarajah-Secretary Katpaka Vinayagar Temple Trust
One of the main rituals performed on the deities in Hindu temples is abisekam or pouring water, milk and other liquids and scents. This is a form of hydration. This looks superstitious on first look for many who does not know the science behind many such practices. The truth and the reasons for hydration of idols of deities made out of metals or metal alloys, wood or stones will be revealed if one delve deep into Hinduism.
Hinduism has been called the “oldest religion” in the world, and many Hindu orthodox treaties refer to Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma “the eternal law” or the “eternal way” beyond human origins. It prescribes the “eternal” duties all Hindus have to follow, regardless of class, caste, or sect, such as, Ahimsa, honesty, purity, and self-restraint. Its origin had been traced to the days of Mohandejaro-Harappa civilisation about 6000 BC. It is also called the Indus Valley Civilization (2,600-1,900 BCE). A traders seal found in archaeological excavation in Harappa is an indication of Shiva worship who is the main deity in Hinduism..
Shiva Pasupathi seal used by Indus Valley Merchants
It is not a parochial religion similar to that existed in the West long ago. Hindu principles are universal in character. Hinduism, with about one billion followers is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.
Hindus can engage in puja (worship or veneration), either at home or at a temple. At home, Hindus often create a shrine with icons dedicated to their chosen form(s) of God. There are two main divisions in Hinduism as practiced in the Indian subcontinent. One is Saivaism and its primary god is Shiva. The other is Vaishnavism, the head of this sect is Lord Vishnu. Temples are usually dedicated to a primary deity along with associated subordinate deities though some commemorate multiple deities. The icon/idol serves as a tangible link between the worshiper and God. The image is often considered a manifestation of God, since God is immanent.
Cosmologist, and physicists had shown that meditating in a pyramid will aid one to receive more cosmic energy than meditating in an ordinary room. In fact it gives 3 times more cosmic energy to the meditator. The angle of the apex of the pyramid should be 52 degrees and 51 minutes and the building should be cardinally positioned. A crystal placed in the apex will distribute the cosmic energy all around the meditation chamber or room.
The ancient temples in South India were constructed in such a way that the cosmic energy from space could reach the devotees who goes to worship at the temple. Notably, the five Temples built by our Hindu ancestors to do “bootha Suddhi” to the five live forces that were involved in life creation, Earth, Space, Water, Fire and Air (Atmosphere) complied with this holistic principle. These temples are energy centres. It’s like a public charging place. These temple had stood the test of time for giving the community health and happiness. If you want to do sadhana for the element of water, you go to Thiruvanaikava. For space worship, you go to Chidambaram. For worshipping and meditating for elements of Wind-Kalahasti, Fire-Tiruvannamalai, Earth-Kanchipuram.
A Temple bell is another scientific phenomena; it is not just your ordinary metal. It is made of various metals including cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, chromium and. manganese. The proportion at which each one of them mixed is real science behind a bell. Each of these bells is made to produce such a distinct sound that it can create unity of your left and right brain. The moment you ring that bell, bell produces sharp but lasting sound which lasts for minimum of seven seconds in echo mode good enough to touch your seven healing centres or chakras in your body.
The moment bell sound happens your brain is emptied of all thoughts. Invariably you will enter state of Tran’s state where you are very receptive. This Trans state is the one with awareness. You are so occupied in mind that only way to awaken you is with a Shock! And trust me Bell works as Anti-dote to your mind.
Hindu practices generally involve seeking awareness of God and sometimes also seeking blessings from Devas. Therefore, Hinduism has developed numerous practices meant to help one think of divinity in the midst of everyday life. Mantras are invocations, praise and prayers that through their meaning, sound, and chanting style help a devotee focus the mind on holy thoughts or express devotion to God/the deities. Maharishi Patanjali, who was said to have born in Southern Kailasam, Trincomale, about 200 BC is the “The Father of Yoga”. He compiled 195 sutras, which serve as a framework for integrating Yoga into the daily routine and leading an ethical life. He says that the sound “ITH” can stop the mind from wandering. He emphasised “ITH” when he said “chith tha Viruth thi Niroth tha”. We are astounded by the wonders sound can make in our life and in energising us our dieties/idol. Likewise, with chanting of mantras which are various sound forms of the Lord, deities which derive their existence in the formless God express themselves as a life force that get infused into the idol.
In properly consecrated temples the icons of the deities are made out of scientifically proven materials that can retain energy induced by mantra and other methods of spiritual consecration and from the cosmos. We know how vibration can cause action in the physical word. And sound also causes vibration. Mantras are selected words that generate vibration when pronounced correctly. Vibrations cause actions. It has been shown how a wine glass could be shattered by sound vibration when mantras are pronounced close to it or towards it.
Medical science has revealed that our body always carry energy/ charge that goes round the body in channels. The energy in the body is distributed through 72000 energy tubes or Nadis. The main centre is on the head and is called the Brahma ranthra. In humans there are seven centres, called Chakras along the spine from where these energy is distributed to the periphery of our body.
According to Chinese there are positive and negative energy called the Yin and the Yang. These cause a halo round our body and enlightened beings like Lord Buddha or Lord Jesus are always shown with a bright halo round their heads. This energy is called cosmic energy and is derived from the cosmos or Sky or Akash during sleep and meditation. These chakras are also activated by certain sounds from mantra words. A properly consecrated idol can also activate these chakras. The plant Holy Basil or Tulsi has halo much stronger than an ordinary man’s halo.
Fundamental physics shows how a pieces of ordinary iron can be induced with magnetism when it is stroked in a certain way with a magnet placing it in North –South position or when electricity is passed through a wire round it. Similarly icons/deities could be induced energy in many ways so that it can impart energy to worshippers.
Looking at how the deities/idol at temples are charged with energy so that they retain and release slowly the energy stored for use by the devotees and worshippers we could note that the above philosophy and scientific principles are relied upon for centuries. In temple architecture the cosmic energy and geo-magnetic energy are preserved so that the temple could give these energies to the devotees who throng the temple. The adage that the proof of the pudding is in the eating tell us that we should actually visit these places to verify the truth. Michael Woods of the BBC had done this and had some videos produced on his research.
Lingams are symbolic objects of worship but not depicting a deity. These are perfected aniconic, abstract architectural forms and are supposed to have a property of resonating cosmic vibrations. They are a perennial storehouse of energy.
A Shiva Lingam
Similarly other anthropomorphic idols and statues can be induced energy and functions in the same way as Lingams. Hindus have found it easier to focus on anthropomorphic icons,as Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 5.
Once you charge them, they will always stay that way. They are eternal vibrations. Usually, they were consecrated with the use of mantras, for specific purposes and specific qualities. The etheric bodies, or the subtle bodies, are constructed using enormous amounts of energy. The process is called Prana Pratishta in Sanskrit, which means giving life to the statue. The image becomes the most important medium through which you can get into contact with the respective Gods/ deity, the Divine. And without an object before us it is very, very difficult to deal with abstraction. Hence these statues become very important tools by themselves. That was really a technology that was given to us by the Divine, himself, since you cannot see the Ethereal Light form of God, because the human eyes are not capable of seeing God. The image will become the most important one.
These energised statues become more active once we hydrate them. Hydration is the process of called Abisekam in Sanskrit language which is now extinct as a regular spoken language. When you just put the water and then just as soon as you put the water the icon comes alive. Just like a plant that you give water to and it comes alive. And after that you pour milk over it, because milk is again a very potent life giving nutrient. So you again strengthen the statue with a whole bunch of products associated with milk, like ghee, buttermilk, honey, sugar and purifying stuffs like sandalwood etc. Orange juice because the acid in the orange juice is very helpful again, to give life to the statue.
Once the statue has come alive, poojas could be performed by lighting camphor, incense, oil/ghee lamps. Then offer offerings such as fruits, and cooked rice and so on. After the offerings you can pray to the gods for salvation and help.
Dr C P Thiagarajah.
Ellipsoid shape is the only shape that can serve as a perennial storehouse of energy. “The core of every galaxy is always an ellipsoid. A perfect ellipsoid is what is referred to as a lingam. So the first form, from un-manifest to manifest-when it begins to manifest as creation-the first form that it takes is always the form of an ellipsoid.
Dear Devotees, well-wishers and the Hindu Public,
Walthamstow Katpaka Vinayagar Temple Kumbha Abhisekam (Consecration Ceremony)
The trustees and the management committee are pleased to invite you to the second Kumbha Abhisekam of this temple that will be performed during the auspicious hours between 9AM and 11 AM on 4 July 2014.
Kumbabhisegam has to be performed for every temple once in 12 years according to the Hindu agamas. The main purpose is to perform ‘Ashtabandana Kumbabishegam’ for Moolasthana moorthy which are without/aged and poor ashtabandana marundhu. Kumbabishekam recharges the spiritual power of the deity and also the Kumba of the temple tower which is also recharged with the same divine power as the deity. This is done to benefit even those who are unable to visit the temple derive the same spiritual merit by just beholding the temple tower.
Some preliminary works and rites have been completed before the Kumbha Abisrekam. All the buildings have been repaired and decorated so that they will last for another twelve years for the third Kumbha Abhisekam..
The newly bought adjoining three bed-roomed terraced house at No.6 Bedfod Road for the use of the temple too had to be redesigned. All alteration and refurbishments of this building too have to be completed before the Kumbha Abisekam. The cooperation of all is being sought to fund this project. Donations are welcome.
Participation in the Kumbha Apisekam will give immense benefit to all spiritually and materially. It is conducted with the sole purpose of eradicating all illness, obtaining good benefits from various Yagams. Fire rituals give rich benefits for the well-being and for the healthy propagation of the progeny. The kumbha abhishekam brings all-round prosperity not only to any particular group or devotees but also to the society as a whole.
Hindu priest of famous temples in India and Sri-Lanka will jointly officiate during Kumba abisekam with other priest from London Temples. They are
1. Vikasaratna Dr Siva Sri Pitchai Kurukal
of Katpaka Vinayagar Kovil, Pillaiar patty-Principal of the Sivagama School. Pillaipatty.
2. Veda Sivagama Gnanabaskaran Siva Sri T Mahadeva Kurukal
– Principal Dharma Sastra Kurukulam. Sri-Lanka.
3. Sivagam Sironmani Siva Sri K Rajapaddar
– Principal Sriskanthaguru Vidyalayam, Thiruparam Kuntram.
4. Sathaka Ratnam Siva Srivisvanarayana Kurukal
– Principal Gurga Kurukulam Sri-Lanka.
5. Sivagama Dr Sivasiri V Swvaminatha Sivachariar
– Principal Sivapuram Veda Sivagama Vidyalayam (school), Myladuthurai.
6. Sivagama Sironmani SivaSri P Senthilkumar Sivachariar
– Lecturer, School of Sivagamam, Swarnawalli Ambika Sametha Muktheeswarar Temple, Thiru Nageswaram.
7. Sivagama Sironmani Siva Sri K Chandarasekara Sivachariar
– Teascher of Astrological science, School of Sivagamam, Swarnawalli Ambika Sametha Muktheeswarar Temple, Thiru Nageswaram.
7-00 AM religious rites will start. Main rites along with other Yaga Sala poojas will include fire rituals to God Ganesha, The nine Planets, Rashokna Homam, Dissa Homam, Shanti Homam, Moorthy Homam, Graha Shanti, Pravesha sacrifice, Vasthu Shanthi, Miruth Sangrahanam, Soorya-Agni Sangrahanam.
From 5.00 PM the following rites will take place. Ankunarpanam: Radshapanthanam, Prasanna abisekam, Prasanna pooja, Kadasthapanam: Kalakarshanam, Kumba Yaga sala Pravesam, Yaga Pooja, Nava kunda pooja, Moola Mantra Homam, Followed by deva Sthothira geetha recitation etc.
From 08-00 AM. Vinayagar Vallipadu, Special Sandyaga pooja, Bhavana Abisekam, Trisathi Homam, Poornaguthi Upasara Samarpanam.
From 5.00 PM Vinayaga Vallipadu, Yaga pooja
From07.00 PM Deepasthapanam, Yaga Homam, Poornaguthi Deva Upasaram.
Morning Vinayagar Vallipadu…. Bhooda Suththi Yaga pooja,
Early Morning from ௦5.00 AM to 06.00 AM placing or consecration of the kalasa to the gopuram, Bimba Isthapanam, Asdha Panthanam (placing the deities in their respective worshipping spaces or sanctum sanctorums (Garba Gudis), Homam, and poojas and singing of deva geeetham etc.
02-07-2014 Wednesday from 11-00AM to 03-7-2014 Thursday 6-00 PM devotees can apply oil to the various deities. This is the only occasion when a commoner can touch the deities/moorthies before the final consecration and abisekam.
02-07-2014 Wednesday from 06-00PM Homam and pooja to God Ganesha.
From 8.00 AM – Vinayagar worship with Homam etc and elaborate pooja.
From 5-00 PM Homam and poojas as above.
From 07-30 AM the consecration celebration day. It begins with Ganesha worship, Yaga (homam) and various poojas and mantra recitation for strengthening the energies in the deities. At 10 AM the abisekam to the Gopura kalasam those that are placed or enshrined on the temple gopuram or stupa. This is followed by the Maha Kumbha Abisekam, and the historic event ends with the pooja and Maha Pra sadam to the public.
From 6.00 PM Evening Maha Abiseka pooja to God Katpaka Vinayagar followed by the vasantha Mandapa pooja. God Ganesha will be taken around the main garba Gudi of the temple. The celebration comes to an end.
PS: Maha prasadam will be given to the devotees everyday.
A souvenir will be released to commemorate this very important event.
N:-. The Hindu Scripture Agni Puranam says that he/she who builds temples for Vishnu, Rudra, the sun-god, and other deities, acquires fame. Having acquired wealth and built a temple with a small portion of it, a person acquires piety and gains favours from gods. Therefore please donate money and your help to build this magnificent temple to God Ganesha.
Yours ever loving
sgd Dr C P Thiagarajah Mr M Gopalakrishnan
Honorary Secretary President