Thursday, 26 September 2019

Tirumala-Tirupati Brahmotsavam (2019), a great annual temple festival that has been around for centuries

Titupai -Tirumala temple, India   dailyhunt.in
Titupai -Tirumala temple, India opindia.com/

The Hindu temples across India have several festivals all through the year. The most important one being the ' Brahmotsavam' which is held annually with great pomp mixed with religious fervor.This 9-day festival at Tirumala, Andhra has been around for centuries and the tradition continues even today without compromising on the old values and rituals associated with it.

The most important annual temple event at Tirupati Balaji temple is the  Srivari Salakatla Brahmotsavam, a nine-day festival that is celebrated on a grand scale with passion and piety. This year, the festival will be held from September 30 to October 8 at the Sri Swamyvari temple in Tirumala.

Tirupati. Lord'ds procession. tirumalatirupatiyatra.i

During the festival, the Utsavar (processional deity) of the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara, along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, will be taken on a procession on different Vahana on the streets (Madaveedulu) surrounding the temple.This annual  celebration attracts lots of  pilgrims and tourists from all parts of India and across the world. A ''Brahmotsavam'' is a holy cleansing ceremony in honor of Lord Brahma, and the one at Tirumala is by far the largest. A combination of two Sanskrit words, Brahma meaning great and Utsavam meaning Festival.

Tirupati. The annual Brahmotsavam -nine day event .ndianexpress.com

Tirupati. Garuda seva. maalaimalar.com
The legend  has it  that Lord Brahma will descend to the earth to specifically conduct this festival and hence the festival got the name Brahmotsavams, meaning an utsavam(festival) performed by Brahma. Sri ''Venkteswara Sahasranamastotra'' has references to Brahma performing the festival. As a mark of devotion to Brahma, even now the a small empty wooden chariot known as Brahmaratham will move ahead of the processions of the Venkateswara's processional deity Malayappa.

Titupati temple. naindia.com
On 
September 14.the TTD conducted a rehearsal of the annual festival paying particular attention to security and most importantly a hassle-free, comfortable  darshan for devotees who would land here in large number. This being  ''Puratasi'' month as per Tamil calendar (Sept. -October), Hindu devotees never fail to visit the temples. Further, most of them observe fasting and avoid NV food during this holy month.

Normally, preparations will begin ahead of main event with

''Koil Azhwar Tirumanjanam'' (Sept. 24). It is simply a purification ceremony of the  garbagriha (sanctum)  and the entire temple complex by devotees. This is followed by ''Ankurarpanam'' (September 29), a ritual which is conducted a day before the Brahmotsavam as a prelude to the nine-day festival.  The idol of Vishwaksena, the commander of Lord Venkateswara’s domain is ceremoniously taken in a procession around the madas streets - streets surrounding the shrine at Tirumala.

''Dwajarohanam'' - September 30is the next event in which a flag with the image of Garuda (eagle, Lord Vishnu’s mount) will be hoisted atop the Dwajasthambam (flag pole) in the temple. Normally, this temple event takes place in all temples, be it Vishnu or Shiva or Amman (goddess). It also marks the commencement of the festival, a sort of official announcement. Here, the tradition has been that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister will be presenting two silk vastrams (robes) to the deity on behalf of the State government on September 30. This id followed by Garuda Vahana Seva - October 4. The main deity on a gold idol of Garuda is  taken around the mada streets with  prayer.

''Golden Chariot procession'' is the next event in which Lord Balaji (Vishnu) is placed  in a golden chariot and taken in a procession around the temple in the evening. October 7th  marks ''Rathotsavam'', a unique event in which  the deity Lord Venkateswara is mounted in different vahanas (vehicles)  and taken around the Tirupati temple.

'Chakra Snanam and Dwaja Avaraohanam'' that will be held on October 8. In this event, special pujas are done to the idols
following which they are bathed in  the waters of Swamy Pushkarini, a pond close to the Tirumala temple. This is done by
temple priests. The Chakra (divine disc held by Sri Vishnu) is kept on a high platform for the benefit of devotees so that when they walk under it and they will be blessed with the water dripping down from the Sudarsana. 

Officially this great festival concludes with "Dhvajavarohanam," the lowering of the Garuda flag. The priests pay respects to Gods and Sages with the chanting of Vedic mantras and see them off on their return to the Devaloka.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srivari_Brahmotsavam https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/tirumala-tirupati-brahmotsavam-2019-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-event-6008848/