Brahmotsavam at Tirumala

Discussion in 'Hindu Festivals' started by garry420, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The tirumala Brahmotsavam is a ten day festival of splendour, pomp and pageantry, which often coincides with the navratri festivals in the months of September-october.

    In the mysterious Puranas, especially Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam, there are definite references to the celebration of this Utsavam by B’rmha himself. In this scripture, in the section of Bhavisayaothara Puranam, there is a more elaborate description of the Brahmotsavams, as conducted by B’rhma. Beginning with the Dwajarohanam and ending with Avabhritham and Pushpayagam, B’rhma celebrated with utsava of Sri Srinivasa, in strict accordance with religious rites. This Brahmotsavam initiated by Lord B’rhma, was continued by Thondaman Chakravarthy, a monarch belonging, probably to chola dynasty. Brahmotsav Mahotsukaya, as contained in “ Brahamand Puran” containing “Sri Venkatesa Saharasnama”, indicates that the god was much pleased by the Utsavam celebrated for him by B’rhma. The expression “ b’rhma Kritotsavaya Sri Venkatesaya Namaha” indicates that B’rhma was regular in conducting the Brahmotsavam.

    Historically, among the several inscriptions, still in existence in tirumala temple, one significant epigraphic record, on the Northern wall in the first Prakara of the temple, reveals that a princess samavai or kondavan Perundevi of Pallava dynasty, gifted land and gold for the celebration of a seven day festival. She wanted the festival to be conducted “ as long as the sun and moon existed.”

    By 1300 AD, in addition to the two festivals of Brahmotsavam, instituted in the 10th century, similar festivals were conducted for Sri Venkatesa. During the Vijayanagara period, Hari Hara Raya II instituted a fresh Brahmotsavam festival. By the end of 16th century, there were as many as ten festivalas, spread out over ten months of the year. In later years, all other festivals were discontinued and only the one, on the birthday of Sri Venkatesa is still celebrated.

    Today, the festival lasts ten days. Before the festival starts,”Navadhanaya” seeds are sown in specially decorated new pots, which form part of the propitiatory offerings to the celestials in the temple. Sri Viswaksens, commander in chief of the lord’s domain (Sri Vaikunth) goes round and collects earth for the Yageyesala for Honam on all days of the festivals, as per the prevalent legend. On next day the flag of visnu was Garuda (Visnu’s conveyance) on a large piece of cloth is hoisted. On this day, lord venkatesa with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi are brought in a golden palanquin. After this the deities of the eight cardinal points Ashtadik Palas are propitiated. The Brahmotsavam, then goes on for nine days, in dazzling illumination, sweet, melodious Nadaswaram music. A small empty Rath ‘brahm Raths’ signifies that B’rhma, who is of course unseen, is actually present at Tirumala and goes ahead supervising the way the festival, started by him, is held.

    Tirumala (tirupati) is one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in India,where devotees from far and wide, flock all round the year. Balaji Venkateswara, the deity combines Siva and Visnu. The antique temple is the richest in India and has 12 temples under its management with 16,000 employees and spending about five crores on the maintenance of its temples, in a year.

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