Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam: Part 3

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This post shows some of the second day of the Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here.

This day of a Kumbabishekam is intended to continue to infuse spiritual energy into the water of the yagasala Purna-Kumbhas, and to continue the transfer of this energy to the temple.

Here is the schedule for the day:

I arrive at 6:30 am. Here is the yagasala. Few people are here.

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More Purna-Kumbhas have been added, two rows in each of the four corners of the yagasala.

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The yagasala itself is empty.

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A few people sit near it, chanting.

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A nice new mandala has been added since I was here last evening.

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The two secondary altars are now nicely decorated.

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Looking within an altar, you can see the large main Purna-Kumbha, decorated with colored string, along with other smaller ones.

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The view inside one of the other altars.

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At the base of the altars are several pictures that have deep spiritual meanings, like of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

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There is a golden figure within this altar.

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Now a priest has entered the yagasala. He goes directly the to the altar, and performs a brief pooja to it. He is one of the Ramanasramam priests, not one of the visiting ones.

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Inside the temple. Ramana’s Samadhi is nicely decorated. The day’s first pooja has been already been performed to it.

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It is early in the morning and Siva Nataraj and Parvati still have old flowers from yesterday.

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The Mother’s shrine is open and devotees are worshiping in front of it.

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Here is another panoramic to show you the scene in the early morning. Double click on it for a larger view.

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More Ramanasramam priests have joined in the pooja at the main altar.

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The sacrificial fires are already burning, I think from last night’s homas. A priest adds material to the fire.

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The pooja in front of the main altar continues. I now see some of the visiting priests performing this pooja.

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I notice that around the yagasala there are sprouts growing. I think that these may be the Nine Grains that are sometimes used in Tamil ceremonies.

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The pooja continues and more items are added to the fire pit. More priests have come.

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Smoke rises from the fire. Sitting near to fire, or downwind from it, I find that the smoke gets pretty irritating to the throat.

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The glow of the fire in the pit.

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One of the visiting priests.

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Working on an altar, preparing it for the day.

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Getting flower malas out, draping malas on the Purna-Kumbhas in a corner.

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People sitting and watching. This is a very holy event and many want to take it in.

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Fires are going pretty well in the two secondary fire pits.

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Special Purna-Kumbhas on an altar, wound with colored twine.

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Adding malas to an altar.

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The fire pit glows with heat.

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Adding malas to the main altar.

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The Nadaswarams have started to play.

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Here is a short video so you can hear them:

Nadaswaram Music–Ramanasramam Kumbabishhekam, Day 2

A priest starts to lay out the pattern for another mandala.

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Baskets of materials destined as sacrifices for the fire.

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The main fire pit, ready for this morning’s homa.

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The layout of the pattern on the yagasala floor continues.

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Now the kalasas, special bronze ‘pots’ that sit atop the temple towers, are brought into the yagasala so they can be properly blessed. I think that these are new, replacing the older ones that had been on top of the towers for the last 12 years.

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The face of one of the younger priests.

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Two priests work together on coloring in the new mandala…

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…while two young priests-in-training prepare flowers for pooja offerings.

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The shiny brass kalasas are brought to the front of the main fire pit.

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Now things are getting ready to progress; the Karta approaches the yagasala, leading a procession.

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The procession comes around to the front entrance of the yagasala.

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Holy water is sprinkled onto the entrance.

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Then the procession enters.

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The celebrants pranam the main altar. Now that the Karta is here, the main program for the day can start.

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He sits in front of the main fire pit, and chanting starts.

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Such a nice job on this design!

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Boys continue getting flowers ready.

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A Purna-Kumbha is set out in the center of the other mandala. This has a cloth as part of the decoration. I bet this has some special meaning (which I do not know.)

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A camphor flame being offered to one of the other fire pits.

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Turmeric must be one of the offerings to the fire. Here is a basketload of it, sitting near to a fire pit.

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A coconut has been set in the center of the nearest mandala.

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Fire being offered to the main altar.

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The priests, led by the Karta, perform pradakshina around the main altar and fire pit.

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Views of the other altars and fire pits.

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In front of one of these altars, you can see various pooja materials ready for use.

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Now pooja is being offered to the brass kalasas.

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A priest is doing finishing work on the mandala design.

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Now a singer sits down near the yagasala and begins his songs. I think he is another Odhuvar, singing sacred songs.

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Here is a short video clip, so you can hear him.

Odhuvar singing

The near mandala is finished now.

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Pooja begins at the other mandala.

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At the main altar, the Karta continues with his pooja.

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As does the priest at the mandala.

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Inside the Mother’s temple, the moorthys are being cleaned up.

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Boys from the Veda Pathsala sit outside the Ramana Samadhi.

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Back in the yagasala. After the pooja, the kalasas are adorned with flowers.

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Now a Ganesh figure is being drawn.

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A homa continues at one of the other fire pits.

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The fire is hot!

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Smoke rises from the other pit.

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The corner Purna-Kumbhas have been adorned with malas.

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Lots of smoke.

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People sitting and watching.

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A cutely dressed little girl stands nearby.

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The reason the pit is giving off all the smoke is that this green sacred grass is being thrown into it.

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The priests holds an implement with which he adds ghee to the fire.

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The Ganesha drawing is finished. What talent this priest has for this work!

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Poojas continue.

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A homa is being offered in the main fire pit. All the priests are adding ghee, in rhythm, together.

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Pooja chants and offerings to the corner Purna-Kumbhas.

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A big basket of material to be burned in the fire pit, the next offering.

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Throwing offerings into the pit.

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The pooja is over. Soon they will sweep up the area and all the work that went into creating the mandala will just vanish, having served its purpose.

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Now pooja begins at the nearby mandala.

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A view from behind the crowd.

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The pooja continues.

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Fire offered to Ganesha.

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It is smoky by the main altar. All the homa fires fill the air with their fragrant smoke.

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They have built a big addition to the dining hall. Thousands of people will have lunch tomorrow after the festivities.

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It is only 10:30 in the morning. I had to leave. I am pretty worn out from yesterday and need to save some energy for the big day tomorrow. I have started to feel the effects of age, one of them is having less endurance. Sorry I was not able to stay longer and take more photos. I hope this post gives you a sense of the second day of the Kumbabishekam.

The next post will show the culmination of this three-day ceremony.

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6 Responses to “Ramanasramam Kumbabishekam: Part 3”

  1. SLN VASU Says:

    Thank u somuch for the photos,
    it is not,’Throwing offerings into the pit.” we can say placing/ putting,..thanks.

  2. Selvaraj V Maruthai Muthuraja Says:

    Richard we owe a great debt of gratitude to you for these great photos. Many of us these thousands of kilometers away, wished we could attend these special once in twelve years prayers. You have given us the next best thing. The photos give us a sense of being there. It is a great visual story of this auspicious event. It is like Bhagawan Ramanas prasad coming to us through you. Thank you
    revered Sir for your sacrifices and this sharing. We look forward to the final tranche.

    • Richard Clarke Says:

      Thank you for the comment. This is just what I want to do; to share these special holy days with those who have the same love in their hearts, but are not able to attend. And I have many photos since that is the best way I know to make such articles “immersive,” that is give the reader a chance to plunge into what is shown in the article. We are blessed to be able to be here with Ramana Maharshi and Arunachala, and naturally want to share these blessings as we can.

  3. Bhartendu Mehta Says:

    Thanks so very much.

  4. Sundaram Srinivasan Says:

    telling merely thanks is as good as ignoring mr richard..A truly splendid service, mr richard.

  5. thalupularavi Says:

    Excellent job, Richard.

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