Thursday, November 28, 2013

'Murajapam' At Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple

Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple of Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala became world famous recently when large quantity of centuries old  precious stones and jewellery belonging to the deity was found in the vaults of the temple.
This temple dedicated to Lord Maha  Vishnu is one among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples of India(Divya Desams).It is mentioned in ancient texts like 'Puranas' and in the epic 'Mahabharata' also.Just before the Kurukshetra war between Kauravas and Pandavas,  Balabhadra who was the brother of Lord Sree Krishna went on a pilgrimage.He visited several sacred places and temples of India and one among was 'Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram.
The idol of this temple is in reclining position and can be viewed through three doors.Head and shoulders from the first  door,middle part from the second door and legs and feet from the third door.
The idol was made up of 12,008 salagramas put together with the help of  'Kadu sarkaraYogam' which is a mixture of certain herbal items.The salagramas are  typical sacred stones found in the 'Gandaki' river of Nepal.The salagramas for the idol were brought on elephants to Kerala from Nepal.
There is a saying that if there are 6 salagramas it is a Kshetra. (Temple) , if 12 salagramas are kept it is a 'Maha Khetra'.(Temple on a large scale or more divine, sacred and powerful) and since 12008 salagramas are used for this temple, the sacredness divinity  and  power is beyond our thoughts.
'Murajapam' is a centuries old ritual held at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.It is held every six years and being held here from  1520 AD.From the time of Marthandavarma Maharaja it is held as a grand function.
'Mura' means turn and 'Japam' means reciting 'mantras'.More than 200 Veda Scholars recite the 'Rig Veda,Sama Veda' and Yagur Veda' according to certain age old traditions and rules and they recite it according to some 'turn' and 'sets'.The vedic mantras are chanted in seven turns and each turn consists of eight days.Thus it will be finished in 56 days.
Murajapam is conducted once in every six years and lastly it was conducted in 2008.This year is 'Murajapam'  Year and the ritual has already started on November 20, 2013.About 200 Vedic Scholars belonging to various mutts and ancient thantric families have already arrived and are being participating in the function every day.The 56 day long event which involves several thantric customs and for which  various materials in large quantities are used,   was commenced on 20 November.Devotees in large numbers throng everyday at the temple these days to see and participate in the auspicious function which is held once in six years.
 This ritualistic grand function will cease on January 14, 2014 with 'Laksha Deepam.'(Laksha Deepam is Celebration by which 100,000 oil lamps are lighted).The lighting of 100,000 oil lamps in and around the temple premises along with illumination of colour bulbs  on that day will make the temple a spectacular sight.The deity will be adorned with special ornaments on this occasion.Altogether for the devotees it would be a wonderful vision of joy to see the temple immersed in myriads of lights and  luminescence.There will be huge gathering of devotees on January 14, the Makara Samkranti day when Lakshadeepam are lighted and a procession of the three main deities of the temple,Padmanabha Swamy,Narasimha Swamy and Sree Krishnaswamy are taken out  on decorated 'Garuda Vahanams' around the temple.
During the Murajapam days the priests participating in the function starts

 chanting of the mantras and Vedas  at 6.30 A.M.
There will be 'Vishnu Sahasranama Chanting' every day from 4.30P.M to 6.30P.M in which any devotee can take part.
'Murajapam' is a centuries old tradition of India and in the Puranas there are mentions about this ritual. 'Kartha Veeryarjuna' who was an ancient Indian King propitiated Gods by performing 'Murajapam' as according to instructions from sage 'Atri' and got boons as of which he received   mighty 1000 arms for him  and prosperity for his Kingdom and subjects.
By performing 'Murajapam' at Padmanabhaswamy Temple, we are chanting mantras and his beautiful,lovely and sweet names by obliging the traditional rules and custom meant for it.We pray humbly for his mercy and blessings. It is believed that people irrespective of any cast, creed or community will get blessings from the Lord Maha Vishnu. 

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