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May 20,2011
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2.1  Aalaya kriyai(worship according to aagamas) The kriyasin the temples are three types. 1. KARSHANATHI  PRATHISTANTHAM 2. PRATHISTATHI TO UTHAVANTHAM 3. URSAVATHI PRAYACHITHTHANTHAM. Let us explain each one of the above the three.
2.2 KARSHANATHI PRATHISTANTHAM:  Starting the work from ploughing the  field till the construction of the temple is over upto consecration or purification ceremony in the temple(In tamil Kumbabishegan).
2.3 PRATHISTATHI UTHSAVANTHAM: Daily poojas, poojas with a motive and celebrations occasionly. They are called in Sanskrit Nithya, Naimithiga, Kamya poojas.
2.4 UTHASAVATHI PRAYACHITHANTHAM:  Big ceremonies and festivals and finally expiatory ceremony, atonement ceremony called Prayachiththam
2.5 Baalalayam: Abode of  the lord fixed temporarily is called Baalalayam or small temple. Even while constructing a new temple first a Baalalayam is constructed and establish the idol there first. Once the place is selected for the construction of the temple, The Baala Lingam is consecrated in the Baalalayam and worshipped there. Baalalayam thus constructed for this purpose is of first type. Then after the Lingam is consecrated in the main temple,  God is brought to the Main Lingam and the Baalalayam is removed thereafter. At a later stage when the Main temple , base, Lingam and idols get damaged for any reason what so ever,  the power of the Lingam is transformed through proper Manthras into a divine pot or pitcher and once again put into the Baala lingam in the baalalayam. This is the second type and is called Tharunaalayam.
2.6 FESTIVALS:  The special functions in the temples may be an  one day affair or a continuous festival lasting from 3 days to 36 days. If the festival is an 1 or 3 or 5 days affairs,  flag hoisting function (Dwaja Aarohanam in Sanskrit)is not necessary. It is mentioned in the Aagamam that if the festival days exceed 5 days at a stretch,  then flag hoisting function is necessary. Such festivals are called Mahotsavam(Big festival). If Baalalayam has been done then till the Kumbabishegam (consecration) is done no Mahotsavam(Big festival) should be  conducted. In case a necessity arises to conduct Mahotsavam ,  then on particular directions of the Moolalayam(original temple), a Baalaalayam should be constructed with all features such as Tower, Sanctum sanctorum  small deities(Parivara deathai in tamil) flag mast, Bali peetam  and after consecrating the main deity in that Baalaalayam  and hoisting the flag the festival can be conducted.
2.7 YAAGA SAALAI: (Place where yagna is conducted)  The yaaga saalai for the festival  should be facing west direction. But for consecration(Prathistai), Kumbabishegam, Samprokshanam(Purification ceremony) the yaagasaalai should face East direction according to the scripture ‘KAARANAAGAMAM”.
2.8 Nandhi Devar Prathistai(consecration of Nandhi,( the Bull God): In all Shiva temples a Minimum of One Nandhi up to a maximum of five Nandhis should be consecrated.
THE FIVE NANDHIS: 1. The Nandhi very close to the Lingam is called Kailasa Nandhi(He will carry a Golden stick and sword). He keeps the God in a  cooling state by his breathing air. In case only one Nandhi is to be consecrated in the temple then only he alone will be consecrated. 2. The second Nandhi is known as Mahavishnu  Avathara Nandhi. (Maha Vishnu to carry Lord Shiva has assumed this form. If in a temple less than four Nandhis are to be consecrated then there is no place for this Nandhi. 3. The third Nandhi has the authority to allow or disallow the devotees inside the temple. In some scriptures he is called by the name Athikaara Nandhi and is situated near the flag mast(Dwajasthambam). In case only two Nandhis are consecrated in a temple then he will be one among the two Nandhis.  4. Ordinary Nandhi; He will  not be consecrated in temples where less than five Nandhis are consecrated. 5. This Nandhi is very big in  size. He will be in the form of one who is ready for war. He will be consecrated at the entrance of the temple. For example the Big Nandhi in the famous Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar temple  is this type. He is called by the name Big Nandhi or Maha Nandhi. He is not consecrated in temples which have less three Nandhis.

PRATHISTA KRIYAAS: Preparatory functions before consecration(purification ceremony) i.e., KARSHANATHI PRATHISTANTHA KRIYAI are many fold. Following is the list containing their names and explanations for some of them follows thereafter. 1. Fixing the auspicious time 2. Estabilshing or fixing the pole(Stamba sthabanam) 3, Anukgnai(Seeking permission) 4, Dhana Pooja 5. Achaarya Varanam(fixing of Purohits for the ceremony) 6. Prasanna Ganapathi pooja 7. Kirama shanthi 8. Pravesa Bali 9.Rakshakna homam 10. Acharya Dasavitha snanam(Ten types of bath for the acharya) 11. Vaasthu shanthi (calming the presiding deity of the site) 12. Grahamaham 13. Thisa homam14. Go pooja(Pooja for the Cow)15. Vipra Bhojanam (Feeding of Brahmins) 16. Mruth sangrahanam 17. Rathna Nyasam 18. Nayanon Meelanam 19. Dhanyasi vaasanam 20. Jalaathi vaasam 21 Shanthi homam 22. Moorthi homam 23. Sammitha homam 24. Anguraarpanam 25. Raksha bandhanam 26. Sayanaathi vaasam 27. Yaagasalai dhanya sthabanam  also known as suryakaanthakni sangrahanam 28. Rithvik varanam 29. Prasannabishegam 30. Kumba sthabanam 31. Kala aagarshanam 32. Moorthi homam 33. Yaathra homam 34. Yaathra Dhaanam 35. Gadothvaasanam 36. Yaagasaalai pravesam 37. Yaaga pooja—Dhravyaathi aaguthi 38. Poorna aaaguthi 39. Jan Rathna nyasam yanthra sthbanam 40. Devatha sthabanam 41, Ashta bandhanam, Swarna bandhanam 42. Krutha sirorppanam 43. Thailabishegam 44. Bimba suththi 45. Bima Raksha banhanam 46. Deepa sthabana Deepa lakshmi pooja 47. Lakshmi pooja  48 Gandholobanam 49. Masthaga japam 50. Nyaarchanam 51. Shanthi kumbam 52. Sparsaguthi 53. Maha Poornaaguthi 54. Yaathra Dhaanam 55. Kadothvaasanam 56. Moolaaalaya Pravesam 57. Sthupi kumbabishegam 58. Swami Kumbabishegam 59. Parivara Devathas kumbabishegam 60. Yajamana uthsavam 61. Chandi homam 62. Mahabishegam 63. Thirukkalyaanam 64. Thieuveeethi ula 65. Avabrutha snanam 66. Acharya uthsavam 67. Mandala pooja aarambam 68. Completion of Mandalabishegam 69. Chandikesar uthsavam  70. Yajamanasya bhala samarpanam

2.10 Sankalpam or Anukgnai:  Right from the construction of a temple andr any related work first one should make sankalpam/anukgnai. Sankalpam means determination for doing a work.  Taking a vow that one will complete the work undertook by him with the assistance of a Guru. Right from Vinayagar, God,  upto Chandeswarar  and all deities,  Gurus, elders’ permission is sought and order obtained by this sankalpam is called Anukgnai.
2.11 PRAVESA BALI: Offering neivedhyam to demons, devils and Brahma Rakshas(Brahma Rakshas is a soul of a Brahmin well versed in Vedas but had committed sucide.) and requesting them to accept the neivethyam and leave the place and thus removing the obstacles that they may create. This ceremony is called PRAVESA BALI. This is done during the following functions. 1. At the time of the construction of a new temple. 2. When Daily Poojas are restarted in a temple in which poojas were not conducted for a very long time or after a long interval 3. Before the puribication ceremony(Kumbabishegam) of the temple and 4. At the commencement of Mahothsavam called big festivals.
2.12 RAKSHKNA HOMAM;  Just as Pravesa bali is conducted to ward off evil spirits outside the templeRakshakna homam is performed to ward off evil spirits from inside the temple. To calm down the evil spirits.
2.13 Vaasthu Santhi  Before the construction of a temple is started and during Sanprokshanam,Prathistai(consecration of idol)and Kumbadhishegam(Purification ceremony  vaasthu santhi is performed after these functions.  It is performed after Sankabhishegam{Bathing the idol with holy water filled in a conch(sangu in tamil)], Mahothsavam or big festivals. During these functions the Vassthu Purushan and his deity Brahma are worshipped and to satisfy them as well as other deities. Homa Agni is lit and is taken throughout the temple and purified. Finally holy water is sprinkled with recitation of Manthras
2.14. ANGURARPPANAM: Also called Mulai iduthal in tamil. Paaligai Mahothsavam. This function is held during Mahothsavam or big festival and consecration of idol ceremony. The priest called sivachariar just 5 or 9 days before the function  will put germinating seeds in numbers 6 or 24 or 40 in pots and will pour water on them both in the morning and evening
2.15 MIRUTHSANKRAHARANAM: For the purpose of the above said anguraarpanam, the sivachariyar will bring sand from the base of a mountain/hill, river bed,flower garden (Nandavanam). This function is called Miruthsankaraharanam.
2.16  RAKSHA BANDHANAM:  Sivachariyar for him and his fellow sivachariyars who are going to participate in the homam will tie round the wrist of each one of them a ceremonial thread by uttering Manthras. It is alsi tied to the idol and all parivara deities. This function is called Raksha bandhanam.
2.17 GADA STHABANAM OR SNABANAM:  The God is invoked in the pots called Kumbams that are  filled with holy water by uttering adequate and appropriate Manthras. This is called Gadasthabanam. That pot called kumbam established thus is considered as the idol itself. The sand that comes along with the pot is represented as body. The thread that is tied around the pot represent Seventy two thousand nerves. The cloth that covers the pot is the skin. The holy water inside the pot is blood. The nine gemsor precious stones, silver and gold is representing SUKKILAM(semen). The sacred Grass called KOORCHAM put inside the pot represents the spine. The Mango leaves are hair. The coconut represents the skull. The Pranaprathista Manthra is the soul. The paddy, rice and other grains that are put under the pot represent the seat. The upper cloth, flowers and garlands are there for decoration.

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