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May 20,2011
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3.1  Different kinds of temple functions:  The functions in a siva temple fall under three categories. They are 1. Daily functions called Nithya kriyaygal  2. Naimitthiga kriyas celebrations conducted occasionally.  3. Kaamya kriyaigal celebrations with a motive  Special functions held on Chathurthi thithi(Sankata hara chathurthi for Lord Ganesh, Shasti for Lord Murugan, Sivarathri Holy night of shiva, Prathosham, Full Moon day functions for Goddess, Abhishegam for Natarajar, Avani Moolam, Big Kaarthigai(Lighting festival in the tamil month of Karthigai. Masi magma, Aruthra functions, Adi pooram for Goddess, Annbhishegam for Lord Shiva Lingam(Abhishegam with cooked trice), Arthothayam, Mahothayam, kubhabishegam  fall under Kaamya kriyai. To obtain a special benefit functions performed  either by an individual or group of persons also fall under this Kaamya kriyai. Poojas performed in the temples normally for the well being or welfare of humanity in general fall under Nishkamya kriyai.
3.2  Varieties in Shiva Poojas:  Shiva Poojas are of two kindas. 1, aagamaartham  and  2, Paramaartham. Among these two Aathmaartha pooja can be performed by only those who had Shiva Deeksha(Initiation into a religious practice by a preceptor, taking religious vow  and following religious code of conduct). Only Paraartha poojas are performed in the temples.  The Adi saivas who are called as Sivachariyars  normally  take practice or training  under a preceptor(Guru). Then only they are qualified to become achariyars and after getting this qualification only they are allowed to do Paraartha Pooja.  
3.3 Sivachariyars: They are qualified to perform poojas in Shiva temples. Their age should be above sixteen years and below seventy years, so says the scripture Kamya karmam.
3.4  The Functions allotted for Siva Chariyars:  They should take bath three times a day, perform their own personal poojas, Do meditation(Japam),  and Homam. Getting Deeksha and  doing consecration (Prathistai in tamil) are their Namithiga kriyais.
3.5 Shiva Dhynam:(Meditating on Lord Shiva):  We should meditate  on Lord Shiva  concentrating  at the centre of our heart called Hrudaya kamalam.  As instructed by our Guru we should meditate the blemishless  Lord Shiva by uttering the Manthras  “OM HAAM NAMASHIVAAYA  or OM HAAM,  HAM ,HAM SHIVAAYA NAMAHA”.  While meditating on Shiva, the unintelligent one  should think of  any one of the forms of Shiva and then do the meditation and japa.
3.6  Parts of Functions of Saivaite;  It consists of three parts. They are Bhavanai, Kriyay and Manthram. Bavanai means thinking. Kriyas means functions done with Muthras(hand gesture). Manthras are actions done with Manthras.  Manthras means those that offer benefit  if they are uttered at particular number of times. Each action or function should be done appropriate to its Bhavanai(thinking), and Manthras.  If Manthras are recited without Bhavanais then they will not produce any benefit at all. Without Bhavanai and the appropriate Manthram  if any action or function is donr then that will not make the celestials happy. They will make only the demons happy.  So in order the full benefit reaches the public then all the three Viz., Bhavanai,  Kriyay and Manthram are done together. And that too without any error. And that is why the sivachariyars undertake training under a guru or preceptor.
3.7  Sivachariyars without Bhakthi”  The sivachariyar who had under taken a Deeksha  if does pooja without Bhakthi then it will spell doom both for the king and country. It is just like a elephant which tries to avoid a Lion in the forest, Likewise Lord Shiva  will go away on seeing a sivachariyar who has no bhakthi. If Archanas are done without Manthrams then Lord Shiva gets afraid of such poojas.
Manthras for seat

3.    SAPTHKODI MAHA MANTHRAM; 1. Namah  2. Swaaga  3. Swathaa 4. Vashat 5. Vowshat  6. Hoom  7. Pat
3.9    KARA  NYASAM :
3.9.1    OM OM ASTHRAYA PAT  By uttering this shiva manthra one should  wipe with the help of both right and left hands up and down both the right and left hands. It should be done twice for the left hand and once the right hand.  One should assume in the mind that with the help of this shiva asthram one has burnt away all the dirts in the hands.  Then one should utter the manthra  OM HOUM SAKTHAYE VOUSHAT BY SHOWING THE PRASANNA GESTURE BY HANDS(called Muthrai in tamil) and raise the gestured hands between the two eye brows in the fore head  and soak the hand with the sakthi nectar(amrutham in tamil)  and thereby assume that the hands are purified.
3.9.2     One should feel  one hand as sakthi and the other hand Shiva,  and assume all fingers except the thumb as the eight petals of a lotus. The thumb should touch the centre of the palm. Them touch the  Budhan Medu in the little finger by the thumb and utter OM HAAM SHIVASANAAYA NAMAH  and assume offering a seat to Shiva through this manthra.  By uttering the manthras OM HAAM HUM HAAM SIVA MOORTHAYA NAMAH one should assume making shiva seated in that seat.
3.9.3    Then utter the manthra OM HOM EESAANA MOORTHAYE NAMAH.  While uttering the manthra one should  show the muthra in which the index finger without touching the other fingers  and remain aloof  but the little finger’s tip should touch tip of the thumb. This muthra is called Ushnik Muthra. Then utter the manthra OM HEM THATH PURUSHA VAKTHRAAYA NAMAH. While uttering this manthra the  index  finger should join with  the central finger and the tips of both of them should touch the tip of the thumb. This is called Chin Muthra or Chinmaya muthra. Following this by uttering the Manthra OM HOOM AKORA HRUTHAYAAYA NAMAH  the tips of the central fingers ahould touch the tips of the thumbs. This is called Yoga Muthra or Moha Muthra. Then utter the manthra  OM HIM VAAMA DEVA GUHAYA NAMAH . This is called Divya Muthra.  Finally while uttering the Manthra OM HUM SATYOJAATHA  MOORTHAYE NAMAH THE TIPS OF THE LITTLE FINGERS HOULD TOUCH THE TIPS OF THE TIPS THUMBS. This is called Aagra muthra.  By uttering the above five Brahma manthras  one assumes that he has made Lord Shiva seated on the tips of the fingers.
3.9.4    There after touch the inside portion of the palm with  thumbs  by uttering the manthra OM HAAM HOUM VITHYA DEHAAYA NAMAH. By this act one assumes that one has given Lord Shiva vidya deham. This is called Athistaana Muthrai. Then  touch the inside portion of the palm with index finger, middle finger and  ring finger  which is called KADAA NUTHRAI. Then bringing both the palms together pray  Lord’S three eyes by uttering the Manthra   OM HOUM  NETHRAPYO NAMAH. . By uttering the Manthra OM  HAAM  HOUM  SHIVAAYA  NAMAH  which is the moola (base) manthra  of Lord Shiva and thus establish (aavaahanam in tamil) HIM in the hands.

3.9.5 There after utter the Manthra OM  HRUDAYAAYA  NAMAH  and out the hands in the heart position in the chest.  Then uttering the manthra  OM  SIRASE  SWAAHA   put the hand in the head with Divya Muthra.  Then utter the manthra OM  SIGAAYA I  VOUSHAD   and touch the tuft with the hand.  Then by uttering the Manthra  OM HAIM  KAVACHAYA  VOSHAD TOUCH THE BODY WITH THE Kavasa  muthra. Then by uttering the manthra  HA ;  ASTHRAAYA  PAT  TOUCH each hand with the other by asthra muthra.  By doing all these one assumes that a body is given to Lord Shiva in the hands.
3.9.6  Then perform Avakundanam.  This means assuming that three fort and three moats(ditches surrounding a fort) have been formed around the place where Both Shiva and sakthi have taken positions and uttering the manthra  OM HAIM  KAVACHAYA VOUSHAD   and circumambulating that place three times with Avagundana muthra.
3.9.7  In conclusion  one should do parameekaranam by uttering the manthra  OM  HAAM  HOUM  SHIVAAYA VOUSHAD .  Parameekaranam  means  clubbing both the hands together by doing Vanthani muthra and raising both the hands above the head and worshipping. Then bringing back the hands just in front of the heart portion in the chest.
3.9.8  These  are the methods prescribed for sivachariyars to do kara nyasam.
3.10.1  The  Anga nyasam should be performed only after performing Kara Nyasam as mentioned above.
3.10.2  By uttering the shiva asthra manthra   OM HA:  ASTHRAAYA HOOM  PAT  and with  Chaana Muthras  rub and wipe with hands right from feet to head the whole body. It is assumed  that by doing this act one burns away with the help of  shia asthram all the impurities  in the body. Then by uttering  OM HOUM SAKTHAYE  VOUSHAD and using Prasanna Muthra  by hands and raising that hand  up to the place between the eye brows one assumes that with the sakthi nectar present there wiping the whole body and made it holy.
3.10.3  Then one should offer seat (through manthra called manthrasanam) by touching the hearty with Divya Muthra and uttering the Manthra OM  HAAM SIVAASANAAYA NAMAH.
3.10.4  Then touch the top portion of the head with Ushnik Muthra by uttering the manthra  OM HOM  EESAANAAYA  NAMAH. Then with chin muthras touch the fore head by uttering the
 MANTHRA  OM  HEM  THATH  PURUSHA  VAKTHRAAYA  NAMAH . It is followed by yoga muthras with the manthras  OM HOOM AKORA HRUDAYAAYA NAMAH  by touching the chest. Then with the Divya Muthra and uttering the manthra OM  HIM  VAAMA  DEVA GUGYAAYA  NAMAH touch the naval portion in the stomach. Finally   by using AAGRA muthra and  uttering the manthra OM HUM  SATHYOJAATHA MOORTHAYE NAMAH  touch both the right and left knees. By uttering  these manthras it is assumed that one has established in all the parts of the body Lord Shiva’s five faces.
3.10.5  Then utter the manthra  OM  HAAM  HOUM  VITHYAA SEHAAYA NAMAH   and assume a divya deha(Body) for  Shiva in the chest. While uttering this manthra one should use Divya muthra.  Then utter the manthra  OM  HOUM  NETHREPYO  NAMAH   and with the  Aagra kanda Muthra touch the eyes. Meditate  Lord Shiva in the form  having three eyes.
3.10.6  Then utter the Moola Manthra(Basic manthra)  OM  HAAM  HOUM  SHIVAAYA  NAMAH and establish Lord Shiva in the heart.  
3.10.7  Then with Aagra muthra touch the heart by uttering the manthra  OM  HAAM HRUDAYAAYA  NAMAH . Then with DIvya Muthra  touch the head by uttering the Manthra  OM SIRASAE SWAAHA . Then utter the manthra OM  SAGAAYAI VOSHAD  touch the tuft with yoga muthra. Then uttering the manthra OM  HAIM HAVACHAAYA VOUSHAD  and touch with Kavacha Muthra  right from the neck upto the chest.
3.10.8 By touching the various parts of the body with the help of ring fingers called muthras  by uttering the manthra  OM  ASTHRAAYA  PAT  one assumes of having the weapons of Lors Shiva in both the hands.
3.10.9  THALA THRAYAM:  By using Kadga Muthra  and by uttering the asthra manthra  OM  HOOM  HA:  ASTHRAAYA   PAT  one ahouls thala thrayam.  Thala thrayam means tapping,  in the inside portion of left palm  three times  by using Katka muthra fingers of the right hand. This is just to drive away evil forces  from attacking siva sakthi prakasam.
3.10.10  DIK BANDHANAM:  First bend the fingers. Then by using the index finger in the thumb  show shodika muthra. Utter the asthra manthra OM  H:  ASTHRAAYA  PAT make a round around the head with this muthra  i.e. protecting the head from eight directions. Thus one creates Agni prakaasam  and keep the Agni Devar(God) as a security.
3.10.11  AVAKUNDANAM:  By using nyasa muthra and uttering the Kavasa Manthra  OM HAIM  KAVASAAYA  HOOM  make a round of the head both above and below . By this it is assumed that we have put three Fort and Pitch(Akazhi in tamil).
3.10.12  PARAMEEKARANAM:  In conclusion by uttering the manthra HAAM  HAUM  SIVAAYA  VOUSHAT  straighten the hand fingers called also Maha Muthra touch each part of the body from foot to the tuft in the head.
3.10.13  By this way all nyasam should be done and thus assume that Lord Shiva has established himself in the Manthra aasanam(seat made of Manthras)
3.10.14  These are the methods prescribed for sivachariyars for doing Anga Nyasam.
3.11  AATHMA POOJA DHYANAM:  Naatham is called Lingam which is the famous Shiva  and the base called AAvudaiyar which is also the seat for sakthi. There is no sakthi with out Siva. Similarly there is no sakthi without shiva. This is like the fragrance and flower, oil inside seasame. So (within mind) create a Simhasanam  and on it Shivasanam and the sivachaariyar should do pooja for Eswaran.
3.12  SAKALEE KARANAM; Doing both Kara Nyasam and Anga Nyasam is called Sakalee karanam.
3.13.1  After doing sakaleekaranam to purify the pooja materials and other special functions prescribed foe sivachaariyar  preparing the holy water in the Pancha pathram(a vessel made of copper or silver) is called Vishesarkiyam.
3.13.2  Pancha pathram made of Gold or silver or copper(Avoid stainless steel and iron) or small kettle(Kendi in tamil) or Kamandalam(hermit’s kettle) should be purified with water and by uttering Asthra Manthram should clean it once again by manthras.
3.13.3  NEEREESHANAM;  Neereeshanam means seeing. One should look at the water kept in the Pancha pathram or kettle or kamandalam by showing Neereeeshana muthra and uttering the manthram  OM  HAAM  SHIVAAYA  NAMAH. At that time the impurities/fault in the water are dried by the Sun present in the right eye and burnt away by the Agni(fire) in the Third eye and the Moon in the left eye produces the nectar and mixes it with the water in the vessel is called Nireeshanam.
3.13.4  PROKSHANAM;  Assume the water as the nectar produced from the middle portion of the two eye brows , utter hrudaya manthram . By this uttering of manthra  this nectar enters into the vessel and gets filled up. This action is called PROKSHANAM.
3.13.5  Then beautify the water with sandal, flower, grass(Arugu in Tamil) and rice smeared with turmeric powder(Akshathai in tamil). Follow it up with Achamanam, Panch brahma, Vidya deha, Nethra, Moola, Hrudaya manthras and pooja. Utter Samhitha manthra(Pancha brahma+Shadanga manthras)
3.13.6  Doing Raksha bandhanam for the Arkya water with asthra manthram  is called  Thaadanam. To make the Shiv Skthi blessing which has spread in the water to  shine still further one should tap the hand once by uttering asthra manthram is called Thaadanam.
3.13.7  Abyushanam;  By drinking a drop of that water by uttering the kavacha Manthra and showing Pathaaga Muthra in upside down fashion is called Aabyshanam.
3.13.8  Then do Thaala thrayam to the water in the vessel so that the shining of Siva sakthi is in no way get reduced in its shining.
3.13.9  Follow it up by doing Dig bandanam by Kavacha Manthram and ava kundanam again by kavacha manthram.
3.13.10 In conclusion, purify the water in the vessel still better by uttering the Moola Manthra (OM  HAAM  HUM  HAAM  SIVA MOORTHAaYAA VOUSHAD) and showing Thenu Muthra.
3.13.11  The above said action is called Vishesa arkiyam. By this function/action the arkya water is filled with Shiva sakthi shine.
3.14   SAAMANARKIYAM:  After doing sakaleekaranam in a vessel not made of iron, by uttering the hrudaya manthra  fill it with pure water  then utter thr Pranava Manthra  OM, do dig bandhanam, and avakundanam. Then show Denu Muthra . This water is called Saamanrkiyam.
3.15  FIVE TYPES PURIFICATION;  The actions done by Achariyar, in order to perform the pooja so as to purify himself is called Pancha Suddhi. They are 1. Aathma suddhi  2. Sthaana suddhi  3. Drvya suddhi  4. Manthra suddhi  5. Linga suddhi

3.16    AATHMA SUDDHI:  Invoking Lord shiva within him by a sivachariyar is called Aathma suddhi. To invoke the Lord shiva within him, all the actions are done by the sivachariyar within his mind only. That is under pretence. Those actions are  1. To remove the impurities in the physical body and impurities called Malam maya, and karma. 2. To remove the impurities produced by Panch Dhan Mathras  3. With the help of Kaalagni (fire) produced from the thumb finger of the foot burning the body. 4. Soaking both the inside and outside portion of the body by the nectar produced from the Bramandiram. 5. Assuming our body as Nithyathva, Vybhagathva, Suddha, Thathva, Yuktha, Paramaagaasaabiyuktha, Suddha chaithanya Divya deham(body). 6. Performing pooja for the God within the mind in the Hrudaya kamalam. 7. Performing homam in the agni present in  the naval (thoppul in tamil) and submit the same to the god in the hrudaya kamalam, and therby assuming that one has completed the pooja done inside  the mind. 8. Praying the God present in the Bindu position  and seeking his permission to begin the outside pooja.
3.17    STHAANA SUDDHI: Actions done by the sivachariyar at the place where he wants to perform pooja to remove the obstacles if any that may prop up  are called Sthaana suddhi. To do that the actions and assumptions he undertakes  1. By uttering the asthra manthra three times  and tapping in the hand three times  lead to the removal of all the obstacles in that place.  2. By uttering the asthra manthras keeping agni on the four sides. 3. By uttering the kavasa manthras  rotating the right index finger  producing the three forts and pits. 4. By uttering the Voushadantha sakthi manthra and showing Denu muthra both above and below(upside and down) doing Raksha bandhanam.
3.18    DRAVYA SUDDHI;  By preparing the holy water with Vishesarkiyam, sivacchariyar  and sprinkling that holy water  on all the pooja materials, his assistants and finally on himself  and there by assuming that all of them are purified.  These actions are called Dravya suddhi.  For that purpose the actions and assumptions  done by him are  1. Preparing Vishesa (special) arkiyam 2. Sprinkling the water on his head by uttering Asthra manthram. 3. Sprinkling the holy water on all the materials to be used for the pooja. Wiping and cleaning by uttering the kavacha manthram, Uttering the hrudaya manthram, Doing Avakundanam by uttering Kavacha manthram, By showing Denu muthra make the cooked rice as nectar, With the help of a flower pouring some Vishesa arky a water to the water kept for abishegam. And making it to become a nectar by showing Denu muthra.
3.19    MANTHRA SUDDHI: All actions undertaken by the sivachaariyar to make himself qualified  for uttering the manthras to keep the God within him are called Manthra suddhi.  This will be performed only after performing dravya suddhi. First by uttering the manthra  OM  HAAM  SIVASANAAYA  NAMAH  he has got a seat to sit. Then perform pooja in his heart by uttering the manthra  OM  HAAM  SIVA MOORTHAYE  NAMAH.  Then apply a tilak with sandal both in his fore head and in between the two eye brows. Then by uttering the Moola manthra perform pooja with flower in the head. This is Aathma pooja. Then utter samhitha manthra, moola Manthra(with om in the beginning and Namah at the end), Pancha brahma Manthras  in a very low ton and Shadanga manthras loudly, Moola manthras in a very very low tone. This is called Manthra suddhi
3.20    LINGA SUDDHI:  Removal of all pooja articles performed the first day (previous day) from the body of the Lingam. Then perform abishegam. Finally wipe the body of the Lingam  and make the Lingam ready for decoration  is called LINGA SUDDHI. The way in which it should be done:First Archana by Siva Gayathri.  Then offering of Arkyam (water) to all the faces of Shiva starting from Sathyojatham to  Eesaanam with Samaanaarkiyam(ordinary water). Showing Dhoopam and Deepam. By placing the hand on the head of the Lingam uttering the Pancha Brahma Manthrams(sathyojathathi Manthrams. By uttering the asthra removing the previous day materials called Nirmaalyam. And put them in a vessel on the Eesana side(south east) before Chandikeswarar. At the same time utter Hrudaya Manthrams while putting them in that vessel kept before Chandikeswarar. By uttering the Asthra Manthra cleaning the base and the body of the Lingam. By uttering the asthra manthras perform abishegam with Samanya arkiyam(ordinary water). Moola Manthram ive times, samhitha manthram—Vyoma vyaabi manthrams eighty one times  should be uttered while performing the abishegams with the various articles kept for abishegam (such as milk, curd, honey,panchamirtham etc., etc.,). Then perform abishegam with cold water using a vessel containing one thousand holes in it (called sahasrathara vessel). Then abishegam by utterining Hruthaya Manthram, with Arkya water, snabana water. Then wipe the Lingam by a pure, white and light cloth. This is called Linga suddhi. There after Alankaram(decoration of the Lingam)
3.21    KALA AAGARSHANAM:  Perform japam by uttering Pancha brahma manthras, Shadanga Manthras, Vyomavyabi manthras. There after Ashta  thri dasa kala nyasam that is put thirty eight kalas  on the body of the Lingam.
3.22    After performing the abishegam wipe the Lingam and its base called Aavudayaar by using a pure white  cloth  and put a flower on the head of the Lingam by uttering hrudaya Manthram.
3.23    Sivachaariyar while performing Sivoham Bhavana (assuming himself as Shiva) will apply sandal on his right hand and assume that right hand as the hand of Lord Shiva (shiva Hastham).  Then asuume himself as Lord Shiva  by the manthras with which he is going to perform archana his outside body will also perform archana for his inner body also. Thus one who observes is Lord Shiva, the thing which is seen is also Shiva and the act of seeing is also Shiva. This is called Sivoham Bhavana (assuming  him self as Shiva) which occurs when all the three become one in a state of Triharana  suddhi (when mind, body and moth are in a purified state).
3.24     The sivachariyar will with both of his hands in a  closed state with the fingers also closed at the same time and showing Mushti Nuthra and do Vinayaka pooja  by striking his fore head with knuckles (called Pillayar kuttu). Strike both the sides of the fore head  by the centre portion of the central fingers of both hands. By doing this the nectar from the skull  wet the entire body and bath it. By this bath with nectar the three impurities called  Karvam(arrogance), Malam(impurity) and maya (nescience) are removed. Thereby  (intelligence) Gnam  occurs. If we do this anrutha snanam (bathing by nectar) before Lord Ganesha  HE developes special affection towards us.
3.25    THE DIRECTION IN WHICH POOJA SHOULD PERFORMED:  The Linga consecrated facing the east or west  should be worshipped by the sivachariyar by standing in the north direction. The swami facing south or north directions should be worshipped by standing on the eastern side.
3.26     If Vibhuthi(saced ash) is given by using the thumb then disease will occur. If the vibhuthi is given with index finger then death will occur. If vibhuthi is giving by the central finger  one will lament because of the death of his son (Puthra sogam in tamil).  If vibhuthi is offered with small finger one will incur thosham(sin).  So one should offer vibhuthi only using  the thumb and ring fingers.
3.27     While performing all the actions in connection with pooja,  abhishegam etc., utter the prescribed  Manthras or slogams  appropriate to that action  and show the Muthras appropriate to  each action  without fail. Muthras are part of actions. They will  keep the celestials in a happy state of mind.  They will drive away the demons(asuras).

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