Monday, July 15, 2024

Festivals & Fairs

Festivals - Hindus | Christians | Muslims



Kumbabisheka literally means  the consecration  or dedication of a new temple or that of renovated one by pouring sanctified water over the kumbams of Garbagraha tower and over the Kumbams  of the Rajagopura tower or Gateway tower. It is  done on an auspicious day and it is a long process with preliminary  functions like setting the Yoga salas and culminating in  mandala abishekam.

Hindus believe that cosmos and all living things are composed of the five elements - earths, water, fire, air and ether. Water symbolises the life-force. The Kumbabishekam is the ritual relating  to  water symbolism. Water from the holy rivers, collected at the source  by pious men  in clean containers is kept in Kumbams  or decorated pitchers adorned with flowers  and is worshipped  in a specially erected  canopy, which is performed in the houses called Yagasala. Mantras are recited to add to the spiritual power and to the sanctity  of the water. This ceremony  signifies the consummation  of the pious endeavour of building  the abode of the almighty.

Kumbabishekam  is also an occasion for periodical conservation  of the sanctum sanctorum. To prevent oscillation and to fix the idols security, the images and the peetas (bases on which they are placed) are sealed  together by means of Ashtabandhanam, a chemical compound prepared by  mixing eight substances viz. kombarakku or wood loc, cukkann thol or lime stone powder, kunkilium or konakai resin, karkaavi or red ochre, mezhugu  or  beeswax  and yerummai vennai  or butter prepared out of buffalo's milk. The labourers employed  for mixing these components  and preparing the desired compound are expected  to have purificatory baths before they take up the work and to chant devotional hymns and utter the name of the particular god to whose temple the Kumbabhishekam  is to be performed.

A Kumbabishekam is very popular  and people  from immediate  neighbourhood  go in groups with musical instruments, alavattoms or  multi-coloured flags representing in pictures mythological  scenes, giants-sized umbrellas and other temple paraphernalia.

People travel many miles on foot, on bullock cart or other conveyance. Some of them carry head loads  of cooked food or cooking utensils, resting a while on river-beads  or in choultries inns for pilgrims. Attendance  at Kumbabishekam is considered one of the significant ways for invoking the blessing of god.