Saturday, 9 March 2013

Significance & Importance of Srivari Daily Arjitha Sevas, Tirumala Temple

SrivariCollections presents you the article of  Sri Venkateswara Swamy Daily Sevas which are being performed to the Main Deity or to Utsava Murthies(Sri Malayappa Swamy/Koluvu Srinivasa Murthy/Bhoga Srinivasa Muthy) in Tirumala Temple. The article describes the importance and significance of daily sevas(Nitya Sevalu) .If any mistake found in this article kindly intimate us for corrections. The daily sevas are 1)Subprabhata Seva, 2)Thomala Seva, 3)Koluvu, 4)Sahasra Nama archana, 4)Kalyanotsavam, 5)Dolotsavam, 6)Arjitha Brahmotsavam, 7)Arjitha Vasantotsavam, 8)Sahasra Deepalankarana seva and 9)Ekanta Seva.

Suprabhata Seva:
The very first seva in srivari temple is the Visvarupa Seva more popularly known as Suprabhata Seva. 
1) Early in the morning a cowherd will go to the residence of the Archaka, accompany him and proceed to the temple. The archaka has one Temple Key. The cowherd and the Archaka would be accompanied by the Jiyyangar or his representative. The Jiyyangar or his representative carries a box keeping on his head which contains Temple Key. Meantime, the representative of the temple administration would come to the temple with a Temple Key. Therefore there is a Triple Lock System with Archaka, Jiyyangar and Temple Authorities having one key each. The seal of the closed locked door will be broken and the doors of the Goldden doorway(Bangaru Vakili in Telugu) will be opened all the time reciting suitable Mantras. 

2) The Cowherd, the Jiyyangar, the Archaka and Paricharkas will go in and the Bangaru Vakili will be closed. Meantime, in the Mukha Mantapam in front of the Golden Doorway, a group of priests would arrived and assembled outside the Bangaru Vakili. The devotees who are waiting for witnessing the Suprabhata Seva would come there and also assembled outside the Bangaru Vakili. 

3) Group of Priests will start reciting Suprabhata Stotra, Prapatti and Magalasasanam verses composed by "Prativadhi Bhayankaram Annan". Meantime, inside the Bangaru Vakili, the Archaka and others who went in would lite the lamps, removed Sri Bhoga Srinivasa who would have been ceremonially put to bed in a cot during Ekanta Seva, the previous night to a place near the feet of the main image. The Sayana Mantapam will be cleared of the Cot and other articles used for the Ekanta Seva the previous night. All these processes will coincide exactly with the conclusion of the prayers recited outside the Bangaru Vakili. 

The devotees will then be allowed to go in and have the Subrabhata Darshan of the Lord.
The Epigraphical records do not have any information about this seva as when it was started.

Thomala Seva:
The next seva offered to the Main Deity after Suprabhata Seva is Thomala Seva. The word Thomala is derived from Tamil word "Thoduthamalai" which means a garland of strung flowers. The garlands will be offered with devotion brought by the Jiyyangar in a basket carried on his head. These garlands are woven within the temple itself. During this seva, the priest will recite "Purusha Sukta and other Pancha Suktas". As the recitation goes on various rituals like Mantrasanam means offering water for padyam, archana, arghya, and mukhavasa for the main deity are done.

Next, Snapanna Snanam is done to Sri Bhoga Srinivasa Murthy followed by Abhishekam for the Holy Feet of the Main Deity. The Salagrama kept near the main deity which receives holy wash. The Alankara(decoration) with garlands is done to the Main Deity. Arathi is then offered to the deity. Besides the Vedic Hymns, the Divya Prabandha Pasurams are also recited. At the end of the Thomala Seva, the devotees are allowed to have a darshan of the Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy.

The third daily seva is known as Koluvu. Koluvu means Darbar. The Main deity of the temple holds darbar and listens to the details like income earned by the Temple the previous day, the almanac details and etc.,. This seva is a ritual which is observed near the Bangaru Vakili. Koluvu Srinivasa Murthy(other idol of the temple) is brought from the sanctum seated in a silver chair with a Golden Umbrella over his head. He presides over the darbar. The Umbrella is presented by Maharaja of Mysore. 

During this seva a mixture of powdered gingelly seeds and Jaggery is offered to the deity and distributed as Prasadam to the temple administrative representatives , the priests and a few devotees.

Sahasra Nama Archana:
Sahasra Nama Archana is popularly called as "Archana". Once Koluvu is completed, Sri Koluvu Srinivasa Murthy is brought back to the sanctum. Then Archana with Tulasi Leaves and Flowers is done to the Main deity. The 1008 names of the Lord Sri Venkateswara(Sri Balaji) is recited. This Sri Venkatewara Saharanama is unique one composed exclusively for Lord Sri Venkateswara Swamy. This Sahasra Nama is not the usual Vishu Sahasra Nama.

After the Sahasra Nama Archana is over, the Bangaru Vakili will be closed. The two bells next to the Dwarapalakas near the Bangaru Vakili will be rung. It is believed that the stentorian ringing chimes of the bells sound as if the words "Govinda, Govinda" are uttered. These bells are believed to be the Amsa of Sri Vedanta Desika, the great Sri Vaishava Polymath. 

A variety of food offering(Bali) are taken inside the Bangaru Vakili when the bell is rung. One interesting thing is that all these food offerings will be kept outside the Kulasekhara Padi(the step which delineates the sanctum sanctorum from the rest of the mantapam). Only the Vaikhanasa Priests and the Jiyyangar or his representative can enter beyond Kulasekara Padi. The only offering taken inside the Sanctum Sanctorum is the Curd Rice prepared with four Nalis of rice offering institued by a Pallava Pricess by name Samavai. This Naivedya which is offered to God in the Garbha Griha is known as "Mantra". 

After offering of Bali, one other seva that is observed in Tirumala Temple is known as "SATTUMARAI". Satttumarai means the concluding riual marked by chanting the Dravida Vedas. During this seva, the Jiyyangar followed by a limited number of Sri Vaishnava devotees will go beyond the Golden Vakili and stand infront of the Kulashekara Padi and recite Pasurams. This seva is an exclusive seva for the Jiyyangar and Sri Vaishnava followes and duration of the seva is about Ten minutes.

[There are Second Archana, Second Thomala Seva and Third Archana. All these are not Arjitha Sevas(paid sevas). All these are observed in private and only Archakas will recite the mantras].

Srivari Kalyanotsavam(wedding ceremony) is performed to the utsava murti of the Lord Sri Malayappa swami and his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi in the marriage hall in the Sampangi Pradakshinam. Every day Swamy vari kalyanotsavam will be celebrated at 12:00 in the morning. 

According to the inscriptions of the 15th century this seva was conducted only on special occasions in the past and Sri Tallapaka Annamacharylu had made this seva as Daily Seva from the 15th century. The priests perform homas. A purohit conducts the marriage and an archaka is consecrated to perform other rituals on behalf of the bridegroom. 

This seva is not performed on important festivals like Srivari Brahmotsavam. Pavitrotsavam, Pushpayagam etc. and on the days of solar and lunar eclipses. The grihasthas who participate in the seva are given prasadams and clothes. The duration of the seva is about one hour.

Arjitha Brahmotsavam:
The Arjitha Brahmotsavam is performed daily in an abridged manner in the Vaibhavotsava Mantapam, opposite to Srivari Temple. Sri Malayappa Swami is seated on Peddasesha Vahanam, Garuda Vahanam and Hamumantha Vahanam and offered worship. This seva is conducted only after the Kalyanotsavam. 

Dolotsavam(Ujal Seva):
Sri Malayappaswami, Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated in an unjal (Swing) in the Aina Mahal (Addala Mantapam) opposite Ranganayaka mantapam. it is enchanting to see the gorgeous reflections of the Lord's glorious presence every where. The deities are swung to the accompaniment of Veda parayanam and mangalavadyam.

Arjitha Vasantotsavam:

The Arjitha Vasantotsava Seva is offered to Sri Malayappa swami and His consorts in the Vaibhavotsava Mantapam daily. Perfumeries are lavishly used to create an ethereal atmosphere. The veda pandits chants Purusha suktam, Sri suktam and other vedic hymns. Abhishekam is done to the Lord and His consorts with sacred water. Later abhishekam is performed with milk, curd, honey and turmeric. Finally, sandal paste is applied to Sri Malayappa Swami and consorts. The duration of the seva is about one hour.

Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva:
Every day evening at 5:30 p.m. Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva is performed to Sri Malayappa Swamy in the Unjal mantapam located on the south eastern corner of the Srivari Temple. Sri malayappa swami along with Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken out in procession to the mantapa, where one thousand wick lamps are lit. In the midst of vedic chanting and singing of Annamaya Sankirtanas, the Lord seated aon an unjal is rocked gently. After completion of this seva procession take place in temple four mada streets.

Ekanta Seva:
Ekanta Seva is also known as Pavalimpu Seva. During the ekanta seva the following acivities are perforemd inside the temple.

1) A cradle Golden Silk Cot(Bangaru Pattu Vuyala Mancham) will be arranged supported with silver chains from the roof and Silk Bed and Pillow will be placed on the cot. Family members of Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba decorate the floor around the Golden Cot with Rangavalli.They presents Pearl(Mutyalu) Aarathi Plate to Yakamgi and come out from the temple. 

2) In front of Sannidhi Golla Mancham(Golden Silk Cot),two Deepams will be lighten and after that two Akanda Deepams which were arranged for seeing Divya Mangala Swarupam of Lord Venkateswara(Mula Virat) will be put off. Sri Annamayya Family Members sing a song infront of Bogi Srinivasa Murthi during Ekanta Seva 

3) Group of people(Mangala Vayudyakarulu) play Clarinet(Sannayi in Telugu Language,an instrument) and Instrumental Music pleasantly at Garuda Mandapam after closing the Bangaru Vakili with a curtain. Temple Priests perform Upacharalu to Srivaru and Panchakajayam and Hot Milk will be offered to Lord Srinivasulu.Then Sugandha Bharitha Tambulam and Karupura Harathi will also be offered to Lord venkateswara Swamy. 

4) Temple priests perform Namaskaram to Srivari Padalu(foot) and offer prayers to Boga Srinivasa Murthi[the silver image of the main deity(mula virat)] and call him to come and lie down onto the Golden Silk Cot arranged for sleeping. Priests place Lord Boga Srinivasa Murthi on the Cot keeping the head of Boga Srinivasa Murthi on the south side of the Golden Silver Cot. Family members of Sri Tallapaka Annamayya sing a song " Jo Achuthanandha Jo Jo Mukkunda Lali Paramanandha Rama Govinda..." standing infront of Boga Srinivasa Murthi. 

5) Finally after singing the song, offers Mutyala Harathi to Mula Virat and to Boga Srinivasa Murthi and the Bangaru Vakili is closed with Locks. It is believed that Lord by listening this song enters into Yoga Nidra (Sleeping) and also believed that after closing of the temple, Demigods(Devathalu) will arrive and perform prayers to Lord Venkateswara Swamy. 

Bogi Srinivasa Murthi(Silver Image of Mula Virat) occupies Golden Silk Cot for 11 months in a year and in the 12th month,Dhanurmasam(December-January), Lord Sri Krishna occupies the Golden Silk Cot to sleep.

Details of Daily Arjitha Sevas, Tirumala Temple: 
Seva/Utsavam Rate Persons Allowed Performing Day  Reporting Time
Subrabhata Seva Rs.120 1 Daily 2:00am
Thomala Seva Rs.220 1 Tue,Wed,Thu 3:00am
Archana Rs.220 1 Tue,Wed,Thu 4:00am
Kalyanotsavam Rs.1000 2 Daily 10:00am
(Unjal Seva)
Rs.200 2 Daily 11:00am
Arjitha Brahmotsavam Rs.200 1 Daily 1:30pm
Vasantosavam Rs.300 1 Daily 2:00pm
Sahasra Deepalankara Seva Rs.200 1 Daily 5:00pm