Omkarananda Kamakshi Devi Mandir

Ashtabandhana Mahakumbhabhishekam of
Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir
At Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Rishikesh
From 1st to 4th April 2004

Friday, 2nd April 2004

Go-Puja being performed in the morning of
the second day of the celebrations
At 6 o’clock in the morning, Go-Puja was performed at the entrance of the new Temple, and then priests conducted the Maha-Sankalpa-Puja to initiate the Maha-Kumbhabhisheka ceremony of the Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Temple.

Through Acharya-varanam, different groups of priests were assigned to supervise the 11 Hawan-Kundas meant for Lord Ganesha, Navagraha, Balaji and Padmavati, Omkareshwar, Chamundi, Meenakshi, Omkarananda-Kamakshi etc. First, the whole Mandapa was purified with Kalasha-water and then Mandapa-Puja was conducted. It was followed by Punyaha-Vachanam, Kalasha/Yantra/Navaratna-Pujanam, Caturveda-Parayanam, and so on.



Shri Kamakoti Shastriji going to fix the Golden Kalasha on the Gopuram of Shri Chamundi Mandir

Priests fixing the Golden Kalasha on the Gopuram of Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Devi Mandir

For fixing the Kalashas on the spires of the newly built temples, Shri Kamakoti Shastriji climbed to the top of each temple and fixed the golden Kalashas one by one with the help of assistants. Each Kalasha consisted of auspicious items like golden Yantra, pieces of lead, copper, brass, silver, gold (Panchaloha), Navaratnas (nine stones as diamond, ruby etc. meant for all the nine planets), sesame etc. Golden Kalashas were fixed on the top with a mixture of cement, honey and banana. The fixing of Kalashas on the temples occurred in the following order:

Ganesha-Kalasha-Sthapanam, Omkarananda-Kamakshi-Kalasha-Sthapanam, Chamundi-Kalasha-Sthapanam, Meenakshi-Kalasha-Sthapanam, Gurudev-Kalasha-Sthapanam, Balaji-Padmavati-Kalasha-Sthapanam, and Navagraha-Kalasha-Sthapanam.

Priest performing Navagraha Hawan
At 10 a.m., Mandapa-Pujanam and Bali-Danam were performed to satisfy all the directions. Then following Pujas were conducted to the big Kalashas kept in the small Mandapas erected in front of each Mandir: Ganapati-Puja, Navagraha-Puja, Navavarana-Puja, Padmavati-Balaji-Puja, Omkareshwar-Puja, Chamundi-Puja and Meenakshi-Puja. Subsequently, Hawan-Kundas were lit with cow dung kept on a plate and the Acharyas along with assigned Pandits performed Pujas to the respective Deity of the Mandir. It was a sublime spiritual and religious experience, when all the Yajnas were conducted simultaneously by the Acharyas, along with Vishnu-Sahasranama-Parayanam and Chaturveda-Parayanam chanted by all the priests sitting together in the Mandapa. On completion of the Hawanas, 11 Sannyasis took baskets containing all the ingredients of Purnahuti, and did a Pradakshina around the whole new temple complex in a procession led by the musicians playing music. The Purnahuti-baskets were then handed over to the main priest and he distributed them to the Hawan-Kundas. Purnahutis were performed in the following order: Ganesha, Navagraha, Balaji and Padmavati, Omkareshwar, Meenakshi, Chamundi and 5 Hawan-Kundas meant for Omkarananda-Kamakshi. Aratis were performed to each of the Deities and Prasadam was distributed to all.

In the afternoon, the eyes of all Deities were covered with sandalwood paste and were allowed to remain in that state till next-day ceremony.

In the same evening, a small cultural programme was presented by the little students of Omkarananda Natya Kala Academy under the guidance of Km. Somashekhari in which several beautiful religious dances were performed to entertain the devotees, visiting guests and Sannyasis. The little performers earned high praise and kudos from the audience for their lively performances.

Students of Kumari Somashekhari performing
a religious dance as part of the Puja
As the last ritual of the day, 11 Purnahutis were carried around the new Temple with chanting of Mantras and thereafter consigned to the holy fires in the same order as before. Naivedyam, Dhupam, Deepam and other items like umbrella, mirror, hand-fan, chamara etc., were offered to all the Deities and Aratis were performed to them.

Chaturveda-Avadharana: Priests recited excerpts from various Vedas like Rig-Veda, Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Krishna-Yajur-Veda, Atharva-Veda and Sama-Veda. Shri Kamakoti Shastriji also recited from the Upanishads. Some beautiful Bhajans were sung by Ms. Aishwarya, Ms. Usha Devi and other visiting priests in praise of Kamakshi-Devi. The temple musicians also played some pleasing Ragas with their instruments in honour of Kamakshi-Devi and other Deities. At the end, Aratis were performed to all the Deities, and Prasadam was distributed to the devotees.

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