Veda Dharma

Friday, August 03, 2007

Vaikhanasa Agama ( Ankurarpanam or Beejavapanam)

Ankurarpanam or beejavapanam is one of the most important rituals of the Vaikhanasa Agama. One can see ankurarpanam being done in almost all the festivals that are part of the worship of the Lord. Ankuararpanam essentially means "sowing the seed". The essence of this ritual is to make a sankalpa to celebrate a utsavam( festival) and get the grace of the Lord. Sastras prescribe doing ankurarpana 9 days before the festival. If this is not possible at least 7,5,3 days before the main festival ankurarpana should be done. In Tirumala and other temples we see this being done 9 days before the brahmotsavam or in other words 1 day before the 1st day of brahmotsavam. The agamas say that any festival that is celebrated without amkurarpana in a temple is of a demonic nature and hence is not desirable( "Ankurarpana hinam yatkarma ca asuramiritam" from Samurtarchanadhikarana ) . (Remember one of the previous posts in which a prayaschitta was mentioned for celebrating festivals without ankurarpana).
Another important thing to note is that ankurarpana should never be done in the day time. This dictum has its basis in astrological principles. As chandra is the "sasya karaka" the controller of plants, sowing a seed in the day time is not considered wise. In fact chandra is considered strong in the night. Also an auspicious lagna or muhurta should be used for this purpose as any activity that is started in an auspicious time "will" be a success. Many people find it confusing that one has to see an auspicious time for celebrating a festival for the Lord. The reason is that the Supreme Lord, who is sat-chit-ananda swarupa does not benefit from a festival. It is only for our own good that we worship Lord and hence the festival is essentially an activity meant for our spiritual progress. Agamas also mention that the sprouts that emanate from the seeds provide useful hints about how perfectly the festival was celebrated. For example, if the sprouts are black in colour they denote loss of wealth, red colour shows possibility of enmity with others, sprouts growing down shows diseases and no sprouts indicate death. These results are to be predicted for the Yajamani. Similarly, white and well developed ankuras, straight or yellow ankuras show prosperity for the Yajamani. It is not surprising that the signs about the sprouts have an astrological significance.( May be it is not an accident). An yellow or white sprout shows jupiterean or venusian effects which are beneficial. A black sprout might show a saturnian effect which can lead to poverty. Similarly a red sprout is clearly indicating martian effect which might lead to wars, fights etc which is the very nature of Mars.
One needs to make vessels known as "palikas" either using gold or silver or copper or using mud for performing ankurarpanam. These vessels should be either 16/12/8 in number. The details of exact size, shape for palikas should be taken from any standard vaikhanasa agama text. Samurtarchana adhikarana by Atri has these details in chapter 26. Earlier in the afternoon the seeds should be soaked in a new vessel in water. In the northern side of the temple cow dung should be used to decorate the place. Also rice powder should be used to decorate the place. After that the brahma peetam should be formed as prescribed in the texts using rice etc and different deities like Brahma, Garuda, Sesha, Sudarsana, Vakratunda, Soma, Santa, Indra, Isana and Jaya etc should be invited and worshipped through fire. It is advisible to worship all the deities mentioned above otherwise at least brahma, sesha etc should be worshipped as mentioned in scriptures. The palikas should be filled with mud while worshipping the Goddess earth and the seeds and water should be poured while worshipping Moon. The managala vadya should accompany the sowing of seeds. The palikas should be decorated by wrapping a new cloth around them and punyaham should be done. The seeds should be sown by the acharya or the yajamani in the same order. "Somam raja" mantra and Vishnu sukta should be used for sowing the seeds and varuna mantra should be used to sprinkle water. The seeds should not be sown by prohibited people as mentioned in the sastras(See Atri samhita) . Water and deepa should be offered everyday and the seeds should be protected very carefully. This is very important.(This also signifies keeping the mind alert and always be attentive and concentrated until the completion of the festival without any obstacles)
Thats all we have about ankurarpanam and let us do the ritual with utmost devotion whenever necessary and receive the grace of the Lord.
narayana smaranam.


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