Artha Brahmotsavas / Rathasapthami
The ‘utsavams’ will be specially and traditionally celebrated on the occasion of ‘Surya Jayanti’ or ‘Rathasapthami in Tirumala, the ‘Kaliyugavaikunta.’ Since the dawn of the Sun till the dawn of the Moon, Lord of Tirumala has been taking His procession radiantly and gloriously in all seven magnificent vahanas offering a brilliant eye-feast to the devotees.
On that day the Lord of the Seven Hills participates in all the processions and in all the ‘vahana sevas’. On each ‘vahanam’ Lord Malayappa’s posture is superbly graceful. Each ‘vahanam’ has its own symbolic speciality, significance and beautification.
The ornaments, jewels and flowers used for the occasion are innumerable and multiple. The floral garlands are richly fragrant and of diverse hues. Regarding the 'vahanas', the experiences of the devotees are different but sweet and spiritual.
The Seven Vahanas of the Lord of Seven Hills
There will be an Utsava every year on Magha Shuddha Saptami (7th day of Magha month according to Telugu Calendar), i.e. Ratha Sapthami.
Sri Malayappa Swami will stroll into the city streets on as many as seven carriages, such as :
- Suryaprabha Vahana,
- Chinna Shesha Vahana,
- Garuda Vahana,
- Hanumantha Vahana,
- Kalpavrikshan Vahana,
- Sarvabhupala Vahana and
- Chandraprabha Vahana.
There will be chakra snana (ablutions to the disc) in the afternoon. Ratha Sapthami festivities are called Artha Brahmotsavas or Brahmotsavas of the past.
Surya Jayanti = RathaSapthami
The direct and visible deity is Lord Suryanarayana. He transmits direct, bright and healthy rays on all the domains of the world in order to create and strengthen activity to survive the existence of the world.
The day on which Lord Suryanarayana had his origination is traditionally called ‘Surya Jayanthi’ or ‘Rathasapthami and it was marked as a festive day with pomp and splendour.