Sri Vari Astabandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshana
Lord Venkateswara who resides in the Ananda Nilaya Vimana in Tirumala is the manifestation and the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Kaliyuga. The great saints stayed on the most auspicious Seven Hills for fulfilling their spiritual activities.
It is beyond doubt that Lord Venkateswara who presides in the form of ‘Archamurti’ is eulogized and renowned as ‘Vaddikasulavadu,’ the ‘Lord of the Universe’ and ‘the Protector of the Devotees.’
ANANDA NILAYAM: A HISTORICAL BACKDROP
According to mythological legends and Puranas, when the Lord came to the Ananda Nilayam from Vaikunta, all sages, saints and the three crores of deities decided to provide an auspicious and glorious abode to the Lord with stone, ‘Sanctum Sanctorum mandapas’ and a grand ‘Vimana’ with ‘Adhistana, Paada, Prasthara, Greeva, Shikara and Stupikas and the Swami was installed in it with vigorous and infinite powers.
The Ananda Nilayam is well-known and the auspicious abode of Lord Venkateswara who is an Embodiment of Bliss, the Lord of Creation, the Lord of Existence, the Lord of Destruction, the Lord of the Infinite, Reality and Purity. It consists of three major parts. In the first part, the carved features of sculpture are incorporated like vines, garlands, festoons and fruits. In the second part, there are 40 carved ‘Bimbas’. In the third part, there are 19 carved ‘Bimbas’. In it, the ‘Bimbas’ of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu are constructed. In the north side of the Vimana, the magnificent ‘Bimba’ of Lord Vimana Venkateswara was installed. The Ananda Nilayam is an embodiment of diverse deities, various energies and uncountable auspicious features. Based on the historical facts, Sri Sundarapandya around 1260 A.D. installed gold ‘kalasa’ on the Vimana. In 1359 A.D. the Saluva king Mangideva Maharaj installed a new gold ‘kalasam’ on the ‘gopuram’. It is known that in 1417, Mallanna mantri did the work of renovation to the age-old Vimana in order to restore its original glory. In 1519 A.D. Sri Krishnadevaraya made the Ananda Nilaya Vimanam smear with gold. In 1908, Sri Ramlakshmana Das Mahant reinstalled the unstable gold ‘Kalasam’ on the Vimana.
It is known that the Ananda Nilaya ‘Vimanam’ and the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ were undergone repairs and modernized from 19th to 27th in August 1958 under the auspicious process called ‘Mahasamprokshana’. Since that time, the programme of ‘Mahasamprokshana’ has been going on once in twelve years under the aegis of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. In the process of Astabandhana Balalaya Mahasamprokshana,’ the repairs in the ‘Gharbhalaya’, ‘Astabandhana Samarpana to the Lotus Pedestal of Lord Venkateswara, the cleansing of the premises of the temple, the cleaning of the gold smeared Ananda Nilayam, the repairs on the Ananda Nilayam and ‘Somasutra Bandhanam’ were fulfilled as per the rules and regulations of the Vaikhanasa Agama Shastra. Previously many programmes were organized during different periods i.e., from June 24th to 28th in1970, from May 1st to 5th in 1982, from August 8th to 12th in 1994 and from August 21st to 25th in 2006.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHASAMPROKSHANA:
‘Dwadasabde atete Devo narameta’ (Vimanarchana Kalpam, 12 Patalam.)
The Lord would reside in ‘Balalaya' for a period of twelve years only. The main objective of the ‘Mahasamprokshana’ is to revitalize the energy, brilliance and grandeur of the Lord in regard to ‘Astabhandana kaatinyam’. Keeping the time factor of twelve years in view, the process of ‘Astabandhana Samprokshana’ has to enrich the brilliance of the gold smeared ‘Vimana’ by renovating programmes like repairs, ‘Peetha Bandhanam’ and ‘Naveekaranam’. The invigoration of the ‘Moola Murti’ i.e., Lord Venkateswara is the main purpose of the ‘Astabandhana Balalaya Mahasamprokshana’.
Pounding of Astabandana with butter
TTD staff Cleaning Balipeetam
Balls made ready for Astabandana
WHAT IS SRIVARI ASTABANDHANAM?
The eight elements namely ‘Sankachoornam’ ‘Madhucchistam’, ‘Lakka’, ‘Triphalam’, ‘Kaseesam’, ‘Guggulam’, ‘Raktasilachoornam’ and 'butter' are to be mixed in equal proportions and pounded with a long wooden pestle in a wooden mortar.
The amalgam of the eight elements should be heated and stuffed strongly under the Lotus Pedestal so that there should be no gap between the earth and the Pedestal where the Lotus Feet of the Lord rest immovably for a very long time.
The process was done traditionally according to the Agama Shastra. In the Vaikhanasaagama, it was said, 'Bimba Peetasya Randretu yojayet Astabandhanam'. The idol of Lord Venkateswara would be strong, fixed and immovable.
According to the holy words of the sage ‘Brugu,’ whenever Swami Druvaberam is strong, fixed and immovable on the Lotus Pedestal, all auspicious things would happen like the development of the village, the good yield from the crops, the flourish in animal husbandry, the growth in knowledge of the people, the happiness of the devotees and the prosperity of the world in general.
Consequently, Lord Venkateswara would bless His devotees with abundant prosperity and eternal bliss.
Decorations inside temple during this season
Cleaning durng samprokshanam
A GLORIOUS PHENOMENON
Srivari ‘Astabandhana Balalaya Mahasamprokshana,’ was held magnificently in the Telugu year ‘Vilambi.’ On 16th August 2018,’ ‘Sravana suddha shasti Thursday’ in Chitha star in Tula Lagna during the time 10.16 a.m to 12 noon ‘Sumuhurtham’ is fixed.
One day before the event, ‘Ankurarpana was performed with ‘panchahnika diksha’ in a rigorous observance in accordance with the Vaikhanasa Agama Shastra and in a Vedic and scientific manner.
Cleaning durng samprokshanam
- The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has made some preliminary arrangements in regard to the glorifying event.
- The old Kalyana Mandapam, which is in the southwest side in the ‘vimana prakaram’ and the Parakamani Hall were changed into a big ‘Yagasala’ which is suitable for 28 ‘homagundas’and 18 dias and shaped the place as ‘garbhalaya’.
- The threshold of ‘Kulasekharapadi and some ‘daru dwaras’ were made as entrances.
- Artificial lighting was removed and traditional lighting was arranged with lamps of cow ghee.
- They made ‘Yagasala’ shine amidst posts of natural lights of ghee.
- The entire scene was decorated with beautiful festoons and ‘rangavallulu’ drawn with flour. Some leaves of gold were set ready for ‘Dwajastambham.’
- For the process of ‘Avahana,’ the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams took steps for the preparation of 300 grams worth gold ‘koorcha’ to invigorate the Lord.
USUAL WORSHIP TO THE MOOLAMURTHI:
During the time of Mahasamprokshana, the powers of the Lord were invited into the ‘Bimbath kumbham’. But there were still His latent and vigorous energies in the idol form. For that reason, the routine rituals and worship continued.
The Suprabhata Seva, and other adorations were held to the ‘Kalasam’ in the Yagasala. Meanwhile, ‘Ekantha pooja’ was done to the Salagrama Shila Murti as usual.
Prokshanam to Anandha Nilaya Vimanam with sacred waters by Rithwiks
VEDA PANDITS & RECITERS
A group of Sri Vaishnava Reciters and more than hundred Vedic Pandits came to Tirumala in order to recite Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Adharvana Veda, Srimad Ramayana and the Puranas.
Once in twelve years, as per the rules and regulations of the Vaikhanasa Agama Shastra, the programme starts six years ago and was organized once in twelve years to invigorate the Lord and His merciful and blissful looks for His devout devotees.
May Lord Venkateswara bless His devotees to live in the auspicious world with spiritual bliss after the great and glorious ‘Astabandhana Balalaya Mahasamprokshana’!
Vina Venkatesam na natho na nathah
Sada Venkatesam smarami smarami
Hare Venkatesa prasida prasida Priyam
Venkatesa prayaccha prayaccha