Brahmotsavam – Majesty worship of Lord Brahma
India has a wide range of festivals in all the states and each is different from the other. Few festivals are celebrated nationwide but several are limited to the region. One such festival is Brahmotsavam.
Brahmostsavam is the auspicious Hindu festival that is celebrated every year at Tirumala Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati In Andhra Pradesh. This festival is celebrated across Vishnu temples across the country. The festival has derived its name from the Lord Brahma. It was believed that Lord Brahma had conducted the festival at Tirupati Temple. This festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Brahma. Devotees from all over the world will visit the festival to witness the divine god in its massive form.
People celebrate this festival with zeal. This festival is celebrated in the month of October. This festival is celebrated over a 9-day period. This ritual personifies fertility, abundance, and prosperity. During these 9 days of the festival, there are religious activities are performed and daily processions of various gods are taken out in different chariots present in the temple. As per the beliefs, Sri Venkateshwara is cleaned on this day. The temple premises and its surroundings are decorated with flowers and mango leaves.
During this festival, Lord Venkateshwara is taken on a procession in the morning and evening times during these nine days of the festival. The procession is conducted in four streets surrounding the main shrine of the temple.
The history behind such festivals: –
As per mythology, Lord Brahma himself appeared on earth to inaugurate and conduct the Brahmotsavam. During medieval times, the frequency of this festival was quite high as it was celebrated around 12 times every year. As per legends, a wooden chariot is kept open as it moves ahead of the procession.
Its importance can be known by the fact that thousands of devotee’s flocks to witness of this majestic festival. Devotees enjoy participating in the various rituals conducted over nine days to seek Lord Venkateshwara Swami’s blessings. It is to be believed that the mighty snake alters itself as a god vehicle. The reason for celebrating this festival is to pray to God to provide a life filled with high values and morals.
There is the religious activity of sowing seeds before the beginning of this festival. This indicates fertility and abundance. This stage is Anurarpana. The flag of garuda is hoisted which is used to mark the commencement of 9 days of celebration and pomp. It is also considered an invitation for a devotee to be part of the festival. On this final day, the Sudharshan chakra is bathed by the devotees in the temple tank. Devotes walk under the dripping water to seek the blessings of the almighty.
Rituals associated with the festival: –
People celebrate this festival by donating things to poor people. They also visit temples to perform rituals and offer prayers to the almighty. Here are a few more ceremonies –
Chakra Snanam: –
This is one of the events held during the celebration. Idols of Malayappa, his two consorts, and Sudharshan chakra are carried out in procession and taken for a bath in temple waters.
This is the hoisting of Vishnu’s flag with a Garuda picture over the temple. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh offers silk clothes to Lord Venkateshwara.
On the 6th morning, Lord Venkateshwara and Lord Hanuman are taken out in professions whole people chant prayers and offer fruits and sweets to each other
Devotees keep the festival of Brahmotsavam quite dear to their hearts. Srivari Brahmaotsavam holds great significance. There is a vast feast being served nearly for a month. This festival falls between September and October. Since there is an extra month on the lunar calendar, there are two Brahmotsavam that is celebrated twice. The former exhibits an event called Swarna Rathotsavam which is known as the Golden chariot. Both events are followed by the lowering of Vishnu’s flag being hoisted on the first day.