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Srivari Brahmotsavam, the Brahmotsavam at Tirumala, is an annual lunar festival at the Lord Venkateswara Temple celebrated for nine days beginning near the end of September or in early October(during Navarathri/Dasara festival - beginning of Āśvina Masa as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar). The celebration attracts pilgrims and tourists from all parts of India and across the world. A Brahmotsavam is a holy cleansing ceremony in honor of Lord Brahma, and the one at Tirumala is by far the largest.
- 1 History
- 2 Celebration
- 2.1 Dwajaarohanam
- 2.2 Pedda Sesha Vahanam
- 2.3 Chinna Sesha Vahanam
- 2.4 Hamsa Vahanam
- 2.5 Simha Vahanam
- 2.6 Muthyala Pallaki Vahanam
- 2.7 Kalpa Vruksha Vahanam
- 2.8 Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam
- 2.9 Mohini Avatharam
- 2.10 Garuda Vahanam
- 2.11 Hanumantha Vahanam
- 2.12 Swarna Rathotsavam / Gaja Vahanam
- 2.13 Surya Prabha Vahanam
- 2.14 Chandra Prabha Vahanam
- 2.15 Rathostavam
- 2.16 Ashwa Vahanam
- 2.17 Chakra Snanam
- 2.18 Dwajaavarohanam
- 3 Utsava Murthis (mobile deities)
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Sources
- 7 External links
The Brahmotsavam festival is one of the most important and auspicious functions in Tirupati. Popular stories trace the origin of this celebration to Brahma, the creator God, who first conducted this festival to Sri Balaji at Tirupati. Brahma worshiped Sri Balaji on the banks of the holy Pushkarini in Tirupati as a way to give thanks for the Lord’s protection of mankind. Hence, this utsava bears his name as “Brahmotsavam,” which means “Brahma’s Utsavam.” In Tirumalai, Brahmotsavam is celebrated based on the Hindu lunisolar calendar beginning near the end of September or in early October.
The Brahmotsava is performed over a nine-day period in the beginning of Āśvina Masa as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar(during Navarathri/Dasara festival) or the Tamil month of Purattasi. On the evening before the start of the first day, the rite of “Ankurarpana” (sowing of the seeds to signify fertility, prosperity and abundance) is performed along with a festival for Sri Vishvaksena (the leader of Narayana’s retinue who removes obstacles and protects worship). On the first day, the main activity is the “Dhvajarohana,” the hoisting of the Garuda flag at the Dhvajastambham. This signifies the commencement of the Brahmotsava. It is believed that Garuda goes to Devalokam and invites the Devas to attend the function. During the days of the festival, the religious activities include daily homas and processions for the utsava murti on different vahanas (chariots) that can be seen in the temple. Every evening, the utsava vigrahas are decorated with different alankarams. The concluding day is the Janma Nakshatra (birth star) of Sri Balaji, which is celebrated in a grand way with Avabhritha Utsava (special abhishekams for the utsava murti). In Tirupati, the Sudarsana Chakra is bathed in the Pushkarini and all the devotees bathe afterwards. In Aurora, a priest takes the Sudarsana Chakra on his head and takes a holy bath near the Dhvajastambham. Afterwards, the Chakra is placed on a high platform, so the devotees can walk under it and be blessed with the water dripping down from the Sudarsana. The celebration officially concludes with “Dhvajavarohanam,” the lowering of the Garuda flag. The priests pay respects to Gods and Sages with the chanting of Vedic mantras and see them off on their return to the Devaloka.
The Brahmotsavam celebration provides a unique opportunity for all devotees to participate in the festivities and utsavas and experience the “Vaikuntha Anubhava” (heavenly enjoyment and feeling) and receive the blessings of Sri Venkateswara Swami. Every year, millions of devotees witness the processions,celebrations during the annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumalai. Every day of Brahmotsavam will be a feast for the eyes of the devotees who gather there. On the first day the Garudadhwaja (flag with the emblem of a black garuda) is hoisted near the Srivari Alaya Dhwajasthambham. A festive procession of Lord Venkateswara on the Pedda Seshavahana proceeds around the four streets of the main temple for two hours until midnight.Ankurarpana and Senadhipati Utsavam are celebrated on the day preceding the first day of Brahmotsavam.
Observations during brahmotsavas: As incredibly as the swan which separates the water content from milk, the reigning deity of the seven hills, too, on Hamsavahan, relegates the paap and blesses the bhakta based on his punya. As the powerful snake transforms itself as a vehicle for the Lord during the Seshavahan and Chota Seshavahan in the Brahmotsavam celebrations, the essence of the Sharanagati Tatva explains the moral behind this utsav. The initial prayers offered at the Dwajarohan utsav and Garudotsav is to pray for an unscathed living with high moral values, while Garuda, requested by the Lord himself to stay in the hills, guards the skies from anything untoward coming by.
Dwajaarohanam is a flag-hoisting festival that is held on the first day by hoisting a flag (Garudadhwaja) with a picture of Garuda (vehicle of Lord Maha Vishnu) on the top of the Dwajah Sthambham in front of the sanctum sanctorum. It is said to be a symbolic significance of formal invitation to all the deities to attend the Brahmotsavam festival. After Dwajarohanam, The Chief Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh symbolically offers new silk clothes to the Lord as a mark of obeisance and thanks giving to the Lord of the Universe in a procession. This was earlier done on 5th day (Garuda Vahana) but due to heavy rush of devotees and for CM security reasons, it has been changed to Dwajarohanam day.Before any thing else happens the god will get out the sanctum sanctorum along with priests then a pooja will be conducted and then the priests and head priest will climb the ontop the dwajasthamba and will decorate it. The priests will decorate it with tulusis and will do a pooja to garuda the they will tie with ropes + the dwaja sthambam. The jeeyangas will be there. Temple priests will be there along with the head priest. The gods will be there and pandits will be chanting a series of vedas and the Garuda Dwaja will be raised. Thus the Brahmotsavam has started.
Pedda Sesha Vahanam
After the Dwajaarohanam the Lord is taken out in a procession in the evening on Aadi Sesha the thousand headed Chief Serpent God as his vehicle. Aadisesha is the seat on which Lord SriManNarayana rests in his abode Sri Vaikunta. Tirumala hills the abode of Lord Venkateswara is said to be the manifestation of Lord Aadisesha. Pedda Aadisesha vahanam will be seven headed.
Chinna Sesha Vahanam
On the second day morning the Lord is taken out in a procession on Vaasuki (Serpent God) as his vehicle. In Bhagavath Geetha Lord Sri Krishna says He is Vaasuki among the serpents. Chinna Sesha Vahanam will be five headed.
On the second day evening the Lord is again taken out in a procession on Hamsa (Swan) as his vehicle. Hamsa or swan means ‘pure’. Hamsa is believed to have a high intellectual capability and can distinguish good from bad.
On the third day morning the Lord is taken out in a procession on Lion symbol as his vehicle. Lion is a symbol of royalty and power. Lord assumed the form of half man and half lion in his Narasimha Avathara. Lord Sri Krishna says in Bhagavath Geetha that he is the Lion among the animals.
Muthyala Pallaki Vahanam
On the evening of the third day, the Lord is again taken out in procession along with his concerts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi in a palanquin decorated with a canopy of pearls. Pearl is said to be a symbol of purity and royalty.
Kalpa Vruksha Vahanam
On the fourth day of the festival the Lord is taken out in procession in the morning on Kalpa Vruksha as his vehicle signifying that he is the giver of boons to his devotees and fulfills their wishes.
Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam
On the fourth day evening the Lord is again taken out in procession on a vehicle called as Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.
On the fifth day morning the Lord is taken out in procession decorated in the attire of Mohini Avatharam (Ksheera Sagara Madhanam) the one who has distributed the Divine Nectar.
On the fifth day evening the Lord Sri Venkateswara is taken out in procession specially decorated, with his main devotee and chief vehicle Garuda (Garukmantha) the king of birds as his vehicle. It is a unique occasion when thousands gather together and would like to witness the procession. It is believed and said that it is highly meritorious and mukthi pradham to have darshan of the Lord seated on Garuda,the vahana of vahana of lord vishnu
On the sixth day morning the Lord is taken out in procession with Lord Hanuman as his vehicle. Hanuman was the personification of the most trusted and self less service to the Lord in his avathara as Sri Rama in Treta Yuga. Undoubtedly Lord Hanuman was the greatest devotee of Lord Sri Rama.
Swarna Rathotsavam / Gaja Vahanam
On the sixth day evening the Lord is taken out first for Swarnarathotsavam and then in procession on Elephant (Gaja) or Airavatham as his vehicle. We find in Sri Madbhagavatham (Gajendra Moksham) Lord instantly coming to the rescue of Gajendra and get him relieved from the clutches of the Crocodile.
Surya Prabha Vahanam
On the seventh day morning the Lord Venkateswara is taken out in procession with Sun God driving the Chariot. Purusha Sooktha describes Sun as born from the eyes of Lord SrimanNarayana (Chaksho! Suryo Ajayathah!). Sun is said to be an incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu (Surya Narayana) .
Chandra Prabha Vahanam
On the seventh day evening the Lord is again taken out in procession with Moon as symbol of his vehicle. Purusha Sooktha describes Moon as "Chandrama Manaso Jaathaha" (Moon is born from the mind Lord Maha Vishnu). Moon is the commander of mind and is a symbol of cool and pleasantness. Both these rituals are symbolic significance that He is the cause for day and night.
On the penultimate day (eighth day) morning the Lord Venkateswara is taken out in procession along with his concerts seated on a fully decorated Chariot pulled by the devotees with the chanting of Govinda Nama Smarana. Tirumala will be flooded with devotes to witness this occasion. It is believed and said that those who witness the Lord seated on the Chariot during Rathostavam will not be reborn. Idols of Daruka the charioteer of Lord Sri Krishna and four horses are placed before the Lord on the chariot.
On the eighth day evening the Lord is again taken out in procession with Aswa (Horse) as his vehicle symbolizing the forthcoming Kalki Avathara. Lord Venkateswara used to ride on a horse during hunting of wild animals. Lord assumed the form of Horse head during his avathara as Hayagreeva.
On the ninth day morning, last day of the Brahmostavam, special abhishekam (Avabhrutha Snanam) is held for utsava moorthy of Lord Venkateswara and his concerts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi in the complex of Lord Varaha Swamy temple on the banks of Swamy Pushkarini. Later, the Sudarshana Chakra (Disc weapon of the Lord) is immersed in the waters of Swamy Pushkarini. We find large number of devotes simultaneously taking a dip in the Pushkarini waters at that time. It is believed and said that one will get absolved from sins by taking a dip in Swamy Pushkarini simultaneously along with the Sudarshana Chakra on this day.
On the ninth day evening the Garuda flag will be lowered as a mark of completion of the Brahmostavam.The jeeyangas will be there along with priests. They will chant various mantras. It is performed in the dwajastamba mandapa. The priests will then lower the garuda dwaja and the festival will soon be completed.
Utsava Murthis (mobile deities)
- Rath Yatra
- Alamelu - Nearby Alamel Manga Shrine
- Tirumala - Tirupati
- Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams - For the logistics and maintenance of temple
- Yanam Venkanna Babu Kalyāṇōtsavām, a grand festival celebrated in Yanam.
- "8th Day of Srivari Salakatla Brahmotsavam-Aswa Vahanam on Oct 12". Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams News. 12 October 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.
- "Brahmotsavam: Why is Brahmotsavam Celebrated". Ygoy. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.
- "Srivari Salakatla Brahmotsavam - Hanumantha Vahanam". Indian New Times 24X7. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014.