Shiv Jee | Worship
|3-Annaabhishekam of Shiv|
3-Annaabhishekam of Shiv
Annaabhishekam is an annual ritual performed in southern India Shiv temples. It is held on Full Moon day in the 7th month of every year ie Aippasi (Tamil calendar) and Aashwin (Hindu calendar) (October/November), for Shiv Ling, presiding deity of all Shiv Temples in South India. Devotees believe that performing Annaabhishek to the Lord on this day would rid them of all their problems.
Abhishek is the process of bathing the deity. According to Shiv Aagam (Poojaa rules) Abhishekam is considered as one part of the Shodashopachaar Poojaa. Shiv Aagam give lot of importance to Abhishekam in Shiv Poojaa and it makes the ceremonies many times more effective. The priest may perform Abhishekam by simply using holy water or perform elaborately with milk, curds, honey, ghee, sugar, coconut water, holy ash, sandal paste, fruit juice etc. Shiv will be pleased by the process of bathing with the prescribed eleven ingredients like water, milk, curd, ghee, honey etc. If you pour a drop of water on the ‘Ling form’ you will the blessings of Shiv. He will remove all your difficulties and will grace with happiness and joy.
Since Shiv is widely worshiped in the form of the Shiv Ling as well as presiding deity, Annaabhishekam will be performed only to Shiv Ling. This is an unique Annaabhishekam to Shiv Ling. The seventh month in the calendar is the holy month. According to astrology Sun resides in the house / Raashi Libra. The harvesting of paddy in Tamilnaadu would have got completed by this time. People are more interested in thanking Lord Shiv with Anna (cooked fragrant rice). They believe that Shiv has only created Anna and he alone offer his grace and protect his subjects with Anna.
Shiv Ling form has three parts. The four-sided lower most part forms the base. The ‘Yoni’ or octagonal eight-sided pedestal (mid-part) is provided with a passage for draining away the water or other liquids poured on top by devotees. The ‘Lingam’ or the cylindrical shaped top most part remains on the pedestal. The height of lingam is one-third of its circumference. The three parts of lingam symbolize the trinity of Hindu pantheon ie Brahmaa (the creator) resides at the bottom, Vishnu (the preserver) resides in the middle and Shiv (the destroyer) resides on the top.
Shiv is very
fond of Abhishek. Normally the Shiv Ling Abhishek is done with the prescribed 11
Annaabhishekam is performed next to milk Abhishek on this specific day. During the Abhishek "Shree Rudram" (hymn at chapter 16; 18 of Yajur Ved part of Ved) is chanted. Rhythm chanting of the Shree Rudram will purify the entire atmosphere. Shree Rudram has 11 sections. Similarly Shiv has 11 forms (Ekaadash Rudra). Annaabhisekam will take place mostly in the evening. In some temples it may take place in the noon.
The Shiv Ling will be covered with cooked rice. They may even cover floor of the sanctum sanctorum and may extent up to the steps. They will use the snacks like Vadaa, Appam to decorate the deity. They will also use vegetables and fruits. As a result the Shiv Ling will seem to have eyes, ear, nose and mouth. The fruits and vegetables will be piled up on the floor and steps. The Shiv Ling will remain covered with Anna for about one Yaam or one and half hours. Shiv is the Preserver of Anna, Shiv is the preserver of Anna (Annanam Pataye Namah). He is considered as Anna and he is also the consumer of Anna. The devotees believe that anyone who witnesses Annaabhishek will be relived from the troubles of rebirth.
Devotees will collect the cooked rice covered around Lingam and immerse it in rivers or ponds. The cooked rice used to cover the base and floor will be collected and distributed to devotees. After removal of the cooked rice, the Shiv Ling will have Abhishek with the remaining yogurt and five ingredients (Total ingredients : eleven – five before Annaabhishekam). After this the main deity will be decorated with clothes and jewels. With this the Annaabhishekam will be concluded. Annaabhishek with cooked rice to Lingam is a daily ritual at Thiruvanaikoil. In Thiruvannamalai it is done during ‘Karthigai festival’. In Palani it is done during the Tamil month Aani.
Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on February 12, 2013