We all visit temples and, most importantly, stand in the long queues and push each other to see the abhishekam being performed to the lord. However, have you ever wondered why is the abhishekam done to the idol? Well, let's take a brief look at it.
Firstly, the idol is sculpted in a black or white stone (such as a white marble). After the idol gets the shape on a very auspicious day, the prana prathishtapana takes place. In other words, the idol is kept inside the garbha guddi.
Before placing the idol, the Navarathnas are placed below the seating of the idol. Several homas and rituals take place before the idol is placed in the garbha guddi.
The procedure remains the same for almost all the gods and goddesses. The homa is performed for 48 days. As the homa is performed for those many days, the garbha guddi becomes very hot. So, it is believed that to cool the temperatute inside of the shrine, the abhishekam is performed.
Abhishekam has to be performed by the priest of that temple to the idol on everyday basis. The thirtham or the panchamrutham is later distributed among the devotees.
It is also important to use the ingredients that are obtained from the cow and the main ingredients that are used are milk, curd and ghee. As per a Hindu belief, cow is worshipped and is believed to have all the 33 crore gods of the Hindus. Hence, is also a very sacred animal of worship for the Hindus.
Many a times, the abhishekam does not take place in the temple alone, but is performed in many hindu houses on festivals and some of them do perform this ritual daily. A small cloth is tied around the idol and then the abhishekam is started.
The importance of the abhishekam is that when we consume it, it cleanses our body, as each of the ingredient that is used in the thirtha has a specific significance.
There are different forms of abhishekams that are performed to the idol.
So, let's take a look at the different forms of abhishekam and why they are performed.
Firstly, the kumkuma abhishekam is performed. This is done for all the idols.
Kumkuma and turmeric have special significance for the Hindus. So, the turmeric is mixed with some water and later poured on to the idol.
Milk is one of the important sources for all the living beings and is obtained from the cow. As we know, the milk has several beauty ingredients and also enhances the glow of our skin, similarly, the milk is poured on the idol for it to become shiny.
After the milk is poured on to the idol, it is then followed by curd. In the panchamrutha, the curd is used, as it is believed that you will be blessed with good children.
The next important ingredient is honey. In the panchamrutha, honey is important, as it helps you to speak well in a sweet tone and have a melodious voice.
Sugar or the sugar cane juice is also an important part in the panchamrutha, as it helps you get good health and eliminates the negative things from your mind and body.
The tender coconut water is directly poured on to the idol and it is believed that it helps you feel satisfied in life and not be greedy.
Dry Fruits And Banana:
The other important ingredients are the dry fruits such as raisins, almonds, cashews, dates and figs. Apart from these, bananas are cut into small pieces and placed on to the idol as well, specifically on the hands, chest, forehead region, knees and legs of the idol.
In the begining and in the end, water is poured on to the idol. This water is specially got by the priest from a holy well or any river nearby.