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Rituals

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Ramacchandran

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Over 3000-year-old ritual commences at Panjal - Times Of India
Over 3000-year-old ritual commences at Panjal
PTI, Apr 4, 2011, 11.03pm IST
PANJAL (Kerala): Reverberating with vedic chants, this sleepy village in Kerala's Thrissur district came alive as the over 3,000 year-old vedic fire ritual 'Athirathram', began here this morning after a 35-year gap.

The 'yagashala' (where the ceremonies are performed) is a paddy field and is uniquely positioned to imbibe the energy of the sun, which has made Panjal the venue for almost all yagas held in Kerala in the past.


Athirathram began with conduct of various rituals, including 'agnimathanam'(churning of sacred fire through friction, 'savitrihoma' (preparation of sacred ghee) among others.

52-year-old Puthillathu Ramanujan Somayajippadu as 'Yajamanan' and Dhanyapathanadi as 'Yajmanapathni' are leading the rituals, considered to be most ancient of yagas.

The successful conduct of the 12-day Athirathram, which will end on April 15, is believed to rejuvenate the universal power centre and bring about peace and prosperity to mankind and promote well being of flora and fauna, M Krishna Kumar, managing director of the Ottapalam-based Vartate Trust, the organisers, said.

Only 10 Brahmin families in Kerala can conduct the ritual.

Considered as the ultimate invocation of vedic scriptures for universal harmony, the last Athirathram was held here in 1975 under the leadership of Indologist Frits Staal, a professor of South and South East Asian studies at the University of California at Berkeley, who filmed the entire ritual and later wrote a book.

87-year-old Staal, who is attending this Athrathram, will be delivering a lecture on the 'Theory of the ritual' on April eight.

Panjal is also close to Edappal Shukapuram temple, considered as the epicentre of all yaga rituals.

The organisers said the objective of the yaga is to promote universal harmony, peace, solidarity, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment and was relevant even today with the world witnessing a marked rise in discontentment and violence.

Former director of International School of Photonics, Cochin University of Science and Technology and Emeritus scientist at Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, V P N Nampoori is heading the research wing of the Athirathram.

Studies will also be conducted on the implications on micro organisms in the soil and variation in the yield from plants and animals, the organisers said.

Physiological and psychological effects on human beings, especially those who meditate and those who are under medication will be assessed. Athirathrams were held at Kundoor in 1990 and Kizhakkancherry in 2006 and more than five Somayagams were conducted in different years at different site
 

sangom

Well-known member
Over 3000-year-old ritual commences at Panjal - Times Of India
Over 3000-year-old ritual commences at Panjal
PTI, Apr 4, 2011, 11.03pm IST
PANJAL (Kerala): Reverberating with vedic chants, this sleepy village in Kerala's Thrissur district came alive as the over 3,000 year-old vedic fire ritual 'Athirathram', began here this morning after a 35-year gap.

The 'yagashala' (where the ceremonies are performed) is a paddy field and is uniquely positioned to imbibe the energy of the sun, which has made Panjal the venue for almost all yagas held in Kerala in the past.


Athirathram began with conduct of various rituals, including 'agnimathanam'(churning of sacred fire through friction, 'savitrihoma' (preparation of sacred ghee) among others.

52-year-old Puthillathu Ramanujan Somayajippadu as 'Yajamanan' and Dhanyapathanadi as 'Yajmanapathni' are leading the rituals, considered to be most ancient of yagas.

The successful conduct of the 12-day Athirathram, which will end on April 15, is believed to rejuvenate the universal power centre and bring about peace and prosperity to mankind and promote well being of flora and fauna, M Krishna Kumar, managing director of the Ottapalam-based Vartate Trust, the organisers, said.

Only 10 Brahmin families in Kerala can conduct the ritual.

Considered as the ultimate invocation of vedic scriptures for universal harmony, the last Athirathram was held here in 1975 under the leadership of Indologist Frits Staal, a professor of South and South East Asian studies at the University of California at Berkeley, who filmed the entire ritual and later wrote a book.

87-year-old Staal, who is attending this Athrathram, will be delivering a lecture on the 'Theory of the ritual' on April eight.

Panjal is also close to Edappal Shukapuram temple, considered as the epicentre of all yaga rituals.

The organisers said the objective of the yaga is to promote universal harmony, peace, solidarity, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment and was relevant even today with the world witnessing a marked rise in discontentment and violence.

Former director of International School of Photonics, Cochin University of Science and Technology and Emeritus scientist at Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, V P N Nampoori is heading the research wing of the Athirathram.

Studies will also be conducted on the implications on micro organisms in the soil and variation in the yield from plants and animals, the organisers said.

Physiological and psychological effects on human beings, especially those who meditate and those who are under medication will be assessed. Athirathrams were held at Kundoor in 1990 and Kizhakkancherry in 2006 and more than five Somayagams were conducted in different years at different site

Dear Readers,

I have no objection to the conduct of such vedic yajnas if some people are shelling out the cash, instead of touching the tax-payers' money. Anyway there is no government finance here. But we should be aware of all the "bluff" that is told about these yajnas.

"The 'yagashala' (where the ceremonies are performed) is a paddy field and is uniquely positioned to imbibe the energy of the sun, which has made Panjal the venue for almost all yagas held in Kerala in the past."

What is this "uniquely positioned"? Nowhere they state how the "unique positioning" is obtained. Any paddy field anywhere will be as good or as bad as the present site. If, for argument's sake, it is conceded that this particular site is something unique in the whole district, state or even India, does it not mean that all the other yajnas were less effective? Why then was so much money wasted in those?

"'agnimathanam'(churning of sacred fire through friction, 'savitrihoma' (preparation of sacred ghee) among others."

This is the height of buffoonery. These Namboodiris have dispensed with the ritual killing of ram/s because they will be arrested and jailed if they do that. If they are really true to their scriptures, they are fooling the vedic deities with some flour cakes instead of meat offering ; someone should find out if they change the vedic mantras suitably to say clearly that they are offering flour cakes only. Now if they alter the vedic riks, it is violation of the sacredness of the veda/s ; if they stick to the vedic mantras, then it is cheating the deities ;) In such a condition why should they adopt this neolithic method to make fire? Can they not use a matchstick instead? Making ghee is a household technique; So, calling it "savitri homam" (it does not seem appropriate to me) and making it a big reporting item is just fooling people.

"is believed to rejuvenate the universal power centre and bring about peace and prosperity to mankind and promote well being of flora and fauna"

Earlier we saw that the chosen site is "uniquely positioned to imbibe the energy of the sun"; now after imbibing the sun's energy our yajna priests seem to be capable of rejuvenating "the universal power centre" even ! On the other side, advaitins right from Adi Sankara have been crying hoarse about Parabrahman, the universal power centre, and not one of those has talked about "rejuvenating" that Parabrahman; but these yakna people have gone one step above! All people seeking brahmajnaanam should better approach these yajna people instead of following ever so many other methods, I would say.

How the 'rejuvenation of the universal power centre' (UPC) will ensure only "peace and prosperity to mankind and promote well being of flora and fauna" is not explained ; if UPC becomes more powerful than what it now is, quite possibly there can be more powerful earthquakes and entire Japan may go under the ocean as a consequence of such rejuvenation !

"The organisers said the objective of the yaga is to promote universal harmony, peace, solidarity, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment and was relevant even today with the world witnessing a marked rise in discontentment and violence."

This is sufficient proof that all the past yajnas were ineffective; or else, the effect, if any, as claimed will be purely temporary.

"Studies will also be conducted on the implications on micro organisms in the soil and variation in the yield from plants and animals, the organisers said.

Physiological and psychological effects on human beings, especially those who meditate and those who are under medication will be assessed. Athirathrams were held at Kundoor in 1990 and Kizhakkancherry in 2006 and more than five Somayagams were conducted in different years at different site."

These are welcome steps. We should await the findings and see how far "scientific" they are. BTW, I cannot find any study results of the past yajnas by googling. Any idea whether such findings are available?

"Only 10 Brahmin families in Kerala can conduct the ritual."

What more proof do we want that these yajnas are completely useless, ancient priestly pretensions to fool people.

"Considered as the ultimate invocation of vedic scriptures for universal harmony, the last Athirathram was held here in 1975 under the leadership of Indologist Frits Staal, a professor of South and South East Asian studies at the University of California at Berkeley, who filmed the entire ritual and later wrote a book ."

Our orthodox section which does not countenance even foreign translations of scriptures, must, at least oppose such foreign funding, participation, filming etc., as their moral duty, I think. Strictly speaking, a non-brahman, that too a mleccha - as per our scriptures - going in the vicinity of the yaga itself should be anathema for "real" brahmans, if there are any.
 
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