CHENNAI: After 48-days of hectic activity wherein politicians, bureaucrats, film stars and a criminal who made headlines, thronged the Sri Devaraja Swamy temple for darshan of Athi Varadar, the Lord returned to His abode underneath the Ananthsaras tank on Saturday night following the conduct of elaborate rituals.
At about 10 pm the Lord's image made of fig tree wood was brought from the Vasantha Mandapam and placed deep inside the Ananthasaras tank in sayana kollam (reclining position) following the conduct of Aranadhan and pradana naivedyam. He was adorned with silk robes and decorated with flowers and anointed with medicated oil before He retired to the Ananthasaras.
His head was placed facing west while His feet faced east. above His head is serpent Adiseshan.
According to Srivatsav Bhattar of Sri Devaraja Swamy temple, they had applied about 500 litres of medicated oil to the Lord and also the pedestal during the 48-day festival, which had commenced on July 1.
“The medicated oil comprises Elakai, jadikai, jadi patri, lavangam, pachai karupuram, kungumapoo, vettiveru sambrani and chandanadi thailam. Once heated, the combination will neither be solid or liquid. Each vial costs Rs 25,000 and it was gifted by a donor,” he says.
The medicated oil was applied on the Lord using a cloth.
It was meant to protect the image from any insects from flowers used to adorn Him during the festival. Also, the oil acts as preservative.
“This procedure was followed in 1937 and even in1979. Though the Lord was to have been brought out in 1977, He was brought out of the Ananthsaras in 1979 after consecration of the Rajagopuram,” Srivatsav Bhattar said.
He added, “I am seeing the Lord for the first time. This time in 2019 (on June 28) I was the first to touch the Lord while bringing Him out. There was silt around - covered up to one foot over the image. But a pleasant whiff emanated from the chamber due to medicated oil applied in 1979. The oil was intact for 40 years. We gave the silt as prasadam to devotees.”
Today also three bottles were applied in the morning, afternoon and another four vials were applied before He was placed in the pond.
The procedure of applying medicated oil is followed for Sri Ranaganathaswamy in Srirangam, Veeraraghavar in Tiruvallur, Thirukovilur Ulagalantha Perumal, twice a year, as no abishekam is performed to these images.
With Saturday being a restricted for public darshan, the rituals were entirely performed by priests at the temple. The Lord would be brought out again after four decades in 2059....