Veda Dharma

Monday, July 09, 2007

Vaikhanasa Agama( Samprokshana Vidhanam)

The great sage Vikhanasa is the first one to expound the vaikhanasa agama system of worship. Sage Vikhanasa is considered as an incarnation of Brahma and he taught this system of worship to His four disciples Atri, Bhrigu, Marici and Kasyapa. Though my knowledge of Vaikhanasa agamas is almost zero, I will try to take some interesting portions from these agamas. These are not meant for the Archakas but for the sadhakas who are interested in understanding the various rituals in the Vikhanasa agama and thus benefit from them by doing arjitham through the Acharya (Acharya mukhena). The reasons for writing about the Vaikhanasa agama are two fold: The first one is about me being a servant of Lord Venkateswara and the second one is about the lack of knowledge about Vikhanasa agama among devotees. Many of them confuse it with other Vaishnava agamas like pancaratra which are different from the Vikhanasa agama.
One of the rituals that one often comes across in agamas is "Samprokshana". Samprokshana is a way of purification. Samprokshana is done when different kinds of impurities happen in the temple. According to Sage Bhrigu in "Prakeernadhikara" samprokshana is done in three ways viz. Jala samprokshana, Laghu samprokshana and Maha samprokshana. These three different samprokshanams are done depending on the level of impurity, maha samprokshanam being done for the worst of impurities.
Jala samprokshanam is done when any of the following happen: Delay in worship, Missing worship of the Lord once, Impure people or animals like dogs, pigs and donkeys entering into the temple( into the prakara), Inauspicious happenings in the prakara, Non-believers of vikhanasa faith entering the temple, when rain droplets touch any of the images. In all the above cases jala samprokshana should be done in order to keep the power of the Lord in the image.
Laghu samprokshana is to be done in case of impurities more severe than above. Examples are: Animals entering the sanctum sanctorum, Impure people entering the sanctum sanctorum, When worship is not done for three days, When worship is not done according to Vikhanasa agamas, When a thunderbolt strikes the sanctum sanctorum, When the deity stays in another village for a night or When no deepam was lit for three days .
Maha samprokshanam should be done for catastrophic failures in the worship of the Lord. This is very different from the previous two and is done only in the case of extreme impurities. When maha samprokshanam is done a re-installation of the deity (Punahsthapana) and maha santi is done before samprokshanam. Examples are : When a brahmin dies inside the sanctum, when any of the festivals are done without Garuda dhwajarohana ( hoisting the flag of Garuda), When the deity is not worshipped for more than 12 days to one year, When an earth quake moves the deity , death of animals inside the sanctum sanctorum, when the asta bandha is disturbed, when fire touches the image by mistake , when the image is hidden in the earth due to any calamity, when an anthill is found in the garbha griha and when the image stays in another village for three nights.
Thus one can see that the power in the image of the Lord in the temple is maintained with utmost purity and great care. The image of the Lord in the temple is not a mere stone but a concentrated mass of spiritual energy. Only by following all the rules laid down by the great acharya vikhanasa can one benefit from the grace of the Lord. In the next post I will discuss the details of performing Samprokshanam.

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