Eighteen Days - Sri Panca Tattva's Mayapur Lila

Nlatt?r to SFiril

craftsman's external work on the cleities is courplete and henceforth the priests are assuming responsibility for the deity service. The second step is called netra unmilinam, or opening the eyes of the cleities. In the Eleventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gitd Arjuna tells Krsna, SaSi-sirya-netran'. "The sun and moon are among Your great, unlimited eyes." ln this ritual, honey is poured to 'open' the eye that is the moon; ghee is used for the eye that is the sun. Once the eyes are'opened,' auspicious items are shown to the Lord: water frorn the Gangi, earth from the holy dhama, yogurt, ghee, flowers, the auspiciotts svdstiha design, gold, silver, copper, stone, rice: all items that invoke and resemble auspi- ciousness, offered while mantt'as are chanted. In the third part known as Sayanadhivas, the deities are placed on a becl surrouncl- ed by many auspicious items. Rice paclcly is placecl ttncler the bed which is decorat- ed with beautiful cloth and {lowers, and surrounded by auspicious water pots. Milksweets are ofl'ered to the deities and left by the bed overnight. The deities are invited to take rest while clevotees stay up all night singing devotional songs. The fourth ceremony is known as tqttva-sathhara-nyasa. In this rite the cleities are connectecl to rhe fire arena by a hu.(n grass rope. The priest touches different parts of the deity's body with a husa grass stick, chanting ^ tnantra. The gopala mdntra is chanted backwards to dcstroy the material elements used tc'r create the cleities and then forwards in the normal rnanner, lor the recreation of the deities in their spiritual [orm. One of the most popular and visual aspects of the installation proceclure is the lifth stage known as abl'tiselta, or bathing. Rather than merely using water, the priests rse paficantrta, or "five nectars"-milk, yoghurt, ghee , honey and sugar water. The cleities are also bathed in flower waters, fruit.iuice ancl herbal waters. This ceremo- ny culnrinates with sahasra-dhdra, literally "a thousand streams" where the priests pour water into a a silver pot with one thousand tiny holes, held over the cleity's head to form a shower o[ one thousand streams to rinse away all the liquids used to perform the bathing.


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