Kumbabishekam with significance
THE FIVE-DAY Kumbabisheka Mahotsavam celebrated recently to consecrate the idol of Srividya Sri Rajarajeshwari at the temple of the Badari Sankaracharya Samasthanam Shakatapuram branch, located in the sylvan environs of East Tambaram, coincided with the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya day and Sankara Jayanthi this year. Adi Sankara established the Uttarmnaya Jyotishpeeta at Badarikashram and appointed his disciple Totakacharya as its first pontiff. Satya Theertha Swami hailing from this lineage during his sojourn to the south established the Shakatapuram Math on the sacred banks of River Tunga in Karnataka and it came to be popularly known as Sri Jagadguru Badari Shankaracharya Samasthanam, Shakatapuram-Sri Vidya Peetam.
The Math's association with Chennai goes back by 40 years when its 32nd Acharya, Ramachandra Theertha Swami, during his visit to the city in 1962 established a branch of the Math at Tambaram and installed Sri Vidya Rajarajeshwari Ambal in the shrine. Since then it has become popular with the devout of the locality and started attracting devotees from other parts of the city after the present 33rd pontiff, Sri Krishnananda Theertha Swami, performed the Chaturmasya vrata in 1999 at Sanskrit College in Mylapore.
It was during the Vardhanti celebration of Swami Krishnananda Theertha in January this year that the construction of this temple commenced and the work was entrusted to Silpakala Nilayam Bhavanandam and Narayanaswami &Co. The Swamiji took keen interest in the architectural plan, iconographic details of the images and selection of materials for the construction of the temple. Though the Swami has undertaken renovation of the main Shakatapuram Math after the completion of his Sankalpa Vijayatra during 1993-2000 when he visited all the 12 Jyotirlingams, this venture was the first one he has completed after his ascension to the Peetam, which was accomplished in a record time.
Drawing attention to the gap of 40 years since the installation of the deity by his predecessor, Swami Krishnananda Theertha pointed out that according to Agama sastra, Kumbabishekam has to be performed once in 12 years but it was not undertaken here earlier and he felt that it was ordained by his Guru that he should complete this work. Kumbabishekam recharges the spiritual power of the deity and also the Kumba of the temple tower, which is also surcharged with the same divine power as the deity. This is done to benefit even those who are unable to visit the temple derive the same spiritual merit by just beholding the temple tower.
Another significant coincidence, which the Srikaryam of the Math, M.Chandramouleeshwaran, drew attention to, was the similar alignment of planets on the day of consecration of the deity on the occasion of both the Kumbabishekams. The newly constructed temple has a shrine for the main deity Sri Vidya Rajarajeshwari with Meru Srichakra and there are separate niches for Ganesa, Dakshinamurthy, Anjaneya, Dattatreya, Balasubramanya, Adi Sankara, Durga and Nageswara. The renovation of the Math complex was also completed recently. The consecration of the deities was performed on Akshaya Tritiya according to Sastric tradition with homams, abisheka and puja. The Shakatapuram Sankaracharya performed the Brahmakumbabishekam of the temple on Sankara Jayanthi day in which the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Dr. R. Chidambaram , Chairman of the Shakatapuram Seva Trust, G.K.Ramamurthy participated. Cultural programmes were held and special pujas performed for the well being of humanity.
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