Archive for March, 2011
Part V: Stages in Yaagam
The rituals are basically related to body. Seventeen priests are required for performing the ‘Agni’. The course of time is 12 days.
First day: Naandeemukham to Saalaapravesham, Deekshaahassu
The Yajamana and his priests enter into the ritual enclosure carrying three sacred fires in pots. The ‘Ukha pot’, the main ritual vessel is prepared from clay.
An animal sacrifice (symbolic) is performed for Vayu.
The five chief priests (adhvaryu, brahman, hota, udgata, and sadasya) are officially selected. Fire is produced by friction.
An isti is performed and is followed by the consecration of (diksa) of the Yajamana (a turban is tied around his head, he is protected by a golden breast plate, he is given a staff and he closes his fists and deprived of speaking (except for recitations), from bathing etc.
The Yajamana picks up the Ukha pot, which is filled with fire, and takes three steps with it.
Second day: Pravargya Samhaaram
The mahavira pot, main ritual vessel of the pravargya, is prepared from clay.
Third day: Yoopam Kollal
A sacrificial pole is made. To the east of the old enclosure , in which the three altars have already been made, the measurements of the mahavedi and of the bird-shaped offering altar are laid out.
Fourth day: Agnichayanam (construction of the Altar)
The new domestic altar replaces the old offering altar one. The adhvaryu consecrates each brick. The fire from Ukha pot is added to the installed fire An introductory istiis performed .The ‘purchased’ Soma stalks are measured , transport in Somacart on the bullock skin. King soma is installed on a throne and an isti is performed in honor of him .Except Yajamana and chanters, sprinkle Soma. The Indra , god’s etc is invited to attend the forth -coming Soma pressing . The first pavargya and Upasad are performed. The seeds are sown in the plowed ground and buried several items like tortoise, the Ukha pot, The hiranmaya Purusha etc…The construction of bird shaped altar started with a stone at the center. All bricks are consecrated by adhvryu. The Pravargya and Upsad performed.
Fourth day to Ninth day : Pravargyam & Upaasath
After the morning pravargya and Upasa , the second, third, fourth layer of the altar is laid on respective days. The evening Pravargya and Upsad follows. Next day, after the morning Pravargya and Upasad ,the fifth layer is laid with svayamatranna in the center. The Yajamana wishes the bricks to turn into cows. Offerings are made to Rudra. The udgata chants around the bird, and a man pours continuous stream of water around the bird, three times. The evening Pravargya and Upsad follows. The implements used in the pravargya are put down on the new altar in the shape of a man .The agni from new domestic altar is installed on the new offering altar. Long continuous oblation of ghee is made followed by other oblation and offerings. The hall of recitation is made .The animal sacrifice is performed.
Tenth to Twelfth day: Suthy Suthyam days and finally Yajnapuchham
The ceremonies from tenth day will continue throughout out the next two days and nights. The tenth day is known as sutya. Pressing of soma begins after the hota’s morning recital and Soma oblations are offered. Some priests including Yajamana crawl in snake like procession on to altar for offering. In the north of altar the three chant bahispavamana-stothra. Numerous rites are performed simultaneously .Fires are installed in hearths in the recital hall also. Eleven animals are sacrificed( 1975 ,only symbolic).Except Acchavaka Soma juice in the sadas. and hota recites sastra recitation. .Like this four Soma sequence are performed. Soma offering is made into the offering fire.
During the pressing on the mid day, gravastut recites Rgveda verses with blind folded cloth in which Soma was wrapped. .The Yajamana is anointed .
The remaining 14 Soma sequences continue through eleventh day ,night upto the dawn of twelfth day. On the twelfth day unnetha priest make two Soma offering for Indra Ancestral rites are performed. The Yajamana and Yajamanapathni take avabhratha bath followed by a concluding isti is performed and final goat is sacrificed(1975 ,only symbolic). The Yajamana installs three fires on his home after returning to the home .He perform morning and evening Agnihothra for the rest of his life!
To Be continued….
The first edition of Weekend Media Workout featured ‘Yodhakaa’, Chennai’s hottest new band, in a conversation with Ms. Priya Krishnan of PurpleNote. The band’s members talked about the journey so far, right from the inception of the band to how they went to releasing their first album, about opportunities in Chennai and their music.
I live blogged the session and here are the excerpts
Shiva, an RJ and runs an Art company. done extensive research in all arts
Subhiksha Rangarajan (Susha): Female lead of the band,
Pradeep, a musical director
How it all started
2005 was into version of popular music . In 2007 Pradeep joined the band and later Susha joined. In 2008 YODHAKAA started doing slokams.
All come from different backgrounds but all jell well.
The previous experiences of working in various bands helped in fine tuning the technical aspects
Subhiksha Rangarajan credited her carnatic music background
Like to see different expressions of the songs in each every shows so that they are not bored, helps in rediscovering the music
Yodhakaa Got the first deal by mistake,
In a contemporary Sari fashion show, somebody was supposed to do a show but last minute he backed out, so Yodhakaa got a chance to perform. Till that time they never had an idea of bringing out albums. Next day they got a call from a music company named Purple notes and that’s how the first album came out
Yodhakaa has an online store where anyone can go and buy their songs
Yodhakaa follows the old school of recording where they practice the song for almost a month and then record.This brings more life to the tracks
Had a feeling that the music will not be appreciated by the college crowd, but surprisingly all the age groups appreciate the music
Different people relates the music of Yodhakaa in their own ways.
Old people appreciate the pronunciation of Sanskrit and people who are into Jazz and Western music appreciates the tunes
What independent musicians lack in Chennai is the venues so most of the musicians try the safest route of playing the popular music
All the members balance their music by freelancing other music so that they can sustain but make sure that they don’t lose focus and get diluted
Want to take the music to the next level in terms of packaging and marketing that promises the audience a great experience
Looking forward to perform in World Music festivals
TEDx SSN was a great experience
Is very active on Social Media and helped in the growth of the band
Clock has started ticking, In50hrs, Ideas to Prototype, the event where entrepreneurs, designers, product managers etc come together to build functional prototypes of ideas – from scratch is happening from Mar 25-27 at The Startup Centre, Alsa Mall, Egmore, Chennai.
‘In 50hrs, Ideas to Prototype’ is organized by ‘The Startup Centre’, an Initiative to bring together entrepreneurs, hackers and designers to learn, collaborate and build kickass enterprises. The Centre is a creative space for individuals from diverse backgrounds to come up and work on ideas that challenge and disrupt the norm.
The Startup Centre
Participants getting ready for the In 50 Hours
The Idea Board
Some of the ideas came out at the event, Where is my Money – Twitter based Expense Tracker,Tagger based System for locating devices, Folio43 the Stock market game to learn Stock Market Investing and Foodpick.in: Table booking and online food ordering.All the participants will present their prototypes on Mar 27
“Tourist friendly” auto in Chennai. When will they become customer friendly?
Part IV: Yagasala , ritual enclosure
The construction of the Yagasala , ritual enclosure, requires precise measurement .The measurements are derived from the size of Yajamana. So the yagasala become ‘his own’. The Soma rituals are never performed near cremeation grounds, in temples, or on temple grounds. In 1975 a paddy field in Panjal was selected. In 2011 also the rituals are going to be performed in a paddy field, in Panjal
The preparation of Yagasala in progress at Panjal
The ritual enclosure consists of two main areas
The Prachinavamsa or Old hall
The Mahavedi or Great Altar space
1. Domestic altar (garhapathya) a squre shaped altar, with two concentric circles inside.
2. The offerng altar(old)-ahavaniya.
3. The southern altar (dakshinagni)-: Inside there is a rectangle to the north and a semi circle to the south.
4. Vedi: Immediately west of the offering altar is the vedi. It has the shape of an hourglass. The corners are determined by measurement, but the curve by rule of thumb.
5. Utkara: made from clay in the shape of a turtle.
6. Uchchistakhara: a small square made against the northern wall, with a drainage (for washing some utensils).
Content and Image courtsey: http://www.athirathram.org
1. sadas (hall of recitation ): this having two doors on opposite sides.
2. Agnidhriya shed : square shaped.
3. Marjaliya shed : square shaped.
4. A gosala south of patnisala.
5. Abavaniya or offering altar : Built in shape of bird
6. Soma hall.
Inside the mahavedi , the new offering Altar will be built to the east ,in the agniksethra or field of agni.
To the west there are two special sheds:
The Sadas or hall of recitation.
The Havirdhana ( Soma hall ) or Hall for preparing Soma oblations.
The old Hall, The hall of Recitation and the soma hall together called Sala or Enclosure, which is having roofs and supported by 41-pole,of which 22 poles are for Old Hall.
To Be continued…..
The first session would feature ‘Yodhakaa’, Chennai’s hottest new band, in a conversation with Ms. Priya Krishnan of PurpleNote. The band’s members will talk about the journey they went through from forming the band to releasing their first album, apart from a few other things!
Part III: The Garuda-shaped platform
Athirathram is performed either with Garuda-shaped platform, ( chithy) or without this platform. Panjal Athirathram 2011 will have the hearth shaped like the mythical bird “Garuda” or eagle, and made of special bricks laid out to the ancient Vedic measurement.
The Garuda shaped chithy of Panjal Athirathram 2011 is called ‘Panchapathrika’, as Garuda has 5 wings!
Now there are 200 bricks in one layer of platform and there will be 5 layers for the platform. The bricks used for the platform are of 5 different shapes
Five different shapes used to construct the Garuda platform
The basis is Square, “Chathurthi” and all the other four shapes are from the square i.e “Chathurthyardha“, half of the square. “Chathurtheepaadya“, 1/4 th of a square, “Chathurasrapadya” and “Hamsamukhi“.
There will be more than 1100 bricks in total for the platform.
Bricks for the construction of Garuda shaped platform for Panjal Athirathram 2011
To Be continued….
Part II The Vessels and ladles for Athirathram
The Vessels and ladles used for Athirathram are of unusual shapes. Clay and wood vessels are shaped differently to make identification easier. The clay has to be unearthed, kneaded and baked in a particular manner and wood of certain trees used to make the vessels and ladles.
Some of the vessels used are ukha pot. The eight breast-like protuberances, ukha is the main ritual vessel and symbolises Shakti, the womb of all creation. Mahavira, another key vessel used, is made of soil dug out by special equipment, wetted and kneaded with goat’s milk, and mixed in particular proportions of ant-hill soil, Poothika grass, goat’s hair and iron powder.
To be continued……
How many times you dreamt of playing like Sachin Tendulkar? or wanted to bowl like Shane Warne? Now you can! atleast in the virtual World. Allrounderz is a free three-dimensional cricket game on the Facebook platform. This faceook app developed by inexgen Games promises to turn anyone into a cricketer, providing your statistics chart and rating, no not ICC one ut some what similar. “It gives you a cricketer’s life and popularity,” says Swami Venkat, founder & CEO, inexgen Games.
The online game was launched by former cricketer S. Venkataraghavan and famous playback singer, Unnikrishnan played the first game live. So if you have a Faceook account, all you have to do is to download the app, which is free, create a team of yours, consisting of your friends and start the game. Isn’t it wonderful to play a game of cricket with your school or college mates?
So what are you waiting for? come and lets play a game of cricket, at http://www.facebook.com/allrounderz
“While Pyramids, temples, cathedrals and skyscrapers were built and fell into decay, languages and religions came and went, and inumerable wars were fought, the vedas and their ritual continued to be transmitted by word of mouth, from teacher to pupil, and from father to son. What a triumph of human spirit over the limitation of matter and physical body….”
Panjal is all getting ready for “Athirathram”, the 4500 year old Vedic ritual. Athirathram is a 12 day event, a great spectacle and display of learning. Last Athirathram was performed in 2006 at Kizhakkancherry. Panjal hosted the 1975 Athirathram. Panjal Athirathram is planned from April 4-15,2011. Varthathe Trust is organising the event,
So why Yaagam?
The goal of all yaagams is the prosperity of the people at large y energizing and protecting the environment. As Sun is the main supply of energy, fire is considered as the representation of Sun and yaagam is an offer to Fire and inturn Sun, as a God
Banner announcing the Panjal Athirathram at shoranur
Camp in full swing
The Namboothiris participating in Panjal Athirathram are already camping at Panjal and practising the rendition of mantras. The prepration started last August.
Practicing of taittiriyam of Yajurveda by Poothillathu Ramanujan Somayajippadu, who is the ‘Yajamanan’ for the Athirathram and Kapra Sankaranarayanan Akkithiripad, ‘Yajamanan’ of the previous Athirathram
Practicing of Kaushithakam, Rig Veda by Cherumukku Vallabhan Somayajippadu and Naras Parameshwaran Namboothiri!
To be continued…