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Devaprasnam in Kerala Temples

Devaprasnam is an astrological ritual performed in the temples in Kerala primarily to know the ‘divine opinion’ regarding the functioning of the temple. A chief astrologer selected by the temple authorities decides the time and method of the Devaprasnam ritual. The divine opinion too is revealed by the chief astrologer.

Thought of a Devaprasnam arises when there are difficulties in the day-to-day functioning of the temple and when corrupt practices are noticed in a temple. Devaprasnam also suggests solutions for the problems faced by the temple.

There are several variations in the Devaprasnam ritual and the most famous one performed in major Kerala temples is the Ashtamangalya Devaprasnam.

There are numerous rituals associated with the Devaprasnam and also there are several astrological calculations involved in the ritual. The astrological ritual is usually performed by a senior most astrologer, who is widely respected in the field. The prasnam is usually headed by the main astrologer and numerous astrologers will help the leader in the ritual. In some temples devotees are allowed to witness the Devaprasnam.

Hindu Devotees in Kerala have high regard for Devaprasnam and the ritual and solutions suggested are performed immediately.

There are also instances when devotees have questioned the findings of Devaprasnam. A classic example is the last Devaprasnam that was held in the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, which was highly controversial.