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Words Used In Tirupati Balaji Temple – Tirumala Temple Terms And Meaning

Tirupati Temple terms have a special significance in temple rituals and are regularly used in different places of the Tirupati Balaji temple. They may signify an action, a person, or a procedure. These are very special to the Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple and understanding them will definitely increase one’s knowledge about Lord Venkateswara.

The words mentioned below are peculiar to Tirupati temple and are contextually used with respect to the temple. Many of these terms have been adapted from different languages, depending upon the rulers of the surrounding area. It can be seen that the temple terms are in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and even Marathi. The language of Mahants, who administered the temple for 90 years have brought in several Hindi, Urdu and Marathi related words.
  • Kainkaryam (Telugu) - ‘Kainkaryam’ denotes a holy service to Lord.
  • Saabooth (Urdu) - Term used by Archakas or priests for ascertaining that everything is in place and correct in the Sanctum.
  • Shuddhi (Telugu) - Cleaning up.
  • Samarpana (Telugu) - Adornment of precious jewellery, flower garlands or vastrams to deities.
  • Sallimpu viz. Sadalimpu (Telugu) - removal of jewels, flowers or vastrams to deities.
  • Sarkar (Hindi) - Representative of management.
  • Hallu – (Telugu-old) - A measure of anna prasadam share belonging to archakas.
  • Bokkasam (Telugu) - A room / office where all important documents and details of the temple are stored.
  • Sabha Ara / Sabhera – Storage room; room within the temple premises where articles, dravyams, vessels used for worship in the sanctum are stored; name derived from an ancient administrative body (Sabhaiyar) at the village of Tiruchanur, responsible for maintaining the temple, collecting donations, etc.
  • Talighai (Tamil) - Sacred food offerings.
  • Madupu (Telugu) - Part of offerings to Lord, a share of which is given out as a mark of honour to Archakas, Jeeyangars, Acharya purushas or Sarkar as the situation demands.
  • Nitya Harathi (Telugu) - A daily offering of Harathi in the sanctum by representatives of ancient Mutts at Tirumala; usually after Saathumorai.
  • Ghanta (Telugu) -The continuous ringing of two huge bells during offering of Naivedyams to the Lord of Seven Hills.
  •  Thiruveesam ghanta (Telugu) - The last food offering (bell) in Tirumala Srivari Temple.
  • Saathumorai (Tamil) - An important Sri Vaishnavite tradition that involves the recital of Divya Prabandhams every day by Sri Vaishnava Acharyas headed by Jeeyangar Swamis of Tirumala. It is held after the morning worship rituals and the first offering of Naivedyam.
  • Sevakalam (Tamil) - Recital of Nalayira Divya Prabandhams.
  • Thodakkam (Tamil) - Commencement of recital of Chaturvedams.
  •  Amool Nama/Amalu Nama (Hindi/Urdu) – An official document that is also a journal that records the sequence of events at Tirumala temple.
  • Mashaal (hindi) / Paunju (telugu) – Flaming torch, now called as Divti in Telugu.
  •  Inam (Hindi/Urdu) - Gifts or endowments bestowed by the king.
  • Ugranam (Telugu) - Store room for provisions and commodities used for making prasadams and for other rituals in the temple.
  • Bangaru Darwazamoharu (Hindi/Urdu colloquial) – Official seal of the golden entryway.
  • Akhandam/Brahma Akhandam (Sanskrit) - The huge lamps that light the Sanctum.
  •  Mysura Akhandam (Telugu) - The lamps donated by Mysore Maharaja; the ghee for these second set of lamps was also donated by the then Maharajas of Mysore. Presently Karnataka State Endowments department continues the service.
  • Yamunottharai (Tamil) - Flower chamber – The section of the temple where sacred flower garlands to be offered to Srivaru are prepared and kept. Named after Yamunacharya, the guru of Sri Ramanujacharya.
  • Ilaaka (Urdu) - Region.
  • Parimalam (telugu) - A mixture of special ingredients such as refined camphor, sandalwood paste, saffron, etc used for sacred bath (Sukravara Abhishekam) of Dhruva Bera, the main deity in the Sanctum.
  • Punugu Kapu or Pulugu Kappu (Telugu) - Applying of civet oil before abhishekam to the main deity, which is a very important ritual that helps in the preservation of the deity. It is called ‘taIlodvartanam’ in Vaikhanasa Agama.
  • Parushajanalu / Grihasthas (Telugu) – Pilgrims visiting Tirumala.
  • Tirualavattam (Tamil) - A special hand fan made of makmal cloth for the specific use of fanning the Main Deity in the Sanctum specially during Thomala Seva and other rituals.
  • Parakamani (Telugu) - Counting of currency notes and coins received in the Hundi.
  • Ubhayadarlu (Telugu) - Special term used for donors of any rituals.
  • Varumbadi (Telugu, old) - Income of the temple gained through arjitha sevas, sale of prasadams, Hundi offerings etc.
  • Kunche Kola (Telugu) - Age old traditional temple keys used as part of Agamic procedure.
  • Thiruvabharanam (Telugu) - Jewels adorned to the Main Deity.
  • Thiruvaradhana (Telugu) - Special sequence of worship offered to the Main Deity according to Sri Vaikhanasa Bhagavate Chastram.
  • Kaifiyat (Urdu) - Information.
  • Khatth (Hindi) - Representation made to the authorities.
  • Teermanam (Telugu) - The closing and conclusion of all rituals of the day in the temple after Ekantha Seva.
  • Goshti (Tamil) - A conglomeration of well versed priests chanting Vedic Hymns during occasions and special rituals.
  • Paditharam (Telugu) - Prescribed quantities of articles required to make prasadams as required for specific occasions.
  • Dittam (Telugu) - List of articles required for rituals and special occasions.
  • Sathupadi (Tamil) - Alankaram or adornment of jewels/vastrams to the deity.
  • Oodigam (Telugu) - assistance services carried out within the temple.
  • Parupattedar (Hindi) - Coordinating officer for different rituals.
  • Uttara Parupattedar (Hindi) - Assistant to Parupattedar.
  • Peishkar (Hindi) – Overall Supervising Officer for all the requirements in Tirumala temple in very old days.
  • Aasthanam (Telugu) - Grand assemblies conducted in the temple on special occasions.
  • Koppera (Telugu) - Huge copper vessel used for Hundi – The donation box.
  • Mudupu/Kanukalu (Telugu) - Offerings of devotees.
  • Sannidhi (Telugu) - Sanctum Sanctorum or Garbhalayam.
  • Nirmalyam (Sanskrit) - Flowers/garlands which are removed after adorning the deity/deities.
  • Navaneetham (Sanskrit) - Butter offered as Naivedyam in the morning.
  • Heccharikai (Telugu/Tamil) - The term is used as a closing announcement when a ritual concludes.
  • Bahumanam (Telugu) - Officially Honoring the participating priests in special rituals.
  • Thiruveedhi Utsavam (Telugu) - Procession of temple deities around the four mada streets surrounding the temple.
  • Thiruchchi (Tamil) - Gold plated palanquin used for taking the deities on a procession.
Source - Saptagiri May 2019 page 11 to 14 - article written by Sri A Ramarkrishna Deekshitulu



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