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Suprabhatam Ritual At Tirupati Temple – Early Morning Prayers at Tirupati Venkateswara Temple

The early morning prayers at the Tirupati Venkateswara Temple are famous as the Suprabhatam ritual. The morning prayers are sung before the Bangaru Vakili (golden threshold) after which the Bhoga Srinivasa Murthy who was laid to bed in the Sayana Mandapa is shifted again to the Garbhagriha.

Navanitha Aarti is offered to the Lord and a mixture of cow’s milk butter and sugar is offered to the Lord as Naivedyam.

Four Early Morning Prayers At Tirupati Temple

The four prayers chanted early morning in Tirupati Temple are:
  1. Suprabhatam
  2. Stotram
  3. Prapatti
  4. and
  5. Mangalasasanam
These prayers are recited daily early morning except in Dhanurmasam (mid December to mid January), when Tiruppavai of Andal is chanted.

Suprabhatam: (Waking the Lord from the sleep) consisting of twenty nine slokas. (From Kousalya Supraja Rama Purvasandhya Pravartathae... to Itham  rushachalapathe Riha Suprabhatham....)

In the Suprabhatam, the first verse is addressed to Srirama son of kousalya, the second to Govinda and Kamalapati, the third and fourth to Sri Lakshmi and the next 24 slokas to Lord Venkateswara praised variously as Venkatachalapati, Seshachalapati Srinivasa, Seshadrivibhu etc., The last and the 29th Stanza exhorts the devotee to aspire to ‘Paramartha’ and ‘Moksha’.

Stotram: (Hymns to the Lord) consisting of eleven slokas. (From Kamalakucha Choochuka Kumkumatho.... to Agnanina Maya Doshanaseshanvihitan Hare.....)
In the stotram, the devotee earnestly addresses the Lord surrendering his all to him and entreats His protection. The tenth sloka is a beautiful one when where the devotee submits that having come from a long distance to worship at the Lord’s feet he might be blessed by the Lord even though his visits are infrequent due to his own limitations, and that he might receive the Lord’s blessings in abundance.

Prapatti: (Surrender to the Lord) consisting of sixteen stanzas. (From Eeshanam Jagathosya Venkatapatervishnoh Param preyasim.... to Nityasrithaya Niravadyagunaya Thubhyam...)

In the prapatti or surrender, the first sloka is a prayerful adoration to SriLakshmi, the Supreme Mother who showers Her grace on account of Her eternal Vatsalya and entreats Her as Bhagavati.

The next 15 verses are in exquisite words and phrases of unparalleled grandeur and simplicity, where the devotee, with the complete annihilation of his ego, surrenders himself and his all, at the Lotus feet of the Lord.

It would appear that the initial invocation to Sri Lakshmi is to invoke the Supreme, mother's intervention before surrender to the Lord, as a child moves for the favour of the father through the mother. This idea is said in the 16th and the last Stanza of the Prapatti.
The other verses of the Prapatti seek the glory of the holy feet of the Lord which have been told by the Rig Veda as the most exalted state of attainment and which the Lord himself in the Dhruva Bera seems to point out by his hand even as Parthasarathi did to Arjuna.

Mangalasasanam: (A prayer of the Lord’s glory) consisting of fourteen stanzas, thus making altogether a total seventy slokas. (From Sriyah Kantaya Kalyana Nidhaye Nidhayerdhinam.... to Mangala sasana parairmadacharya purogamah.....)

In the mangalasasanam there is a moving verse viz., verse 9 where the Lord is supposed to indicate His own feet with His own hand as the sole refuge of all human beings.

The devotee is enjoined to hope to be present at the behest of the Lord for all times, and to loose his limited soul in the eternal grace of the Lord. In fact this is the general experience of many a devotee who come with devotion and utter surrender to the Lord. So, tremendous is the divine charm of the beauty of the Prasanna Mangala Murti of the Lord and His excellence, that one forgets one’s ego in the presence of the Lord.

Symbolism And Meaning of Suprabhatam Ritual

As the purpose of this sacred invocation (Suprabhatam) to Lord Venkateswara Swami is to awaken the human beings to realise their true nature.

There is appropriateness in opening it with an address to Sri Rama who has proved himself to be the personification of Dharma (Raamo Vigrahavaan Dharmah) to rise from sleep and attend to the daily routine of duties to be discharged towards the divinities and human beings. Such routine discipline is needless for one of Rama's moral and spiritual attainments; but he should set the example for people to emulate for their own purification and uplift.

The Sacred Suprabhatam verses are to be recited every day for our wellbeing.

Source - article written by Smt Uttara Phalguni in Saptagiri October 2018 Issue page 16 and page 17.