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Tirumala Jyeshta Abhishekam – Srivari Tirupati Balaji Temple Jyeshta Abhishekam

Tirumala Jyeshta Abhishekam is an important ritual observed in the world famous Srivari Tirupati Balaji Temple. It is observed in the Telugu Jyeshta month. Srivari Jyeshta Abhishekam 2024 dates are from June 2 to June 4.

Highlight of the Tirumala Jyeshta Abhishekam

Lord Venkateswara will give audience to devotees in various armors during the occasion.
  • Diamond Armor – June 20
  • Pearl Armor – June 21
  • Gold Armor – June 22
This is the only period when devotees can have darshan of the original murti of Lord Venkateshwara without any adornments.

Jyeshta Abhishekam – Why and What

The ritual is essentially meant to protect the original murti of Lord Balaji. It is believed that the murti suffers minor damages due to the various daily rituals.

To solve this problem, Jyeshta Abhishekam has been performed strictly as per tradition since 1990s. Bhrigu in his Prakirna Adhikara ordains that spicy oils should be offered to Vishnu, the Lord of Lords, on the Full Moon day of the ruling star Jyeshta in Jyeshta month. This ceremony known as the ceremony of offering spicy oils imparts brilliance to the worship idol of Lord Vishnu according to Kriyaadhikaara.

Jyeshta Abhishekam is performed for three days in Tirumala from the thirteenth day to the Full Moon day of dark lunar fortnight in Jyeshta. The gold armours presented to Malayappa Swami and his twin consorts the year before will be removed a fortnight before this ceremony.

Kriyaadhikaara of Bhrigu mandates us to leave no stone unturned to protect an image if it is endowed with anga-upaanga-mahaanga-pratyaangaas and gets disfigured due to the rituals like anointing etc. That is why, a ceremony is ordained for protection of the idol. It is called Jyeshta Abhishekam or sugandha taila samarpanotsava (Anointing Ceremony with scented oils).

Let us try to know about providing an armour to the idol (kavacha), an important part of this ceremony. It should be performed in the month of Jyeshta on the day of ruling star, Jyeshta. Sabhyaagni has to be lit in the Poundarika fire-cistern specially erected for this purpose.

Seated on the Kurma peetha (tortoise base), the priest should enact this ritual.
Main Fire-Sacrifice has to be performed with Vaishnava- Vishnu Suktam- Sarvadaivatya- Paaramaatmika, etc accompanied by mahaavyaahritis and followed by the associated Fire – Sacrifice (anu homa).

Maha Shanti Homa has to be performed at the Poundarika fire-cistern. It should be concluded with astahoma kriya with Poornahuti (final oblation).

All rituals ordained by Kavach vidhi have to be completed.

The God of Gods has to be worshipped according to the daily ritual. Oblation with payasa, etc has to be offered. Prayers with kshama mantras (Forgiveness hymns) have to be offered. It should be completed with shanti vaakyaas reverberating with Brahma Ghosha. This offering of diamond, pearl and gold armours as part of Jyeshta Abhishekam to Lord Venkateswara of Venkatadri, the protector of the good and persecutor of the evil, as per the Vaikhanasa tradition for three days is like a wish-fulfilling tree for the devotees. It results in all kinds of well-being for them.

How is Jyeshta Abhishekam Performed?

Kankana Bhattar will be head priest for the conduct of this ceremony. He has to remove the gold armours of the processional deities with a hymn known as “Parilikhita”. The wear and tear if any in these armours should be set right by a skilled sculptor.

On the first day of Jyeshta Abhishekam after the noon worship, Lord Malayappa Swami with twin consorts is taken in procession around Vimana Praaksara.

Snapana Thirumanjanam is performed with 108 vessels in Sampangi Praakaara. They are taken to the abode of Fire Sacrifice in the Marriage Hall of Tirumala. Rituals like Devataa Praarthana, Vishwaksena Aradhana, Swasti Punyahavachanam, Ankurarpanam, Rakshaabandhana, Agni Pranayama are conducted as per the Vedic tradition.

108 vessels are arranged in four rows at the rate of 9 in each row. There are three such series. Varuna is invited into the main vessel and offered due services. Sacrificial services will be completed with main sacrifice, expiatory sacrifice, concluding sacrifice, final oblation (poornahuti) and bidding farewell to the holy fire. Later, there will be cleansing ceremony (snapana thirumanjanam) for the processional deities with twelve types of ingredients besides milk, curd, honey, coconut water, turmeric, sandalwood paste etc. In the evening Malayappa Swami along with his consorts is adorned with the precious diamond armours and taken in procession in the four main streets of the temple.

Similarly, there will be snapana with 108 vessels in the mornings of the next two days. There will be processions with pearl armour on the second day and gold armour on the third day. There will be consecration of armours on the morning of the third day.

After completion of Vedic practices like homas as part of snapana, the ruling god of Panchagavya (cow milk, cow curd, cow ghee, cow urine, cow dung) is invited and services are offered.

Vastu homam is performed for the armours. The armours are cleansed with Panchagavya.
Performing Vaastu shuddhi, the gold armours are sanctified and made eligible for the processional deities to wear. Later, the gold armour is offered to Malayappa Swami along with his consorts reciting “Vishnomnakam….” hymn steadily as it is.

The processional deities radiate with different armours throughout the year. It is only during the Jyeshta Abhishekam ceremony that the Lord’s original figure is visible for the devotees. Generally, only the holy feet of the Lord are cleansed with milk, curd and other ingredients, as the processional deities are always covered with the armours. There won’t be any anointing of the deity from head to toe. It is only during the Jyeshta Abhishekam ceremony that deities are anointed from head to toe with different ingredients.

The purpose of Jyeshta Abhishekam, according to Bhrigu’s Prakirna Adhikara, is to procure the armours suitable to different deities and protect their original figure. On the third day prior to the offering of gold armour, the deities are offered scented oils, fragrant sandal powder, a thin, white cloth and the armour. Thus, the Jyeshta abhishekam is conducted for three days with great grandeur providing a feast to the eyes.

Source - Saptagiri June 2019 Issue an article written by Smt M Uttara Phalguni