The offering substances and procedure

The Lord, Who holds the holy ga~Nga in His matted hair, is delighted by the holy anointment that is done by the devotees. When this was done with sincerity He gave the small child vichAracharuma the great chaNdIsha post (1, 2). The Lord, Who is adorned with bilva leaves on His glittering long hair, also enjoys the fresh leaves and flowers the devotees offer in their fragrance of care. The Lord is so Gracious that when a monkey shed the leaves of bilva tree on a shiva li~Nga below just out of habit, He made the monkey the famous muchukun^dha emperor (3). So are the greatness of flowers and anointment materials. For the good people would be available the flowers and water (puNNIyam cheyvArkkup pUvuNdu n^IruNdu) asserts the sage thirumUlar. We should try to do as much as possible the worship complete with these holy substances and pure love. This page talks about the procedure prescribed in the scriptures as the worship procedure. This could be followed howmuchever possible.

When doing the worship whether at home or at the temple, it is of utmost importance to maintain cleanliness of body and mind. the surroundings should be clean, the worship substances should be clean ad also the body should be clean. Before the worship one should bath and wear clean dry clothes. It is also required to wear the Holy Ash. When going for the worship of the Lord should take something like amointment substances or flowers or food offering or any other offering as a token of the love for the Supreme. These offering should not be taken in the lower part of the body. These offerings could be kept only at clean places. When doing the worship it is advised to be in a proper convenient posture (Asana) so that the concentration would be on the Sweet Lord without physical disturbances.

Anointment

Pure river water, well water are qualified for the holy anointment of the Lord. The water for holy anointment would be brought by clean people escorted by musicians. The fragrant flowers like pAdhiri, uthpalam, alari, lotus would be put in this water for anointment. Old water should not be used.

The following anointments are done in that order

  • Gingily oil
  • Flour (rice flour)
  • n^ellimuLLi
  • pa~nchagavyam (Cow's milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine mixture)
  • pa~nchAmR^itam (explained below)
  • Milk
  • Curd
  • Ghee
  • Honey
  • Sugarcane juice
  • Fruits
  • Tender coconut
  • Smellful sandal
  • shR^i~Nga n^Ir
  • dhArA n^Ir
  • snapana n^Ir
  • sha~NkAbhiShekam
  • Holy ash
  • Cooked rice
  • kumba n^Ir
A text called sakalAgama saN^graham suggest the following order
  1. Oil
  2. pa~nchagavyam
  3. Flour
  4. n^ellimuLLi
  5. Turmeric
  6. pa~nchAmR^itam
  7. Milk
  8. Curd
  9. Ghee
  10. Honey
  11. Sugarcane Juice
  12. Fruit juice
  13. Tender coconut
  14. Cooked rice
  15. Sandal
  16. snapan n^Ir
pa~nchAmR^itam
rasapa~nchAmR^itam
A sweet mixture of cow's milk, curd, ghee (boiled butter), sugar and honey. (cardamom like nice smelling spices could also be added.)
pazapa~nchAmR^itam
In the above if the fruits like mango, jack, banana are added this fruit pa~nchamR^itam could be got
pa~nchagavyam
The mixture of the cow's milk, curd, ghee, water and dung.

It is said that

   
Pure Water           fulfils      desires
Perfumed oil         gives        comfort
Milk                 gives        long life   
Ghee                 gives        liberated state   
Curd                 gives        good children   
Honey                gives        melodious voice   
Rice powder          frees        from debts   
Sugar cane juice     gives        good health   
pa~nchAmR^itam       gives        wealth, body strength
pa~nchagavyam        drives off   sins  
Lemon                removes      fear of death   
Sugar                removes      enmity   
Tender coconut       gives        enjoyment   
Cooked Rice(Annam)   gives        mejestic life   
Sandal               gives        Lakshmi's grace   
nellimuLLi           cures        diseases
sha~NkhAbhiShekam    gives        good-deedful life

Offering             gives        land lordship
thAmbUlam            gives        comfort

ShoDasha upachAram (Sixteen honours)

  1. dhUpam (scented smoke)
  2. dIpam (lamp/light)
  3. mahA dIpam
  4. nAga dIpam
  5. vR^iShabha dIpam
  6. puruSha dIpam
  7. pUrNa kumbam
  8. pa~ncha dIpam 1
  9. pa~ncha dIpam 2
  10. pa~ncha dIpam 3
  11. pa~ncha dIpam 4
  12. pa~ncha dIpam 5 (five lights)
  13. naxatra dIpam
  14. meru dIpam
  15. karppUram (Camphor)
  16. mahAnIrA~njanam
mhAdIpam could have 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 light plates in the layered form. dhUpam needs to be shown near the nose and the dIpam in front of the eyes.

Soft and clean clothes should be used to clad the Lord's form. It is said that the offering of clothes would lead to life in shiva lokam. Sandal mixed with agar, goshtam, saffron, camphor and rose water could be applied to the Lord.

Ornaments

Any ornament could be used to ornate the Lord any day, but the following are suggested as speciality.
Days and Ornament Gem
Day Ornament
Sunday Ruby
Monday Pearl
Tuesday pavaLam
Wednesday Emerald
Thursday Topaz
Friday Diamond
Saturday indra nIlam

Flowers

God's head should be ever decorated with flower. In the morning lotus, purachampU, tulasi, navamallikai (jasmine), n^an^dhiyAvattai, man^thArai, mullai, shaNbakam, punnAgam are the preferred flowers. In the noon white lotus, araLi, purachu, tulasi, n^eydhal, bilvam, shanku pushpam, marudhANi, kovithAram, Oridhaz are best suited. In the evening red lotus, lily, jasmine, jAti mullai, marukkozun^dhu, vettivEr, gajakarNikai, tulasi, bilvam are suggested.

There are eight flowers renowned as aShTa puShpam much preferred for the worship of the Lord. (ettuk kolAmavar chUdum inamalar). They are

  1. aRugu
  2. chaNbakam
  3. punnAkam
  4. n^an^dhiyAvattai
  5. pAdhiri
  6. brugati
  7. araLi
  8. thumbai

Expiry period for the flowers

After plucking the flower the flowers would have to be used for worship before the following specified number of days.
Lotus	5 days
araLi   3 days
bilvam  6 months
tulasi  3 months
n^eydhal 3 days
shaNbakam 1 day
viLAmichchai ever (no expiry)

The flowers that were brought in hands, those fell by itself from the plant, dried up ones, those were smelt, those kept in dirty places, materials are not to be offered to the Lord. The petals of the flowers should not be pulled apart while offering. The leaves could be pulled separately and offered.

Leaves preferred for worship

  • tulasi
  • mukiz
  • shaNbakam
  • lotus
  • bilvam
  • kalhAram
  • marukkozun^dhu
  • marudhANi
  • dharppam
  • aRugu
  • achivalli
  • n^Ayuruvi
  • vishNugran^thi
  • n^elli

The flowers not suited for divines

The following flowers should not be offered for the respective devas.
Lord shiva	thAzai
viShNu		axata (rice), veLLerukku, Umaththai
Goddess		aRugu, veLLerukku, man^dhAram
sun (sUrya)	bilvam
vignesha	tulasi

Five bilvas

  1. mullai
  2. kiLuvai
  3. n^ochchi
  4. bilvam
  5. viLA


The main thing in the worship of Lord shiva are the love, focus and dedication. These are the core required things for the worship. But these external things stated in this page could enhance the worship of the Lord. So these could be followed as much as possible.

References to Ashta Pushpam from thirumurai

எட்டுக்கொ லாமவர் ஈறில் பெருங்குணம்
எட்டுக்கொ லாமவர் சூடு மினமலர்
எட்டுக்கொ லாமவர் தோளிணை யாவன
எட்டுக்கொ லாந்திசை யாக்கின தாமே. 		 4.18.8 

அட்ட மாமலர் சூடி அடம்பொடு
வட்டப் புன்சடை மாமறைக் காடரோ
நட்ட மாடியும் நான்மறை பாடியும்
இட்ட மாக இருக்கும் இடமிதே. 			5.9.4 

எட்டு நாண்மலர் கொண்டவன் சேவடி 
மட்ட லரிடு வார்வினை மாயுமாற் 
கட்டித் தேன்கலந் தன்ன கெடிலவீ 
ரட்ட னாரடி சேரு மவருக்கே. 			 5.54.1 

நீள மாநினைந் தெண்மலர் இட்டவர் 
கோள வல்வினை யுங்குறை விப்பரால் 
வாள மாலிழி யுங்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேளி சூழ்ந்தழ காய வீரட்டரே. 			 5.54.2 

கள்ளின் நாண்மல ரோரிரு நான்குகொண் 
டுள்குவா ரவர் வல்வினை யோட்டுவார் 
தெள்ளு நீர்வயல் பாய்கெடி லக்கரை 
வெள்ளை நீறணி மேனிவீ ரட்டரே. 			 5.54.3 

பூங்கொத் தாயின மூன்றொடோ ரைந்திட 
வாங்கி நின்றவர் வல்வினை யோட்டுவார் 
வீங்கு தண்புனல் பாய்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேங்கைத் தோலுடை யாடைவீ ரட்டரே. 		 5.54.4 

தேனப் போதுகள் மூன்றொடோ ரைந்துடன் 
தானப் போதிடு வார்வினை தீர்ப்பவர் 
மீனத் தண்புனல் பாய்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேன லானை யுரித்தவீ ரட்டரே. 			 5.54.5 

ஏழித் தொன்மலர் கொண்டு பணிந்தவர் 
ஊழித் தொல்வினை யோட அகற்றுவார் 
பாழித் தண்புனல் பாய்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேழத் தின்னுரி போர்த்தவீ ரட்டரே. 			 5.54.6 

உரைசெய் நூல்வழி யொண்மல ரெட்டிடத் 
திரைகள் போல்வரு வல்வினை தீர்ப்பரால் 
வரைகள் வந்திழி யுங்கெடி லக்கரை 
விரைகள் சூழ்ந்தழ காயவீ ரட்டரே. 			 5.54.7 

ஓலி வண்டறை யொண்மல ரெட்டினாற் 
காலை யேத்த வினையைக் கழிப்பரால் 
ஆலி வந்திழி யுங்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேலி சூழ்ந்தழ காயவீ ரட்டரே. 			 5.54.8 

தாரித் துள்ளித் தடமல ரெட்டினாற் 
பாரித் தேத்தவல் லார்வினை பாற்றுவார் 
மூரித் தெண்டிரை பாய்கெடி லக்கரை 
வேரிச் செஞ்சடை வேய்ந்தவீ ரட்டரே. 		 5.54.9 

அட்ட புட்பம் அவைகொளு மாறுகொண் 
டட்ட மூர்த்தி அனாதிதன் பாலணைந் 
தட்டு மாறுசெய் கிற்ப அதிகைவீ 
ரட்ட னாரடி சேரு மவர்களே. 			 5.54.10 

vAchan^alany cheydhimaiyOr n^AdORu malarthUva ,
     Ichanem perumAnA rinidhAka vuRaiyumidam ,
     yOchanaipOyp pUkkoNarn^dhaN^ gorun^ALu moziyAmE ,
     pUchanaichey dhinidhirun^dhAn puLLirukku vELUrE
                - thirunyAna chamban^dhar

See Also:
1. chaNdIshAnugraha mUrti
2. chaNdIcha n^AyanAr history
3. muchukundha chakravarthy

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