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(Murti consecration anniversary utsav)

Nishkulanand Kavya

Mandirs and murti pujã form a fundamental part of Sanãtan Dharma. A traditional sacred ritual prevails which celebrates the anniversaries of murti consecration (prãna pratishthã) of mandirs. Known as Pãtotsav, the word is a compound of paat and utsav – festival. Paat is derived from patti, a strip of garment tied on the head of a murti. From this evolved paat.

Pãtotsav is a ritual which celebrates the anniversary of the tithi when the murtis were first consecrated.

In the BAPS shikharbaddh mandirs, sadhus perform a grand abhishek of the murtis after the mangalã ãrti in the morning. Abhishek involves pouring panchãmrut on the murtis. This ritual is performed in a prescribed sequence by chanting specific Vedic mantras, including the Purush Sukta of the Rg Veda. The sanctified panchãmrut, known as charanãmrut is collected and later availed of by devotees. After abhishek, the murtis are bathed with pure water (shuddhodak snãn) and adorned with shrungãr – garments, ornaments and flower garlands. A rich annakut of sweets and savoury dishes is offered. This is followed by ãrti. The annakut prasãd and charanãmrut are then distributed.

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