Pujas And Festivals Of Nataraja Temple At Chidambaram

Research Article
Veerachelvam K
Lord Nataraj, Goddess Sivakami or Sivakamasundari, Pujas, Diparadhana, Kanaka Sabha, citi Sabha, Spalikalinga, abhishekam, Neivaedyam Darsanam, Ani Thirumanjanam, Arudra darsanam, Natyanjali.

Hindu temples are the embodiment of rituals, pujas and festivals. Pujas are considered as a service of man to god. The term ‘Puja’ is derived from the Dravidian word pu which means flower and cey means to do. Puja means worship accompanied by certain formality and offerings. Shiva pujas are classified into three parts, namely (1) Nitya pujas (Santhi pujas-daily pujas), (ii) Naimittika pujas (monthly pujas worship on auspicious days) and (iii) kamya pujas (Prarthana by private worshippers). Worship in the Nataraja temple is conducted in Vaidika puja pattern as laid down by Patanjali. It resembles the rituals of domestic worship and not the Agama form. In the Nataraja temple, the pujas are conducted regularly six times every day. They are Kala Sandhi, Second Kalam, Uchi Kalam, Saya Rakshai, Second Kalam and Artha Jamam. Two are Brahmotsavam’s (great festivals), Ani Thirumanjanam and Arudra Darsanam in the Tamil month of Ani and Margali respectively. Thus Natyanjali at Chidambaram has proved its worthiness as a fountain head and the mother festival for all the events throughout the state.