11 pits of sacrificial fire, 121 priests chanting hymns, 11 namakams, 11 anuvakas (verses) of chamakam, 11 days of spiritual extravaganza, 550 volunteers.... all under one roof. Welcome to the Sai Ramesh Hall at Brindavan Ashram, Kadugodi, Whitefield, Bangalore - venue of the Ati Rudra Maha Yajnam, fondly called the ARMY. The ARMY of 2015 kicked off on 1st March 2015 and will go on until 12th of March 2015.
Namakam and chamakam are hymns that are part of the Yajur veda and each consist of 11 verses. Namakam visualizes the Lord Rudra in all of creation and pays obeisance to Him who is in all and thus makes us all equals. Accordingly the word namo, namo (I bow, I bow) are oft repeated in this. Chamakam lays down all the requirements for a good and godly life and requests the Lord to bless us with those.
Chanting namakam 11 times and chamakam once completes one Shri Rudram.
Chanting namakam 11*11=121 times and chamakam 1*11=11 completes one laghu Rudram.
Chanting namakam 11*11*11=1331 times and chamakam 11*11=121 completes one maha Rudram.
Chanting namakam 11*11*11*11=14641 times and chamakam 11*11*11=1331 completes one Ati Rudram.
That means 11 Shri Rudrams make a laghu rudram, 11 laghu rudrams make a maha rudram and 11 maha rudrams make the Ati Rudram.
Abhishekam of the Lord Trayeeswara (photo courtesy: RadioSai)
Obviously it is impossible to do it alone. Hence there are a minimum of 121 priests chanting Rudram 11 times a day thus completing a Maharudram in a day. The chants are accompanied by the ceremonial bath of the Lord with water, milk, honey, ghee, sugar, fruit juices.
The Lord is decked up beautifully after the abhishekams. And in His divine presence, sacrificial offerings in to the 11 sacrificial pits are offered after the ceremonial bath known as abhishekam with loud chants of hundreds in unison.
Rudra Homam (photo courtesy: theprasanthireporter.org)
The program commences every morning at 05.30 AM and goes on until 12:00 noon. Evening programs are marked by vedic recitals, discourses, musical renderings and bhajans - Cultual programs to regale the majestic Lord. The marvellous marble Lord that you behold here is christened Trayeeswara.
The believers have the conviction that this prayer for universal peace will spread positive vibrations in the world and keep every being happy and contented. May this really be so. If you're around Bangalore, don't miss this one. We are already past the half way mark. Come and pray for universal peace and brotherhood. Our world needs it.