MANGALURU: The Vishwajit Athiratra Somayaga, an important and one of the oldest Vedic rituals, which was said to have been last conducted during the rule of the kings in Kerala more than 500 years ago, will be held at Sri Nithyananda Yogasharama, Kondevur, near Uppala in Kasargod district of Kerala.
The seven-day non-stop yaga, which will begin at sunset on February 18, will be led by Vasudeva Kogulekar and another priest, both Agnihotris of Gokarna, and will involve a horse, goat, cow, tortoise and an eleven-month-old female calf of Indian breed (red in colour) akin to the last time it was held. All the animals will be returned to the places from where they were brought after the rituals.
According to Ramachandra C, one of the organisers, the Somayaga is different from Athiratra Yaga. The speciality of Somayaga is that Somarasa is used in this yaga. Besides, it will include Aruna Kethuka Chayana, a homa that is conducted using 1,200 earthern pots with lotuses in them. The earthen pots will be made by potters at the site.
7,000 sqft pandal erected for yaga
HECTIC preparations are on in full swing at Kondevur village for the rare Vedic ritual, being held for ‘Loka Kalyana’ (welfare of the world). A pandal constructed out of coconut fronds and arecanut stems, covering an area of 7,000 sqft, has been erected.Scores of traditional professionals like goldsmiths, carpenters, potters, basket weavers, Yadavas (cattle rearers), honey collectors, etc., have arrived at the venue from different parts of the country weeks ago and are busy in making all the things required for the yaga. Rice, organically grown on ashram premises, will be used to feed lakhs of devotees who are expected to turn up for the event from all parts of the country and abroad.
‘Somarasa’, one of the important ingredients for the yaga, is being sourced from Ladakh. The Somarasa juice is extracted from the Somalatha plant and the homa fire rises to about 30-35 feet when it is poured into ‘yajna kunda’. Apart from Somarasa, thunderbolt rainwater, sunshower (one that falls when rainbow is visible), dew, lake algae and holy water from all holy rivers will be used during the yaga.
Former MLC and Yaga Samithi working president Monappa Bhandary told reporters in Mangaluru on Tuesday that the event is being organised according to ancient rituals. Two Agnihotris who will lead the yaga will survive only on two glasses of fresh milk a day for seven days and will not even take bath. Milk will be drawn from a cow that will be part of yajna and stay inside the pandal. He said an attempt was made to conduct the Vishwajit Athiratra Somayaga several years ago in Andhara Pradesh, but it was not successful. “We are told that it could not be carried out as per traditions.
Hence, we have taken all care to ensure that the one in Kondevur does not deviate from any tradition,” said Bhandary. After the week-long ritual, the pandal will be consignes to flames (Agnisparsha). BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa, Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, BJP leader K S Eshwarappa, MPs Shobha Karandlaje, Nalin Kumar Kateel and others will participate in the event.