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Bharani Deepam

Bharani Deepam is an important ritual observed on the karthigai Deepam day at the famous Thiruvannamalai Temple in Tamilnadu. The day falls on the Bharani Nakshatra star in the Tamil Karthigai Month. In the year 2012, this day comes on November 27th 2012.

On this day, five earthen pots are lit. These pots which are filled with ghee represent the sacred elements earth, air, fire, water and ether.

As the five flames loom up with red yellow light, the famous festival of Karthigai Deepam officially begins. A single flame is then taken from the pots  which is referred to as Bharani Deepam.

The significance of Bharani Deepam is that, at this time, the Lord manifests as the five elements which will later fully merge to become one when the Kritika Deepam flame is lit in the evening.

The priest gives the lamp to the fishermen who carry it to the top of the hill. This has been the custom ever since and the fishermen remain at the temple till the evening and light the flame outside the Arunachaleshwar Siva Sannidhi. The fishermen are preferred over Brahmin priests because of the legend that Goddess Parvati was born in a fisherman’s family.

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