Monday, December 13, 2010

Eigth Day of Brahmotsavam: Swarna Rathotsavam, Ashwa Vahanam

The end of Brahmotsavam is marked by the Lord riding the Ratha (Chariot) with his two divine consorts.

On the penultimate day, Rathotsavam is celebrated, in which the Lord is seated in a ratham (chariot) and taken in a procession in the morning.
It is believed that those who witness Rathotsavam will not be reborn (rathostham kesavam dristva punarjanma na vidyate).
The idols of Daruka (the charioteer of Lord Sri Krishna) and the four horses (Saibyam, Sugreevam, Meghapushpam and Valahakam) are placed before the decorated idols of the Lord and his consorts. This symbolises that the lord’s charioteer is driving the chariot.
The chariot is pulled along by devotees, who chant Govinda!, Govinda! This is the only opportunity that devotees get to be of service to the Lord during Brahmotsavam.
After the Unjal Seva in the night, the deities are taken in the Aswa (horse) Vahana.
Horses formed one of the four wings (ratha, gaja, turanga and pada) of the military forces in ancient times. Aswam, a symbol of energy, means 'one who runs fast'.
Lord Venkateswara travels on a horse when he goes for paruveta. According to Hindu mythology, the horse was born along with Sri Mahalakshmi, Airavatham and Amritam during Sheerasagaramadhanam.

Lord Malayappa is ready to ride his steed with a whip in one hand and the horse reins in the other.

The lord rode his steed when he was Lord Rama. He is supposed to come back to the earth again as Kalki Bhagavan. At that point of time, he will be seen on a white horse.

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