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SRAVANA VRADHAM
Article By:Radhika Gobinath Posted on:7/7/2009
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Sravana Vradham

SravaNam or ThiruvONam is the nakshathram associated
with Sriman NarayaNa . It has therefore very auspicious
overtones . SravaNam is celebrated particularly in
Oppiliappan Koil and Thirumalai ( and all other Sri VenkatEsa
sannidhis .

Many Sri VenkatEsa BhakthAs observe UpavAsam and do not
take any food and send a significant portion of the day reflectign
on the glories of Sriman Narayanan .

SravaNa Vratham and associated fasting is not as mandatory as
the observance of EkAdasi Fasting and DhvAdasi breaking of fast .
Sri Venkatesa BhakthAs observe it . Sri Oppiliappan at Oppiliappan
Sannidhi is DakshiNa VenkatEsan .

On SravaNam day , there is a huge assembly of BhakthAs at
Oppiliappan Sannidhi and SravaNa dheepam is lit and carried around
the temple precincts . The devotee carrying the lit dheepam close to his
chest is in a state of trance and has the links to Oppiliappan . The Lord
enters into him for that duration and devotees with all kinds of problems
inn their lives approach the Swamy Carrying the lit SravaNa dheepam
and recieve responses to their questions and act accordingly .At the end
of the procession , the dheepam holder quenches the flames in
the AhOrAthra PushkaraNi and waits for the lighting of the Dheepam
during the next SravaNam . The pious devotee carrying the dheepam lives
in Srirangam and comes to Oppiliappan Sannidhi on SravaNam days . He is
over 80 years in age and has been performing this kaimkaryam for many years .
His carrying of the naked flame close to His body is an unforgettable sight .

The Dheepam represents the JyOthir Maya Tatthvam
of Bhagavan( Brahman of the Upanishads ) . The Mundaka
Upanishad says in this context : " Him the shining One, every thing ( the Sun ,
the Moon and all the other luminary bodies) shines after , by this light ,
all these lights are lit ".

This SravaNa dheepam also represents the inner Jyothi in our heart lotuses ,
which is the indwelling Brahman: "Now the light , which shines above this heaven
( at Sri Vaikuntam as Param JyOthi or Param Sudar , Sriman Narayanan ) , is
the highes tof all lights in all the worlds , verily , that is the same light , which is
with in the heart lotus in the minutest of forms ". This is the antharyAmi Brahman
and the other is the AkhaNDa Brahman .They are one and the same . This is
the tEjOmaya Brahman worshipped on the Kaarthigai dheepam day .

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