23 Feb'07 :
Navagraha Homam was performed at the Den today. Main purpose was to appease & ward off any evil spirits or influences that might have been lingering in and around the Den. This homam is done to worship the nine planets i.e. The Sun, The Moon, The Mars, The Mercury, The Jupiter, The Venus, The Saturn, The Rahu, and The Ketu. Every planet has its own importance. Sun is the king of planets, which gives health. Moon is the planet, which rules over mind and gives success. (The sun & moon are considered planets of the earth in Hindu mythology)
Mars (chevvay) is the planet, which gives prosperity and wealth. Mercury (Budhan) is the planet which gives knowledge, Jupiter (Vyazhan or Guru or Brihaspati) gives education, Venus (Velli or Shukran) gives the knowledge of art, music etc. Saturn (Shani) gives happiness. Rahu makes the life stronger. Ketu prospers the family.(Ravi & Ketu are snake planets) All these nine planets are important, so in order to worship them this homam is done. Navgraha Homam is an extremely useful & beneficial Homam, since it's worship strengthens benefic planets & increases their positive influence and pacifies malefic planets & neutralizes their negative effect. Navgraha Homam is recommended for all, particularly those planets that are detrimental or malefic as per horoscope. Navgraha Homam shall be performed every year to ensure that you always get maximum advantage from your planets. The planets are to propitiate against their evil influences, to ward off them, the Navgraha Homam is done with faith to ward off all evils of planetary configuration.
Shobha & her father Doraiappan had both been suffering from beginning of the New Year and the ill effects continued to dog theml causing considerable distress, pain & agony. The homam was conducted by one Sundara Vadhiyar and the entire arrangement was contracted to him including raw materials, transportation and the morning breakfast for Rs.5000. Raw materials included flowers, fruits,ghee, coconuts, paruppu thengai, yellow rice, cooked rice, incense, camphor, kalasa vastram, beetel leaves & nuts, sandalwood paste, kumkum, homam materials, nava dhanyas & navagraha vastras and also the dakshinai (fees) for 6 Vadhiyars (priests). The bricks required for the homam and pancha patram, uddharani, kalasam,deepam, oil, matches were our responsibility.
The previous evening the drawing room had been emptied of all furniture and the floor thoroughly scrubbed clean and polished. A white & bright mavu Kolam artistically drawn by Shobha appeared on the floor. A mango leaf thoranam was put up by driver Ramesh over the front door.
At 6.30 am sharp Sundara Vadhiyar and team (cell phones slung around their necks) landed in a convoy comprising an Auto Rikshaw and motor bikes. Shobha was ready before their arrival - expertly and elegantly draped in her 18 mozham(9 yards) saree( with a little bit of help from Raji !) Since I lacked the necessary skills in wearing panchagacham I had to seek S.Vadhyars help for this.
The priestly team then rapidly got into action to complete the basic preparations for the homam - each vadhyar had a specific task allocated which was carried out expertly. The Homam started at 7.00 am sharp as planned and concluded by 9.00 am. The mantras were chanted with great authority, clarity and confidence & S.Vadhiyar was fully in full command incessantly issuing instructions to his deputies. Cell phones kept ringing at regular intervals to a variety of ringtones and S.Vadhiyar was frequently communicating with / advising some client or the other. Breakfast was served to the priests on banana leaves -Idlis, vadas, pongal, sweet (kashi halwa) , 2 chutneys & coffee. The vadas were particularly delicious.
The vadhiyar team appeared happy & satisfied after the breakfast. They evinced interest in Guhans kennel activities & some of them were seen having an animated discussion about dogs & breeding. Guhan took them on a tour of the kennel and explained about the various breeds of dogs.
For more information about Navagraha Homams read : http://www.mipriest.com/homam/navagrahahomam.html