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Home : Festivals : Adipooram


The Adipooram festival is one of the important festivals of the Siddhar Peetam. The festivities start in the early hours of the day previous to pooram and continue till night of the next day. For the full 48 hours, festive celebrations take place at the Siddhar Peetam. The three important aspects of this festival are:

  1. Making, carrying and serving rice pooridge (kanji)
  2. The devotees themselves conducting milk abhishekham to the Swayambu
  3. Amma Herself performing angapradhakshanam

Rice Pooridge

The special offering to Annai on Adipooram is the rice pooridge. Regarding this pooridge Annai has said "My child, the porridge that you have brought here as an offering is no ordinary pooridge. To me it is the divine food of God (Ambrosia/Amirtham). The pooridge is not just made of rice, water, and butter but carries with it the invaluable love, devotion and affection of My devotees." Thousands of people from all over the world bring this pooridge. The pooridge is made the day of the festival and often cooked in clay pots. Each person carries the pot containing the pooridge on their head around the Siddhar Peetam to the mandapam, just opposite the sanctum sanctorum for offering. Then special prayers are offered and the pooridge is combined and distributed freely to everyone who has come to the temple.

The rich, the poor, the literate, the underprivledged, men, women, and children all work to make and carry the pooridge on their heads as a sign of the respect for all who will partake of the pooridge. Everyone who realises the greatness of what this pooridge means stand in line to partake in the pooridge. This is just one of the many examples of Amma's philosophy of the equality of all in action. In the words of one devotee from America who had gone to India for this festival "I was overwhelmed by the feeling of oneness with everyone that the simple act of cooking and carrying this pooridge had on me. It really gave me a sense of joy and peace to see how Amma simplifies everything and makes participation in great spriritual events accessible to everyone."

Milk Abhishekam

On the day of Adipooram, both men and women, with no regard to caste or creed, enter the sanctum sactorum and perform milk abhishekam to the swayambu. This is the only day of the year when everyone gets the opportunity to perform abhishekam with their own hands. Therefore, thousands and thousands of people travel from far and wide and wait for many hours in line to have this opportunity. Each year the number of people coming to this has inceased by the 10,000s to almost 200,000 people each day of the festival. The lines have begun to stretch for miles in both directions from the temple. Amma has arranged for canopies to be set up all along the line so that everyone in line can have shade from the hot sun. More then 20,000 members of the various Sakthi Youth Groups enthusiastically work hard to distribute cool water and snacks to those waiting in line. The temple remains open through the night on these days till the last person who is in line has had the opportunity to perform Abhishekam.

The Angapradhakshanam of Amma

The crowning glory of the Adipooram festival is Amma herself performing Angapradhakshanam (rolling on the ground all the way around the temple). Amma has performed Angapradhakshanam since the first Adipooram festival which took place in 1971. Lakhs and lakhs of devotees ardently wait to witness this wonderful sight. In the early years, the date and time of Amma's Angpradhakshanam used to be known ahead of time. But for the last few years the time and date of this event is unknown. The reason of this secrecy is known only to Her.

Arul Thiru Adigalar reaches the sanctum sanctorum straight after his bath and stands in front of the Swayambu. In a transcendental state, Amma with the quickness and grace of a cobra jumps from the sanctum sanctorum to the mandapam. Then Amma with the speed of a spinning wheel rolls around the entire peetam. Amma rolls with Her arms outstretched and therefore Her elbows which are necessary to keep the momentum of rolling unbelievably never touch the ground. Also, Amma spins at an astonishing speed that no ordinary person could. Many have also witnessed a black cobra accompanying Amma during this time similar to a Mother accompany Her children to watch over and guide them as they do the Angapradhakshanam.

Amma by rolling on this land transfers Her power and strength to it. She believes that doing Angapradhakshanam on this land, saves man from his fate and destiny. Therefore, the devotees do Angapradhakshanam to cleanse themselves of their sins and attain greater spiritual strength.