Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pradakshina or circumbulation - how many times?

Pradakshina or circumbulation  - how many times?

Compiled by
P.R.Ramachander


     Pra means   give  , Da  means granting salvation   kshi means   getting cured of ailments  and na means prosperity    and  this indicates that   one doing Pradakshina would  get health  , prosperity and salvation.
  Pra Dakshina means  towards south and that is why it is done clock wise.

Brahmasri Anantharama  Deekshithar in his book Jaya Mangala stotram has  given the following Sloka   which gives   rules of Pradakshina (circumbulation-  going round God  in temple).Normally  Pradakshinas are   done in the clockwise  directions only.

Pradakkshina samo nasthi   prathyaksha  phaldho vidhi.
Ekam Ganadhipo   kuryaath  , dwe   sooryam  threeni  sankare  ,
Chathwari  kesave   deve   sapthaaswastho  pradakshinam,
Padhou padanthara  yasya  karou   chalana  varjithou,
Sthuthirvachi  hrudhi dhyaanam   chathurangam  pradakshinam,
Naiva  pradakshinam kuryath   anthare   deva  sakthayo,
Deva peedanthare   chaiva   kuryad  ithi  sasanam.

Translated by  P.R.Ramachander

Nothing yields  better  visible   results  than doing Pradakshina,
Do one for lord Ganesa  , two for the sun God , three  for Lord Shiva,
Four   for  lord  Vishnu   and   seven for the peepal tree ,
And there are four   rules   for the Pradakshinam    and they are,
After  one step, the next step  should be kept below the previous step,
And there should not be  any weaving of   hands ,
The prayer lines should  be chanted meditating on the god the heart,
You should  not to Pradakshina in between  the God and devotee  worshipping the God,
And you should not do Pradakshina in  between  God and the Bali peeda.

    Deekshithar    in his commentary to the above stotra   that Pradakshinam should be done  slow like  the walking of a pregnant lady carrying an oil pot in her  head.


   But there  are  slight  differences in opinions  given in various places  on line.

 The number of Pradakshina for  male deities it is   even number   and female  deities  it should be odd number ,It prescribes  the following number of Pradakshinas  0 for Lord shiva  , 1 for Goddess  Durga , 3 for Sri Krishna  , 4 for  Sri Ram , 5 for Hanuman, 7 for Dathathreya   and 8 for Ganapathi .
     Shiva is mentioned as 0 because  a  full Pradakshina  is not done for Lord Shiva , We proceed  clockwise  till the water outlet  from Garbha Gruha , reverse  walk in  anti clock wise  direction till the water  out let and so on. It also says   that for Swayambhu deity  only one Pradakshina  needs  to be done.
(Note: In most of  the Shiva temples only  Lord Shiva is installed  and   rarely there  are temples where  Shiva is installed with Parvathi .I have heard   that  In Shiva temples where  God is installed  with Parvathi , the normal Pradakshina  procedure  should be followed-There is a possibility  that what  I have heard is not correct )

2, https://www.ishtadevata.com/blog/pradakshina.html says   the minimum number of Pradakshina should be 1 for Ganesa , 2 for Lord Shiva , 3 for Lord Vishnu  , 4 for Lord Ayyappa  , 5 for Lord Subrahamanya  , 6 for Durga   and t for Aswatha (peepal tree)  , It again  mentions that Pradakshina of Lord Shiva   should be done as mentioned in one   above.

3. http://theancientindia.blogspot.in/2012/09/pradakshina-in-temple.html  What is given in number 2above is repeated. It says that  doing 21Pradakshinams  is very holy. In a comment to this blog  Gour  Chandra Das   mentions  Half Pradakshina for Lord Shiva , 1 for Durga , 3 for Ganesh , 7 for Lord Sun   and 4 for Lord Vishnu.

4. http://vedictalks.blogspot.in/2009/03/how-to-do-pradakshinam-circumambulation.html  says that the number of Pradakshinas   to be done is 1 for Ganesa , 2 for Sun and Kali ,3 for lord Shiva , 4  for Vishnu and Parvathi  , 5 for Lord Ayyappa  , 6 for Lord Subrahmanya  , 7 for  Durga and banyan tree   and 21  for Swayambhu.

5. http://www.keralatemples.net/customs.html   According to Smrithis, the number of pradakshina is one for Lord Ganapathy, two for Soorya, three for Lord Siva, four for Lord Siva, Goddess Durga/bhagavathy, Lord Vishnu. Around Arayal Pradiskshina should be done for seven times.
Pradikshina is to be done in clock-wise direction for full round. But in Siva temples, the procedure is different. In Siva Temples, the pradikshina is to be performed in clock-wise up to Soma-suthra, where the abhisheka water is flown and to proceed to the other end of Soma-suthra in anti clock-wise



1 comment:

Divya Balakrishnan said...

How many do you recommend? I have doing 1 for all and 9 for navagrah.