The system of rites
conducted here is traceable to Sri Adi Sankaracharya,the great sanskrit
scholor and philosopher,and,founder of the Advaitha philosophy.There are
in all, 12 'darshan' (glimpse of the Lord) that can be had by a devotee on
a given day. The timings mentioned are rough and based on a pamphlet
published by the GuruvayurDevaswam (the body that administers the temple)
for the guidance of the devotees.
The NIRMALYA DARSHAN
(3 A.M to 3.20 A.M) is the first of the day. The Lord now is still adorned
with the flowers and garlands of the previous night. It is believed that
after the night pooja (worship), when the doors are closed, the devas
(Gods) come and worship the deity. A darshan of the Lord who has just been
worshipped by the Devas themselves is considered highly auspicious. Amidst
the lit lamps, the chiming bells and the conch, the spontaneous cries of
the devotees shouting out "Narayana","Guruvayurappa","Govinda",etc., the
innermost recesses of your mind will be lifted to the heights of
THE THAILABHISHEKAM,VAKACHARTH & SANKABHISHEKAM (3.20 A.M TO 3.30
A.M)The rite of bathing the deity with gingely oil takes place after
removing the adornments of the previous day. Then comes Vakacharth i.e.
sprinkling the deity with the vaka powder. The kork of a tree called vaka
is powdered and used. After this is performed the abhishekam (rite of
bathing the deity) with water sanctified in a sankhu (conch).
ALANKARAM & MALAR NIVEDYAM (3.30 A.M TO 4.15 A.M) After the
bath the idol is wiped with a thin clothy,then adorned with garlands, ear
ornaments, Kasthuri tilaka and a red loincloth. Butter in hand and playing
the flute, the Lord here appears as Unnikrishna (child Krishna),
reminiscent of His playful days at Gokulam. After the alankarem (adornment
or decoration),the malar naivedyam i.e malar (puffed rice), plantain and
jaggery are offered to the Lord.
USHA NAIVEDYAM & USHA POOJA (4.15 AM TO 4.30 AM) Offerings of
cooked rice and naipayasam (rice cooked in jaggery constitute the usha
naivedyam (morning offering). The Usha Pooja (morning worship) is also
conducted at this time.
ETHIRETTU POOJA (4.30 AM to 6.15 AM) Now the Lord and the Sun
are facing each other and pooja is performed by offering vella naivadyam
(white offering i.e. of cooked rice); simultaneously, the other deities in
the temple are attended by associate priests. Ganapathy homa is performed
in the temple kitchen.
SIVELI (6.15 AM to 7.00AM) The Srikovil (Sanctum sanctorum) opens
allowing the devotees to have their darshan. The deity is then
taken out for the Siveli (procession). The utsavavigraha (processional
deity) is mounted in an elephant and taken round the temple thrice.
Believably, the Lord want this exercise to be done so that He himself can
ascertain if His cetestial attendents are keeping well.