'Balitharpanam' rituals can be carried out in households
Aluva: As the COVID crisis still exists, various Devaswom Boards have decided to conduct the Balitharpanam ritual where deceased ancestors are remembered, at households itself on the 'Karkkadakavavu' day. Usually the ritual is performed in temples.
The materials required for the ritual should be arranged beforehand. People who perform the ritual should take bath and wear wet clothes while doing it. The method of the ritual as performed at Sivarathri Manappuram in Aluva is given here. The rituals can be different at different places and communities.
How to perform Balitharpanam ritual
First light a lamp and pay respect by offering flowers. Place a banana leaf in front of the lamp. Wear a ring made of halfa grass (Darbha) on the ring finger of right hand. Then take 5 or 7 pieces of halfa grass, flowers and basil leaves and place it on the leaf remembering the ancestors. While doing so, fix the left knee on floor and face south direction.
Then hold sesame in hand and pour water slowly to the leaf spread with halfa grass. This is called 'Thilodakam'. While doing this, chant the spell 'Om Tat Upari Thilodakam Namah'. After this, place the holy offering (pindam) for the ancestors using rice, banana, jaggery and sesame. Imagine the deceased ancestors and dedicate the offering for them.
After this, imagine doing the 'Pithrupooja' and place the flowers on the offering. Then put water, sandal, flower, lamp wick and incense on it one after other with prayers. Finally, light a camphor and chant 'Karpoora Deepanjanam Samarpayami'.
Then chant prayers and put flowers on the leaf. Remove the halfa grass-made ring from finger and put it on the leaf. This leaf can be either put in the river or placed on an empty place. Then clap hands to attract crows to complete the ritual. After this, the persons who offered the ritual can take bath and cleanse themselves.