Whenever I go on holidays to India with parents, there is always a temple trip. India trip wont be a fulfilling one without visiting some ancient temples and getting to know its history and specialities. Either visiting the kulam deivam or on the way to relative’s house, we drop by a temple.
Most of the huge and popular temples draw devotees who do Angapradhakshanam. I thought it to be a silly deed till I found the significance behind it. People rolling on the ground while another person dropping water or tumerica water to cool their body off. It’s all a sacrifice, doing this motion (rolling) around the temples’ praharam (circumference) under scorching heat and rough stoned ground.
Angapradhakshanam is actually a sanskrit word accepted in Tamil also. ‘Angam’ means body and ‘Pradhakshanam’ means coming round in the clock-wise direction. The scientific reason behind walking clock-wise is that the Earth goes around the sun and on its own axis clock-wise. We shouldn’t go against the planetary positions.
It is a prayer which has good effect in many cases. This will be done in the temples’ praharam with wet body and cloths after bathing in the temple’s tank or well. It is being done by many people after fulfilling their requests or prayers.
This is very similar to carrying kavady. I’ve done another blog on Kavady. Please view that alongside this post. Angapradakshinam is when devotees lie prostrate, and then roll around the temple, chanting the Lord’s name. The objective is to show their devotion to the Lord, and thank Him for protecting them. It is performed in the Vimana Pradakshinam, one of the pathways around the main deity’s temple, in wet clothes, after having had a dip in the temple pond or purified turmeric water which is purified by the temple pujaari. This is done by some to wash away their sins and by some as they have pledged to do it when their wish gets fulfilled. any pledge to do angapradakshanam if they or someone in the family is seriously ill also.
I thought this was a ridiculous practice but after viewing the devotion of the people, I learnt to respect this form of worship which cleanses the sin.