The system of rites conducted here is traceable to Sri Adi Sankaracharya.There are in all, 12 ‘darshan’ 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 devotion.
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 comesVakacharth 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 Deity is wiped with a thin cloth ,then adorned with garlands, ear ornaments, Kasthuritilaka 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 Gokul. After the alankaram (adornment or decoration),the malar naivedyami.emalar (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 ushanaivedyam (morning offering). The UshaPooja (morning worship) is also conducted at this time.
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